Hitachi is another big name, but some people will be more familiar with the brand for their TV’s and electronics than for their power tools. This probably leaves a lot of intrigued DIY’ers wondering – are Hitachi tools any good?
In this article, we’ll take a head to head look at DeWalt vs. Hitachi; we’ll consider price points, performance, reliability, and overall value for a few of each brand’s most popular tools. Class-wise and price-wise, the two brands are pretty similar, so maybe this article can help clear a few things up for those of you who may be torn on deciding between one or the other.
Table of contents
- Brief Histories: Hitachi vs DeWalt
- Hitachi Company History
- DeWalt Company History
- Hitachi & DeWalt Parent Companies
- The Hitachi Group
- Brand Reputation & Cost of Tools
- Warranty Comparisons
- Tools: Performance, Reliability, and Overall Value
- Review: Hitachi and DeWalt Cordless Tool Combo Kits
- Hitachi vs DeWalt: Brushless
- Bottom Line
- Frequently Asked Questions
Brief Histories: Hitachi vs DeWalt
Hitachi Company History
The Hitachi brand has a long history in Japan dating back to the early 1900’s. It was founded by a young Japanese engineer who rose to prominence in the industry when he introduced the country’s first electric induction motor.
Over the decades, the company has remained headquartered in Tokyo and has grown into the massive international conglomerate that it is today – employing well over 300,000 people and rivaling some of the biggest electronics names on the planet (Sony, Mitsubishi, etc).
DeWalt Company History
DeWalt, on the other hand, started out in a small Pennsylvania town when Raymond DeWalt invented and introduced the radial arm saw back in the 20’s. Back in the early 90’s, the brand was one of the pioneers of the DIY market, and its first generation of cordless power tools was an absolute game changer.
Nowadays, DeWalt (currently owned by Stanley Black and Decker) may not be regarded as the most prestigious name in the industry, but they still make some reliable, fine-quality tools at reasonable prices.
Hitachi & DeWalt Parent Companies
The Hitachi Group
The Hitachi Group is the parent company of Hitachi. They own a wide variety of brands:
- Hitachi Vantara
- Hitachi Metals
- Hitachi Rail
- Hitachi Astemo
- Hitachi High-tech
- Hitachi Construction Machinery
- Hitachi Construction Machinery (Europe)
- GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy (co-owned by General Electric)
- Hitachi Global Life Solutions
- Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning
- Hitachi Digital Media Group
- Hitachi Plant Technologies
- Hitachi Communication Technologies America
- Hitachi Solutions America
- Hitachi Industrial Equipment Systems
- Hitachi Transport System
- Hitachi Energy
Stanley Black & Decker (SBD)
Stanley Black & Decker, also known as SBD, is the parent company of DeWalt. They own a wide variety of brands:
- Black + Decker
Brand Reputation & Cost of Tools
Here we’ll go over the reputations and cost of the tools of each brand.
Hitachi Reputation and Tool Affordability
Hitachi products are likely some of the best out there. The general consensus about Hitachi tools is that they are fairly high-end.
In general, these are the kinds of tools that a tradesman would use on a daily basis for larger jobs. Hitachi tools are known for being durable and long-lasting, often using top-of-the-line materials and components in their construction.
Now, this doesn’t mean hobbyists and DIYers can’t use them. They are more than good enough for occasional and lightweight use. With all of that being said, Hitachi tools are not exactly cheap, which is why hobbyists and DIYers usually don’t go with them. On the flip side, you’re also getting what you pay for with Hitachi.
DeWalt Reputation and Tool Affordability
The number one thing that can be said about DeWalt products across the board is that they are likely some of the best out there. The general consensus about DeWalt tools is that they are fairly high-end, maybe not the very best in the world, but certainly up there with the best of them. What most people say, what we agree with, is that DeWalt produces tools and all sorts of products that are ideal for professional and heavy-duty use.
In general, these are the kinds of tools that a tradesman would use on a daily basis for big jobs, and not have to worry about them breaking down. Indeed, DeWalt tools are well known for being durable and long-lasting, often using top-of-the-line materials and components in the construction of their power tools and other products.
Now, this is not to say that non-professional people, such as hobbyists, DIYers, and people looking to do home repairs, cannot use them. They are, of course, more than good enough for occasional and lightweight use.
