A hammer drill machine is a great tool to be used chiefly for hard plate drilling. It is a sort of rotational drill with an effect that creates a pounding movement. The best hammer drill works much faster than a regular concrete or brick drill.
Hammer drills are more expensive and bulkier than regular drills. They are, however, used to drill concrete blocks or wood studs. For instance, an electrician mounting an electrical box to a wall would have the option to use the same hammer drill to drill into either wood studs or masonry walls.
All in all, what really makes this mallet drill stand apart from the rest? Alterations have been made to it that empower the client to make use of it to the most extreme. Also, it is practically on the moderate side as contrasted with its partners. Maybe, the main drawback to hammer drills is that the battery and charger come independently.
Hammer Drill Reviews
Dewalt DCD996B — Best cordless hammer drills
Undoubtedly, Dewalt produces the best cordless hammer drills on the market in terms of durability and longevity. This particular model is often compared to the previous one — the DCD985. The main difference between them lies in the motor power level: the previous model has a less powerful 535W brushed motor, while the DCD996B is equipped with an 820W brushless motor, providing more power and offering better versatility.
The DCD996B is a battery-powered model, which main benefit is not only an increased power level but also efficient energy use. The battery lasts long enough to allow drilling around 100 holes without recharging the device (the number will increase when working with soft material).
There are 3 variable speeds that can be changed using a dedicated shifter (you will need to make an effort to move it) on top of the appliance.
The LED, located on the bottom, serves for lightening up the work area. The 3 light settings (low, medium, and spotlight) can be controlled via a slide switch on the handle. Among all the hammer drills that I’ve tested, this is the first one that allows changing the light intensity level.
The Dewalt brushless hammer drill offers 11 clutch settings for removing a wide array of fasteners with ease.
The drill is compact, having 4 inches long and 10 inches wide. The tool’s weight is 4 pounds.
- The chuck, made of nitro-carburized metal, provides excellent bit gripping strength.
- The 360° handle ensures a safe and comfortable tool operation.
- You should buy a battery and charger separately.
- Sometimes, the drill can stop working for no reason.
Video Dewalt DCD996B
Overall rating: 9/10
Dewalt DCH273B — Best rotary hammer drills
This model will help you deal with difficult jobs, being one of the best rotary hammer drills for advanced builders and carpenters. Besides, the device is easy to use, so if you are a DIYer, searching for a premium-quality hammer drill that could serve you for many years, the DCH273B will also work for you.
Being a battery-operated tool, it produces plenty of power for occasional and professional operation. The motor is able to deliver up to 1100 RPM, so it took me about 10 seconds to create a neat and precise hole in a concrete block. Thus, this model can be easily added to the list of concrete hammer drills.
The tool features 3 modes for various applications:
- Hammer Drill;
Having 6.4 pounds, the DCH273B is heavier than most other cordless models. However, the drill’s dimensions are quite compact (13 by 4.2 by 8.6 inches). It has a belt clip, so you can easily carry it with you.
Notice that the unit emits a lot of noise — I’d recommend thinking about the protection for the ears.
- The drill has a dedicated vibration control system that makes it easier to hold the handle while drilling.
- Thanks to the rugged cabinet, the tool easily withstands rough use.
- The SDS Plus chuck type ensures a firm grip over the bit.
- This model doesn’t feature the LED light for working in a poorly-lit space.
- The drill comes without any storage case.
Video Dewalt DCH273B
Overall rating: 8/10
Milwaukee 2804-20 M18 — Best 1/2″ cordless hammer drills
Many hammer drill reviews agree that the Milwaukee manufacturer produces one of the best compact drills on the market. This cordless model runs on a brushless motor. The unit is small (5 by 9 by 11 inches) and weighs only 4.5 pounds. It feels lightweight in the hand, being suitable for many jobs. Putting in screws using this model is a piece of cake.
Like most hammer drills from Milwaukee, this model offers 2 speeds to choose from (550 and 2000 RPM). The speed selector is mounted on the top.
Unfortunately, the drill starts to become really hot after I’ve drilled only 10 holes. The handle isn’t heat-resistant, and it’s been a problem to hold it without gloves. You will probably have to give it a break quite often.
For the user’s convenience, there is a LED light located on the unit’s bottom (near the battery) to illuminate the workplace. The drill features a metal keyless chuck that allows for a single-handed bit change.
This cordless hammer drill also provides 1200 in-lbs of torque that can be varied by turning the selector collar clockwise and counterclockwise.
- The overload protection is integrated to keep both the battery and the motor safe during intensive work.
- The convenient bit holder can be found on the drill’s bottom part.
- The clutch helps regulate the drilling depth.
