Category Archives: Comparison Tests

The times they are a-changin’ ONE-KEY

A quick history lesson in hand-held driving:

First hand-held electric drill: 1895
First cordless drill: 1961
Lithium-Ion battery tech: 2005
Brushless, 3-Speed impact driver: 2009

In the 2010’s we’ve seen: IP56 protection, self-tapping modes, a driver/wrench hybrid, lengths reduce to under 5″, improved bit-holders and raft of other minor improvements. It makes you wonder, what will an impact driver in 2025 look like? (more…)

At 10:05 AM | Posted in Comparison Tests, Construction Tools, Cordless Tools, Electrician Tools, HVAC Tools, Milwaukee | 1 Comment

Diamond Edge Cutting Wheels Head to Head

Special Thanks to The Jimbo Slice Workshop for this Guest Post, some great info we think many will find useful!!!

For years we have been using bonded cutting wheels for our metal cutting needs, and for years we’ve understood their limitation and danger. A rotation disc at 13,000 rpms that could explode at any minute. Not only can they break up and hurt users and people standing by, they don’t really last that long. (more…)

At 9:21 AM | Posted in Comparison Tests, Freud / Diablo, Lenox Tools, Milwaukee | Leave a comment

Brushless 18V Hammer Drill Fight – Milwaukee, Makita, Dewalt, Bosch, Hilti, Hitachi & Metabo

Oz Tool Talk 18V Hammer Drills

We recently had the opportunity to spend a few days from the guys from OZ TOOL TALK and were extremely impressed with their tool geek knowledge. They do great Youtube videos almost every week and some of the best in-depth cordless tool comparisons we’ve seen. Of course they are in Australia so models and brands don’t always line up but in the recently Brushless 18V Hammer Drill Fight – Milwaukee, Makita, Dewalt, Bosch, Hilti, Hitachi & Metabo all models do correlate to our numbers either directly or they give the North American versions. While they talk about all the testing in Kg, mm and Nm (for torque) at 2:47 they also provide the conversion to lbs, inches and in.lbs torque in their full spec sheet. Great video, awesome info, check it out!


At 4:37 PM | Posted in Comparison Tests, DeWalt Tools, Hitli Tools, Makita Tools, Metabo Tools, Milwaukee | 1 Comment

Cordless Circular Saws – M18 vs FlexVolt vs Makita

Saws Dewalt v Makita v Milwaukee

The circular saw has been around for many years and offers many unique advantages. They are one of the most powerful handheld tools you can own for cutting, similar power to a small table saw but fits in your hands. Overall, they are easy to use, affordable, portable and practical for so many applications. In the days of NiCd battery technology they simply could not build a competitive pro grade circular saw to keep up with corded, however over the last several years, we’ve seen changes in cordless batteries with increased amps, performance, sizing, costs, etc. With the industry demanding longer lasting batteries and corded performance, we wanted to see how these cordless 7-1/4″ circular saws from the top professional brands would perform.

  • MakitaXSH01Z ($199.95 bare) XSH01X ($399 w/3.0) – 36V, brushed, 10 Ah (5.0 x2), 18650 battery cells
  • Milwaukee2731-20 ($229.95 bare) 48-59-1890PC ($249 w/9.0) – 18V, brushless, 9.0 Ah, 18650 battery cells
  • DewaltDCS575 ($179.00 bare) DCS575T2 ($355 w/ 2.0) 54V, brushless, 9.0 Ah, 20700 battery cells


At 12:26 PM | Posted in Comparison Tests, Cordless Tools, DeWalt Tools, Makita Tools, Milwaukee | 4 Comments


Diablo Red Fire

Each year Freud Diablo launches and/or updates several of their main products for a media event just before the STAFDA tradeshow. This year the event was named the Red Fire Media Event although it was a bit confusing because we were expecting to see some new product named Red Fire. Not the case. We did get to see some cool stuff including updates to their carbide recip blades, new carbide hole saws (coming soon), a carbide pruning blade, new Cerment II metal circular blades and finally the Track Point technology added to the Demo Demon Blades with some additional improvements. (more…)

