Some projects need more power and precision than a hand-held power drill. The use of a hammer drill will make tough jobs and tougher materials easier to handle and penetrate.
Best Cordless, Rotary, And Corded Hammer Drills Buyers Guide
Hammer drills are a type of hand-held drill used to penetrate various surfaces with a drill bit or driver that not only rotates but also pulses with a hammer weight. As the motor spins the bit, a small weight knocks back and forth giving the bit extra momentum.
Hammer drills come in a variety of sizes, powers, and speeds. Picking the right one can be a difficult task if you aren’t sure what you are looking for. This guide attempts to take the mystery out of the competition and give you a list of the best hammer drills in the industry.
Picking the right hammer drill will still be a personal option based on budget, uses and project requirements. Following this guide will give you the models and features in a comparison based layout that is easy to read and follow, allowing you to make the most informed decision possible.
How We Choose Our Ratings
Our ratings are based on several factors. First, we take into account all the possible hammer drills and group them according to size, capabilities, and features. Corded, rotary and cordless hammer drills are all examined and tested to find strengths and weaknesses.
We also take into consideration any extras that are included or as separate purchases (such as bits, drills, and batteries) as well as reports, recalls and reviews. We look at the numbers provided by the manufacturers as well as the actual numbers that are given in performance evaluations.
After we collect all of the data, we then look at reviews from consumers that have used the products and tested them in real-world applications. We do all of the research, so you don’t have to.
When all of the data is collected, we then begin giving each model a rating. These ratings are weighted to include the provided data in conjunction with outside factors such as materials and price point. While a top of the line model, for example, may rate five stars, a budget model may also rate five stars, even though when compared side by side one outperforms the others.
Doing this type of rating give you the ability to find the best-rated hammer drill for your budget range. Each model listed below will display the strengths and weaknesses of the models followed by a rating out of five stars. The higher the rating, the better the model. The list compiled here showcases the best of the best.
The 6 Best Hammer Drills
Choosing the best hammer drills is no simple task. With so many different options and features, it can be a harrowing task. We have done the hard work for you and compiled some of the best hammer drills for your projects.
Overall rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars
- VERSATILE: The Bosch RH228VC Rotary Hammer offers three modes of operation including...
- CONTROL: The hammer provides a counter-balance vibration control for comfort during...
- SECURE: The Bosch RH228VC has an integral clutch which helps minimize torque reaction...
The Bosch RH228VC is a corded rotary hammer drill that provides 2.4 foot-pounds of impact hammering. With eight amps of power, the hammer drill can push through virtually anything. It uses an SDS Plus chuck for superior hammering at the tip, compared to the three jaw chuck of a standard hammer drill.
The multi-position T-handle can pivot to over 40 different positions allowing for right or left handed operation at any angle. The Bosch RH228VC also has an integral clutch which will disengage if the bit is ever stuck or becomes bound. This saves the motor and the piston from damage in the event of failure.
Ultra low vibration is the result of a counter-balanced control feature to reduce fatigue and jolting from constant use. Along with the metal gear housing and reduced weight, the Bosch model is excellent for professional use.
Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
- HAMMER & DRILL FUNCTIONS 2 IN 1: Switch the orange button on the top to select hammer...
- VARIABLE SPEED TRIGGER & FORWARD AND REVERSE SWITCH: Equipped with a variable-speed...
- 360° ROTATING AUXILIARY HANDLE & METAL CHUCK: Tacklife dual corded hammer drill...
TACKLIFE’s hammer drill boasts a bevy of features that make its use for continuous jobs a breeze. It has a variable speed knob that can control the motor rotation between zero and 2800 rotations per minute. Depending on the task at hand you can set the speed to avoid damage to softer materials such as tile, while till impacting through the masonry below.
It also has a trigger lock to prevent hand fatigue when multiple hole drilling is required. The PID01A also has a depth gauge that will stop you from drilling too deep. With six amps of power, you can use the selector switch and multiple bit styles (in a three jaw chuck) to go between a hammer drill and drill only, allowing for use in all material types.
The compact design will give you precise impact drilling in hard to reach spaces, and with a weight of fewer than five pounds, you can use the hammer drill for extended periods without fatigue.
Overall rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The M18 Fuel from Milwaukee is a battery-powered or cordless, rotary hammer drill that offers a compact, lightweight design for use in almost any situation. The power source is the Milwaukee 18 volt battery packs that are also used for other Milwaukee cordless devices.
Due to the the battery’s versatility, you can purchase the hammer drill with or without the battery packs to save money, in case you already have a few.
The drill itself comes with a 360 degree rotating, locking T-handle and quick-release depth gauge for precise drilling depths at any angle. There is a turn style selector switch to provide you the option of the hammer drill, drill or impact/chisel modes. The M18 Fuel uses SDS bits for the chuck (will not accept three jaw bits) that is hardened steel for increased durability.
Overall rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars
- High efficiency motor delivers 450 unit watts out of max power for superior...
