The DS18DFL and DS18DSAL are cordless drills made by Hitachi. These drills share many traits: Both are 18-volt drills, use rechargeable 1.5Ah lithium ion batteries and come with Hitachi's lifetime warranty. But the size, power capacity and accessories included with these drills represent major differences between the two products.
Although the DS18DFL and DS18DSAL are comparable in size, the DS18DFL model is the larger -- and heavier -- of the two. The DS18DFL measures 8.5 inches long, one inch longer than the DS18DSAL model. The DS18DFL is also slightly heavier than the DS18DSAL: At 3.7 lb., it outweighs the DS18DSAL by 0.2 lb.
The smaller drill -- the DS18DSAL -- is the more powerful of the two when it comes to maximum RPMs and torque. Although both drills have a two-speed transmission, the DS18DSAL has a wider RPM range. This drill's first gear can go from zero to 350 RPMs, while its second gear can go from zero to 1,500 RPMs. In comparison, the DS18DFL's first gear has a larger range -- from zero to 400 RPMs -- but its second gear is more limited, with a range that only goes up to 1,200 RPMs.
The DS18DSAL also has greater torque than the DS18DFL. This drill has a maximum torque of 460 inches/pound, while the DS18DFL's torque only goes up to 374 inches/pound.
Both models come with a pair of 1.5Ah rechargeable lithium ion batteries. In fact, these are the exact same batteries, and they can be used in the DS18DFL, the DS18DSAL or any of Hitachi's lithium ion battery-powered drills.
The DS18DSAL comes with more accessories than its counterpart. Included with this drill are a belt hook, LED job light, a 1/2-inch metal ratcheting chuck and carbon brushes. The DS18DFL's accessories include a quick charger, which can charge the battery up to 1,500 times, as well as a carrying case; these accessories are also standard with the DS18DSAL model.
Because the DS18DSAL is an improvement over the larger and heavier DS18DFL model, Hitachi has discontinued production of the latter drill. At the time of publication, the DS18DFL is still available as a refurbished or reconditioned tool from some retailers, although buying a reconditioned drill may mean you don't receive some of the accessories that would have come with a new purchase.
At the time of publication, the DS18DSAL is widely available from retailers nationwide. For a list of retailers, visit Hitachi's product page (hitachipowertools.com).