DeWalt 20V Max Vs 20V Max XR | Is DeWalt Max XR Worth It?

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Since its commissioning in 1923, DeWalt continues as one of the most trusted brands that people go for when it comes to a wide selection of tools – from woodworking and steel accessories to advanced construction gizmos.

Over time, DeWalt has been restructuring its tools to enhance user productivity. Say, in 2011, they expanded the capacity of their Lithium-ion tools by introducing their 20V Max System. And just two years later, DeWalt introduced its 20V Max XR line of power tools, equipped with brushless motors and high-capacity Li-ion batteries.

While DeWalt has been developing their tools in a flash, it puzzles most people whether they should upgrade or not.

That’s why this article is aimed at answering your question: Is DeWalt Max XR worth it?

What To Consider

The DeWalt 20V Max system of tools is simply an expansion of their Li-ion cell capacity from 12V in 2010 to 20V in 2011. By increasing their voltage, users can now enjoy longer working hours than sitting time.

The DeWalt 20V Max XR line of tools conforms to its XR designation which stands for “Extreme Runtime”. Tools produced under this line are armed with brushless motors that DeWalt claims to be 33% more efficient and can deliver up to 57% more runtime than brushed motors.

Nonetheless, both systems of tools are powered by batteries of the same voltage.

Without further ado, let’s look into the details of each system based on their tools in the next section. And let’s find out the main difference between the two and decide whether DeWalt Max XR is worth the spend or not.

DeWalt 20V Max And DeWalt 20V Max XR Products Review

To effectively compare the two systems of tools, we have pulled out their common tools such as cordless drillsimpact drivers, and power saws.

List Of 20V Max Products

The 20V Max system consists of diverse tools that add flexibility in your toolbox. It includes products in drilling, screwdriving, hole saws, and sockets as well as other accessories.

DeWalt DCD780B Cordless Drill

The DeWalt DCD780B is a powerful cordless drill that delivers a dominating power rating of 350 units watts out (UWO) and can finish the drilling jobs with its two speed ranges: 0 – 600 RPM and 0 – 2,000 RPM.

This cordless drill sports a contoured handle for comfort and control. It is also compact and lightweight in design, capable of fitting into tight areas.

The DeWalt DCD780B cordless drill utilizes a ½” ratcheting chuck that provides superior drill bit gripping strength. Furthermore, this tool also boasts of a two-speed transmission for a range of fastening and drilling applications.

DeWalt DCF885B Impact Driver

Along with several innovative tools, DeWalt has also launched the DCF885B impact driver that can get the job done with a maximum speed of 3,200 impacts per minute (IPM) and 2,800 revolutions per minute (RPM).

The DeWalt DCF885B impact driver supports a one-handed loading ¼” hex chuck that also accepts 1” bit tips. This tool also features not just one, but three (3) LED lights with 20-second delay after trigger release, providing sufficient light in dark spots.

This impact driver also comes with a belt hook for portability.

DeWalt DCS387B Cordless Reciprocating Saw

Its power saws are also ones to watch out for in this system. DeWalt DCS387B compact cordless reciprocating saw can deliver a fast cutting speed of up to 2,900 strokes per minute (SPM).

To achieve this fast cutting speed, the DeWalt DCS387B cordless saw makes use of a 1-1/8” inch stroke length and a variable-speed trigger. This also contributes to a more stable blade control for precision cuts.

Plus, this power saw features a 4-position blade clamp to increase positional versatility with tool-free blade changes and a pivoting shoe that provides flexibility in cutting.

What We Like

  • Can deliver power and speed at par with 20V Max XR equivalent
  • Lightweight and ergonomic design
  • Efficient and fast in light applications
  • With added user-friendly features

What We Don’t Like

  • Brushed motors

This is, however, not big of a deal as it can still effectively perform the function of the tools.

The DeWalt 20V Max products are a powerful collection of ergonomically designed tools that can provide dynamic features. With its high-capacity battery system, this system is efficient to use by beginners or, more specifically, for light tool applications.

List Of 20V Max XR Products

DeWalt released another well-received collection of tools that carries its “Extreme Runtime” (XR) designation. This array of tools takes on a new form and delivers higher output than the previous models.

DeWalt DCD791B Cordless Drill

The brushless motor of the DeWalt DCD791B cordless drill delivers up to 57% more runtime than brushed motors. This tool alone has a power rating of 460 units watts out (UWO).

This tool features a more durable ½” all-metal ratcheting chuck and ergonomic comfort handle that provides balanced tool control.

The DeWalt DCD791B includes a three-mode LED light that is 20x brighter than the older models and has a Spotlight Mode that features a 20-minute shutoff function.

DeWalt DCF887B Impact Driver

The DeWalt DCF887B impact driver also has a brushless motor that delivers more runtime over the 20V Max standard units.

This tool supports a one-handed ¼” hex chuck, and is compact and lightweight at only 2 lbs, making it suitable in tight workspaces.

The DeWalt DCF887B impact driver further optimizes its application versatility with its three-speed settings and three LED lights with 20-second delay after trigger release.

DeWalt DCS367B Cordless Reciprocating Saw

The DeWalt DCS367B cordless reciprocating saw also utilizes a brushless motor that DeWalt claims to be capable of delivering up to 2.5x more runtime than the previous models.

This compact cordless power saw sports a keyless 4-position blade clamp for quick and easy blade changes.

Plus, DeWalt DCS367B cordless power saw supports a bright LED light and a variable speed trigger that add to user productivity.

What We Like

  • Brushless motors that are more efficient and can deliver more runtime
  • More robust design and micro-textured handles
  • Durable enough to carry out heavy-duty jobs
  • With added features for enhanced user productivity

What We Don’t Like

  • Batteries take longer time to complete charging

Given their high-capacity batteries, this is reasonable and can be solved by proper time management.

The brushless motors in the 20V Max XR tools justify its “Extreme Runtime” (XR) signature. Plus, it is more robust in design, and with its winning features, the DeWalt 20V Max XR system of tools proves to be more efficient and can execute heavy-duty tool applications well.

What Is The Difference Between Them?

In general, these tools run on a 20V Max Li-ion battery system, which is environmentally safer than NiCad cells that are used by other tool brands. They also have common features that improve the overall productivity of the tool user.

And to be honest, the 20V Max XR system of tools is the much-improved version of their 20V Max counterparts.

The main differences lie in the following:

It is clear that both systems differ in the overall look as 20V Max XR tools tend to be more robust and are redesigned for better ergonomics, hence the more textured build. Also, the 20V Max XR system includes features that the 20V Max system does not possess, making it more advantageous.

The 20V Max XR system of tools also make use of brushless motors in most of their tools. The brushless motors provide higher tool efficiency and user productivity, stretching out the runtime of their batteries.

Therefore, from a tool user’s perspective, the 20V Max XR line of tools performs better than the 20V Max line of tools.


After an in-depth review of each tool system, it is, without a doubt, that the 20V Max XR system can offer a lot more than the 20V Max system.

Whether you’re buying your first tool or upgrading from an older model, DeWalt definitely has every tool you need. But the question is, “Is DeWalt Max XR worth the spend?”.

For first-time tool users, the DeWalt 20V Max system will serve you well with its light and ergonomic design and dependable power delivery in undemanding tool applications.

For professional workers, we recommend you get the DeWalt 20V Max XR system as its tools can provide you more working hours with their efficient brushless motors and longevity through their more robust design and special features.

But, of course, if you are looking to upgrade your tools to the DeWalt 20V Max XR system, with its commendable qualities, it will be worth the spend.

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