Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC 4-Speed Cordless Drill
One of the questions many Pros will have is whether or not this is the same drill as the SF 10W-A18. While they're not identical, they're cut from the same cloth. The size and weight are similar, but there's more going on than just a "22" instead of an "18" in the model number.
I bet if you walk onto any medium to large industrial construction job, you’ll be able to put your hands on a wide range of Hilti tools. They are present in many trades thanks to their performance and longevity and many tradesmen find their premium price tags well worth it. That’s been my experience during three decades plus as a mason – I’ve come to rely on many Hilti tools over the years. I recently went all in with the big company from tiny Lichtenstein as I’ve reviewed several of the latest offerings. Kenny reviewed this drill’s predecessor, but the upgrades on the Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC are significant enough to warrant a whole new look.
High Torque, High Speed
The specs of the Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC 4-Speed Cordless Drill reveal it’s a muscular tool with a maximum 1,062 inch-pounds of torque. By way of comparison, Milwaukee’s comparable drill delivers 1,200 inch-pounds and Makita’s comes in at 1,090 inch-pounds. But even if can get edged out slightly in torque, it has at least one more speed – but probably two more – than most other drill/drivers on the market.
It’s designed to allow you to do more nuanced work in a wider variety of materials with a lot of control. Just like its predecessor, this Hilti drill’s speeds are 310, 530, 1,210, and 2,100 RPM which are designed for hole saws up to 6 inches, 1/2-inch in metal, spade bits up to 1-1/2 inches in wood, and auger bits up to 2 inches in wood.
Active Torque Control
As impressive as all of that is, what’s most promising as an upgrade is Hilti’s Active Torque Control (ATC). This safety feature protects the user (and tool) from the violent wrenching that can happen in a bind-up, where the bit unexpectedly stops and the inertia transfers to the tools itself.
With as much torque and speed as this drill is capable of, a bind-up can injure fingers, wrists, elbows, and shoulders. Clint and Kenny put ATC to the test at World of Concrete and I put it to the test in the field. When the drill senses a bind-up, it shuts down to ensure the tool’s motion stops before it causes serious injury.
The drill’s motor cuts off in a split second only to come on again once you release and re-engage the trigger. It’s a feature I’d like to have on all of my rotary tools.
A New Battery Platform? Not Exactly
Hilti’s 22-volt batteries are backward compatible with its 18-volt tools. They still have the same number and size lithium-ion cells in each pack. There’s a new electronic chip in the 22-volt labeled batteries but the bottom line is that you can use either battery in any Hilti 18-volt or 22-volt tool. However, you will see a slight performance boost with the 22-volt packs.
Other Key Features
I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out a few other excellent features. The light is very bright – so bright in fact, that when I was first inspecting the drill I pulled the trigger to check it out and it made me see stars. I recommend you avoid looking directly at it!
The all-metal chuck is top notch, too. Its gripping power is its advantage because it stays tight around the bit’s shaft. So often when you’re drilling into harder materials with an inferior chuck, you’ll pull the drill away and leave the bit in the material because the chuck loosened up. I don’t have that issue with this model.
You Know The Drill
Do You Really Need Four Speeds?
You might think – like I did at first – that no one needs four speeds on a drill. But of course, how do we really know that without trying?
Few, if any, drill/drivers have that many speeds! In theory, with four speeds and 15 torque increments, the Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC 4-Speed Cordless Drill must be the most versatile drill available. It has the potential to be all drills to all tradesmen. It can perform at very low speed with high torque for mixing duties and all the way to high speed with low torque for drilling applications.
Getting in the Game
I used it for various drilling and driving tasks around several jobs and then I snapped a thick bolt off on my mixer. It was a perfect task for the Hilti drill. I drilled out the broken bolt and then retapped the hole. It was as easy as could be for the tool. Grip comfort and balance are excellent, even during the toughest tasks.
The Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC 4-Speed Cordless Drill is just a strong drill. But that strength requires heft. This drill even seems bigger than the hammer drill. I certainly don’t mind it. When you work with stone and brick all day, often using rotary hammers, you get used to wielding heavy tools. So it’s not significant to me but it might be if you typically reach for the weight weenies of the cordless sector.
The wide versatility of four speeds more than covers for any size drawback in my book. Note that I also use the 5.2Ah battery, which is beefy. Slap on the 2.6Ah battery to shave off a good deal of weight.
The switch has an unusual design which might require a double-take because there are actually two switches for the four gears. Where you normally find the gear switch, you’ll still have two positions to choose from. You then need to shift the switch in front of that to the left or right to dial in the speed you’re looking for.
The Bottom Line
One of the questions many Pros will have is whether or not this is the same drill as the SF 10W-A18. While they’re not identical, they’re cut from the same cloth. The size and weight are similar, but there’s more going on than just a “22” instead of an “18” in the model number.
The electronics of the 22V battery gives you a slight performance boost. But the really big upgrade is the addition of Hilti’s Active Torque Control.
With that, you still get all the speed, torque, ergonomics, and build quality of the 18V model. But even with the upgrades, Hilti drops $10 off the bare tool price of the previous model and a kit with two 5.2 amp hour batteries is $419. That’s also a price drop from the last model. It’s still not cheap by any means for a cordless drill. However, this rolling change is a welcome one.
Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC Cordless Drill Features
- Corded performance with cordless productivity
- 4 speeds provide the best RPM for maximum productivity
- Low gear for high torque in demanding applications that usually require a corded tool
- Full 18-volt / 22-volt compatibility – 18V and 22V batteries are suitable for use with all Hilti 18V and 22V tools
- The first Hilti cordless drill driver featuring Active Torque Control for greater safety and highest user confidence
Hilti SF 10W-A22 ATC Cordless Drill Specifications
- Model Number: 2109829 (Bare), 3554489 (Kit)
- Voltage: 22V
- Battery type: Li-Ion
- Max. torque: 1062 in-lb
- Max. torque hard joint: 1062 in-lb
- Number of gears: 4
- Max. torque: 637 in-lb (soft joint), 1062 in-lb (hard joint)
- Motor brake: Yes
- Dimensions (LxWxH): 10.4 x 3.6 x 10.2 inches
- Rotation speed gear 1 under no load: 310 RPM
- Chuck clamping range: 1/16 – 1/2 in
- Rotation speed gear 3 under no load: 1210 RPM
- Rotation speed gear 4 under no load: 2100 RPM
- Torque increments: 15
- Torque range (adjustable): 18 – 106 in-lb
- Battery charge status display: Yes
- Cordless Power Care – CPC: Yes
- Weight6 lb.Variable speed switch: Yes
- Adjustable torque: Yes
- Deep discharge protection: Yes
- Control switch lock: Yes
- Price: $189 (Bare), $419 (Kit)