Hilti Nuron Power Tools and Battery Technology

In late 2021, Hilti invited Pro Tool Reviews and a couple dozen of its “closest friends” to Switzerland. We attended the world debut of both Hilti Nuron battery technology and updated power tools. Releasing around 70 tools at the event—mostly featuring brushless motors—the launch was one of the largest we’d seen since we started covering power tools in 2008. Hilti Nuron power tools and batteries use a combination of 22V and 2 x 22V configurations to tackle both handheld and larger power tools and equipment.

If that weren’t enough, Hilti let us know they expect to announce even more cordless power tools in the following 12 months that take advantage of Nuron battery technology.

What Is Hilti Nuron?

First thing’s first—what is Hilti Nuron? Is it a battery? Does it reflect Hilti technology? Is it a line of tools? Does it signify some sort of smart integration? Yes. Yes to all of that.

At the heart of Hilti Nuron lies an overall level of innovation that is—dare we say—more than overdue. Hilti has long made some pretty impressive power tools for concrete demolition, coring, and cutting. Many of their handheld cordless power tools still use brushed motors.

Hilti Nuron logo

Nuron—as a battery technology and a new line of compatible power tools—presents a huge update to the entire Hilti line. Nuron technology delivers the potential for these tools to operate cordlessly with a practical amount of both runtime and power. For Hilti, Nuron is a completely new 22V battery platform that serves as the foundation for all these new tools. These redesigned cordless tools cover (and support) all kinds of jobs—from light-duty drilling tools to heavy-duty concrete breakers.

Nuron technology also provides connectivity never before possible with last-gen Hilti products. From the way their batteries store information to how everything connects in the cloud is different. We’ll try to cover all of it for you in this article.

Hilti Nuron Battery Technology

At the heart of Hilti Nuron battery technology lies four (or so) different battery packs. A majority of the Hilti Nuron batteries use 21700 (2170) cells exclusively and individually generate 22V in various capacities. Used in pairs, Hilti Nuron tools can generate even more power with a lower overall current draw. That translates into an easier load for products like power cutters, demo hammers, and more.

Four Different Hilti Nuron Batteries using Nuron battery technology

Hilti even updated how the battery indicators work on these new packs. Most notably—the state of charge stays lit up the entire time a tool is being used. That’s right—you no longer have to press a button on the battery to see the remaining charge level while you use a tool. Just pull the trigger. It makes sense since LED lights take almost no power at all to operate. We’re surprised no one else has done this (that we’re aware of).

Hilti Nuron battery indicator

If you want to do a quick check of the battery’s state of health, Hilti lets you do that without going anywhere. Just press and hold for 3-4 seconds and the battery runs a self-check:

  • Green – Everything is good
  • Yellow (flashing) – Battery pack is too hot, too cold, or overloaded
  • Red – Indicates a problem where the battery should probably be replaced

At Least Four Different Hilti Nuron Batteries

  • B 22-55 2.50 Ah/54.00 Wh pack (21700 cells)
  • B 22-85 3.95 Ah/85.32 Wh pack (21700 cells)
  • Hilti B 22-170 7.90 Ah/170.64 Wh pack (21700 cells)
  • B 22-255* 11.85 Ah/256 Wh pack (21700 cells)

*Our photo of this battery’s model number was obscured, so we’re making an educated guess on the model number and Ah capacity.

Since both the Hilti Nuron 22V power tools and 2 x 22V tools use the same batteries, you have a large assortment of products operating off a single battery platform. This interchangeability ensures you can run all of your Hilti power tools more efficiently with fewer total batteries.

What Do the Stripes Mean on Hilti Nuron Battery Packs?

Observant folks may also note the presence of “stripes” on the side of the battery. A single stripe indicates the use of 21700 cells in a single series configuration. A dual-stripe battery, capable of more output, uses a series and/or parallel connection of cells to generate additional power and capacity. It also has an additional set of terminals (5-total, more-or-less halving the resistance to the cells in the pack).

Hilti Nuron battery technology includes a separate set of tabs for dual layer cell pack batteries.

How Do Hilti Nuron Batteries Differ from Existing 18V/22V Battery Packs?

A majority of the Hilti Nuron batteries utilize 21700 cells. These are larger and provide more power density over 18650 cells. That’s just the beginning, however. Hilti combines the new battery cells with a sophisticated managed heat system and updated connection interface. They also use much larger contact areas and thicker wires, and more efficient welds.

What does this mean? For starters, this lets Hilti Nuron tools draw more than 100 amps of power from these battery packs when necessary. That’s twice the current and power of their current 22V tools and more power than even Hilti 36V tools! In fact, these new packs can deliver a higher current than 120V 15A corded mains.

Hilti Nuron battery technology allows 100-amp draw from thicker tabs and wiring
Hilti Nuron battery technology allows 100-amp draw because of the use of thicker contact points and wiring.

Another big difference comes down to how the batteries collect and send tool and operation data automatically.

Are New Hilti Nuron Batteries Compatible with Older 22V Power Tools?

Not directly, no. Many of the older 22V Hilti tools feature brushed motors. New Nuron tools represent advanced technology across the board. Their hope is that consumers will upgrade and update quickly.

However, while Hilti anticipates a quick transition and migration, they do have a BA-22 battery adapter to mate new Nuron batteries with older tools. The downside is that it’s the size of one of their 2.6Ah battery packs. That means a rather clunky interface if you want to use the new battery packs on older tools. It does, however, give you an option in the event you want to keep an older tool going while you upgrade in other areas first.

Hilti Nuron 22V battery adapter
The Hilti Nuron 22V battery adapter (BA-22) is about the size of the original Hilti 22V batteries. These likely won’t be getting much use in the field unless absolutely necessary.

Hilti Nuron Battery Chargers and Smart Technology

Hilti has three battery chargers rated at 4-, 6-, and 8-amps respectively:

  • C 4-22 – 4A charger
  • C 6-22 – 6A charger
  • Hilti C 8-22 – 8A charger

For reference, the 8A charger will recharge its largest ~12Ah pack in around 35 minutes. That’s very quick.

Hilti 22V lithium-ion battery chargers
The Hilti C 8-22 8-amp charger (on the right) will recharge its largest 12Ah battery pack in around 35 minutes!

Now let’s move on to the “Smart” technology we referenced earlier. All Hilti Nuron tools generate data that gets stored on the Nuron batteries. From there it can be sent securely to the cloud during the charging process—without any operator interaction. The battery charger features a global SIM and 3G cellular connection that automatically updates the data during the battery charging process. If the network isn’t active, the charger retrieves the data and then uploads it when it next comes online.

Each battery can also store multiple tools’ worth of data. The data collected includes information such as tool usage, charging location, “last seen” info, and battery state-of-health. This info can create an alert if action is needed immediately. You can also access alerts via the Hilti ON!Track software platform using either the mobile or desktop app.

The charger also reports battery health for automatic battery replacement when needed. That last one perked up our ears. Given the right maintenance plan, Hilti can actually anticipate a battery failure and replace it in advance of the customer even knowing they have a need. You can also avoid the presence of “idle tools”, saving your company from buying and leasing tools unnecessarily.

Hilti Nuron Health and Safety Features

Hilti has already introduced anti-torque control (ATC), ANSI-tested tethers, and advanced dust control.

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