Hitachi DS18DSAL Review – Take A Look At the 18-Volt 1/2-Inch Drill/Driver in More Detail

Hitachi DS18DSAL 18-Volt 1/2-Inch Drill/Driver

When you think of power tools, Hitachi may not be the first name that comes to mind. But the fact is Hitachi is known to be among the leaders in producing quality cordless tools for DIY workers and professionals. One of these tools is the Hitachi DS18DSAL which is a 1/2-Inch battery operated drill/driver. In this article, we will look at some of the features that come with the product.

Powered by an 18-volt lithium-ion battery, this drill is suitable for serious do-it-yourselfers. This drill has 460 inch pounds of torque, which is standard for units in the 18 volt class. Top-end 18V cordless drills has the power to deliver 650 inch pounds of torque, 40% more than the average. However, although it is not the most powerful drill on the market, many users have been surprised by the twisting force which this light drill delivers.

Two 1.5 Ah lithium ion slide batteries are included in the box so you are always ready to go. A 120V charger is also included. People have been impressed with how fast the batteries charge. The manual says that the battery charges in 40 minutes at a temperature of 20 degrees C. But some have reported that the battery charges in less than half an hour. It is recommended to recharge the batteries before they become completely exhausted.

Basically, Li-Ion batteries provide steady power or the duration of every charge. Ni-Cad and Nimh are good at certain points. But lithium-ion is the most promising technology. Li-ion rechargeable batteries can store a good amount of energy in a relatively small volume. They also can handle up to 3 times more charge cycles. This translates to money saved for the operator. Furthermore, Ni-Cad and Nimh batteries have long been known to exhibit memory effects.

This lithium ion powered drill has two speed settings. The lower setting (0-350 RPM) is
used for drilling large holes or driving large screws. When dealing with large numbers of small screws or when drilling small holes, the high speed setting (0-1500 RPM) will help get the job done. There is a shift know that allows you to change the rotational speed. The Hitachi DS18DSAL is a variable speed cordless drill. You can control the rotational speed by varying the pressure you apply on the trigger.

This unit can be used either as a drill or as a screwdriver. It comes with a push button that is designed to change the rotational direction. The driver bit can rotate either clockwise or counterclockwise. The tightening torque of this drill driver can also be adjusted. There are 22 clutch selections to help you when you are using the unit as a screw driver. The torque settings reduce slippage and damage to screw head or bit.

The chuck size is 1/2″ that is standard on most 18V power drills. This allows it to accept a wide variety of drill bits. Basically, 1/2″ drills are more for the contractor. The drilling capacity of this unit is 1-3/4″ (45 mm) in soft wood (thickness 18 mm) and 1/2″ (13 mm) in metal (thickness 1.6 mm). For quick and simple bit replacements, it features a keyless chuck with automatic spindle-lock mechanism. The chuck can be tightened or loosened by hand. The metal ratcheting chuck provides maximum bit retention.

At 7.7″ in length, this hand-held power tool offers a compact design. Weighing only 3.3 lbs, it is an ideal tool for anyone seeking a lightweight 18V cordless drill driver. Many 18V models out there weigh about 5 lbs. Lighter weight reduces fatigue. When dealing with overhead drilling tasks, you will want a powerful yet light-weight machine.

As you know, the Hitachi DS18DSAL was rated #1 “Best Buy” in general use drill/drivers by a leading consumer publication in the December 2012 issue. The motor employs carbon brushes which are consumable parts. But you can access the motor brushes externally. The external brush cap allows easy maintenance.

The built in LED work light is another plus. This improves workability in dim environments. it keeps on lighting while the trigger switch is being pulled. The LED light is not a gimmick. Based on the customer feedback, it has proven to be a welcome addition. This compact versatile cordless drill gun is also equipped with a metal belt hook. This keeps the tool conveniently in reach while working.

In addition to two 1.5 Ah lithium ion slide batteries and a quick charger, the battery-operated drill driver kit also comes with a flashlight, dual-tipped Phillips driver bit and a carrying case. While the lithium ion flashlight is not really necessary for most applications, it is still a nice addition. The stand alone flash light runs on the same 18-volt slide batteries as the drill.

The DS18DSAL 18V Lithium Ion Compact Pro Driver Drill might not be the greatest cordless drill available today. But if you are looking for an economical cordless system that delivers good performance at a very affordable price, then based on user feedback this tool is worth considering. It has received many very positive feedback from its customers at Amazon.com. The power drill currently has a strong 4.5/5 star rating.

It may be a bit pricey for people who are not an everyday handyman. It does not come with drill bits. Further, there is no on-board bit holder. Another minor con is there is no indicator of remaining battery life. Others have found that the slide type battery is not compatible with most of Hitachi cordless tools. Finally, some negative feedback has also been voiced in regard to the carrying case. Those who have complained about this extra have found the case is kind of oversized for the items included.

Despite the criticisms that have been leveled at the Li-ion power drill, most of the reviewers have been satisfied with their purchase. They have found that it does a good job drilling holes and driving in screws. While it is not powerful enough for any super heavy work, it works great for what it is designed. Positive comments have also been made in regard to the size and weight of the drill. It has good power to weight ratio. According to many reviewers, the unit fits nicely in hand. It is well-balanced. The battery life is also reasonable. It seem to last fairly long.

The lifetime warranty for the unit and 2-year warrany on the lithium ion batteries make it a good choice for anyone looking for a medium-duty cordless drill. The Hitachi DS18DSAL drill/driver kit is definitely not an exemption to some flaws. But if you are in the market for a budget 18V battery-operated drill for small to medium size projects, it deserves serious consideration.


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