Compact 18-volt lithium-ion drill/drivers first hit the market a decade ago. I've always viewed them as a good choice for woodworkers and serious do-it-yourselfers, but the ones I’ve tried in the past lacked the portability of the 12-volt subcompacts and the muscle, speed, and runtime that builders often draw from their larger 18-volt heavyweights.

When DeWalt sent us its latest 20V MAX XR compact drill/driver (model DCD791) earlier this year, I was mostly interested in checking out its unique new 3-mode, base-mounted LED headlight. And hey, it’s great. It can project a low or medium beam with a 20-second afterglow, or a much brighter 60-lumen spotlight that stays lit for around 18 minutes after you squeeze and release the trigger, then flashes twice and dims to signal that it will shut itself off in two minutes. This welcome feature essentially adds a standard jobsite flashlight to the tool ...

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