Hilti is undoubtedly one of the best in the world of power tools. But with the market flooded with other brands offering similar products with different specs and price tags, it can be tough to decide which brand to choose. However, that choice gets easier if you at least know how one of the most popular brands stacks up against the rest of the pack.
Hilti tools are more expensive than their equivalents from Dewalt, Milwaukee, Bosch, and Makita. They also don’t always perform better than their counterparts from other brands, often lagging slightly behind in speed and power. However, Hilti tools are more durable and come with superior warranties.
In the rest of this post, I’ll cover the above differences in greater detail to help you determine whether Hilti tools are an ideal purchase for your needs. But first, let’s define “other brands.”
Defining “Other Brands”
Before we proceed, we need to define “others” because we can’t possibly compare Hilti to every single power tool brand in the US: there are just too many brands.
What we can do, however, is compare Hilti to other brands that are up there with it in terms of prominence, pricing, and product quality.
What are these “other brands”?
Dewalt, Milwaukee, Bosch, and Makita. Most people will agree that these are the “big four” of the power tool industry.
And since there isn’t too much difference in their products, we’ll often use Milwaukee and Dewalt as industry representatives when comparing Hilti to other brands.
Sounds good? Let’s get to it.
Hilti vs. Other Brands: What’s the Difference?
As a power tool shopper trying to pick between Hilti and other popular brands, you likely won’t be interested in company history, size, financial performance, etc. These factors don’t affect your buying decision.
Instead, you’ll likely be looking at:
- Performance and durability
Since today’s discussion is all about helping you choose the best power tool brand, let’s compare Hilti to the rest of the pack based on the above merits.
Hilti vs. Others: Price
Hilti is off to a bad start in this regard (at least for anyone that cares about prices).
Brands like Milwaukee and Dewalt are generally considered high-end and priced as such.
Milwaukee products, in particular, are some of the most expensive in the industry, outpricing Dewalt tools and priced around the same range as the likes of Bosch and Makita.
However, Hilti tools are so pricey that Milwaukee looks like a budget brand by comparison.
So, Hilti isn’t a brand you want to be looking at for budget buys.
In fact, none of their offerings are anywhere near the budget-price range.
Even their cheapest products like impact drivers and individual drills are priced higher than their equivalents from competing brands.
Hilti vs. Others: Warranty
This is one area where Hilti beats other brands hands-down. Hilti’s warranty is arguably the best you can get in the industry, offering several types of coverage.
First off, all their products come with a two-year warranty that allows you to get free repairs regardless of whether those repairs are caused by manufacturing defects or normal wear and tear.
This particular warranty covers:
- The cost of labor, repair, and replacement of faulty parts, including those subject to normal wear and tear.
- Servicing as indicated by your tool.
- A safety and functional check after every repair.
- The cost of transport, including pickup and return of your tool.
Once that two-year period elapses, a different type of coverage kicks in: the manufacturer puts a cap on the cost of any repairs you may require.
This limit is usually set as a fixed percentage of the tool’s price (when new).
If your repair cost is lower than this limit, you can pay for the actual repair instead of the preset percentage.
Lastly, you’re entitled to free repairs for up to six months after the last paid repair.
On top of these two layers of coverage, the manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty against any manufacturing defects.
Other brands like Dewalt and Milwaukee offer warranties, too, but theirs aren’t as comprehensive as Hilti’s.
For instance, Milwaukee’s warranty doesn’t cover wear and tear; it’s strictly restricted to manufacturing defects. What’s more, the coverage period is only five years, which is nowhere near Hilti’s equivalent: the lifetime warranty.
Dewalt’s warranty is slightly more comprehensive than Milwaukee’s but still comes up short against Hilti’s.
Unlike Milwaukee, Dewalt offers wear and tear coverage for up to a year after your purchase.
Additionally, it offers a three-year limited warranty against material or workmanship defects.
Bosch’s warranty isn’t any better一if anything; it’s worse. Power tools come with a measly one-year warranty against workmanship or material defects.
Measuring tools come with slightly better coverage of up to two years if you register your product within eight weeks after your purchase (if you don’t register in this period, the coverage period drops to one year).
None of Bosch’s warranties cover wear and tear.
The bottom line? Hilti is the best brand to buy your power tools if a comprehensive warranty is something you value.
Hilti vs. Others: Performance and Durability
Having learned that Hilti tools are more expensive than their equivalents from other brands, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the higher price tag means better performance and extra longevity. That’s true, to some extent.
Thanks to their superior build, Hilti tools are more durable than their equivalents from other brands.
Part of the explanation has to do with where Hilti tools are meant to be used.
Whereas brands like Dewalt, Makita, Bosch, and even Milwaukee are generally geared towards smaller DIY projects, Hiltis are typically heavy-duty tools meant for professional use and built as such.
It’s perhaps why the manufacturer is willing to bet on the quality of their products by offering longer warranties.
It’s also probably why Hilti products are typically priced higher than other brands.
Hilti doesn’t always edge other brands when it comes to performance. In fact, it lags behind the likes of Makita, Bosch, Dewalt, and Milwaukee in terms of motor speed.
Measured in RPM, the motor speed is a crucial performance measure for power tools, as it determines how fast and powerfully a hammer drill, for instance, executes a task.
While on the subject of hammer drills, let’s compare two almost-identical hammer drills from Hilti and Bosch to demonstrate just how much Hilti lags behind in terms of motor speed.
For our comparison, let’s use the Hilti TE 2 and the Bosch 11255 VSR. While a 120V output powers both hammer drills, the Hilti has 1090rpm, far a cry from Bosch’s 5800rpm.
The Bottom Line
There you have it: a summarized view of how Hilti stacks up against other brands in terms of pricing, performance, durability, and warranty.
More often than not, the only issue people have with Hilti is the price.
While you might pay less upfront by choosing other brands, Hilti’s superior warranty and undisputed durability may be worth it for professionals.
On the other hand, brands like Dewalt, Makita, Bosch, and Milwaukee may provide better value for DIYers and professionals who typically work on small projects.