The best hammer drills on the market: our selection

By | November 1, 2021

While you may have occasionally used the traditional version, you may not know what a hammer drill is, as it is not used much in everyday DIY. However, you may have also used a drill and found that it was not powerful enough to drill into a wall or some even more solid material. Probably, it happened precisely because you didn’t have a percussion model.

There are in fact different types of drills and, obviously, each one has a function or characteristic that distinguishes it or makes it particularly suitable for specific tasks. The hammer drill is no exception – it’s a sturdy, high-powered tool that will make some of your hard surface operations much easier to complete.

  • Percussion drills are tools generally suitable for DIY, for housework and, at times, even for slightly more complex operations. Buying one of these drills will not cost you much, because they are not the most powerful but are still sufficient for “normal” uses.
  • As with any type of tool, and as we have already mentioned, there are different types of drills. In this guide we have decided to make a brief comparison between the different models, taking a cue from the essential characteristics and functions of each.
  • To make the best choice regarding the purchase of the hammer drill that best suits your needs, you must at least know the most important purchase criteria. Essentially, you have to pay close attention to power, speed, safety, and the depth gauge.

The best hammer drills on the market: our selection

We know that the world of tools is not easy for those who have never needed to use them. To learn more about percussion drills, in this section we have prepared a small list with the products currently most appreciated and purchased on the Italian market.

  1. Tacklife PID01A
  2. Bosch Professional 0601217100
  3. Makita HR2470
  4. BLACK + DECKER BDCHD18K
  5. Meterk KK104-13

Tacklife PID01A

At the top of the ranking we present a truly complete adjustable speed drill in every respect. With a power of 710W, it works as both a drill and a hammer. It is equipped with a cable, lock button, depth gauge and keyed chuck. Packed with accessories, it allows you to drill many different materials.

According to buyers, what sets Tacklife apart from other brands is the unbeatable value for money of its products. This drill is no exception, also very popular for the many accessories included: 3 bits for stone, 3 for metals, 1 chisel for wood and 5 hole saws. It is a powerful drill suitable for a variety of jobs.

Bosch Professional 0601217100

Bosch Professional 35992 GSB 13 RE Percussion Drill, Including 210 mm Depth Rod, 13 mm Keyless Chuck, Carton Pack, 600 W, 230 V

It is an extremely light and handy yet powerful (600 W) impact drill. Equipped with cable and keyless chuck, it is perfect for drilling concrete, wood, steel and masonry. The comfortable and ergonomic Softgrip coating allows easy use even with one hand. Does not include accessories.

The keyless chuck is one of the most appreciated features of this drill, as it allows you to change bits easily and quickly. Especially for beginners, the included additional handle is particularly useful. You can adjust the speed according to the type of work to be done.

Makita HR2470

Makita HR2470 Rotary hammer

Definitely very powerful (780 W), this drill – equipped with a cable like the previous ones – has three functions: rotation and rotation with impact for bricks, concrete and stone, and only percussion for wood, metal, ceramic and plastic. It is equipped with a trigger switch that allows you to reverse the direction of rotation.

Those who have purchased this product are fully satisfied above all with its extreme power. Ideal for both do-it-yourself and more professional jobs, it is also complete with a practical case for transport and storage. The handle is comfortable and the materials are sturdy.

BLACK + DECKER BDCHD18K

BLACK + DECKER Impact Cordless Drill Driver, 1 Lithium Battery, with 2 mechanical speeds, 18V, BDCHD18K-QW

It is the only product on our list to be powered by a rechargeable lithium battery (18 V – 1.5 Ah), with a power of 18 W and equipped with two speeds, high for drilling and low for screwing. The soft non-slip handle allows you to work ensuring maximum comfort. It is equipped with LED light to work even in the dark.

Buyers recommend this drill for home and non-professional use. It is practical and light and the battery is long lasting (about 4 hours). However, the package does not include accessories, except a case and the charger, so you need to buy the tips separately. Some buyers report imperfect spindle alignment.

