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Old 10-31-2009, 06:23 PM   #1
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Default Anyone had a bad experience with Hitachi power tools?

About two months after I started work I was asked to get my own cordless drill. I got a Hitachi DS18DSAL "compact pro" lithium ion drill. It seemed awesome - a built in flashlight, more torque than anyone else's drill for the price, light weight and 40 minute recharge time. The 10 year warranty made it seem like the best buy going. Also it was green and looked cool.

I got two days out of it before the magic smoke came out while I was using a 3/4" Bosch spade bit punching holes to fish Romex through the OSB in I-Joists. I noticed the drill got very hot very quickly and the batteries were just too small to keep working without changing them every 20 minutes. All the time I was switching batteries, which also got very hot very quickly...so the 40 minute charge time also meant waiting another half hour on top of that for the battery to cool off before I could use it. The beat-up old DeWalt hammer drill I was given before that lasted what seemed like 90 times as long.

The next day I took it back to the shop and exchanged it for a Bosch. The day after that, I quit that company and the new shop I got hired by provides tools...so aside from minor stuff around the house I have never really tested the Bosch at work to see if it's any tougher than the Hitachi.

I always see a big display of Hitachi tools at the hardware/tool shop our company goes to but never asked the guys there how many returns they get on them. They also sell Milwaukee and Makita. Do the bigger Hitachi cordless drills and other tools crap out this quickly too or is my experience just a fluke? Only a tradesperson would need the 460 inch pounds of torque it had but it was too fragile for actual trade use.
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:22 PM   #2
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IMO, they don't look cool, they look and feel like a toy. I have never and will never buy one, so I can't answer your question. I'm a Milwaukee fan.
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:30 PM   #3
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A guy I used to work with had a little impact from them (12v?). It seemed like it would hold its own.
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:32 PM   #4
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I donít know about Hitachiís cordless stuff in general, but that experience would turn me off to them forever.
Considering the bashing that Dewalt seems to get around here sometimes... I have two 18V XRP hammerdrills that still work great after 3 or 4-years. I just used one to drill out a resi kitchen remodel a couple of days ago. I use them for that kind of thing all the time, day after day. I like that their cordless tools are simple to maintain and repair as well as easy to get parts for, so IMO, they are hard to beat.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:22 AM   #5
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back in the day when the tools didnt look so "fancy" I quitte liked hitachi tools. But the new stuff is crap IMO. Indeed looks and feels like toys.
I prefer Hilti for drilling, and makita for other stuff.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:51 AM   #6
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I rank Hitachi down with Black & Decker power tools. They seem to be made just for homeowners for small random stuff. Back when we started our company we had a 5 piece set of Black & Decker tools and roughed in around a 3,000 sq. ft. house. Needless to say the only tool that made it to the end out of that set was the flashlight, all the rest of the tools the motors burnt out on. Now we mainly use Bosch, DeWalt, Milwaukee & Hilti.
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KayJay View Post
I donít know about Hitachiís cordless stuff in general, but that experience would turn me off to them forever.
Considering the bashing that Dewalt seems to get around here sometimes... I have two 18V XRP hammerdrills that still work great after 3 or 4-years. I just used one to drill out a resi kitchen remodel a couple of days ago. I use them for that kind of thing all the time, day after day. I like that their cordless tools are simple to maintain and repair as well as easy to get parts for, so IMO, they are hard to beat.
Yeah the DeWalt I used before that was an 18v ni-cad XRP hammer drill(part of a drill + reciprocating saw kit) probably like yours, and we would use that thing while roughing in houses to drill 2x4s and whatever else needed drilling when the corded drill was too far away or someone else was using it. It had a pretty hard life and all the labels had been scraped off but it always worked and it was hard to make it stall. The only thing it didn't get used for was masonry and brick where we usually used a Bosch or Hilti rotary hammer.

DeWalt bashing? Does that mean their recent stuff is not as tough as this? I almost bought one.
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:47 AM   #8
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my experience with drills so far has been pretty good for the most part. i work for an industrial contractor and we do some pretty heavy work, and having a cordless helps alot in some situations (not having to drag a cord all over the place especially).

