Hercules 20V Cordless Power Tools – Is Harbor Freight Selling Blue Dewalt Tools?

3 new cordless 20V power tools have been spotted over at Harbor Freight and this time with the Hercules branding. They include a couple of compact drills with a drill driver, a hammer drill, and an impact driver. The new Hercules cordless tools also use 20V lithium batteries similar to the Earthquake XT 20V batteries but are not the same ones meaning they aren’t cross compatible. For more info on the Earthquake XT 20V cordless power tools also sold by Harbor Freight, click here.

All three Hercules 20V tools are sold as kits and include one 2.5ah battery, charger and hard case. Additional batteries are sold separately and they also offer 5.0 ah batteries. Prices for the 2.5 ah battery is $29.99 and $49.99 for the 5.0ah battery. Additional chargers are sold for $29.99. The Hercules charger can charge the 2.5ah battery in 60 minutes and the 5.0 ah battery in 90 minutes

Pricing for the Hercules 20V tools is as follows:

  • $109.99 for the Hercules 20V 1/4″ Hex Impact Driver kit
  • $109.99 for the Hercules 20V 1/2″ Drill Driver kit
  • $119.99 for the Hercules 20V 1/2″ Hammer Drill kit

What’s stands out about the new Hercules 20V power tools is that they look like tools I’ve seen before… wait I have and they look eerily similar to Dewalt 20V power tools. In fact the Hercules 20V impact driver looks like a clone of the Dewalt DCF885 impact driver.

The Hercules 20V drill driver and hammer drill look like they’re based off of the Dewalt DCD780 drill.

Of course not everything is the same between the Dewalt originals and the new Harbor Freight Hercules brand. Besides the obvious color difference I can see that the Hercules impact driver loses the three ring LED light system at the head of the tool from the Dewalt and instead gets a single LED light below the chuck. Other than that the two impact drivers are basically identical in terms of cosmetics. You can see a slight difference in handle grip texture and pattern but come on, look at how similar the two are.

Although not everything is a downgrade, if you look at the two Hercules drills, they actually get few upgrades compared to the Dewalt DCD780 model. The most obvious is the metal chuck on the Hercules drills which is plastic on the DCD780 Dewalt model. Dewalt does offer metal chucks on their compact drills but you have to step up to brushless drills to get them. Also the Hercules hammer drill has a separate mode selector collar which isn’t there on any of the Dewalt compact hammer drills. And third they appear to be a bit shorter in length than their Dewalt counterparts – 7-3/8″ Hercules drill vs 7-1/2″ Dewalt DCD780 drill.

This next one is hard to tell but they might have a slight bit more torque. Harbor Freight lists the Hercules impact as having 1500 in-lbs torque while the Dewalt DCF885 has 1400 in-lbs. Both Hercules drills claim to have 550 in-lbs torque which is pretty high considering all the Hercules tools use brushed motors.

Even the batteries and chargers look very much like Dewalt’s. The batteries share the same shape and form factor as the Dewalt 20V slide pack batteries while the Hercules charger looks similar to the Dewalt DCB101 charger although with wildly different cosmetics. What’s interesting is that like the Dewalt DCB101 charger, the Hercules charger can charge 20V batteries and 12V batteries. This makes me wonder if we might see upcoming Harbor Freight Hercules 12V slide pack battery power tools.

So are they Dewalt tools? The simple answer is no but they might be rebranded Dewalt tools and very well might have some of the same internals such as the motor, gearbox, and drivetrain of the Dewalt models. They might even be made from the same plant as Dewalt tools but most likely previous overseas plants as Dewalt now assembles many of their cordless tools here in the USA. Some things might be completely different such as the battery cells they use on the Hercules models, and the electronics and circuitry and how they operate might also be completely different so I wouldn’t go on and say these are exactly the same as Dewalt tools as they are not.

One thing I can say is that these will be a huge upgrade to what’s been available at Harbor Freight when it comes to cordless power tools until now. So far the Chicago Electric and Drill Master 18V tools have offered decent tools at low prices, many of the concerns I’ve heard from users over and over has been that they’ve been wanting lithium ion batteries for those cordless tools. The Hercules 20V tools along with the other new 20V tools from Harbor Freight gives users lithium ion batteries to cordless 18V/20V tools but the problem I see here is that the Hercules tools and batteries are not cross compatible with the other cordless tools from Harbor Freight. That right there is the biggest downfall of the system.

