Hitachi DS18DVF3 Review

Another budget-priced cordless drill that has its pros and cons is the Hitachi 18V DS18DVF3. Reviews of the Hitachi 18V DS18DVF3 (starting at $116, Amazon) praise its power and 400 in/lb torque but gripe about its power pack and chuck. On Amazon, for example, most users like this drill for its value, comfort, compact size, and drilling punch. Hitachi 18V DS18DVF3 reviews say it works for jobs indoors and out, for home chores and small professional tasks; one woman with carpal tunnel says it's the only 18-volt drill that's light enough to use without strain. On the other hand, we read numerous reviews, particularly on Lowe's, that express disappointment with the staying power of the battery and the tendency of the chuck to slip, which forces you to stop and retighten.

Like some other cheap cordless drills, the Hitachi DS18DVF3 draws its juice from a NiCAD battery rather than the newer-technology lithium-ion battery. Although the battery on the Hitachi DS18DVF3 apparently charges up in little more than half an hour, some users report that well-used and aging batteries drain in as little as 10 minutes. We also noticed that the more critical reviews were posted more recently than the positive reviews.

The Hitachi DS18DVF3 comes packaged with two batteries, a charger that works with other Hitachi tools using NiCAD batteries, a hard-shell case, a flashlight, and seven bits. It features a 1/2" chuck, 22 clutch positions, two speeds (400 rpm and 1200 rpm), a belt hook, and magnetic bit holder.

Mixed reviews concerning the battery's staying power and the chuck's holding power are reasons for caution. There are other cordless drills with the latest battery technology and stronger customer assessments for just about the same price.

Maralyn Edid

Maralyn is a veteran reporter, writer, researcher, and editor. From her early years at Crain's Chicago Business and the Detroit bureau of Business Week, then on to a long-term stint at Cornell University's ILR School and now at Cheapism.com, Maralyn has been -- and remains -- committed to getting ...

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