DeWalt XR DCD778P2T-SFGB review in a short and pithy sentence: the best drill I have ever tried.
If you want to hang a picture, build a shed or randomly make holes in any kind of tough surface, you’re going to need a drill and up until recently, that would have likely been a corded power drill with an annoying trailing cable that presents a trip hazard from drill to the nearest plug socket. Now, thanks to the advancement in lithium-ion battery technology and powerful compact brushless motors, the best cordless drills now wield the same kind of power as that found in older corded versions but without the irritation of wires.
DeWalt’s XR range was among some of the first to offer this kind of “one battery to rule them all” approach that is now seen in everything from Ryobi to Bosch, with its swappable packs able to power an array of punchy power tools.
Its brushless combi drill (as tested here) is a mainstay of the range and offers the kind of versatility and robust build quality that ensures it finds a place in the tool box of any keen DIYer or professional tradesperson.
At the business end of the drill is a fairly standard 13mm metal chuck, which will take all manner of different drill bits, while all-metal gearing allows users to gain full control of the task in hand with 15 torque settings on both regular drill and hammer drill settings.
All-in-all, it’s a great drill for carrying out general screwing jobs and the lighter side of the drilling spectrum, making it a great thing to have in the tool chest.
DeWalt XR DCD778P2T-SFGB 18V Brushless Cordless Combi Drill Review: build quality
DeWalt has long been a big shot on the professional tool scene and its build quality is often debated over coups of sweet milky tea in kitchens and on building sites up and down the country. When it comes to design, this particular model is covered in rubber and plenty of plastic, while a fairly light overall weight means it doesn’t feel especially premium compared to the Ryobi One+ Impact Driver, for example.
The batteries and charging system feel suitably solid though and the rotary dial for selecting the torque settings offers a satisfying click when swivelled into place. The max torque of 65Nm is plenty punchy enough but it can’t compete with other impact drivers on the market.
But then that’s not really this drill’s job. Instead it’s great for rapid screwing jobs, where a low torque setting is the best option. For drilling up to 13mm in wood and masonry, you’ll want to select a punchier torque setting, but it copes admirably, especially with good quality bits installed.
The 13mm keyless chuck also means it will accept some of the largest common drill bits on the market, which is great if you want to punch massive holes in masonry for running thick cabling and whatnot.
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DeWalt XR DCD778P2T-SFGB 18V Brushless Cordless Combi Drill Review: features
Cordless drills aren’t exactly packed with features as such. There’s no Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capabilities here, nor can it play your favourite Spotify tracks or tell you what the weather is like in Helsinki.
It does drill good though and there’s the handy addition of an LED work light at the front of the drill for illuminating whatever surface you happen to be massacring at the time. This is not uncommon for any cordless drill now though and some even trump the DeWalt with three or more LEDs. Woooooooh.
The chuck is keyless, which is beyond handy as you can swap drill bits with a simple twist of the chuck in the opposite direction, while the torque and hammer settings are all fairly self explanatory dials or switches.
DeWalt XR DCD778P2T-SFGB 18V Brushless Cordless Combi Drill Review: performance
This is where the DeWalt comes into its own, because it was born to perform, baby. It feels well made as soon as you take it out of the very professional-looking plastic casing. Even that has tough metal buckles to keep it closed.
That said, it’s not particularly heavy, even with a bit 5.0Ah battery slapped onto the bottom of it. I’ve tried many other drills that are weightier but that doesn’t take away from the general robustness, as it can definitely stand up to many weeks, months and years of operating in dusty and dirty environments.
It drills well and feels good in the hand at the same time, offering up plenty enough power to take on a multitude of tasks. I used it for a few different applications, from drilling wood screws into a bunk bed to making large holes in masonry to run cables. It handled both of those jobs with ease and the battery packs are so large, they rarely needed charging.
This combo pack came with two additional batteries and with a list price of £169.99, that just seems bonkers. The batteries alone are worth that much, so the fact you get a really good drill with it is a huge bonus.
DeWalt’s trigger mechanism is also extremely well judged, offering a brilliant amount of control over drill speed, which is essential if you don’t want to round screws or worse, punch through to the next room when drilling a hole.
The only niggle I found were that the LED work light is good but not excellent - there are brighter ones available out there.
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DeWalt XR DCD778P2T-SFGB 18V Brushless Cordless Combi Drill Review: what the customers say
"I have had hand drills before but this is one is so well made. It came with two 5Ah batteries and charger, so more than enough for a DIY'er. So far I am pleased with the performance and reliability. It all comes complete in a sturdy plastic DeWalt carry case. “
“Superb drill / driver with hammer function, slightly heavier than expected ( without battery ) but that aside a must buy at the moment”
“The usual DeWalt quality, and good powerful little drill. It doesn't appear to come with a belt clip and magnetic holder included though, which is unusual. The magnetic holder can be particularly useful.
"A good long run time from the 5Ah batteries, and charged in about 75 mins. “
DeWalt XR DCD778P2T-SFGB 18V Brushless Cordless Combi Drill Review: verdict
A great drill that can be found at a great price if you do some shopping around. The latest 5.0Ah batteries are excellent at holding charge and most DIYers will find that they barely have to plug them in, with plenty of charge left even when you leave them dormant for a while.
The fact that it has both standard drilling and hammer action makes it a versatile thing to have and there’s no denying DeWalt still makes brilliant tools. It’s no wonder you’ll still find plenty of professionals opting for the black and yellow brand.