DEWALT DCD980L2 vs DCD985L2 vs DCD996P2 Review

Some of you might be asking how to drill a hole in concrete in just 10 seconds or less. If you’re looking for an answer and immediate results, then you must use a DeWalt hammer drill in order to sink a hole into concrete effectively.

In this article, we will share you three drills which are very versatile as they can handle masonry, metal, and wood. The only daunting part is which to choose between them.

Well, let’s examine them to see which one is the best for your needs.

DEWALT DCD980L2 vs. DCD985L2 vs. DCD996P2 Review

1. DEWALT DCD985L2 20-Volt MAX Li-Ion Premium 3.0 Ah Hammerdrill/Driver Kit

First, we’ll start with the DCD985L2 drill kit. This hammer drill-driver kit is the lowest-power tool out of the three in this roundup.  But you don’t want to skip this product just yet because compared to the average homeowner drill; this one is actually a beast.

It is rated for 450 unit watts out of torque, and it comes with a 3-speed transmission. If you only need a hammer drill frequently, then this might be the right tool for you. It does a great job at drilling other materials including metal and wood.

Turn of its hammer function and simply use it as a regular drill. Also, it can handle up to a 4 inch hole in wood and 1-3/8 inches hole in metal. Because it comes with a ½ inch all-metal ratcheting chuck, you can use other accessories like sanding pads and wire brushes with it.

Its variable-speed trigger can give you accurate control in each gear. Low speed ranges from 0-600 RPM, medium covers 0-1250 RPM, and high speed which cover s 0-2000 RPM. There are 22 clutch settings plus its hammer drill function. With this, you will want to use its side handle when you turn on the hammer feature because it can put out up to 34,000 blows per minute in its highest gear. If ever you’re seeking more power and speed than this, then you can check out the DCD996 which is described just below.

And lastly, its LED lights mounted below its chuck turns on when you press its trigger. It also has a 20-second delay in order to keep your work area well-lit while you grab the next bit. Its light runs off the same battery as the drill itself. The kit includes two 20V MAX li-ion packs that are compatible with any other DeWalt 20V MAX power tool. It has its own integrated fuel gauge so you can always see how much charge is still left.

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  • Comes with 3-mode LED lighting
  • 0-38, 250 BPM for fast drilling in masonry materials
  • Made in the USA with global materials
  • Equipped with 20V MAX XR High Capacity li-ion batteries
  • High efficiency brushless motor
  • 57% more run time over brushed
  • High performance transmission for fast application speed
  • Comes with great warranty offer
  • Heavy-duty ½ inch ratcheting nitro-carburized metal chuck with metal carbide inserts for extra bit gripping


  • Would be better to improve the gear selector slider
  • Its battery tends to fit loose

2. DEWALT DCD980L2 20-Volt Max Li-Ion Premium 3.0 Ah Drill Driver Kit

Now, let’s take a look at the power of DCD980 drill. It is rated for 535 UWO, which is actually a big step up from the DCD985. In addition, it comes with a 3-speed transmission but it does not come with a hammer function. Yes, it is not a hammer drill. Oddly enough, it does include a side handle. Thus, you could use it to drill masonry with a carbide bit; it is just not in the official specifications. Without its hammer feature, it might drill slower.

Moreover, the DCD980’s maximum capacity in wood is at 4 inches hole, and a 1-3/8 inches hole saw in metal. Like the previously discussed drill, you can use other accessories with it since it comes with a ½ inch all-metal ratcheting chuck. Its variable-speed trigger and its 22 clutch settings make it easy to do accurate work.

Similar to the DCD985, this drill comes with a LED work light mounted under the chuck. Simply release the trigger and it will stay lit for another twenty seconds. This is beneficial when you are working in a pretty dim place and need to find your next fastener.

Its batteries which are included in this kit are part of the DeWalt 20V MAX li-ion lineup. It comes with a 4.0Ah capacity for longer performance. You can also use any other 20V MAX li-ion battery with the DCD980 drill.

