Detailed Review Of The DeWalt DCD970KL Cordless Hammer Drill

DCD970KL Battery PackMany years ago – before knowing any better – I’d often be in the middle of a tough home improvement project and wonder if there was a better and easier way to get the job done. As I gained experience, I often discovered that there was — with the use of powerful and specialized power tools I would be able to get my projects done faster, and easier. This is where the DeWalt DCD970KL 18-Volt 1/2-Inch cordless hammer drill excels. While you may be able to eventually drill through concrete or other tough materials with a regular cordless drill, the DCD970KL takes half the time and effort. Let’s take a look at what this specialty DeWalt drill has to offer:

What Makes a Hammer Drill Different?

A conventional cordless drill has a motor that can spin the chuck in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions. Depending on what you use your drill for, this may be the only type of drill you’ll ever need. However, if you tackle all sorts of projects or just like having the ability to do so, the hammer drill brings another feature to the table – hammer action.

When drilling very hard and thick materials such as masonry or concrete, it can be very difficult to maintain a bite in the material with just the spinning action – even with a masonry bit. A hammer drill continuously drives the bit into the material and simultaneously provides spinning action. This reduces stress on the drill, and requires less effort from you. So what features should you look for when purchasing a cordless hammer drill and how does the DCD970KL fare when put to the test? Could it be the best cordless drill with hammer action for the money? Let’s examine these important areas to find out:

  • Power
  • Battery Life
  • Weight
  • Speed Options
  • Extras
  • Warranty

DCD970KL Drill Into Cinder BlockPower & Lots Of It

A hammer drill isn’t much good if it doesn’t have the power to get your job done. Fortunately the 18 volts this hammer drill puts out are plenty to handle most drilling tasks around the jobsite or home. In the past most hammer drills needed an electrical socket to be effective, but you can toss that extension cord aside – the 450 watts available from this cordless drill should be all the power you’ll ever need.

Long Battery Life With Lithium-Ion

If you have older cordless drills, you know how quickly the NiCad batteries can drain and how long it can take for recharging – in some cases you may have to put your project on hold until the next day. DeWalt’s XRP Lithium-Ion batteries bring your home improvement jobs into the 21st century with their long running times and ability to be fully recharged within an hour. DeWalt states that their extended run time is up to 40 percent longer than NiCad batteries and they can be recharged up to 2000 times. That’s a lot of drilling and you can use the XRP batteries with any other 18 volt cordless DeWalt tool. And if that wasn’t enough, it is also recognized as having an energy star certified battery charger.

DCD970KL Drilling Straight Into SteelIt Only Weighs 5 ¼ Pounds

A hammer drill like this has to be heavy, right? Would it be advisable to visit a gym before attempting a project? Actually it is very user friendly at 5 ¼ pounds – that’s not much more than most conventional cordless drills and lighter than many used to be. This DeWalt drill also has a very balanced feel to it and the ergonomic grip can reduce hand and arm fatigue when drilling through that eight inch thick concrete wall.

Variable Speed Ranges

The best cordless drills offer variable speed ranges and the DeWalt DCD970KL has you covered in this area. When the power tool is set in drill mode, you can choose between 0 – 500, 0 – 1,250, or 0 – 2,000 rpms depending on your task or the type of material being drilled. When the drill is in hammer mode, choose between 0 – 8,500, 0 – 21,500, or 0 – 34,000 rpms based on just how tough the concrete or masonry happens to be and its age – old concrete can be particularly hard.

DCD970KL LED LightEveryone Likes Extras

When I do a cordless drill review, I always look to see what sort of extras the manufacturer throws in, and this hammer drill does not disappoint. Hammer drills can take a beating over time, but this model’s all metal transmission should provide many years of reliable service. It comes with a side-handle that provides a little more control when tackling large jobs and the LED light helps you see exactly where you’re drilling. It also features a ½ inch chuck that should be able to handle just about any sized masonry bit.


DeWalt Tools has a reputation for providing one of the best power tool warranties in the industry. It comes with a 90 day money back guarantee, a one year free service contract, and a 3 year limited warranty. The Lithium-Ion batteries come with a two year free service contract.

