Hilti's mixed bag of results includes top half finishes in performance and bottom half rankings in its footprint, weight, and value. It's still more compact than their 22V model and takes a load off of its weight. With a fairly limited 12V line, this is going to most appealing to current Hilti fans who appreciate the direct sales model, service after the sale, and that killer 20-2-1 warranty. 

Hilti is one brand that likes to march to beat of its own drum. They make excellent tools backed by a 20-year warranty and use a direct sales model. But they also command a higher price. Compared to other brands, the Hilti SID 2-A 12V impact driver is a mixed bag with a priority on performance.

Hilti’s mixed bag of results includes top half finishes in performance and bottom half rankings in its footprint, weight, and value. It’s still more compact than their 22V model and takes a load off of its weight. With a fairly limited 12V line, this is going to most appealing to current Hilti fans who appreciate the direct sales model, service after the sale, and that killer 20-2-1 warranty.

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Hilti’s SID 2-A 12V impact driver drops in with 2500 RPM and 3410 BPM to go with its 973 in-lbs of torque. Milwaukee’s M12 Fuel aside, these are specs toward the top of the spec charts. What we see in our testing confirms it belongs on the higher performing side of the charts.

The first thing we test for is speed under a moderate load. Driving into glued up OSB subfloor Hilti holds onto 259 RPM driving 1/4″ diameter ledger screws. That sets it as the 5th fastest and its lowest performance ranking.



Fastening and nut-busting torque testing include a steel I-beam, some Grade 8 hardened steel nuts, washers, and bolts, and an impact-rated socket. The Hilti SID 2-A produces 431 in-lbs of fastening torque. It’s a solid 3rd place finish but leaves a large gap to Skil (700 in-lbs) and Milwaukee (804 in-lbs).

For nut-busting torque, the Hilti 12V impact driver consistently breaks 840 in-lbs. It slips from 3rd to 4th and Bosch jumps ahead to fill the gap to Skil’s and Milwaukee’s 1680 in-lbs.

Please realize that our torque tests do not and cannot replace how manufacturers test for their specifications. Head over to the testing methods section on our main shootout page to see the details.

Hilti takes the minimalist approach to the feature set with the SID 2-A. It includes a brushed motor with one standard mode, 2 LED worklights at the base of the tool, a belt hook, and a narrow nose that is potentially helpful when driving into smaller spaces.

It also has voltage, current, and temperature sensors built in for motor protection. Rubber side contacts give it a better chance of surviving a fall. The batteries have some rubber armor that protects against impact as well.

However, Hilti’s impact driver is missing a brushless motor, multiple speed modes, one-handed bit changes, and bit ejection. If Hilti decides to continue developing the core of their 12V line, a brushless motor and multiple speeds are easy targets to upgrade.

There’s some extra length and a larger diameter on the handle that makes it an easier fit for medium to large size hands. It has a more industrial feel to it than other models that are more DIY-friendly. Considering Hilti’s natural habitat is on larger job sites, that’s an understandable design.

None of the 12V drivers we’ve tested can be classified as “heavy”, especially against the 18V class. In this class, the Hilti 12V impact driver weighs in at 1.9 lbs bare and 2.5 lbs with its 2.6 Ah pack. It’s the 3rd heaviest driver with the battery attached, but fatigue isn’t really a factor at this weight.

As far as the tool’s footprint goes, it’s definitely more compact than its 22V counterpart, but it could be more compact. Its head length is 6.2″ and a height of 7″, ranking it 7th for the 12V class.

Part of the length seems intentional, though. The extra length and narrow nose can help you drive in tight corners better before having to grab a bit extension.

Hilti’s system is more a la carte that most that give you a bare tool and kit option. The bare tool is just $59 and that’s a genuinely excellent price. A single port charger adds $29 and 2.6 Ah batteries are $31 each. So the cost of the most basic kit is $119. Bosch and Milwaukee are significantly higher.

Keep in mind that many of Hilti’s chargers are multi-voltage and you may not need to buy a new one. The C4/36 that many Pros use for their 22V or 36V packs also charges 12V packs. The 4-port C4/36-MC4 is in the same boat.

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Hilti’s mixed bag of results includes top half finishes in performance and bottom half rankings in its footprint, weight, and value. It’s still more compact than their 22V model and takes a load off of its weight. With a fairly limited 12V line, this is going to most appealing to current Hilti fans who appreciate the direct sales model, service after the sale, and that killer 20-2-1 warranty.

12v Turbo Fan

You'll find Chris behind the scenes of almost everything Pro Tool Reviews produces. When he doesn't have his hands on tools himself, he's often the man behind the camera lens making the rest of the team look good. In his free time, you might find Chris with his nose jammed in a book, or tearing out his remaining hair while watching Liverpool FC. He enjoys his faith, family, friends, and the Oxford comma.

Seems like a way better value than the DeWalt 12V impact despite the identical rating. Better measurables, better warranty, similar price. I know it’s hard to test for durability, so I won’t rail on you guys for that, but I’d bet on Hilti to beat out the durability of all of the tools that finished ahead of it in measurable specs. All in all, if I needed a tool for daily, regular fastener tasks, this would be my pick, as it seems well designed, comfortable, and if anything like other Hilti products, built to last. If I wanted to go… Read more »

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