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Hitachi DS18DFLMy Review of the Hitachi DS18DFL Cordless Drill

I purchased a Hitachi DS18DFL cordless drill a few years ago when I upgraded my Sears Craftsman battery drill. Lithium ion technology was becoming more popular in the tool market, and I had my mind set on an 18 volt drill with a long battery life. At the time, 18 volts was the most you could get. The selling point for me was the extra battery that came with the Hitachi drill. It certainly was useful - I always had a backup battery when the other died. It charged quickly too, and it would be fully charged by the time I was ready to switch. This Hitachi handled plenty of abuse, even a few drops on my cement garage floor.

The Chuck

Okay, this has been my biggest disappointment for the drill. I should have read a few more reviews, because apparently this is something others have had issues with too. The chuck was poorly designed in my opinion - it would never stay tight. Most users grab the chuck with one hand, pull the trigger, and the keyless truck is supposed to tighten onto the bit - no key is required. Yes, this worked sometimes. More often than not, however, the bit would just fall out by itself after driving or drilling a few holes. Talk about frustration. Solution? Hold the back of the chuck with one hand and tighten the front of the chuck with the other. That seemed to work, but it's a hassle. I would be lying if I said I didn't use channel locks once or twice. With that being said, maybe they've improved on their chuck design, but not on this model.

Other Features 

There are some other features like an adjustable belt hook, but I never used it so I can't say how useful it would be. The drill is a little heavy, so it seems that would be awkward hanging the drill off your side by a hook. It does have a handy bit holder in the front that holds two drill drivers. It helps prevent you from losing them (like that ever happens, right?). The charger has an easy to read display when charging the batteries to let you know the status of your battery, and it will also let you know if the battery is too hot to charge. I only had that light come on once or twice, but I was building a deck and driving screws nonstop. All in all, this rechargeable drill is fine for the average handyman and will withstand about anything you can dish out. Mine has scratches and scrapes all over it and it continues to work great.  If you're buying a drill for a business and heavy duty construction work, just be sure to read lots of reviews first. This is a rugged battery drill and will last for years - I give it a 7 out of 10.