Hammer drills are better for drilling in concrete. The normal drills with only rotating motion does not perform well for concrete.
Using normal drills are often very frustrating especially if multiple holes in concrete is attempted.
The drilling is slow and the drill bit becomes blurred rapidly. For hard concrete, normal drilling without hammering effect can be even more frustrating.
Below are some of the best hammer drills you can buy, frequently asked questions plus a buying guide for hammer drills.
|DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill Kit, Brushless, 3-Speed, Tool Only (DCD996B)||Prime||Buy Now|
|Makita XPH12Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 1/2" Hammer Driver-Drill, Tool Only||Prime||Buy Now|
|Milwaukee 2804-20 M18 FUEL 1/2 in. Hammer Drill (Tool Only) Tool-Peak Torque = 1,200||Prime||Buy Now|
|Hammer Drill Meterk 7.0 Amp 1/2 Inch Corded Drill 850W, 3000RPM Dual Switch Between Impact Drill and Electric Drill, With Adjustable Speed for Drilling Wood, Steel, Concrete&Plastic DIY Drilling||Prime||Buy Now|
Best basic hammer drills
Below are some of the best hammer drills for basic uses. Read here if you’re looking for rotary hammer drills instead.
1. DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill Kit
This Dewalt hammer drill comes in a full kit, which is suitable if you’re not familiar with the basics of drilling.
In a full kit, you have the materials you need for the job, like a drill bit among others. This way, you don’t have to buy the accessories separately and choose the right sizes.
The drill kit should come with the necessary accessories with the proper sizing.
Advantages of the Dewalt hammer drill
- This is a cordless drill with high efficiency brushless motor
- Has high 38000 BPM hammering action for fast drilling
- Uses powerful three speed transmission only
- LED lighting provided
- The trigger is probably the Achilles heel of this drill especially when used in tough and frequent duty environment. No problems otherwise
- 3 speed selector is sometimes sticky
2. Makita XPH12Z Cordless Hammer Driver
Makita is also another brand to consider as they’re also a contender in the power tools business.
This hammer drill is cordless, making it suitable for work needing portability. It’s also brushless, which means it has a higher efficiency than a brushed motor.
Why buy the Makita cordless hammer drill / driver
- This is cordless, light weight (4.2 lbs) and compact (7 1/2 inch length)
- Uses brushless motor – no brushes, electronically controlled to increase run-time, increased power and speed
- Has variable 2-speed design, good torque 500 inch-pounds
- Has LED light for job area illumination
- Hammering rate up to 30,000 BPM
- Sometimes can get stuck in “hammer” mode
- Can get replacement if found within the 30-day return window.
3. Milwaukee Hammer Drill
This Milwaukee drill is also a cordless drill and it comes in three different drilling modes You can use it as a driver, drill, or even as a hammer drill, making it handy for varying projects.
Apart from that, it has LED lighting which helps illuminate the surroundings if you’re working in a dark area.
Why choose the Milwaukee hammer drill
- Milwaukee is an American power tool company of long standing. They have operations all over the world
- This is a cordless hammer drill
- Motor has great torque for drilling, driving (fastening) and hammer drilling
- LED light illumination is provided
- All metal case protects from impact damage if accidentally dropped to the ground
- The chuck has balance issues (2018) in drill/hammer/driver mod
- Few complaints of chuck going loose especially in sudden stop situations
4. KIMO Cordless Drill Driver Kit
KIMO may not be that well known in this industry but they’ve done a good job in penetrating the market. This one also comes with a brushless motor which is more efficient.
Like most drills here, it also has different modes, which means it can be used as a driver, drill or as an impact drill.
Why buy the KIMO cordless drill
- KIMO has over 25 years experience in power tools specialization, developing Lithium-Ion batteries
- Lightweight and efficient for screw-driving, drilling and hammer drilling
- Has 2 variable speeds
- Suitable for most jobs around the house
- Comes at a good price point with many accessories
- Manual that comes with the drill is too brief, need to refer to product information section for details
5. Skil Hammer Drill
Why buy the Skil hammer drill
- Skil is an European multinational power tools maker which is closely associated to Bosch
- Is offered at a very good price point when compared to cordless drills
- Can drill in other materials as well
- Uses variable speed trigger for better drilling control
- Uses 1/2 diameter chuck for wide range of drill bits
- Has powerful 7A motor for tough applications
- Can fit variable position side holding bar for stable drilling
- Some buyers regard this as more suitable for medium duty concrete drilling only
- Some users felt that the “hammering” action is felt as a vibration only
- This is a corded drill
6. Meterk Hammer Drill 7.0 Amp
Meterk is a less known brand but it still does the job as a hammer drill. With its dual function, it can also perform as a regular drill for even lighter work.
