Shopping for a pair of work gloves can be simple. Shopping for a toolbox can be a little more complicated. Now shopping for the best hammer drill for your project is complex, if you want it done right. We have come a long way from the original “hammer-and-nail” times that we have a plethora of power tools that can make these primitive objects obsolete.
The Hammer drill has given us the convenience that we need. With the power that is required to make those long hour jobs like putting down flooring a thing of the past. So why is picking one out so difficult you ask? If you do not choose the correct drill your project can fall apart (literally). You want your drill to have the proper drivers for the nails and the features required to make your project stand out.
After reviewing a couple of drills that are hot on the market today, I have chosen some of the best hammer drills. Check them out!
What Is A Hammer Drill?
- 1 What Is A Hammer Drill?
- 2 Best Hammer Drill Comparison
- 3 Top 5 Hammer Drill Reviews
- 3.1 1. SKIL 6445-04 7.0 Amp 1/2 In. Hammer Drill
- 3.2 2. DeWalt DW511 1/2″ (13mm) 7.8 Amp VSR Hammerdrill
- 3.3 3. Makita XPH102 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 1/2″ Hammer Driver-Drill Kit (3.0Ah) | Best Cordless Hammer Drill
- 3.4 4. Stalwart 75-3990A 5.0 Amp 120V Hammer Drill, 1/2″
- 3.5 5. Black & Decker DR670 6.0-Amp 1/2-Inch Hammer Drill
- 4 Best Hammer Drill Buying Guide
- 5 FAQs | Frequently Asked Questions
A hammering drill, can also be called a rotary hammer, is a rotary drill that provides a hammering action. This action somewhat resembles a jackhammer due to it being very loud and fast. It is a short, yet rapid, jammer thrust that pulverizes material which then can provide quicker drilling with little to no effort at all.
The hammer drill was designed to drill rocks for excavation purposes. Now they are being used by carpenters, homeowners, and everyday people on D.I.Y projects and housing. Pricing for a drill can be subject to preference. A drill can cost the most and have extra features but it may not be the best. Do not always look at the price and things it must be the best because you could be wrong.
Best Hammer Drill Comparison
Top 5 Hammer Drill Reviews
1. SKIL 6445-04 7.0 Amp 1/2 In. Hammer Drill
First on our list is a power tool that stands out for its price. The Skil 6445-04 weighs 5.5 lbs. and has dimensions of 13.2 x 10 x 3 inches.
It has a 7 Amp motor with no torque or speed setting. Nevertheless, this corded power-tool will provide a drilling and hammering mechanism for drilling tile, asphalt, wood, and other material hard or soft.
It has a maximum operating speed of 3000 RPM. Although it does not have a stationary speed setting, you are able to adjust it with a trigger. Increasing and decreasing the RPM is available when drilling pilots to make it easier.
Besides the speed, it comes with a sure lock side assist handle that helps the operator produce controlled and accurate drilling.
Although this drill is not the most expensive or most powerful, it is good for someone who is doing a D.I.Y project and that does not require a heavy-duty hammering drill.
- Suitable for most small-scale DIY projects.
- Variable speed trigger provides a powerful drill.
- Creates a mild vibration on hammer mode for faster drilling.
- The side assist handle gives a precision feel for accurate drilling.
- Occasional complaint about the chuck key not fitting the chuck properly.
2. DeWalt DW511 1/2″ (13mm) 7.8 Amp VSR Hammerdrill
Continuing the list is one of my personal favorites, the DeWalt DW511. This hammering drill weight 4.3 lbs. and has the dimensions of 12 x 10 x 3 inches. This drill is corded yet has a lightweight design for less operator fatigue and extended use. You could say, this is one of the best corded hammer drills out there.
It has an 8.5 Amp motor that is extremely powerful. It also provides high performance and overload protection which is great if you have a deadline to make and those hours are just getting away from you.
One drawback from the DW511 is that it does not have a keyless chuck. To me, it is not that big of a deal but with most drills providing the feature it is kind of a letdown.
Some other great key features are: It has a two-finger trigger that helps increase comfort for the user. It also comes with a 360-degree handle that gives you great control and accuracy over your workspace.
And the DeWalt DW511 has a dual mode that provides hammer-drill and drills for masonry, steel, and wood. This hammer drill has many enticing features that can blow other competitions away. Although the price attached to it is not the cheapest, it is worth it.
- The depth-rod & the adjustable handle makes it easy for drilling with both hands.
- Like any other Dewalt product, you’ll get a lot of service time out of this one.
- The front handle can be easily repositioned for better drilling.
