We’ve reviewed a lot of great rotary hammers from a lot of great manufacturers, but there’s something about the Hilti brand that usually makes a reviewer’s eyes light up. The premium price tag on the company’s tools does little to take the shine away and that’s because the tools are just excellent. In fact, Daniel Elms reviewed Hilti’s TE 50-AVR SDS-Max Rotary Hammer and has already mentioned its exemplary performance. For smaller scope installation and light chipping comes the newest version of the Hilti TE 6-A36-AVR, and we’re willing to bet it won’t disappoint, either.
Hilti’s AVR (Active Vibration Reduction) is most noticeable in the separate handle/motor housing design. When it comes to vibration reduction, Hilti is one of the best in concrete tools and that’s the case here. I only had drilling to do and not chipping, so I can only speak to the drilling end at the moment. In drilling applications, you simply don’t have to absorb all the violence that’s going on at the bit tip. It’s one of the most comfortable models I’ve used for drilling.
There are four modes on the Hilti TE 6-A36-AVR. As with nearly all rotary hammers, you have hammering and hammering with rotation. You also have rotation only and a chisel angle mode. That last mode allows you to adjust the angle of the bit so you can keep the rotary hammer in a more ergonomic position while chiseling horizontally, vertically, or somewhere in between.
36V Power, 5.2 AH Runtime
When you move up to the 36V platform to get more power from your cordless tools, it often comes with a runtime tradeoff with batteries that are only 3.0 or 4.0 amp hours. But Hilti’s system gives you the best of both worlds with a 36V, 5.2 AH pack. There are a total of 187.2 watt hours. That’s the same amount of stored energy as an 18V, 10.4 AH pack! You can also go with a 2.6 AH battery if you want to save weight.
Available OnBoard Dust Collection
We got our Hilti TE 6-A36-AVR with an optional TE DRS-6-A onboard dust extractor. This vacuums dust at the penetration point, but our pre-September 23rd selection may have been a little premature. The lack of a filter cleaner means it’s not Table 1 compliant. Be sure to grab the T1 version – it has a manual filter cleaner on the base that brings you into compliance.
The Hilti Te 6-a36-AVR SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer offers 1.8 foot-pounds of impact energy at 1,040 RPM. That beats out its competitors in this class from DeWalt, Bosch, and Milwaukee. With an optimal drilling diameter of 1/4 to 5/8-inches, it’s a rotary hammer best-suited for concrete anchor drilling, although light-duty chipping work is on the menu as well. Over the course of a few projects and Hilti’s recent media event in Dallas, I had plenty of 1/4″ and 1/2″ holes to drill.
What’s remarkable about this model is that it does the work for you without leaving your arms ridiculously fatigued. You don’t need to put a ton of force into it (you really shouldn’t ever need to if you have a good bit) and it drills very fast when you’re in its wheelhouse range. In combination with the relatively light weight and size along with AVR and you’ve got a go-to cordless rotary hammer for the majority of your anchoring needs.
The only major difference between the TE DRS-6-A and the T1 model is the presence of a manual filter cleaner, so we can reasonably expect the same performance from both. It does an excellent job of capturing dust at the exit point but is somewhat limited by its capacity. When you’re drilling larger diameter holes, you’ll notice it fills up pretty quick. Still, it’s awfully an awfully convenient solution, especially when drilling overhead.
The Bottom Line
It’s not surprising to find Hilti bring their A-game with their TE 6-A36-AVR. From features and ergonomics to vibration control and power, it’s one of the best available in this class. As with many Hilti tools, it’s the price that is often the sticking point for some users. As a bare tool, it’s $449 and $999 for a kit including a pair of 2.6 Ah batteries and the Table 1 compliant onboard dust extractor along with a few other goodies. I’d talk to your sales rep about upgrading to 5.2 AH packs if you do more than just occasional concrete drilling.
At the end of the day, you get what you pay for with this tool. The premium price comes along with class-leading performance and design for sub-1″ SDS-Plus models. If you decide to pull the trigger, you’re also backed by Hilti’s 20-year warranty.
Hilti TE 6-A36-AVR 36V SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer Features
- High runtime flexibility thanks to two compatible 36V batteries – Standard and Industrial, plus fast charging time
- Extremely powerful rotary hammer, designed for serial anchor drilling
- Very convenient and lightweight for superior handling
- Active Vibration Reduction (AVR) system designed to protect the user from hand-arm vibration
- Forward / reverse switch with middle locked position
- Drilling and hammer drilling in concrete and masonry
- Light chiseling
- Drilling in concrete in clean areas using the DRS-6-A (02) integrated dust removal system
Hilti TE 6-A36-AVR 36V SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer Specifications
- Model: Hilti TE 6-A36-AVR
- Power Source: Hilti 36V lithium-ion battery
- Single Impact Energy: 1.8 foot-lbs
- Hammer Drilling Speed: 1050 RPM
- Full Hammering Frequency: 5100 impacts/minute
- Optimum drilling diameter in concrete: 1/4 – 5/8 inch
- Dimensions (LxWxH): 14.4 x 3.6 x 7.9 in
- Weight: 8.2 Pounds
- Price: TBD (bare), $1,667.34 (kit with batteries, charger, and dust extractor)