At 12:17 PM | Posted in Comparison Tests, Demolition Tools, Freud / Diablo, Outdoor Power Equipment, STAFDA | Leave a comment

Brushless 18V Impact Driver Challenge 2016 – Bosch vs Dewalt vs Makita vs Milwaukee

2016 cordless impact compare

The impact driver has really become the go to cordless tool on the jobsite over the last decade. These tools are super compact but can pack a ton of torque without risk of twisting your arm off you will find with a powerful drill/driver. We honestly think the bits & impact accessories for these tools still need to catch up to the power they can all put out. For this test we took the latest and greatest from the top 4 professional brands and used 2.0Ah batteries with each. The contestants are as follows: Bosch 18V IDH182 ($179), Dewalt 20V DCF887 ($110), Makita 18V XDT09 ($199) and Milwaukee M18 2757-20 ($179). We looked at a variety of applications and put them all on the Skidmore for torque testing here is what we found.


At 5:03 PM | Posted in Bosch, Comparison Tests, Cordless Tools, DeWalt Tools, Makita Tools, Milwaukee | 4 Comments

Cordless 1/2” Impact Wrenches High Torque – Ingersoll, Milwaukee, Dewalt, Makita

brushless impact wrenches

As we continue to work our way through comparing all the top cordless tools (previous posts Hammer Drills, Grinders, SDS-Plus Hammers & Recip Saws) the next logical step for us was Cordless High Torque Impact Wrenches.

Taking a look at the 4 most popular models we have the 20V Ingersoll Rand IQv W7150-K22 ($459, 5.0Ah), M18 Milwaukee FUEL 2763-22 ($439, 5.0Ah), 20V Dewalt Brushless DCF899P2 ($429, 5.0Ah w/detent pin) and 18V Makita Brushless XWT08Z ($239, bare). Hopefully everyone understands at this point, 18V “nominal” & 20V “max” are the exactly the same thing, so we are comparing apple to apple. We will also compare these top cordless ½” impact wrenches with 3 of the most popular ½” pneumatic impacts (previous post) we ran on the same Skidmore torque tester a few weeks ago. Looking at all 7 models together we will hopefully be able to get some definitive answers on the Cordless Impact Wrench vs Air Impact Wrench debate.


At 1:52 PM | Posted in Automotive Tools, Comparison Tests, Cordless Tools, DeWalt Tools, Ingersoll Rand, Makita Tools, Milwaukee | 15 Comments

Hilti 18V Cordless vs Milwaukee, Dewalt, Makita, Bosch & Metabo

Hilti 18V Cordless

Recently we have done a handful of cordless comparison tests in the most popular pro 18V tool categories which Hilti was not originally involved in (we simply were not able to get the tools for testing). Hilti is a professional tool brand, well respected in the industry so we definitely think they should have a seat at the table when comparing professional cordless tools. Finally we got our hands on these 3; Hilti 18V Hammer Drill SFH 18-A, 18V Reciprocating Saw WSR 18-A and 18V SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer TE 4-A18 with 5.2Ah batteries. We ran them through the identical tests as the Bosch, Dewalt, Makita, Metabo and Milwaukee tools only a few weeks earlier. Here is what we found.

Hilti 18V Hammer Drill SFH 18-A ($419 kit with 2x 5.2Ah)


The Hilti 3-speed 18V Hammer Drill SFH 18-A does not appear to be a brushless model (no schematics on any Hilti tools) with only 743 in-lbs torque, reported from Hilti, it rates as the lowest torque output of any of the high performance hammer drill in our recent 18V Cordless Hammer Drill Comparison. Price for the rest of the hammer drills also look to be below $300, many with extra deals for the holidays (free batteries, special discounts, etc).

