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Tips for Buying a Rotary Hammer in 2022

Author Alex M
Published on April 29, 2022
by Alex M

The right tool for the right job makes your life easier and your day go by faster. Sure, you already have a regular drill, but is it enough to do the job you want? Do you really need a hammer drill? Or that just an extra expense you can avoid? In this guide, we look into when you might need a hammer drill, and why.

Normal Drill vs Hammer Drill

A regular drill is a good thing to have as an all around tool that can help you accomplish all kinds of projects. It has a chuck for accepting different kinds of drill bits. It has a motor for torque. And most drills have an adjustable clutch, so you can control the exact amount of torque. However, the motor on a regular drill just spins. This means it works great for things like driving fasteners or boring holes in softer materials - such as wood, plastic, aluminum, and even planks. However, when trying to drill into something more heavy duty, such as masonry, you might need something extra. This is where hammer drills come in.

How a Hammer Drill Works

A hammer drill, like the name implies, also hammers in addition to spinning. That added tapping motion helps pierce and break the material you are drilling apart. The grooves on the drill bit help remove the material out of your way. The extra motion of hammering is important when you are drilling into heavier material such as masonry - concrete, brick, stone, or even mortar.

Hammer Drill vs Rotary Hammer

Hammer Drill vs Rotary Hammer
Some regular drills come with a hammer setting. Light-duty hammer drills are only $20 to $30 more expensive than a regular drill and come in that familiar pistol grip shape. These 18V or 20V drills are adequate when you are drilling one or two holes a year or doing a small project. However, try to do any more than that, and you run into issues such as it taking a long time or burning through your drill bits. While they do have the hammering motion, they often don’t have enough power to handle a larger or extended job. If you are doing a large project, if your home is made of brick, or you are drilling into a concrete patio, for example, you will need a rotary hammer drill.

Investing In a Heavy Duty Rotary Hammer

Rotary hammer drills are heavier duty for tackling larger or extended jobs. It is a specialized tool that might seem like an extra expense at first. However, if you are doing a lot of masonry work, this tool is a must-have. A good one should last you for years, if not decades.

Rotary hammer drills have a better piston mechanism that outputs more power. It punches forward, not taps. Rotary hammer drills also have a more advanced chuck mechanism. The drill bit shaft is usually slotted, which locks into ball bearings inside the drill. This gives you a much better connection between the drill bit and the tool. Some rotary drills will have adjustable settings - just drill, drill and hammer, and just hammer. This allows you to fine tune your tool to the job you are doing. For example, if you needed to break up some concrete, you would choose a large chisel drill bit and turn the setting to ‘just hammer’.

Conclusion

Hammer drills, while sometimes appearing identical to a regular drill, are a specialized tool for drilling into masonry. Do you even need a hammer drill? If you are drilling into wood or plastic, you do not necessarily need the extra hammering action, and a regular drill should be adequate.

If you are drilling a hole in your garage to hang a hook once or twice a year, a nice drill with a hammer setting, or an entry level hammer drill will be a good option for you. Entry level hammer drills aren’t too much more expensive than a regular drill, so it might be a nice thing to have around the house for the occasional project. However, if your house is made of brick or stone, and you are planning a large project, a rotary hammer drill is a must-have. They offer more power, have better motors that won’t burn out as easily, and let you finish the project in a timely manner.

No one has the time to drill into concrete with the wrong tool! Hopefully, after reading this guide, you will know when and why you need a hammer drill. Wasting time on masonry projects will be a thing of the past because now you are a hammer drill pro!