Then the problem is that while I think the Hercules 20V system looks great so far, it only has 3 power tools which are two drills and one impact driver. That is very little variety. Where are the saws, like a reciprocating saw, circular saw, cordless lights? You have to go to another brand to get those and that right there is the problem. Although this problem can easily solved by adding more variety of cordless tools to the Hercules 20V system.

Also the Hercules 20V tools are priced lower than similar Dewalt tools but not by much. If the pricing is very close to Dewalt’s I would rather buy the real deal, this way I know what I’m buying and have the large selection of tools that Dewalt offers in their 20V system. Then you have to consider that you’re only getting one battery in the kits which takes away the value from the Hercules kits. Although one huge advantage I can see from the Hercules system is the extremely low battery pricing as you can get spare batteries for next to nothing. A 2.5ah lithium battery for only $30 and a 5.0ah battery for only $50, that’s insane! For me that’s the biggest selling point of the system are the super cheap spare batteries. They also look appealing for someone who only needs a drill, hammer drill, and impact driver and nothing more. Users that want more variety of tools will have to look elsewhere.

Specs/Features

Hercules 20V 1/4″ Hex Impact Driver

From the manufacturer:

The jobsite tough 20V Hercules® cordless compact 1/4 in. hex impact driver delivers 1500 in. lbs. of torque and 0-3200 IPM to handle a wide range of fastening applications including work on decking, fencing, or drywall. A built-in LED light with delay after trigger release gives you a clear view in dark spaces. Combined with the Hercules® Lithium-Ion battery system for fast charging and longer run times this tool conveys legendary performance.

  • 4 pole motor delivers maximum performance and durability in a compact size
  • Variable speed with 1500 in. lbs. of torque covers a wide range of fastening applications
  • All metal gear construction built to withstand jobsite abuse
  • Bright LED light illuminates work area
  • 1/4 in. hex chuck for fast bit changes
  • 0-2800 RPM
  • 0-3200 IPM
  • length 5-3/4 in.
  • weight 3.1 lbs.
  • 1/4 in. 20V compact impact driver, (1) 20V 2.5AH compact lithium battery pack, fast charger, belt clip, (1) 5/16 in. Torqpoint™ nut driver, (2) Torqpoint™ #2 Phillips insert bits, (1) Screwlok™ magnetic bit holder, heavy duty storage case

Hercules 20V 1/2″ Drill Driver kit

From the manufacturer:

The jobsite tough 20V Hercules® cordless compact drill driver delivers 550 in. lbs. of torque for top-level power and performance to get work done fast. The 2-speed 4 pole motor delivers 0-2000 RPM for effortless drilling and fastening. A built-in LED light with delay after trigger release gives you a clear view in dark spaces. Combined with the Hercules® Lithium battery system for fast charging and longer run times this tool conveys legendary performance.

  • 4-pole motor delivers maximum performance and durability in a compact size
  • 2-speed transmission covers all drilling and fastening applications
  • All metal gear construction built to withstand jobsite abuse
  • Bright LED light illuminates work area
  • Jacobs® 1/2 in. ratcheting chuck provides ultimate bit retention
  • 0-600/0-2000 RPM
  • length 7-3/8 in.
  • 1/2 in. 20V compact drill/driver, (1) 20V 2.5AH compact lithium battery pack, fast charger, belt clip, (2) Torqpoint™ power bits, (2) 1/8 in. Starterpoint™ drill bits, heavy duty storage case

Hercules 20V 1/2″ Hammer Drill kit

From the manufacturer:

The jobsite tough 20V Hercules® cordless compact hammer drill/driver delivers 0-10,200/0-34,000 BPM and 550 in. lbs. of torque for top-level power and performance to get the work done fast. You can expect effortless drilling in concrete or masonry with the 2-speed 4 pole motor. A built-in LED light with delay after trigger release gives you a clear view in dark spaces. Easily switch between hammer drill and drill-only modes. Combined with the Hercules® battery system for fast charging and longer run times this tool conveys legendary performance.

