When it comes to choosing the best hammer drill, there are a few things to keep in mind. Remember, a hammer drill is a serious power tool for bigger projects, such as drilling into concrete.
When choosing a hammer drill, factors such as weight, comfort, power, speed, bits, and price are all important to consider.
Table of Contents
- Hammer Drill Comparison Chart
- Best Hammer Drill For The Money
- 1. Makita BHP454 18-Volt
- 2. Bosch RHH181-01 18-Volt SDS
- 3. DEWALT Bare-Tool DCH273B 20V Rotary Hammer Kit
- 4. Bosch HDH181-01
- 5. DEWALT DCD795D2 20V – Best 20v Cordless Drill
- 6. Bosch HDS181-02L 18-Volt Hammer Drill
- 7. Milwaukee 2604-20 18V
- 8. DEWALT DCD995B 20V Hammer Drill Bare Tool
- 9. Skil 6445-02 120-volt
- Various Types of Hammer Drills Available
- Factors When Choosing a Hammer Drill
- Helpful Features in Hammer Drills
- What cordless drill do you need in your home?
- Tips on how to find the most suitable drill
- Where to do research?
- Drilling Power Tools General Information
- Different Hammer Drill Brands Overview
Hammer Drill Comparison Chart
|DEWALT Bare-Tool DCH273B||20|
A hammer drill is a useful machine that allows a person to drill quick holes with little effort. Hammer drills are an ideal choice for making large holes in structures that are made out of concrete, or for attaching things onto walls made from masonry.
Hammer drills are efficient as they rotate both ways while drilling so that the concrete boring does not burn out the bit. A number of features should be considered when deciding which hammer drill to purchase.
Best Hammer Drill For The Money
1. Makita BHP454 18-Volt
- Power – Makita-built 4-pole motor delivers 560 in.lbs. of Max. Torque, and handles concrete, wood or metal
- Control – 2-speed all metal transmission, easy mode shift and 2 built-in L.E.D. lights
- Comfort – Only 4.9 lbs. with ergonomic grip
- Performance – LXT Li-Ion batteries charge in 30 minutes, run longer and deliver 2.5X more cycles
- Includes – Two 18V LXT Lithium-Ion batteries, rapid charger, and case
Pros: It works & handles very well, you could use this drill all day without being fatigued, powerful drill, high torque, comes with two lithium ion batteries, having extra batteries would reduce the down time between charges, fast Battery recharge time, nice grip and weight, fit and finish are superior, the electric brake stops the motor quickly, long lasting battery, speed, and the outside finish is beautiful, it will deliver for years to come, highly recommend for anybody.
Cons: it is a bit heavy but a great solid tool for the money.
Highly Recommended !!!
2. Bosch RHH181-01 18-Volt SDS
- Pneumatic Hammer Mechanism: Bosch engineered for maximum performance, lifetime and efficiency
- Innovative Brushless EC Motor: Same power, but smaller and lighter weight with higher efficiency, less maintenance, and longer life
- 3-Mode Selector: Rotary hammer, rotation only and now with chisel
- Electronic Motor Protection (EMP): Protects motor from overload damage
- Electronic Cell Protection (ECP): Provides 2X battery life by preventing overheating in tough applications
Pros: lightweight, a rock solid product, very well engineered, comes with 2 batteries, drill is a beast, for light duty drilling this is overkill, the depth setting gauge adjusts very quickly and easily, this hammer drill operates at up to 1400rpm and drilled through the cement with ease, drills x times faster than other corded, drill 1/4″ and 3/8″ holes through 4″ thick concrete pads, it is quiet relative to most hammer drills.
Cons: expensive but worth it if you can afford …
Highly Recommended !!!!!
3. DEWALT Bare-Tool DCH273B 20V Rotary Hammer Kit
- SHOCKS- Active Vibration Control significantly reduces vibration and increases user comfort
- 1.7 ft-lbs impact energy provides corded power without the cord
- LED work light provides increased visibility in confined spaces
Pros: affordable, the 20-volt tool is far better, a wonderful addition to anyone in need of portable hammer drill, very small in size, perfect for ceiling grid work, works great for tearing out tiles, like a hot knife going through butter, lots of power extremely convenient, anti-vibe feature is great, with the 5 amp batteries charge seems to last all day.
