Last Updated on 2020-12-23 by Harry Masterton
The DeWalt Atomic compact series of power tools is a newer line of cordless products trademarked as “Where Size Meets Power.”
The Atomic compact series DeWalt tools are part of the 20V MAX system that began to hit the retail market in the Spring of 2019.
Table Of Contents
- 1 DeWalt Atomic Compact Series Review
- 1.1 DeWalt Atomic vs MAX
- 1.2 DeWalt Atomic vs MAX XR
- 1.3 DeWalt Atomic Compact Series Tool Only – No Battery Tools
- 1.4 DeWalt Atomic Compact Series Drills
- 1.5 DeWalt 20V MAX Batteries
- 1.6 DeWalt Atomic Compact Series Combo Kits
DeWalt Atomic Compact Series Review
DeWalt is one of the most popular power tool subsidiaries of Stanley Black & Decker, having a reputation for well-built products and brand loyalty with both amateurs and professionals alike.
The DeWalt 20V Atomic tools have a smaller profile than other woodworking power tools in the 20V MAX system. Atomic compact series DeWalt products can be up to 25-percent smaller than previous DeWalt 20V cordless designs.
That will allow many of the tools to be used in tighter spaces than standard-sized models. You will also notice that the smaller design is more lightweight, a feature that helps when working overhead or at awkward angles.
The DeWalt Atomic compact series power tools also provide increased performance compared to similar-sized compact power tools. The increased power and torque on DeWalt 20V Atomic tools can range from 13-percent or more in overall output.
A standard feature of the woodworking power tools in the series is a brushless electric motor. The brushless design has fewer parts that can wear out, and the unit runs more efficiently than older electric motors that used brushes.
Output on the DeWalt 20V Atomic products does not drop with a smaller housing making them powerful super compact power tools.
Handles are also a focus of this line of compact power tools, as it is advertised as a product to use in tight spaces and overhead. DeWalt uses materials that help to absorb vibrations from the motor, and the material also provides you with plenty of grip on the power tool.
The DeWalt 20V Atomic power tools have a 90-day money-back guarantee. If you are not happy with the tool's performance, DeWalt will refund your money.
The company also offers a one-year free service on any DeWalt 20V Atomic power tool, as well as a three-year limited warranty. That represents one of the better packages on the market and has helped build strong customer loyalty.
DeWalt Atomic vs MAX
The main difference between the two compact power tools is the electric motors. MAX products use standard electric motor designs, while the power tools in the DeWalt Atomic compact series review use brushless motors. Brushless motors extend battery run times when comparing the DeWalt Atomic vs MAX product lines.
DeWalt Atomic vs MAX XR
The DeWalt Atomic vs MAX XR comes down to footprint. Atomic products are smaller and much more compact power tools, allowing them to fit into tighter spaces. Electric motors and battery power are similar when comparing the DeWalt Atomic compact series vs XR power tool lines.
DeWalt Atomic Compact Series Tool Only – No Battery Tools
ATOMIC DCS354B 20V MAX* BRUSHLESS CORDLESS OSCILLATING MULTI-TOOL – TOOL ONLY4.8 out of 5.0 stars
Our DeWalt Atomic compact series review entries start with the DCS354B. The DeWalt Atomic oscillating tool runs on any of the 20V MAX battery packs, a feature that allows you to match battery amp-hours to your workload.
ATOMIC DCS354B – features
The housing measures 11.2 L x 3.06 W x 4.5-inches high. That will allow you to reach in areas with less than 12-inches of clearance, even with a battery installed.
It weighs 2.33 pounds, which will be a manageable load for most people. You will not have to struggle to use it when you are working with your arms raised or away from your body.
The electric motor on the DeWalt Atomic oscillating tool can generate between 0 and 18,000 Oscillations Per Minute. That speed range allows you to apply accessories to a wide range of materials safely. You can run lower OPMs to prevent blades from bouncing off of metal or higher OPMs to cut wood.
The DeWalt Atomic multi tool uses a Dual-Grip trigger to control speeds. It will require the same hand position for tool control, so the design has limited applications for most users. You may find it useful when cutting materials flush to a wall under sinks and other tight spaces.
A large LED light sits at the front of the housing. It is bright enough to illuminate most low-light settings, but you may lose some of that brightness when the tool presses against a surface.