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  • Battery packs come with 3-year free service contract
  • Comes with great warranty offer
  • ½ inch metal ratcheting chuck with carbide inserts which helps to reduce bit slippage
  • Equipped with 3-speed transmission
  • Compact and ergonomic design that doesn’t compromise on power
  • Comes with hard plastic case and side handle
  • Comes with one-hour charger and two 4.0Ah li-ion batteries
  • Quiet performance
  • LED lights comes with a timeout feature
  • Charges fast
  • Incredibly powerful
  • Lightweight due to its lithium battery packs
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  • Lithium batteries for high power demanding applications tend to lose power immediately
  • Seems it is harder to tighten down with its improved locking mechanism

3. DEWALT DCD996P2 20V MAX* XR Lithium Ion Brushless 3-Speed Hammer Drill KitDEWALT DCD996P2 20V MAX XR Lithium Ion Brushless 3-Speed Hammer Drill Kit

The DCD996 20V MAX XR li-ion brushless 3-speed hammer drill is the product you want if you are drilling into masonry on a normal basis. This drill is the next ideal product to a rotary hammer. It became brand new on the market when it was 2016.

It is rated for 820 UWO and up to 2250 RPM and 38,250 BPM for fast drilling in brick and concrete. But what gives it such power and speed? Well, it is because it comes with a brushless motor. And brushless motors are very powerful for their size, and much more efficient. In addition, they don’t require maintenance, and they tend to last longer compared to an average motor.

Contractors that depend primarily on their power tools choose ones that come with brushless motors. It is a worthy investment since those tools go twice as double on a single charge, operate smoother, and last for years.

Similar to the other two drills mentioned above, the DCD996 comes with a three-speed transmission. But DeWalt pared down its clutch settings to just twelve in addition to its hammer function. They’ve also improved the ½ inch chuck to nitro-caburized metal with carbide inserts. Also, for all we know, nitro-carburizing metal hardens it to better resist corrosion and damage. In fact, gun companies such as Smith and Wesson use this process to finish components for their firearms.

Furthermore, DeWalt also made its LED work light a lot better on this hammer drill. First, it is mounted in its foot so it will not cast shadows while you’re working. Next, rather than a twenty-second delay, it comes with a programmable twenty-minute shutdown. And lastly, it can be utilized as a stand-alone spotlight, and you’re not even required to pull the trigger just to use it. It operates the 20V MAX battery packs included in this kit. They’ve got a 5.0Ah capacity for the longest performance possible between charges.

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  • Equipped with 3-mode LED lighting
  • Made in the USA with global materials
  • Nominal voltage is 18
  • Comes with MAX XR high capacity li-ion batteries
  • Comes with 3-mode LED light with spotlight mode
  • 0-38, 250 BPM for fast drilling in masonry materials
  • High efficiency brushless motors
  • Comes with 57% more run time over brushed
  • High performance transmission
  • Comes with hard plastic case and belt hook
  • Comes with 360 degree rotatable side handle
  • Comes with charger and two 5.0Ah li-ion batteries


  • Would be better to improve the gear selector slider
  • Its battery tends to fit loose


If you’ re looking for a powerful and faster drill for metal and wood, as well as masonry then get the DCD 980. It doesn’t come with hammer mode; however it does possesses a lot of power output.

If you want to drill concrete, brick, metal, and wood, but will not be depending on your drill for work every day, then you must get the DCD985.

And lastly, if you’re a professional worker who’s seeking the best hammer drill for normal use, then it’s better to opt for the new DCD996. It has the most speed and power of any DeWalt hammer drill listed in here. Not to mention that the kit comes with two of the largest capacity batteries they offer. Overall, the thing is you should pick the best hammer drill based on your needs as well as your profession.

Well, that sums it up. How about you? Do you agree with our recommendation? If so, please feel free to share us your thoughts, feedback or suggestions, and opinions and we’ll make sure to get back to you as soon as possible.

Happy purchasing!