Hilti VS Festool Cordless Drill & Impact Driver

Hilti and Festool are both revolutionary manufacturers that have set a whole new standard of power, efficiency and tool customization that most traditional favorites can’t match. The amount of torque you will get from any generic Hilti tool or the narrow spaces and chuck convenience of Festool is enough to switch brands for most of our customers. These two companies have introduced some of the best compact drill and driver choices in the market suitable for construction sites, woodworking and most favorable of all, home projects.

The question of whether to buy Festool or Hilti is a simple one. Both Festool and Hilti have what can be called the most durable cordless drills in the power tool market and in this regard, there is no favorite. However, when buying your favorite cordless impact drill/driver, you have to match features to the project and that is why we created this guide to give you an unbiased review of the two brands. A quick note, Hilti has all-out power with good design too but Festool has very friendly tools. The uncertainty between the two brands is well founded because even professionals and DIY enthusiasts found it hard to choose a favorite.

This is a professional guide on the two that will help you make a lifetime tool purchase with confidence.

About Hilti Cordless drill

Every professional enjoys working with Hilti construction tools because this has been the center of their manufacturing since 1941. Immediately after its launch in Schaan, Liechtenstein, Hilti created what became the most famous manual screwdriver in the world. They also created the first drill with a chiseling function in the 60s, an achievement that allowed them to reach worldwide markets including the US through Hilti North America. Their tools have remained favorite among professionals in the construction industry and now DIY enthusiasts and homeowners due to their superior build.

The greatest guarantees when buying any Hilti tool is power and durability. Their famous 20V cordless drills are covered by a 20-year warranty, the longest from any manufacturer. This is because they create drills using all metallic parts with a superior external body compact and smoothened to fit any harsh working conditions.

With this powerful design, you would expect their prices to be higher than standard 20V drills which are true but their value is excellent considering the long service attached. Their tools are also very light except for the powerful batteries especially 5.2ah batteries which are some of the bulkiest in the market. In terms of torque, there is hardly any cordless drill in the market that can beat Hilti. It remains the contractor’s favorite toolmaker because they have an assurance of each tool being a one time purchase.

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About Festool Cordless Drills

This is also an old player in the power tool industry working on construction equipment since 1925. It started as Fezer and Stoll, after its founders becoming famous in Germany for creating the world`s first portable chainsaw in 1927. By the early 30s, they spread their skill to power tools becoming especially famous for their user-friendly designs and versatility in power drills.

They came up with the perfect balance on drills bay introducing two handles which spread the weight of the battery from the primary handle on their CDD drill in 1996 which is still their most famous drill design today. This design makes Festool drills feel lighter and convenient. They also eradicated the reliance on one chuck bringing in their unique fast fix design with interchangeable chuck design that allows you to use your drill with any chuck of choice or without a chuck at all.

Their interchangeable chuck designs allow you to drill, drive and hammer with Festool drills in any closed space than any other cordless drill can access. They also manufacture very light batteries and durable parts although their material is not the same premium standard as Hilti. They introduce lots of plastic parts which makes them more of a regular drill with great design.

Best Hilti and Festool Cordless Drills Review

1. Hilti SFC 18A 18V cordless drill kit

Hilti SFC 18-A CPC 18v Lithiom-Ion Compact Drill/Driver Kit

This is one of the most powerful cordless drills ever made in the market with superior torque, ultra high speed, and premium features to match it. This is the impact drill of choice on construction sites or any commercial grade project able to drill through steel, concrete, and hardwood with ease.

It is very compact weighing just 3.7lbs despite its durable metallic parts. It also features an ergonomic handle rubberized to improve your grip. Its performance is top notch, rated over 500lbs in torque, high enough to drill through your project of choice. It also features very high speeds in both High torque and high-speed modes and 0-600ROM and 0-2000RPM respectively.

This package includes 2 1.6ah batteries with a quick charger that gives you more time to work on the site. It also features 4 LEDs with flood mode that brightens up the working space. It is protected by the Hilti 20 year tool warranty with a full cover for wear and tear in the first two years.

