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Hitachi vs Milwaukee Cordless Drill (Detailed Reviews)

Looking for a good replacement for your broken drill?

With Hitachi and Milwaukee, you will never go wrong picking either one of these most reviewed brands when it comes to cordless drills. So, you must have definitely heard these brand names most of the time.

Hitachi is a Japanese company founded in 1910 and later manufactured and offered a wide range of products and services such as automotive systems, components and devices, and construction machinery.

Milwaukee, on the other hand, is an American company founded in 1924 and, in the same year, introduced the Hole-Shooter, the first-ever lightweight, portable, one-handed ¼” capacity drill.

In the next sections, we will tackle an in-depth review of each product and see which one can be a good replacement for your broken drill.

Hitachi DS18DVF3M vs. Milwaukee 2801-20 Comparison Summary

Here, we are going to see which cordless drill is a better pick – Hitachi DS18DVF3M or Milwaukee 2801-20. A summarized table of their specifications is shown below.

Specifications Hitachi DS18DVF3M Milwaukee 2801-20
Size 8.7 x 3 x 9.2 inches 8.3 x 4.6 x 8.6 inches
Weight 4.4 lbs 2.5 lbs
Battery 18V Nickel-Cadmium 18V Lithium-ion
Torque 400 in-lbs 500 in-lbs
Speed 0 – 400 / 0 – 1,200 RPM 0 – 500 / 0 – 1,800 RPM
Chuck Size ½“ ½“

Read on to find out more about each cordless drill.

Hitachi DS18DVF3M

Hitachi DS18DVF3M 18V Cordless NiCd Post Style Driver Drill

Hitachi DS18DVF3M is a power tool designed for drilling into plastic, wood, mild steel, and aluminum.

This cordless drill stands 9.2 inches and weighs 4.4 lbs, which shows that it can fit easily in tight spaces. It uses 18V Nickel-Cadmium battery to operate, and it also claims that it is a fast-charging product as it can replenish its juices in as fast as 35 minutes.

With its two-piece magnet motor, Hitachi DS18DVF3M produces a peak torque of 400 in-lbs, and it also comes with a two-speed transmission that can be controlled by a one-touch speed knob for you to switch between the two-speed options conveniently: 0 – 400 RPM and 0 – 1,200 RPM.

Pros:
  • It offers a powerful torque of up to 400 in-lbs at a rate of up to 1,200 RPM.
  • It has 22-position clutch settings for more precise torque control.
  • Its battery charging time is only 35 minutes.
  • It comes with a soft non-slip elastomer grip and a belt hook with an integrated bit holder.
Con:
  • The battery is more likely to suffer from “memory effect”. (More on this in Product Comparison)

Milwaukee 2801-20

Milwaukee M18 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 1/2 Inch Compact Drill/Driver (Tool-Only) 2801-20

Milwaukee 2801-20 is also designed for a wide range of drilling and fastening applications such as on drywall, plastic, tile, and wood.

This cordless drill stands 8.6 inches tall and weighs approximately 2.5 lbs, which shows that it is compact enough to use in more enclosed areas. Unlike Hitachi DS18DVF3M, Milwaukee 2801-20 uses an 18V Lithium-ion battery to operate.

It comes with an all-metal gear case and metal chuck for durability. It also has an LED light to illuminate the badly-lit working area.

Milwaukee 2801-20 boasts a powerful torque of up to 500 in-lbs at a speed of up to 1,800 RPM. It is indeed a powerful cordless drill that can do most of your projects smoothly.

Pros:
  • It delivers a twisting force of up to 500 in-lbs at a rate of up to 1,800 RPM.
  • It is equipped with a brushless motor for optimal tool performance.
  • It is built with REDLINKTM Intelligence for advanced tool protection.
  • It comes with an LED light to help in low-light situations.
Con:
  • The battery is sold separately.

Product Comparison

Size and Weight

One primary reason why users prefer a specific cordless drill over the other is because of its size and weight. They consider the product dimensions as it might cause them muscle strain due to wrong working position or tool mishandling.

In this subject, although both cordless drills are as compact as possible, it is unmistakable that Milwaukee 2801-20 can be more useful in overhead or tight workspaces.

Winner: Milwaukee 2801-20

Fastener Range

Both cordless drills, Hitachi DS18DVF3M and Milwaukee 2801-20, accommodate the same chuck size of ½” to hold drill bits.

Winner: Both

Design

As always mentioned in choosing the right cordless drill, ergonomics plays a big part in a user’s overall productivity.

With this, Hitachi DS18DVF3M provides a belt hook that has a built-in bit holder. This is convenient for people who use not just one bit but a few more for their projects. Its grip is reinforced with soft non-slip elastomer, which makes it comfortable to use even throughout the day.

Milwaukee 2801-20, on the other hand, advances its durability by providing an all-metal gear case and a metal chuck. This cordless drill also has a belt clip with it so you can hang it anywhere for convenience during or after work. It also comes with an LED light so you can have sufficient lighting to focus on your drilling point.

Milwaukee 2801-20 also employs its REDLINKTM Intelligence technology that defends it from the abusive application.

Winner: Milwaukee 2801-20

Battery

Battery life also significantly affects overall productivity. As much as possible, we get the cordless drill that can deliver long-lasting battery runtime.

One noticeable difference between Hitachi DS18DVF3M and Milwaukee 2801-20 is that they are powered by different types of batteries.

Hitachi DS18DVF3M is powered with an 18V NiCad battery, and while it is true that it has fast charging capability, the battery is more likely to suffer from “memory effect”. Memory effect refers to what is commonly observed in NiCad cells as an effect, causing them to hold less charge over time.

This only means that Hitachi DS18DVF3M gradually loses its maximum energy capacity when it is repeatedly recharged. Besides, NiCad batteries contain Cadmium, which is a toxic heavy metal and these batteries are, in fact, regarded as hazardous waste.

Milwaukee 2801-20 is operated with an 18V Lithium-ion battery, which is environmentally safer than NiCad batteries. Milwaukee 2801-20 also employs their smart REDLITHIUMTM battery, which delivers more work per charging time.

Winner: Milwaukee 2801-20

Performance

As for their respective performance, Hitachi DS18DVF3M is equipped with a two-piece magnet motor that delivers a maximum torque of 400 in-lbs and can fasten as fast as 1,200 RPM.

Milwaukee 2801-20, however, is equipped with a brushless motor that is more efficient and can provide better performance compared to drills with brushed motors. With this, this cordless drill delivers a peak torque of 500 in-lbs at a rate of up to 1,800 RPM.

In this part, Milwaukee 2801-20 definitely outperforms Hitachi DS18DVF3M.

Winner: Milwaukee 2801-20

Recommendation

It is evident that Hitachi DS18DVF3M and Milwaukee 2801-20 can be a suitable replacement for your broken drill. Both cordless drills can help you do more projects with their ease of use, durability, and performance.

However, the gap between their specifications only makes it clear that Milwaukee 2801-20 succeeds in almost every category and proves that it is a better pick over Hitachi DS18DVF3M.

Hitachi DS18DVF3M is a good tool to have for light applications. So, if you are looking for a beginner-friendly tool, Hitachi DS18DVF3M can be one that you must go for.

Milwaukee, then again, has done a good job of incorporating their technology, the REDLINKTM Intelligence, in their tools to further protect it from harsh usage and ensure that its battery life stays at maximum by regularly monitoring the tool’s temperature.

With this and other advantages it has over Hitachi DS18DVF3M, you will surely get the value for your money.

So, which one do you think is right for your projects, Hitachi DS18DVF3M or Milwaukee 2801-20? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments below.