Manufacturer Torque Reported: Bosch HDH181X – 752 in-lbs, Dewalt DCD995 – 650 UWO(best guess 800 in-lbs), Makita XPH07 – 1,090 in-lbs, Metabo SB18LXT – 797 in-lbs, Milwaukee 2704 – 1200 in-lbs.

That being said Hilti has launch a new high output 4 speed Drill/Driver SF 10W-A18 ($459) which may be brushless (not reported) and has a torque output of 1,062 in-lbs. Currently there is not a Hammer Drill Counterpart to this tool, perhaps for next year’s test they will have something ready.

We ran the Hilti Hammer Drill SFH 18-A through the same tests – 5x holes 31/64” through ¼” steel, then ¾” self-feed bits and 1-3/4” hole saws until the battery died. The results look like this:

Hilti Cordless Hammer Drill

Hilti SFH 18-A (5x 31/64” steel): 6:36

PREVIOUS TEST POWER/SPEED: Bosch 6:44, Dewalt 6:21, Makita 5:57, Metabo 5:45, Milwaukee 5:01

Hilti SFH 18-A (wood drilling): 40 (20 small/20 big)

PREVIOUS TEST BATTERY LIFE: Bosch 39 (20 small/19 big), Dewalt 39 (20 small/19 big), Makita 57 (30 small/27 big), Metabo 80 (40 small/40 big), Milwaukee 72 (40 small/32 big)

Numbers came in pretty close to the Bosch which makes sense as they are both brushed tools with very similar torque ratings. Hilti Hammer Drill with battery was 6.35 lbs. Hilti & Dewalt are only hammer drills in the test with have 3 speeds (rest have 2), so not sure how/if this factors into either of these tests.

Hilti 18V SDS-Plus 1” Rotary Hammer TE 4-A18 ($709 kit with 2x 5.2Ah)

Hilti Cordless Rotary Hammer

The Hilti 18V SDS-Plus TE 4-A18 has also been on the market for longer than some of the other competitors in the recent Cordless SDS-Plus Rotary Hammers Comparison. With Hilti’s manufacturer rating of 1” capacity, impact force of 1.5 Ft-lbs, 0-1090 RPM and 0-5200BPM the power output on this unit looks to be lower-middle of the pack vs other units we tested.

Manufacturer Torque Reported: Bosch RHH181 – Not Reported, Dewalt DCH273 2.1 Joules (roughly 1.54 ft-lbs), Makita 18V XRH01Z 1.9 Joules (roughly 1.40 ft-lbs), Makita 36V XRH05 3 Joules (roughly 2.21 ft-lbs), Metabo KHA18LTX 2.2 Joules (roughly 1.62 ft-lbs), Milwaukee 1” 2712 (not tested) 1.7 ft-lbs & Milwaukee 1-1/8” 2715 3.3 ft-lbs. (** Joules to ft-lbs estimate according to Google conversions)

Price is again significantly higher than the competition; Dewalt 20V Max DCH273P2 ($529), Milwaukee FUEL M18 2715-22 ($549) or even Makita 36V with an Impact Driver Combo XT258PM ($599). Hilti also has a lot of their 36V SDS-Plus 1-1/8” Rotary Hammer TE 30-A36 ($1,839) out in the market which rates at 2.7 ft-lbs (3.66 Joules) but uses their larger 36V battery platform which is not compatible with the 18V batteries like the Makita.

We tested the Hilit 18V rotary hammer exactly the same as the others: 3x holes in concrete 1” x 5” measuring time, 5x holes ½” x 2” and remaining holes ½” x 3” until the battery ran out.

