Hitachi 18V Cordless Drill Review

A number of features of the Hitachi DS18DBFL2 cordless drill driver will be examined in this study to determine whether or not it is the finest cordless drill driver on the market today.

The excellent lifetime guarantee offered by this Hitachi cordless power tool is perhaps its most well-known feature. This power tool is fitted with a brushless motor for increased efficiency. The power of brushless motors is increased since there are no brushes to generate friction and heat, which would otherwise result in a loss of power. A brushless motor also implies that the tool will be able to operate for a longer period of time between charges. This Hitachi drill is designed with an ergonomic tool body and handle, resulting in a more balanced power tool in general.

This package contains two Lithium-ion slide batteries, a charger, and a Phillips bit with a number two hex head. All of these tools, including the drill, fit nicely into the carrying bag that comes with them.

HITACHI 18V Cordless & BRUSHLESS DRILL DRIVER DS18DBFL2 REVIEW

One of the most fascinating aspects of my job is seeing how manufacturers deal with new technologies in power tools, which is something I like doing. As the cycle goes ahead, common tools are always being upgraded, and yesterday’s premium engineering forms the basis for tomorrow’s value models. The new Hitachi 18V Brushless Drill Driver is a great example of this. The name of the model DS18DBFL2 indicates that it features a brushless motor. But is it pushing the boundaries of the newest technology, bringing in a value-driven approach, or falling somewhere in between?

In-Depth Features

  • There are 22 different torque settings available with this clutch.
  • There is an optical trigger switch that is wear resistant, allowing for variable speed actuation that is more precise, as well as a variable speed actuator.
  • The ratcheting 1/2′′ all metal keyless chuck secures bits in position for fast and secure bit changes, and it is easy to use.
  • The Lithium-Ion slide batteries are smaller and lighter in weight, and they last for a longer period of time between charges.
  • Metal belt hook that is integrated into the design
  • The drill produces 620 in/lbs of torque and turns at 1800 rpm. It features an integrated LED light to illuminate dull or dark workplaces.
  • When the battery is connected, the drill weighs 3.5 pounds in total.
  • Battery guarantee is for two years.
  • Warranty for battery chargers is one year.

KEY FEATURES

All-Metal Chuck: 

The use of an all-metal chuck gives this drill/driver an advantage over less expensive versions in terms of durability. The chuck holds the pieces in place tightly, and I had no problems with them sliding off my fingers.

Optical Trigger: 

If you feather the variable speed trigger to the desired speed and power, according to Hitachi, their optical design will offer you greater control over the speed and power. The trigger switch and brushless motor are very responsive, in contrast to some of my other drills, which have a small delay in response time. In comparison to other drills I’ve used, the trigger and rocker switch have a little more wiggle to them, which is comparable to what Kenny points out in his evaluation of the equivalent impact driver.

Brushless Motor: 

The Hitachi DS18DBFL2 takes use of the more efficient and cooler operating characteristics of a brushless motor to provide a more reliable product.

HITACHI 18V Cordless DRILL DRIVER SPECIFICATIONS

  • Item Numbers
    • Bare: DS18DBFL2P4
    • Kitted:  DS18DBFL2 & DS18DBFL2S
  • Voltage: 18
  • Torque: 620 inch-pounds
  • Max No Load Speed: 1,800 RPM
  • Clutch Settings: 22 + 1
  • Chuck Type: 1/2-inch Keyless Ratcheting Metal
  • Brushless Motor
  • Capacity: Wood 2 inches
  • Capacity: Steel 1/2 inches
  • LED Light On-Tool
  • Battery Charge Indicator On-Tool
  • Metal Belt Hook
  • Tool Length: 6-29/32-inches
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds (with battery)
  • Tool Body Warranty:  Lifetime
  • Battery Warranty: 2 Years
  • Charger Warranty: 1 Year

WHERE IT ALL FITS

Combined with the impact driver it pairs with to form a 2-tool kit, the Hitachi DS18DBFL2 ushers in a new category for Hitachi: small brushless. It strikes a compromise between a small size and an entry-level price while still providing a brushless motor. In addition, it serves as a gateway to Hitachi’s 18V battery architecture as well as its Affordable Battery Program. As a result, don’t expect it to function at the same level as heavy-duty versions or to offer as many features as they do.

Maintenance

The fact that this drill requires little to no maintenance is a big part of its appeal. Many features distinguish the brushless motor from other types of motors, including the fact that it requires little to no maintenance. It is best not to use the drill on materials that are too difficult to drill. When not in use or when keeping the drill in its case, thoroughly clean the housing of all dust and debris.

