If somehow the past 8 years of my ToolGuyd experiences were erased, what tool brand would I buy into today? That’s a good question, maybe one I’ll ask you guys another time.
I can tell you this – I think Hitachi would be towards the top of the list, especially given the prices I’m seeing on Amazon today. For instance, their 18V circular saw add-on, now apparently an Amazon Prime exclusive, is just $59 right now.
A long time ago, I bought a Hitachi 18V drill, and I really liked it. It was March 7th, 2007, and I bought a DS18DVF3 kit, with 400 in-lbs of torque and NiCad batteries.
It was $70, on sale as part of a deal of the day, or a Friday tool sale, or weekend sale. Something like that.
That was a great drill, and the only reason it’s not with me today is because 1) Li-ion is definitely a far better technology, and 2) I donated it to Habitat for Humanity. I would have upgraded it by now anyways, for a drill with a single sleeve ratcheting chuck.
For years, a lot of users criticized Hitachi’s color scheme, and I still see some comments here and there about it. Some of those comments are deserved, but I was able to look past the unconventional styling to see the well-priced but very capable tools underneath.
We’ve seen many new tools and innovations from Hitachi recently, here are just a few:
A few months ago, we asked for what you’d like to see Dewalt, Milwaukee, and Bosch do to win your dollar and a place in your toolbox.
- Dear Dewalt, We Want You to Come Out With a [Fill in This Blank] in 2016
- If You Could Ask Milwaukee Tool One Thing, What Would it Be?
- What Could Bosch do to Become Your Favorite Power Tool Brand?
With all their new tools and tech coming out, I started thinking about Hitachi and Metabo lately. As a reminder, they’re both owned by Hitachi now.
But, let’s just talk about Hitachi for now.
Hitachi has come out with some very competitive tools, and premium featured too. I can hardly describe them as a value-priced company as I used to see them. Now, I suppose I’d call their tools well-priced. Some are premium, some are a step below, but all of the ones I’ve tried are definitely a leap above DIY and value-targeted tool brands, such as Ryobi and Porter Cable.
It’s hard to see Hitachi, or Hitachi and Metabo, taking on Milwaukee, Dewalt, and even Makita. I think that they have the potential to match up well against Bosch, at least here in the USA, where Bosch has sort of been dragging their feet lately.
But a lot can happen, and I think Hitachi has the potential to become a lot more popular than they are right now. Not that their tools aren’t popular, they’re just not as popular.
To start, I want to see more pushes forward in terms of cordless tools. They’ve got some fantastic tools, but I don’t think we’ve seen much in the form of brushless saws lately. For example, how about a brushless circular saw with magnesium shoe?
I want to see some great benchtop tools, but I’ll say the same about every brand. The market needs a good benchtop disc or combinations saner, a 10-inch band saw, a good drill press, things like that.
I also think Hitachi should push harder with Lowes. Lowes has been working to emphasize their Kobalt 24V brushless power tools, so although they have an arrangement with Hitachi, I haven’t seen much hoopla.
Lowes and Hitachi need to work on their marketing efforts in order to sell more tools.
Home Depot runs fantastic power tool promos, both seasonally and in between the 2 big tool-buying holidays, Christmas and Fathers Day. Lowes need to up their game.
In terms of the actual tools, and keeping in mind that I don’t have as much experience with Hitachi tools as with other brands’, but I think the ones I’ve tried are as good or better as competitive models.
I’d like to see Hitachi bring some Metabo innovations to their tools, such as the Quick Chuck. Metabo’s compact drill is among my favorite 18V-class drills, and also landed as an editor’s choice in my 2016 best cordless drills recommendations.
That all said, what do you think about Hitachi tools?
What would Hitachi have to do in order to entice you to buy more of their tools?
Are there certain tools you’d like to see them come out with?