Dewalt DCD796N 18V Cordless Brushless Combi Drill Review

Thanks for taking your time to read our review of the tool only Dewalt DCD796N 18V Cordless Brushless Combi Drill. This is an 18V cordless brushless 2-speed combi drill from the high quality Dewalt brand. It forms part of their intelligent XR Lithium Ion Series and is capable of screwdriving, normal drilling and also has a hammer feature, which makes it suitable for drilling through masonry.

This DCD796N models is one of the biggest selling and most up to date cordless drills.

Short Summary Review

94% buyer satisfaction based on 1,000+ online buyer ratings

This is an 18V XR Li-Ion compact hammer drill driver (tool only)

It has the latest brushless technology for improved efficiency

This is a compact, lightweight design that allows use in confined spaces

It has a 2 speed all metal transmission and a 13 mm chuck

It has 15 adjustable torque positions with a maximum torque of 27 Nm

It also has the newer style LED light with 3 options, low, medium and high

It measures Length: 174 mm, Height: 203 mm and Width: 67 mm and weighs 1.8 Kg. The maximum drilling capacity in wood is 40mm and 13 mm in steel and masonry.

How Online Buyers Rate the Dewalt DCD796N?

Buyer Satisfaction
  • Overall buyers rate this drill/driver with a high average 92% buyer satisfaction
  • 83% of those buyers thought this merited a full 5 star review
  • 3% of all buyers online gave this a poor review

The above ratings are based on 1,000+ online buyer reviews at the time of writing this article. We calculated the average buyer satisfaction rating from the ratings left at websites who sell Dewalt drills.

What Buyers Say about the Dewalt DCD796N Tool Only Model?

So we know that buyers rate this tool only highly enough, and below we have summarised, in the form of a pros and cons table, what those buyers had to say. This information is left after they have bought and used the drill, so is very useful information to know and consider.


  • The majority of buyers said that the new brushless motor really does make a huge difference
  • Quite a number of online buyers said that the grip is so much better as well and especially good if you have smaller hands
  • The majority of buyers say this drill/driver is light in weight and yet has tons of power to do all the drilling and screwdriving tasks you will ever need to do
  • Buyers all said that if you already own a Dewalt battery and charger, then this is a great offer and extremely good value for money for a high quality tool that will last for years
  • Buyers said they were very impressed with the power of the hammer feature on this drill


  • A couple of buyers said you just need to be sure to properly tighten the chuck

DCD796N Specification (Summary)

  • This is sold as a tool only so not sold with a battery and charger
  • This model does have the new brushless motor which is designed to be more efficient and will make the lifetime of your drill much longer
  • This is a 2 speed drill/driver (2 gears) with a hammer action feature
  • It has an all metal transmission system
  • It has a 13mm single sleeve chuck and spindle lock for quick and easy bit changes using one hand
  • It has a reverse switch, required for screw removal
  • It has variable speed
  • 15 adjustable torque positions with a maximum torque of up to 70 Nm
  • LED light with delay feature
  • It also has an electric brake
  • The weight with a 4.0 or 5.0 Ah battery is about 1.8 Kg

Key Features

Battery Power

92% buyer satisfaction based on 200+ online buyer reviews

This DCD796N is an 18 Volt cordless drill and sold as a tool only. So if you already own a compatible 18V battery and charger, then this would be a good value drill for your needs.

However, if you don't own those, then you will need to buy a battery and charger. We have shown a 5.0 Ah battery and a DCB115 Dewalt charger to the left which is compatible with this drill.

If you decide to go for that, then of course you can also buy other Dewalt tool only power tools that use the same voltage battery. At some stage you are going to need these if you want to use Dewalt cordless tools.

You can either a buy a package like that, or buy a drill that comes with a battery and charger.

LED Worklight

This model has the newer design 3 Position LED torch, High/Medium/Low settings with high output 20 minute LED delay that lights up your work place. Dewalt have also changed the light location to the foot of the drill. In the older models the light was partially obscured by the chuck. This new position is so much better.

