DeWalt 20v Max XR Power Tools: Cordless Brushless Combo Kits

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After years of pioneering tools on a standalone basis, DeWalt has begun innovating on the interoperability of its different product lines through the Max XR system beginning 2010. Aside from upgrading each of their power tools with better-looking form factors and motors, DeWalt also created upgraded battery lithium-ion battery packs that can fit and power different sets of tools

If you figured that you need to sand the surface of a wooden bar after mounting it with screws, you only need to put your 20v 4 AH MAX XR li-ion battery pack from the DeWalt impact drill onto a DeWalt MAX XR sander. It’s that easy.

Of course not all power tools sets are made equal, even if DeWalt made them and even if they both sport Max XR technology. It’s why we’re reviewing the DeWalt DCK299M2 and the DeWalt DCK283D2 for you in this article. Please read before our review before buying.

Quick Summary

The two toolsets offer different benefits and at different price points since DeWalt released each set at different times. Users got their hands on the DeWalt DCK283D2 in 2016 while the DeWalt DCK299M2 found its way into the market in 2018. 

Although the DeWalt DCK299M2 is the latest model, the DeWalt DCK283D2 still has plenty to offer. For one, the DeWalt DCK283D2 gives users a good tool runtime at a relatively lower price point considering its an earlier model. It’s a good buy for buyers who want to invest in a high-quality set while keeping their costs low.

The DeWalt DCK299M2, on the other hand, gives users more power and torque and a few slight improvements that discerning power users will notice once they push the trigger on the tools.

What DeWalt 20v Max XR Power Tools Set Beats The Rest?

DeWalt DCK299M2

Powerful Battery

The 4.0 AH battery you’ll find in the DeWalt DCK299M2 toolset will meet the power requirements of larger power tools in the Max XR family like the sanders. You can go beyond just using hand tools with this battery and take on bigger and meaner jobs with more powerful tools with this one pack.

Speed and Performance

The DCD996 hammer drill revs up from 0 to 2000 RPMs to quickly insert those screws onto project material while the DCF887 impact driver winds up to 1,825 in-lbs of max torque while working from 0 to 3,250 RPMs. The driver makes 0 to 3,600 impacts per minute, delivering perpendicular force around the screw.

Increased Illumination

Users can set the DCD996 LED lighting on 3 modes to meet the visibility challenges of the project surface. The lights provide 20 times more illumination than any of DeWalt’s prior hammer drill models.

What We Like

  • Both the impact driver’s and the hammer drill’s grips provide good feel in the hand and are well-balanced for less strain while working the tools over time.
  • 20V battery energy potential from the packs gives a little more juice than the standard 18V battery packs from competitors. The 2V difference provides a little more torque for your tools.
  • Brushless motors on the power tools mean more life to these machines since there are no brushes dealing wear on the motors themselves.

What We Don’t Like

  • The LED lights on the impact drill are placed just below the handle and may not illuminate the surface you’re working on quite as well as the hammer drill would.

The Solution

Avoid working with the hammer drill in the dark. Make sure you have a bright light placed overhead instead of relying on the tool’s LED light.

DeWalt DCK283D2

Increased Runtime

The DeWalt DCK283D2 boasts of a brushless motor, that not only prolongs its operational life, it also increases the runtime of the machine by as much as 57%. Since there are no brushes causing friction inside the motor, the energy it generates runs without resistance for longer operation time and less battery drain.

More Juice

The 2 AH battery packs that come with the DCK283D2 power tools set possess increased energy efficiency over other power tools batteries in the market. They can last 33% longer than their competitors.

Compact and Light

Both the hammer drill and the impact driver measure less than 7-inches front to back with each tool weighing less than 5 lbs. You get tools that’ll go to narrow spaces where you need to fasten a screw.

What We Like

  • 3 different lighting modes like a 20-minute active lighting time means users can apply the perfect illumination setting for their visibility requirements.
  • Variable speed settings empower users to provide the right force or torque on the particular type of screw and surface they’re working with.
  • Users with experience in handling DeWalt’s 18V tools attest to the upgraded components in the DCKD83D2 despite the tools possessing smaller footprints than earlier models.

What We Don’t Like

The impact drill develops a wobble over time that may compromise the durability of bits.

The Solution

Users need to make sure they’re using the impact drill for fasteners since the wobble may just be a natural feature of impact drills in general. Impact drills produce torque intermittently unlike a regular drill.

DeWalt DCK299M2 Vs DeWalt DCK283D2:: Which Is Better?

If money’s not a problem, we’d place our dough on the DCK299M2.

The DCK299M2’s power and performance trumps that of the DCK283D2’s, allowing users to drive those screws faster and make those pilot holes in a jiffy. It’s a good trade-off between performance and cost since the DCK299M2 also sports the brushless motor of the DCK283D2 thereby guaranteeing it a long life as well.

It also helps that the DCK299M2 comes with not one but two 4.0 Ah batteries. The DCK283D2 only has a pair of 1.3 Ah batteries that’ll serve the needs of hand tools but not the bigger ones. Basically, the plug and play value of the DCK299M2’s li-ion battery packs are more robust. You only have to buy bare tools next time instead of buying ones with battery packs, making the cost of investing in other DeWalt tools cheaper.

Final Thoughts

Make no mistake both the DeWalt DCK299M2 and the DeWalt DCK283D2 provide good value to buyers. Despite being an earlier model the DeWalt DCK299M2 will perform and provide results as advertised. DeWalt DCK299M2, on the other hand, gives users the power they need to fasten and bind their projects in less time. Any which way, users win out in both power tools sets.

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