Design-wise, the G18DSL has a slim, soft-grip slip-resistant elastomer body. Hitachi claims a 182mm, but we measured 195mm at the widest part, slightly overlapping part of the slide switch which is how most people would hold an angle grinder. This however is still slimmer than Hitachi's 4-inch G10SS2 angle grinder (at the slimmest end) and would allow an operator to have a firm grasp of the G18DSL's body.
How does it stack up against the competition?
Compared to its nearest competitor, the Hitachi G18DSL is also some 62mm shorter thanks to its compact design that weighs in at a scant 1.8kg (this easily 100-400g lighter than the competition). However, we should point out that the reason for the longer (and heavier) design on the competition is due to the elaborate removable (and replaceable) cooling vent design while the G18DSL has basic fixed cooling vents at the base of the unit.
Like most modern cordless tool, the G18DSL is equipped with an over-current protection circuit that shuts down the the tool in the event of an overload thus reducing the risk of damage to the motor. A zero voltage safety reset also prevents the G18DSL from starting up when a fresh battery is inserted, even with the side-mounted slide switch is in the ON position. Other than the slide switch, the other button is a battery indicator LED which lights up two for full and one for roughly 50% charge.
The G18DSL is also equipped with a M10 thread spindle typical of most 4-inch angle grinders but is paired with the slightly over-sized 115mm guard thus allowing the G18DSL to easily accommodate diamond cutting discs which are slightly larger than most 100mm (4-inches) discs.
The high-torque motor in the G18DSL has a no-load, non-variable speed of 9,100rpm. Since this is the only cordless angle grinder in Hitachi's 18V line up, you don't get to choose between a high-torque or high-rpm model.
Additionally, the G18DSL has a user replaceable brush, while brushed tools are slowly being displaced by more efficient brushless models, Hitachi's sales pitch is that they can sell you a brushless model but that would significantly raise the price of the tool.
You could argue that the Hitachi G18DSL pales in comparison to the competition when it comes to the lack of any automatic speed controls or even an electronic brake function, but what the G18DSL lacks, it makes up with an affordable price tag. The competition is easily twice the price of the G18DSL.
Since the price of a Hitachi 18V 3.0Ah battery is already more expensive than the G18DSL, we feel the G18DSL isn't something worth buying an entire 18V cordless system to justify it being in your workshop. Rather, if you already own a Hitachi 18V system, then the G18DSL would make a good addition to your arsenal of cordless tools ..and best of all, it comes standard with a handle!
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