Dewalt 18 Volt Cordless Drill DC970KL">Dewalt 18 Volt Cordless Drill DC970KL

| August 18, 2013

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Dewalt 18 Volt Cordless Drill DC970KL

Reviewed By: Sam Ki.
 4.5star 4.7
The Dewalt DC970 is a powerful hammer drill weighting 5.2 lbs , with an ergonomically designed mid-tool handle placement . It is well balanced, incredibly durable and its all metal self-tightening, keyless chuck provides excellent bit gripping strength.


  • Power
  • Great ergonomics
  • High durability


  • Charge time

Jump to the video review @ the bottom of this page – Click Here



Holding the 9 1/2″ long (from back to front) DC970KL Dewalt 18 volt cordless drill feels natural in our hand! The handle is covered with rubber cushions exactly in places where it is most needed and the cushions seem to do the job – handling the drill in all modes, including hammer drill, was comfortable and smooth as if the rubber grip absorbed a good amount of the drill’s vibrations. The drill felt massive and well built yet when compared to other hammer drills – it is definitely lighter and more compact. It feels heavier and bulkier when compared to a standard drill (with no hammer) — but you need to compromise for additional weight for the added hammer drilling option.

The quick on/off side handle is easily mounted with just one hand and swivels round smoothly to be positioned in any position. Once tightened, the handle stays in place and provides the user with excellent additional stability and pressing power. The trigger feels quite sturdy and its operation is smooth and precise. The reverse and forward selection button is positioned naturally and can be operated smoothly with no big stretch of your index finger and thumb. The three speed selector (0-500,0-1250,0-2000 RPM)


on the top of the drill is a bit hard to slide. It isn’t used regularly so we didn’t consider that a problem. The two additional metal ring control selectors were easy to operate. The first enabled selecting between drill / hammer drill / and screwdriver and the second ring for selecting between 21 torque settings.

Loading and unloading drill bits to the chuck was an easy task thanks to the locking gear and could be done easily with just one hand – no key required! The self-tightening chuck (as published by Dewalt) seemed very effective and we found no loosening of the bits on any of our tests. However, in some reviews that we found on other websites, this feature of the self-tightening chuck was found to be a problem when used in reverse, causing it to loosen- but we found no proof of that in our tests .

The DC970KL Dewalt 18 volt cordless drill uses the Dewalt XRP LiOn (Lithium Ion) battery with Nano technology that enables about 40% more operating time with a fraction of the weight and size. This newly designed battery line enabled Dewalt to create a very comfortable tool with great accessibility in tight spots.

Handling Ergonomics Weight Dimensions Trigger
Excellent Excellent Very Good Very Good Responsive & Accurate


Power And Torque

The tool felt really powerful when just holding it and running it without drilling anything. The gearbox appears to be well built – when running the drill in full power and then releasing the trigger, the motor and chuck came to an immediate stop.


The torque power that Dewalt declares is 450 UWO (units wats out)while spinning at 2000 RPM and delivering 34000 blows / minute (BPM). But we weren’t quite sure what that power rating meant and in order to be able to compare all drills, we (here at CDRR) use a simple yet effective test on all of our drills – the power drill 15 hole test. Our drill power tests confirmed our initial predictions – the DC970KL drilled 15 (1.5″ diameter, 2″ deep) holes in a 2×8 pinewood plank of wood in just 2 min. 10 seconds an average of 8.66 seconds for each hole. This is one of our fastest times and proved that this drill is a devil! In this test we used a new 1.5 inch Irwin spade bit – like we use in all of our drill power tests (to read more about how we test – Click). The max noise level recorded was 103.4 decibels – loud enough for you to want to wear ear protection.

The DC970KL Dewalt 18 volt cordless drill also proved its raw power in the hammer mode where it drilled 6 holes in a standard Holland paver in only 55 seconds using a new hammer drill bit that’s an average of 9.16 seconds for each hole. The loud noise levels recorded here were at 93.6 decibels, forcing us to wear good ear protection gear – we suggest the same for you!

Like all other modern drills, the DC970KL has a screwdriver feature with a variable torque clutch setting which enables using the drill as a screwdriver, with fine control over the final depth of the screw. When setting the toque to the smallest value, the drill stops driving the screw in and prevents the screw from being placed too deep. Using the drill as a screwdriver is a personal preferences for people who like it because of the accuracy and better control of the depth placement. Others prefer to use an impact driver for screws – for high torque and raw power to penetrate harder materials.

We tested the DC970’s screw-driving ability and found it as reasonable as other drills.

Power Consumption And Battery Life


In the battery endurance test we were able to get 27 + 3/4 holes in a 2×8 plank of wood. Once the battery “died” (and we were pretty surprised how it drained all at once!) it took 44 minutes to recharge to full, which is longer than other drill sets. 

Power test Charge time Holes Test Energy Conversion
Very Good – 8.66 Seconds/Hole Slow – 44 min. 27+3/4 holes 12.61 Holes/Ah*



The Dewalt 18 volt cordless drill DC970KL is made of strong plastic sections which, when put together with its metal moving parts and rubber cushions and protectors, give it a feeling of a one piece, strong, well built tool that was built for long term use. When drilling with the tool, it felt like the rubberized areas had been well designed, giving the machine full protection on the job site in everyday use as well as protection from breakage if the tool falls.

The drill houses a frameless motor with replaceable brushes for easy serviceability and replacement, a magnesium gear case, all-metal transmission and one sleeve 1/2 inch keyless chuck. This tool most definitely will see batteries come and go – but will be here for many years to come. Dewalt has built yet another eternal tool!

Warranty and customer care

The Dewalt company provides a 3 year warranty on all of their tools including the DC970KL! Our customer service test showed fast responsiveness and friendly and helpful agents (we didn’t call again – but based this on a recent review of the DC827 impact driver). When we called for an inquiry regarding part replacements for the motor – we got a fast and helpful reply.


The DC970KL Dewalt 18 volt cordless drill is equipped with a strong Led light – we found it bright and easily activated by the slightest pull on the drill’s trigger. It is a great feature and adds great light to help in darker conditions.

The DC970KL is another one of the Dewalt 18v cordless tool family with the advantage of using one power source for all the tools in the Dewalt family. Once you own the battery and charger all you need to do is buy the tool without the need for the battery pack and charger. The “tool only” can be bought online. Consumer reviews all praise and love this drill, giving it the highest scores for its category – we also think the DC970KL deserves the title “best in category”!

Durability Warranty Cunsumer ratings
Excellent Very Good Very Good



Value For Money

The Dewalt 18 volt cordless drill DC970KL is on the higher end of the price range of the 18v hammer drills but the value for money is very good! Its’ Great ergonomics, high durability and great flexibility to work with more tools from the same 18v family give this tool a high score in value for money!



“Final Verdict – This DC970KL Dewalt 18 volt cordless drill Is Best For…”

The Dewalt DC970KL is a compact, powerful hammer drill ergonomicaly designed, well balanced and incredibly durable. This drill stood out mostly for its’ incredible power and durability! This hammer drill would best suit the more “professional” tool guy , DIY homeowner or the contractor type.
If you’re the one working with concrete or other hard materials and power and durability is what you’re looking for – then you must take this drill into consideration!

Handling power Durability Value/Money
5star5 4.5star4.5 4.5star4.5 5star5.0

Final Score

Video Review

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