18 Volt Cordless Combo Kit Head to Head

Hitachi 18 Volt Lithium Ion [Purchased Separately] Combo Tool Kit

No Model # – $497

Lifetime Lithium Ion Tool Warranty, 5-Year Limited Warranty (Flash light)

Hitachi offers a wide range of professional grade tools to contractors and commercial construction professionals. In the cordless realm Hitachi has been offering contractor grade tools with premium, but affordable options, like brushless motors, and nice to have high end features. Their lithium ion tools deliver professional grade power and run time, in a job-site ready package, at an affordable price.

ComboKitTest_033

The Hitachi tools evaluated for the kit included a drill/driver, impact driver, circular saw, recip, and flash light

  • DS18DSDL Drill/Driver – Adjusts from 90° to 45°, weighs 4.6 pounds, 22-position clutch, LED light, 814 in-lbs. of torque and up to 1600 RPM.
  • WH18DSAL Impact Driver – No-load speed up to 2,600 RPM & a 3,200 BPM impact rate, 1280 in/lbs of driving torque, quick change 1/4″ hex chuck.
  • C18DSL Circular Saw – 6 1⁄2 inch blade diameter, 50 Degree bevel capacity, Depth of cut @ 45 degrees = 1.56 inches, Depth of Cut @ 90 degrees = 2 1⁄4 inches.
  • CR18DSLP4 Reciprocating Saw – No-load speed of 2,100-SPM with a 1-1/8-Inch stroke length. Tool less blade change and reversible blade insert, indicator light warns when the run time is low.
  • UB18DAL Flash Light – Low-power setting uses 14.4-volts, the more powerful setting uses 18-volts, outdated use of incandescent bulb, swivel head.

This kit is a good fit for the serious Do-It-Yourself homeowner or a contractor starting their career on a budget. We found it to have decent power and runtime but ultimately our testing found these tools to be best suited for medium duty tasks. Although Hitachi does offer some premium features in some of their models, many cost cutting choices are obvious in their tools as well, but these choices are enthusiastically reflected in the price.

ComboKitTest_440

These tools are bare bones, rugged, and affordable.  The WH18DSAL Impact Driver is light and powerful, the saws, theC18DSL and CR18DSLP4,  in this make shift kit are not the top of the line but certainly perform well enough for the professional job-site. The batteries are only 3.0 Ah but charge in 45 minutes. Hitachi is currently no longer offering combination kits greater than two tools, but because of Hitachi’s aggressive affordability, even purchasing these tools separately the grand total is under $500.

Overall we give this kit a 3.5 out of 5 stars for an affordable, professional grade set of tools. The lack of available kits, and therefore intentional storage options, at this time, coupled with medium duty tools, keeps the overall score down. These Hitachi tools can definitely score higher with a comprehensive kit, including storage, and upgrading some tools/features like the outdated incandescent bulb flashlight. Hitachi does offer a very good warranty program with a Limited Lifetime Warranty on each of the tools we tested except the light.

About the author

Philip Benevides

Phil is a 28-year old Air Force Veteran who decided to transform his passion for construction and home improvement into a career. Inspired by his Grandfather who built his home from the ground up with his bare hands in Portugal, he received his formal training in Carpentry at the North Bennett Street School in Boston, MA. Phil continues to grow his skills as a lead carpenter, managing job sites in and around Boston, and a Captain in the Air National Guard bettering himself as a leader. He loves exploring new building products and construction methods to solve job-site problems and reviewing tools for the pro-contractor and serious DIYer.

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10 Comments

  1. Bryndin

    Sorry but I disagree with the ridgid even with the warranty it’s brutal batteries suck and either are stuck in tool or won’t click in and if you take it back chances are the warranty is life time but they will hold on for ever in getting it fixed and back to you if it breaks just go but something else really.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      Bryndin – I’ll have to disagree with your assessment. I use Ridgid cordless tools all the time, and my crew does as well, and they have performed very well. We’ve never had trouble with batteries getting stuck or not clicking into place. If you properly fill out the warranty there really isn’t an issue at all getting them replaced.

      1. Bret T

        I agree, although I own Milwaukee M-12 and M-18 lines, I’ve been purchasing Ridgid tools for my individual crew members who don’t take care of their tools . . . i.e. misplace and or trash them rapidly . . . I clean and where possible service my tools weekly, most of my men do not. That being said, I’ve used and watched Ridgid tools being used and abused. Rigid is a quality product and the value is truly outstanding. Are the Ridgid products as good as the M-12 and M-18 line???? Certainly they are not as extensive, not quite as powerful but they feel solid in ones hands, they do the job asked of them, albeit not quite as powerfully as the M18’s. If the Ridgid line were as extensive as the Milwaukee, if it updated and offered new selections of tools more frequently, there is no way I could justify buying M-18 line because of the $$ premium one has to pay for the Milwaukee line. The truth is, from my experience . . . Rigid, Milwaukee, Dewalt, Makita, and Bosch all offer tools that I could only dream of 20 years ago . . . . heck , , I’m not even sure I could dream of these tools 20 years ago they are all so good. For me, the most important determinant of tool line is “one battery for all tools” and extensive tool line. If I were starting from scratch . . . and I will be doing just that in a few months . . . It would be a very difficult decision on which line to build a foundation on.

        1. Todd Fratzel

          Bret – Couldn’t agree more. Ridgid is a hidden gem in our industry. Not many people realize, but Ridgid is owned by the same parent company that owns Milwaukee (TTI).

  2. Michael Frontera

    Great review guys! I know this was a tremendous amount of work. I am an electrician and have always been a DeWalt guy But Milwaukee as of late has really been killing it. I already have some M12 tools but I just can’t do another battery platform. I have already invested in about 9 or 10 DeWalt 20v max batteries. Thanks Guys!

  3. […] Milwaukee M18 Sawzall. It is replacing the previous model, the 2620, which we covered during the 18 Volt Cordless Combo Kit Head2Head article. The FUEL line and brushless tools in general get plenty of electronic ink around the tool world […]

  4. […] Milwaukee M18 Sawzall. It is replacing the previous model, the 2620, which we covered during the 18 Volt Cordless Combo Kit Head2Head article. The FUEL line and brushless tools in general get plenty of electronic ink around the tool world […]

  5. Aaron

    I’ve used rigid cordless tools for the last 11 years. My first set, including the hammer drill, impact and sawzall worked great and lasted 8 years. Since then I’ve been replacing tools one after another. If I could I would replace them all with the originals. Despite their weight and size they were by far the best I’ve ever owned. The new ones weigh less are more compact and break far too easy. Now I have to decide weather I go with the Milwaukee m18 fuel or the dewalt.

  6. Steve

    Just a comment about battery voltages. ALL the tools have 18-volt batteries. Some claim 20 volt, but that’s misleading. Li-Ion cells are all 3.6 volts. All the tools have 5 cells. 3.6 x 5 = 18 volts. Sure, after a full charge you might be about to read 20 volts with a meter, but that would be the case with any of the manufacturer’s batteries.

    1. Todd Fratzel

      You are correct Steve. Marketing mumbo jumbo!

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