June 23, 2021

Professional Tool Reviews for Pros

Hilti 12V Cordless Tools Review

Hilti 12V Cordless Tools
PTR Review
  • 12V Hammer Drill 7.6
  • 12V Impact Driver 6.2
  • 12V Drill/Driver 8.0
  • Value 8.2

While these tools don't wow us in performance and features, they're solid workhorses that are ready to work every day in any environment.

Overall Score 7.5 (out of 10)

When I think of Hilti, I typically think of their impressive concrete tools or muscular cordless tools like their 4-speed 18V drill or the 36V circular saw. The announcement of the Hilti 12V cordless tools kind of came out of left field for me. Hilti’s batteries have been on another level compared to most cordless tools for a while and their tools are typically outstanding, so I was more than happy to get my hands on this new line.

We’ve already taken a pretty good look at Hilti’s new 12V hammer drill in a recent shootout. But we want to give all the Hilti 12V cordless tools a thorough evaluation so you know what to expect from these compact tools. I’ve had these tools for a few months now, so let’s jump right in and see what they’re all about.

What to Put in a 3-Tool Kit

Okay, you get your choice of three cordless tools to put in a kit – so what do you choose?

Most Pros are going to go with a hammer drill and an impact driver. That’s a no-brainer. The ability to have one tool for drilling and a second for driving fasteners without having to switch bits is at the core of any basic 2-tool kit. The third tool is up for grabs. Some people would say that an impact wrench is the most logical choice to complete a full fastening kit.

Hilti went a different direction and included a 1/4 inch hex drive screwdriver. That’s a curious choice, but the fact of the matter is there are times when the aggressive driving of an impact driver is more force than you need in the material you’re working on and a drill with a clutch is a better option.

Essentially the Hilti 12V Cordless Tools offer us the ability to have a dedicated drilling tool for wood, metal, and concrete with two driving options – one for aggressive tasks, and one for precision.

Hilti SF 2H-A Hammer Drill

The Hilti SF 2H-A Hammer Drill is a bit longer and heavier than you’d expect from most 12V tools. That’s not a huge surprise considering Hilti tends to focus on solid ergonomics surrounding a well-built tool for commercial and industrial applications. Still, if you’re used to 12V tools from companies like Makita, the size might surprise you.

Hilti 12V Cordless Tools

Maxing out at 1500 RPM and 212 inch-pounds of torque, Hilti’s 12V hammer drill may not sound like it packs a lot of punch. Despite the seemingly low amount of torque, the hammer drill performed admirably in our shootout. It was third fastest in drilling 1/4 inch holes and could bore confidently with a half inch spade bit in high speed. It was more than capable of handling a three-quarter inch spade bit in low speed and I could even feather it through four pieces of plywood in high-speed. It ended up being most competitive in the screw driving test where it finished in third place just 0.02 seconds behind Makita.

Generally speaking, ergonomics are very good on this member of the Hilti 12V cordless tools line. The handle is well-designed as usual and the amount of vibration felt under load is among the lowest, leading to an excellent user experience. The length of the drill and its weight left it a little out of balance compared to other drills in this class though.

Hilti SF 2H-A Hammer Drill Driver Key Features

Hilti 12V Cordless Tools

  • Ultra-compact design for good access in tight corners
  • Ergonomic grip and perfect balance for maximum working comfort
  • Built-in double LED in the tool foot for ideal illumination of the work area
  • High productivity thanks to a drilling speed of up to 1,500 /min
  • Precision clutch provides fine control for delicate screwdriving jobs

Hilti SF 2H-A Hammer Drill Driver Specifications

  • Model: Hilti SF 2H-A
  • Voltage: 12 V
  • Max. torque hard joint: 212 in-lbs
  • Max. torque (soft joint): 106 in-lbs
  • Chuck clamping range: 1/16″ – 3/8″
  • No load speed: 0 – 400/0 – 1500 RPM
  • Torque increments: 15
  • Torque range (adjustable): 4 – 31 in-lbs
  • Bit diameter range steel twist – max: 0.24″
  • Dimensions: 8″ tall, 7-7/16″ long with battery
  • Weight: 2.18 lbs (bare), 2.72 lbs (with battery)
  • Warranty: 2 years, lifetime service


  • Speed Under Load: 3.5
  • Torque: 4.3
  • Feature Set: 3.5
  • Weight: 3.9
  • Footprint: 3.3
  • Overall: 3.8 out of 5.0

Shootout Results

This particular Hilti model entered into the 12V drill shootout, and it was one of just three with a hammer drill function. It puts out some solid torque, though it’s fairly tame in the other categories we looked at. That said, it doesn’t struggle to perform the tests we put it through, it’s just not as fast as other models. One of the big things we hang our hat on with Hilti is its exceptional build quality and the 20-year warranty that comes with these tools.

Hilti SID 2-A Impact Driver

The Hilti SID 2-A Impact Driver shares similar characteristics with the hammer drill in that it’s a little on the large and heavy side for this class of tool. Ergonomically, it’s solid with excellent handle design and decent balance. It packs just under 1000 inch pounds of torque, has an impact rate just over 3400 IPM, and 2500 RPM no load speed. I definitely prefer multiple speeds on my 18V impact drivers, but I don’t see that the single speed motor is a detriment in the 12V class.

