Power Tools

DeWalt DWD220 Heavy Duty 1/2-inch Drill Review

DeWalt DWD220 review

The DeWalt DWD220 Heavy Duty 1/2-inch Drill has a very powerful 10.5 amp motor providing variable speeds from 0-1200 RPM. The drill has ergonomic grips on the rear and side handles, and is balanced fairly well for a large drill. However, it's the additional features that really set this drill apart, like the slotted side handle, which won't slip against the gear case, and the E-Clutch Anti-Lock Control, which helps to avoid wrist injuries should a spade bit get caught in a piece of stock while drilling. While there are a couple of nit-picky things I mention below, I really like this very solidly-built drill.


  • The drill is fairly well-balanced, although most users won't be doing too much one-handed drilling with this drill.
  • Keyed chuck securely holds bits with up to a 1/2-inch shank.
  • As with many larger corded drills, the forward/reverse lever toggles the opposite direction as the levers on smaller drills.
  • The DEWALT DWD220 drill is protected by a 3-year limited warranty and 1-year free service.


  • Slotted side handle mechanism prevents the handle from slipping along the drill case
  • Powerful 10.5 amp drill motor - larger than most competitors
  • E-Clutch Anti-Lock Control helps to control the drill during a stall
  • Two-finger trigger switch for the variable speed motor


  • The drill does not have a trigger lock for locking the motor on at a particular speed
  • Map-style manual is frustrating to use

Suggested Reading……..

Guide Review - DeWalt DWD220 Heavy Duty 1/2-inch Drill

With a maximum wattage output of 1100 watts from the 10.5 amp motor, the DeWalt DWD220 drill is one of the more powerful 1/2-inch drills on the market. It has a drilling capacity in wood of 1-1/2 inches in diameter (with an auger bit or spade bit) or 3-5/8 inches with a hole saw.

It will also drill up to 1/2-inch diameter in steel with a twist bit, or 2-inches diameter with a hole saw.

While there typically isn't a lot to differentiate between power drills other than the size of the motor and the no-load speeds, there are two features on this drill that I really like. First is the E-Clutch Anti-Lock Control. The idea behind this feature is that should the drill stall (such as if if a spade bit binds with the wood being drilled), the E-Clutch will cycle on and off for a set period of time in an attempt to keep from twisting the drill out of your hands (or worse, wrenching and possibly injuring your wrist, which I've done on more than one occasion when using a 1/2-inch corded drill and a spade bit).

The other feature which I really like is the locking side handle. While most drills in this category have an adjustable side handle, the DeWalt handle has slots on both the handle and the gear housing. When these slots are aligned and the handle locked in place, the handle will not slip and rotate around the body of the drill. A very thoughtful touch, particularly if you've ever had a side handle slip when you need to apply a little muscle to the drill.

As for the drawbacks I listed above, they're both pretty minor, but worth mentioning. First of all, a locking mechanism so that the drill can be locked on (preferably at more than one or two specific speeds) would be a welcome addition.

As for the other drawback, long-time readers of this space will recognize my distaste for map-style manuals that need to be spread out in order to locate the bit of information that you need to locate. A traditional, book or pamphlet style manual might cost a little bit more to print, but would be far more user friendly.

With all of that in mind, I will say that I am pretty impressed with this drill. If I were needing a heavy-duty 1/2-inch drill on a job site, this would be one of the first in the tool box that my hands would reach for.

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