ATOMIC DCS354B – Things We Like
- The brushless motor delivers a lot of power
- Its universal adaptor works with a wide-range of accessories
- An LED light lets you see in low-light conditions
ATOMIC DCS354B – Not So Good
- The over-sized trigger design is more gimmick than necessity
- Including a clip or hook would make it easier to carry around
ATOMIC DCS571B 20V MAX BRUSHLESS 4-1/2 IN. CORDLESS CIRCULAR SAW TOOL ONLY – No Battery
Matching the saw in this DeWalt Atomic compact series review with the 1.5 amp-hour 20V MAX battery will allow you to keep the overall weight under seven pounds. That should make it easier to cut plywood panels one-handed.
ATOMIC DCS571B – Features
The DeWalt Atomic circular saw measures 17.88 L x 5.13 W x 6.69-inches high. It uses a 4.5-inch blade for cutting, with maximum cutting depths of 1-9/16 inches at 90-degrees and 1.0 inch at 45-degrees. These depths are great for woodworkers cutting thinner stock or paneling but will be underwhelming for thicker lumber.
A compact housing allows you to operate this circular saw with one hand. You can take advantage of this when reaching across a plywood sheet or trimming off the end of your piece of wood. DeWalt includes a removable auxiliary handle that provides extra control with your second hand.
The brushless electric motor on the DeWalt DCS571 generates 4,500 Rotations Per Minute under no-load conditions. That will cut up to 369 linear feet of 3/4 inch OSB. You might find a lack of variable speed a limitation on performance, however.
The DeWalt Atomic compact circular saw uses an electronic blade brake to stop blade rotation once the trigger is no longer activated. That safety feature also increases your work pace since you do not have to wait as long on the blade.
ATOMIC DCS571B – Things We Like
- The DeWalt DCS571 can be used with one hand
- An electronic blade brake stops rotations quickly
- A removable handle adds extra control to the DeWalt Atomic compact circular saw
ATOMIC DCS571B – Not So Good
- It can cut through 2 x construction materials at 90-degrees only
- The dust port location puts vacuum hoses in the way
ATOMIC DCS369B 20V MAX CORDLESS ONE-HANDED RECIPROCATING SAW TOOL ONLY – No Battery
The DeWalt DCS369 weighs 3.13 pounds, making it light enough to use one-handed over the entire day. That weight is balanced, so the handle angle should not aggravate your wrist while you work.
ATOMIC DCS369B One-Handed Reciprocating Saw – features
The housing of the DeWalt DCS369 measures 12.5 L x 3.4 W x 6.1-inches in height. The taller profile is due to the angled handle, which provides a natural position when cutting chest high or above your head. A total length of only 12.5-inches makes this a short reciprocating saw that can fit in tighter spaces than other designs.
The handle is small enough for average-sized hands to wrap around it. Over molded rubber covers the majority of the plastic, providing comfort and an absorption barrier to reduce vibration transfer from the housing. These design elements will allow you to use this reciprocating saw for extended periods or demolition or rough trimming without hand fatigue.
A variable speed trigger allows you to adjust between 0 and 2,800 Strokes Per Minute. That provides a speed range to cut metals, plastics, and wood safely. The trigger location does not force your fingers off of the handle, allowing you to maintain your grip as you cut.
An LED light shines brightly on the area you are working without obscuring your line of sight. It should work under most low-light conditions but might be less effective when the LED is close to a wall.
ATOMIC DCS369B One-Handed Reciprocating Saw – Things We Like
- The housing is balanced for comfortable one-handed use
- It has plenty of padding to absorb unwanted vibration transfer
- A tool-free blade release allows you to change out blades quickly
ATOMIC DCS369B One-Handed Reciprocating Saw – Not So Good
- A dedicated secondary hold-point could help with some cutting applications
- The handle angle can feel awkward when cutting from above
DeWalt Atomic Compact Series Drills
The products in this DeWalt Atomic drill review section highlight the compact nose design the manufacturer showcases within the Atomic range. These tools function for the wide range of drilling applications that amateurs and professionals need, as highlighted in the section on the hammer drill and the DeWalt Atomic impact review.
While DeWalt has included similar design elements on all of their Atomic drill models, subtle differences should provide you with a match between your needs and features (such as the higher torque showcased in the DeWalt Atomic impact review).