- The chucks are wobbling, so it’s hard to use this drill for precision work.
- The external cover doesn’t feel solid, so I recommend treating the drill with care.
Video Milwaukee 2804-20 M18
Overall rating: 7/10
It features a half-inch heavyweight chuck and 7.0 Amp motor power. The side handle is large giving maximum comfort to the user. The device has a variable speed trigger, a maximum of 3000 RPM, and one year warranty.
Additionally, it comes with a foregrip that appears to be robust. This helps in providing a solid grip for the handler. The cord is about 10ft long, so it’s enough for external use. The body of the drill is covered by 75% of rubber and 25% of polyester plastic. Only the drilling tip is cast in a metal finish.
Reasonably priced with a lot of great features, the SKIL 6445-04 review showed that it surely merits a place among top-rated hammer drills.
- A two-finger trigger allows users to control speed.
- Accepts oversize beats.
- A brushless motor provides a reasonable battery life.
- It has an LED light
- Additional drill bits are not included.
- It doesn’t come with a battery.
- May occasionally lock in hammer mode.
Overall rating: 7/10
The Dewalt hammer drill is able to easily penetrate into tough materials having the powerful brushless motor inside.
This rotary model has 3 operating modes:
- Rotary drilling;
- Rotary hammering;
The first one works for screwdriving and drilling in the hardest materials; the second one deals with concrete and masonry; the third one is for light chipping.
The Dewalt 20V MAX hammer drill delivers a speed of 1500 RPM, ensuring stable operation. Speaking of my experience with the drill, I’ve noticed that it works very well for ripping up tile.
Nevertheless, I also should say that the drill begins getting hot after about 10 minutes of intensive work. There is nothing terrible about that; however, it will start eating up the charge pretty fast if you don’t give it a break.
This model measures 16 inches in length but only 8.5 inches in width. The unit is lightweight (5 pounds) and quite compact.
- It maintains the same speed during the drilling session.
- The item is equipped with a helpful depth guide.
- The drill is ready for a dust collection, so you’re welcome to use it with a dust removal system for keeping your working area clean.
- The drill is poorly balanced, so you may feel shaking when using long bits, which can result in inaccurate performance.
- The side handle can loosen during use.
Overall rating: 8/10
This model can be considered the best hammer drill for heavy-duty jobs in this review. It’s equipped with a 1500W motor and operates at a speed of 880 RPM.
The drill comes with a tube of grease that should be added into the pot on top of the drill every two weeks of active usage, according to the manual.
Having tested the tool, I can claim it’s pretty easy to use. Except for the power trigger, there are only two controls:
- A large orange dial to activate the drilling function;
- An orange lever to control the hammering action.
Of course, it’s heavier and larger than most standard models: this impact hammer drill has dimensions of 15.5 by 10.5 by 4.3 inches and weighs 16 pounds.
The vibration control system that is vital for such heavy-duty units works as it should, reducing the fatigue and allowing working with higher precision. The polyurethane grip is soft and convenient to hold.
The body of this heavy-duty hammer drill includes large vent openings to prevent it from excessive heating.
- The motor is heat-resistant, so you can safely use the drill during the long sessions.
- The bottom of the drill is dust-resistant, keeping the inner parts safe and increasing the service lifetime.
- There is a special clutch safety system featured to protect your wrist.
- It comes with a cheaply-made storage case.
- I’ve adjusted the front handle position since it seems to be too low out of the box.
Overall rating: 9/10
The PID01A is considered being one of the best corded hammer drills thanks to its affordability: the model is offered for a nice price and comes with a bunch of useful accessories. For example, a set of 10 drill bits that are applicable for many DIY projects.
This model can operate in two modes: the hammer drill mode working with tougher materials and the drill mode for softer surfaces. Surprisingly, the tool deals with drilling concrete equally well no matter which mode you use.
This electric hammer drill features a 710W motor, providing 2800 RPM of peak speed. It runs smoothly and allows making holes effortlessly. You can switch between twelve levels of speed using a special knob located on the handle. The forward and reverse functionality is included as well. In general, this model will be a good fit for casual DIY jobs.
The drill measures 10.2 by 2.6 by 7.5 inches and weighs 4.28 pounds. The weight is evenly distributed to make this drill quite convenient to work with.
The PID01A is a corded model that comes with a thick and reliable power cord.
- The drill has an anti-skid design, being able to ensure a convenient operation at any angle.
- The adjustable chuck (up to 0.5 inches) allows for improved tool control.
- The keyed metal chuck prevents slippages, contributing to a safety increase.
- The drill gets hot pretty quickly.
- The speed control dial could be less sensitive.
