Torque Tested: HiKOKI DV 36DAX COMBI DRILL – MULTI-VOLT FLEXIBILITY

From the minute you pick this combi drill up you know it means business. It is weighty, in a good way, with excellent ergonomics and a quick blip on the trigger creates a small torque twist in your hands that tells you it is powerful. 138Nm of torque powerful, in fact, and hence the need for the long auxiliary handle that comes with it.

Drilling capacities are impressive – up to 102mm diameter holes in softwood and up to 20mm holes in brick. I can vouch for these as I have tried them. A series of 50mm diameter ‘take no prisoners’ holes in 45mm thick oak worktops barely slowed the drill down and gave confidence that professionals will not find this tool lacking on the power front.

I still use a drill rather than impact drivers to drive screws wherever possible. (I don’t like the clackety impact noise unless absolutely necessary). Driving 12 gauge 100mm screws is no problem, and my guess is that longer hex head screws would also be no problem because the drive from a hex adaptor would be more positive.

36 VOLTS OF POWER ON TAP

The explanation for most of this power comes from the use of brushless motors and HiKOKI’s MultiVolt battery packs. These packs are made for HiKOKI’s new 36v tool range, but are also designed to retro fit the ‘older’ 18v Hitachi/HiKOKI tools, where a clever bit of switching turns them into 18v/5Ah batteries. HiKOKI has  made a good job of ensuring that the compatibility is seamless and foolproof – 18v battery packs just won’t fit the 36v tools.

THE FAMILIAR DESIGN HELPS HANDLING

The design of this combi follows well-established patterns with the battery pack on the base of the handle to balance gearbox and motor on the top. The switchgear will be familiar for most users with high/low speed setting on top of the casing, a 24-position collar behind the chuck to choose drill/hammer or 22 torque positions and a reverse/forward push through switch above the speed sensitive trigger. The addition of a spindle brake is another good feature.

An all-metal keyless chuck gives a firm grip on drill bits from 1.5mm to 13mm diameters. I found that even on high impact rates (0-31,500/min) the chuck held onto the drill bit. However, after using the drill in impact mode for a while, you will always look on the invention of SDS drills in a kindly way.

Because the drill follows a fairly standard design, the ergonomics feel familiar right from the off. The generous and well-designed black rubberised overmoulding provides good grip and bump protection.

HANDY TO HAVE

With working at height regulations insisting that tethering tools is a must, the addition of a wrist strap and a reversible belt hook are both places where a tether could be clipped on. And they can be used for their intended purposes too. A bright LED light on the base is aimed at the end of the chuck and a battery charge indicator on the battery pack will tell you how much charge you have left at the push of a button.

There is an awful lot to like about this thoroughly professional quality combi drill. It feels and looks like it will have a long working life and has exceeded my expectations in the few months I have been using it.

Head to TORQUE TESTED to find more reviews from Peter Brett.

Brands, companies and wholesalers that are interested in getting their products reviewed in Torque Magazine should contact the editor at Jonathon@torque-expo.com.

This article was originally published in Torque’s February print magazine. You can subscribe to the mag or read the whole thing online