Tuesday, June 8, 2010

DB3DL comes with Great compromise of weight, power, and versatility.

I wanted a smaller power driver than my 7.2 volt Dewalt, which is too heavy and bulky to just stash in a tool belt. My choice was between the Hitachi DB3DL and the Bosch PS20-2 Litheon 10.8 Volt Lithium Ion Pocket Driver With 2 Batteries. Both are excellent, so which should you choose? Ideally, you should handle both. Weight: The Bosch is about twice as heavy. I hardly notice the Hitachi in a pocket or tool belt. Power: The Hitachi is a light-mid duty tool. It's surprisingly powerful, but the extra voltage in the Bosch enables it to rival larger drill-drivers in all but the most demanding situations. Versatility: I like the hinged configuration of the Hitachi, enabling you to use it in a straight or pistol-grip configuration. The Bosch is pistol-grip only. Convenience: The Bosch has a separate reversing switch like the ones found on nearly all power drills. (I frequently curse these switches since I frequently press them by accident and forget to press them when I should.) I prefer the rocker switch on the Hitachi, which is very intuitive and lets me reverse in a single operation. When doing electrical work, it's nice to be able to reverse simply by moving my finger on the trigger. The Bosch will likely appeal to you if you're looking for something like a conventional drill-driver in a smaller, lighter package without sacrificing too much power. I own 3 Bosch routers and 2 sanders, so I can honestly say that I love Bosch tools. The quality is great. So why didn't I buy the Bosch PS20-2? I chose the Hitachi because of it's very light weight, comfort, and convenience. Since my purchase, I've picked up the Bosch a few times to see if I made the right choice. Every time, my answer is "Yes." Unless you really need the 10.8 volt torque, you'll should be very happy with the Hitachi. The only improvement I'd like is a clip for a bit or two, but that would probabably make the tool fatter. In this case, slim is better.

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