If you have worked with a powder actuated fastener you recognize the smell and noise of each fire. Hilti is removing this issue with by creating a battery powered Fastener. No more cartridge strip, no more loud bangs and no more smelling the off gases. Just a solid fastening tool with no mess and no hassle.
When it comes to tier-1 professional power tool manufacturers, I always hold Hilti and Bosch as the premier companies. Hilti tools are designed to be used in tough work environments and take a beating and that is why you see them on big job sites. While Hilti is known for a lot of things, one thing they are known for is fastening, which brings me to the BX 3. Talk about a cool and innovative product for the job site, the BX 3 is one of the coolest tools of 2018. Let's jump in and take a look at the Hilti BX 3 Actuated Fastener review.
Hilti BX 3 Actuated Fastener Review Overview
As you know a powder actuated tools are designed to join materials to a hard surface such as steel or concrete. The technology dates back to WWI and was used heavily during WWII to repair damaged ships.
The tool depends upon a firearm cartridge such as a .22 to joins a material to a hard surface. Because you need speed and power, the .22 is a driving force that can actually get the job done.
While a .22 cartridge provides enough power for this type of application, there is also a downfall to using a .22 cartridge. First is the noise. Being outside using this tool isn't extremely loud but as soon as you bring it into a closed environment, the noise level builds up and is very loud. Next on the list is having to smell the off-gas all day long. Again outside in the fresh air might not be as noticeable but bring it inside, you will surely start noticing the smell.
This is where Hilti and the BX 3 comes into play. Hilti found a way to get rid of the noise, the smell and lower the cost of ownership since you don't have to buy and rely on .22 strips. The Hilti BX 3 uses an advance spring system to provide enough force to join a material to a hard surface time after time without delay and misfires.
Hilti BX 3 Actuated Fastener Review Features
Hilti designed this tool with a brushless motor. The tool is designed for fastening interior track to concrete and steel and also for fastening waterproofing membrane to concrete. The tool weighs in at 7.3 lbs.
The BX 3 uses a spring belt technology to provide the energy needed to drive a fastener into concrete or steel. Since this uses a spring belt, it doesn't have the wear and tear like a piston driven tool which means a longer life.
The BX 3 uses the Hilti 22V battery to provide the power to the brushless motor.
As with all Hilti tools, you can get this with a custom configuration such as a bare tool, or with a charger and batteries. I have to admit, I am a fan of this Hilti boxes. There is always plenty of room for accessories.
To turn on the power, there is a push button on the base of the tool. If you are out of fasteners, it will light up blue. Green means your ready for work.
The handle has a rubber front and back.
The tools has a 360-degree hook that also folds away under the handle if not is use.
To fire a fastener, just press the trigger and your all set to go. Really can't be any easier.
On the front of the tool, you can use the slide feature to access the head.
The second generation comes with a bigger 30 magazine.
To load fasteners, it's identical to nail guns with the slide system.
The fasteners are inserted into the back of the mag, just like a nailer. On the back, you will also notice the guide system for when installing track.
Hilti BX 3 Actuated Fastener Review Performance
All I can say is I love this tool. The tool fires very fast and is reliable. No more smelling the gas and no more hearing the loud pops. Sure you can hear the spring engage but it's not loud at all compared to a .22 fire. I also noticed this has a lot less recoil which is always a huge plus.
When you fire with a .22 you get more of a punch through the concrete or steel. With this, you get more of a push which should mean less sprawling. As you can see, we did have some, but not what I would expect. For the older concrete where the rocks are more prevalent, we did get more sprawling with the shots fired compared to the smoother concrete.
Hilti BX 3 Actuated Fastener Review Value
The Hilti BX 3 with two batteries, a charger and case will run about $1,455. Compared to non-battery operated tools, it does have a hefty price tag. However, if you are a professional and you're relying on this type of tool, it's a good deal for a variety of reasons. First, it lowers the noise level. Second, you can get an extension for fastening overhead work, which is huge and third the Hilti distribution channel is huge because they can help match the correct fastener with the tool to make sure you not only using the right fastener but meeting the proper codes.
Hilti BX 3 Actuated Fastener Review Final Thoughts
Hilti was the first one to develop a battery acuted fastening tool back in 2016. This second generation is an awesome tool that not only provides speed and less noise but also is very consistent and powerful enough to do the job. Again this is my favorite tool for this year.