Hilti 22V Angle Grinder Review
After considering all the grinding we did, I'm pretty confident in saying the Hilti 22V angle grinder tops the class in terms of power. However, there's clearly a limit to what you should expect the 18V class to accomplish.
Just about every company that makes cordless tools from the Prosumer level up now has a cordless grinder. But not all are created equally. Most now have brushed motors, but that’s also not a guarantee of high performance. Ask Jon Bucklew of Seventeen20, and he’ll tell you that few – if any – cordless grinders can do the work he asks. Hilti’s 36V angle grinder certainly has real power, but can the Hilti 22V angle grinder offer enough power to match its weight savings and be a primary tool?
We certainly have to temper our expectations on some level. After all, if you can do everything on a 22V tool, there’s no need for the 36V model. So let’s take a close look around the tool’s features and see where it fits on the performance scale.
Like I said above, a brushless motor isn’t a guarantee of high performance. That’s the case if you pack too small a motor in to save weight or cost. That’s typically not Hilti’s M.O., so expect a slight performance boost over their 18V brushed grinder to go along with longer runtime, longer motor life, and less maintenance.
Active Torque Control
ATC (Active Torque Control) has some of its greatest benefits in rotary hammers where the risk of bind up is pretty high. Grinders don’t seem to suffer from the arm-wrenching violence quite as much. In fact, with most grinders in the 18V class, it’s not terribly difficult to bind them up. So why add ATC?
Not all applications use the same wheel and while an abrasive cutting disk may simply break apart (a hazard of its own), something like a diamond wheel can absolutely bind up up you. And if you’re not paying close attention, it can catch you by surprise and cause an injury – even in the 18V class.
The Hilti 22V angle grinder also includes an electronic brake. This helps to prevent workpiece damage when you set the grinder down and helps prevent accidental disk strikes on your body from causing a deeper cut. If you work with grinders a lot, the brake is worth its weight in gold.
Kwik Lock Flange
Speaking of features that are worth their weight in gold, Hilti’s Kwik Lock Flange gets a gold star from me. Since very few grinder actually store the spanner wrench on board (Kobalt is one that does), they have a tendency to go missing. With a Kwik Lock Flange, you can eliminate the need for the spanner wrench… almost. You’ll still need to stick with the stock flange for thin cutting wheels.
While the flange only needs hand power to lock and loosen, it’s possible to over-torque it and need the wrench to get it back off. So keep the wrench in a drawer where you can find it if you really need it.
Generally speaking, Hilti’s ergonomics are excellent. When it comes to balance, the Hilti 22V angle grinder gets it right. As I move around a variety of working positions, there’s not really one where I feel like I’m fighting the weight of the tool because of balance.
The basic form factor is the same as Hilt’s 36V model – meaning it has a pretty thick handle. I’m a fan of a smaller diameter on the handle since I feel like I get a more natural – and therefore secure – grip. Still, Hilti includes overmold on the top of the handle and as long as I’m wearing gloves that have some grip, I don’t have any issues keeping a solid handle while working.
The paddle trigger with dead man switch is agreeably large. That’s a good thing since not all of wear size XL gloves. While my hand doesn’t reach as far around the handle as I prefer it to, it does reach plenty far enough to work the trigger and the safety.
Hilti offers two battery options that affect the ergonomics a bit. The compact 2.6 AH pack reduces the weight and is great for doing quick jobs. When you need a little more power (yes, higher AH packs do give a slight performance boost) and longer runtime, jump to the 5.2 AH battery.
The proof is in the grind and the Hilti 22V angle grinder can spin a wheel. But can it keep it spinning? With both this and the 36V grinder side by side, I went to town on a steel I-beam and it exposes some significant findings. First, the 36V grinder has the equivalent of a 7-inch corded model and I couldn’t bog it down without risking injury. The same can’t be said for the 22V model – it’s tougher than most of the other models in the 18V class, but I could stop it.
So then it comes down to applications. Certainly, cutting in most metal, including steel, is definitely in this model’s wheelhouse. Finishing applications are also well within reach. One of the toughest applications our team regularly comes across for grinders is grinding welds, and that’s really where we see a departure from the 22V’s compact convenience and reach for the 36V model. And that’s not a surprise or a disappointment in the least.
The Bottom Line
After considering all the grinding we did, I’m pretty confident in saying the Hilti 22V angle grinder tops the class in terms of power. However, there’s clearly a limit to what you should expect the 18V class to accomplish. You’re still going to need 36V or corded models for the heavy-duty and some of the medium-duty grinder work out there.
What I really like about having the 22V model in our arsenal, and the two battery choices, is that it’s lightweight and compact enough to simply grab and cut for most of the one-off jobs around the shop. Whether it’s cutting rebar or angle iron to size without dragging out the chop saw or polishing duties, the Hilti 22V angle grinder is a convenient option.
When it comes to pricing, you’re looking at $309 for the bare tool and kits with 2 batteries start at $559. That’s clearly above the most popular cordless brands out there, but you’re also looking at a higher quality tool. Factor in Hilti 20-2-1 warranty package and available fleet services and there’s a compelling argument to make, especially for larger construction firms.
Hilti 22V Angle Grinder Key Features
- Perfect balance and low weight make the tool-less tiring and more flexible to use
- Brushless motor for long lifetime (no commutator to damage and no carbon brushes to change)
- Active Torque Control provides additional operator protection
- Electronic brake stops the disc within one second
- Keyless quick-change flange
Hilti 22V Angle Grinder Specifications
- Model: Hilti 3490198 (AG 500-A22 Cordless angle grinder)
- No load speed: 9500 RPM
- Disc Diameter: 4-15/16″
- Trigger type: Paddle with deadman
- Active Torque Control: Yes
- Dimensions (LxWxH): 13.8″ x 3.7″ x 5.2″
- Weight: 6 lbs
- Includes: Protective cover assy, 5″ Clip-on front cover, (2) Battery pack B 22/5.2 Li-ion BULK, Battery charge, (25) Abrasive blade AC-D 5″ x ,039″ x 7/8″ SP, Kwik lock 5/8″ – 11, Small soft bag, Type 1 and Type 27 tool-free guards
- Warranty: 20 – 2 – 1 warranty
- Price: $559