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DeWalt 12v Cordless Drill Review – DC742KA


The DeWalt DC742KA is a 12 volt cordless compact drill and power driver kit using a 3/8" chuck. It is well made, easy to use and a great choice for an all around cordless drill for home use. The drill uses a Ni-CD battery so run time is less than NiMH batteries. MSRP is around $250 but you can buy it for around $150. An outstanding value.


  • Compact size allows users to fit into tight spaces
  • Lightweight design (3.8 lbs.) minimizes user fatigue
  • 3/8" ratcheting chuck reduces bit slippage
  • Dual speed range 0-400/0-1,450 rpm delivers optimal performance
  • High performance frameless motor delivers maximum power of 200 unit watts out
  • LED work light provides increased visibility in confined spaces
  • Durable hard case keeps drill, batteries and charger all organized
  • LED work light integral to the drill
  • 3 year limited warranty
  • Good value for drill, 2 batteries, charger and case at about $150


  • Powerful and reliable.
  • Great ergonomics and feel in your hand
  • Lghtweight (3.8 pounds)
  • Dual speeds up to 1,450 RPM
  • Easy to use 3/8" drill chuck


  • Original Ni-CD battery is discontinued requiring upgrade battery from DeWalt or aftermarket
  • Original battery is nickel-cadmium (Ni-CD) battery run-time is less than than Ni-MH battery

Dewalt DC742KA Review & Guide


DEWALT DC742KA review

I love cordless tools for their convenience and ease of use. I have several cordless drills in various battery voltages and manufacturers such as DeWalt, Ryobi and Milwaukee.

DeWalt makes some of the finest tools around and are popular with professional contractors and weekend warriors alike. I really like the DeWalt cordless drill kit model DC742KA and have been very happy with my 12 volt DeWalt's performance.

The DeWalt DC742KA 12 volt, 3/8" chuck, Cordless Compact Drill / Driver Kit is a nice setup for home use. It does not have the power of an 18 volt battery system but is just fine for home repair projects requiring drilling or driving of screws. The DeWalt DC742KA comes with a hard case, a charger (charges in 1 hour), 2 batteries and the drill. It has a high and low speed setting and weighs in at just under 4 pounds. The drill is powerful and has a nice rotating speed at up to 1,450 RPM. The RPM speed of a drill is something I have found to be important. With smaller voltage drills for home use such as 9.6 volts, you will usually end up with slower rotating speeds which makes drilling difficult. The DeWalt delivers 2 sets of speed settings ranging from 0-400 and from 0-1,450. The higher speed is necessary when drilling into metals or hard materials.

Minor Issue

Like most all rechargeable tools, the battery life and cost of replacement is an issue. The DeWalt DC742 uses a nickel-cadmium battery #DC9072. Problem is the battery is discontinued from DeWalt. DeWalt now uses the #DC9071 nickel-metal hydride which lasts longer. This is not really a big problem since many companies make replacement batteries for this tool if you did not want to use the #DC9071. However, your are provided 2 new batteries with this kit and with proper care they will last you years before you ever have to think about buying new batteries.


In summary I think the DeWalt DC742KA is an excellent, well made, durable and reliable tool.

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