Cons: would be Better if it had an adjustable chuck …
Highly Recommended !!!
4. Bosch HDH181-01
- 4-Pole High-Performance Motor – For maximum power in the most compact size
- New Patented Gear Train and Clutch – Enables most compact design in its class and lightest weight
- Flexible Power System – Both DD and HDD are compatible with every 18V Li-ion Bosch battery
- Ergonomic Grip Zone – Smallest diameter in market enables better gripping and greater comfort
- New Ergonomic Design – Modified orientation relative to handle increase comfort
Pros: great performance and ergonomics, good battery life, the charger is very fast, excellent drill for tough jobs, comes in a nice hard case as well, the metal chuck is a nice improvement, it is light enough to be comfortable after long use, solid all metal chuck with progressive locking action, install 1/2″ and 5/8″ wedge anchors set about 4-5″ into concrete with no issues, built to last and last.
Cons: it has only 2 speeds …
5. DEWALT DCD795D2 20V – Best 20v Cordless Drill
- DEWALT brushless motor for up to 57% more run time than brushed
- Compact and lightweight for tight areas
- 2-speed settings for improved speed and torque control
- Metal 1/2-inch ratcheting chuck
- LED light with 20-second trigger release delay
Pros: it’s real handy, compact and lightweight, well balanced and easy to handle, high-quality mid-range drill, powerful and dependable, lightweight and has a good grip feel, plenty strong for any jobs, it works great when drilling into brick, 2 batteries last so long, great torque and long lasting battery, the LED light is very helpful for dark areas, it comes with the belt clip.
Cons: someone complained slower charger is included …
6. Bosch HDS181-02L 18-Volt Hammer Drill
- Features 4-pole high-performance motor for maximum power in a compact size
- New patented gear train and clutch enables compact design and light weight
- Flexible power system (DD and HDD) are compatible with every 18-volt Li-Ion Bosch battery
- Ergonomic grip zone enables better gripping and greater comfort
- Includes L-Boxx-2 for easy stackable storage
Pros: it arrived on time, great drill for the money, comes with a very nice case, great for a home handyman, the tool is very light weight, the smaller batteries make using this unit very comfortable, near perfect balance in your hand, the LED on the front is super handy, the batteries last a long time, charges fast with lots of torque.
Cons: this comes with only 110v, quality drill but a little heavy …
7. Milwaukee 2604-20 18V
- POWERSTATE Brushless Motor: Delivers up to 725 in-lbs. of torque with maximum sustained torque to complete the toughest of applications
- REDLITHIUM Battery Technology: Superior pack construction, electronics, and performance deliver more work per charge and more work over pack life than any battery on the market
- REDLINK PLUS Intelligence: The most advanced system of cordless power tool electronics. Provides optimized performance and overload protection using total system communication between tool, battery and charger
- Please note: Battery and Charger Sold Separately
Pros: fast delivery, compact design, and lighter weight is great, lots of power, very long battery life, less expensive, it easily drills 7/8″ ship arbor holes in wood for electrical rough in on small jobs, the variable speed control is very smooth and responsive, hammer function works great for hard to drive screws, it’s very balanced and comfortable to hold.
Cons: Chuck doesn’t seem to be working properly …
8. DEWALT DCD995B 20V Hammer Drill Bare Tool
- DEWALT-built high power, high-efficiency brushless motor–650 unit watts out (UWO) max power
- 3-speed, high performance (0-2,000 RPM) all-metal transmission
- 0-34,000 BPM for fast drilling in masonry materials
- LED light with 20-second trigger release delay
Pros: delivered on time, the drill is a little lighter & about 3/4″ shorter, very controllable, the operation is very smooth, great to add to your 20-volt set-up, the power increase of the brushless motor can be felt, battery lasts a long time, works great with 5 AH batteries.
Cons: the drill limits the torque …
9. Skil 6445-02 120-volt
- Powerful 7.0-Amp Motor with hammer function for tough applications including masonry
- 1/2-Inch Keyed Chuck to accept large diameter bits designed for woodworking and cutting
- Side-assist Handle for controlled, accurate drilling
- Variable Speed Trigger lets you control drilling speed
- 2-Finger Trigger with Lock-on for increased control
Pros: awesome drill for the price, great value for money, big results from a small drill, worked great in hammer mode for 5/8″ holes in concrete, makes quick work of concrete, cuts through concrete like butter, light and easy to use, the chuck seems of adequate quality, no more screwing around.