DEWALT DCD709B ATOMIC 20V MAX Brushless Compact Cordless 1-2 in. Hammer Drill Driver Tool Only – No Battery5.0 out of 5.0 stars
The DeWalt Atomic compact series review for the DCD709B starts with the tool weight of 2.5 pounds, which is lightweight for a hammer drill design. A bottom-loading battery will not add to the profile, so using the higher-rated amp-hour 20V MAX will give you longer performance times when drilling into masonry.
DEWALT DCD709B Hammer Drill – Features
The DeWalt DCD709 hammer drill measures 7.5 L x 3.19 W x 9.25-inches tall. The stubby nose will allow you to get on top of the surface you are drilling through, including using the hammer mode between a stud and the wall.
A pistol grip handle on the DeWalt DCD709 provides one-handed control and keeps the nose compact, unlike traditional hammer drill designs that use a spade handle configuration. The textured grip aids with your grip, and the trigger is easy to compress with your finger. You will not get as much weight behind it as you would a spade handle drill, though.
A 1/2-inch chuck holds the bits in the DeWalt DCD709 hammer drill. It is a ratcheting design that allows quick bit swaps. The grip it provides should prevent bits from slipping as you drill, no matter which operating mode you are using.
A numbered torque ring allows you to make adjustments with your off-hand. The hammer mode on the DeWalt DCD709 is switch activated.
A variable speed trigger provides operating ranges of 0 through 450 and 0 through 1,650, depending upon the operating mode.
DEWALT DCD709B Hammer Drill – Things We Like
- Short housing fits between support studs and other tight openings
- Uses a 1/2-inch ratcheting chuck for drill bits
- Variable speeds help prevent material damage
DEWALT DCD709B Hammer Drill – Not So Good
- The LED light location on the base of the handle is less effective
- Battery life noticeably less in hammer mode
ATOMIC DCD708B 20V MAX BRUSHLESS CORDLESS COMPACT 1-2 IN. DRILL DRIVER TOOL ONLY4.6 out of 5.0 stars
A feature worth highlighting in this DeWalt Atomic compact series review would be the DCD708B control mechanisms. These are usable with or without gloves on, a feature that you will appreciate on cold days at the job site.
ATOMIC DCD708B Drill Driver – Features
The DCD708B drill and driver measures 7.3 L x 2.6 W x 9.84-inches in height. It weighs only 2.4 pounds without a battery, allowing you to operate it throughout the day without it becoming heavy. Those characteristics also make it up to 25-percent more compact than other cordless products in this power range.
A stand out in this DeWalt DCD708 review would be the balance between the drill and driver housing, the handle, and the battery pack location. DeWalt has provided users with a tool that will not strain the wrist and can keep alignment, even with the larger 20V MAX battery packs equipped.
The brushless electric motor generates 340 Unit Watts Out with a maximum charge. A two-speed gearbox provides variable speed ranges of 0 to 450 and 0 to 1,650 RPMs, depending upon the operating mode used. You will find this adequate for drilling around the shop and home and for driving all but the longest fasteners through dense materials.
The tool in this DeWalt DCD708 review also comes with a belt clip. It should be safe for use in the shop, but you might consider another option if you are working from heights on a construction site.
ATOMIC DCD708B Drill Driver – Things We Like
- The two-speed gearbox does not slip under tension
- A compact design that delivers 340 Unit Watts Out
- DeWalt includes 15 clutch settings on this unit
ATOMIC DCD708B – Not So Good
- Plastic around the trigger can rub against your skin during use
- The belt hook is not of the highest quality and may not hold
ATOMIC DCF809B 20V MAX BRUSHLESS CORDLESS COMPACT 1-4 IN. IMPACT DRIVER – TOOL ONLY
Comparing the DCF809B vs DCF887B, you will see the Atomic difference in size that the former offers (the DCF887B is DeWalt's XR model, making it larger and heavier). The Atomic is also cheaper when comparing the DCF809B vs DCF887B.
ATOMIC DCF809B Cordless Impact Driver – features
The power tool in this DeWalt Atomic impact review measures 5.1 L x 2.8 W x 9.0-inches high. It weighs only2.1 pounds. That compact nose will fit in between studs or pipes, where the impact driver is powerful enough to loosen over tightened fasteners.
The variable speed trigger generates up to 2,800 Rotations Per Minute under no-load conditions. It will rotate slower than this in the field, however. It should still work for most applications, as the power of an impact driver comes from the torque and burst of speed.
