DeWalt DCN690 Cordless Framing Nailer – First Look

DeWalt DCN690

DeWalt DCN690 20 Volt Max Cordless Framing Nailer – Tool Review

Editor’s Note: We received a pre-production unit of the DeWalt DCN690 for review purposes. Specs could differ between this tool and the actual production units.)

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that I’ve always been a Paslode guy when it comes to cordless nailers. In that sense, I was a bit tough on the DeWalt DCN690 20 Volt Max Cordless Framing Nailer when it came to evaluate its strengths and weaknesses. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the DeWalt’s features, while I felt others could use some refinement. Overall, though, I think DeWalt has a winner on their hands with this tool.

First Impressions:

The blow-molded box contained the DeWalt DCN690, a 20 Volt Max battery, a charger, and a set of written instructions.

DeWalt DCN690

The pre-production model we received looked like this. It’s possible that the final units could differ slightly.

Weighing in at just over 9 pounds, the DCN690 is a couple of lbs heavier than the Paslode (7′ 1.2″), but the added weight isn’t horrible.

The nailer felt slightly side-heavy, wanting to list slightly to the left. I attributed this to the offset-magazine design of the unit – it doesn’t affect performance, but it was noticeable, in any event.

DeWalt DCN690

The offset magazine made the nailer feel slightly unbalanced.

DeWalt DCN690 Features

  • Weight – 9′ 1.8″
  • Nail length – Clipped Head 2″ – 3.5″
  • Shank diameters – .113″ – .131″
  • Stick angles – 30 – 34 degrees
  • Capacity – up to 55 nails

DeWalt DCN690 Testing

We tested the DeWalt DCN690 on a remodeling job in a media room. It performed like a champ, overall. As we expected, there is a slight delay between trigger-depression and firing of the nail. This is common with battery-powered nailers in my experience. Most (if not all) share this attribute. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the nailer’s performance in bump-fire mode. I cover that more in the video review below.

DeWalt DCN690

In our testing, the nailer performed better in bump-fire mode.

In all, the DeWalt DCN690 was a winner in my eyes, with just a couple of things I think could use improvement. The good news is that those items on the “needs improvement” list do not really affect performance – they’re more in the “convenience” category – the rafter hook and the jam-clearing process, to be specific.

The nailer jammed only once during our testing, and as much as we tried to get it to repeat the problem, we couldn’t. That’s pretty much the same thing that happens when an appliance goes on the fritz and you call the repairman – it never acts up in their presence. Score one for Murphy.

DeWalt DCN690

A small warning light lets you know if there’s a jam or a battery issue that needs attention.

We thought the stall lever was a nice touch. If the nailer’s plunger ever gets stuck on the down position, this lever will usually remedy the situation – very convenient.

DeWalt DCN690

The stall lever is a convenient feature on the DCN690.

The nailer operates on DeWalt’s 20 volt MAX system, so if you already have tools in this line, you’re good to go on the power source.

DeWalt DCN690

20 Volt Max Fuel Gauge.

To see the nailer in action and get the rest of our initial feedback, take a look at our video review. We welcome your comments and feedback, as well.

DeWalt DCN690 20 Volt Max Cordless Framing Nailer – Video


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I’d also like to thank Clint DeBoer and for making this review possible.

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CLICK HERE to read my review in Pro Tool Reviews Magazine.

For more information: DeWalt Site