If you are looking for a hard working hammer drill then more likely than not you will need to buy a corded one. You can get cordless hammer drills and if you want to find out more information about those, then please click here.
I have discussed there the main differences between corded and cordless, but for the most part, the main difference is simply the guaranteed power that a corded one will give you.
A drill that is plugged into a main electrical socket will always have more power, than one run on a battery. There is also no chance of running out of that power unless you don’t pay your utility bill :-)
So if you are someone who needs to drill through a lot of masonry type materials like brick, concrete or stone, then a corded hammer drill is the way to go.
Uses of A Hammer Drill
Now it is worth mentioning that these drills can of course be used for normal drilling as well as for the hammering function. That is normally done by flicking a switch on the top of the drill to select if you want normal drilling or hammer drilling.
It is always worth pointing out, and especially for beginners, that a hammer drill should only ever be used to drill through the materials I have mentioned above, using a masonry drill bit. It should never be used to drill through wood, steel or to drive in screws. That is for three reasons:
- You will ruin your bits or driver bits
- You will end up splitting wood if trying to power screws through like this
- It is very easy to have an accident through slippage
Who Makes These Drills?
The usual manufacturers like Porter Cable, Bosch, Skil, Dewalt, Makita and Black & Decker make these in a whole range of different shapes and sizes. The one that you decide to go for will depend on what brand you like and the price.
However it is worth taking just a few minutes to read the remainder of this, because there are certain features that you should be on the look out for.
These type of drill are essentially split into two types which are at opposite ends of the price range. Most people who do a bit of DIY, repairs and projects around the home, will really only ever need a drill that will cost around $50-80.
Contractors, professionals and I guess anyone who can afford it will need a tough working drill that has extra power, more durability and will be a bit of a work horse.
The two images below show the difference in the appearance of a standard drill and one that the “Pros” would use every day at work.
Main Features to Look For
Many of the better ones will have what is called an over-moulding on the case of the drill. This is in essence like a second layer of the body of the drill and that helps reduce the impact on your hands and arms, due to the vibration of the hammer action.
It isn’t a vital requirement but is most certainly helps.
Most of these type of power drills will have a key to tighten the chuck. More often than not these days drills come with a keyless chuck, and for the most part these work just fine. A key chuck however is better when it comes to a hammer drill.
There is a lot more bouncing and bumping of the drill bit and as such the chuck really needs to hold the bit in place. By using a key, you can fully tighten the chuck to prevent slippage.
It is not as convenient but it does work.
This is a really useful feature if you are drilling a lot of holes to a similar depth. This is really useful if you are doing something like fixings or Tapcon concrete screws.
You should get this on most drills and it simply allows you a slow start when you are trying to make a hole. As you squeeze the trigger, once the start of the hole has been formed, then the drill speeds up and really gets to work. The main purpose of this is however to get you off to a slow start and avoid slipping off the point where you want to drill.
All masonry have different degrees of hardness, and a slower speed can handle basic concrete, whereas you will need a faster speed to get through something like brick.
The motor size is what delivers the real power to your drill. The simple rule to follow here is the larger the motor, the more power you will have in your hands. Standard motors will be around 7 Amps, and the larger motors will be around 10 Amps.
Pistol Grips vs D Handles
The pistol grip is the one that we are all familiar with. The drill looks similar to a gun and hence the name pistol grip. The bigger hammer drills use a D grip as that allows you to get and apply more pressure to the drill. These would be used for fairly heavy duty drilling.
Many of the professional drills will have some type of shock protection built in. When you are doing heavy duty drilling this is a great idea as it takes most of the vibration out and away from your arms.
Skil 6445-02 – Hammer Drill On A Budget
This is a high quality product and it costs around $75.
It has a lot of good buyer reviews and maintains a consistently high rating of 87%. When we used it, we liked what it could deliver.
The best thing about this one is in our opinion the price point. It makes it affordable and yet it still does a very good job.
- Powerful 7 Amp motor
- Side handle to give better grip and extra strength
- Variable speed
- Great price and a good brand
- It needs a key for the chuck
This is a powerful drill that will help you get through a lot of drilling. If you use this along with a good quality masonry bit, you will get most jobs done in no time at all. It is priced below many of the other popular brands. That initially made us a bit wary, but when we tried it out, any concerns that we had disappeared very quickly.
We would have no hesitation in recommending this for people who need to drill through masonry for various projects around the home. It offers great value for people who are trying to get a good product on a tight budget.
Dewalt DWD210G Hammer Drill Review
The main difference between this one and the one above is simply power.
This one runs off a 10 Amp motor and believe me that makes a mountain of a difference. It has a patented motor that increases the power by half, compared to other brands.
When I use mine, you can quite literally feel this power in your hands. No masonry is safe when you have one of these in your hand along with a good drill bit.
It also has a metal gear housing which runs really smoothly and will last for a very long time. I was going to do a pros and cons on this, but there is not any real point. There are no cons that I have ever found and I have used these most every day for the last 6 months.
Professional or Contractor Hammer Drills
Many of us who work in the profession know the importance of owning a top quality hammer drill. There are any number of jobs that need a good tough drill to get through. In my opinion the actual masonry bits are almost as important as the drill itself.
That said if you are doing a lot of drilling, or you have to drill through the really tough materials like stone, then you need a good product to do that. As it will be used every day, you also need one that lasts, and one that can stand up to the abuse that it will get every day when out on a job.
You can check out our full reviews on the best cordless drills for contractors, by clicking here.
We have however made some recommendations below.
Dewalt D25213K D Handle Hammer Drill
One thing in particular that I like about this one, is that it has a reverse feature.
That is fantastic for removing fasteners really quickly and with zero effort. In fact I would buy this drill just for that feature alone.
It comes with a factory set clutch, variable speed and an 8 Amp motor with high torque. I have used this one for tile removal and it works like a charm.
The reality is that you just don’t realise how good this one is unless you have used it. If you have ever struggled to get a masonry bit through concrete, then you know the frustration that can bring.
Then you fire this up and watch in amazement as it goes through it like a piece of butter. Now we all know that Dewalt products cost more than most other brands, and this one is around $300. The question is would I buy a good drill at $100, or save up and invest in getting this one?
For me I would wait and find those extra $50 as this one will never let you down.