If you are on a hunt for high-quality tools, really the best of the best stuff that you can get your hands on, there are probably just a few brands that you are considering.
One brand that is definitely up there in terms of quality is Hilti. It might not all that well be known among regular folks, at least not in North America. However, this is not to say that it doesn’t produce great products. In fact, quite the opposite.
In this Hilti review, we cover all the important things you need to know before committing to this brand.
Hilti is a fairly old brand in the world of power tools, although not the oldest by far. The brand was first created in 1941, right in the midst of World War II, and it started out as a small family-run entity. It was founded by the Hilti brothers, Martin Hilti and Eugene Hilti, from Lichtenstein. On an interesting side note, Hilti is currently the largest employer in the country of Lichtenstein and is currently based in Schaan.
What can get a little confusing is that while Hilti is technically from Lichtenstein, it has some German origins and is also closely related to Switzerland. The association with Switzerland can be seen on the Hilti logo that features white letters with a red background, similar to the Swiss flag that has a white cross with a red backdrop.
Of course, the Hilti brothers, the original founders are now long gone, but it’s interesting that this massive company is still family-owned. Although very unflattering, what some people may not know is that Martin Hilti was a voluntary member of the National Socialist’s Waffen SS division.
At this time, Hilti can be found worldwide and currently has three main divisions on three continents. There is Hilti North America which is headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Then, there is Hilti Europe, which is headquartered in Manchester, England. Finally, there is Hilti India, headquartered in Haryana.
By the year 2019, Hilti had over 29,000 employees worldwide in 120 different countries, with over 5 billion Swiss Francs worth of sales.
Hilti Tool Quality Overview
Of course, what we are really here to find out today is how good Hilti tools are. Well, as far as the various large tool brands in the world concerns, Hilti has an extremely strong reputation. It’s a really well-trusted brand, particularly in Europe where it is known the best.
What can be said about virtually all products that Hilti makes, is that they are expensive, and quite so. Realistically, this is one of the most expensive tool brands out there, which is why regular homeowners and DIYers probably would not go for them.
However, what everyone who knows Hilti can agree on is that you get what you pay for, and with the relatively large investment that is buying a Hilti tool, you can rest assured that you are buying quality. Hilti tools can be seen as true long-term investments. For this reason, many professionals, tradesmen, and large construction companies alike invest in Hilti tools, because they are worth it.
In particular, the general consensus about Hilti products is that they are just great all around. They are super comfortable and ergonomically designed for long-term comfort, particularly to prevent fatigue. Moreover, they are usually quite lightweight as well.
Furthermore, Hilti tools, for the most part, are built using very high-quality components, they are made in factories with high standards, and the quality control is great too, not to mention that many of their products incorporate some really modern and advanced technology.
What can definitely be said here is that Hilti tools are durable and long-lasting, the kind of products that have no problem absorbing a ton of punishment and being used for difficult tasks on a daily basis for years on end. Besides the big-time price tags associated with these tools, you really won’t find many complaints about the brand or its products.
Now, what is actually really surprising about Hilti is where their tools are made, for the most part. At this time, Hilti produces the vast majority of its tools in several factories located in the countries of Mexico, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, Hungary, and China. Up until a couple of decades ago, Hilti did produce a good amount of its products in the USA, but this is no longer the case.
Moreover, the production has steadily moved away from Austria, Hungary, Germany, and Lichtenstein. Yes, this is the surprising part, that almost all Hilti products are now produced in Chinese factories, yet somehow the tool quality is considered to be some of the highest in the world. Whatever Hilti is doing, it’s clearly doing it right.
When it comes down to it, Hilti as a brand might just have the number one best warranties worldwide, on most of its products anyway. Hilti offers a solid two-year warranty on all power tools. This covers replacements and repairs due to wear and tear.
There are no charges for parts, labor, and shipping within these first two years of the initial purchase. Hilti will repair or replace parts that break due to a defect or workmanship for a full 20 years. As you can see, this warranty is nothing short of awesome.
Hilti Product Portfolio Overview
One of the most important things that we want to mention about Hilti’s product portfolio is that when it comes to general power tools, the selection is not huge, not nearly as big as with some of the other brands out there like Bosch or Makita. Now, in each category, whether drills, hammer drills, impact drivers, various saws, and more, Hilti is sure to have a couple of good options, some very good options, just not all that many of them.
One of the reasons for this is because Hilti is quite a specialty tool brand that focuses heavily on certain areas. For instance, two of the main product categories that Hilti focuses on are heavy-duty construction tools and stoneworking tools for concrete, cement, and masonry.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the main Hilti product categories that you may be interested in.
Hilti does make a wide variety of cordless tools including rotary hammers, drills, drivers, fasting tools, dispensers, combo kits, rivet tools, impact drivers, impact wrenches, cordless hydraulic pipe pressing tools, cordless saws, cordless hydraulic cutters and crimpers, grinders, measuring tools, and more.
Each category has a few good options to choose from. As is the case with Hilti, the tools are of high quality. There’s just not a massive selection of them.
The exact same thing can be said for Hilti corded tools as for cordless tools.
Each category has a few high-quality products, just not very many of them. When it comes to corded tools, you will find all of the basics, but one of the big focuses is masonry, which we will discuss directly below.
Masonry and Concrete Tools
Hilti is well known for its great selection of high-quality tools related to concrete, cement, stone, and really all forms of masonry.
If you need good diamond wire and wall saws, gas saws, demolition hammers and breakers, diamond coring machines, diamond cutting and splitting tools, and anything else required to cut or drill into masonry and concrete, Hilti has you covered.
Modular Support Systems
Hilti makes a variety of modular support systems including various forms of ventilation, piping, sprinkler systems, base connectors, channel systems, 3D structures, and other such things related to big construction projects.
Vacuums and Dust Management
This brand makes a wide variety of dust extraction machines, dust management systems, and vacuums, most of which are designed for fairly large-scale applications.
Fire Stop and Fire Protection
Hilti produces some of the best fire protection systems in the world.
If it is used in construction to prevent and control fires, you can bet that Hilti makes it.
Finally, Hilti also produces a wide variety of construction chemicals.
Is Hilti a Good Brand?
Yes, when it comes down to it, Hilti is an absolutely fantastic brand, probably one of the very best in the world.
The things to keep in mind include that Hilti is a brand designed for professional use and big jobs. It’s the kind of brand that large construction firms go with, not your average DIYer. With that, it is a really expensive brand almost exclusively manufacturing high-end equipment.
One particular area where the brand excels is in tools related to masonry and concrete work. As such, if you are in such a trade, you should definitely have Hilti high up on your list of brands to consider.
How Does Hilti Compare with Other Brands?
If you are not convinced Milwaukee is the right brand for you, make sure to also read my detailed comparison putting it side by side with other popular brands:
Hilti Product Reviews
Finally, if you are looking for specific tools, go through the product reviews below:
The bottom line here is that Hilti makes amazing products, some super high-end stuff that will cost you a whole lot of money.
That said, if you need reliable and durable tools that might just outlast you, particularly for large scale construction and for working with masonry, Hilti is a top brand to consider.