Hilti Cordless SDS-Plus

Hilti TE 4-A18 (3x 1”x5”): 4:23

PREVIOUS TEST POWER/SPEED: Bosch N/A, Dewalt 4:07, Makita 18V 4:17, Makita 36V 3:21, Metabo 3:47, Milwaukee (1-1/8” 2715) 2:17

Hilti TE 4-A18 (1/2” holes): 48

PREVIOUS TEST BATTERY LIFE: Bosch 24), Dewalt 42, Makita 18V 27, Makita 36V 66 (33/battery), Metabo 34, Milwaukee (1-1/8” 2715) 33

The results for the Hilti TE 4-A18 were pretty interesting we expected it to be a little faster, not sure if there was conditional factors (about 20 degrees colder) but we would say with a smaller margin of error for individual tests & concrete consistency the Hilti, Dewalt & 18V Makita were all very very close in speed performance. Hilti had a similar weight to those models as well at 7.45 lbs and torque rating so it seems logical. The Hilti actually outperformed the rest of the tools in battery life with the ½” bit which seemed odd for just “.2 Ah” more. We look into this further after the testing and their 5.2 Ah battery actually has 112Wh, which is the most “Watt Hours” of any 18V (or 20V Max) battery in the test. Even the Metabo 5.5Ah LiHD (used in test) only has 99 Wh and only the Metabo 6.2Ah LiHD having the same 112Wh. Looking ahead as manufacturers have more control over the “Amp Hour” rating and users putting more emphasis on Ah, we will need to also keep an close eye on “Watt Hours” as well to make sure we are looking apples to apples.

Hilti 18V Reciprocating Saw WSR 18-A ($489 kit with 2x 5.2Ah)

Hilti Cordless Reciprocating Saw

The final 18V cordless Hilti tool we looked at was the most popular cutting solution which we match up to the fellow competitors in the 18V Cordless Reciprocating Saw Comparison. Recip saws are really tough to predict performance because there really are not “power” rating manufacturers can put out there. Even the stroke length and strokes/minute are not too telling because they all seem to be 1-1/8” and 0-3000 strokes/minute.

Hilti WSR 18-A (5x ¼” Angle): 2:31

PREVIOUS TEST POWER/SPEED: Bosch 2:40, Dewalt 1:26, Makita 1:59, Metabo 2:28, Milwaukee 1:16

Hilti WSR 18-A (Conduit & 2×4”): 136 (30 conduit / 106 2×4”)

PREVIOUS TEST BATTERY LIFE: Bosch 103 (30 conduit/73 2×4), Dewalt 115 (30 conduit/85 2×4), Makita 113 (30 conduit/83 2×4), Metabo 121 (30 conduit/91 2×4), Milwaukee 155 (30 conduit/125 2×4) 

The results were a little surprising for the Hilti, we thought this saw’s speed test would be at or better than the Dewalt DCS380 with a price well about the only brushless in the competition, Milwaukee FUEL Sawzall 2720-22 ($399). At the time we were unaware of the difference in the 5.2Ah batteries so we thought the speed was just offset with longer runtime. With the battery having 112Wh however it just means the Hilti battery is a bigger fuel tank. Not that this saws performance was bad, as a rule of thumb if any tool rates about the same as similar Metabo and Bosch chances are it’s a pretty good tool. At 8.35 lbs it was the 3rd heavies. This is another example how newer cordless tools are just leapfrogging forward so the newer the tools (brushed or especially brushless) the better it is going to perform. We would not be surprised to see a Hilti 18V Brushless Recip Saw in 2016 but we haven’t heard anything specific.

Overall HILTI 18V Cordless

Just taking a sample look at 3 of the more popular cordless tool categories we’d say the Hilti 18V tools are right in line with the other professional brands in terms of snapshot “performance”. One thing we did learn is that the Hilti 5.2Ah battery is the highest rated “Watt Hour” which means on average the tools are going to run longer than equal cordless tools. Others like Metabo and Milwaukee (in January 16) look to match the 112Wh number with their 6.0Ah batteries but is seems Hilti definitely has the highest Wh in the  5.0-5.5Ah range. The Hilti cordless tools themselves however reminds us a lot of the Bosch cordless with very solid performers but they are not continuously upgrading tool models as we are seeing from Milwaukee and Makita especially, seemingly redoing tools every other year. In today’s world a 3, 4 or 5 year old cordless tool is simply not going to have the top specs as technology advancements are happening faster than ever before.

