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Hitachi DS18DSALX vs DS18DVF3 Review

Treat yourself to a new cordless drill from Hitachi. Both of these kits include a flashlight and other accessories. Let’s review them both to see which one will be the best for you.

Hitachi DS18DSALX 18V 1/2-Inch Driver Drill

Hitachi DS18DSALX

Hitachi DS18DSALX

The Hitachi DS18DSAL was ahead of its time when it won a “Best Buy” award in 2012. It’s still a powerhouse for general-duty work. Both pros and do-it-yourselfers will be delighted with it.

This drill is compact and lightweight for the amount of power it has. It has 460 inch-pounds of torque, but weighs just 3.3 pounds and measures only 7.7-inches front to back. It’s powerful enough to drive 3-inch screws into hardwood but light enough to make your work easier.

The 2-speed transmission puts out up to 1500rpm so you finish the job quickly. If you’re concerned about precision, you’ll have great control with the variable-speed trigger and 22 clutch settings (plus 1 specifically for drilling).

The ratcheting keyless metal chuck accepts ½-inch bits so you can use a wide variety of accessories with the DS18DSAL. The single LED work light just below the chuck helps you see better where you’re working.

The UB18DAL flashlight with incandescent bulb included in this kit will also help illuminate your work space. It has a 5-position moveable head and can stand alone on its foot. Using the 18V 1.5Ah batteries in the kit, it will run for several hours before it needs a recharge.

The lithium-ion batteries have up to three times the runtime of Ni-Cad and Ni-MH batteries you may have used with other power tools. They will work well even in freezing temperatures. Refill them in under an hour on the included charger.

More features of the Hitachi DS18DSALX drill kit

  • Hitachi offers a lifetime lithium-ion tool warranty on the drill and a 2-year warranty on the battery in this kit
  • Comes with drill, flashlight, two battery packs, charger, and contractor bag
  • The motor brushes are easy to access for maintenance


Hitachi DS18DVF3 18-Volt Ni-Cad 1/2-Inch Cordless Drill/Driver Kit

Hitachi DS18DVF3

Hitachi DS18DVF3

The Hitachi DS18DVF3 kit comes with a general-purpose drill/driver and a flashlight, but it also includes a very handy extra—a 7-piece bit kit. That way it’s ready to get started when you want to work.

The DS18DVF3 drill isn’t quite as powerful as the DS18DSAL drill we just described. It’s rated for up to 400 inch-pounds of torque. It’s still more than enough to get jobs around the house or light-duty tasks at work done quickly. You can drill and fasten in plastic, aluminum, wood, and steel.

Like the other drill, the DS18DVF3 has a 1.2” keyless chuck with 22 clutch settings for precise work. The two-speed transmission runs between 0-400rpm and 0 to 1200rpm. With this much control, you won’t need to damage walls or strip screws. If you need more power or speed, check out the DS18DSAL drill described above.

The DS18DVF3 drill itself is a little smaller and a little heavier than the DS18DSAL. It measures only 7.5-inches front to back, but weighs 4.4 pounds. Although it’s a pistol-grip drill, the weight is nicely balanced over the ergonomic, soft-grip handle.

The UB18D flashlightalso has an ergonomic grip and a 5-position adjustable head. It runs off the 18V 1.4Ah Ni-Cad batteries in the kit.

The batteries recharge in 35 minutes on the kit’s charger.Keep in mind that these are Ni-Cad batteries. They aren’t as powerful as lithium-ion batteries. Occasionally, you’ll need to run them down all the way so they maintain their ability to recharge completely. But they run well in cold temperatures just like the lithium-ion battery packs do.

More features of the Hitachi DS18DVFS drill kit

  • Hitachi offers a 5-year limited warranty
  • Comes with drill, flashlight, two battery packs, charger, 7-piece bit set, belt hook, two bit holders, and kit box



If you have light jobs at work or home, and want an inexpensive drill with nice accessories, get the DS18DDVF3 kit. It comes ready to go with a 7-piece bit kit and on-board bit holders. The included battery charger is compatible with Hitachi’s other 18V Ni-Cad battery packs.

If you a professional who wants power, speed, and a lightweight tool, get the DS18DSALX kit. The drill is powerful enough for most jobs short of hammer-drilling. This kit comes with lithium-ion batteries so you get the longer runtime.

Click here to purchase Hitachi DS18DSALX on Amazon!

Click here to purchase Hitachi DS18DVF3 on Amazon!