Review By Dean Bielanowski  Hitachi Website - http://www.hitachi-koki.com/powertools/


Hitachi D10VH Corded Power Drill
 Review

By Dean Bielanowski

 

There is little doubt that I am quite fond of cordless drills. They can go anywhere, most models these days have plenty of power, and they are versatile. But they are still reliant in part on mains power supply to recharge the batteries, and sometimes, a corded drill makes a better option, particularly if you are working where a source of mains power is readily acceptable. I have several corded power drills, and most are larger models I use for heavier drilling or masonry work. After my el-cheapo Chinese brand corded drill died not long ago, I decided I needed a replacement for when I am using portable drills in the workshop (particularly for pocket hole drilling and for pilot holes in mechanical joinery etc.

I decided to buy a Hitachi model. Not for any particular reason, and I don't really own any other Hitachi brand tools at present so I thought I would give the brand a try, and at the same time, review this particular model for you guys to see if it is worth grabbing one for your own woodshop!

When I looked at the models available, I was after just a basic, smaller, lightweight drill that wouldn't be cumbersome to carry around the shop or heavy to use for continuous workshop drilling use. I also didn't want to pay through the roof for one as funds are not unlimited here, but I decided to go for a mid-priced, basic corded drill and try my luck. The Hitachi D-10VH seemed to tick all the appropriate boxes for my needs, and the feedback on Amazon seemed quite positive from other owners, so I took the plunge. It has since been used in my workshop fairly regularly for the past 3 months.

The Hitachi D10VH
The first thing that grabbed my attention on the D10VH's description was that it came with a 5-Year home use warranty. Yep, you read right, 5 years. How many tools offer a 5 year warranty period these days? Fair enough, its for home use only, but since my workshop is at home and I don't really undertake woodwork as a commercial business, this was no problem, and a welcome bonus. Usually the warranty period also gives some kind of indication as to how long the manufacturer will think the tool will last. You wont find 5 year warranties on inferior tools because the company would soon go broke replacing or repairing their product if they are likely to die within 1 or 2 years! So here's hoping the 5 year period means I have bought a decent drill with quality components!

Ok let's look at the drill itself now.

The drill features a 680W 6 Amp (120v) motor which offers a top rotational speed of 2500 RPM. 680W seems more than enough to handle most of my workshop drilling tasks. Because I ensure all my drill bits are kept very sharp, the power requirement of the drill is minimized as the drill bit is cutting very rapidly and without requiring as much power or torque from the drill. Needless to say, with sharp bits I was easily able to drill through wood and metals up to and slightly beyond the described cutting capacity of the drill. These capacities are listed as:

Steel: 3/8" (10mm) bit diameter - twist drill bit
Wood: 1" (25mm) bit diameter -  twist/spade bit
Wood: 5/8" (16mm) bit diameter - auger bit

The D10VH does not have a hammer drilling action, so it is not really suitable for masonry work. Although it can be done, it may be a little underpowered. Stick to wood and metals to help preserve drill life.

The 3/8" (10mm) chuck on the unit I purchased is a keyless variety, meaning no chuck key is required to tighten or release drill bits. Drill bits can be added or removed much faster with the chuck, as it required only your hands as the tool. Some may argue that keyless chucks do not grip the bit as well as keyed chucks, and they are probably right, however, the jaws of a quality keyless chuck are engineered well enough to provide an excellent grip on the bit. I have had no trouble with bits slipping in the chuck jaws if it is properly tightened. Again, sharp drill bits will help reduce slippage in the chuck. You can purchase a version of this drill that does come with a keyed chuck if you wish, although these seem a little harder to find. Of course, the other option is to replace the keyless chuck with a compatible keyed chuck if you wish. But I see no need. The keyless chuck works just fine. There appears to be very little run-out on the drill chuck as well. Most bits spin quite true.

The drill is quite compact in size (overall length of just 9 3/8" - 238mm), and it's very light, weighing in at just 3.1lbs (1.4kg). The light weight goes a long way in reducing user fatigue over extended drilling periods. I was able to drill a ton of pocket holes using the drill over the course of an hour or so without my arms and wrists cursing me for hours after. It may not seem to be such a big factor on paper, but in practice, the ergonomics of a tool can make the difference between a good experience, and a bad one. The tool is somewhat meant for single handed use, which is why its light weight is great. But there is no auxiliary handle to grip the tool with your other hand out of the box (you can buy one as an optional accessory), but you can grip the tool body fairly comfortably with your second hand, if needed, for control. Rubber overmolds provide a secure, non-slip grip which adds to the comfort factor when in the hand. The drill has a forward weight bias, but it is not overpowering, which means your wrists won't be aching after holding the drill for more than a few minutes.

The trigger offers variable speed control from 0 - 2500 RPM and a speed limiting dial located on the trigger face can be used to dial the maximum speed down for finer speed control. This comes in handy when drilling through material that are best drilled with lower speeds, such as metals or plastics. Forward and reverse control is via a slide style switch located above the trigger in the main body of the tool. the trigger can also be locked in the ON position for extended drilling tasks via the trigger lock button lateral to the trigger itself.

In Use
The drill is fairly standard in design and features, and not really any different from most other drills. Sure, it is compact and light, but it is used no differently to any other corded power drill when it comes to the crunch. I have been using the drill in my workshop for about 3 months now. I bought it primarily as my workbench drill. i.e. the power drill I keep at my main bench primarily for pocket hole drilling, but it also gets used for drilling that my floor standing drill press is not required for. For pocket hole drilling the D10VH is more than powerful enough to cut the pocket holes for joinery using the Kreg K3 Pocket Hole System. I loaded up the drill with some forstner bits (up to 1" diameter) to see how well it cuts. In softwood it is no problem, and in hardwood it will drill a 1 inch diameter hole, but the bit must be sharp or you will hear the motor slowing ever so slightly. With sharp bits it handles it fine though, as long as you don't force the cut. It will cut with no trouble at all with all twist bits, brad point bits and spade bits. It will handle augers up to a certain size before you should perhaps consider a larger drill. But for my average woodshop use, it handles pretty much all my drilling needs. I think it's more of a workshop / DIY power drill than a heavy duty construction drill. It simply isn't large or powerful enough for construction use in my opinion.

Ultimately, however, you have to also consider what you are getting for the price. The D10VH retails on the street for around US$55. This is quite a good price for a solid little drill that offers a five year warranty! If you calculate it, this means you are buying a drill that is guaranteed to perform for five years at a cost to you of just over $11 a year. That's pretty inexpensive.

In conclusion, I have to say that the value for money is right up there with the D10VH. Sure its not going to be a drill to suit everyone's drilling needs, but if you are after a smaller power drill for the workshop or for lighter duty tasks around the home, the D10VH would be one to consider. I am certainly enjoying using mine and it has so far provided good service and performance.

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Hitachi D10VH Photos
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The Hitachi D10VH Corded Drill


3/8" (10mm) keyless chuck runs true and provides a good grip on drill bits.


Trigger with speed control dial onboard. Forward/reverse switch is located just above trigger and trigger lock button located on the main handle.


Rubber grips and contoured body provide a comfortable, non-slip grip on the drill.


The perfect-sized and weighted tool for pocket hole and general drilling needs.


The D10VH will handle forstner bits up to a little over 1 inch, but tends to struggle with anything larger.


 

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