All that being said, professionals are loyal to the tools that perform for them and talking to many Hilti users are very affectionate to their tools because they are reliable. For most of these tests it would be nearly impossible to feel the difference of a few seconds +/- over a several minute test (we couldn’t tell without looking at the numbers) especially not on your “average” jobs. You will certainly notice a 10-20% more run-time per battery charge and everyone can remember the last time a tool fail in middle of a job. Hilti cordless models don’t change very often and are not going to have the latest, highest performing brushless motors (at least not at the moment) but they do hang their hat on solid reliability which is how they justify their higher price points and when talking to their loyal user base, they have no problem with this

We won’t not be surprised when these Hitli fans don’t believe our number (or even the spec from Hitli themselves) that don’t rate these tools significantly better than the competition. We equally won’t be surprised when fans of Dewalt, Milwaukee, Makita say Hilti is way over priced and don’t even perform as good. Everyone is entitled to their opinion! We did answer a lot of questions amoungst ourselves here at Coptool and we even learned more about the other comparison tests we did looking backwards. Hopefully you’ll take something away for all these various cordless tests… they are definitely a ton of work.

At 3:21 PM | Posted in Comparison Tests, Cordless Tools, Hitli Tools | 11 Comments

2015 Cordless SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer Challenge – Bosch, Dewalt, Makita, Metabo, Milwaukee

Cordless SDS-Plus Drills

As cordless tools become more powerful with longer life batteries and price continues to come down (especially when you’re already invested in batteries) there are several tools that really start to make more sense in cordless. Not sure the difference between Hammer Drill & SDS-Plus Hammer Drill? The cordless SDS-Plus rotary hammer is quickly becoming one of those tools that really compliments a cordless platform.

SDS-Plus applications are much wider in scope so it’s tougher to judge a winner or even a clear goal but our hope is this will help you as a tool when you are selecting your next SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer. The contestants listed as bare tools, Bosch ¾” RHH181BN ($279), Dewalt 1” DCH273B ($329), Makita 18V 15/16” XRH01Z ($289), Makita 36V 1” XRH05Z ($359), Metabo 15/16” KHA18LTX ($313), Milwaukee 1-1/8” 2715-20 ($349)

*** Added 11/27/2015 Results from Hilti 18V TE 4-A18 SDS-Plus 18V Cordless


At 12:19 PM | Posted in Bosch, Comparison Tests, Cordless Tools, DeWalt Tools, Makita Tools, Metabo Tools, Milwaukee | 12 Comments

2015 Cordless Hammer Drill Challenge – Bosch, Dewalt, Makita, Metabo, Milwaukee

Hammer Drill Comparison 2015

The hammer drill is the most popular cordless power tool, so no surprise these are the tools we see manufacturers reinvent every couple of years. With constant technology improvements things are changing faster and faster which is also why this is our 3rd comparison test (Comparison Test 1 5/12, Test 2 9/14) we’ve done for cordless hammer drills. Previously we compared these tools drilling holes into concrete, using “hammer mode”. Of course many of these tools will spend only a small fraction of their lives actually working in concrete and some may never touch any aggregate. The hammer drills are also included in most heavy duty combo kits so chances are good that’s what you’ll get even if you just wanted a drill/driver.

For this test we did 3 different comparisons in wood and metal to measure power, speed and runtime. We’ve got the latest tools all running 5.0Ah (5.5Ah Metabo) and their latest hammer drills; Bosch HDH181X-01L, Dewalt DCD995M2, Makita XPH07T, Metabo SB18LXTBL, and Milwaukee 2704-22 (new generation 2 brushless).

*** Added 11/27/2015 Results from Hilti 18V SFH 18-A Hammer Drill 18V Cordless


At 8:36 AM | Posted in Bosch, Comparison Tests, Cordless Tools, DeWalt Tools, Makita Tools, Metabo Tools, Milwaukee | 13 Comments