The Hitachi DS18DSAL is a solid cordless drill. It reaches a high maximum speed of 1,800 RPMs and also has a lot of turning force. This drill provides all the functionality you need for most jobs. The overall test results for this drill were mixed, however, when it came to power and the drill’s weight distribution. This drill has some nice convenience features and, for a drill in this price point, has a lot going for it.
This cordless power drill combines speed with power. It can reach 1,800 RPM and produces up to 460 inch-pounds of turning force. This combination makes the Hitachi DS18DSAL rather versatile as both a drill and a screwdriver. It also has 22 clutch settings to choose from, so you don’t strip screws, snap off fastener heads or damage the material you’re working on by using too much torque.
The overall test results for this drill were mixed. Testers were divided down the middle when it came to power. About half of the testers felt the power was adequate if not good, while the other half felt it was somewhat lacking in power. Some felt the weight distribution was a bit off as well, but overall the testers felt it handled well and was comfortable for the most part. It is one of the lighter drills at 3.3 pounds, which still gives it plenty of heft.
This drill uses a half-inch keyless chuck, which means you can securely fasten bits by hand, and you don't have to worry about losing or forgetting the chuck key – misplaced chuck keys are frustrating when you’re on the top of a ladder and need to switch bits. The drill has an LED light that illuminates the workspace in front of you, which is a great safety feature. It has on-tool bit storage, which is a nice convenience that allows you to quickly switch between bits while you are working, giving you easy access to the bits you use most often. This is especially nice given that there is no belt loop to keep your bits and attachments on you while you’re working.
The Hitachi DS18DSAL uses 18-volt lithium-ion batteries, which are lightweight, long-lived and powerful. This drill comes with two batteries, so you can switch them out if one runs out of juice in the middle of a project. If both batteries need charging, you only have to wait 40 minutes for them to fill up. Unfortunately, the drill doesn’t include a battery meter or charge indicator to show you the battery’s charge level. Our tests showed the batteries stay charged for about 36 minutes, which is slightly below average. This isn’t bad though, considering it takes roughly the same amount of time to charge them up. We tested battery life by taping the trigger of each cordless drill into the on position and timing them until they ran out of juice. The longest lasting battery we saw came with the Milwaukee 2703-22.
Hitachi has the best tool warranty of the manufacturers we reviewed. Its lifetime lithium-ion tool warranty protects against defects in material and workmanship from the purchase date. Hitachi also offers a two-year warranty on the batteries. However, both warranties are void if you try to repair or alter the tool yourself, if an issue is the result of normal wear and tear, or if a defect appears from tool abuse.
If you have any questions, you can contact Hitachi via email but not over the phone. You can also check out the online user manual if you misplace the physical copy included with the drill. The company's website does not currently have a FAQs section, but it states that one is coming soon.
The Hitachi DS18DSAL, while not a perfect drill, has a lot going for it. It can reach up to 1,800 RPM combined with 460 inch-pounds of turning force, to create a generally powerful tool. Our testers were divided on how powerful it was, but at least half felt it had more than enough power. With two speed settings and 22 clutch settings, this Hitachi drill is rather versatile. It has the best warranty of any cordless drill in our reviews. Overall, the Hitachi DS18DSAL is a solid drill you can use for a variety of projects around the house.