Cons: it is a little heavy…
Various Types of Hammer Drills Available
There are five main kinds of hammer drills from which a potential buyer can pick. These include rotary hammer drills, cordless hammer drills, pneumatic hammer drills, percussion hammer drills, and combination hammer drills. Each of these types of drills has its own characteristics and advantages, as outlined below:
* Rotary hammer drills are powerful hammer drills that can be used to chisel, hammer, or drill. These come in commercial grade as cordless rotary hammers that are heavy duty.
* Cordless hammer drills showcase both reverse and hammer actions. These hammer drills include variable speeds and a lock. A few of the models feature a screwdriver storage compartment as well.
* Pneumatic hammer drills prove to be high-speed hammer drills. They are perfect for applications that need screw driving or drilling without making noise while working in metal or wood. They are specially designed to both increase the efficiency of drilling and to lessen the fatigue of the user.
* Percussion hammer drills are durably designed hammer drills that reduce the amount of friction created in the drilling and therefore extend the tool’s life. They are especially well suited for drilling in masonry and are able to drill quickly. These hammer drills can come with the lock on settings and second handles to make the experience more comfortable for the drill user.
* Combination hammer drills are the one stop shop kind of hammer drill. They are capable of performing all tasks from screw driving to drilling, to hammering. These are a perfect choice for fixing holes found in masonry and concrete, as well as for drilling bigger anchor holes.
Factors When Choosing a Hammer Drill
Weight and Comfort
Like all tools, a hammer drill needs to be comfortable to hold and use. Because of its nature, a hammer drill can be a rough power tool to use and if it’s uncomfortable or its weight makes it cumbersome, you have a bigger chance of not completing the job or making mistakes. Choose a hammer drill that has comfortable grips and that is appropriate in weight. Weight can be proportionate to voltage, as higher voltage hammer drills require a bigger source of power.
Cord vs. Cordless
Of course, a cordless hammer drill, as with any power tool, is going to offer more convenience, but some factors need to be considered. First is power.
A hammer drill with a cord will receive a constant source of power and will, therefore, remain at a constant level of performance.
A cordless will need to be recharged and will gradually lose power through use. You don’t want to be in the middle of an important job only to lose power and have to wait to recharge.
Also, charging times vary. They can be from an hour or more to an overnight charge. As always, when working on a job, time is money. For battery life, the Milwaukee 0824-24 is recommended for its reversible battery ability.
Power and Speed
When it comes to power and speed, keep in mind that more is not always better. Different jobs require different settings. When looking at a hammer drill, find one with multiple speeds.
At a minimum, two speeds should be available. The harder the material you’re drilling into, the slower the speed needs to be.
For lighter materials, you can use a higher speed. Power consumption ties in with the cord vs. cordless question. More power will eat up battery life/energy quicker and add to the temperature.
If the temperature gets too high, the equipment may shut down, or worse, malfunction and become damaged. The DEWALT DC988KA features 3 adjustable speeds and allows you a top speed of 2000 rpm.
Bits and Price
Bits for hammer drills need to be chosen for the material you are drilling, just like standard bits. Diamond core bits can be useful for larger jobs, as well as preserving the life of your drill and the bit itself.
You can expect to pay anywhere from 3.00 to 100.00 bucks for a bit. Typically, you can buy sets of bits from about 30.00 to 60.00 bucks that will be adequate.
Regarding drill price, always remember, you’re making an investment. Purchasing a cheap hammer drill will lead to problems down the road, as well as money out of your pocket for replacement and repairs.
A decent hammer drill from a leading manufacturer should run from about 150.00 to a little over 400.00 bucks. If you’re on a budget, look into the Bosch 1194AVSRK.
Helpful Features in Hammer Drills
There are four useful features that hammer drills can showcase to ease the performance of the job at hand. These are highlighted below, as follows:
* Variable Speed Selection permits the user to adjust drill speeds. Slower speeds are best for larger holes, while faster speeds are optimal for smaller holes.
