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What Is A Hammer Drill And How Can It Be Used?




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If you are curious about what a hammer drill does and how it’s used, keep reading. I will be talking about the tool in detail and how it can work to your advantage based on certain projects.


When it comes to power tools, they can be fun to use. Even if you are a complete newbie at DIY stuff, you’ll need to realize that power tools are all part of the process.


You understand that power tools can get the job done quicker than just manual tools. Plus, hammer drills are the kind of tools that will break through harder surfaces with ease.


If you are looking for a power tool that is reliable and can get the job done when you are dealing with harder surfaces, a hammer drill might be exactly what you need. Let’s talk more about it.


What is a hammer drill?

What is a hammer drill\

A hammer drill is a type of drill that is used to penetrate through concrete and similar hard surfaces. This is a tool that is commonly used by masons and construction workers.


The hammer drill is made up of an electric motor, a gear box, and rotary hammers or chisels. Some drills will have one rotary hammer while others will have two.


A hammer drill can also have a chuck size to about a half inch in diameter. However, some larger chucks can be compatible with bits in large diameter depending on the drill model.


Hammer drills will have a much higher torque compared to standard drills. Because of its ability to overheat easily due to the heavy duty motors, they should not be used for lengthy periods.


Yet, there are some hammer drills that will have the ability to function like a regular drill. It may take some adjustments, but you can be sure that if you need a regular drill, you can convert a hammer drill into one.


Hammer drills have a higher RPM compared to standard drills. If you need to work fast, the speed of a hammer drill is what you need to pay close attention to if you are looking for one yourself.


How can a hammer drill be used?


Hammer drills are used to drill small holes into harder materials. A standard drill can create holes in soft materials such as drywall and wood. 


Meanwhile, hammer drills will do the same but with concrete, rocks, and other similar surfaces. Hammer drills are like hammers, but very small and powerful. 


Related Article – Hammer Drill


The hammer drill will use the drill bit to constantly bash around the hard materials. Imagine tiny little hammers being embedded into a drill bit. That’s how it all works.


Hammer drills will ‘pulverize’ through material. It won’t bore like regular drills. The good news is, the surrounding material where the hole is being drilled will not be affected (other than the section you are drilling).


How a hammer drill works

What is a hammer drill

A hammer drill can be powered in two different ways. The first method is percussion. The way this works is that these hammer drills have sets of gears that interact.


There are two discs that will produce a fast hammering movement when they ride over each other. This action will create a hole being drilled while the drill bit is being hammered forward.


The second method is known as EP (or electro-pneumatic power). This is a process that is normally used with rotary hammers.


EP hammer drills will use pressurized air and electricity in order to power the drill itself. Included in these drills includes a drive piston, flier piston, and a guide cylinder.


The crank is rotated by electric power, which then will cause the drive piston to move. The compressed air will create a cushion between the two pistons which will give the drill the power it needs to bust through the hardened materials.


The three types of hammer drills


There are three types of hammer drills that are on the market we’ll be taking a look at. I encourage you to consider these options when you are looking for one.


Let’s take a look at what they are and how they might work to your advantage:




Corded drills are low maintenance and rely on electricity for power. All you need to do is plug it in and you’ll be able to use the drill for as long as possible.


They might be a little heavier in weight and larger in size. For those reasons, you can expect the motor to be slightly larger.


I like these because they give me consistency whenever I need it. Especially when I am working on some kind of heavy duty project.



What is a hammer drill


If you want a hammer drill that is battery operated, a cordless drill will do just fine. They are portable and usually a bit smaller in size. Not to mention, they give you excellent portability and more freedom of movement.


However, there are some caveats to cordless drills. The battery may need to be charged a bit more often depending on the brand. It may also get to the point where you may need to replace them outright.


I’m not saying I’m not a fan of cordless drills. But if you want to save yourself the hassle, you can get a corded hammer drill. Otherwise, you may want to look a bit long and hard at some of the features the cordless drill has.


For example, pay attention to the overall battery life of the drill. Especially how long it takes to charge.




This is a much smaller and lighter drill compared to a regular hammer drill. For this reason, you can expect it to have less power. The only time you should ever use these drills is when you are working in tighter spaces.


For example, if you are looking to break through any brick walls or concrete and they are in corners, that’s when a compact drill can really get the job done.


Buyer’s Guide: What To Look For When Purchasing A Hammer Drill


I would be remiss if I didn’t include a buyer’s guide here in case you decide to get a hammer drill. It’s important to know exactly what to look for when you choose one out of the many on the market.


I highly advise you to pay close attention to some of these factors so you know that you can choose the right one. Let’s get right to it:




This is one of the most important factors to consider. The more amps a hammer drill will have, the more power it gets.


This is one rule of thumb to remember when comparing one drill with another. The tougher the job is, the more power it will need.




The size of the drill may play an important role in the decision process. If the drill is large and powerful, it can be a pain (literally in the hands due to the vibrations). Not to mention, a large drill may be difficult to control if it’s packed with power.


At this point, if you need plenty of power, try to find a drill that’s smaller in size. Otherwise, if you want something bigger, you may be sacrificing power in the process.




As mentioned before, you can choose between corded, cordless, and compact. It depends on your needs and preferences. 


If you are looking for consistent power and low maintenance, a corded drill might be what you need. If you want excellent portability, a cordless drill gets the job done.


Safety features

What is a hammer drill


These days, there are plenty of drills that are packed with safety features. Hammer drills are no different. It’s important to look for some of the most important safety features that are included.


These include anti-theft tracking for when it’s lost or stolen. You can also have an auto stoppage feature that kicks in if your drill starts to overheat. These are two features that I would look for.


If they are lacking in either one, I’d move on. But that’s me. However, drills have come a long way in terms of improving their safety features.


I don’t want to deal with sudden torque reactions that may hurt quite a bit. And I certainly don’t want to ruin a good drill because I burned up the motor by complete accident. 


If there is one thing you don’t want to compromise on when it comes to hammer drills, it’s safety features.




If you are looking for a hammer drill, now you know what it is. And you now understand how it can be used.


I hope this has helped you in some way. You might already be entertaining the idea of purchasing a hammer drill for yourself. If so, use the buyer’s guide I put together for you so you know what to look for.


Once you put your hammer drill to good use, you’ll be amazed by how easy it can drill through concrete and harder materials.    


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