Construction tools selection guide

dsh 600-x

Choosing the right equipment in the construction industry plays a significant part in the success of the project outcome. Previously, performance and productivity were the key factors in choosing equipment, however, as technology develops and safety is at the forefront of our minds, they are no longer the only things to contemplate.

That’s why we’ve put together this short construction tools selection guide to help you decide on the right tool for the job. 

How to choose the right construction equipment for your project?

First things first, we know these terms are used interchangeably, but what’s the difference between tools and equipment? In relation to construction, a tool is an item used to achieve your objective i.e. I need to drill into concrete meaning I need a cordless combihammer, whereas equipment refers to a set of these tools i.e. I have the new 12V cordless range in my tool park.

Now, let’s assess the key factors to consider when choosing your tools for your project, focusing on a scenario including the applications of cutting concrete and steel.

1. Performance for the job at hand

When assessing performance, it makes perfect sense to look at the application first – what does the job involve, what materials are you working with and how long will the job take you.

For instance, in this case, you need to cut concrete, specifically cutting curb stones and paving slabs with a material depth of 120mm – this narrows the choices down to the DSH 600-X petrol saw, as due to its innovative arbour design, this blade size can cut the slab in one go. As a result, this smaller blade not only helps you save costs, but it also makes this saw extremely light and compact for a saw of this performance class.

In this scenario, another challenge is that you’re working onsite alone, it’s a one-man job and must be done as quickly as possible. According to site rules, you need water when cutting concrete, and with Hilti’s innovation of the self-primping pump that distributes the water with the speed of the blade, means the DSH 600-X would be the optimum solution. 

2. Productivity onsite

What constitutes productivity? In construction, this is calculated by considering the gross value added (GVA) on site as the output and the labour (hours worked) on site as the input. Therefore, it’s about looking at the bigger picture to understand how each part interacts with each other and this includes exploring the tool features in relation to your application. This holistic approach can save time and money, a significant aspect when a project’s deadline is looming.

When choosing the tool, in this case the DSH 600-X for a steel and concrete application, what differentiates this product from others in terms of productivity? Well, thanks to its auto-choke function, the tool does not flood, hence you’re not wasting time unflooding the saw by removing the spark plug etc and thereby increasing your productivity significantly. Not only this, but the Hilti petrol saw has a fuel gauge so you always know how long you can run the tool for, enabling efficient planning of work. 

Safety Impacts on the tool user

The HSE (Health and Safety Executive) highlights that there have been big improvements over recent years in reducing the number and rate of injuries to construction workers. However, it doesn’t take away from the importance of considering Health & Safety when selecting the right tool for your application.

For example, when looking at the DSH 600-X petrol saw, there’s three key features that come to mind; the ergonomic top-handle design and low vibration level of 2,5 m/s² make it very easy to manoeuvre and allows you to work all day without reaching the Exposure Limit Value (ELV). The new blade brake technology ensures operators’ safety by stopping the blade within 7 seconds, and lastly, the tool has a foot plate which, if you want, avoids the need to drop start the tool, ensuring an easy and safe start of the saw. 

Versatility of the tool

In this example, we’re focusing on cutting concrete and steel, however whatever your application, considering the versatility of the tool for the job in hand and other jobs you may need to complete in the future, may have an impact on your tool section. If you can select a tool that covers a few applications, this could have a positive impact on the overall cost of your tool park.

For a construction worker who has various tasks to complete, versatility of a tool can be a defining factor. For example, the DSH 600-X can cut various materials i.e. masonry, concrete, steel and PVC.  

Construction tool terminology

Every industry has key terminology that can be useful to understand when selecting equipment.

-         Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVs): is the main concern posed by exposure to vibration. Commonly manifesting as vibration white finger or carpal tunnel syndrome, it’s caused by the transfer of vibration through a worker’s hands and arms, in as little as 6 months.

-         Exposure Limit Value (ELV): is the maximum amount of vibration an employee may be exposed to on any single day.

-         Exposure Action Value (EAV):  Is a daily amount of vibration exposure above which employers are required to take action to control exposure.


-         Active Vibration Reduction (AVR): A technology that addresses regular long-term exposure to vibration.

-         Active Torque Control (ATC): Advanced sensors and a motor brake help reduce kickback, by stopping the tool body from spinning uncontrollably, if a drill bit snags on rebar, or other hidden materials.

-         Dust Removal Systems (DRS): A system used alongside tools to maximize the amount of harmful dust removed at source and collect it efficiently with high-performance vacuum cleaners.

Now we’ve assessed the way in which you can choose the right tool for the job, how about focusing on the next big thing: productivity onsite.

Alongside this construction tool section guide, we’ve put together a free productivity eBook to get your site on track.