An impact driver is a tool which delivers a tremendous amount of torque and speed, making it the go-to tool for driving screws and fasteners with super-efficiency. Unlike the common electric drill, impact drivers utilize hex shaft bits due to their supreme reliability and reduced likelihood of slippage when tackling tough materials like hardwood or even concrete. Due to their speed and power, impact drivers are ideal for tackling home and professional tasks.
In this article, we’re going to compare two of DEWALT’s highly-rated cordless impact drivers: the DCF885C1 and the DEWALT DCF887B impact driver. These two impact drivers have very few overlapping specs so before making a purchase decision you should research as much as you can about them. In general, these two models are great products for DIY tasks and commercial projects. Without spending too much time on the intro, let’s dive right into our comparison and see which of these DEWALT-made impact drivers will better suit you.
Typically, we tend to favor brushless motors over brushed ones, though they do have their moments in the sun. One of the great benefits of brushed motors is that we find that they perform more adequately at low speeds. The DEWALT DCF885C1 Impact Driver features a 1.5 amp brushed motor. We didn’t find any overheating problems, but we wholeheartedly recommend that users shouldn’t push their luck and give their power tools with brushed motors time to rest when working.
On the other hand, the DEWALT DCF887B features a brushless which, according to the company, is roughly 50% more power-efficient so you get extended periods of use out of a single charge. In addition, brushless motors tend to produce less heat, resulting in a longer life for the impact driver and battery pack.
Conclusion: In our opinion, you can’t go wrong with brushless, and the DCF887B impact driver wins this battle. Brushed motors tend to require frequent maintenance to replace worn-out brushes. Although replacing brushes isn’t difficult to do at all, it’s an annoyance that we’re glad brushless motors have done away with.
Speed, Power, and Control
Before purchasing an impact driver, you should pay close attention to the speed- and power-delivery that the unit packs. The DCF885C1 Impact Driver delivers up to 2,800 RPM and 3,200 IPM at 1,400-inch-pounds of torque. These are pretty impressive for an entry-level impact driver. However, this model doesn’t come with variable speed dial. Instead, the touch-sensitive trigger determines how much force and speed to apply. For new users, this could be problematic, but it’s a quick learning process that even the most amateur of handymen can overcome.
The DEWALT DCF887B impact driver is a 3-speed model which offers speeds of up to 1,000 RPM, 2,800 RPM, and 3,250 RPM, as well as 3,800 IPM at 1,825-inch-pounds of torque. The variable-speed trigger makes it easy for both beginner- and advanced-users to set a limit on how much power and speed to deliver based on the material and surfaces they’re working with. The trigger is touch-sensitive but is limited based on the gear you set it on.
Conclusion: The DCF887B outclasses the DEWALT DCF885C1 is all three regards – speed, power, and control. We especially commend this model for its 3-gear setup which gives greater controllability to users who might not have the experience to go from 0 to 1,000 RPM without a safety net.
Upon purchase, this kit includes a 20V MAX battery which requires roughly 60 minutes of charging time. From a single charge, users can expect roughly 45 minutes of operating time before the battery needs to be recharged. For a heat-producing less-power-efficient tool (see brushed motors), the charging and operation times are rather impressive.
Unlike the previous model, this one is just a bare-tool kit so you’ll need to purchase 20V XR batteries separately. The good thing is that the premium XR battery series is much more efficient in both charging and operating times, and it has an extended life compared to other batteries. In addition, this unit can use any 20V XR battery, so we recommend purchasing one or multiple 6.0 amp batteries since they’ll last longer on a single charge.
Conclusion: Once again, the brushless-ness of the DCF88B’s motor saves the day. The DEWALT DCF885C1 Impact Driver can also use any MAX battery of any amperage (sold separately), but they still won’t last as long as a battery used to power up a brushless power tool.
Weight and Size
The size and weight of an impact driver determine how fatigued you’ll become after extended use and how well you can navigate the tool to fit into cramped spaces. The DCF885C1 weighs roughly 4.2 pounds (including battery) and measures 5.5 inches from chuck to end. This unit should be light enough to reduce the risk of operator fatigue, and its compactness makes it a great choice for working in tight spots.
Compared to the DEWALT DCF885C1, this unit has reduced poundage and length. It weighs in at only 3.4 pounds and measures 5.3 inches from front to back. Similar to the other model, this one shouldn’t cause any cramping in the arm or hand, and it should be able to tackle all sorts of jobs in cramped spaces.
Conclusion: The difference in weight and length is arguably insignificant, though there is a large number of buyers who prefer more lightweight and compact power tools, even when the differences are literally measured in milligrams and millimeters. We personally prefer the heavier DCF885C1, but it’s completely up to the users to decide.
DEWALT DCF885C1 vs DCF887B: Bottom Line
As we mentioned earlier, there are hardly any areas of overlap between these two impact driver models. Their differences in specs place them worlds apart, so choosing one over the other should be relatively simple. In our humble opinion, the DEWALT DCF887B impact driver deserves greater praise over the admirably-performing DEWALT DCF885C1 Impact Driver.
We mainly favor this impact driver for its brushless motor, great power delivery, energy-efficiency, and the variable-speed trigger. We feel that the brushed-motor impact driver is better suited for experienced craftsmen, whereas its brushless-counterpart can be used by both amateurs and pros.
3 Recommended Impact Drivers
- INCREASED VISIBILITY: Has built in LED with 20 second delay after trigger release
- ERGONOMIC DESIGN: Compact (5.55 in. front to back)and lightweight (2.8 lbs) design fits into tight areas
- ONE HANDED BIT LOADING: Has a 1/4 in. hex chuck and accepts 1 in. bit tips. No load speed: 0 2,800
- High Performance Transmission delivers 1375 in-lbs of max torque
- Quick Release 1/4" Hex Chuck
- Compact & Lightweight for ease of use
- Dewalt built Brushless Motor, Compact, Lightweight Design for tight spaces
- Variable speed trigger, no load speed 0 to 1000, 2800, 3250
- 3 speed settings for versatility with Precision Drive for added Control