1st dril- ridgid 18v nicad
not a bad drill, i got it in a package with a reciprocating saw for $140 from depot. saw wasnt bad at all, kit had a 1/2 hour charger, but the high/low switch on the drill shattered inside the casing after 91 days. (only reason i know it was 91 days is when i went back to depot to exchange it i could only get store credit.) dont get me wrong, i bought my dad a ridgid for around the house and he loves his, but it didnt cut the cheese for what i do for a living. which brings on drill # dos.

2nd drill- milwaukee 18v nicad
got this drill in a package from depot as well, using the store credit i got from the aforementioned ridgid set. that thing kicked ass for 2 1/2 years. it fell from a 12' ladder, drilled 3" holes in 1/4" steel diamond plate, drilled countless 7/8" holes for the K.O. punch, drilled countless 1/2" and 3/4" holes in block and precast for anchors, along with some wood here and there. the hammer mode worked beautifully, and the drill did what it was intended to do and then a lot more. the only reason im not using it any more is the clutch went out on it. (keeps slipping even in drill mode in low gear), and the reciprocating saw stopped working. i'll be sending both to get repaired soon along with some new batteries.

i use a drill almost daily at work and i really got used to having a cordless set available at all times pretty much so i got another set to use while i get the milwaukee worked on, bringing on the third drill.

3rd (and current) drill- makita 18v li-on
i got this set to replace the milwaukee while on the DL. a few guys i work with have the same set and liked them alot, so i thought i'd give it a shot, it was 50 bucks cheaper than the milwaukee, and i heard good things about it. anyway, so far so good with the set. the drill is WAAAAY lighter than either of my past 2, but it seems to have slightly less torque than the milwaukee, but i'll give up the torque for the weight. if i need more i'll grab a corded drill and deal with dragging a cord to where i'm working. it also has a plastic chuck on it, so i bought a spare one just in case it shatters for some reason.

here's a link to my current set. http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053

Last edited by azsly1; 11-01-2009 at 11:52 AM. Reason: hangover mistakes...
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:41 PM   #9
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I use a Makita 18v lxt drill. Very good drill, light weight and enough torque to do commercial, if i need more i can switch to my corded rotary/hammer drill for abit and use that. the Hitachi i looked at them but felt way to light, and seemed like something i can give to a homeowner for very small light jobs. plus i don't like how they feel. most people i see use DeWalts, Milwaukee's, and Makitas.
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage Sounds View Post
Does that mean their recent stuff is not as tough as this? I almost bought one.


I don't know, but all my Dewalt stuff says made in Mexico or China on it, so is probably relatively the same overall as itís been for several years now anyway.
Iíve read some complaints about the clutch/selector ring locking up on them.
The selector ring on one of mine started locking in hammer mode last summer, but I took it apart, cleaned and repacked the transmission with the lube that Dewalt sells and it has been fine ever since. Their cordless tools have a simple modular design that is so easy to service, I think a chimp could do it.
I basically just use the hammer mode for hole saws, spade bits and Bell hangers in wood or drywall. Rarely use it for masonry, unless itís just a couple of 1/4Ē plastic anchors here and there in hollow block or something similar, mainly because itís just way too underpowered for that type of work.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:35 PM   #11
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does drilling into wood in hammer mode help anything?
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Old 11-03-2009, 01:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KayJay View Post
I’ve read some complaints about the clutch/selector ring locking up on them.
The selector ring on one of mine started locking in hammer mode last summer, but I took it apart, cleaned and repacked the transmission with the lube that Dewalt sells and it has been fine ever since.
I have had that same problem, but it doesnt happen often. My older drill, if I bumped the hammer / drill selector the wrong way, it would lock into hammer. A little bit of messing with it freed it. I had that drill for years, now my partner uses it and its probably done it 3 times in 4 or 5 years. Thats the ONLY thing ive ever had to gripe about Dewalt. I wont be changing brands any time soon

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