Battery Life

The battery has a longer life span than NiCAD batteries and weighs much less. The battery’s ampere-hours capacity is 1.5. It takes much longer to charge a battery than it does to drain a battery while using the device. Because the batteries seem to be uneven, the battery’s real life span fluctuates significantly. It may even differ between the two batteries that are included in the package, depending on the situation. The batteries are covered by a two-year guarantee, while the battery charger is covered by a one-year warranty.

PERFORMANCE

620 inch-pounds of torque are packed into the Hitachi’s 6.9-inch length, making it a decent performer. As a point of reference, the Milwaukee M18 Compact Brushless Drill (2701) has a maximum torque of 500 inch-pounds. Milwaukee’s supercharged Fuel version, on the other hand, achieves 1,200 inch-pounds while being much larger and heavier. The conventional two-speed transmission is available, with maximum no-load RPMs of 400 (low) and 1,800 (high) (high). These figures are in line with what we would anticipate for a small drill of this size.

Among other things, I worked on a big plantation blind installation job at one of our sites, in addition to some basic drilling and driving. Performing this kind of work is a great method to discover the advantages and disadvantages of the Hitachi 18V Brushless Drill Driver. A significant portion of this work necessitated my presence on a ladder with my arms raised over my shoulders. If there is an imbalance in the instrument, or if it seems impractically heavy, this kind of job will rapidly reveal it!

For the most part, both the Hitachi’s balance and its weight are well-suited to the task at hand. I didn’t experience any tiredness, which was important since fatigue increases the likelihood of making mistakes.

The belt hook is a particularly useful feature in this scenario since the drill can be worn on my belt, freeing up my hands so that I can securely ascend the ladder.

Additional Field Notes

One of the areas where Hitachi is currently lagging behind is in the field of battery indication technology. They aren’t visible on the power pack itself (at least not yet), and the 2-LED on-tool indication isn’t very useful. You can only determine whether you have a charge that is more than or less than 50%. The indicator on my model, on the other hand, does not illuminate at all. I checked in with the PTR office, which has a similar model (seen below), and they verified that their indication was in excellent working order as well. The event seems to be a unique occurrence.

The work light isn’t very beneficial. It has diffused so much by the time it reaches the chuck that it illuminates several inches below the chuck, rather than the fastener itself, when it gets there. In the future, I’d like to see Hitachi create an LED system that surrounds the chuck rather than underneath it.

In the case of a bind-up, this model does not have any torque prevention features built in. It’s not the kind of computer you’d expect to see at this price range or with this amount of power, however.

Who Can Use This Hitachi Cordless Drill?

Anyone with any degree of expertise may benefit from using this tool. While it may be utilized at the contractor level, it is best suited for use at a moderate level of activity. Those who use this tool more often than is necessary for moderate usage frequently express dissatisfaction with how fast the battery drains. It has a lot of torque for softer metals and concrete, but it performs best on plastics, wood, and aluminum, among other materials. Because of its long life, it is an excellent tool to have in a beginner’s tool belt while yet having the capability of a contractor’s drill.

ERGONOMICS

As with previous Hitachi products, the small 3.0 amp-hour battery has shown to be reliable, and we anticipate the same performance from the Hitachi 18V Brushless Drill Driver as well. The low-profile design of this battery also contributes to the tool’s overall weight of 3.5 pounds, which includes the battery.

The grip and overmold design are the same as what we see across the board from Hitachi, so it fits naturally into the natural contour of your hand without feeling awkward.

Pros

  • Lightweight cordless drill weighing in at 3.5 pounds
  • Ergonomic handle provides good tool balance
  • LED light is powerful and useful
  • Lots of torque to make it through hard surfaces like concrete
  • Multiple clutch settings

Cons

  • The batteries are expensive to replace
  • The on board fuel gauge is difficult to read to let you know when the battery is getting low.

Review of the Hitachi DS18DSAL 18-Volt Drill & Driver 

The Hitachi DS18DSAL is a lightweight 18-volt portable drill that weighs a little more than three pounds and has a cordless design. It’s small and comfortable to grip, and it can be used for extended periods of time without tiring out your hand, arm, or wrist muscles. Even in its compact form, the DS18DSAL packs a punch in terms of performance. It has the same amount of power as many bigger drills, and its 460 inches per pound of torque allows it to do even the most difficult tasks with relative ease.

