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The First Thing I Did with the New Dewalt Atomic Impact Driver

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When a new cordless power tool comes in, I will usually grab a battery and make some test cuts, drill some holes, or drive in some fasteners. Specialty tools are a little different, but the point is that everyday tools will usually see some action right away.

Dewalt kindly sent over an unexpected and much-welcomed press kit – each of the new 20V Max Atomic Series impact tools neatly packed into a ToughSystem 2.0 tool box.

After expressing my glee and exclaiming to the world how much I love my “job,” I grabbed the impact driver and thought about what I was going to do first.

Drive in some lag screws or 5/16″ structural fasteners?

Build some simple cabinets?

Nope. I had some readers’ “could it be too small?” doubts and comments running through my head. So, I grabbed the impact and bumped it into my workbench. I did this a couple of times, to be sure.

Dewalt Atomic Series Impact Driver DCF850 Finger Clearance

Finally, I grabbed the battery, repeated the ridiculous activity, and tried to take a photo.

Here’s the question I tried to answer: should users be worried about potentially pinning their fingers between their tool and a work surface? When I posted a preview of the new Dewalt Atomic impact driver last month, a couple of readers expressed this as a valid concern.

Michael Hammer’s comment stuck with me in particular:

Oh my word, I’ve pinned my finger so many times. It’s not enough pay attention to the screw, you have to watch your trigger finger too!

So, I wanted to see if I could or would pin my finger on flat surfaces. Was the Atomic impact driver too small?

In the photo above, my pointer finger is resting on the impact’s trigger, but not pressing it in. I depressed it slightly before releasing the pressure, which is why the light’s still on. I feel that this is plenty of clearance. I can overlap two fingers to the first knuckle – there’s enough clearance where most people should be able to slide a finger over and away from the trigger switch.

Granted, I have medium-sized hands, but even users with larger hands should find ample trigger switch clearance.

Is it still possible to pin your trigger finger between the tool and something else? Of course – I’m sure there are obstructions or obstacles that can change things. All I wanted to check for was to see if the new Dewalt 20V Max Atomic impact driver was too compact, and I really don’t think it is.

I’ve got a series of testing lined up for tomorrow, and so I should have some feedback on its feel and performance shortly.

In-hand, it feels great. While incredibly compact, it doesn’t give off the same “impossibly compact” feeling as in the white-background product images. Meaning, I think that readers who expressed concerns about the tool being tool small, based on its online product images, might change their minds upon seeing the impact in person.

I can honestly say that I never thought of checking a drill or driver for trigger switch finger clearance. This won’t be the first thing I check with impact drivers in the future, but it’s something I’ll at least be aware of.

Now, if you excuse me, I’ve got to run back to the workshop – I don’t think I can wait until tomorrow to drive the first test screws.

If you want one of your own, it looks like the kit just started to ship.

And, if you’re wondering, the Dewalt Atomic impact wrenches are also gloriously compact. Dewalt is off to a very exciting fourth quarter with all of these hot new releases.

Buy Now via Acme Tools

Read More:

New Dewalt Atomic Brushless Impact Driver is Amazingly Compact

Teaser: New Dewalt ATOMIC 3/8″ Brushless Impact Wrench

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