When working with concrete and masonry, you will need a more powerful tool than the standard power drill. However, the regular power drill is an incredibly versatile tool in such a small package. You have probably heard of a hammer drill, but the question is, “Is A Hammer Drill Worth It“?
One tool is designed to perform severe applications, such as drilling holes into concrete, stone, block, and brick. Such a tool is referred to as a hammer drill.
Is A Hammer Drill Worth It – A buyers Guide
Compared to Other Drills, Impact Drivers, and Rotary Drills, the Hammer Drill Takes the Cake.
Another tool similar to a drill with a hammer mode is a rotary hammer. These three tools have a pistol grip, a trigger switch, and a drill bit mounted on the chuck. They are virtually indistinguishable from one another. It is far too simple to get a hammer drill confused with a standard drill or an impact driver, or vice versa. It only adds to the existing confusion.
A Hammer Drill And An Impact Driver
Impact drivers, just like hammer drills, have that same hammering action that assists the tool in performing its function more effectively. Impact drivers are only intended to install or remove nuts and bolts. Which are designed specifically for the process of drilling holes. The impact driver can’t perform the duties of the hammer drill, and the same is true in the other direction as well.
Hammer Drill VS Standard Drills
Drilled into a concrete block using a masonry bit can be done effectively. A hammer drill like you would use a regular drill. The performance difference between the two is like night and day. It is possible to bore a hole with a standard drill given enough time and drill bits. A hammer drill will complete the task in a significantly shorter amount of time.
Because of the pounding force that makes them so effective at blasting through masonry. Your standard drill will burn out if you try to drill into ten years old concrete. Still, a hammer drill will be able to put in hole after hole all day long without stopping.
How a Hammer Drill Is Used in Construction
The spinning of two ridged discs against each other in a hammer drill creates drilling and driving action superior to that of a standard drill bit. This action allows the hammer drill to drill and drive deeper into the material being worked. One of the discs rapidly rises up and down against the other disc, and the ridges on the two thick, cam-like discs are ridged just like the teeth on a ratcheted wheel with curved teeth. This results in the mechanism being created.
These brief blows impart a hammering force on the chuck, enabling hammer drills to drive even longer fasteners into hardwood, significantly reducing the effort required by an ordinary drill. Because of the pounding action, hammer drills can quickly bore regular holes into masonry and concrete. Two of the most common applications for these types of tools.
The Differences Between Hammer Drills and Rotary Hammers
In this regard, hammer drills and rotary drills have more in common. Both of them have a hammer action mechanism that allows them to drill holes in masonry as that is their intended purpose.
Rotary drills, also known as rotary hammers, are significantly larger than standard drills. The size of some rotary drill models is comparable to that of smaller jackhammers. In contrast to the standard three-jaw chuck found on hammer drills and other drills, rotary hammers typically come equipped with a chuck that uses the SDS system. Hammer drills and rotary hammers are two variations of the same general tools category.
Comparing Hammer Drills
When comparing hammer drills, power is the most critical factor to consider. When working with complex materials like masonry and concrete, having as much power as you can get out of your tool will allow you to complete the task more quickly.
The next thing is to think about the size of the hole you need to drill. Drilling larger holes might require more significant bits, so you’ll have to decide between using smaller bits with a three-jaw chuck. Or more significant bits with an SDS chuck.
Influence and Power Influence and Power
Indicates the power of the hammer drill, just as it does for the vast majority of corded electric power tools if not all of them (W). Consider this as a rough guide to the power of the hammer drill. The rating of the primary motor is measured in Watts. This input power rating translates into output power based on various factors, including the gearing and the RPM of the tool, so think of this as a rough guide to the power of the hammer drill.
While cordless rotary hammers are rated in voltage (V), corded rotary hammers are rated in amps (A). Running time can be estimated for battery-operated models by looking at the battery’s capacity rating, typically expressed in ampere-hours (Ah).
Impact energy ratings can be found on rotary hammers because they are tools that have an impact piston hammer. In this instance, the impact energy is measured in Joules (J), and the higher the figure, the more forcefully the piston can strike the chuck.
Quickness and Lightning Quickness
Typical units for expressing rated speed are revolutions per minute (RPM). The maximum rotational speed of a hammer drill is 3,500 revolutions per minute (RPM), which is comparable to the speed of a standard drill. On the other hand, rotary hammer drills typically move at a more leisurely pace, with typical models typically spinning at less than 1,500 RPM or even more slowly.
When it comes to hammering speed, the situation is precisely the same. Hammering speed is measured as an impact rate in beats per minute (bpm), and a standard rotary hammer drill can have an impact rate of 4,000 bpm or higher. Hammering speed is measured in beats per minute. On the other hand, Hammer drills have significantly higher bpm rates; you should anticipate bpm ratings of 50,000 bpm or more from a hammer drill in the middle of its price range.
The Depth of the Drilling
A critical consideration is you will need to look at when purchasing a drill, whether it is a regular drill, a hammer drill, or a rotary hammer. Manufacturers will typically give out detailed estimates of the drilling range that their tools are capable of.
Metric scales, drilling ranges are typically specified in millimetres (mm). In contrast, in imperial scales, they are specified in inches (in.). Maximum drilling diameters are typically provided for various materials, including masonry, wood, and metal.
How to Determine Which Hammer Drill Is Right for You
When it comes to hammer drills, there are typically two primary types available: hammer drills and rotary hammers. Hammer drills and standard drills with a hammer function have some features in common. On the other hand, rotary hammers can be thought of as a type of drill that has been developed specifically. To drill or hammer concrete and masonry, and not much else.
Your choices are limited to the corded electric variety or the cordless battery-powered models for hammer drills. Just as they are with most other power tools.