Let’s Talk Price

The DeWalt DCD970KL cordless drill is a professional grade hammer drill without a premium price. I have seen this DeWalt cordless drill listed at online and off-line retailers for over $350. However, the most competitive price I have seen is on Amazon, where they regularly sell this drill for around $300, and with free shipping.

What’s in the Box?

When purchasing this cordless drill you should receive:

  • The Drill
  • Side handle accessory
  • Two Lithium-Ion Batteries
  • One hour quick charger
  • Heavy duty carrying case

DCD970KL vs. DCD760KL

So should you purchase the DCD970KL or spend a little less for the DeWalt DCD760KL, a conventional cordless drill in the company’s lineup? The DCD760KL is a very good drill and should be able to handle most tasks on the jobsite or at your home. However, if you have a lot of concrete or masonry to drill, when you’re about halfway through the first hole that extra $100 might not seem as much after all – hammer action can make a huge difference when drilling extremely dense materials.

See how it compares to other DeWalt drills.

Price $270 $190 $100
Voltage 18V 18V 18V
Max Power 450UWO 350UWO 380UWO
# of Speed Settings 3 2 2
Max RPM 0-500/0-1,250/0-2,000 0-500/0-1,700 0-450/0-1,500
Max BPM 0-8,500/0-21,250/0-34,000 N/A N/A
Clutch Settings 22 17 17
Chuck Size 1/2″ 1/2″ 1/2″
Chuch Type Metal, ratcheting Plastic, ratcheting Plastic, ratcheting
Tool Weight 5.5lbs 4lbs 4.7lbs Buy Now Buy Now Buy now

DCD970KL Drilling Into WoodMy Take on the DeWalt DCD970KL Cordless Hammer Drill

Overall I feel this cordless drill can handle any drilling job thrown at it. The drill feels very balanced and doesn’t weigh as much as its power would seem to dictate. The numerous speed ranges give you plenty of options to choose from depending on what you’re drilling and the all metal transmission should last a long time. DeWalt tools have a very good reputation for high build quality, thoughtful engineering, and durability — the DCD970KL appears to be a winner in all areas.

Any Complaints?

The primary complaint I found from the many reviews I read was that when the drill was set in reverse, a few purchasers found that the bit loosened in the chuck. When they sent their drills back to DeWalt, they received replacements that no longer displayed the problem. In my experience this drill has done everything I asked of it, and has never let me down.

What Other People Think

I found a number of reviews for the DeWalt DCD970KL on Amazon, coming from a wide range of purchaser backgrounds. Professional contractors and casual DIYers alike buy tools on the site because of its competitive pricing and they provide a broad spectrum of feedback. The drill is rated at 4.5 out of a possible 5, here are a few quotes from reviewers:

  • “This product is everything it was advertised to be plus. This drill fits the bill ! The hammer drill feature is awesome for a drill that’s this compact.”-Rickiecc
  • “Turned out to be a better drill than I had thought. Have used masonary bits to drill into concrete, regular drilling, and Forstner bits. This drill performed flawlessly with each different application.”-R. Yee
  • “I’ve had construction going on in my house for the past 5 months (ugh!) and got tired of using the contractor’s tools, so bought this Dewalt DCD970KL 18-volt XRP L-ion kit. It’s the best drill I’ve ever owned…”-B. Theo
  • “Dewalt!! DRILL of all Drills! This drill is the Godfather of all drills. Made for tough jobs, expensive but worth every penny and job done. Industry standard equipment. Tough tool for tough work. The very best.”-Casualflava

DCD970KL Internal ViewWhere Can You Buy The DeWalt DCD970KL?

You can buy this DeWalt cordless drill from Amazon. Interestingly, on the Amazon page for this drill, they do not share their price as it is below the manufacturers recommended sale price. In other words, DeWalt will not let Amazon advertise this price as it is below what they want their drill to be sold for. To see the exact price, you have to first add this drill to your Amazon shopping cart. Amazon certainly provide the best deal for this drill, especially considering their free shipping option.

Where Can You Read More Reviews?

The best place to read reviews from people who use this drill everyday is on Amazon. Click here to learn more about the DeWalt DCD970KL Cordless Hammer Drill

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