Hitachi P18DSL Cordless Planer - Cut the Cord for Freedom at (wood)Work

hitachi p18dsl jj cordless planer

Grinders, SDS+ hammer drills and other high-capacity, huge output power tools have been having their power cords snipped over the last few years. Lithium-ion battery packs with smarter fuel cells and larger capacity tanks has allowed us to de-tangle ourselves from cables and work in newer, smarter ways.

One tool that professional carpenters rely on daily is the trusty planer and it's great to see the power tool companies snip the power cord on these demanding tools and allow us to work with the freedom that batteries alone provide.

In this guide from Toolstop we'll be looking at the P18DSL/JJ from Hitachi, a planer that could quite rightly claim to be capable enough to completely replace your corded option.

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hitach p18dsl jj cordless planer 5ah batteries

Right now there are three variations on this cordless planer:

  • the P18DSL/JJ, pictured above, bundled in a case with two 5Ah batteries - shop now. This is a great choice as you'll be able to either have a 5Ah battery on charge, standing by, or you can use it in one of your existing compatible Hitachi 18v cordless tools!
  • the P18DSL/J4 - shop now. This has all the same spec but is a body-only, or naked unit, meaning you need to supply your own battery. This is a huge advantage if you want to keep your costs down and you're already invested in Hitachi's 18v battery platform - your existing packs will power the planer
  • the KTL618SP2/JJ3 6 piece cordless kit - shop now. Admittedly this is the most extreme way to add a cordless planer to your tool kit, but you're also getting three 5Ah batteries, a combi drill, a jigsaw, an impact driver, a torch and a circular saw, along with a big bag to carry them all in. This could be a fantastic way to get 2016 off to flyer - a whole new tool bag of great cordless tools (available with our great finance packages!)

Hitachi P18DSL - What Are the Spec and Features?

This is a cordless planer that Hitachi feels can - and should - readily replace the corded planer for any professional carpenter. But does it have the spec and features to back that up?

We took a quick look at a corded planer from one of the most popular power tool companies in Europe and did a side-by-side comparison to see how the spec of the P18DSL stacked up.

Firstly, blade rotation.

Obviously the planer is only good at its job if it can ably and efficiently remove stock, and the speed the blade rotates at is what determines how well that'll happen!

We're pleased to note that the P18DSL offers up a very respectable 16,000 rpm, which Hitachi claims is "best in class", hence them being confident that this cordless planer can replace your corded one. The well-known corded planer we compared it to provides slightly more rpm, maxing out at 17,000.

But we're starting to see why Hitachi feels their P18DSL could be a viable corded planer replacement.
hitachi p18dsl cordless planer

Secondly, cutting depth.

Again, stock removal is what a planer is in your kit for, and once again Hitachi feels that the P18DSL leads the way in the cordless planer class with it's 2mm depth of cut via the 82mm wide tungesten carbide blades, which is only 0.5mm less than the corded planer we looked at.

Thirdly, rebate depth.

Another reason why you own a planer is to cut rebates. The corded planer we compared the P18DSL to will make a maximum rebate of 9mm.

Hitachi's P18DSL matches that, rebating up to 9mm. Very impressive.

In addition to the impressive capabilities provided, the P18DSL offers all of the typical "smart features" you'd expect to find in a professional cordless power tool, including:

  • electronic brake. Release the trigger, the blade stops spinning immediately
  • battery indicator. Keep your eye on the charge left in the tank at a glance

hitach p18dsl cordless planer

Plus, as you'll have seen in our video, Hitachi have wrapped the planer up in its signature green rubberised grip for comfort, and there's a large depth control guide that's quick and easy to adjust.

All in all, we're impressed with what Hitachi are offering via it's cordless planer, and the ability for you to choose it in a 5Ah option, body-only or as part of a comprehensive cordless kit is fantastic.

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Could 2016 be the year you upgrade from your current corded planer to Hitachi's P18DSL? Let us know in the comments, along with any questions you may have!

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