Power Drills

Hitachi DS18DSAL Cordless Drill Review

Hitachi DS18DSAL review

The Hitachi DS18DSAL 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill/Driver is an impressively powerful, yet lightweight cordless drill/driver. The unit includes two lithium-ion batteries, a charger and a five-position flashlight (which uses the same lithium-ion batteries), all in a hard-shelled plastic case.

The drill is well-balanced, has two stages (0-350 RPM in low and 0-1500 RPM in high), and weighs in at a mere 3.3 pounds. I was impressed with the power from the drill in low gear, as well as how comfortable the grip fit into my hand. This is a tool that one could use all day and not feel fatigued. A very nice tool, indeed. This Hitachi DS18DSAL review focuses on giving you all the crucial information you need to know.


  • Hitachi's design includes externally accessible brushes, making brush changes quick and easy if they ever need replacement.
  • 1/2-inch keyless chuck with a 22-position clutch.
  • Features a handy belt hook and an LED light to illuminate your work surface.
  • Pros

    • Very well-balanced and comfortable to use at less than 3-1/2 pounds
    • Kit includes two batteries, charger and 5-position flashlight, all in a sturdy plastic case
    • 1/2-inch ratcheting chuck holds bits more securely than other cordless drills I've tested
    • Covered by Hitachi's 5-Year Professional Warranty


    • Would love to see Hitachi add an on-board bit holder
    • Has a bit of an annoying high-pitched squeal when in operation, but it's a minor annoyance.

Hitachi DS18DSAL  Review and Guide

My first impression of the Hitachi DS18DSAL Cordless Drill was how comfortable it felt in my hand. The slim, soft-grip handle seemed a bit smaller than some other drills I've tested, which leads me to believe that it might be more comfortable for woodworkers with smaller hands than some other models.

Hitachi DS18DSAL review

The kit includes a pair of 1.5Ah Lithium-Ion batteries and a fast charger, which, at 40-minutes per charge (according to the manual) isn't as fast as competing fast chargers, it's still a lot better than the time to charge a NiCad or NiMH-powered unit.

Hitachi added a few other features to their design which should be beneficial to users. They made their brush and armature assembly accessible from the exterior of the drill, which means that, in the event that the brushes ever need to be replaced, they can be changed without a major overhaul of the drill. I also appreciated the belt clip and LED light, which illuminates the work surface as you're using the drill.

One more quick note: as I was testing this drill, I inadvertently dropped the unit off of my work table and onto the concrete floor. I was a bit concerned with the way that the drill landed, on the top-rear corner of the unit. However, because the external shell of the drill appears to be made with a semi-pliable material, there wasn't as much as a scratch on the unit.

Comparable Models

When looking for a new cordless drill, it makes sense to compare it to other models. For instance, the Hitachi DS18DBL Cordless Driver Drill is a similar model offered by the same manufacturer. If you're looking for a comparable model from a different company, check out the Porter-Cable PCL180CDK-2 18-volt 1/2-inc Cordless Drill/Driver. If you're more interested in versatility, the Rockwell 3rill 3in1 Drill/Driver/Impact Driver might suit your needs.

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