Looks like a toy - but this is a *serious tool*, November
Reviewer: Jodie Reynolds
Stylish and Functional? Not exactly what one might expect
for a cordless driver/drill.
Hitachi managed to pull it off with this beast.
(For the impatient types:
If you're contemplating an 18v rather than a 24v, 36v or
48v cordless, and still want big-mam-a-ja-ma performance -
go buy this one. There's nothing here to disappoint you
and everything to make your job easier.)
I bought this drill after my DeWalt went missing on the
day of a huge camera install job in a massive production
I pulled it out of the case (I bought the kit with two
batteries, the drop charger, and the nice case), dropped a
battery on the charger and came back 20mins later to see
(one is lead to believe) a full charge.
Batteries don't charge out-of-the-box fully. You really
need to condition them, but being Ni-MH memory isn't as
much of a concern, so I put the second battery on the
charger and went to work.
I used it off-and-on for eleven straight hours, often
fourty feet in the air in a forklift cage, or twenty feet
up a ladder.
Never once drilling into metal studs, wood railings, or
even I-Beams did this drill falter. It still feels a day
later like the original battery has a full charge.
Did I mention this thing is a BEAST? Don't let "pretty" or
"cute" fool you. I'm fairly tall for a woman and do jobs
like this frequently. Hefting this monster will get to
you. But if you need torque (550 inch-pound current
best-in-class)and long run-times, it can't be beaten by
anything I've touched.
This drill crushes my DeWalt like a bug. Ryobi, Milwaukee,
Makita? This thing will torque them into the day after
The Good and the Bad:
Thirty minute charge time for a 3Ah battery. I think
DeWalt (my previous favorite) was really the
standards-setter for fast battery charges, but, hey - you
can tap sheet steel and drill 2" holes in hardwood and
still charge a flat battery before you manage to flatten
the one on the drill.
Belt hook: Integrated belt hook. Plastic, but seems pretty
tough. Personally - I wouldn't trust it. But that might
just be me. I use a canvas universal drill holster on a
wide mesh belt. If you don't want to be pulling up your
jeans constantly, I imagine you'll do the same. The hook
has eight positions (as memory serves) and can be removed
and moved to either side with a screwdriver.
Integrated LED light: Cute feature. Seemed silly until I
was working in a dark corner without room to get my
work-light into the space. It's built into the belt hook
If you angle it up about 60deg. it actually lights up what
you're drilling pretty darned well. It's the first time
I've seen that and I like it.
The downside here is that it doesn't run from the drill
battery but rather a AAAA battery in the hook itself (or
so I read). Good for probably 30hrs. I don't know if I'd
depend upon it without changing it out before every job -
but in a pinch it's nice that it's there. It has an auto
shutoff after 15mins.
The Chuck: Forget those plastic tightening rings. This
baby is _all metal_ and probably weighs more than an
entire 18v Black and Decker _kit_, battery and all, by
itself. It's one serious chunk of metal. It's fast on and
off, but you can release it slowly enough that I didn't
drop any bits with constant changing from drill bit to
driver and back. 1/2", so it will hold some serious tools.
Two speed shift: Really useful, fairly well positioned.
You can get it with your thumb one handed if you're
22+ position clutch: Really tight on a new drill. I
imagine it will loosen up some. There is a definite
difference in the break points even from 1-3 and 4-6. It
kinda sums up this drill: Functional. ** See note for
Side handle: Removable, and pretty sturdy. Sturdy enough
for anything this drill would probably handle. I tend not
to use them anyway.
Bit holder: I'm going to put this in the "negative"
column. It's located right above the battery - not a bad
place - but it's poorly implemented. Very "consumer" in
that you can't put extensions or even drill bits in it.
It's made to hold regular driver bits. HoHumm. Ryobi has a
magnetic plate there so you can hold screws. Pretty cool.
The space over the bit holder is flat on the Hitachi, so I
put magnetic tape across it to duplicate the feature.
Weight: You know I have to put it in the negative column,
but I feel bad about doing it. It's a real tool with a
real battery and with real features. It's going to be
heavy. But it's.. heavy. The specs say "5.5lbs" but I'd
want to put it on a scale and see if that's with or
without the battery. I have a hard time believing it.
After eleven hours, I wouldn't debate it weighing 5500
Maintenance: I haven't had to do it yet, obviously, but
the brushes are externally accessible. I think that's
pretty standard, but put it back into the plus column.
