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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).

DB3DL 3.6V Cordless Screwdriver [Hitachi]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


7 Responses to Hitachi’s Updated Cordless Screwdriver

  1. David says:

    Hey guys- I really appreciate your site. I have been dropping in a few times a week since I first stumbled onto it back in November. I work for Hitachi Power Tools, so I can shed light for you as to what’s different on this drill versus the other.

    As you guessed, this is the successor to DB3DL. The torque, RPMs, and gearing remains the same. The cosmetics are obviously different, but the main difference is that we added overload and over-discharge circuit protection to increase the durability of the tool. Because of this added circuit protection, this tool is (very) slightly longer than its predecessor, though the weight remains roughly the same.

    As for applications, I use the old DB3DL I have at home for getting into my computer when it needs dusting or if I’m replacing a cooling fan whose bearings have gone bad, or if I’m painting and need to remove outlet covers. Since it’s small and folds out straight it fits in one of the silverware drawers in my kitchen so that I don’t have to go out to the garage when I need a screwdriver quickly.

    The other thing that I like about it is that the one time that it ran out of juice on me (since I never bothered to charge it after many uses) I was still able to finish screwing on the outlet covers since it has spindle lock and can act as a manual screwdriver when in stick mode.

  2. browndog77 says:

    Replaceable batteries are nice, but the Craftsman 7.2v bender blows most of the others away. I used them for years before I got my Bosch I-driver, & they take a beating! You can buy 2 & recharge one whole using the other. Add on the led & a price under $35 & it looks even better.

    • Leo says:

      This Craftsman is bulkier and uses regular Ni-Mh batteries, which explains why it’s cheaper. Bosch PS20-2A looks really good and costs the same but takes more space. LED lights? Every driver has them nowadays.

  3. Jerry says:

    I seem to find a lot of uses for my DeWalt 920K2 7.2Volt ‘bendable’ driver. Had it for a long while now and if it’s always handy on my bench.

  4. extremeframer says:

    I have 5 of these units…one in every toolbox and vehicle. They ROCK! A fully charged battery can be stored for months and still hold a charge. They have plenty of torque for everyday household uses and the size is not overly large. I can’t remember the last time I used a manual screwdriver.

  5. Brau says:

    I don’t like the position of the trigger. I should be below the break to operate more like a drill when in that shape. Having said that, I own a Craftsman with the same features for less than half the price, and can attest it has survived years of hard use and abuse. Like browndog77 says, I’d buy two Craftsman drivers so one can charge while the other is in use.

  6. Melvin says:

    I’ve got a Milwaukee 4.8V version of this tool and the trigger position is one of the things I like about it. It falls right below your thumb and reversing is simply a matter of shifting your thumb. These things are the perfect tool for Computer work whether it’s PC cases or racks.

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