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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2002
After reading about the clutch and gearbox problems some owners where having with the early production models, I was worried I might have to switch brands again and have an oddball 18V system that wouldn't be interchangeable with my other DeWalt 18V tools.
I needed a replacement for my worn out DW997K 18V hammer drill that I used every day on the job for two years, with the only repairs being an occasional motor brush change.
I decided to bite the bullet and purchased the DW988K. The first thing I did was check the clutch operation in all three gear ranges, and was glad to find that it was working correctly.
I am now looking forward to another abusive relationship with this DeWalt cordless.
Overall, it feels more solid and works as good or better than the old DW997 it replaced, although the clutch adjustment collar seems a little more fragile compared to the old model. Time will definitely tell. I don't care for the location of the spare bit storage. I liked it better when it was tucked up out of the way on the upper motor housing of the old model where it was less likely to interfere with or snag on things, but since I don't use it for extra bit storage that often, I can live with it.
I also wasn't sure that the DW988's "Max" 3rd gear was necessary, but after using it for a while, I can say that it does help get the job done faster when drilling small 3/16" or 1/4" holes in hollow masonry block. I occasionally will push it to a 5/8" hole in hollow block using Medium [2nd] range.
The DeWalt website lists the maximum size hole saw in wood as 2", but I routinely use it in the hammer mode with a 3-5/8" or 3-3/4" hole saw in 2X or 3/4" PT plywood and engineered lumber to cut in old-work fixture boxes and ceiling fan support boxes and on smaller jobs to make holes in joists to pull cable bundles or run conduits. I have also used it in low range with a 4-5/8" hole saw and 18" extension to make holes through double 2X for bath vent fan and dryer ducting. Large holes like this required one fully charged battery for every third 4-5/8" hole through 2X material, but the job went quickly in tight quarters without having to drag out my large DW124 right-angle drill and extension cord. It has also been used on occasion for rewiring jobs with a 9/16" and 3/4" X 54" long Diversibit to drill down inside a buildings wall cavities and into a crawl space below.
The DeWalt's all metal 1/2" ratcheting keyless chuck is manufactured by ROHM, the same company that manufactures chucks for Bosch and others, has been around for a few years and has proven itself to be extremely durable and damage resistant even when making contact with other metal objects while drilling. The spindle lock is also an excellent feature and once you've had it, you'll never want to own or even use a keyless chuck equipped drill without it ever again.
Overall, I would recommend the DW988. DeWalt seems to have the bugs worked out of it and it has performed well for me in every drilling task asked of it, even if it exceeded the tools design rating.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2002
After one return for a new drill and then trying several Drills at the Depot, and two calls to Dewalt, I finally got the answer to why the clutch DOES NOT WORK in low gear - the drill is DEFECTIVE. The Dewalt tech put it this way: "We designed it to work in all speeds, but that's just the way it came out." In other words, the production model is defective. I have an old 2-speed 18V drill, and the clutch works as it should in the 0-450 rpm range. The XRP clutch does not work in the 0-450 range. Since low speed has the highest torque, this is where you most need a clutch!! Wait for Dewalt to fix this! They know it is defective, but are trying to tell everyone it is normal. Bad show.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2003
I have had this drill for 1 year and have had absolutely no problems. I believe it is the best drill on the market, which is why I bought it. As far as some of the other reviews are concerned I know plenty of people who have this exact drill or the non hammerdrill model and none have had problems. As far as it compared to the Milwakee 18v: Dewalt has more power 450in/lbs to 400in/lbs, 3 speed instead of 2 speed, and a one handed chuck which has never ever slipped compared to a two handed chuck. I have dropped this drill to concrete a number of times, once from a second story straight on the drill bit/shaft. The drill bit was completely bent and the concrete had a big mark but the drill shaft is perfectly straight. I also ran my drill over with an F350 and it still runs like new. Anyways, it is a great drill with more power than alot of corded 1/2 inch drills. I recommend it to anyone.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2002
They must have fixed the problem with the clutch. Mine works fine in all three speeds.
I like this drill over competing drills for a few reasons. The ratcheting chuck makes me feel more secure about using a keyless system with a hammerdrill, for one thing. The torque provided by the lowest speed is almost ridiculously powerful. And it just feels more comfortable in my hand compared to other high-end cordless drills.
The T-grip gives a better balance than a pistol-grip style drill like DeWalt's DW989, but I know some people who like the DW989 because the pistol-grip lets them get their trigger hand in line with the bit for masonry drilling. I was more interested in the balance of the drill, so I bought this one. So far, I haven't been disappointed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2002
Ordered this 18v Dewalt three weeks ago to replace a five year old Porter Cable 12v. Received it and put it right to use. Amazed with all the power! Four days later, while driving 3" decking screws into soft pine 2x4's the transmission stipped out. Amazon was great about getting me a replacement. I've had the new one for about a week now, and it is making the same grinding noise and slipping like the first one did. I can't believe that I was unlucky enough to get 2 defective ones. There is some sort of problem in the design of the mechanism that allows for one handed bit changes. As soon as I finish this review, I'm calling Amazon back to try to get into a Porter Cable. I know they work good since my old 12v drove the screws in that this Dewalt wouldn't. I know Dewalt makes great stuff, but there is some sort of engineering problem with this one!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2004
Well, I'm a hobbiest, in fact, my neighbor, a real mountain man who calls me a sissyman since unlike him, who was actually born with a hammer and chisel in hand, I am in the process of learning the craft of wood work. I would like to at least imagine with great success (I was a metal worker before). I've never been able to cut a straight line or drill a hole without travel.