In general, if you are going to be working with harsh concrete and masonry, you will want the most powerful hammer drill possible. Even if you are using more significant bits to drill larger holes. Larger hammer drills or even rotary hammers can withstand the challenge of drilling through hard, decade-old concrete all day long.
On the average construction site, you can anticipate drilling a substantial number of holes at a rate that will quickly wear out even the most durable of standard drills. When it comes to hammer drills, it is generally true that more significant is better; however, this is subject to your budgetary constraints.
Hammer drills for light-duty use
These models of hammer drills cost one hundred dollars or less and are considered to be entry-level hammer drills. Hammer drills in this price range are more similar to regular drills but have a hammer action. If it is a corded electric type, most light-duty hammer drills will have motors that can deliver up to 6 to 8 amps of power. This is how you can recognise a light-duty hammer drill.
This category also includes many cordless hammer drills, even though battery-powered versions of these tools are more expensive.
Your expectations would be reasonable to consider drilling holes up to a half-inch wide into mortar and brick using a light-duty hammer drill. However, they are not quite capable of dealing with harsh concrete. If you plan on using a light-duty hammer drill on concrete that is fifty years old, you should anticipate spending some time on each hole. However, these hammer drills are more than adequate for woodworking and less intensive forms of masonry work.
Heavy Duty Hammer Drills
You will begin to see motors that range from 7 to 10 amps in this price range. You can expect these tools to perform adequately when used against light masonry and concrete and drill holes of up to 5/8 of an inch in diameter with ease.
In addition, you will begin to notice an increase in the number of available features with more expensive models. For example, these models will begin to provide a more significant number of hammer-only and drill-only modes. Which will allow the tool to be used with a broader range of materials, including masonry, wood, steel, and ceramic.
Important features when purchasing this type of Hammer Drill:
- For more precise and controlled drilling, a tool with a side assist handle can help you better grip it with both hands.
- You can control the speed of the drill bit if your hammer drill has a variable speed trigger. This feature enables you to use the hammer drill on masonry, concrete, and wood.
- A trigger that requires two fingers will help to increase comfort while also providing greater control.
- Durability and increased reliability on the job site courtesy of the solid metal gear housing.
- Thanks to the adjustable side handle equipped with a depth gauge, you can have greater control and versatility with the tool, even in difficult-to-access areas.
- It is highly advantageous to have a carrying case, particularly if transporting a collection of bits with your tool.
- Thanks to the built-in LED lighting that illuminates the target area, and you’ll have an easier time seeing what you’re doing.
- Brushless EC motors operate at a cooler temperature and are more energy-efficient. It makes it possible to have various intelligent features such as soft start or kickback control.
- You can turn off the hammering function by using a hammering switch, enabling you to use the hammer drill in the same manner as a regular drill.
Cordless Versus Corded Hammer Drills
Because corded hammer drills need to be plugged into an outlet before being used. These tools are the most significant disadvantage. As soon as you get past this minor obstacle, you will have unlimited operating time for as long as you require to complete the task at hand. In addition to this, the electric motors that come standard with corded models are typically more extensive and more robust.
Hammer drills and rotary hammers are both powerful tools. When used for the task for which they were designed, drilling through concrete and masonry can consume significant energy. Without waiting for the battery to be recharged, it is possible to continue drilling if you have a corded hammer drill. These tools are typically safe enough to use, even with an extension cord.
Battery-operated models might come in handy.
On the other hand, cordless hammer drills are more convenient for construction sites because there is no cord to get in the way. The battery-operated models might come in handy for you if you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to drill holes into a concrete or masonry ceiling or beam.
The better batteries with good brands can hold quite a reasonable charge, typically enough for more than 200 holes in concrete for a good 6 Ampere-hour (Ah) battery. They are portable, making them convenient when working on scaffolding or ladders.
Drills with Rotary Hammers
Compared to standard drills, rotary hammers are both bulkier and more expensive. They are designed specifically for drilling holes into masonry and come equipped with the necessary SDS chuck attachments for performing this task. However, they also come with hammer-only modes that allow you to use chisels and scrapers with the tool. Which significantly expands the range of uses that can be performed with them.
Because they are designed to tackle the most challenging tasks. The larger models of rotary hammer drills typically come with the hammer mode permanently engaged out of the box.
What should Look for in a Rotary Hammer Drill and Its Features
- Vibration control features. It is essential to use rubber mounting and foam padding to alleviate the stress placed on your hands when working with a heavy tool for an extended period.
- The forwards and reverse rotation modes make getting out of tight spots and deep holes easier.
- The chisel function, which can also be referred to as the combination hammer function, halts the bit’s rotation. This gives you the ability to use a variety of attachments. Such as chisel bits, spade bits, or blunt nose bits are the most effective when used in conjunction with the hammering action.
Kickback control will immediately turn off the motor if the bit becomes entangled in the substrate that you are drilling. This will prevent the tool from yanking itself out of your grasp and causing injury. This can be viewed positively or negatively, depending on who you ask.
- The pressure you put on the trigger typically determines how deeply the variable speed control on your rotary hammer allows you to adjust the speed at which it rotates. These work well with a lock switch included in some models and allow you to keep the rotation speed at the same level.
- Soft start, also known as enhanced tool control. Gradually increases the RPM of the rotary hammer so that you better control the speed. A significant feature to have when working with or near delicate materials.
- The dust extraction process lessens the amount of dust and debris ejected. By capturing most of it in a built-in dust bag or directing it to an attachment port on a vacuum cleaner.
Your typical application will determine your choice of the hammer drill. Research is the key, including asking a tradie who has many years with hammer drills.