Hitachi DS18DGL 18-Volt Cordless Lithium-Ion Compact Drill Driver Review

Are you looking for absolute power in your home drilling and driving jobs? The Hitachi DS18DGL Cordless Compact Drill Driver Kit has all the features you need for both do-it-yourself and tougher projects around the house. We have carefully looked into this power-packed cordless drill and found it to run smoothly and efficiently in spite of continuous use. In a nutshell, this drill driver is strong, light and easy to handle.

Even with its lifetime warranty and competitive price, this drill comes with a few low points as lab tests have proven that this is better suited for occasional use at home. However, it is still strong enough for drilling holes, landscaping timbers, and drilling 4-inch screws into studs.



  • Has two-speed gear settings
  • Comes with a 22+1 stage clutch system
  • Features a powerful engine
  • Packs 400 in. lbs. of maximum torque
  • Powered by a lithium Ion slide-type battery
  • Has a built-in LED work light
  • Comes with a ½-inch keyless ratcheting chuck
  • Installed with a responsive variable speed trigger
  • Reaches up to 1,250 RPM
  • Weighs 3.7 lbs.
  • Measures 7.7 inches


  • Unexpected instances of the battery quitting
  • Labs tests show mixed, inconsistent results

Our Opinion

Powerful Torque

With its 400 in. lbs. of torque and reaching up to 1,250 rotations per minute, the Hitachi DS18DGL is the perfect choice for those very demanding drilling jobs at home. Its 22+1 stage clutch system lets you adjust the speed through its reliable gear settings. It also features the drill mode for ultimate precision and control in all your DIY projects.

Improved Ergonomics

Lightweight and not too heavy because of its compact design, this drill weighs at just about 3.7 pounds and is only 7.7 inches long. It gives you a comfortable and ergonomic grip that feels nicely balanced when held. The slide style battery allows for a slimmer handle that is easy to grip and hold for an extended period of use. Say goodbye to wrist and hand strain with this model.

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Made to be strong and withstand heavy-duty use, it is designed to cope with the rigors of drilling and driving jobs. Some users even reported having dropped the tool several times and still performed as good as the first time, efficiently drilling through wood and concrete.

Lithium Ion Technology

This drill driver kit comes with two 18V Lithium Ion batteries that let you work without obtrusive and meddlesome wires and cables. It is ideal for tough jobs in confined spaces and is even more useful in the face of power interruptions.

The slide type batteries are designed to replace the vertical cell battery chamber of older models, making the drill more lightweight. This efficient design accounts for why the drill is easier to handle and allows you greater control.

The batteries also charge quickly and replenish its juice in just 35 minutes. With the use of a spare battery, you can easily pop replacements in and out with ease, allowing you to continue with your projects without the hassle of charging in between tasks.

Built-in LED Work Light

One of the more popular and excellent features of this cordless drill is the LED work light. This particular model even features one that is specifically designed to not cause any shadowing. Conveniently placed at the foot of the drill, the LED work light eliminates shadows cast by your fingers or your gloves. It illuminates any dark workspace flawlessly, demonstrating how much of a great safety feature it is. It helps you get the job done easily and conveniently, even in low-lit areas.

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Keyless Chuck

The 1/2-inch keyless ratcheting chuck allows you to quickly and effortlessly change bits by hand without having to worry about losing the chuck key. It proves especially handy when working on top of a ladder or in tight spaces.

Speed Adjustment

The Hitachi DS18DGL has two-speed gear settings with the low option revving up to 450 RPM and high option up to 1,250. It easily matches the speed that is appropriate for the application, thereby giving you complete control of the operation. Located on the top of the drill, the gear selector switch lets you choose which speed to use as determined by pressure on the trigger.

Lifetime Tool Warranty

The drill is covered by Hitachi’s lifetime warranty and offers two years warranty on the batteries. It even throws in one-year coverage for the charger. During the warranty period, you are assured of peace of mind in purchasing a high-quality product that comes at a very reasonable price. This benefit proves just how much of a steal buying this diver drill is.

Additional Features

The Hitachi DS18DGL comes in a hard plastic case for storage and easy transport. It even includes a double-sided Phillips driver bit so you can get started right away.

Comparison with Hitachi DS18DBFL2 Brushless Driver Drill

Both the Hitachi DS18DGL and DS18DBFL2 superbly accomplish drilling and driving tasks with ease, but the latter boasts a brushless motor technology that is Hitachi’s popular feature. However, the former is packed with enough power that it can give the DS18DBFL2 a run for its money.

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Based on lab tests, some users feel that the DS18DGL is lacking in power as compared to the DS18DBFL2. Overall, however, these two cordless drills offer multiple features that are ideal for professionals and DIYers alike.


The Hitachi DS18DGL is one of the best cordless drills that we reviewed as far as safety and affordability is concerned. With its competitive price, it is packed with features that are excellent for the occasional do-it-yourself enthusiast. It even sits well with professionals. This drill can handle almost any project you can think of.

This drill has multiple speeds and is designed for convenient use. It is lightweight and can be used for long periods of time while offering you great precision and control. It definitely has a lot going for it. Best of all, it comes from one of the world’s best manufacturer of high-quality power tools: Hitachi.

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