Hitachi Power Tools sent me a direct message via Twitter today, saying that I should check out their newest 18V brushless drill driver. They also mentioned that it features a lifetime warranty, and the message included a link to their entire Hitachi Power Tools Canada product lineup.
After I asked about USA distribution, they replied that the drill is launching in both Canada and USA today and that I should call the Atlanta head office for complete details.
Okay, that’s a little weird. Manufacturers send me notices about their new products all the time, and I do my own digging and research as well. I am often asked “how can we get our product mentioned on ToolGuyd?” It’s simple – if the product is of potential interest to ToolGuyd readers, just send me information, such as a press release of fact-sheet, or point me in the right direction.
In over three years of writing tool previews and reviews on ToolGuyd, this is the first time I’ve ever been told so little about a new product and then asked to call up an unspecified phone number for more details.
After I determined the model number of Hitachi’s new brushless drill (DS18DBL?), a little digging reveals that it features up to 50% more runtime, increased power and extended durability with essentially no maintenance. The motor delivers a maximum 593 in-lbs of torque and up to 1800 RPM. A 4-way electric speed toggle and 2-way speed switch provides for up to 8 different speed/power calibrations.
The drill also features a 1/2″ keyless all-metal chuck and a 22-stage keyless chuck (clutch) that delivers 22 torque settings and a drill mode. The motor’s variable speed is controlled via an optical trigger switch that is said to offer better response and greater wear-resistance.
Coupled with the 3.0Ah battery, the Hitachi brushless drill weighs in at 4.4 lbs, which is a hair lighter than Milwaukee’s Fuel brushless drill driver. But the Milwaukee bests the Hitachi with 22% greater max-torque delivery.
The kit comes with two 3.0Ah li-ion batteries. ETA and pricing is unknown.
It seems that Hitachi’s direct message may have been spammed to all of their twitter followers, explaining why I was shrugged off and directed to call their HQ phone number for details. When I asked whether they sent the same DM about the brushless drill to all of their followers, they replied that the worldwide audience will see it on their twitter feed.
I have a couple of questions about the new drill/driver that I hope to have answered. Even if I had the desire to track down the USA HQ phone number, chances are that their general customer service won’t be able to answer technical questions about a brand new product that just launched today.
What does it mean that the drill has a 4-way electric speed toggle and 2-way speed switch? The 2-way speed switch obviously refers to the low/high gearbox settings, but what’s a 4-way electric speed toggle? Does this mean that the “optical trigger” only has 4 variable speed settings, or does it relate to what appears to be a small control at the base of the drill?
And the “optical trigger” – how “more responsive” is it? What is the anticipated service rate or frequency of the optical trigger vs. for mechanical triggers?
How much does the drill kit cost, and where can it be purchased? Will there be a compact version introduced as well? What other brushless tools are in development or scheduled for release?
Summary: the new Hitachi brushless drill driver looks to bring several new technologies to market. I find the features and specs to be interesting, and the product is definitely deserving of additional attention. But asking me to chase down details after receiving a mass-spam message is extremely frustrating.