That being said, DeWalt tools are not exactly cheap, which is why hobbyists and people who just need them for occasional use may not buy them. The flip side of that is that you do get what you pay for with DeWalt, and here you do get a whole lot of quality. Overall, DeWalt tools are recognized for their durability, longevity, comfort, functionality, and ability to deal with big jobs.
All Hitachi tools are inspected before they leave the factories to ensure the highest quality for customers. If you are not satisfied with the tool within 30 days of purchase, please return the product with a receipt to the original place of purchase for a refund or replacement. This guarantee covers power tools only.
A Lifetime warranty is defined as the serviceable life of the product. This is defined as the period during which all components are available.
- Cordless Lithium Ion Blowers
- Cordless Lithium Ion Circular Saws
- Cordless Lithium Ion Driver Drills
- Cordless Lithium Ion Hammer Drills
- Cordless Lithium Ion Impact Drivers
- Cordless Lithium Ion Impact Wrenches
- Cordless Lithium Ion Jig Saws
- Cordless Lithium Ion Reciprocating Saws
Two Year Warranty
The product categories listed below are warranted to the original purchaser to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of two years from the original purchase date.
- Band Saws
- Belt & Disc Sanders
- Benchtop Metal Dry-Cut Saws
- Drill Presses
- Lithium Ion Batteries
- Scroll Saws
- Table Saws
One Year Warranty
The product categories listed below are warranted to the original purchaser to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of one year from the original purchase date.
- Air Compressors
- Concrete Cutters
- Corded Grinders
- Corded Hammer Drills
- Corded Rotary Hammers
- Cordless Gas Nailers
- Cordless Grinders
- Cordless Rotary Hammers
- Demolition Hammers
- NiCd & NiMH Batteries
The product categories listed below are warranted to the original purchaser to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of ninety days from the original purchase date.
- Driver Blades
- Hammer Tackers
- Mallet Rubber Caps
- Piston Cushions
- Ram Rubber Caps
- Ram Rubber Washers
- Shoe Base Pads
The product category listed below is warranted to the original purchaser to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of thirty days from the original purchase date.
- Accessory Products
Warranty coverage is conditioned upon the purchaser furnishing Hitachi or its Authorized Service Center with adequate written proof of the original purchase date.
DeWalt does a pretty good job on the warranties for their tools and other products. They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on all of their tools. It also offers three-, seven-, or lifetime limited warranties depending on the specific tool you purchase.
Tools: Performance, Reliability, and Overall Value
Hitachi used to make some of the best-pro-quality framing tools out there; their 13V circular saws were second to none, and you’d see a lot of contracting teams using Hitachi nailers and miter saws on the job site.
Nowadays, in the past six or eight years it seems that the brand has fallen off a bit, with Milwaukee especially seeing a rise in popularity. In terms of the absolute best-performing tools out there, Hitachi isn’t really regarded anymore as being cream of the crop (then again, neither is DeWalt).
However, they can be a much better value price-wise if you aren’t looking for – or don’t need – the absolute best of the best.
In our head-to-head comparisons, we’ll primarily look at each company’s line of cordless tools; drills, impact drivers, circular saws and reciprocating saws, and come to an overall conclusion on which one we think comes out on top.
Review: Hitachi and DeWalt Cordless Tool Combo Kits
Hitachi Tool KC18DGLS 18V Lithium Ion Cordless Combo Kit DV18DGL Hammer Drill & WH18DGL Impact Driver with 2-1.5Ah Batteries
This kit includes a sawzall (reciprocating saw), 6 ½” circular saw, ½” cordless drill, and a lantern/LED light, as well as two 4.0 amp batteries, a charger, and a carrying case.
The price represents a pretty nice value, and the tools perform decently enough. Again, though, it’s tough to say how they’ll work for you – it all depends on your needs and expectations.
In our opinion, we’d say for standard, relatively light work, or for an entry-level set, it’s a good option. For heavier jobs, though (framing, deck building), they fall short. The circular saw is underpowered and eats up battery with the voraciousness of a bear in spring, and the cordless drill is insufficient for all but the most standard use.
Moreover, the tools are a bit bulky in the hand, and aesthetically they’re pretty much ugly as sin.
DeWalt 4-tool 18V Combo Kit
For roughly the same price (just a hair more expensive) as the 4-tool Hitachi kit, the tools in this combo are of better quality, in our opinion.
