Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Hitachi DV18DBL Brushless Hammer Drill Preview

First it was Milwaukee’s Brushless FUEL Drills, then Makita got into the game. Hitachi Power Tools wasn’t far behind that (and really, the orders get confusing, but let’s just congratulate all of the manufacturers for innovating here). Now, the company is announcing new additions to its line of 18V Brushless tools. In particular, they are adding a new DV18DBL Brushless Hammer Drill. The new DV18DBL ramps up the power from the DS18DBL, which had 593 in-lbs of torque, to an impressive 654 in-lbs of turning torque. It comes with a 1/2″ ratcheting keyless all-metal chuck which feature carbide inserts for secure bit retention. This is a great addition for a tool designed to hammer into concrete. The clutch is designed to actually deliver 22 different torque settings, plus a hammer setting and drill mode for maximum torque. The tool is a compact 8.1″ in length, which is about a 1/10″ shorter than Milwaukee’s new Hammer Drill. It’s also fairly lightweight for a hammer drill at 4.8 lbs. The DV18DBL is sold as a kit and comes with two 3.0Ah Lithium-ion Slide Type batteries, a quick charger, side handle, carrying case and double sided Phillips driver bit.

Hitachi DV18DBL Brushless Hammer Drill Preview

First it was Milwaukee’s Brushless FUEL Drills, then Makita got into the game. Hitachi Power Tools wasn’t far behind that (and really, the orders get confusing, but let’s just congratulate all of the manufacturers for innovating here). Now, the company is announcing new additions to its line of 18V Brushless tools. In particular, they are adding a new DV18DBL Brushless Hammer Drill. The new DV18DBL ramps up the power from the DS18DBL, which had 593 in-lbs of torque, to an impressive 654 in-lbs of turning torque. It comes with a 1/2″ ratcheting keyless all-metal chuck which feature carbide inserts for secure bit retention. This is a great addition for a tool designed to hammer into concrete. The clutch is designed to actually deliver 22 different torque settings, plus a hammer setting and drill mode for maximum torque. The tool is a reasonably compact 8.7″ in length and fairly lightweight (for a hammer drill) at 4.8 lbs. The DV18DBL is sold as a kit and comes with two 3.0Ah Lithium-ion Slide Type batteries, a quick charger, side handle, carrying case and double sided Phillips driver bit.


Hitachi DV18DBL Brushless Hammer Drill Features

The new Hitachi DV18DBL Brushless Hammer Drill, like the company’s other brushless drills and drivers, feature an optical trigger switch that communicate with the micro-processor and delivers smoother motor acceleration. Digital circuits are also located at the base of Hitachi’s new brushless tools, and offer an LED light, battery power indicator and micro-processor controlled speed/power settings for application-specific control. And if you’re wondering what all the hubbub about brushless is, it’s about run-time and efficiency. Besides the fact that it’s quickly becoming a new trend, Hitachi uses technology that manages the tool’s motor and delivers up to 50% longer run time between charges. That’s a big deal. Of course, Brushless technology should also increase power and extend durability if it’s done right, since heat is reduced, efficiency is increased, and there is essentially no maintenance on the tool.

Since the Hitachi DV18DBL Brushless Hammer 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 0-900/1,100/1,400/1,800 RPM (no load). For aiding in masonry and concrete work, the tool can offer 0-6,000 BPM (beats per minute) in low speed and a maximum of 0-27,000 BPM in high speed.

Hitachi DV18DBL Brushless Hammer Drill

As we mentioned, the Hitachi DV18DBL Brushless Hammer Drill is also sized small enough and light enough (8.7″ in length and 4.8 lbs.) to work well in overhead applications. Electricians who secure conduit or EMT overhead can rejoice…


Hitachi continues to use their same style of rubberized overmold for the grip, so there isn’t much aesthetic difference between this tool and the company’s other offerings. Of course, this also means that if you already like Hitachi’s weight and balance you shouldn’t be surprised by the DV18DBL. 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.

Editor’s Note on 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 provided there is overload protection that doesn’t fail and you don’t go swimming with your tool. 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, they can offer differing levels of both speed and torque and even vary the maximum BPM settings from a single tool.

Is brushless the new trend in power tools? Well, clearly, yes. The real test will be to see who goes after raw power, and who figures out the balance of power-to-weight. Others may focus on features. Depending upon what you’re looking for, there’s bound to be a manufacturer who will meet your needs as a contractor or professional tool user.

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