Keyless Chuck

Just like the LED, a keyless chuck is now the norm for these types of drills. A keyless chuck is of course a drill where the chuck is tightened by hand and holds the bits securely. They are just much faster and you never have to worry about losing a chuck key again.

This cordless hammer drill has a 3 jaw 13mm single sleeve chuck and spindle lock for quick and easy bit changes using one hand.

Drilling Capacity

The maximum drilling capacity is:

Wood 40mm

Steel 13mm

Masonry 13mm

Clutch Positions & Torque

This Dewalt model has 15 pre-selectable torques. Many buyers get confused about exactly what these are used for. When you drill through different materials you should use different speeds for the best results. This is achieved by picking the right torque.

For example in soft woods you would use a lower torque as you don't want to over drive screws.

This drill also has a 2 speed gearbox which is very useful. Most drill/drivers have two speeds. On most drills including this one setting 1 is low speed/high torque and is best for driving screws. Setting 2 is a medium speed/torque and can be used for drilling or driving.

Variable Speed Control

Variable speed delivers the optimum power and speed to ensure you have control in a range of applications. Adjustable speed makes your work a lot easier as you can control this by how hard you squeeze the trigger.

This Dewalt model does have variable speed control.

No Load Speed (RPM) High: 0-2000, and No Load Speed (RPM) Low: 0-550

Hammer Function

This drill has the important hammer function. The hammer function on a drill allows you to be able to drill through masonry such as brick, block, concrete and stone.

All drills have a rotary or spinning action which is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM). This is what is used to drill through materials such as wood, metals and plastic. To drill through masonry this rotary action is used, but when the hammer function is selected, an additional bumping action is added.

This is measured in bumps per minute (BPM) or impacts per minute (IPM). This is a small hammer type action that helps you get through hard masonry materials. 

When this drill has the hammer function selected, it is then used with a masonry bit which allows you to drill through harder materials like brick, block and concrete. 

This model has Impact Rate (BPM) High: 0-34000, and Impact Rate (BPM) Low: 0-9350


We would always recommend checking out the warranty that you get with any product that you buy.

With this model you get a 3 year limited warranty and 1 year free service.

Dewalt DCD796N 18V Cordless Brushless Combi Drill

94% buyer satisfaction based on 1,000+ online buyer ratings

This drill/driver is a big seller for Dewalt, and many buyers have made the switch to the new "brushless motor" technology

This was one of their first models to use this and has been selling really well for the last 2 years.

It has all the features that you need, and many buyers were extremely impressed with how easily it could drill into concrete.

The buyer satisfaction rating has remained very high, and buyers overall believe this model is just very good value for money.

If this is not the cordless drill for you then check out our full list of Dewalt cordless drills by clicking here. If you don't fancy a Dewalt drill, then you can check our full list of all brands of cordless drills by clicking here.

Dewalt - The Company and Brand

The Dewalt brand are the leading high end brand for tools in the world and really do make high quality products. This is the go to tool brand for professional trades people and has been for a very long time.

The company was formed in 1922 by Raymond E. Dewalt. The actual Dewal company started out in Leola, Pennsylvania. Their first product was an electric universal woodworking machine known as the DEWALT "Wonder-Worker".

Like many tool companies they grew a lot during the second World War and just after that period. They continued to expand in the 60's and 70's making bench grinders and metal cutting machines.

It was as far back as 1992 when they first started making portable electric tools aimed at the contracting and building markets. In 2011 they introduced the ground breaking XR system.

Dewalt have around 43 different types of cordless drills available on the UK market. This includes 12V, 18V and 20V options. The models include drill/drivers, impact drills, hammer drills and SDS drills.

About the author cordy

I am a retired construction worker and I also happen to love power tools. I have used hundreds over the years and offer my opinions on them here.

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