HILTI has an incredible reputation as a leader in the professional power tool market. They are known for their lasers, concrete tools, and their dust collection innovations. Personally, when I think of HILTI, I think of their fastening systems. What truly sets HILTI apart though, is their service. Rather than go to your local big box store to purchase a tool, you contact your local rep and order directly through them. HILTI serves the best of the best in the construction and engineering industry. Let's check out all the new tools we saw at HILTI Innovation Day 2018.
HILTI Innovation Day 2018- HILTI History
HILTI was founded in 1941 by a man named Martin Hilti. Hilti was a mechanical engineer in Liechtenstein. Their first notable tool was the DX100, the first powder actuated tool in the world. This really put HILTI on the map, and by the 1960's HILTI had reached 30 countries. 1967 brought another new tool from HILTI, the first ever electro-pneumatic hammer drill, the HILTI TE 17. Things have grown a lot since then, today HILTI is available in over 120 countries and has grown by leaps and bounds. One thing is certain though, HILTI shows no signs of slowing down, employing over 24,000 employees and growing. HILTI continues to provide exceptional service to professionals around the world.
HILTI Innovation Day 2018 – Event Highlights
The event took place in Dallas Texas in September. One thing you may not know is that HILTI is the official tool of the Texas Rangers. With construction underway for their new stadium, HILTI had a unique opportunity to show us just what their tools can do by observing the construction from the HILTI Observation Deck. After taking in a Rangers Game, the following day was all about the tools. HILTI set up a unique environment for this experience though, as the actual tool even was in the Aviation Museum. Nothing quite like taking in the new technology HILTI is bringing into the new year surrounded by iconic planes from throughout history.
HILTI Innovation Day 2018 – Tools
One of the largest standouts to me at HILTI’s event was the Construction Layout tool. There are two components to this tool, the first is the PLC 400 tablet and the second is the PLT 300 Laser. The tablet utilizes HILTI Construction Layout or HCL is essentially a digital layout software. The HCL software allows the user to design a space down to precise details in order to better organize a construction site. If there is one thing that is important for any job, it is proper planning. Once plans have been designed in the software, the user can upload it to a tablet. The tablet allows those plans to be taken from the office to the job site where the magic happens.
The PLC 400 has a few key features that help a user work at their best. The tablet is very user-friendly and has an intuitive layout. While you certainly gain experience the more you use it, it was easy to navigate and understand. Mobile internet and the ability to download 3D files into the tablet provide maximum versatility and usability.
The PLT 300 is the laser portion of this system. Integrating HILTI’s laser technology allows an accurate construction layout to be achieved by a single person. The self-leveling laser with automatic tilt compensation allows for precision to be achieved regardless of slopes and saves the user valuable set up time. The automatic stationing also assists this ease of set up and uses a green laser for optimum visibility. This laser allows layouts to be designed in 2D or 3D and is compatible with HILTI’s 22V battery platform.
Let's look at two of HILTI's laser additions for this year. The PR 30-HVSG features a precision of =/- .04″ at 33 feet using a green laser. The casing of this laser is also an exceptional feature, providing drop resistance of up to 6 feet. Another addition is the PD-S laser distance measurer. This model offers a 200-foot measuring range with precision at +/- .06″ at 30 feet. The compact size and easy to use controls make this a valuable tool for any contractor.
For those running multiple job sites with numerous employees, managing inventory can be cumbersome. Let's face it, we invest a lot in our tools, and if you're running a larger operation, your investment is even bigger. HILTI features several options in tags for managing equipment, but new to their lineup is the AI T380- ON!TRACK Smart Tag. This tag uses Bluetooth technology to track your equipment up to 100 feet. There is a lot of crossover to their HILTI Connect App which adds features such as diagnostics and service requests.
HILTI did allow us to test a really unique tool, but one I feel has some really practical uses. The SI-AT-A22 is a tool that I would almost consider “super smart”. How often have you been in a shop or on a job site and see someone using a torque wrench with no regulation to the ft/lbs they have tightened to? Well for me, this is always a fear of tightening lugs or in various situations that require specific pressure on a fastener in order to prevent damage. This tool allows you to scan a box of fasteners and tells the tool the specs needed to achieve optimum performance. If that isn’t smart, I don’t know what is!
The SJD 6-A22 is a new Jigsaw HILTI added to their lineup that features corded cutting performance on a cordless platform. Jigsaws have seen a good year overall with new launches from several brands. This model included an LED Light as well as a built-in dust blower, as well as three built-in oscillating modes for maximum versatility. One thing I can’t stress enough about this jigsaw was just how smooth it operated. I have used several jigsaws over the years, but this one was absolutely a winner in terms of smooth operation and comfort. For woodworkers looking for an upgrade on the HILTI platform, this is a winner.
A new Reciprocating Saw was debuted that operates on HILTI's 22V battery platform, model SR 6-A22. One of the most notable benefits of this was the massive reduction in vibration and the smooth operation during use. This model is touted to have the Best-in-class cutting speed, and while we didn't do any side by side testing during our demo, I would say it was fast. For those who work primarily in demolition, this reciprocating saw will be worth looking into.
While HILTI had multiple models on display in terms of vacuums, their newest cordless model, VC 75-1-A22 was our primary focus. The OSHA compliant vacuum works on the 22V battery platform and has numerous attachable accessories for dust extraction in different materials. This model claims to provide 2 times the suction and run-time as other vacuums in its class. One thing was certain, this vacuums suction power stood out.
There were several new concrete based tools launched as well, from the DSH 600-X concrete saw to the DD 30-W Anchor Setting tool. The concrete saw features advanced blade brake technology to stop the spinning blade in less than 5 seconds, and also includes an easy start auto choke system. This model is compatible with the integrated water pump (DSH-P). The Anchor Setting tool was outstanding to see. This tool provides the fastest drilling through rebar and is virtually noise, vibration and dust free. If you do a lot of adhesive anchor setting in concrete, this tool is one to see.
HILTI also launched several additional accessories for their tools as well. Diamond blades for their concrete saw as well as multiple wheels for their grinders that use their SPX diamond technology. Their TE-YX Bits use 6 cutter heads for 50% longer life in concrete, as well as 30% faster drilling through rebar. The HDI-P TZ buts provide an all in one drill bit for setting shallow concrete anchors, specifically in cracked concrete. There are numerous notes to HILTI's accessories line, all of which provide quality and innovation and allow you to get the most out of your HILTI Tools.
We were able to get a look at a few tools that we, unfortunately, can't talk about yet, but look for more exciting things to come from HILTI in early 2019. For additional questions including specs and pricing, please refer to HILTI.com or your local HILTI tools dealer.
HILTI Innovation Day 2018 -Wrap Up
If you haven't been lucky enough to own any HILTI tools in your life, you may have attained a new level of jealousy by seeing their current offerings. HILTI prides themselves on being industry leaders in their field, as well as manufacturing tools that are both innovative and reliable. One of the things that stood out to me from this event, was the staff. Don't get me wrong, the tools were amazing. There was nothing I felt left anything to be desired in terms of features. The staff though seemed to truly bleed HILTI red, with passion, excitement and a whole lot of faith in their products. This is always a testament to companies overall outlook, when you're employees are happy, your production and creativity soar. We are eager to get our hands on a few of these new tools for further testing, but from our first take, I think HILTI fans will be pleased with the new lineup