- Compared to a conventional drill, the DeWalt DW511 is incredibly fast.
- Comes with a lot of power and versatile design at a reasonable price tag.
- The only problem with this drill is that it might get hot and burn out of used continuously. Take some break between drilling sessions and you’ll be good to go.
3. Makita XPH102 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Cordless 1/2″ Hammer Driver-Drill Kit (3.0Ah) | Best Cordless Hammer Drill
Next on our amazing list is another power-house when it comes to hammer drills, the Makita XPH012. This drill weighs 4 lbs. and has the dimensions of 17 x 5 x 10 inches.
It is battery powered so it does not come with a cord which makes it truly convenient. Also, it comes with 2-speed designs that provide a wide range of drilling, hammering, and driving applications.
It does have a keyless chuck, belt clip, and a built-in LED work light so that you can continue to work in poor lighting. This 18-Volt drill can deliver up to 480 lbs. of torque made possible with the Makita built-in 4 pole motor.
It has a fast charger that can fully charge your battery within 30 minutes so you can get back to working on your project in no time.
There is no doubt that the Makita XPH012 is a great power tool. Although it can not compare to some large mains powered hammer drills, it is still a great choice.
- Longer lasting cordless drill hammer drill with a powerful battery.
- Full charge in 30 minutes.
- Compact design with great torque & speed.
- Weighs around 3.9 lbs which is less than most other drills in this price range.
- Best cordless hammer drill-driver for the money.
- Couldn’t come up with one. This drill is recommended instead!
4. Stalwart 75-3990A 5.0 Amp 120V Hammer Drill, 1/2″
Second to last we have the stellar Stalwart 75-3990A. This is one of the cheap hammer drill with a reasonable price. This unique piece of equipment weights just 4.2 lbs. and has the dimensions of 2.5 x 10 x 8 inches.
This power-tool is on the low-cost side but that is nothing to be afraid of. Although it does not cost as much as the others, it still comes with a 5.0 Amp motor that can provide the power you need for your home or job site fastenings and drillings.
It can go to speeds up to 3000 RPM with a chuck capacity of 0.5 inches. It is corded so you do not get the convenience of having a cordless drill but, it does have a two-finger trigger for that extra bonus of security.
Some other features that it has the 2-in-1 impact drill and driver, the ergonomic handle, and the ability to drill through wood, metal, and concrete.
Great features for an even greater drill. With this price, I couldn’t see anyone passing this one up.
- The 360 pistol grip handle improves overall control.
- You can easily switch between drill and driver mode by flipping a switch.
- It has adjustable speed and triggers locking feature.
- This hammer drill comes with a long extension cord.
- Considering the quality of this product, it’s very inexpensive.
- Not for heavy-duty drilling. Suitable for weekend work around the house.
5. Black & Decker DR670 6.0-Amp 1/2-Inch Hammer Drill
Last, but certainly not least, is the Black & Decker DR670. It weighs 4.9 lbs. and has the dimensions of 11 x 4 x 11 inches.
This drill is compact and powerful enough to handle tough tasks in tight places. It has a speed trigger that allows for controlled drilling and hammering applications as well.
A cool feature is that it is a good choice for drilling into brick or concrete. It comes with a metal keyless chuck for easy bit changes and maximum grip.
The Black & Decker DR670 also has a pistol grip design which can offer the user better balance and control.
Although it is not the top of the line hammer drill, it is still a force to be reckoned with.
- Finally, a drill that gives you a big handle grip. No more wobbly feeling when drilling.
- Adjustable speed for precision drilling. It’s also very sensitive.
- It also comes with a side handle and depth measuring rod.
- Powerful, compact and reversible.
- Budget-friendly price.
- If you are planning to use this as a drill driver, do be careful as this one doesn’t have a clutch.
Best Hammer Drill Buying Guide
In this section, I’m going to show you exactly what you need to know before buying a hammer drill and some faqs for getting rid of any other confusion you might have.
Types Of Hammer Drill
When you search for a hammer drill, the problem is there are so many variations of hammer drill bits. You have the option to choose a normal hammer drill which is known as the three jaw chuck, SDS plus small unit, the Spline and the SDS max.
Sounds confusing, right? These are the different types of hammer drills available out there. This type classification is based on their functionality and power and size.
What you need to know is type classification of a regular hammer drill. There are basically two types of hammer drill out there.
1. Corded Hammer Drills.
2. Cordless Hammer Drills.
Obviously, the corded ones are going to be cheaper and more powerful. However, portability will be a problem with them.
If you want to move around with your hammer drill, you should consider going for the cordless one. Lithium battery powered drill backs you up with sufficient motor power for regular drilling.