The gears do an adequate job of transferring torque between the electric motor and the 1/4-driver. The DCF809B is rated at 1,700 inch-pounds, providing plenty of torque for DIY projects and hobbyist needs.
You will want a larger driver for heavy-duty commercial jobs, as well as room for a secondary handle. The compact size of this impact driver makes it a one-handed tool only.
One feature that stands out with this design is the light-ring. It is mounted on the nose section of the housing, placing the lights near the fastener. Three LED lights are spaced evenly around the driver, providing light even when one or two of the LEDs are blocked.
ATOMIC DCF809B Cordless Impact Driver – Things We Like
- The 5.1-inch nose will fit in very tight spots
- It generates up to 1,700 inch-pounds of torque
- A three LED light ring provides plenty of illumination
ATOMIC DCF809B Cordless Impact Driver – Not So Good
- There is little room to find a position for your off-hand
- Larger battery packs can create an imbalance
DeWalt 20V MAX Batteries
The cordless power tools in the DeWalt Atomic product line are powered by DeWalt's 20V MAX battery platform. That means that the Atomic compact tools can run off of 20V MAX battery packs that power other cordless tools in your shop.
The tool only purchase also offers you the opportunity to select the amp-hour rating of the battery packs you want to use. DeWalt 20V MAX batteries come in amp-hours that range from 1.5 through 12.0 AH ratings. Remember, an amp hour represents how much amps a battery provides over an hour of use.
DeWalt Atomic Compact Series Combo Kits
ATOMIC DCK278C2 20V MAX BRUSHLESS CORDLESS 2-TOOL COMBO KIT4.8 out of 5.0 stars
The tools in this combo kit are covered in greater detail in our previous DeWalt Atomic compact series review sections. It contains a drill/driver and an impact driver that are ideal for making holes and inserting fasteners in various building materials.
ATOMIC DCK278C2 2-Tool Combo – Features
The DeWalt atomic 2-tool combo kit includes the Atomic DCD708B Compact 1/2-Inch Drill Driver as well as the Atomic DCF809B Compact 1/4-Inch Impact Driver. It also has a soft carry case, two 20V MAX Lithium-Ion batteries, and the DCB107 battery charger.
The charger included with the DCK278C2 Atomic package will charge a battery pack in one hour, a feature that keeps downtime to a minimum out in the field. That charger words with either 12 or 20-volt battery packs.
You will appreciate this more if you already have existing 12-volt DeWalt power tools, less so if this is your first purchase.
The drill in the DeWalt DCK278C2 multiple tool package uses a 1/2-inch ratcheting chuck that will hold bits in place once you tighten it. It also has 15 clutch settings, giving you a variety of torque options.
A 1/4-inch impact driver will provide up to 1,700 inch-pounds of torque, which should break loose any fasteners that have been overdone or driving long-threaded screws.
The kit includes belt clips for both tools, but you will want to find another way to secure them if you are working from a ladder or areas where they might fall.
An LED light shines from near the battery on the drill. That is less-effective than the three LED light-ring installed on the impact driver.
ATOMIC DCK278C2 2-Tool Combo – Things We Like
- Batteries charge in one hour
- The drill provides 340 Unit Watts Out
- Impact driver offers 1,700 inch-pounds of torque
ATOMIC DCK278C2 2-Tool Combo – Not So Good
- The batteries are not the highest amp-hour rating
- Combining a drill/driver and impact driver may be redundant for casual use
ATOMIC DCK489D2 20V MAX BRUSHLESS CORDLESS 4-TOOL COMBO KIT4.8 out of 5.0 stars
The DeWalt Atomic DCK489D2 provides you with plenty of cutting, drilling, and driving power. You get the DCD708 Cordless Drill/Driver, DCF809 Cordless Impact Driver, DCS354 Cordless Oscillating Multi-Tool, and DCS369 Cordless Reciprocating Saw.
Cutting and drilling are the two main tasks you do at home and on the job, and this kit allows you to tackle most projects that require either.
ATOMIC DCK489D2 4-Tool Combo – Features
The DeWalt Atomic 4-tool combo kit comes with two 20V MAX Lithium-Ion batteries that are interchangeable between the four cordless tools. Each battery provides two amp-hours of energy, which is plenty for smaller projects. Higher amp-hour batteries are available for these tools.
