Following up on Milwaukee Tool’s FUEL Brushless technology announcement, Hitachi Power Tools, just announced a new line of 18V Brushless Motor Lithium-ion cordless tools. The first new tool to be released is the Hitachi DS18DBL 18V Li-ion Brushless Driver Drill. Why brushless? Well, besides the fact that it appears to be a new trend, Hitachi claims that their brushless technology, which they first delivered in their 14.4V WH14DBL, manages the tool’s motor and delivers up to 50% longer run time between charges. It should also increase power and extend durability since there is essentially no maintenance on the tool. Hitachi’s DS18DBL 18V Lithium Ion Brushless Driver Drill delivers 593 in-lbs of turning torque. That’s not quite up to what we’ve measured on Milwaukee’s new 18V Brushless FUEL drill (roughly 718 in. lbs. of torque), but it’s certainly respectable. Hitachi also added an electronic speed control switch to the DS18DBL. That means that you can push a button and select from 4 different speeds. It’s likely overkill for most, but professionals may appreciate the delicate options for control.
Hitachi DS18DBL 18V Li-ion Brushless Driver Drill Features
Since the Hitachi DS18DBL 18V Li-ion Brushless Driver Drill continues to use a two-gear system, the microprocessor-controlled push button yields eight different speed / power options. Literally, the tool can put out low speeds of 0-200/300/350/400 RPM and high speeds of 0-1,000/1,300/1,500/1,800 RPM (no load).
The tool is also fairly compact, coming in at 8.1″ in length and weighing just 4.4 lbs. This means, in our book, that the Hitachi DS18DBL 18V Li-ion Brushless Driver Drill is suitable for overhead use and will make it easier for those who lift a drill most of the day (you know who you are!)
Hitachi’s is using the same style of rubberized overmold for the grip and protective areas and the tool should continue to have good balance and control. The tool is also covered by Hitachi’s Lifetime Lithium Ion tool warranty and 2-year Lithium Ion battery warranty, which means you’re going to get a lot of use out of this tool, regardless of what industry you’re in.
About Hitachi’s Brushless Technology
With the Hitachi flavor of brushless motor, a microprocessor is used to control the current flow through the motor. There are no carbon brushes, so maintenance – expected or otherwise – pretty much becomes a thing of the past. Also, by eliminating brushes, heat is reduced, which means that motor wear doesn’t include mechanical contact. Your tool should last almost indefinitely if you don’t abuse it (by, I don’t know, mixing concrete or mortar with it). Hitachi’s Brushless technology also claims that the battery can last up to 50% longer per charge, so you can get more work completed and have less downtime swapping out batteries. The micro-processor technology also means this is a “smart” tool, which is where Hitachi got the idea of using the push button speed control. Since a computer controls the power and speed to the motor, why not intercept it and integrate a speed regulating feature?
Is brushless the new trend in power tools? Well, clearly, yes. And Hitachi has the DS14DBL readying for release from what we gather, a 14.4 version of this 18V drill. The question is: when are other manufacturers going to jump on board – and who’s going to be the first manufacturer to start calling sour milk, claiming that brush technology is superior? We’ll keep you posted. Not every manufacturer is ready for brushless and, as a result, there is bound to be some competitive marketing that could get ugly in the coming months.