Concrete is an amazing material. We use it to build roads, create buildings, make runways, dams and even counter tops. It's one of the most widely used building materials in the world. Concrete is strong, inexpensive and a basic building block of today's world. Add a little steel and the sky is the limit for what you can do with concrete.
As strong as concrete is, it doesn't last forever, well at least in this fast pace world. As people we want change, we redesign and we have new ideas. Once we make a structure, there are times we need to remove this hard material and that's where the man vs concrete and machine come into place. Removing concrete is not as easy as one would think. It takes a toll on our body and our tools. Companies are always looking for ways to reduce this toll and make this process easier and that's where Hilti comes into play. Today I am going to show you why the Hilti TE 30-A36 is the tool to have for any serious contractor working with concrete. If anyone knows concrete, it's Hilti.
We were at the World of Concrete and when Hilti announced their goal of having a cordless job-site, I thought to myself this is one hefty goal. While this makes all the sense in the world, I thought there was no way it would happen in my lifetime. Then I had a chance to try the Hilti TE 30-A36 against corded tools and thought if anyone can meet this goal, it's Hilti. I picked up a competitors corded SDS Plus hammer and a Hilti rep used the TE 30-A36. I had a feeling the cordless would win otherwise they wouldn't have this demonstration. So I was prepared to lose, but what I wasn't prepared for was how bad I would lose. I didn't lose by a couple of seconds, I was smoked. In fact, I think there was enough time for the Hilti rep to go sit down for lunch and relax. Check out the 3rd video below. When I was finally done, I had the chance to use the cordless and put him on the corded tool. All I can say is this tool is amazing, fast and smooth. Okay there had to be a catch. That's great it smokes a corded, but it must use a lot of energy to make these holes. I figured you could get four or maybe five holes before you have to change the battery. Wow was I wrong. They drilled 18 holes using 3/4″ bit and went 8″ deep and there was still two bars left on the battery, only half the battery was used. We saw some pretty cool things at the WOC, but this had to be one of the best tools. I am not going to jump to conclusions, but this just might win the TIA tool of the year award and the year isn't even halfway over.
It's one thing trying a tool under these conditions, but it's another thing trying tools out in the real world. So we had to take this out to three different contractors to see what they thought. But before we jump into what users thought, let's take a closer look at this tool.
The TE 30-A36 is a 36V cordless Combihammer. Hilti incorporated a brushless motor and a high capacity 6 amp hour battery to make this tool a top dog. This combihammer has a drilling range of 1/4″ to 1″ diameter using SDS plus bits. There are four modes to this tool that can be changed using a switch located towards the front. You can drill, drill hammer and chisel. The fourth item on the switch is to allow the user to position and lock the chisel in the position of their choice. So why is this combihammer so quick? Well partly due to the brushless motor, but Hilti also designed this tool with a higher mass hammer mechanism. The TE 30-A36 delivers a single impact energy of 2.7 ft-lbs and delivers 4,500 impacts per minute. What does your cordless tool put out?
Hilti knows that's a heck of a lot of power in a hand held tool, so they also added some features to protect the user. First, is the AVR or the Active Vibration Reduction system that helps lower the vibration being transferred from the tool to the user. I can say first hand this does exactly what Hilti advertises. While you will still feel vibration, it's not nearly as much as we have felt in other tools. After using this, my hands weren't numb or tingling. The second feature, which is by far the coolest is the ATC or the Active Torque Control. In my opinion this is a huge plus. As you know drilling into concrete, you can get a bit to bind. In the past what has always happened? Right, your tool jolts and your wrist, elbow and shoulder take the brunt of that jolt. Well not to fear anymore. With the ATC as soon as the tool senses a fast shift or jolt, it shuts it down and protects the user. How cool is that?
Now that we had it in our hands we had a chance to take it out to three different jobs and let others decide for themselves. First, we took it to Tony who needed to do a little chiseling to remove some old concrete in a garage floor, remove some old concrete in a basement and drill a couple holes for Rebar. If you watch the video below, you can see how well it performed and how pleased Tony was with this tool. For each of the three jobs he did, it performed flawless and made quick work out of what would have taken a long time using other methods. As you have heard he is a little biased with Hilti and does loves Hilti, well who doesn't?
Next we took it out to the port where they needed to drill some holes for mudjacking and drainage. In the shop we drilled some holes for drainage where we let Ty get his hands on the TE 30-A36. Again, he was surprised how quick and well this tool performed. On the outside of the building we drilled some holes for the mudjacking. I wish we would have gotten Kevin on video, but he was also surprised and impressed. He hauls around a generator to hook up his corded rotary tool to drill holes in concrete. While he still will need the generator for other uses on site, he was sold that the TE 30-A36 would be much better for this application. A huge time saver as he put it. He wouldn't have to worry about setting everything up and dragging a cord around. The Hilti would save time by not setting up cords and drilling the holes much quicker than his corded version, plus he was really impressed with the ATC.
For the last item we took it over and gave it to Marty. When I called Marty on the phone and asked him if he had a use for this type of tool, we were in luck because he was chiseling out some concrete to install pipes. I told him I had a cordless that would blow him away. He just kind of laughed and told me he really needed a corded tool to do what he was doing. He said a cordless would be nice, but just wouldn't last for what he was doing. I told him this was a 36V Hilti Combihammer and he should give it a shot. He agreed I could bring it over, but he told me about 5 different times to make sure I have lots of batteries and he would only use it for a bit then break out his corded rotary hammer. Well it turned out he never did break out his corded rotary hammer. He used the Hilti the whole time. In fact, he couldn't believe he only used three batteries for the job. In reality it was about two batteries since he told me he had two bars left before lunch, but just put it back on the charger while he was on his break.
The TE 30-A36, batteries and chargers are covered by Hilti's Lifetime Service, a unique service agreement that includes two years of wear and tear. With the Hilti Tool Fleet Management, the tools and batteries are covered for four years, including wear and tear.
When people look back at what was a turning point in the cordless world, the Hilti TE 30-A36 will be looked at as a pioneer to the cordless times. The Hilti TE 30-A36 is rock solid and a must have. If you are looking to lose the cord, but still perform serious work, this combihammer leaves its competitors in the dust. With the brushless motor and high capacity batteries, this is made for serious work. The Active Vibration Reduction and Active Torque Control makes a safer and more efficient work environment for the user. I could sit here all day and try to explain how well this tool is built. I could explain all the advantages this tool has. I could explain how quick and durable this tool is, but I still will not be able to get across what I want. The only way to really understand this tool and what a leap forward this tool is, you just have to pick one up and use it for yourself.
During the year we will be taking this out to other job sites and using some of the other bits, so we will keep you updated.