No doubt this is not the first time that you’ve had the need to use a drill for DIY tasks or repairs in your home. There’s probably been more than one occasion that the drill was not strong enough to break through dense solid material or a wall. If this has been the case, you need to be aware that it is not always the fault of the drill.
There are different types of drills, and this means that each of these has a function or characteristic that makes them specific for certain tasks. The hammer drill is no exception; it is a robust and powerful tool that will make these DIY tasks much easier to perform.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Key Facts
- 3 Our Selection: The Best Hammer Drills
- 4 Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Hammer Drills
- 4.1 What are hammer drills and what are they used for?
- 4.2 What types of drills exist?
- 4.3 What are the main characteristics of the normal drill, the hammer drill and the rotary drill?
- 4.4 What are the differences between a hammer drill and a rotary drill?
- 4.5 How do I take care of my hammer drill?
- 4.6 What safety measures should I take when using a hammer drill?
- 5 Buyer's Guide
- 6 Summary
- Hammer drills are generally suitable tools for DIY, for household chores and for some jobs that are a little bit more demanding. Having one of these should not cost you a fortune but keep in mind that, since they are not the most powerful, they will only be sufficient for "normal" use.
- As with all tools, there are various different types of drills. It is important to understand, at least to a basic level, the different types of drills. On that note, we will look at the essential characteristics and functions that differentiate them from each other.
- To make a good decision as to which hammer drill to buy, you must need to be familiar with the most important purchase criteria. You should pay close attention to power, variable speed, safety and whether the tool has a depth gauge so you get the best one for your specific task.
Our Selection: The Best Hammer Drills
Power tools can be quite complex, and if it is an area that you don't have a lot of experience in, it can be difficult to know what model to buy. To help you out, we've put together a list of the best hammer drills on the market.
Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Hammer Drills
This section will answer a series of questions about the purchase of a hammer drill. If you’re not an expert, buying tools is one of the most tedious and difficult things to do. We have answered the most frequent questions that people have when buying a hammer drill.
What are hammer drills and what are they used for?
Compared to normal drills, hammer drills are able to withstand more wear and tear due to the resistant material through which they have to drill. Technically speaking, any drill that uses a mechanical hammer movement to drill a hole is considered a hammer drill, making hard work faster and easier.
Having a rotary drill that uses a hammering motion, they are ideal for drilling harder surfaces, such as masonry and rock. Hammer drills are powerful tools and generally offer the option of using different bits, depending on the work to be done.
What types of drills exist?
- The common drill
- Hammer drill
- Rotary drill
It is not uncommon to get confused between these types of drills, since they are very similar in shape, size and functions. In some cases, the manufacturers even added more functions. For example, there are hammer drills that can be used the same as normal ones or a rotary drill that can be used as a hammer drill.
What are the main characteristics of the normal drill, the hammer drill and the rotary drill?
|Normal drill||Hammer drill||Rotary drill|
|Ideal for||Wood||Masonry and stone.||Concrete.|
|Uses||Domestic and light use.||Domestic and semi-professional use.||Professional and heavy use.|
|Speed||up to 3500 rpm.||up to 3500 rpm.||up to 1500 rpm.|
|Feed rating||up to 50000 ipm.||up to 50000 ipm.||up to 4000 ipm.|
|Chuck||Normal, with or without security lock.||Normal, with or without security lock.||SDS type.|
|Weight||Light.||Moderate.||Moderate to heavy.|
Which one is the most convenient for you will depend on the surfaces or materials on which you plan to use your drill. This means that if you are sure that you only need to drill wood, a normal drill will be the one to go for. If you want to drill stone you should get the hammer drill and if you need to drill concrete there is no other option than the rotary drill.
What are the differences between a hammer drill and a rotary drill?
- Hammer drill: this kind of drill has two discs that have ridges resembling the edges of a poker chip. When one disc slides against the other, the drill goes up and down, causing the tool to hit back and forth. If there no force is applied, the discs will be separated by a clutch and the hitting action will stop.
- Rotary drill: this creates its tapping action with a piston driven by a crankshaft. The piston moves in a cylinder and creates air pressure when driven forward, pushing the hammer mechanism. Rotary drills provide much more impact energy than hammer drill. They are much more durable and are preferred by professionals.
- Another great advantage is that most hammer drills have three configurations: drill mode, hammer drill or simply hammer, so that they can act as a pneumatic mini hammer. Of course, a rotary drill costs more than a hammer drill, but more on that later.
How do I take care of my hammer drill?
