DeWalt Atomic Vs 20V Max XR – What’s the Difference?

DeWalt is one of the most recognizable names in the power tool industry and its 20V Max tools are wildly popular. However, there can be some confusion in the line and some folks wonder… what’s the difference between DeWalt Atomic vs DeWalt 20V Max XR? Not to worry—we’ve got your back!



DeWalt Atomic Vs 20V Max XR

If you read our article comparing DeWalt 20v Max to XR, you already know the XR designation stands for eXtreme Runtime and means the tool has a brushless motor. If you didn’t read that article, you just learned the importance of XR anyway. The point is, DeWalt developed the XR line to have the best runtime and performance on its 20V Max line because of brushless motor technology.

Where things get confusing is that the Atomic series is also made up of brushless tools. Well, almost all of the line is brushless. DeWalt has an emerging line of hand tools carrying Atomic branding as well. Technically, those hand tools are brushless, but that’s because they don’t have a motor at all.

The difference is that DeWalt’s 20V Max Atomic tools are designed to be a compact brushless solution for folks who prioritize smaller tool sizes but don’t want to give up the benefits of a brushless motor.

DeWalt also makes brushless 12V Max tools known as Xtreme 12V Max Brushless. Some of these are even more compact than the Atomic series. However, they use a different battery altogether, and many people prefer to be on the system that has the widest range of compatible tools. DeWalt’s Atomic line is the solution since it uses 20V max batteries.

The Bottom Line

To put it simply, DeWalt Atomic tools are compact 20V Max solutions that include brushless models. DeWalt 20V Max XR tools are high-performance brushless models. Both use the same battery, but Atomic focuses on smaller sizing and XR targets higher performance.

Visit Dewalt’s website to see the full range of products.

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