This little factoid may tell you more about me and my work habits than I should, but here’s an admission—I own probably six or seven cordless drills. Almost all of them sit in my shop unused. Some have worn-out batteries. Some are old-school NiCad battery powered, and basically too heavy and bulky to use more than occasionally. One tired old soldier probably got worked too hard, developed an internal wiring problem, and just won’t spin.

Why do I keep them? Good question!

Probably because I paid good money for them, and probably because I keep expecting to have to use them for backup when my faithful DeWALT DCD760 cordless drill breaks down. But it doesn’t.

I’ve used this cordless drill driver in production situations like dry walling entire houses. I’ve used it to drill through stainless and hardened alloys building cars. I’ve probably abused it building a whole variety of tough construction projects like entire floor-to-ceiling walls of shelving or attaching thick log siding to a cabin. These days, just about anything I build out of wood goes together with drywall screws instead of nails, so I use this DeWALT more than my hammers. Here’s the deal--this thing just won’t quit.

Generally, in my experience, there’s a big difference between consumer and pro tools. The high-end, professional stratosphere of most power tool lines, built for hard daily contractor use by people who build things for a living, usually offers bulletproof reliability for years. Warrantees are longer, tools are built tougher, and ergonomics are typically better. Along with all those nice features, prices are much higher, too. You get what you pay for—bet you’ve never heard that before.

The power tools you can typically buy at big-box home improvement stores like Osh, Home Depot and Lowes tend not to be the high-end professional contractor tools—instead, they’re middle-line consumer-focused models, fine for weekend projects or even semi-regular use, but nowhere near as tough or reliable on a daily basis as the pro models.

This has not proven true with my trusty DeWALT DCD760. This thing has taken a lickin’ and kept on tickin’ (sorry, Timex).

It has excellent power, good battery life, two torque settings and, with its lithium-ion battery, reasonably light weight at 4 pounds. The LED work light is handy in dark corners, and like most cordless drill drivers it offers a wide variety of reversible speeds. I even like the bright yellow body of the drill, which makes it easier to see on the job when I set it down somewhere and then forget where I put it.

You can find lighter and smaller cordless drills, but they’ll often cost much more, or not offer as much battery life. This one retails for about $250 with battery, charger and carrying case; but you can get the kit for under $200 from Amazon. In case you already have another cordless 18 volt DeWALT tool or two, the bare drill, without battery, sells for about $90 on Amazon.

For those prices you’d expect a mid-market, consumer-focused tool. This one, though, works like a pro—but it isn’t perfect.

Like most of my battery-powered cordless tools, I often find myself wishing for a battery indicator gauge of some type so I could tell when I would lose power. With a dual charger (extra $), you’ll always have a fully-charged spare battery, so that’s not a big deal, in my book. One other thing I don’t like about this tool: the knurling on the plastic barrel of the chuck tends to wear away when you jam the drill into tight spots. Eventually that makes it a little harder to twist the chuck to change bits, especially when you’re wearing gloves.

Overall, though, this tool has performed flawlessly on my toughest jobs for many seasons, and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another one. When I do, I promise I’ll try to part with a few of those cordless drill dead soldiers taking up space in my shop.

Summary

The DeWALT DCD760 18V Cordless Drill Driver gets a high Contractors.com rating: 3 out of 5 Stars. This cordless drill driver—while not the most powerful one on the market—is one of the most reliable cordless drills you can buy.

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Pros

  • Solid, ultra-reliable
  • Good battery life
  • Did I mention reliable?
  • LED worklight

Cons

  • No battery strength indicator
  • Knurling on drill barrel wears away
  • Not as compact as some