Hilti 12V One-Hand Reciprocating Saw Proves Itself as the Fastest Cutting with the Lowest Vibration in its Class
The Hilti SR 2-A12 12V one-hand reciprocating saw is joining Bosch and Milwaukee with their vertical motor design. These reciprocating saws do their best work in light demolition.
- Compact, vertical motor design
- Controllable, low vibration cutting
- Brushless motor
- Top cutting speed in the 12V class
- Lowest vibration in its class
- 20-year warranty, 2 years free service, 1-day repair turnaround
- More expensive than its competition
Hilti uses a brushless motor to power the SR 2-A12 to 2900 SPM with a 5/8″ stroke length. That’s in line with what we see from the other major players in this space, though Bosch and the Milwaukee M12 FUEL HackZall both bump the no-load speed 100 SPM higher.
If you’re willing to leave the general design, the Makita 12V RJ03 runs 3300 SPM with a slightly shorter stroke length at 1/2″.
A couple of the big benefits of going with a 12V saw is that you tend to have better control and less vibration when you’re cutting. That’s true with the Hilti 12V one-hand reciprocating saw as well.
Common Design Limits
However, it suffers from the same limitations as its peers. The lack of a speed dial means you need to control it with just the trigger. There’s enough speed that you really do need to slow it down when you’re cutting metal. It extends your blade life and our EMT test cuts were smoother.
One of the other things all of the saws in this design class lack is a pivoting, adjustable shoe. I can live without the adjustable shoe since I’m using shorter blades to begin with, but I’d like to have a pivoting one to help as I work around a cut with one hand. It would help keep the shoe against the material and keep the blade chatter down.
What You Can Cut and What You Should Cut
I cut through PVC, EMT, and wood with no issues, though noticeably slower than with 18V versions of this kind of design. Hilti adds drywall and sandwich panel to the list.
I also made a few cuts in rebar just to see if the Hilti 12V one-hand reciprocating saw can handle it. It makes the cuts, but very slowly. Even switching from the stock bi-metal blades to a carbide thick metal one doesn’t speed things up all that much.
If you have one or two cuts to make and it saves you a trip back to the truck, go for it. Just don’t expect to use the Hilti SR 2-A12 for that kind of cutting on a regular basis.
Additional Field Notes
Compact Design, Weight Forward Balance
Hilti follows suit with Bosch and Milwaukee with a vertical motor design. It’s something that we see in both 18V and 12V models that we like for the compact class. The 12V models, including Hilti, suffer from a very weight-forward balance that lightweight 12V batteries don’t help much.
The overall weight of 3.9 pounds (3.3 pounds bare) is lighter than 18V models and that’s a big help on overhead and one-hand cuts. That said, I like using the saw with two hands whenever possible just to get the best control.
A single LED light peeks through the shoe to help you line up your cut.
Tool-Free Blade Clamp
Hilti goes with a twist-lock clamp design. There’s no one-hand insert or ejection.
As a bare tool, the Hilti 12V one-hand reciprocating saw is a modest $119. 2.6 Ah batteries are $31 each and a charger is another $29, making a 2-battery kit $210. Here’s where the competition stands:
- Bosch 12V Compact Reciprocating Saw PS60: $89.99 bare, $99 kit (1 x 1.5 Ah)
- Makita 12V Max CXT Recipro Saw RJ03: $139 kit (2 x 2.0 Ah)
- DeWalt 12V Xtreme Recip Saw DCS310: $99 bare, $169.99 kit (1 x 1.5 Ah)
- Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hackzall 2520: $149 bare, $179 kit (1 x 4.0 Ah)
- Hilti SR 2-A12: $119 bare, $210 kit (2 x 2.6 Ah)
Even though Hilti has the most expensive kit of the group, it comes with Hilti’s 20-2-1 warranty program – 20-warranty, 2-year free service, and 1-day turnaround on repairs.
The Bottom Line
Hilti isn’t straying far from the known path with the design and feature set of the SR 2-A12. It does the job it’s designed to do very well and gives Milwaukee’s M12 Fuel a serious challenge for the top overall spot in the 12V class. Hilti is actually a touch better in both cutting speed and vibration control.
Buy it if you’re looking for top-tier performance and overall outstanding design. Pass if you’re looking for a budget-friendly option.
Hilti 12V One-Hand Reciprocating Saw Specifications
- Model: Hilti SR 2-A12
- Power Source: Hilti 12V battery pack
- No Load Speed: 2900 SPM
- Stroke Length: 5/8″
- Base Price: $119
- Kit Price as Tested: $210. includes tool, (2) 2.6 Ah 12V batteries, compact 12V charger
Milwaukee madesign them first and now brushless