Hilti 12V Cordless Tools

Being in the 12V class, I don’t expect this impact driver to be capable of slapping in a socket adapter and going to town on a bunch of lug nuts. I expect my 12V impacts to handle screw driving duties and that’s what I asked of Hilti. It had no trouble quickly driving a variety of screws from 2-inch drywall screws to 3-inch deck screws. It’s rated to handle quarter-inch lag bolts and I found no problems there either, though it did slow down a bit. This will definitely be a go-to option for driving a lot of screws in a hurry.

Hilti SID 2-A Impact Driver Key Features

Hilti 12V Cordless Tools

  • Perfect grip and balance for unmatched productivity
  • Ultra-compact design for easy use wherever space is limited
  • Ideal illumination thanks to double LEDs incorporated in the base of the tool
  • Voltage, current and temperature sensors for efficient motor protection
  • Rapid switch reaction for full control of the drilling or driving operation

Hilti SID 2-A Impact Driver Specifications

  • Model: Hilti SID 2-A
  • Voltage: 12 V
  • Max. torque: 973 in-lbs
  • Full hammering frequency: 3,410 IPM
  • Number of gears: 1
  • Tightening standard bolts – max. diameter: 5/16″
  • Tightening high tensile bolts – max. diameter: 5/16″
  • Dimensions: 8-1/16″ tall, 6-1/8″ long with battery
  • Weight: 1.88 lbs (bare), 2.42 lbs (with battery)
  • Warranty: 2 years, lifetime service


  • Size: 66
  • Feature Set: 58
  • Speed: 69
  • Torque: 39
  • Noise Level: 80
  • Value: 80
  • Overall: 3.1 out of 5.0

Shootout Results

Like the hammer drill, the Hilti 12V Impact Driver doesn’t really wow us compared to other brands. It’s just a solid workhorse of a tool that you can count on to show and work every day. Don’t let the scores get you down—they’re skewed by Milwaukee’s incredible performance. As long as you stick to light-duty fastening, there’s no reason to shy away if you’re a Hilti fan.

Hilti SFD 2-A Drill/Driver

Take the chuck off of Hilti’s 12V hammer drill and replace it with a 1/4 inch hex collet and you get the Hilti SFD 2-A Drill/Driver. The specifications are identical with 1500 RPM in high speed and a maximum 212 inch-pounds of torque. Knowing the specs are the same and taking a look at the two tools, you could make some assumptions about the ergonomics and performance and be pretty much spot on.

Hilti 12V Cordless Tools

The SFD 2-A comes in a little lighter than the hammer drill version. In screwdriving, drilling, and wood boring tests, it performed virtually identical to his longer counterpart. The real benefit here is that it’s a more compact tool with a quarter inch hex drive instead of a 3/8 inch chuck.

SFD 2-A 1/4″ Hex Drill/Driver Key Features

Hilti 12V Cordless Tools

  • Built-in double LED for almost shadowless illumination of the work area
  • Ergonomic grip and perfect balance for maximum working comfort
  • Precision clutch provides fine control for delicate screwdriving jobs
  • Voltage, current and temperature sensors for efficient motor protection
  • Ultramid casing for high drop resistance and longer life

SFD 2-A 1/4″ Hex Drill/Driver Specifications

  • Model: SFD 2-A
  • Voltage: 12 V
  • Max. torque hard joint: 212 in-lbs
  • Max. torque (soft joint): 106 in-lbs
  • Number of gears: 2
  • Rotation speed gear 1 under no load: 400 RPM
  • Torque Increments: 15
  • Torque range (adjustable): 4 – 31 in-lbs
  • Bit diameter range steel twist – max: 0.24″
  • Dimensions: 8″ tall, 5-1/2″ long with battery
  • Weight: 1.60 lbs (bare), 2.14 lbs (with battery)
  • Warranty: 2 years, lifetime service


  • Speed Under Load: 3.5
  • Torque: 4.3
  • Feature Set: 3.5
  • Weight: 4.2
  • Footprint: 4.3
  • Overall: 4.0 out of 5.0

The Bottom Line

Aside from the obvious weight and size increase compared to most 12V tools, the only other odd thing I noticed was checking the battery levels. You need to hit the battery release in order for the LEDs to come on and give you an indication. Simply pressing the trigger won’t do it and there’s no independent button on the battery.

Size and weight aside, Hilti’s typically outstanding ergonomics in the handle design and under load are clearly evident. Including batteries packed with a 28.1 watt-hour capacity, the performance and run time of the Hilti 12V cordless tools puts them near the very top in this class compared to other brushed motor options. You really have to go brushless to find better performance and if this line gains some traction, I’d be surprised if Hilti’s next generation didn’t include brushless motors.

I’d recommend Hilti 12V cordless tools to any Pro who has a need for the kind of build quality and toughness that Hilti offers. If you’re simply looking for 12V tools to supplement your 18V tools for residential construction and remodeling, there are some other brands out there that are lighter and more compact and quite frankly will give you better performance thanks to their brushless motors. What Hilti offers over those is ergonomics under load and survivability in the toughest environments.

Prices start at $159 for individual tool kits and have multiple options to $249 for a kit with all three. Find out more information by visiting Hilti’s website.


This article originally published on December 6, 2016. We’ve updated it to include the Hammer Drill’s and Impact Driver’s ratings to reflect its performance in our recent Best 12V Drill and Best 12V Impact Driver Shootouts.

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At Hilti’s website you can grab all three of these, two(2) 2.6ah batts, charger and case for $239. From now until Dec 16th….. Im pretty sure they would make one hell of an Xmas gift

William McGloin

I’m very happy with my Hilti 12V tools.

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