The DeWalt Atomic combo kit includes the DCB112 battery charger. That unit rates for either 12-volt or 20-volt battery packs. You can quickly charge the batteries that come with the kit, allowing you to keep working throughout the day.
Compact nose lengths and smaller engine housings allow these tools to reach into tight spaces that DeWalt's full-sized power tools will not fit. Brushless motors also take up less space while providing increased performance.
Each tool in this kit uses over-molded grips on the handles, providing comfort while reducing vibrations during use.
ATOMIC DCK489D2 4-Tool Combo – Things We Like
- The four tools provide the widest applications among Atomic products
- Each tool provides LED lights for low-light conditions
- A soft carry bag can hold everything for easy transport or storage
ATOMIC DCK489D2 4-Tool Combo – Not So Good
- It only includes two batteries with your purchase
- The kit uses the smaller two amp-hour batteries
ATOMIC DCKTS279C2 20V MAX BRUSHLESS HAMMER DRILL/DRIVER AND IMPACT DRIVER COMBO KIT4.7 out of 5.0 stars
The combination kit includes the DeWalt Atomic hammer drill (DCD709 hammer drill/driver) and the DeWalt Impact Driver (DCF809 Impact Driver). Each tool operates in high-performance conditions that will be necessary when drilling into concrete, masonry, and driving long fasteners.
ATOMIC DCKTS279C2 Hammer Drill/Driver and Impact Combo – Features
The DeWalt Atomic hammer drill runs at 0 through 450 and 0 through 1,650 RPMs, in either standard or hammer drill mode. The lower RPMs will help to prevent damage to surfaces as you work through them.
The 1/4-inch impact driver can generate up to 1,700 inch-pounds of torque, allowing you to drive long screws and to break fasteners free that are too tight.
Both tools use a pistol grip that average hands will wrap around comfortably. Those handles have a slight tilt forward that creates a natural pressure from the wrist as you hold the power tool. You should be able to keep these tools in place as you work, with less chance of slipping because of your hand position.
The DCKTS279C2 uses a hard case. The target customers for the kit is contractors who will need the extra protection for their tools as they travel between jobs.
ATOMIC DCKTS279C2 Hammer Drill/Driver and Impact Combo – Things We Like
- Large vents keep motors cool in compact housing
- Hammer drill pairs better with impact driver
- This DeWalt Atomic combo kit comes in a hard case
ATOMIC DCKTS279C2 Hammer Drill/Driver and Impact Combo – Not So Good
- The specialized operating modes drain the batteries faster than normal settings
- You will need higher amp-hour batteries for best output on high-impact and high-torque jobs
The Fallout From DeWalt's Atomic Compact Series Power Tools
The tools highlighted in the DeWalt Atomic compact series review sections above provide both amateurs and professionals with compact cordless power tools that will fit into tighter spaces without sacrificing power.
In fact, brushless electric motors used here often generate more Unit Watts Out (UWO) than other tools in the same class.
The impact-resistant plastics used by DeWalt provide a protective case that protects both motor and electronic controls from debris or short drops.
Over molded rubber provides a comfortable grip and a more secure hold. Each handle on the Atomic tool range is also ergonomically shaped.
A common theme throughout these entries is tool balance. Most of the tools are one-handed designs, with some providing an additional hand-hold for greater control during use.
The manufacturer keeps the weight distributed between the motor housing and battery slot, preventing the tool from being top or bottom-heavy.
These cordless power tools are part of DeWalt's 20V MAX battery platform. The Lithium-Ion packs use the latest in battery technology to provide long storage times and consistency.
DeWalt's battery chargers are fast, usually charging the battery packs in an hour or less.
The Atomic compact cordless tools are available as tool only purchases. That allows you to use batteries from your current collection to DeWalt 20V MAX tools.
You can also select the size (in amp-hours) of the battery to match your needs if it is your first purchase.
DeWalt also offers the Atomic compact power tools in combination kits. It can be an economical way to build your cordless tool collection, and the kits come with batteries and a charger for those buying their first tools in the DeWalt Atomic compact series review sections above.
So for Atomic levels of power without nuking your wallet the DeWalt Atomic compact series of power tools delivers DeWalt reliability for those awkward hard to get to places on the jobsite.
If you’re looking for a compact range of woodworking power tools for setting up a small woodworking shop with limited space and storage then look no further than the DeWalt Atomic Compact Series.