However, instead of a circular saw – the 4-tool DeWalt kit has a ¼” impact driver. The impact is a great tool and an awesome addition to any cordless arsenal, but if you’re after a value-priced kit like these, you’ll get way more use out of a circular saw than you would an impact driver.
For this reason, we’d recommend going with the Hitachi set if it were between these two.
DeWalt 20V MAX 5-tool Cordless Kit
If you’re willing to spend a bit more money, DeWalt’s 5-tool kit includes a hammer cordless drill, impact driver, reciprocating saw, circular saw, and LED light – pretty much everything you need. It’s a substantially larger investment than the Hitachi kit, even if the tools are better. We actually really like the DeWalt circular saw that comes in this combo, and the impact driver/hammer drill combo is fantastic – great power, and good battery life.
If you’re only looking for a drill or drill/impact driver combo, DeWalt’s 20V Li-Ion combo with two 1.5 amp slim-pack batteries is a fantastic value for the money.
Hitachi’s 18V drill/impact combo is a very similar option, and is slightly less expensive. However, in our opinion we’d be more than happy to spend a little extra on the DeWalt kit. As both the drill and impact driver function and feel better in the hand (the Hitachi’s are a bit heavy/bulky and awkward to use).
One other major thing to consider is warranty. Hitachi has probably the best power tool warranty in the industry (limited lifetime on tools, 5-year on batteries), and is far superior to DeWalt’s 3-year limited. So value wise, it’s really hard to ignore Hitachi; lower prices than DeWalt, and better warranty.
Hitachi vs DeWalt: Brushless
One last thing we’ll consider, since they’re becoming so popular, is a couple brushless models from each brand. Brushless motors allow for a significant increase in efficiency, performance, and battery life (for a detailed explanation why, check out this article), but are also significantly more expensive than ‘regular’ cordless tools.
Between Hitachi and DeWalt, we didn’t really see a massive difference in performance between their brushless drills and impact drivers. DeWalt’s 20V performs maybe a little better and has slightly better battery life and charge times than Hitachi’s 18V, but not enough to warrant the extra cost.
Hitachi’s brushless drill/impact driver combo is probably one of the best values on the market; drill, driver, and two 3.0 amp batteries all for one affordable price.
That’s hard to beat.
The tools in DeWalt’s 20V MAX XR brushless drill/impact driver combo are great. Don’t get us wrong, but the kit is a little pricier, and it comes with the slim 1.5 amp batteries instead of the 3.0 amp ‘fat packs’ – a significant difference as the bigger batteries will give you about twice as much run time.
Alright, so the bottom line. This is honestly a tough one.
If price wasn’t a factor, the decision would be easy – we’d go DeWalt hands down. In our opinion, the tools are of better quality. They’re superior ergonomically/aesthetically, and they perform slightly better than Hitachi’s cordless options.
However, here in reality, price is a factor. I’s incredibly hard to ignore Hitachi’s super-impressive price tags and industry-leading warranty. If we were backed to a wall and forced to make a decision between the two, we’d have to choose Hitachi. There’s just not that much of a discrepancy in performance to merit the higher price of DeWalt’s tools.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are Hitachi and DeWalt the same company?
No, Hitachi and DeWalt are not the same company. They’re owned by separate parent companies.
Is DeWalt good quality?
DeWalt is often seen as one of the best tool brands that you can purchase today. They offer both brushless and brushed options, and the quality is great for DIYers and home use.
Are Hitachi tools worth buying?
Some Hitachi tool tests have found that their tools underperform when compared to other top tool brands. However, Hitachi offers incredible value for its tools.
Are Hitachi tools as good as DeWalt tools?
For the most part, Hitachi has several tools that are right on par with DeWalt tools, but there are some DeWalt tools that are of higher quality than the Hitachi version.
Is Hitachi better than Dewalt for cordless hand tools?
There isn’t a direct answer to this question. Dewalt tools are good quality and perform well. Hitachi tools are cheaper but can get the job done. However, one is technically better performance-wise. But Hitachi may be better for you if you’re just performing tasks around the house. DeWalt makes excellent tools for heavy-duty projects and jobs, but if you don’t need that, why pay the extra money?
Do DeWalt batteries fit Hitachi?
Although DeWalt and Hitachi are in the same market space, they each have their own accessories, including batteries, to fit their tools. This is how companies ensure customer loyalty.