- Also has a LED light with 20 second delay after trigger release Batteries not...
- Uses DEWALT 20Volt Max lithium ion batteries which offer longer run time and enhanced...
The DEWALT Max is a cordless hammer drill that gives you high performance and accurate drilling without a lot of fuss. The all-metal transmission along with the 20-volt battery packs offer high speed, high wattage power for long-lasting performance. The batteries are sold separately, or as a kit, to allow the separate purchase of the hammer drill itself, if needed.
The folding T-handle rotates around the chuck mount so you can add pressure and steadiness at any angle. The DCD985B also has a point of impact flashlight that comes on with a pull of the trigger and has a 20-second delay to remain illuminated after the bit has stopped.
Because of the power and added light, you aren’t tethered to a power outlet and is ideal for new construction use where power sources may not be present.
Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
- Powerful 7.0 amp motor, 0-3,100 rpm, 52,700 bpm
- Cast metal gear housing that helps dissipate heat from internal components
- Streamline over mold body
The VSR from Porter-Cable is a versatile, corded, hammer drill offering multiple speed control and vibration reduction. Suitable for use with any material, the hammer drill is capable of producing up to a half inch hole in steel, concrete, masonry or pavement.
There are two-speed settings (Low and Max) that offer reduced speed (limited to 1100 rotations per minute) with maximum torque or lower torque (in Max mode) with maximum speed (up to 3100 rotations per minute). Using the speed controls, you can drill through any material as easily as a standard drill through wood.
The hammer drill comes with a rotating T-handle and depth gauge for accuracy at any angle you find yourself drilling from. The trigger lock is activated with a two-finger operation to allow single drilling or multiple hole application to reduce fatigue.
Overall rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars
- Poweful 7.0 amp motor for tough applications
- 1/2 in. keyed chuck to accept large diameter bits designed for woodworking and...
- Side assist handle for controlled, accurate drilling
Not recommended for commercial use, the SKIL 6445-04 is a budget-friendly addition to the home handyman’s arsenal. Durable and reliable for use in most situations the corded hammer drill is capable of drilling through concrete, brick, masonry and all softer materials quickly.
It comes with a depth gauge for precision drilling and the T_Handle slides for use by both right and left-handed users at virtually any angle. The SKIL hammer drill is capable of producing holes up to half an inch in diameter.
The budget model isn’t designed for heavy or constant use, and the motor isn’t shielded. If you need constant use, this model won’t last very long as the transmission and motor can overheat.
With seven amps of power, though, home use will allow the hammer drill to do its job without fail.
The three jaw chuck allows you to use any drill bit needed, though tougher materials that may require an SDS bit should be used with caution.
When looking for the perfect hammer drill, there are several factors to think about. The first of which will usually always be the budget. Though most of the hammer drills on this list are comparable in price, you may find that a less expensive one will do the job you require of it.
Aside from price, you will need to decide if you are looking for a corded, cordless or rotary hammer drill. Rotary hammers are superb at drilling through masonry. They have a piston behind the bit that creates massive air pressure to provide the pounding force behind it.
Rotary hammer drills also have three main settings that include drilling only, hammer drill or hammer only. Being able to select between the three opens up the type of jobs they can do.
Standard hammer drills use grooved discs to create the pounding force. Twin discs rotate with their groves causing them to lift and collide as the drill rotates. With a standard hammer drill, you can turn the disc rotation off, creating a drill only feature, though you cannot use the disc's rotation without the drill rotating, so there is no hammer only mode.
You will also need to decide if you want a battery operated model or a corded model. Corded models usually have the most power and can provide better control when drilling through concrete.
Battery powered models, though, aren’t far behind in the power department and offer a broader range of motion, since you aren’t limited to cords and power supplies. Of course, you will need to ensure the battery is charged or purchase a spare to have on standby.
You will also need to select your drill bits carefully. The bits must be rated for hammer drilling and for masonry and concrete work. If the drill bits are not designed for hammer drill usage, they will snap in half during use, causing you to do more work as well as potentially having dangerous conditions with flying metal pieces.
You also need to look for such aspects as motor speed, rotations per minute and trigger locks.
You may need more power for heavier, constant work, while a smaller motor and fewer rotations will work for most home based jobs.
In a commercial setting, it is important to have trigger locks that prevent the drill from activating until you are in place with a secure grip on the machine. You should also look for interchangeable T-handles that allow you to operate the drill left or right handed.
Hammer drills make masonry and concrete drilling easier and less intrusive than trying to drill through concrete repeatedly with a standard drill. Using a hand-held drill with a standard masonry bit may produce the hole you desire, but it will take longer and can potentially break the device.
Which hammer drill you purchase is a decision only you can make. Based on your needs, the amount of use and type of materials you will be drilling in. Some hammer drills will work better than others for certain tasks.
It is up to you to decide exactly what you need the hammer drill for, what features you desire and finding the best hammer drills for the needs. Choosing your next hammer drill from this list will ensure that you have a quality hammer drill and can complete your projects quickly and efficiently.