There are many extras.

There are a slew of additional features included with this Hitachi drill that you won’t find other drills of a comparable price and size. Because there are 22 driving stages, you may simply choose the exact torque you need for the task by turning the dial to a certain position on the dial. It also includes an LED work light, which is a great addition for plumbers, electricians, builders and anybody else who may find themselves working in a dimly lit environment.

Strengths

Compact and Light

The fact that the 18-volt DS18DSAL is so tiny and light in comparison to the amount of power it really possesses is perhaps its most appealing feature. A lot of lesser exercises are just unable to compete with this one. It is an excellent choice if you will be doing a lot of overhead drilling because of the simple to grasp handle and light weight construction. Women will like this model since it provides a lot of power in a smaller, more manageable package.

Work Light and Drill Light

The LED work light that comes along with this drill is a very useful addition. It is well-designed, performs well, and emits a significant amount of light. The attic, crawlspace, or dark garage are all good places to work with this light. It is also equipped with a built-in light, which is very useful for plumbers who operate under cupboards or for anybody else who has to work in a dark environment where the full work light cannot be accommodated. In any case, the lights on this drill are a significant convenience.

Belt Loop and Case

In addition to the drill, a convenient travel bag is included, which has extra space for hardware or other accessories. The drill is equipped with a built-in belt loop clasp that is both well-designed and dependable. When you use it, you won’t have to be concerned about it falling off your ladder since it will hold your drill safely in place.

Weaknesses

Charge and Battery Issues

This drill is not the most effective when it comes to maintaining a charge. While it charges very quickly, which is a positive, it also loses its charge much more quickly than some other models on the market. Also, the indication light on the charger base isn’t as simple to see as it might be, so you have to go right up to the base in order to determine whether or not your drill is ready to be used. Another point of worry is that the work light does not have a low battery indicator, which means that you may be left in the dark if the battery runs out of power.

No Spare Bit Holder

It’s a shame that this drill doesn’t come with a spare bit holder, which would allow for faster bit changes. Although it is great that it comes with a high-quality travel bag, you will need to provide your own holder for the various parts.

Overall Review

The advantages of this device much exceed the disadvantages. While you may miss having a bit organizer for the additional bits and you may not like how fast it loses its charge, you can work past these little inconveniences and be left with a high-quality drill that can be used for virtually any job. The torque produced by the Hitachi DS18DSAL is remarkable, and its compact design makes it simple to handle and operate for long periods of time. Overall, this is an excellent option for a general-purpose drill that can be used on a daily basis.

Hitachi 18V Vs. Dewalt 18V Cordless Drill

It’s never simple to locate the ideal small drill, and when you’re up against two of the most well-known brands in the power tool industry: Hitachi and Dewalt, you’d be surprised at how difficult it can be.

Both companies have well-known brands, but Hitachi is more connected with televisions and other home electronics, while Dewalt is already well-known as a producer of power tools.

Let’s take a look at two of the finest drill driver kits available right now and see which one we think is the best choice for you.

Hitachi DS18DGL 18-Volt Cordless Drill Driver Kit

For most household tasks, the Hitachi DS18DGL drill offers all of the speed, torque, and settings you’ll need in one package. It is small and lightweight, measuring just 7.7 inches in length and weighing about 3.7 pounds. Simply stated, it can operate in areas where larger drills are unable to. It also enables you to operate with reduced operator fatigue, which is advantageous.

Most drilling and driving tasks around the house may be completed with its 400 in. lbs. of maximum torque. Using the trigger, you may select between two different speeds of rotation: up to 450 RPM or 1,250 RPM by increasing the pressure on the trigger. Its 22 clutches may offer you with a total of 22 settings, which you can adjust according to your requirements and applications. Because it provides accuracy and control, it removes the need for trial and error with ease.

Also thin and ergonomically constructed, the grip maintains its balance and feels good in the palm of your hand. Because of the built-in LED lights, you can operate in low-light conditions. With a half-inch keyless chuck, bit replacement is simple and may even be accomplished with one hand.

The drill is equipped with Reactive Force Control, which is a Hitachi-developed proprietary technology. Whenever the drill becomes jammed or binded, the likelihood of an injury is reduced. The drill is equipped with built-in sensors that detect reactive forces and immediately shut down the motor when they are detected. This is definitely an excellent safety element that caught my notice.