* Depth Rods are measuring devices fixed on the drill’s side that shows the user that he has achieved his intended depth.
* Reverse features permit a person to pull a bit back out of a hole. This is helpful since they often stick in the holes all too easily.
* Side Handles permit the driller to utilize both hands while holding and working with the drill. This allows for a more exact control of the hammer drill. They are usually removable for those jobs that are limited by closer drilling quarters.
What cordless drill do you need in your home?
Let’s say you live in a small but “ship shape” apartment. You’re thinking that sometimes it could be handy with a cordless drill for hanging a picture, mirror or something else. What cordless drill do you need?
Are you in that situation, it would just be mad to buy a cordless drill to $200. It is with cordless drills as with anything else, you get what you pay for, but you wouldn’t buy a Mercedes for picking up groceries once a month, right?
That applies to cordless drills as well. You don’t need to buy a Dewalt for $200 with hammer function and 400 inch-pounds of max torque when all you need probably is a 40 dollar 12v drill from Black and Decker with100 inch-pounds of max torque.
Let’s say you are a race car driver. You couldn’t really win with a Lada, could you? Or let’s say it like this. You are a professional contractor, You can’t really do a satisfying job with a 100-inch pounds of max torque drill when what you really need is a good hammer drill.
My point is: To find the best cordless drill, you have to figure out your needs. Not everyone needs a hammer drill, nor can everybody manage with a cheap drill either.
Tips on how to find the most suitable drill
What house do you live in? Do you have concrete walls or wooden walls? Is your house “ship shape” or do you always have projects going?
If you live in a house with concrete walls, you should probably go for a hammer drill with at least a max torque (the term for max power) of 300 inch-pounds.
If you live in a house with all wooden walls you can go down on the max torque to about 100-200 inch-pounds. A cordless drill with a hammer function wouldn’t be a point for you.
If you have a lot of projects going you should probably go for a 18v cordless drill with Li-ion batteries. Li-ion batteries can last up to 2,5 times the life cycle of a regular Ni-cad battery.
If you live in a house with all wooden walls and everything is “ship shape” you can manage with a 3,6v cordless screwdriver. It is just to have a tool if you one day decide to hang a new picture to the wall.
Where to do research?
I hope you have a better understanding on how to choose a cordless drill. It is now time to find your cordless drill, and most importantly, what other users of the drill think of it. The easiest place to start is at Amazon. They have detailed descriptions on every cordless drill listed, with user ratings and reviews. This is the method I would use if I considered buying a new cordless drill.
- Figure out your needs and go straight to amazon.com.
- Use the search option and type in “cordless drill” in the “tools and home improvement” section.
- On the left side, they have an option of sorting by rating. Pick the “4 stars and above” option. Also, filter by “price” if you are on a budget.
- Now you should have a whole bunch of cordless drills to go through. Find the cordless drill that suits your criteria the best. Read the user reviews.
- When you’ve found your drill, copy paste the drill brand and model, and do a Google search. Use some time to find the best available price.
- Order it.
As I stated above, you have to figure out your needs before you go through with the step of actually buying one. But for the “average Joe” it can really be a challenge to know exactly how to do that. If you are a professional contractor you should know what you need, so these tips I’m about to show you is for the average home user.
Drilling Power Tools General Information
As the name implies, Hammer Drills are like conventional power drills with the important difference that they also impart a hammering motion to the drill bit in order to allow the user to drill through materials which might give regular power drills trouble.
The hammering motion is usually small in magnitude (length of hammer motion) but occurs at a high enough frequency (referred to as BPM – beats per minute in the hammer drill industry) to pulverize small bits of material, enabling the drill bit to keep digging into the target material.
This makes hammer drills particularly effective for applications in which masonry or brick drilling is required. Some specific applications include: drilling holes in concrete footing to allow for fixture of concrete wall forms,
Most hammer drills have a switch which neutralizes the hammer mechanism and allows the user to convert the drill back to a conventional power drill for applications in wood, drywall, etc. This versatility makes the hammer drill ideal for any professional who needs to penetrate a wide variety of target materials from one job to the next.
The one drawback is that given the extra mechanical complexity involved in the hammering mechanism, the average hammer drill is somewhat bulkier/heavier and further more expensive than the average conventional power drill; however, the extra effectiveness of the tool compensates this for most users.