Overall rating: 9/10
Important Things to Know About Hammer Drills
So what is a hammer drill?
The hammer drill, otherwise called a percussion or impact drill, is prevalent because of its capacity to bore holes on very hard surfaces. Technically speaking, any drill that uses a hammer mechanical motion to bore a hole is viewed as a hammer drill.
These drills are regularly utilized when extreme force is required. Initially, China’s primary boring strategy was designed during the Han line. The procedure included two to six men hopping on a level at intervals. The reason was to raise a substantial iron piece joined to long bamboo links. By using mostly cast iron bits and instruments made of bamboo, the early Chinese were able to penetrate depths that were as much as 3000 ft. (910 m). The development of percussion boring machines took more than a few years to accomplish.
The starting point of the primary sled drill broke out a dispute among the communities. At the time, the German organization Fein licensed a Bohrmaschine Mit Elektro-Pneumatischem Schlagwerk ( which means to drill with an electro-pneumatic striking system”) in 1914. Until then, the German-owned company Bosch delivered the first-ever “Bosch-Hammer” around 1932 in large-scale manufacturing.
What is a Hammer Drill Used for?
Hammer drills are good tools to drill holes in the material that might be difficult to work with when using less powerful tools. Regardless of whether you have to tear apart ceramic tiles or boreholes in concrete, a high-quality hammer drill won’t disappoint. You can use this tool to drill holes in hard materials so that you can embed screws, bolts, and even little fittings. A hammer drill is also great for light brickwork.
The main point is that you don’t need to spend huge amounts of money on a hammer drill. But more often than not, expensive drills are normally equipped with superior carbide tips, and the tips are more safely attached to the shank, which in turn lessens breakage in their use.
How to Use Hammer Drills?
At the stage where you need to drill holes through solid surfaces, a hammer drill will be a helpful tool for the job. Push and draw movements along with the drill and impact are the main highlights that render a drilling hammer successful in breaking through very hard materials quickly. Below are the steps on how to use a hammer drill.
Step 1– Get the Right Measurement. Get the size for the bit to be used for the ideal estimation of the hole. In the event that you will drill a big hole, you might need to bore a pilot hole to keep up the precision of the bit without bowing into the material.
Step 2 – Pick the Right Bit. Pick the correct piece for the material you will be drilling. Likewise, consider the sharpness of the bits and use carbide for an extra tougher tip.
Step 3 – Attach the Bit. Put the bit into the hammer, ensuring the tightness of the attachment. Use a chuck to tighten it.
Step 4 – Mark the Drill Bit or Set up the Depth Stop. Measure the depth of the hole. If your hammer drill features a depth stopper, set it up to the ideal depth. However, if your hammer drill does not have that feature, simply wrap the bit using concealing tape to check the depth that you want to drill.
Step 5 – Plug It Up. Search for the secure and nearest outlet to your project to dispose of the use of an extension cord. However, if you need one, ensure that you use a heavy-duty cord for this type of power tool. Plug it up and then turn it to a hammer setting. Make sure that you have protective goggles, ear protectors, and safety gloves ready. Wear them before starting to drill.
Step 6 – Point It Out. Place the tip of the bit on the preferred area. You need to make sure that you are decisively pointing at the correct spot. Pull the trigger and then start drilling. You don’t need to apply a lot of pressure on the drill. Simply put light pressure on the drill as it does its job.
Step 7 – Blow It Away. From time to time, you will need to blow away the residue and bits of rocks from the hole. When you are done drilling, just change the switch to the reverse setting to pull the bit out of the hole. There are times when a drill does not work as you intended, like when you hit a significantly tough material. At the point when this happens, you should simply place a concrete nail into the hole and start pounding. This method will help you break that tough material and afterward you can go back to using the hammer drill.
How do Hammer Drills Work?
To better address this question “how does a hammer drill work”, we’ll use a simple explanation. To begin with, the hammer drill gets its name from making a sledge-like movement when using a hammer drill. It’s quick and tedious “pounding” against solid or stone or brick causes the device to make holes in these super hard surfaces.
For a clearer picture of how it works, imagine someone breaking down a compartment with the sledge while you’re burrowing through in order to get to the end of its thickness. This is what happens when a drill is mounted. The difference is that in this case, the strikes are quick and heavier. This kind of device is extremely loud and sounds like a jackhammer when you’re holding it. That said, In the event that you utilize a drill on a hard surface, you would find that it doesn’t have all the ability to penetrate the hole by itself. So, you may have to add some force and even control the movement sometimes. The best hammer drill on the flip side is different from other drills because it does not rotate. It simply works by chiseling away concrete, stone, cement, or brick until they’ve made a hole large enough for a screw to fit into.