  • 4-pole motor delivers maximum performance and durability in a compact size
  • 2-speed transmission covers all drilling, driving and fastening applications
  • Delivers 0-34,000 blows per minute, ideal for drilling in masonry and concrete
  • All metal gear construction built to withstand jobsite abuse
  • Bright LED light illuminates work area
  • Jacobs® 1/2 in. ratcheting chuck provides ultimate bit retention
  • 0-600/0-2000 RPM
  • 0-34,000 blows per minute
  • length 7-3/4 in.
  • 1/2 in. 20V compact hammer drill/driver, (1) 20V 2.5AH compact lithium battery pack, fast charger, belt clip, (2) #2 Torqpoint™ power bits, (1) Blastpoint™ masonry bit, heavy duty storage case

A big thanks to Joshua B. for sharing this info with us.

Stay tuned for more Harbor Freight cordless tool news, as more info is coming soon!

DISCLOSURE:
Tool Craze does not sell this product or any product on the Tool Craze website. Tool Craze does not handle the sale of any item in any way. If you purchase something through a post on the Tool Craze site, Tool Craze may get a small share of the sale. Please refer to the About section for more info.

35
Leave a Reply

avatar
12 Comment threads
23 Thread replies
3 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
19 Comment authors
JavierFloatinatorgilvlpronjdave Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Brett
Guest
Brett

Thanks for this review – I think I’ll be trying out this 20V cordless drill from HF! I’ve been waiting for them to come out with a line of lithium-ion tools – hopefully it goes full-force and features other tools, like circular saws, sanders and planers like the other tool companies are doing. No reviews on HarborFreight.com yet for any of the drills – maybe I’ll be the first!

Josh
Guest
Josh

I talked to my local Hft store manager. Apparently the company had a huge convention a couple months ago and showed this Hercules line off. Hft is going to launch close to 50 tools on this same battery platform. They also have a 12volt line coming. The lithium cells are Samsung cells just like the rest of the industry. Looking at the market no one else has the 2.5ah slim pack battery which is huge for weight savings and additional life. I don’t think this is a Dewalt factory, store manager told me that Hft has been for working this… Read more »

Paul
Guest
Paul

Our local HFT manager told me last fall that in mid 2017, a new line of cordless tools would be coming out that compare to Dewalt, Bosch and Porter Cable. This is probably it!

Shane
Guest
Shane

Hitachi has compact 3.0ah packs.

William
Guest
William

My downside is that I can purchase similar tools from home depot, pay in approximate price range ( lower for ryobi, more for ridgid ) and get a 3 year to lifetime warranty. I cannot see myself paying around $100 for a tool with 90 day warranty when I can do better at lowew/home depot/etc.

Rob Centros
Guest
Rob Centros

These come with a 3 year warranty.

Rob Centros
Guest
Rob Centros

Can’t edit my other response. I’m pretty sure I read 3 year warranty on the box at Harbor Freight, but the manual and website say 90 day — so I may be (probably am?) mistaken.

Josh
Guest
Josh

Javier, You’re right the Hitachi and Ryobi do have a 2.5ah. Ryobi’s drill is really bulky feeling, plus we all know that Ryobi is mid grade tool. Hitachi are nice but I have never been able to get over the looks of the Hitachi tools. Lowes is almost 45 min drive from where I live and I like to be able walk into a store and talk to customer service if I have an issue.. The warranty HFT is offering seems a bit low for a professional tool. But I refuse to buy extended warranties anymore. They just seem like… Read more »

brettbib
Guest
brettbib

More expensive than Milwaukee or Dewalt… $99 per tool, no coupons can be applied. Milwaukee has had their brushed drill and impact combo for as low as $130 multiple times in 2017. Don’t see a deal here unless they release a combo pack for $100.

