Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC Shows Off More Muscle Than Any Other Drill
We recently had the chance to test out over 50 drills and hammer drills for our Best Cordless Hammer Drill head-to-head. One of the standouts in our heavy-duty class was the Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC 22V Drill Driver. We all know that Hilti makes an incredibly well-built tool that can stand up to the rigors of the jobsite for a great many years. After all, they back it with a 20-year warranty.
But Hilti rarely tops our charts in speed or torque. That is definitely not the case this time though, because this Hilti drill cranked out more torque than any other drill we tested.
Hilti has a tendency to craft a really reliable tool and go for a feature that’s more practical than flashy. The Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC isn’t any different in this regard; it’s a pretty bare-bones drill. Don’t look for the brushless motor with app-based tracking and inventory management, and don’t look for assist modes for taking it easier on your fasteners.
They check off the basics with an all-metal keyless chuck, an LED light, and a mechanical selection switch for choosing your preferred gear. You also get 15 clutch settings for your delicate fastening.
There are a couple of areas that stand out, though. The first is that you have 4 speeds to work in and the lowest is intentionally geared low enough for mixing. Essentially, it’s like having the advantages of a 3-speed drill with a mixing mode. That extra middle speed gives you a shot at working faster with larger bits in softer materials.
There’s also Active Torque Control, which is a fancy way of saying that it has anti-kickback protection. In a drill that’s as powerful as this, it’s a big deal to reduce your risk of injury in a bind-up.
We test speed under load and soft torque in our performance evaluation. Check out the details in our Best Drill Head to Head Review.
We hooked up the Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC to our torque testing rig and went to town with it. The Hilti cranked out a 1st-place worthy 677 in-lbs of torque. To put that into context, the second place finisher only managed 618 in-lbs.
One of the benefits of having a brushed motor without electronic controls is that the motor gives everything it has. All of the brushless motors hit a point where they electronically called it a day and came up short, even though some of them have higher torque specs.
It’s also why having the ATC is so important on this drill.
We also tested the Hilti 22V drill’s speed under load, starting with a 1″ auger bit at high speed. It averaged 1657 RPM, finishing as the third fastest and maintaining 81% of its no-load speed (motor efficiency).
Let’s loop back to that 4-speed drive control system. With a 2-9/16″ Milwaukee SwitchBlade Self-Feed Bit finishes with an average speed of 708 RPM and a large lead over second place. The efficiency drops to 59%, but that’s because the drill was able to complete the test in second gear instead of third or fourth. No other drill was able to complete the test in a gear other than low, giving Hilti a massive advantage in this type of application.
Size and Weight
The Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC follows the brand’s trend of having bigger, heavier tools than most other brands. Part of that is the quality of the components they use and it’s the trade-off you make for it.
The drill’s height without a battery is actually one of the shortest at 7.9″. However, it’s 10.4″ head length is a full 2″ longer than any other model in the Heavy-Duty class. Realistically, it’s not going to get in your way on the kind of tasks these drills are called in for. Its extreme length is something to keep in mind if you’re not already familiar with Hilti’s lineup.
This is also one of the heaviest tools in our shootout. With a 5.2Ah battery, it weighs 5.84 pounds. That’s just 0.01 less more than the Metabo HPT MultiVolt model at the bottom and nearly a pound heavier than the DeWalt DCD997 at the top.
We have to qualify that a little bit, though. Hilti launched two new advanced batteries—a compact 4.0Ah pack and a full-size 8.0Ah pack. In the process, it looks like they’re discontinuing the 5.2Ah battery we tested with. Working with the new 4.0Ah pack saves about 0.25 pounds and jumping up to the 8.0Ah adds another 0.75 pounds.
Hilti uses an a la carte pricing structure and tends to be more expensive than most brands. However, it gives you the ability to customize the kit the way you like it or easily order in bulk for larger construction firms. With two 4.0Ah batteries, charger, and drill, the Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC runs $456. Its closest competitor in the Heavy-Duty class is more than $50 less and only the Festool PDC 18/4 costs more than the models we tested.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC drill: $199
- 8.0Ah advanced battery: $199 each
- 5.2Ah battery: discontinued
- 4.0Ah advanced battery: $109 each
- 2.6Ah battery: $69 each
- Charger C 4/36-90: $39
The Bottom Line
The Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC shows off some massive muscle and is no slouch in speed, either. Its combination of 4 speeds and Active Torque Control add features that genuinely make a difference when you’re using it. It’s no surprise that it’s larger and heavier than most, but it’s working at a very high level. The only regret I have is that we didn’t have the new advanced batteries to use in our testing. If you’re a Hilti 22V user, adding this Heavy-Duty drill to your tool belt is a no-brainer.
Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC 22V Drill Specs
- Model Number: Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC
- Max Torque: 637 in-lbs (soft joint); 1062 in-lbs (hard joint)
- No-Load Speed: 0-310 / 0-530 / 0-1210 / 0-2100 RPM
- Chuck Clamping Range: 1/16″ – 1/2″
- Number of Gears: 4
- Torque Increments: 15
- Dimensions: 10.4″L x 3.6″W x 10.2″H
- Weight: 4.09 lbs (bare), 5.84 lbs (with battery)
- Warranty: 20-Year
- MSRP: $264.89 (roughly $199 for bare tool or $536 kitted with two 5.2 Ah batteries)