This drill has been wonderful for me. In fact, I've purchased the 18v 5.XX inche circular as well as the 18V Jig and a mitre saw. When I was younger, I often purchased and used Black & Decker. I found that for a newcomer to wood working these other tools were quite clumsy. The Dewalt tools on the other hand, I would imagine are definately the top of the line for people like me. This drill is heavy enough to help hold the bit still without travel and has enough power to cut the most stubborn surfaces.
Recently while using a rather large hole saw to cut an openning in the back of a set of shelves for cabling, I was using my 12V Dewalt and the hole saw regularly got caught and the drill nearly busted my wrist. When I broke out this drill, although the jam could still occur, the torque let the bit keep moving without missing a beat.
Also, I no longer use a stone cutter to break bricks. Recently, I drilled approximately 500 holes in 4 inche thick bricks and using the back side of my axe snapped them in peices. Later I moved on to drilling holes into the concrete foundation of my house for mounting my new deck. The hammer drill really shined. I can't wait until someone else lets me drill into their house as well :)
I highly recommend this tool for people like myself that have spent so much time in front of computers that we can no longer use a pen and drawing a straight line without an orthagonal feature is unheard of. Don't hesitate to buy this monster (Unless the 12v is preferable since it's easier to hide from your wife).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2002
make sure you don't need a clutch for driving screws because none of the new 18v have a usable clutch. I can drive screws right thru oak on setting #1 on low speed. The only time the clutch even begins to work is on the highest speed and only butchers drive screws at 2000 rpm. Great drill for changing tires
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2004
It is perfect!!! Some people said that the chuck wobbles. mine dose not wobble. Also that the clutch dose not work. Well my clutch works perfectly in all speeds. And in response to another reviewer whom said that the clutch is defective in first gear. Normally you do not go driving little screws in first gear its to slow you would be tightening lag bolts or large screws with hex heads that require lots of torque. Dewalt made clutch so it put out more torque in a lower gear so its like a 21 speed bike. I wanted to see how well it would do drilling a 1/4 inch hole in 3/8 inch aluminum. Well I put it in its third gear 2000rpm and just about sat on it well it drilled incredibly fast only problem was I tore off the corners of the half inch bit I was using. Thus ruining the bit. The battery lasts for ever on it. At one point With one battery I made four 3/4 inch wide by about 2 inch long tenons on 2 1/2 wet oak branches with a vertice tennon cutter. Then drilled 8 1/4 inch holes in 14 gauge steel with a cheap non metal drilling drill bit by putting it in 3rd gear and all but siting on it like before. Then I got out a piece of mulberry wood from the fire wood pile and proceeded to drill more holes than I could count with a dull 1 1/4 inch spade bit. In the end I had drilled out a space 7 long 3 wide and an 1 1/2 deep all on one battery. As for those whom have said that their is a problem with its transmission and it has bad battery life. I recently bought a 60 gallon compressor and needed to drill 4 holes 3/8 by 2 inch into our fifty year old concrete garage floor. Well I drilled all four holes with one battery. Now I drilled two stopped put the drill in the freezer to cool down for ten minuets for the transmission was so hot I could not touch it for more than about one second then drilled the other two holes. now Dewalt says its max hole in masonry is 1/4 inch well a 3/8 inch hole is 2 and 1/4 times the area of a 1/4 inch hole. later that day my dad got a 8 in across drywall mud mixing bit and used it to mix concrete in low gear at first he used it one handed and almost broke his wrist. But it would mix 4 80 pound bags of concrete per battery that afternoon he mix up 12 bags of concrete I got a third battery as a rebate. And for the reviewer who said that the brake is to active and the chuck loosens after 40-60 stops I have never not once had that problem when hanging drywall or on any thing else. Also with a 19 MM socket on it I routinely use it for lifting up our ford windstar with its jack for changing the oil rotating tiers or what ever and the drills transmission has not woren out yet nor the motor or the batteries or the charger.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 14, 2003
I have one on my main job and its NEVER failed .I personally own 2 of this models predecessors that are not hammer equipped ( one is a old black and decker !!!!These have served me without fail as well .I have driven lots of 3 1/2 deck screws and no problem.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2004
This was a real disappointment to a loyal DeWalt user. This is nowhere near what you are looking for if you are going to be drilling into masonry, especially concrete. And if you are not, why are you buying this instead of the drill/driver model (which I own and love)? The good: a great redesign of the keyless chuck. The bad: does not have the power for even the most basic work you'll do (drilling a 3/16" hole a couple inches into a tough concrete slab). I cut my teeth on a real heavy-duty hammer drill (worth at least twice the price, I admit), which I had to always borrow. Bought this DeWalt model, and went through several bits, cursing the bits. Worried, I went back and borrowed the real tool, stuck in one of the bits I'd been cursing, and...zip zip zip, right through the material. If you buy this thinking you're getting a heavy-duty hammerdrill, you will be disappointed. Unfortunately, a true heavy-duty hammerdrill is going to run you twice what this does. No free rides. I had to learn the hard way what the extra money buys you; hopefully I've saved you a lesson.
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