JPL
Guest
JPL

Ive been excited to see a Harbor Freight Li-Ion tool line, but at this price point Im not willing to give them a try. Considering a RIDGID drill or impact with battery and charger is $99 with lifetime free service, parts, and batteries – RIDGID is a much better value. They have a drill and impact set with 2 batteries for $149. I expected HF’s prices to be lower on these. Also, like most of their pro line tools, the 20% coupons do not work on Hercules stuff either. Makita is my go to power tool brand, but but Id… Read more »

Russell
Guest
Russell

Have you ever tried to use Rigids “Lifetime service agreement” It’s next to impossible.
I’m not saying HF warranty is any better, but I never make purchases based on warranties, because in my experience, there rarely honored.

Rob Centros
Guest
Rob Centros

They also have the new (cheaper) Bauer line of lithium drills. Currently the price is $60 for the 20 volt model ($65 for the 20 volt with hammer drill model). These come with a 1.5 amp hour batteries instead of 2.5 (and the 3.0 upgrade costs $70?). They also don’t have the hard case (do come with a bag). But they do have steel chucks (though not Jacobs, like the Hercules drills).

Warped
Guest
Warped

“For me that’s the biggest selling point of the system are the super cheap spare batteries, that and you can always use the never ending supply of 20% off coupons to drop the prices even lower.”

Doubt you can use the coupon as they specifically state not for Hercules brand items. Just FYI

Rob Centros
Guest
Rob Centros

My son and daughter work at Harbor Freight. I specifically asked them if coupons applied, they said no.

Walter
Guest
Walter

Looks more like my Mikita 18volt but who knows they may all be built by ronco as seen on tv in different colors.
We use dewalt at work and have not replaced any in two years. My Mikita is going on six years and I still use that daily other battery replacements the things a work horse.
If the warranty is right and they hold up may be worth a try.
Let’s see how the users review them in 6 months.

Josh
Guest
Josh

I picked up an impact and a drill yesterday from Hft, they work really good! Something to point out about these, is the 2.5 ah battery are made with the Samsung cell that are used in Dewalt. So the battery quality is as good as you can get in the lithium cells. The charger is a 4.0 ah, my Dewalt Is 2.0. So the price is very similar except Hercules comes with a larger battery capacity and a faster charge rate.

Javier
Guest

Nice!
How would you compare their fit and feel and performance to your DeWalts?

Tom
Guest
Tom

Don’t bother trying to use a Hercules battery into a DeWalt tool or a Dewalt charger. It won’t fit. I tried it. There is a plastic stop in the left side channel of the Hecules battery that keeps the battery from sliding into a DeWalt tool. Also, there is a 1/4″ slot on the front of a DeWalt battery that allows it to slide into a DeWalt charger that the Hercules battery does not have. I modified the Hercules battery by removing the plastic stop and milling the 1/4″ slot in the front of the battery (I work with model… Read more »

Javier
Guest

Tom
there’s a video on YouTube that explains why, it’s because there’s a “confirmation chip” that makes them incompatible

vlpronj
Guest
vlpronj

Im curious- would the Dewalt batteries power a Hercules tool? Im well invested into the Dewalt 20v line, but if HF comes out w/ other affordable tools, it could be nice to pick some up.

scubasteve
Guest
scubasteve

I have a “Worx” 20v cordless outdoor tool, the battery looks identical to the Hercules.is it possible they are interchangeable?

Larry
Guest
Larry

I could swear these are either Milwaukee or Makita cordless power tools. Since most of the brand names have gone brushless, these might be the old carbon brush tools leftover from the brand names………..Good buys nonetheless.

dave
Guest
dave

No, no, and no. it’s a sorry day when people get excited about a generic ripping off a major brand’s design, or at least near enough that comparisons are being made, then try to make the leap that looks similar means identical. The only sure thing is they both contain plastic, metal, and batteries.

gil
Guest
gil

Let me explain how a good business does. Let’s say you have a good TV brand top of the line, well known for its quality for years. All the sudden few cheap brands start competing. What would you do if you cannot sell cheaper and don’t want to low your TV quality? Here is the answer: Make a similar TV with a different name with low quality to compete with all others. You must not low your good product in order to compete, just make another with lower quality to sell cheaper.

Floatinator
Guest
Floatinator

Even the batteries and chargers look very much like Dewalt’s. The batteries share the same shape and form factor as the Dewalt 20V slide pack batteries
Is this your way of saying these batteries will work on DeWalt 20v tools?