Bruce Greenlaw

Hilti Autofeed Drywall Screw Magazine

With the help of his teammates, Josh Overlin — who owns Chetco Drywall in Brookings, Ore. — field-tested two Hilti SD 4500-A18 18-volt drywall screw guns with Hilti SMD 50 autofeed magazines for six months before writing about them in our April 2012 issue. He reported that the cordless freedom was “wonderful” and the tools were trouble-free. Although complete kits cost a hefty $380 or $500 depending on battery size, the tools were so efficient he figured they would pay for themselves in labor savings in less than two months.

The tools have now been out there for another year, and the crew has had only one problem — a broken spring in one of the magazines. Unfortunately, Hilti charges $12 for a new spring, plus a minimum shipping charge of $18, so the guys at Chetco improvised by coupling part of the broken spring with a spring out of an old Senco autofeed attachment. Works great so far.