How does a Hammer Drill work?
It doesn’t matter if you choose a cordless hammer drill or a corded one; both will have the same functionality. A hammer drill is basically used for drilling into masonry.
The major advantage of using a hammer drill instead of a normal drill is that you have the hammering option. What it does is that it adds a hammering motion to the bit. This special feature allows you to break through tough materials as it drills.
The in and out hammering action also clears the dust as it’s also rotating the bit. This makes drilling faster and way more efficient than a normal drill.
Two types of hammer drills are available, corded & cordless. Depending on your work environment, you can opt for the battery-powered aka cordless hammer drills or if you want more power and don’t have any issue with portability, you may go for the corded one.
Battery-operated drills are powered by a 19-20 volts lithium-ion battery. The best part of owning a battery powered drill is that you have the luxury of taking your drill with you on remote workplaces. The drawback is if you are planning to use it for a long time you need to charge it 2-3 three times or you can buy an extra battery.
On the other hand, electric power drill packs more power. More torque, more drilling speed more of everything. The downside is, you need to use a heavy-duty extension cord.
If your work involves drilling into tough concrete or drilling through hard stones, then you need to look at your drills torque speed. Torque is measured by power and the speed of the drill.
Higher torque means more rotation power behind the drill bit. In a cordless drill, you might get an average of 1500 rpm. Corded drills will give you more rpm.
Some manufacturers will also mention bpm or blows per minute in their product description. It’s the number of blows your drill can produce on tough material like stones, concrete, brick etc.
For light to medium DIY work, any hammer drill with a power range of 5-8 amps will more than enough. You can also use them to drill holes up to 1/2 inch in concrete, wood, stone and other medium solid surfaces.
Don’t try to save money by picking lower amp motors. If you don’t have enough power, you’ll put a lot of stress on the drill and eventually burn out the motor. Always go for maximum motor power.
You’ll also need to look at the chuck size which is located at the end of the hammer drill. Chuck is where you attach the drill bit. A lot of drill features key fewer chucks, which means you don’t need any additional tool to attach or remove drill bits.Sizes can be ½, ¼ inch or ⅝ inches.
Why adjustability? It’s not like you’ll be working at the same spot for the rest of your life. You need the ability to customize your tool for any type of project. Whether you are in a tight corner or narrow space for movement, or you simply want to put a lot of pressure on your tool to do some heavy-duty drilling, you need the option to customize your tool.
I’m not talking about completely re-modeling your tool. Different adjustability feature includes speed trigger and adjustable clutch. These features can make a huge difference. It’ll allow you to control how much power your drill will produce.
Always go for reputed brands. It’s safe and will make sure you are not spending your money on some piece of junk that won’t function after a couple of days. Some of the popular brands are Bosch, Dewalt, Makita, Milwaukee, and Skill. There are also other popular brands. Don’t go for any unknown brands. It’ll either be a cheap knock-off or won’t last long.
Whatever fits your hand. There is no specific type of drill that is suitable or feels comfortable in everyone’s hand. Although it’s better to look at your tools design first.
A lot of people prefers D-grip handle for its ergonomic design. When you are doing some serious drilling, the D-grip handle should feel very comfortable. Otherwise, a pistol grip handle will do just fine. This isn’t a deal breaker decision. It’s just how you want to hold your drill.
Got everything nailed down? Now for the most important part. Budget! If money is not an issue for you, simply go for our Editor’s Pick from the comparison chart. But, if you are on a tight budget, you can go for our Budget Pick. Do keep in mind that both have different power sources.
We all love extras! Wouldn’t be nice to have some additional features in your handyman tool? It just so happens that there are few hammer drills out there that can give you that. Some of the extra features are LED lights, different speed settings & extra handle grip.
Benefits Of A Hammer Drill
For all of you homeowners out there, I will always recommend this tool for its versatility. This is a friendly tool. But, most of you aren’t getting much out of these tools as you could.
Why? Because there are a ton of features and you guys aren’t probably using them correctly. Let’s start from the front. Chuck system.
I would always go for the keyless chuck. If you don’t know or probably forgot what a chuck is, it’s that part that holds the drill bit or screw tip in place.
Now, in a keyless chuck, when you want to put, the chuck, you simply put in reverse, open it up, drop the chuck in place, put it forward slowly till the drill bit gets tight and then lock it down. Simple isn’t it?
If you don’t want to use the hammer setting, that’s fine because these nifty tools allow you to do more than just drilling. In a typical hammer drill, you will find a driver setting and a drill setting.