Appearance: Look - I like it, ok? I wouldn't buy a drill
based on how it looks, but it's all cute and space-age-ie
and such. It puts a smile on my face. I give it the
proverbial "thumbs-up". Some might disagree and argue that
it doesn't look serious enough. Fine. Imagine how much
more impressive it will be when it actually IS "serious
Overall: if I haven't already left this impression, you
can see why it gets 5 stars from me. There's really
nothing wrong with it. And the list of "right with it"
goes on for pages and pages, just like me.
** Spec'd break-points on the clutch:
Drill Highspeed: 124"-lb
Drill Lowspeed: 510"-lb (so where do they get 550 in-lb
from? :-) )
Best Cordless I have used yet..., February 7, 2005
Reviewer: Michael Casteel
and I have tried them all. Will drive a semi-dull 3/4"
auger bit thru three stacked 2x4's...on high setting, yet
gives a nice feel for driving screws. The batteries drain
pretty quickly, but that is the price you pay for all that
torque. I recommend getting the kit with the circular saw
and recip saw, I did and they are A+ too.
Hitachi DS18DMR 18-Volt Cordless Driver Kit, March 13,
Reviewer: Richard A. Evans (Pittsburgh, PA United States)
- See all my reviews
This is the top of the line drill. With high torque motor
and NiMH battery this will handle most jobs a corded drill
Hitachi DS18DMR 18-Volt Cordless Driver Kit, February 11,
Reviewer: Mark Minn
I work on a metal roofing crew, and most of my day at work
is spent either with a cordless drill in my hand, or at my
side. I don't personally own one of these Hitachi drills,
but several of my coworkers do, so I've been able to
observe the drills' performance.
I'm a big Milwaukee fan, and have been using their 18 volt
drills for several years. So, to compare the Hitachi
drills with Milwaukee... Well, both are balanced well, and
feel good in your hand. The Hitachi grip is somewhat
large, though, and could be uncomfortable in a smaller
hand. The rubberized coating that covers a good part of
the drill is nice, but tends to peel off if you don't baby
The chuck is all metal, and very solid. The speed switch
is on the top of the drill, and rather large, stiff, and
not as easy to move as some other brands. For unknown
reasons, some of the batteries are also stiff, and require
some effort to remove. They're supposedly 3.0 amp hour
batteries, but they don't seem to last any longer than my
Milwaukee 2.4 amp hour batteries.
The drill sports an LED light embedded in the end of a
built in belt clip- the light is a nice idea, probably
useful to someone working in a dark basement or similar
area. It's too easy to accidently switch on, though, I
constantly found myself having to turn it back off. The
clip doesn't seem safe to use if you move around a
lot...whenever I tried using it, I was afraid the drill
would fall, and thus ended up using my regular "Bigg Lugg"
type drill hook.
The charger is better than average, featuring LED lights
that tell you about how much longer the battery needs to
charge...usually no more than 25 minutes, which is nice
compared to Milwaukee's 60 minute charger.
My main concern about these Hitachi drills is the strength
of the drill's plastic casing. I've watched two of these
drills fall off of roofs...the first one fell about 15
feet, and landed on a plywood floor...it broke where the
handle meets the rest of the drill, and is now quite
unusable. The other fell about 12 feet onto the ground,
and cracked in the same place. It survived, but I don't
expect it to last much longer before the crack gets
bigger, and the handle breaks off.
Of course, I don't expect any power tool to withstand such
hard use and abuse without any damage, but I've dropped
Milwaukee drills a number of times without the cases
cracking. One time in particular, I knocked my drill off a
roof onto a concrete floor 12+ feet below...the shaft bent
slightly, but I kept right on using the drill...
Made in China, January 5, 2006
Reviewer: Steven Foster "XPLORUR"
I almost hit the buy button on this drill, I have used
dewalt in the past, its been a decent drill.
Bosch has been the tool I target when replacing my
equipment these days.
I am looking to replace my dewalt with a bosch cordless
I have come close to buying Hitachi products in the past
and almost bought the sds chipping hammer a few months
ago, but decided to go with Bosch.
Glad I took the time to look at the spec sheet on both the
Hitachi and the bosch.
Bottom line, Bosch is made in Switzerland, Hitachi is made
If you have ever tried to use ANYTHING made in China you
know its not worth your time or money.
Going to order the Bosch Now