Professional Tool Reviews for Pros


Hitachi KC18DBFL Brushless 18V Lithium Ion Kit

PTR Review
  • Features 8.0
  • Build Quality 8.0
  • Battery Life 9.0
  • Power 8.0
  • Ergonomics 9.0

The Hitachi KC18DBFL kit is exactly where we'd expect to find it when it comes to power, features, and build quality. It's ergonomics are great and battery life for a 3.0 aH is outstanding. We'd like to see Hitachi pair these with a 4.0 aH battery like others to pull out a perfect score in that category.

Overall Score 8.4 (out of 10)

Hitachi KC18DBFL 18V Lithium Ion Brushless Hammer Drill & Impact Driver Combo Kit (3.0 aH) Review

Hitachi’s KC18DBFL kit has bundled together the WH18DBFL Cordless Impact Driver and the DV18DBFL Cordless Hammer Drill with a pair of 3.0 amp hour batteries into a solid combo.  When I first received this kit I was excited to jump right in and begin to put both the drill and driver to the test.  We had just moved into a new home and had a long list of projects to cover off from converting a small carport into an enclosed garage, building a new kitchen island, building a pool fence and hanging a seemingly unending supply of artwork on exposed brick walls.


 

Unboxing the Hitachi KC18DBFL

First impressions were solid, the kit comes with two 18V 3.0Ah Li-Ion batteries, a fan cooled quick charger, the manual, a double ended philips bit, and a carrying case.  Both the driver and drill are well balanced and have ergonomic grips.  The all metal chuck on the drill is sturdy and is substantial, much better than my old faithful corded drill.  The quick charge, fan cooled battery charger got me up and running in about 30 minutes.

The color scheme is the signature Hitachi green and black combo.  They’ve added an LED to the tool base which casts a nice shadow-free light wherever you are drilling/driving.  Also, the tool belt clip comes in handy, especially on the impact driver which only weighs 3.2 lbs.  The carrying case is pretty big but I never use them so no big deal.

 

Using the Hitachi KC18DBFL in the Real World

I’ve had a few Hitachi tools and this one holds its own, I found myself knocking out my project list quickly and without having to stop to charge batteries.  The brushless technology has really revolutionized this tool category, I literally did not charge the batteries for three weeks.  I made it through installing 11 sheets of T1-11 4’x8’ siding, 28 studs, a bottom plate into a concrete slab (with Tapcons), and building 45 feet of pool fencing before I had to charge the impact driver.


The hammer drill had no issues drilling into my concrete slab or brick walls and the impact driver easily anchored hundreds of screws without stripping a one.  In fact, I recommend getting impact rated bits as the driver successfully blew a set of 10 standard grade Philips head bits to pieces.  The impact driver is equipped with Hitachi’s Active Control System that adjusts the RPM of the motor to the torque level to minimize the chance of stripping a screw. This feature really shined when driving long deck screws which always seem squirrely to sink.  

The drill and driver compliment each other well and I often found myself carrying the pair.  Previous to this kit my go to for both drilling and driving was a popular brand 14.4V drill circa 2007, I can’t begin to tell you how much of an improvement this set it above the older technology.  Obviously technology has has been kind to all of us and I LOVE the brushless motor, Li-Ion batteries and impact action.

Two small things I did miss with this set- neither has a place for an extra bit, needed when switching back and forth between Philips and hex applications or anything else for that matter.  Also, a battery gauge would be a nice addition to the set so you’re not left guessing when you will run out of juice.

Hitachi KC18DBFL Spec Roundup:

Model DV18DBFLBrushless Hammer Drill
Chuck1/2’ Keyless
Multi-Stage ClutchYes (22 2)
No-Load Speed0-400/0-1,500 RPM
Impact Rate0-5, 600 / 0-21,000 BPM
Max Torque440 in/lbs
CapacitiesConcrete ½”  Wood 1 ½”  Steel ½
Battery TypeLithium Ion Slide
Battery Ah3.0
Weight4.2 lbs

 

Model WH18DBFLBrushless Impact Driver
Chuck¼” Hex
No-Load Speed0-2,900 RPM
Impact Rate0-3,200 BPM
Max Torque1,460 in/lbs
CapacitiesSmall Screw 5/32″ – 5/16″
Ordinary Bolt  3/16″ – 9/16″
High Tension Bolt 3/16″ – 15/32″
BatteryLithium Ion Slide
Battery Ah3.0
Weight3.5 lbs

 

 

Conclusion

Hitachi has brought to market a really nice  impact driver/hammer drill kit.  I’d highly recommend this tool for medium duty, all around applications. Both tools performed beyond my expectations and  I look forward to many more projects accompanied by this pair.

The retail price for the kit is around $329, with some better prices found online. In fact, at one point, Amazon had it for almost $80 less! This is a little more than than some of the competitor’s kits out there that come with 4.0 amp hour batteries. Still, the Hitachi KC18DBFL kit comes with a lifetime Lithium-Ion tool warranty and 2 year battery warranty.

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