It usually takes a pretty hefty tool to knock out a brick wall, demolish a concrete staircase, or pulverize a tile shower stall during a bathroom renovation. It's a job for the pounding chisel tip of a demolition hammer or a jackhammer—a tool big enough to require its operator, as The Far Side once suggested, to "let the belly do the work."

Hilti came out with a different solution this summer—the TE 700-AVR, a 17.5-pound handheld demolition hammer with the best power-to-weight ratio in its class. The tool's 8.5 foot-pounds of of electro-pneumatic hammering action are powered by a 1300-watt brushless motor. A cooling system keeps the motor, electronics and chisel from overheating, and an optional vacuum sucks dust out of the guts. Some additional features include a proprietary vibration reduction system as well as self-sharpening chisels that never need a new edge.


What does it feel like to punch a hole in a concrete wall with a tool that weighs as much as a six-month-old? The tool, which retails for about $1,100, doesn't seem to have seen much action outside of Concrete Construction Magazine. To anyone who's broken out this new beast on a jobsite, how did it perform?


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