It is never easy to find the perfect compact drill, and, when faced with two of the best names in the power tool industry: Hitachi and Dewalt, you would be dumbfounded.
Both are popular names, but Hitachi is more associated with TV’s and other home electronics while Dewalt is already known as a power tool manufacturer.
Let us take a head-to-head look at two of the best drill driver kits around and maybe help you choose which one to go for.
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Hitachi DS18DGL 18-Volt Cordless Drill Driver Kit
The Hitachi DS18DGL drill has all the speed, torque, and settings you will need for most jobs around the house. It is compact and lightweight at just 7.7 inches long and weighing just about 3.7 pounds. Simply put, it can go where the full-sized drills cannot. It allows you to work with less operator fatigue as well.
It delivers 400 in. lbs. of maximum torque that can handle most drilling and driving jobs in your home. It has a two-speed gear setting that lets you choose up to 450 RPM and 1,250 RPM by increasing the pressure on the trigger. Its 22 clutches can provide you with 22 settings depending on your needs and applications. This easily eliminates trial and errors because it gives you precision and control.
The grip is also slim and is ergonomically designed to have balance and feel comfortable in your hand. LED lights are built-in, so you can work in dimly lit areas. It is equipped with a half-inch keyless chuck that makes bit replacement easy; you can even do it one-handedly.
The drill features Reactive Force Control that is Hitachi’s signature technology. This reduces the risk of injury whenever the drill is jammed or binded. The drill has built-in sensors that detect the reactive forces and automatically turns off the motor. This is certainly a great safety feature that grabbed my attention.
Pros: It has a slim build and a light weight that lets you work in confined spaces such as cabinets, cupboards, and drawers. The built-in LED lights also add to this because it illuminates your work area. There is no more need for a separate flashlight.
- Powerful torque capacity
- Has reactive force control feature
- Comes with built-in LED light
- Slim and lightweight design
- Balanced and ergonomic slim handle
Cons: The compact drill that comes with this kit does not have enough speed to go through thick metals. Also, you need to bring a spare battery if you plan to work out of the house because the power can run out in the middle of a job.
- Not enough speed for drilling metals
- The High-Low switch is stiff
- The battery has a short life
Dewalt DC970K-2 Compact Drill Driver Kit
The Dewalt DC970K-2 drill driver kit received almost 3,000 positive reviews on Amazon alone. It is so popular we just had to take a closer look. This drill is suitable for the most basic jobs around your home and even do heavy-duty DIY projects, and some professionals even swear by this product.
An entry level drill in Dewalt’s 18V cordless drill line, it has a powerful motor capable of handling most materials such as wood, plastic, and metal as well as drywall. It is very versatile with its two-speed modes that you can choose from 450 or 1,500 RPM. The motor delivers a remarkable 380 watts of power (UWO), thanks to the 18V Nickel-Cadmium battery (also called NiCad) that it uses.
The ½-inch single sleeve, ratcheting chuck is all plastic, but is durable enough to withstand most wear and tear. It accepts most drill bits and is keyless, so you will not have to worry about losing a chuck. I especially like how the drill starts slowly before eventually spinning faster. You no longer have to worry about the driver spinning off and damaging the wood you are working on.
The drill weighs just 5.2 pounds, and with its 9-inch long body, this is one of the most lightweight drills in its class. Perfect for working under cupboards, in closets, and bathrooms.
Pros: This drill can easily handle drilling through wood, plastic, metals because of its high speed and powerful torque. Its small and light build lets you make frames, do HVAC jobs, cabinet installations, and so much more. You can use it on narrow angles, overhead work areas, and tight spaces.
- Has a relatively high torque
- Has two-speed settings
- Comes with a keyless ratcheting chuck
- Ergonomic design
- Made of durable, high-quality plastic
Cons: One thing with this drill that is a drawback for me is the absence of LED lights. Also, it is not recommended for drilling small holes and tasks that need more precision.
- Is not equipped with LED lights
- Not good for drilling small holes
- The clutch slips easily
Hitachi 18V vs. Dewalt 18V Cordless Drill Product Comparison
The Hitachi DS18DGL drill is smaller, lighter, and has less power and speed than the Dewalt DC970K-2. This kit includes two lithium ion batteries, a 35-minute charger, one double-sided Phillips bit, and a carrying case. You can have this kit for a very low price of just less than $100.
The Dewalt DC970K-2 kit has two NiCad batteries, a one-hour charger, and one contractor bag also for just under $100. The Hitachi DS18DGL kit shares almost the same specs and price with the Dewalt DC970K-2 which makes it even harder to distinguish which one is better. Both have long-lasting batteries, reliable performance, and strong torque.
It seems that both these drill driver kits can do the job really well, coming from big names that are trusted worldwide. It should all depend on which one will be best suited for your needs. Overall, these two are guaranteed to give high performance and durability.
However, Hitachi’s Reactive Force Control element is a great decider for me. This is a great safety feature that adds peace of mind whenever I work. It has built-in LED lights that make working so much easier especially at night. They are almost similar, but Hitachi has more features that go well with most home improvement jobs.