Hitachi DV18DBL Review

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Hitachi’s new DV18DBL hammer drill looks like a true winner. The combination of features and quality design makes this a tool which should provide years of top-notch service.

I have to admit; although I like Hitachi power tools, I’ve always seen them as a “me too” company. Well, they just destroyed that image in my mind with this new hammer drill. This one takes cordless technology to a whole new level, with a hammer drill that should provide years of trouble-free work.

First of all, Hitachi built it with a brushless motor. Anyone who has been around power tools for a while knows that the weak point is always the brushes. A few manufacturers are starting to come out with brushless motors, and Hitachi has now jumped on that bandwagon. But, they’ve done something that nobody else has done; they’ve coupled that brushless motor with an optical trigger. That means that the second most likely failure point can’t fail either. An optical trigger eliminates the problem of a trigger wearing out, as it is totally electronic, with nothing to wear.

The other innovative thing that Hitachi has done is the headlight. This is the first time I’ve seen a power tool with the LED headlight mounted on the base. At first, I thought that was crazy. That thought only lasted until I pulled the trigger. That’s a great location for the light. Forget about shadows from the chuck, it’s got the light right where you need it.

With the long list of features on this hammer drill, I could keep going for a while. Take a look at the list yourself, if that doesn’t impress you, then let Hitachi’s lifetime warranty do so. I mean, how can you go wrong? For the few extra bucks, this one is definitely worth getting over their DV18DL.

Product Features:

  • Brushless motor technology provides greater runtime, increased power and lower maintenance
  • 654 in/lbs of torque, 1,800 RPM and 27,000 BPM of impact power
  • Four-way electronic speed toggle and two-way speed switch allow for 8 different speed/power settings
  • Ratcheting 1/2” keyless all metal chuck with carbide inserts for maximum holding power
  • 22 stage keyless chuck
  • Optical trigger switch is more responsive for variable speed operation and wear resistant
  • Base mounted LED “headlight” doesn’t cast a shadow from the chuck
  • Low battery level indicator
  • Metal belt hook
  • Covered by Hitachi’s lifetime Li-Ion tool warranty
  • Comes with: 2 3.0 Ah batteries and charger


  • Umm, umm, still thinking


  • Having the LED work light mounted on the base is really unique; more importantly, it does a great job there
  • Lots of speed controls, more than anyone else, while that may seem overdone, I’d rather have too much than not enough
  • The ratcheting all metal chuck is a great idea which helps prevent loosening. Putting in carbide inserts just makes sure that it will last longer
  • Lots of attention to detail
  • Can you beat a lifetime warranty?


Wow. The Hitachi DV18DBL is a really great hammer drill. They’re done a lot of innovation on this one, making a tool that’s really going to be great to work with. Plenty of power, but more important, a design that shouldn’t need any maintenance whatsoever.

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