If you are looking to get a new hammer drill – or even some other power tools – you might find yourself in a situation where you are deciding between Hilti and Milwaukee.
While the two brands have different origins and are based in different places, they both make excellent products. That said, there are differences between them that are worth keeping in mind and that will help you pick one of them over the other.
Continue reading to find out whether Hilti or Milwaukee is better for your needs.
A Brief History of Milwaukee and Hilti
In 1918 Henry Ford asked A.H. Petersen to create a smaller and lighter portable 1/4-inch capacity power drill.
He successfully did so, and four years later, Petersen and F. Siebert formed the A.H. Petersen Company. After a fire destroyed their business, Siebert bought out Petersen and continued it under the name Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. He grew his success by refurbishing and repairing tools that were already on the market. In the 30s and during World War II, Milwaukee began focusing on portable power tools.
In the late 1930s, Milwaukee concentrated on improving existing lines of metalworking tools, especially sanders and grinders. This led to their invention of a low-weight, high-capacity sander. A decade later they improved on this design and gained even more ground in the market.
In the 40s and 50s, they developed the right-angle drill and the Sawzall, officially clinching them an important place in the market. They continued with their success and focused on continuous improvement, ultimately ending up being one of the best-known power tool brands.
Compared with Milwaukee, Hilti is considerably younger. It was started by brothers Martin and Eugen Hilti in 1941 in Liechtenstein. Sixteen years later, they created the first-ever powder-actuated tool (a type of nail gun) which started their success.
From that time, their claim to fame has routinely been creating new technologies used in the construction world. Hilti went on to be the inventor of the electro-pneumatic hammer drill and a mechanical anchor system.
Throughout the years, Hilti paid close attention to their position in the global tool market, as well as their commitment to serving the customer. Sixty years of invention, awards, and accolades later, they are a household name when it comes to – especially heavy-duty – construction tools.
Hilti vs. Milwaukee: Which Offers Better Quality?
Quality is always the leading factor when it comes to power tools. If you consider the overall quality of Hilti and Milwaukee, it is a close battle. Looking at the quality across their portfolio, you’ll notice places where either company does better or worse.
Since both of these companies are juggernauts and household names in the power tool world, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the quality of manufacturing is so even. The Hilti vs. Milwaukee quality battle is a tie.
Which Offers Better Warranty?
Hilti’s warranty is a blanket policy. Hilti will replace and repair parts that break due to defective manufacturing for 20 years. Hilti provides free replacing or repairing of any tool (even caused by wear and tear) for two years, and if any repair takes more than one day in the repair center, everything is free.
Milwaukee’s warranty policy is more conditional. Depending on the tool that you get, the warranty can range from one year to a lifetime limited warranty. Also, Milwaukee’s warranty for defectively manufactured parts lasts a lifetime.
Based on the warranties offered by the two companies, it seems that Hilti’s warranty is a little better. However, it’s small print is also more strict.
Hilti vs. Milwaukee: Which Has a Better Product Portfolio?
Hilti and Milwaukee are both household names when it comes to tools, and that’s for good reason.
Not only do both brands produce reliable tools and have good warranties, but they also offer large product portfolios. Both companies sell hand tools, power tools, batteries, various measuring instruments, site lighting, and equipment for different trades such as plumbing, construction, electrician, and millwrights.
Getting into the minutia of specific products offered in these categories shows that both companies are pretty even in this category. There are categories where Hilti is more renowned and others in which Milwaukee has more credit.
At the end of the day, it is a tie between these two companies’ product portfolios.
Hammer Drills: Hilti Wins
Looking specifically at hammer drills this time, Milwaukee offers three different types of corded hammer drills. Hilti has eight different types of corded hammer drills.
From the different types offered, the Milwaukee brand hammer drills appear to be on the lower end price-wise, all under roughly $300. Hilti’s hammer drill prices range from about $200 to about $1,100.
What this means is Hilti offers higher quality hammer drills if you wish to spend more. For this reason, Hilti has a better hammer drill portfolio – it has more models available at a better range of price levels and functions.
Which of the Two Brands Should You Choose?
This is a tough question to answer.
Both companies had a humble start as a family company. They relied on ingenuity, quality, and a deep product portfolio to make their way into national conversations, and they both became household names.
Milwaukee offers a slightly more varied product portfolio. At the same time, Hilti offers excellent selection of hammer drills and a great warranty.
Since they are both excellent brands, it really comes down to your use-case. If you are looking for a general power tool maker, Milwaukee might be the better choice. However, if you are in the construction business and are looking for heavy-duty tools to work with concrete and similar materials, Hilti might be the better choice.
Hilti is a European brand and an innovator in the area of tools designed for work with concrete and other similar materials. Milwaukee, on the other hand, is an American brand that counts the reciprocating saw among some of its best-known products.
In terms of quality, you cannot go wrong with either. Their product portfolios have strengths in different places, though. As mentioned earlier, Hilti offers some great hammer drills among other things. Milwaukee has a more diverse portfolio of construction, woodworking, and metalworking power tools.
As such, if you are looking for heavy-duty construction tools, Hilti might be the right choice for you. Otherwise, Milwaukee will likely work better – and be cheaper.
How Do Hilti and Milwaukee Compare with Other Brands?
See how Hilti compares with: Bosch | DeWalt | Festool | Makita | Metabo HPT
See how Milwaukee compares with: Black & Decker | Bosch | Craftsman | DeWalt | Dremel | Festool | Husky | Kobalt | Makita | Metabo HPT | Porter-Cable | Ridgid | Ryobi