- Do not exert too much pressure and let the tool do the job.
- The material that you are going to drill will determine the type of drill you should use.
- Clean the dirt and debris left at the end of the drill bit that enters the drill to avoid failures and jams in the chuck.
- Grease the inside of the chuck every time you change bits to prevent premature wear.
- Use grease recommended by the manufacturer and follow their guidelines and recommendations.
- Know what the LED service lights of your tool mean and follow the recommended maintenance instructions when notified.
- Always store your drill and drill bits in its case, free of dirt, when finished using them.
What safety measures should I take when using a hammer drill?
- Use eye protection: It may seem obvious, but wearing eye protection is something that a surprising number of people forget. Eye protection can prevent materials from flying into your eyes which can cause serious discomfort or even blindness. It is also not a bad idea to wear a dust mask, since it is not very pleasant to breathe in masonry dust.
- Use the correct pressure: Using a hammer drill is quite simple, but it is important to achieve a balance with the amount of pressure you apply during its use. Using too much can damage the motor and the tip of the drill. Make sure you also use good quality bits with carbide tipped heads for best strength and durability.
- Observe your surroundings: Before you start drilling, make sure there is nothing obstructing the object you want to drill. For example, wires, cables and pipes can be particularly problematic. If you do not want a surprise shock, you want to make sure that the only thing you are drilling is stone.
The more powerful, specific and expensive a tool is, the more research is needed to make the right decision. Choosing a hammer drill is not easy as there are many factors to consider like whether to take a cordless drill or one with a depth gauge. In the next section we will explain these factors.
It is obvious that the amount of power defines how fast you can do your work. The motors of the standard hammer drills are around seven amps, while the larger motors have about ten amps. It is needless to say that the larger the engine, the more power it will have.
To drill solid materials such as concrete or stone, it is essential to have a powerful motor that does not slow down when it encounters resistance while drilling. For home use, a 650-watt motor may be sufficient but for concrete, a more powerful motor of at least 850 watts is recommended.
Adjustable speed is a very useful feature to have in a hammer drill because it gives you greater control. This means that you can be much more precise in your work, which leads to even better results. In addition to having greater control. having different speeds means that the drill can carry out a wider range of tasks.
This control makes your hammer drill more useful than ever because many drills accept a variety of drill bits and can even drill through softer materials like woods or metals. All you have to do is select the appropriate drill bit and increase or decrease the rpm. However, you should do so with caution so you do not damage your tool or the material.
Even though it may not be the most exciting aspect, safety is critically important. This is particularly the case when using a very powerful tool like a hammer drill. One of the most common safety features (which is also important for comfort) is a dual levers and a lock button.
This important function makes the drill more stable while being used. The best hammer drills have comfortable, ergonomic models that absorb the impact and vibrations of the drills so this force is not passed on to the operator. This is especially critical for corded models, as these are the most possible.
Corded or Cordless
Without a doubt, power is an important characteristic, and how the drill gets its power is equally important. For light and domestic use, cordless hammer drills are the most practical. These are more versatile and mobile compared to drills which need to be plugged in to the electricity supply.
Cordless hammer drills allow the operator to move about at will and reach difficult to access areas. However, they are somewhat lacking when it comes to power. Corded hammer drills have more rotations per minute (rpm) and above else more power. This means that these models can support the most difficult work more quickly and over longer periods.
Although the accessories which come with a hammer drill do not directly influence the quality of the tool itself, buying a model with more accessories can certainly be advantageous. You can save significant expense by buying a model which has all the accessories you need in the first place.
For example, it is essential to have a good, sturdy case to transport and store your hammer drill, so check whether this is included with your drill. Generally, it will be with any hammer drill from a decent brand. A case is also very handy for storing other items such as drill bits, batteries and so forth as well as keeping your tool well-protected.
Hammer drills are extremely useful and versatile tools. They’re useful for many odd jobs around the house, and can even perform more semi-professional and more demanding tasks which you may have previously thought beyond your reach. Although some people confuse it with a rotary drill, as you’ve seen in this article, there are certain key differences.
This tool has become really impressive in recent years, as it is extremely powerful given its size and portability. Thanks to the range of brands and models available, you are sure to find a tool for any type of use and any kind of budget.
If you found this guide useful and informative, please do share it on social media or with anyone who may be interested in purchasing one of these tools. You can also leave us a comment with your opinion or questions, if you have them, and we will gladly answer you.
(Source of Featured Image: Bru-nO photo 1038542 / Pixabay.com)