I covered the Hitachi DB3DL for Wired back in 2007, and I gave it a mixed review. It drove a lot of screws on a single charge, and its replaceable battery made it stand out from the permanent-battery crowd. But the trigger was a bit tough to reach, and I was concerned about the tool’s longevity. Now Hitachi has updated the line slightly, releasing the DB3DL2.
Sadly, it’s hard to find an original spec sheet for the DB3DL, so I’m struggling from memory to figure out what they’ve changed. Obviously they’ve simplified the styling, ditching some of the shot-it-with-a-paintball-gun molded shapes. The result is a lot more appealing to the eye, and I bet it feels better in the hand as well. Besides that, you still get two removable batteries — 1.5 Ah 3.6V li-ion — and the DB3DL’s bendy middle.
Essentially, the DB3DL2 remains a decent choice if you need this specific form-factor. If not, you can probably spend less for a simpler tool or shell out a little more for something that’ll last a bit longer.
One note: Pricing has remained pretty much the same. You can snag one for around $80 online (or less when they’re on sale).