Most of our tools are made to hand out – and take – a beating but perhaps with only a couple of exceptions, none more than the angle grinder. It grinds, cuts, and smooths the toughest of materials and does so without complaint. It takes a lot of power to do the work, so you have to wonder if cordless models can really be beneficial on the jobsite. It’s like many other tools – for serial or production work, often the cord is better, but otherwise, Pros will reach for battery power. And if any company knows quality cordless tools, it’s Hilti, so we’re expecting some great things from the Hilti AG 600 A-36 angle grinder.
One of the features that really stands out is the Active Torque Control (ATC) safety mechanism. Active Torque Control is designed to protect the user in case of a disc bind up. Any tool spinning at high RPMs that suddenly binds is very dangerous – the disc may bind but tool tries to continue its motion. It’s especially dangerous with rotary hammers (Hilti’s also have ATC). ATC quickly stops the force propelling the wheel in case of a bind up to protect the user and tool.
The Kwik-lock flange is Hilti’s answer to the otherwise time-consuming and tedious task of finding a spanner wrench to loosen the flange to swap the disc to…well, you get it. The flange tightens around the arbor without tools and loosens, in the same manner, to keep the disc changes brisk. The mechanism avoids overtightening by hand so that you can still get it off without the wrench. However, with the spanner wrench, I was able to overtighten it. But there’s plenty of holding strength without reaching for the wrench, so just enjoy the convenience.
36V Power, 5.2 AH Runtime
With cordless tools, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of numbers on the battery. Generally speaking, more voltage means more power and higher amp hours means more runtime. But often, moving up to 36 volts means a tradeoff in amp hours. Keeping in mind that volts x amp hours = watt hours, or total stored energy, Hilti gives you the option of a 5.2 amp hour pack on their 36-volt platform for a total of 187.2 watt hours.
If the job is smaller and saving weight is a bigger deal than longer runtime, you can go with a 2.6 amp hour battery. Or get one of each and use the best one for the job at hand.
Company representatives claim the Hilti AG 600 A-36 angle grinder has the power of a 7-inch corded grinder, but that’s got to be hype, right? Well, not so fast. I got to work with this model on some steel I-beam for a while side-by-side with Hilti’s 22-volt angle grinder. I polished and cut to my heart’s content, but it’s the bind-up test that really tells the story.
I went at it from several angles and couldn’t bind the tool up. Now I’m sure it’s possible on some level, but I pushed the limits of safety as far as I dared. Had I pushed it further, either the ATC would have to kick in or I’d have some explaining to do to the ER doctor and OSHA.
Admittedly, I haven’t personally used Metabo’s 36V 9-inch model. While it’s possible and perhaps probable that Metabo’s is more powerful, Hilti’s 36V angle grinder is the most powerful cordless model I’ve used.
Typically, I’m a big fan of Hilti’s ergonomics and the foundations of greatness are here. The grinder is well balanced, the paddle trigger and deadman switch are natural to control, and I can work in a variety of angles without feeling awkward. Where I’d like to see improvement – and this is the case on nearly every cordless angle grinder – is that the handle is too wide for my liking.
Rubber overmold helps ensure a secure grip over the top, but my medium-size hands just don’t wrap around the handle as completely as I’d like.
The Bottom Line
If all you need to do is polishing and light cutting with your angle grinder, the 18V class is fine. But when you need all the power you expect from a corded model, the Hilti AG 600 A-36 angle grinder is one of the few cordless options you can turn to without disappointment. It legitimately has the power of a corded model to the point that I can’t bog it down.
Overall, the ergonomics are excellent like you’d expect. There’s just the issue of the handle width that seems to be an issue with nearly everyone’s cordless models. You get a full feature set including a brushless motor, Active Torque Control, and Kwik Lock flange to go along with the standard features you expect.
There’s really not much to complain about with this model, but we do need to look at the price. With a premium tool comes a premium price tag and this one’s no different. As a bare tool, you’re looking at $369. The full kit with a pair of 5.2 AH batteries, multi-bay charger, Kwik Lock flange, and a few other goodies will set you back $899. There’s no doubt that’s an investment. But keep in mind that you get Hilti’s 20-2-1 warranty covering the tool for 20 years and they have fleet services available if you’re a larger company.
Hilti AG 600 A-36 Angle Grinder Features
- Powerful and robust 5.2 Ah CPC battery (36V) for highest performance and long life
- Higher performance and battery capacity than other cordless angle grinders
- Perfect balance and low weight make the tool more flexible and less tiring to use
- Brushless motor for three times longer lifetime (no commutator to damage and no carbon brushes to change)
- Active Torque Control provides additional operator protection
- Notching, grinding and finishing steel beams, plates, and steel mesh
- Cut and grind cast iron pipes, steel, stainless steel profiles, strut, threaded rods, and sheet metal
- Cutting, grinding and finishing stainless steel
- Grinding mineral materials using cup wheels (5-inch)
Hilti AG 600 A-36 Angle Grinder Specifications
- Rated voltage: 36 V
- Disclaimer: Use specific guard depending on selected disc
- Battery type: Li-Ion
- No load speed: 8500 rpm
- Disc Diameter: 5-7/8 inches
- Trigger type: Paddle with Deadman
- Active Torque Control: Yes
- Dimensions (LxWxH): 16.3 x 3.7 x 6.5 inches
- Weight: according to EPTA-Procedure 01/20037.6 pounds