A hammer drill is a powerhouse equipment when it comes to boring holes on rocks and masonry materials. It’s a powerful tool that produces blows to increase the cutting edge of the bit aside from the rotation that it does. This is a staple among contractor jobs but households also benefit from having one handy in case there are utility wirings or wall attachments that need to be fixed. But it’s not enough that you have the money to get one, you should also know the things to look for in a hammer drill purchase.
Every drill is made different from the other. Having a prospect brand isn’t the only thing you should consider as the likes of power, uses, type, price, and more aspects are important buying factors.
When it comes to hammer drills, power is king. This will dictate how much rotation per minute (RPM) and blows per minute (BPM) the drill can produce. So what’s the best amount? Before I give an answer, you should know first what material you’re planning to drill.
If you’re using the hammer drill on hard surfaces like metal or masonry, you should look for a model that can offer low speed and high torque. Torque is the force that produces a twisting movement on the drill bit. Since tough materials could be harder to cut, this totally makes sense.
When it comes to softer surfaces like plastic or wood, a low torque and high-speed hammer drill is the best. This is so you can bore holes in the material without cracking it up with too much twisting force.
Anyway, it’s important to remember that this part isn’t a black and white notion. Some hammer drills can offer a wide range of torque and speed adjustments that are better choices. There are models that can even work in different settings like hammer-only or rotation-only.
One of the things to look for in a hammer drill purchase is the type: the basic hammer drill and the rotary hammer drill. Of the two, the rotary type is the most powerful as it’s the one with a hammer-only setting. The two produces a pounding force that makes the drilling faster and more efficient. Hammer drills use two discs to have that slamming movement on the chuck. Meanwhile, the rotary hammer drill utilizes a piston drive that uses air pressure to keep the hammering going.
The rotary type is more long-lasting than the other drill and it produces more impact on the surface you’re drilling. It’s also best for a variety uses which I’ll discuss later on.
So why invest in a hammer drill if you can have it all on a rotary type? You have to remember that the rotary hammer drill is noisier as much as it’s powerful. It’s also more expensive and bigger than the hammer drill. If you’re looking for a small equipment for home use, the hammer drill is already a good tool.
Hammer drills are best for light household drilling like when you need to bore holes in the wall. This isn’t used for driving screws or bolts as it’s not an impact driver. Many confuse each one from the other and they end up buying the wrong equipment.
Rotary hammer drills are for heavier workloads. You can use this to drill smooth holes on thick slabs of reinforced concrete using a rebar tip. When set in the hammer-only mode, you can use a chisel tip and remove your old tiles. This type of drill makes your drilling time shorter unlike using a typical hammer drill.
Also, rotary hammer drills can be used in concrete demolition and less heavy tasks. You can set it in different modes so you can drill holes on soft materials like wood or metal. Before anything else, these are the things to look for in a hammer drill purchase.
CORDED OR CORDLESS?
Picking whether a corded or cordless type depends on the convenience you want to achieve. Both rotary and hammer types come in cordless models but you should keep in mind that these are less powerful than those plugged into an electrical source. The batteries can run out easily, especially if used for an extended period. Still, cordless models are champs in portability and ease of use. If you’re working on a house or a site that doesn’t have electricity lines yet, this one is a must-have.
On the other hand, corded hammer drills are best purchases if you’re looking for long-term tools. This is because no battery may corrode and you have an infinite supply of energy as long as it’s plugged into an electrical source. If you want to achieve the power of a topnotch rotary hammer drill, only a corded one can provide such feature.
But like the cordless drills, corded ones have its downsides. First, cords can start to tear after a few months or years of continuous use. It’s also less handy if you’re working in some place with limited electricity source.
Power or portability? These are just some of the things to look for in a hammer drill purchase.
Hammer drills come in two drive systems namely SDS and SDS-Max. These two systems are about the size of the shank where SDS and SDS-Plus come in 10 mm and the SDS-Max in 12 mm. This is a fixed measurement so you’ll have an easier time finding the right bits for your equipment. But first, what’s the best pick from the two?
The SDS type is what’s usually used for household and DIY purposes. This allows the bit to slide easily into the chuck and perform a hammering motion without slippage. Such thing gives high torque in case you need to drill tough materials.
SDS-Max, on the other hand, is the one used for industrial purposes. It could be for demolition and other contractor jobs that involve thick slabs of concrete and other materials. This is somewhat similar in appearance to the SDS but it has a larger chuck and shank size.
So you got the right drill, are you satisfied with that alone? You should check more things to look for in a hammer drill purchase like added accessories to make the most out of your potential money. Just don’t be stuck on the features of the drill as you might have no use for some of it. So what else should come with a quality hammer drill?
In case you’re working in a dark place, say your basement, you should look for a hammer drill with a LED light. Some drills will come with a depth rod for accurate measurement as well as an auxiliary handle in case the original one starts to wear out.
If you’re good at digging deep the tons of offers on hammer drills, you can get a free chuck key, wood router, complementary bits, sandpaper, and a chisel. Some of these may not come in the package, but spending a little more would surely add functionality on your hammer drill.
If you’re purchasing a hammer drill on a budget, it’s the price that’s more likely to be the deciding factor. But you shouldn’t fret. There are corded drills that you can buy for less than 100 bucks but if you’re into the rotary type, expect to spend more. Corded and cordless drills vary in price and it’s for sure that you’ll find one that suits the work you’re doing and the quality you’re looking for.
As a word of advice, investing in pricier drills might be a good choice as it will give more features and higher quality. This is one of the things to look for in a hammer drill purchase that I really keep in mind.
Usually, the top brands offer the best warranty terms. Some products of Bosch will give you a one-year limited warranty while DeWalt could be as lavish at three years. It’s just a matter of investing on the best one.
Things to look for in a hammer drill purchase: Take A Shortcut With These Options:
SKIL 6445-04 1/2” 7.0 Amp Hammer Drill
For a choice of a corded drill, the SKIL 6445-04 1/2” 7.0 Amp Hammer Drill is what I’ll suggest. This one has a large chuck that can accommodate bigger bits so you can work on different materials. For me, this worked best on wood and masonry work. The two-finger trigger is enough for stability and the maximum 3,000 RPM is already a powerhouse force.
Like most hammer drills, this comes with a depth rod and a rotating side handle. The only downside on this tool is it heats up fast. Aside from that, it’s a total beauty.
DeWalt DCD771C2 Cordless Lithium-Ion 20V Hammer Drill
One of my trusty drilling tools is the DeWalt DCD771C2 Cordless Lithium-Ion 20V Hammer Drill. This is light and compact but it has a powerful 300-watt motor that has two high-speed transmissions. It can be set at 450 RPM and a maximum of 1,500 RPM. Like the SKIL drill, this has a 1/1” chuck.
The best part of this package is it comes with free battery packs, charger, a built-in LED light, and a contractor bag. The drill can work on metal, wood, and concrete and can last a long time of use. For such a price, this is already a kick-ass cordless choice.
Now that you know the things to look for in a hammer drill purchase, you’re now prepared to invest to one. You can also spare yourself from the hammer drill scouting by referring to the personal suggestions I have above.
Just keep in mind that your work, budget, and convenience are the most important aspects of purchasing an additional tool. What do you think of this post? Sound off in the comment section!