Cordless Handheld Vacuums
Compared to the other lightweight handheld vacuums in its class, Hitachi competes very well but has a slightly higher price.
Overall Score 4.2 Pro Review
Not everyone needs a Table 1 compliant dust extractor or even a big wet/dry shop vacuum to tackle cleanup needs. Sometimes, lightweight and compact is much more convenient for small cleanup jobs. That’s where the new Hitachi cordless stick vacuum comes into play.
It’s a small capacity vacuum that clearly has a lot of uses around the house, but what about Pro use?
That depends on the kind of work you’re doing.
Hitachi lists the capacity of this vacuum at 560 mL. A quick conversion will tell you that’s roughly 0.15 gallon, or just shy of 1.2 pints. That’s not a ton, but tells us a lot about what the Hitachi cordless stick vac is supposed to do – clean up small messes.
An LED light on this kind of handheld vac? It seems a little odd and I questioned it myself. It doesn’t cost a lot to add it and it really does give you enough light to see where you are in a dark room. It’s not bright enough to really see much debris in any detail, but if you’re just making sure you vacuum every square foot of your workspace, you can at least see that you did.
You have a few options with how you use this model. Two nozzles come with it – a floor nozzle and crevice nozzle. The floor nozzle has a rubber dust scraper behind it to encourage anything with a light attachment to the floor. Of course, you can use it without nozzles if you want.
There’s also a single 18″ extension. It’s long enough to let most users reach the floor pretty comfortably. I’m 6’2″ and have to bend over a little to make it work.
One of the major selling points for any vacuum this size is the fact that it’s so lightweight compared to other vacuum option. With everything onboard – extension, floor nozzle, crevice nozzle in its storage cradle, lanyard, and 3.0 Ah battery – the whole thing weighs in at just 3.5 pounds. That’s pretty well in line with other options like Ridgid’s Gen5X Handheld Vac.
While it’s probably not going to make or break your purchase decision, I like the inclusion of rubber overmold on the handle. It offers a secure grip and adds a touch of comfort that you won’t get on bare plastic.
For guys like Ben Parker that drop tools often, a lanyard strap will help protect your vacuum from the occassional accident.
When you’re talking about power on a vacuum as small as the Hitachi cordless stick vacuum, you certainly need to ensure you have reasonable expectations. Hitachi claims they get a hair over 45 CFM – pretty solid for the small vacuum class. Ridgid doesn’t attach a claim to their’s other than being the class leader, but other vacs we have run in the 30 – 40 CFM range.
When it comes to suction power – the ability to pick up heavier debris – this only pulls 0.75 pounds. That’s not much. Those figures solidify what the capacity tells us – this is a vacuum designed for small cleanup.
Hitachi claims they get up to 48 minutes of runtime on their 6.0 Ah battery. Since keeping the weight down is a priority and cleaning up only small areas is the design, I tested it with a 3.0 Ah slim pack. I should get around 24 minutes, right?
It took just under 33 minutes (32:51) for the Hitachi cordless stick vacuum to finally run its 3.0 Ah battery dead. There’s a qualifier on it, though. Its effective power was pretty much done at the 25:00 mark. That’s a bit unusual considering lithium-ion batteries normally run fairly fade-free until the very end. Nearly 8 minutes of increasingly fading power is something I didn’t expect and don’t have an answer for.
Price and Value
The Hitachi R18DSALP4 will run right at $99 as a bare tool with the nozzles and extension wand. That’s about $20 more than you’ll pay with Ridgid. You can get Makita’s nearly identical model for $79 bare or $99 as a 2.0 Ah kit.
My gut tells me that I’d like to see a brushless motor in this for the price, but the runtime and CFM are so good as it is, that I really don’t think you need it. Instead, Hitachi might consider dropping the price a touch or offering a kit with their 1.5 Ah slim pack.
The Bottom Line
The Hitachi cordless stick vacuum is an excellent choice for small cleanups at pretty much any level from floor to ceiling. It doesn’t claim to be anything it isn’t and fits its role very well. The only change I’d like to see is a price adjustment to compete a little better with Ridgid and Makita.
Hitachi Cordless Stick Vacuum Key Features
- Compatible with Hitachi’s 18V Lithium Ion slide-type batteries for fade free power, less weight and 3x the total battery life of traditional batteries (batteries and chargers sold separately)
- 45.56 CFM (40W) powerful suction power
- Capable of 48 minutes of non-stop use with Hitachi’s 6.0Ah Lithium Ion slide-type battery
- Easy dust removal without removing filter
- LED light to illuminate dark areas in the workshop
- Rubber dust scraper blades scrapes dust off the filter making the dust removal process easier, cleaner and faster
- Soft grip handle for comfort while in use
- Lightweight at just 3.09 lbs for easy transport and maneuverability
- 560ml dust collection capacity
Hitachi Cordless Stick Vacuum Specifications
- Model: Hitachi R18DSALP4
- Voltage: 18
- Capacity: 560 ml
- Run Time (6.0Ah): 48 min
- Battery Type: Li-Ion Slide Type
- Filter Type: Cup Filter
- Filter Application: Dry
- Suction Power: 40W
- Air Flow: 45.6 CFM
- Filter Dust Scraper: Yes
- Switch Type: Trigger
- LED Light: Yes
- Soft Grip Handle: Yes
- Main Body Length: 18-1/32″
- Weight: 3.09 lbs
- Warranty: 1-Year
- Price: $46.67