As it’s corded, it comes with a pretty powerful motor which generates more power.
Why buy the Meterk hammer drill
- This is a corded drill. The pricing is very competitive when compared to the cordless type
- The speed adjustment dial is convenient, less need to depend on trigger pressure
- Chuck with key – more positive tightening with less drill bit loosening
- Powerful motor and offered at great price point
- Plastic depth gauge is less durable – steel will be more robust
- It is a corded drill
- Some reported instances of smoking from the motor after a short initial use. If discovered early, can return within the 30-day money back guarantee
Frequently asked questions
Below are some FAQs.
Hammer drill vs rotary hammer drill
The hammer drill should be used for masonry and concrete. Hammer drills should be differentiated from rotary hammer drills.
The rotary hammer drill is regarded as superior to the hammer drill. But rotary hammer drills are more expensive and heavier.
For light to moderate infrequent concrete drilling, hammer drills are usually adequate in completing the job.
Keyed or keyless chuck hammer drills?
Hammer drills come with an adjustable 3-jaw chuck which could be keyed or keyless type. The chuck with key is preferable if you require a better drill bit tightness.
On the other hand, keyless chucks are more convenient and user friendly. The drill bit can be quickly tightened by turning the chuck collar using your fingers.
This is faster and the drill bit will be adequately tight for light to moderate concrete drilling.
Joint hammering and cutting to ensure masonry / concrete drilling
You need to use masonry drill bits when drilling into concrete. This drill bit has a chisel edge which punches into the concrete surface when hammered.
This help to break the concrete while at the same time the drill bit rotates and the edge cuts into the concrete material.
The cut concrete pieces are moved up the flutes of the drill bit to the surface. This joint hammering and cutting action ensures a smooth hole is produced.
How is the hammering action produced?
Hammer drills can use different mechanisms to convey impact hammer blows on to the drill bit. This is usually done by having 2 parts working on each other in the transmission.
In one type of mechanism, one of the disc have protrusions which engages with protrusions on the other disc. As the disc rotates, its protrusions climb over the protrusion of the other part. As they ride over the peaks, they drop to the troughs, aided by a spring.
This delivers a blow each time this happens. A small hammering impact is delivered to the drill bit. Depending on the design of the protrusions, the rate of hammering is very high (up to 30,000 BPM).
There is an in-built clutch mechanism which ensures that, when the chuck is not pressed, the two discs are separated from one another.
This reduces the wear-down of the serrations and also keeps the chuck cool. The life of hammer drill is prolonged.
Selector for drill / hammer drill / screw modes
Most hammer drills can also be operated as a normal drilling as well as for fastening screws. This is done by simply pushing a selector into ‘drill’ or ‘hammer drill’ or ‘screw’ mode.
In ‘drill’ mode, the drill operates like a normal drill which rotates only. In ‘screw’ mode, and using a screw bit, the device can be used for fastening and unfastening screws.
In ‘hammer drill’ mode, and using a masonry drill, the device is good for concrete.
Buying Guide For Hammer Drills
Why a hammer drill?
If you are drilling a hole in concrete using a normal rotating drill, you will soon realize that it is impossible. The drill bits will wear out in no time. The hole is hardly progressing.
You will soon be rushing to buy a hammer drill. For drilling through hardened concrete, you will definitely find this drill essential.
Corded or cordless?
The next consideration could be whether it should be the corded type or the cordless variety. Everyone has their considerations. These include whether the job area usually has electrical outlets.
The corded type needs to be connected to the electrical supply. The corded type is generally accepted as being able to give a higher torque for the same size of drill.
Do you need to attend to some jobs which are located far from an electric outlet? This is where the cordless is supreme.
Many users have bought both types. This way, they can use the appropriate type that the particular situation demands.
You need masonry drill bits for concrete
Undoubtedly, you also need to have proper masonry drills. Some people felt that the drill is only as good as the drill bit.
So a good drill bit goes a long way. You should consider having carbide tipped masonry bits.
A carbide bit retains its cutting edge for long time even when used in heavy duty and over a long period of time. This ensures less downtime where new drill bit must be purchased.
What to use if hammer drills aren’t adequate?
If your masonry drilling requirements are more numerous and frequent, then a rotary hammer drill may be required. The rotary hammer drill uses a special chuck (SDS) wherein the drill bit is actually moving to and fro like a hammer. The drilling is better accomplished and in shorter time.
In a nutshell
Buyers buy a particular drill for different reasons. Some are recommended by the friends or colleagues.
Some buy the same brand to replace their older same brand tool which they are happy with. There are many reasons but you should buy a drill that suits your own situation.
The one with the features and looks which are suitable and appeals to you and also has the right price is probably the right one for you.