Hitachi WH18DBDL2 18V Triple Hammer Impact Driver Kit Review

Hitachi WH18DBDL2 18V Triple Hammer Impact Driver Kit

Last week Hitachi announced the release of their WH18DBDL2 18V Triple Hammer Impact Driver. This week we here at Tool Box Buzz got a chance to look at the WH18DBDL2 kit. The kit includes the “Triple Hammer” driver, 18V rapid smart charger, two compact 3.0Ah batteries, and an interesting two compartment case. The rugged plastic case holds the aforementioned with a separate compartment for bits and accessories.

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The WH18DBDL2 “Triple Hammer” features a triple anvil that delivers 1832 in/lbs of torque and 4,000 max beats per minute. The two compact 3.0Ah batteries, have the same capacity of the standard BSL1830 3.0Ah batteries with 0.6lbs less weight and 3/4″ less height. These two features make this kit a formidable driver on any jobsite, we’ll put this driver to the test to see how it’ll hold up, but first lets look at the specifications and features.

Specifications and Features

Specifications

  • Voltage: 18
  • Battery Type: Lithium Ion / Slide Pack
  • Battery: Compact 3.0Ah
  • Torque: 1,832
  • No-Load Speed: 0-2,900 RPM
  • Impact Rate: 0-4,000 BPM
  • Drive: 1/4″ Hex
  • Motor: Brushless
  • LED Light: Yes
  • Weight: 2.9 lbs
  • Warranty: Lifetime Tool / 2-Year Battery

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Features

  • Covered by Hitachi’s Lifetime Lithium Ion tool warranty & 2-Year Lithium Ion battery warranty
  • Triple Hammer Technology (via incorporating a third impacting anvil)
  • Features Brushless Motor Technology
  • Powered by Hitachi’s new Compact 3.0Ah Lithium Ion slide-type battery
  • Produces 1,832 in/lbs of turning torque, 0-4,000 BPM and up to 2,900 RPM
  • 4-Stage electronic speed switch
  • IP56 Certified
  • 1/4″ hex chuck
  • Limited and Continuous impact modes
  • Responsive variable speed trigger
  • Built-in LED light
  • On-tool battery indicator
  • Reversible metal belt hook
  • Ergonomic grip, center balanced design and lightweight at 2.9 lbs
  • New rapid charger that features a USB port to charge mobile devices
  • New two compartment carrying case

Feel and Ergonomics

The feel and ergonomics of this driver is reminiscent of top of the line drill drivers. The grip is comfortable and the tool is well balanced. The compact 3.0Ah lithium ion batteries that accompany this kit reduce the height of the tool by almost an inch and cuts the weight by over 1/2 a pound. The feel and ergonomics of this driver is great, but there are a few kinks in the armor.

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The forward, reverse, lock button is easy to access at the throat of the handle. Although this switch is very thin, ridged, and protrudes a 1/4″ from the tool. Although very intuitive to find and manipulate, the switch is noticeable at all times on my trigger finger, amplifying this small detail to a larger nuisance.

 

The other small critique I have regarding the feel and ergonomics is the location of the 4-Stage electronic speed switch and the right hand belt hook. The switch is right between the hook and slide pack release tab making quick speed changes difficult and definitely clumsy with a gloved hand.

Premium Features

The Hitachi WH18DBDL2 “Triple Hammer” is loaded with premium features. From the brushless motor, compact 3.0Ah lithium ion batteries, and rapid charger, this driver is going to hold its weight on any jobsite as far as performance goes.

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But for better or for worse what gets users attention is the premium features, like LED Light with three settings, variable speed trigger, 4-Stage electronic speed switch, belt hook, integrated lanyard, quick release 1/4″ hex chuck, charger with USB port, and some of the fastest charging batteries on the market!

 

Needless to say this tool on paper can hold its own with the highest end drivers out there. Sexy features coupled with smart battery technology, Hitachi’s Multiplex Protection Circuit, makes this an extremely well designed driver. The achilles heel of the driver, limiting the professional grade rating for this tool, is the durability of the batteries.

Durability

The overall durability of the Hitachi WH18DBDL2 18V Triple Hammer Impact Driver is professional quality. Very sleek, but slightly more utilitarian in design than some other premium tool brands, but this could be negligible regarding the ruggedness of the driver. The forward, reverse, lock switch again is the only noticeable design issue that could cause major issues in the event of a drop. But what is most concerning is the durability of the Compact 3.0Ah Batteries.

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The rapid charger with fan cooling system allows the batteries to charge quickly without overheating. The technology is pretty straightforward and path of the venting air is obvious on the battery. The charger forces air thorough a fan facing the charging battery which accepts air through a slotted/screened opening in the battery. The air is exhausted through another slotted/screened opening at the rear of the battery.

 

These vents are likely to be obscured by dust, dirt, or other debris during the regular use of the tool in rough conditions. Worse is the ability for water to get to the internal components of the battery. The driver itself (WH18DBDL2) has an IP56 rating, but the certification applies only to the main unit. As Hitachi explains on their website, “Dust and water resistance of the battery is not covered by this certification.”

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Overall Impression

The WH18DBDL2 Triple Hammer Impact Driver delivers best in class performance. Clocking in at 1832 in/lbs of torque and 4,000 max beats per minute. The third anvil not only delivers this exceptional performance, but also reduces vibration to the user.

 

I typically carry a competitors brushless driver and head to head this driver has enough brute power to edge out my driver on common tasks. The Hitachi WH18DBDL2 18V Triple Hammer Impact Driver buried screws in a heartbeat and drove heavy duty fasteners with ease. The 4-Stage electronic speed switch is not as sophisticated as competitors technology but it allows you enough flexibility to dial in the performance of the drill.

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Overall this is a very powerful, convenient, and easy to operate driver. It has everything you could want and more in a professional grade impact driver. Well almost everything. With the battery not sharing the same IP56 certification and exhibiting clear vulnerabilities to water and dust make it only suitable for users in controlled environments. For those of us fighting the elements or working in austere conditions this is not the tool for you.

At a MSRP of $399 this kit is a fair value for users who know they can protect their batteries from excess dust and moisture. In a shop environment this driver can be a beast! Light, compact, and powerful, the Hitachi WH18DBDL2 18V Triple Hammer Impact Driver brings a lot to the workbench.

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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1 Comment

  1. emjay

    I am not the least bit concerned about a little water getting into the vents of the battery while working in the elements. On 2 occasions I have had hitachi batteries completely submerged in water and both still work. First time it was a 1.5ah attached to a flashlight that got kicked into a sump pit. It took me a good minute to fish it out. I put the battery and light in a bucket of rice for a few days and both are still working to this day. The second time was a 3ah on an impact that I dropped in a lake while working on a boat dock, spending 10 min in 4′ of water. The rice trick worked again for the battery, but the impact did not survive.

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