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DEWALT DCD780B vs DCD790B vs DCD791B Review

Maybe you have the batteries already, or maybe you’ll buy them separately for a great price. In that case, these three bare tool drills are perfect for you. You’ll get just the tool and the savings that comes from not needing the whole kit. Let’s look at all three to see which one of these drills is the best for you.








DEWALT DCD780B 20-Volt MAX Lithium Ion Compact Drill/Drill Driver

First off, here is the DeWalt DCD780B ½” drill. It’s made for homeowners or contractors that aren’t looking for a brushless motor. It has a keyless ratcheting chuck with carbide inserts to keep bits from slipping. That’s important because this drill has power.

The two-speed transmission has a low gear of 0-600rpm and a high gear of 0-2000rpm. The 15 clutch settings allow for a fair amount of precision work. With its maximum torque rated at 350 unit watts out, this drill can handle up to 2” in wood and 1-3/8” in metal when using a hole saw.

In case you want a refresher on clutch settings, this is how they work. The higher the setting, the higher the torque, or twisting power, applied to the bit. If you are doing delicate work where you just want to set a screw without countersinking it or stripping it, choose a low setting. Once the screw starts to tighten, the drill will start clicking. If you prefer to sink that screw as deep and tight as you can, choose a high setting. The bit will continue to turn until it cams out, or slips out of the screw head. If you need to remove a stripped screw, try placing a rubber band across the screw head before you put the bit in place. This may give you the traction you need to remove it.

The DCD780B weighs 3.4 pounds by itself and measures 7.5 inches long. But unlike corded pistol grip drills, this one feels balanced. It has a large variable-speed trigger and an ergonomic grip. Just below the barrel is an LED work light that turns on when you press the trigger, and then turns off 20 seconds after you stop drilling or fastening.

Since the DCD780B is compatible with any DeWalt 20V MAX lithium-ion battery, pair it with a 4.0Ah or 5.0Ah battery for the longest runtime possible between charges. If you own an 18V DeWalt cordless drill, you may notice that the 20V drills run about 35 percent longer. The MAX battery technology has electronic controls to prevent overheating, overloading, and deep discharge. Of course, lithium-ion batteries don’t have memory effect like Ni-Cads do, and they hold their charge for months in storage.

More features of the DeWalt DCD780B

  • Comes with on-board bit holder and belt hook
  • DeWalt offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, a 1-year free service contract, and a 3-year limited warranty



DEWALT DCD790B 20V XR Lithium Ion Brushless Compact Drill/Driver (Tool Only, No Battery)

The DCD790B ½” drill is part of the DeWalt XR lineup. The “XR” means “extended runtime.” To that end, this drill contains a brushless motor. A brushless motor means no maintenance. It runs cool, efficiently, and quietly. You’ll notice it has longer battery life, and and a longer overall lifetime. Professionals whose jobs depend on drilling and driving choose brushless motors.

Another benefit of the DCD790B is that it’s more compact than the DCD780B. It measures just 7.2 inches back to front. (If that’s still not small enough, check out the DCD791B below.) It weighs 3.5 pounds without a battery. If you were to add on a 5.0Ah XR lithium-ion pack, it would add another 1.4 pounds to the total weight of the tool.

There are other indications that this is a pro tool. For one, it has an all-metal keyless ratcheting Jacobs chuck. For another, DeWalt moved the LED work-light to the foot so the chuck doesn’t cast shadows where you are working. The light also has a 20-second delay so it stays on after you release the trigger. (If you need a spotlight function, check out the DCD791B below.)

The two-speed transmission has two gears: 0-600rpm, and 0-2000rpm. There are 15 clutch settings just like on the DCD780B. Right above the variable-speed trigger is the forward/reverse switch. It locks off the drill’s power when it is in the middle position.

The DCD790B is compatible with DeWalt’s 20V MAX lithium-ion batteries although none are included with this bare tool model.Once you’ve inserted a battery pack, you’ll increase the overall weight of the drill by 1 to 1.5 pounds.

More features of the DeWalt DCD790B

  • Comes with on-board bit holder and belt hook
  • DeWalt offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, a 1-year free service contract, and a 3-year limited warranty


DEWALT DCD791B 20V MAX XR Li-Ion 0.5″ Brushless Compact Drill/Driver

The DCD791B is a newer model ½” drill with a few improvements over the DCD780 and DCD790. First, it is the smallest of these three models at just 6.9 inches long. Second, the light at the foot now has 3 LEDs for super-bright illumination of your work area. This light has a 20-minute shut-off so it can serve as a spotlight. When it’s in use as a spotlight, and the battery is getting low on charge, the light will flash twice and dim itself. That indicates that you have about two minutes left before the battery is empty.

Like the DCD790B, the DCD791B has a brushless motor for longest life, top efficiency, and maximum power. You may also notice that it’s quieter than a drill with a brushed motor.

Like the other two drills, it has a two-speed transmission. For an unknown reason, the top speed of the low gear is now just 550rpm, but the top speed of high gear is still 2000rpm. It’s rated for 460 unit watts out of power and has 15 clutch settings for precision work. The higher the number on the setting equals the higher amount of torque.

Like the other two drills, the DCD791B can handle up to 2” in wood and 1-3/8” in metal with a hole saw. DeWalt doesn’t state its capacity in masonry. Although it doesn’t come with a battery, it’s compatible with all DeWalt 20V MAX lithium-ion batteries.

More features of the DeWalt DCD791B

  • Comes with on-board bit holder and belt hook
  • Weighs 3.4 pounds, the same as the DCD780B
  • DeWalt offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, a 1-year free service contract, and a 3-year limited warranty



If you want a brushless motor, get the DCD790B or the DCD791B. The advantages of the DCD791B are its smaller size and spotlight function.

If you want a good general-purpose drill, get the DCD780B. It doesn’t have a brushless motor, but it has plenty of power.

Click here to purchase DEWALT DCD780B on Amazon!

Click here to purchase DEWALT DCD790B on Amazon!

Click here to purchase DEWALT DCD791B on Amazon!