Dewalt DC970K-2 Compact Drill Driver Kit

A total of almost 3,000 favorable reviews were left for the Dewalt DC970K-2 drill driver kit on Amazon alone. We couldn’t resist taking a deeper look since it is so well-liked. With this drill, you can do even the most simple tasks around the house and even heavy-duty DIY projects; in fact, several experts swear by this tool.

It is an entry-level drill in Dewalt’s 18V cordless drill series, but it features a strong engine that can handle a wide range of materials, including wood, plastic, and metal, as well as drywall and other masonry. It is very flexible, thanks to its two-speed settings, which allow you to select between 450 and 1,500 RPM. Because of the 18V Nickel-Cadmium battery (commonly known as NiCad) that it utilizes, the motor is capable of delivering an astounding 380 watts of power (UWO).

The 12-inch single-sleeve ratcheting chuck is made entirely of plastic, yet it is strong and robust enough to endure the majority of everyday use. It takes the majority of drill bits and is keyless, so you won’t have to worry about misplacing a chuck while using it. I really enjoy how the drill begins gently before gradually becoming quicker as it spins. You no longer have to be concerned about the driver spinning out of control and harming the wood you are working with.

The drill is lightweight, weighing just 5.2 pounds and measuring 9 inches in length, making it one of the most portable drills in its class. Working under cabinets, in closets, and in bathrooms is a breeze with this tool.

Hitachi 18V Vs. Dewalt 18V Final Verdict

The Hitachi DS18DGL drill is smaller and lighter than the Dewalt DC970K-2 drill, and it has less power and speed as well. One double-sided Phillips bit, a carrying bag, and two lithium-ion batteries are included in this package. A 35-minute recharge is also included in this kit.

The Dewalt DC970K-2 package includes two NiCad batteries, as well as a one-hour charger for the batteries. The Hitachi DS18DGL kit and the Dewalt DC970K-2 kit are almost identical in terms of specifications and pricing, making it even more difficult to determine which is superior. Both vehicles feature long-lasting batteries, dependable performance, and a lot of pulling power.

Hitachi DS18DBFL2 vs. Makita XFD12R

There is practically little difference in pricing between the two of these versions. They are also almost identical in terms of size and weight, with the Makita being a hair lighter and a fraction of an inch shorter. Both are high-performance compact cordless drill drivers with a small footprint. The main variations seem to be in the amount of power and the number of batteries. The Makita 18v cordless drill produces 530 in/lb of torque, while the Hitachi drill produces 620 in/lb of torque. While the Makita produces more revolutions per minute, the loss of torque while working with tougher materials is significant. The Makita’s battery has gotten better evaluations than the others. Consumers are less likely to complain about a battery that is rapidly depleted. Makita users have also reported that the batteries charge considerably more quickly than the Hitachi counterparts. The warranties offered by both manufacturers are very different. The Hitachi comes with a lifetime tool guarantee, as well as a two-year warranty on the batteries and a one-year warranty on the charger. The Makita tool is covered by a three-year guarantee, which covers both the tool and the batteries. The Makita charger does not come with any kind of guarantee. The Hitachi package comes with a Phillips bit, while the Makita kit does not contain any bits at all.

FAQ’s

Q:In your listing, you state that the tool weighs 3.5 pounds. Is that weight for the tool alone or for the tool with the batteries attached?

In this case, the stated weight is the entire weight of the drill, including the battery.

Q: Does this drill have a setting for going backwards?

Ans: The drill includes many different speed settings in addition to a reverse function.

Q: Is this drill appropriate for use at the level of a contractor?

A: This drill is capable of handling contractor-level use, but be sure you stock up on extra batteries since they will lose their charge faster than they can be recharged.

Q: Is the lifetime guarantee valid for both the batteries and the charger, or just for the tool itself?

Ans: The lifetime limited warranty is only valid for the drill itself.

Final Thoughts

The Hitachi cordless driver drill is a powerful instrument, but it is tough to crown it as the greatest cordless drill because of its low weight and small size. It is a strong drill with a lot of torque, which allows it to drive through materials considerably more forcefully than the manufacturer says. However, when it comes to battery performance, this model falls short of the degree of excellence required to be referred to as the finest cordless drill on the market. The battery drains very quickly, which may be attributed to the increased torque. This is not as significant a problem as the battery’s life expectancy. These batteries will need to be replaced soon after the warranty period has expired. Because of the inconsistency of the batteries, some will last for two years while others will survive for less than that period of time. When it comes time to replace the battery, plan on spending more money than you would on most other battery types.

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