DeWalt is by far one of the best-known power tool brands in the United States. Hilti, on the other hand, being from Liechtenstein, is not as recognized among the general public. That doesn’t mean it’s not worth looking at, though.
In fact, Hilti is one of the world’s best hammer drill makers – and a pioneer in the industry. As such, depending on what your budget is and what type of tool you are looking for, it might actually be the best choice.
Continue reading to see how the two brands fare against each other.
A Brief History of Hilti and DeWalt
When you’re looking at two modern-day giants like Hilti and DeWalt, a lot of times you forget their humble beginnings. Both were created in the early 20th century.
Hilti was founded in 1941 and DeWalt was founded in 1924. DeWalt started in Leola, Pennsylvania and Hilti started in Schaan, Liechtenstein – both small and quiet towns. Both the companies are named after their founder’s surname, Eugen Hilti and Raymond DeWalt.
After DeWalt invented the radial arm saw and started selling other woodworking tools, the company continued to rapidly expand. Equally, Hilti became the pioneer of the first powder-actuated tool followed by the world’s first electro-pneumatic hammer drill. Hilti then started to grow its product family and sell to different markets around the world.
Over the next decades, both companies focused on broadening their spectrum of tools. Their priority was placed on worldwide sales and growth.
Hilti Vs. DeWalt: Which Offers Better Quality?
Hilti has always been operated with quality as the most important factor. You pay a premium for their tools. Largely, you’re paying for the manufacturing quality of each piece.
Hilti tools are typically sold as mid to high-end commercial construction tools. Their tools can be dropped, worn out, or used in poor weather conditions – and they can still be used for decades.
DeWalt falls short when it comes to quality – especially when compared to a high-end brand like Hilti. That said, they are certainly an affordable option. As you can guess, affordability and manufacturing quality are usually on opposite sides of the coin.
Warranty: Hilti Wins
Hilti honors a 20-year limited warranty, and two-year wear and tear coverage. If the tool breaks within 20 years due to defective workmanship, they will replace the tool for free. The same applies to any tool within two years of purchase.
The company also guarantees repairs within one day. For longer repairs, it charges no fees.
DeWalt offers a three-year limited warranty and one-year free service. Similar to Hilti, if your tool breaks within three years due to faulty workmanship they will replace the tool. Any tool within one year of initial purchase is subject to free service.
Hilti offers a much better warranty in this case. It’s rare that you’d have a defective Hilti. That might be why they stand behind their product with so much confidence by offering this type of warranty.
Hilti Vs. DeWalt: Which Has a Better Product Portfolio?
DeWalt offers a ton of different products. Many different power tools, hand tools, and various gear and equipment you might want on the jobsite. Their power tools range from cordless hand drills, nailers and staplers, sanders all the way to impact drivers.
Hilti’s selection is a bit more limited as the company mainly focuses on heavier-duty construction tools. Power tools, hand tools, precision measuring instruments, general contractor equipment, and engineered anchors and bolts are some of the items in its portfolio.
Looking specifically at a comparable hammer drill offered by both companies, Hilti offers higher quality at a higher price point. If you analyze the product portfolio in terms of quality and accuracy, Hilti wins.
Comparing the two companies when it comes to their ancillary equipment used by pros such as laser distance measurers and engineered anchor bolts, Hilti wins again. It is a more trusted brand by professionals, primarily due to its long track record of quality.
Though, both companies have a lot of different products available. Looking strictly at how many, and how many different kinds of products are offered, DeWalt wins due to it being a more general manufacturer serving both concrete as well as woodworking.
That said, Hilti offers better quality as long as the tools you need are in its portfolio.
Hammer Drills: Hilti Wins
Hilti’s hammer drills are well-built tools. They have solid ergonomics, a ton of power, and are typically very compact. Their price point is usually higher than that of other hammer drills in the market. Their quality is top-notch across every category.
DeWalt offers hammer drills that are compact, lightweight, offer good speed and torque, and are well balanced.
DeWalt has brushless motors available in their lineup which give you more operation time. Even though their quality is lacking in some aspects, for the most part, their hammer drills are more expensive than you’d expect. The other common complaint with DeWalt hammer drills is that they tend to wear out and die quicker than some other brands’ tools do.
For these reasons, it has to be said that Hilti offers a better hammer drill (like the TE 7-C) – both in terms of selection as well as quality. Their hammer drill will work harder and last more years. If you are a pro, the benefits make it worth the extra money you are spending.
Which of the Two Brands Should You Choose?
It is hard to decide between these two brands. For the most part, Hili has the higher quality of the two for a higher price. DeWalt tools perform average, but most of their product portfolio is less expensive.
Hilti and DeWalt could be compared to Mercedes and Kia, you get what you pay for.
That being said, it is up to the user. For a cost-considerate hobbyist, DeWalt is the right choice. For a serious user or professional, Hilti should be the brand of choice if the budget allows it.
Both of the brands are well-established at this point and offer excellent product portfolios. DeWalt in a variety of spaces ranging from heavy-duty construction all the way to woodworking, and Hilti mainly in the concrete and masonry work area.
With that in mind, if you are in the construction industry and are looking for tools that will last long and heavy-duty use, then the answer is very simple. Simply choose Hilti. You will pay more initially, but its 20-2-1 warranty combined with exceptional manufacturing quality will be well worth it.