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Cordless electric impact drivers allow everyday mechanics to access the power of air tools at a fraction of the blah, blah, you’ve heard it before.

But — DeWalt’s thrown a doozy into the works by adding another 18V to the usual power rating for battery impact wrenches. Gentlemen, meet the DC800KL, a 36V 1/2″ impact driver with DeWalt’s latest and greatest battery technology on board. It’ll deliver 325 foot-pounds of torque, and ships with two batteries and a 60-minute charger for $479. Keen observers of the DeWalt range will notice that this is only 25 foot-pounds more than a cheaper 18V model, but the 36V battery has nearly 3 times the life of an 18V equivalent.

DeWalt DC800KL Via Amazon [What’s This?]
DeWalt DC800KL [DeWalt]

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17 Responses to DeWalt 36V Impact Driver

  1. fred says:

    We’ve recently added a few cordless impact wrenches to our general construction/carpentry tool kits – mainly for driving big lags. For years we had carried corded versions – I think starting 30 years or more ago with Skil 471-2 versions – which were a fairly new tool on the market back then. With Skil out of the full line tool business we migrated to Milwaukee versions – some ½ inch and some ¾ inch drive. For our field use – air impact wrenches were and still are not a practical alternative.
    We have recently added 2 Makita BTW450 18V LiIon ½ inch drive units and 2 Milwaukee 2451-20 12V LiIon 3/8 inch drive units. The Makita specs are somewhat similar to the Dewalt – with 325 ft-lbs of torque, 75 lbs net weight, 2200 ipm (vs 2500 for the Dewalt). The smaller Milwaukee is rate at 1000 inch-lbs.
    As a practical matter while the Dewalt looks like a good choice – I prefer to try to buy tools that share batteries and chargers – giving us better flexibility. We decided on the 18Volt Makita and 12Volt compact Milwaukee lines as ones that offered fair compromises to do this. Our thinking was that the higher voltage advantages offered by 28V and 36V lines – as examples – were more important for some tools – but not for the whole line-up where the added weight would show.

  2. fred says:

    Sorry for the miss – both Dewalt and Makita’s mentionned in my earlier post weigh in at 7.5 pounds – not 75!

  3. Ben says:

    I am really curious how these compare to a an air powered version for an automotive application. It seems like an impact driver is often the best tool for losening rusty bolt and something like this guy would be perfect for my home garage. What do you guys think? also How loud is it? Somthing that has kept me from buying a compressor and air tools is the noise factor. Your neighbors start hearing that zphphphphttt sound and next thing you know your land lord is calling you.

  4. cjd says:

    @BEN

    When i wheeled i kept a cordless impact (Milwaukee 3/4″ 9078) in my trail rig. They work alright, still noisy. The biggest negative is the size. Too big to fit in some spots.

    Anybody out there have the M18 Milwaukee 2664 3/4″. Every other 18v impact is rated about 325 ft=lbs. The M18 is rated for 525 ft-lbs. I wonder how Milwaukee got 200 ft-lbs extra out of a smaller impact.

  5. Lex Dodson says:

    Ben,

    No electric impact is as powerful as an air equivalent (yet), so diesel mechanics and the like will stick with their air tools for a while. For lighter applications (basically everything shy of about 300 foot-pounds), electric impacts work just fine, but they’re still noisy. You’ll never get away from the fact that a hammer’s inside the case beating away at an anvil, but there’s no rush of air and no compressor noise, either.

  6. fred says:

    Lex

    You are absolutely right about the comparison between air and electric on this tool type. In the shop – where we have a large shop air compressor – we never use the electrics. It is on a jobsite that this changes – mainly because our small field compressors are fine for supplying nailers and staplers – but are not up to the job of supplying continuous-duty air to tools like impact guns, air drills, or air sanders.

  7. brown guy says:

    I’m a fan of this site. But this post is a bit lame.

    The Dewalt 36v Impact is a thing of beauty, but “DeWalt’s thrown a doozy into the works”?

    Yeah, they threw this ‘doozy’ 3 1/2 years ago.

    I can understand an article about the DC800KL because it’s a great tool, but why make it sound like it’s just been released?

    http://www.dewalt.com/us/articles/press_release.asp?Site=service&ID=1443

    January 2006 – DEWALT, a leading manufacturer of industrial power tools, today announced the launch of its heavy-duty 36V impact wrench (DC800KL).

  8. fastlane says:

    simple- Lex doesn’t know tools

  9. Barri says:

    Since when does voltage have anything to do with work time of the battery! I thought it was the AMP amount that defines the run time. I thought volatge was just speed and power? You could put 2 cells in series or 100 cells in series and you would still only have the same amount of run time.

  10. Fritz Gorbach says:

    1. increased voltage means a lower amp draw does the same amount of work.

    2.I have the snap on 18 volt gun along w the 18 volt recip saw, both very nice, but very pricey.(they were xmas presents at work) Anyhow, the snap on claims 480# running torque and close to 600#”breakaway torque. Don’t know if this is true, but I can tell you it does a hell of a job moving stuck things. I have out worked many air guns with it. I bet if you check the specs on an airgun sold at the big box, most of these cordless guns will outperform them.
    Weight and size are the big issue, because most of these are monsters. BTW, the dewalt is about the same price as the snapon, oh and Im not sure of this, but Im told that snapon built their own factory in Taiwan for these power tools.

    I am interested in the smaller makita impacts, since my primary cordless tool are makita 18v LIs, but I don’t know anyone who has used one yet. The snapons live on my work truck, thus I don’t always have one. Im in the midst of rebuilding a 5hp ingersoll compressor for my shop, but til then I make due with a PC pancake. Not much air for a wrench.

  11. Old Donn says:

    Almost $500? Outta my price range.

  12. Lou says:

    This tool has a very narrow application. Aimed straight towards someone who really needs something very portable, has no time re-charge batteries, and has the cash to spare.

    For the average Joe, an air impact seems the more practical choice. At that price one could afford a compressor that would come with an impact of that power. Now you have a power source that will allow you to quickly expand the tool collection to many other useful tools from drills to paint guns.

  13. fred says:

    @ Fritz

    As I said in my prior post:
    We have recently added 2 Makita BTW450 18V LiIon ½ inch drive units.

    We are using these to drive lags and they seem to have enough to handle 1/2 inch lags – but balk a bit at really large lags without pilot holes. We’ve been using corded Milwaukee 3/4 drive guns for these.

    @Lou

    What you say about the average Joe is probably correct – but the thought that you can use a small compressor ( the type we bring out to most job sites ) to work with a big automotive (say an IR ) impact gun is off the mark. The small compressors we use are just not up to the air needs of this type of tool.

  14. Lex Dodson says:

    Valid points, gentlemen. I’ll step it up.

  15. @fastlane

    Toolmonger is always happy to receive samples from aspiring tool writers. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, please click the link at the top of the page.

  16. Lou says:

    @ Fred

    That’s my point. This is for someone who needs portability. I never said a pancake and an air-impact would work together, I’m talking about a garage size air compressor. On the road or on the job site is where this would be the handiest, and if you do not need that much portability, why spend that much money on a “uni-tasker”?

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