Note also that some “hammer drills” are in fact conventional power drills with a special hammer chuck installed in place of the original chuck. A replacement hammer chuck for converting a conventional power drill is less expensive than a full purpose hammer drill in most cases; however, one should note that replacement chucks may deliver less drilling penetration than the full purpose drill. The drill should be chosen for the application, or rather with an eye towards the expected range of standard applications.
The hammering motion of most hammer drills is small enough that the user will not feel discomfort during use; however, a special class of hammer drills, known as rotary hammers, make use of a piston mechanism in place of the usual spring system in order to provide more power for applications too severe for regular hammer drills.
Some drills offer the further ability to disable the rotary motion, allowing the drill can be used as a powerful motorized chisel for small to medium chiseling jobs (a special chisel bit offers more effectiveness in this operation mode).
The user may experience discomfort during long periods of rotary hammer use; however, with regularly spaced break intervals both the tool and the user can deliver a full day’s work. An oil filled gearbox allows the rotary hammers to be used for long periods of time and without loss of performance in the gritty jobs for which they are usually used.
For Safety: See the Guidelines – Hand & Power Tools
Different Hammer Drill Brands Overview
There are many choices available when it comes to choosing a hammer drill for your application. However, there are some differences between brands that could sway one’s opinion on which hammer drill to purchase.
For instance, one drill may have more torque than another brand, which makes it more useful for solid concrete or reinforced cement.
However, another brand may have a larger motor, which will ensure that the user will get more years of life out of that particular drill. Whatever the reason, one should purchase a hammer drill that meets his or her requirements and gets the job done.
Makita Hammer Drills
In case you are looking for a brand new hammer drill, you really should check out the 18-V Makita hammer drill. This kind of Makita features a lot of extra capabilities that you do not come across using alternative hammer drills and it is definitely certain to help you with completing just about any challenging task you may ask it to.
The Makita hammer drill comes with an outstanding level of strength, is certainly light and portable and comfortable to grasp, features a truly excellent battery pack, and a great deal of additional awesome characteristics. All over, there is no doubt that it is really an amazing hammer drill and it is well worth looking into on your own.
Hilti Hammer Drills
Hilti has been known for its dedication to high-quality tools for the construction work force. Most notably, many workers tout Hilti as the number one brand for black powder nail guns. Due to this reason, Hilti enjoys a place as one of the highest quality hammer drills on the market.
However, like Bosch, one should expect to pay a premium for a Hilti hammer drill as the Hilti Hammer Drill Performance Package will cost the potential consumer over thousand bucks.
Dewalt Hammer Drills
There is no better brand than Dewalt tools for the price. Although Dewalt hammer drills may not last as long as Bosch or Hilti, one can expect to get up to seventy-five percent of the life of other hammer drills while costing fifty percent less than Bosch or Hilti.
At a little over three hundred dollars, the Dewalt Cordless Hammer Drill package is probably the best deal on the market for professional grade tools.
Bosch Hammer Drills
Like Hilti, Bosch has been known throughout its inception to stand for quality. Almost the entire line of Bosch tools fall into the top categories when it comes to both residential and commercial grade quality.
Traditionally, Bosch has been considered one of the more expensive tool lines although during the last decade prices have become more competitive with brands such as Dewalt and Milwaukee.
For those looking to purchase a Bosch hammer drill, he or she should expect to pay close to three hundred dollars for the corded version.
Ryobi Hammer Drills
Ryobi hammer drills are not the best on the market. If someone needs a hammer drill for residential use, he or she may choose to purchase the Ryobi line.
Construction professionals rarely purchase Ryobi tools if he or she will be putting their tools to everyday use. However, for someone who only needs a hammer drill for a small job but would like to have one around, Ryobi may not be a bad choice. One should expect to pay about seventy-five dollars for a Ryobi hammer drill.
Milwaukee Hammer Drills
Traditionally, Milwaukee brand tools have been known for their quality although during the past ten years there have been some problems.
Milwaukee hammer drills are a hit or miss as they are more expensive than Ryobi but less than Dewalt or Bosch. A Milwaukee hammer drill will run about one hundred and forty dollars.