In terms of size, they are not that big. So, you can use it for your day to day household activities. A normal low-end hammer drill is more powerful than a regular drill and costs way less than a battery powered drill.
In a normal hammer drill, you have the functionality of a regular drill, hammer drill and quite often a driver. You could say these are a multi-purpose tool. You can set the power setting, clutch setting and many more.
Hammer Drill Safety Tips
When using any power tool, especially Hammer Drills, safety is very important. Now, we all know the basic safety gears such as safety glass, earplugs and a pair of gloves.
But the real risk lies in the handling of this tool. The operator is exposed to a number of common risks such as noise, hand-on vibration, dust and flying debris.
Incorrect handling of any power tools can lead to some serious arm injury. Don’t rush to buy any power tools without reading these safety tips.
Almost every drilling application requires that the drill bit is turned clockwise. Normally, when a drill bit rotates, the machine produces a twisting force which is known as torque. By any chance, if the machine gets jammed, the clockwise reactive force will cause the machine to kick anti-clockwise around the jammed drill bit.
With the amount of torque, a hammer drill produces, it can easily break your arm. That’s why you should always adjust your grip to a 90-degree angle before you start pounding or drilling. The human hand-arm system allows movement of at least 180 degrees without any problem or discomfort.
But, when a drill bit gets jammed, the handle of a typical drilling machine can rotate 360 degrees in just one-tenth of a second. This is enough to give you some serious hand arm injury.
Before using any power tools, it’s very important to wear the appropriate safety gears. This includes goggles, gloves and ear defenders. If you are drilling stones, it’s better to use an m-class vacuum cleaner and a dust extractor.
If you plan to drill larger holes, it’s better to start small and work your way around it. That way it’ll reduce the stress on the drill and provide greater precision. Use smaller bits and change according to your requirement.
Drilling Techniques For Safety
Every drill bit has flutes that capture rock, metal or sawdust that remains after the hole is drilled. Don’t know what a flute is? It is those spiraling curved lines that run along the length of the bit. If you want to drill more efficiently, bring the bit up more frequently. That way you’ll clear up the debris that remains on the flute.
Don’t overdo it. Every drill bit has its limit. If you plan on drilling masonry, make sure you the right drill bit to do the job. Don’t put too much force on the drill or else it will overwork the motor, or you’ll end up breaking the drill bit.
After each bit change, make sure you lubricate the shank. It will increase the service time of your drill machine. Also, clean your drill bit before using. If there is any debris left on the drill, it might jam the motor.
Don’t drill further than you need to. Use depth stops. Almost every hammer drill in this list have this. If you don’t like to use depth stop, then you can use masking tape and take the measurement of how far you have drilled. It’s better this way because when you are drilling a number of holes, your drill bit will eventually wear out.
That’s about all the safety tips I wanted to talk about. Stay safe.
FAQs | Frequently Asked Questions
#1. What is the best drill for concrete?
There is no specific drill that I can say is the best. Some prefer to go cordless, while others stick to corded drills. Depends on your criteria of usage. How often will you be using your drill and where will you be using it are the main deciding factors here.
#2. What do you use a hammer drill for?
Hammer drills are the perfect tools for pounding against hard surfaces, breaking tough concrete, drilling through masonry & many more. In short, a hammer drill is a drill machine with hammering mechanism. This mechanism helps the drill move forward into the hole.
#3. What is the difference between a rotary hammer drill and a hammer drill?
A rotary hammer drill replaces hammer drill’s disc with a piston. This piston compresses air inside in a cylinder like a bit. Compressed air packs more punch than a normal disc. Rotary drills are meant for heavy duty works. So, for lightweight projects, hammer drills are the perfect handy tools for any handyman. For more information on this topic, why not check out our Hammer Drills vs Rotary Hammers comparison guide.
#4. Do you have to use a hammer drill for concrete?
Hammer drills are best suited for drilling and pounding light masonry blocks. For longer drilling, you should pick a rotary hammer drill instead. Why? Because the motor on a hammer drill can get burned out if used for long. Using this tool on poured concrete for long period may cause heavy wear and shorten the lifespan of the motor.
#5. Can you use a chisel on a hammer drill?
Yes, as long as you get the right chuck size. You can also use other drilling bits on them. I personally prefer metal bits for drilling.
With every project comes great responsibility when choosing the best tools for the job. It is not always about which power tool is the strongest or which one has the best price tag, it’s about will this be the best hammer drill for the work ahead? From the heavy-duty DeWalt DW511 to the lightweight, yet powerful, the Makita XPH012, all the hammer drills on this list are great for a variety of jobs. You should choose which is right for you. And please remember to always practice safety first.