DeWalt brushless drywall gun--somewhere between prototype and production
David Frane DeWalt brushless drywall gun--somewhere between prototype and production

During a visit to the DeWalt booth at the recent STAFDA tradeshow, a product manager showed me a new cordless drywall gun, the DCF620. The tool I saw was somewhere between a prototype and production model; the actual tool is scheduled for release in the spring of 2015. An attachment for collated screws will be available when the drywall gun comes out.

What makes this tool a plausible replacement for corded is the brushless motor and 2.0 Ah compact batteries, which make for light weight and sufficient runtime for the pro tradesman. According to DeWalt, gun equipped with a 2.0 Ah pack can drive 750 drywall screws in wood or 1,000 in light-gauge steel per charge, an amount said to be about a half day’s work. If that is correct then you could hang board all day on two 2.0 Ah packs or one 4.0 pack. If I was to buy this tool I’d go with the 2.0 Ah packs because changing batteries halfway through the day is a small price to pay for handling less weight.

It wouldn’t make sense to have a cordless drywall gun without also having a cordless cutout tool—and DeWalt introduced a 20V MAX Drywall Cutout Tool (DCS551) over the summer.

There are many advantages to getting rid of the cord when hanging drywall. If the tool is the same weight as a corded model—and this one seems to be—it’s easier to handle. And there’s the safety factor of not tripping over cords or getting dinged by OSHA for cords that get nicked by the edges of metal track and studs.

DeWalt is not the only company that is working on brushless 18-volt drywall guns. Makita announced one at the same show (STAFDA) where DeWalt exhibited theirs and Bosch showed me a prototype of their SG182 at the National Hardware Show in May. Bosch has yet to announce a launch date but I saw their tool listed on Amazon with the notation “temporarily out of stock”, which with new models means the tool is “coming soon”.

The reason we’re seeing three cordless drywall guns come out at roughly the same time is that the technology has caught up with the demands of fastening drywall and metal studs (better batteries + brushless motors = sufficient speed and runtime). And it is getting to the point where the tool companies are making everything else in cordless so they’re looking to expand into areas where tradesmen still use corded. Hanging drywall is one of them.

DCF620 Drywall Gun Specs
Motor: brushless
Battery: 20V MAX (18 volts)
Speed: 0-4,400 RPM
Projected price: $249 (kit with charger and two 2.0 Ah packs)
Available: Spring 2015