Pros:

  • It has Premium metallic parts including the chuck
  • It Is very durable
  • It has great performance on heavy duty tasks
  • High bit retention even for round bits
  • It has a compact build with an ergonomic handle

Cons:

  • It has no onboard bit holder
  • It doesn`t come with a clip belt
  • The package batteries don`t last long I heavy-duty applications
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2. Festool 564261 CXS Compact Drill Driver Plus

Festool 564261 CXS Li Compact Drill Driver Plus

This is a small drill with impressive features and enough power to handle any standard commercial drill/drive tasks as well as your woodwork and masonry application at home. It is very light and compact, probably the lightest in the market weighing less than 2lbs with all features packed. It totally differs from the specs of traditional drills featuring a fast fix design that accommodates interchangeable chucks. It also has a secondary handle that increases the base and carries the extra weight of the battery reducing the strain on your arm.

You can use a centrotec chuck or a keyless chuck depending on the application you need to handle. If you need to work in a tight space, you can simply insert the bit directly into the tool without any chuck shortening the drill even further for tight spaces. You can also use it at any angle because it has a right angle adapter where you can attach a bit directly or using any of the chucks and work without having to deal with the entire height of the drill.

It is a small drill just 10.8V but also powerful enough to handle standard commercial grade projects which is why many contractors love it as their second drill. It delivers up to 275lbs of torque running at 0-400RPM in high torque mode and 0-1200RPM in high-speed mode. It also comes with 2 powerful 1.3ah batteries able to carry enough juice for day-long drilling projects. The whole package including batteries is covered by a 3-year warranty.

Pros:

  • Compact and light
  • It uses interchangeable chuck system
  • It has a right angle adapter for tight space drilling
  • It is covered by a 3-year warranty
  • It has a good balance with the battery weight spread away from the handle

Cons:

  • It has plastic material on the chucks

Hilt VS Festool Cordless Drills Head to Head Comparison

Key Features Festool Hilti
Performance It delivers 275lbs of torque with 400RPM and 1200RPM variable speeds able to handle standard applications on wood and light steel. It delivers up to 500lbs of torque with ultra high speeds of 600RPM and 2000RPM able to handle any hard surface including steel and masonry.
Durability It has a tough build with a metallic chuck and powerful motor although it features many plastic parts. It features premium steel parts with a powerful motor and chuck. It is basically a lifetime purchase tool.
Price Considering its wide variety of application and durable build compared to most standard tools, its price is pocket-friendly and worthy of its service. Hilti has the best prices of any high-end power tools although they are more expensive than Festool. This is because of their expensive metallic parts and robust build.
Batteries For a 10.8V power tool, 1.3ah batteries are the best you would ask for because they deliver a stable current strong enough to run maximum torque for long. Hilti has one of the poorest battery to tool power matching in the market. The packaged batteries are 1.6ah which means they run out after a very short time. You may have to buy Hilti`s 5.2ah batteries for the best service from this powerful tool.
Handling The ergonomic handle makes handling on this tool very easy because you can access all controls with a simple stretch of your thumb and index finger. It is also very light and maneuverable. Its LED light is weak though. The design is great allowing you to access controls easily although the drill is very huge and not the best option for drilling into closed spaces.

The batteries also increase its weight significantly making it hard to operate in closed spaces.

Warranty Festool offers a 3-year warranty of their power drills Hilti has a 2o year tool warranty with a 2 year cover for wear and tear

Our Opinion

Both Festool and Hilti have great cordless impact drills just not designed for the same type of working conditions. When shopping for your power tool collection, you have to account for tight spaces and standard hammering applications and overhead drilling which automatically makes Festool the drill for the job. However, when you need all the torque you can get to drive huge screws through masonry, heavy steel and concrete, Hilti is the tool you can trust for the job.

When used as stated in the manuals, our professionals agree that both these tools have the potential to serve for more than 10 years. This is why we recommended the two tools as the best package of lifetime drilling and hammering insurance for a contractor or a DIYer. However, if your budget cannot handle the two, any of these tools is a great option depending on the type of project you have.

Conclusion

Hilti and Festool is an argument on whether you need more power or more convenience but a closer look at the real nature of a woodwork or construction site will tell you that you need a combination of both. The main advantage with the two is that they promise a long time of reliable service. With our recommendation of these two best sellers, you have a reliable package to handle any drilling, driving or hammering needs on site.

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