Meterk KK104-13

Impact Drill, Meterk 850w 3000 RPM Electric Drill, Hammer Drill Works 2 IN 1, Impact Drill, Depth Adjuster and Keyless Chuck, Extra Adjustable Handle

Finally, we present the absolute most powerful drill in the ranking (850 W), equipped with cable, depth gauge, variable speed, lock button and keyless chuck. Ideal both as a normal drill (steel, ceramic) and hammer drill (concrete) Compact and ergonomic, it is also perfect for extracting screws.

According to reviews, it is a cheap but very good drill. The keyless chuck allows you to easily attach the tips (to be purchased separately, because the package includes only a second handle and depth ruler). Effectively reduces vibrations and punches with precision.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about hammer drills

Going a little more into the subject, we have prepared a section with answers to the most frequently asked questions among future buyers of a hammer drill. As we said, buying a tool when you don’t know it can be really boring, as well as difficult. Answering the most common doubts, we will try to help you understand us a little more.

What are impact drills and what are they used for?

The hammer drill is an increasingly popular tool in toolboxes, due to its ability to drill extremely hard surfaces. It is usually used when extreme force is required.

Compared to normal drills, impact drills are also much more durable and do their job more easily and quickly. Technically speaking, any drill that uses a mechanical hammer drill motion is considered a hammer drill.

 

With their rotating action and at the same time acting like a hammer, these drills are ideal for drilling tougher surfaces than those that can be drilled by normal drills, for example masonry and rocks. Percussion drills are therefore very powerful tools and, generally, allow you to use different bits, depending on the work to be done.

What types of drills are there?

The family of drills is quite wide, as there are different types of these tools, which can be classified into an infinite number of categories. However, we will focus on power-driven and portable drills, as percussion drills fall into these categories. Thus, we can say that there are three main types of drills:

    • Common drill
    • Percussion drill
    • Hammer drill

 

Usually, buyers tend to get confused between the three types, as they are very similar in shape, size and function. Add to this the fact that, in some cases, manufacturers add additional features that add to the confusion. For example, some hammer drills can be used as regular drills, or a hammer drill can also function as a hammer drill.

What are the main features of regular drill, hammer drill and hammer drill?

Therefore, given the great confusion faced by those who want to buy a drill, we believe it is important to highlight the distinctions between normal drill, hammer drill and hammer drill. Since their appearance is very similar, anyone who has never had the opportunity to work with these tools is likely to get confused easily. So here is an explanatory table.

 

Normal drill Percussion drill Hammer drill
Power Moderate. Strong. Very strong.
Ideal for Wood. Masonry and stone. Concrete.
Uses Domestic and light. Domestic and semi-professional. Professional and heavy.
Rotation speed Up to 3,500 rpm. Up to 3,500 rpm. Up to 1,500 rpm.
Strokes per minute Up to 50,000 ipm. Up to 50,000 ipm. Up to 4,000 ipm.
Spindle Normal, with or without key. Normal, with or without key. SDS type.
Weight Light. Moderate. Moderate to heavy.
Price Bass. Moderate. Tall.

Which drill is right for you will essentially depend on the surfaces or materials you plan to use it on. So, if you are sure that you will only have to drill in wood, a normal drill will be the most suitable, but if you want to drill into masonry, buy a hammer drill. Finally, if you plan to drill into concrete, you have no choice but to opt for the hammer drill.

What are the differences between a hammer drill and a rotary hammer?

The hammer drill and the rotary hammer, at first glance, are very similar indeed, although the rotary hammer is generally a little larger and sturdier. The big difference between the two tools can be seen in the way they work.

    • Hammer Drill: Features two fluted discs that resemble the shape of a poker chip. When one disc slides over the other, it rises and falls, pushing the tip back and forth. If the spindle has no force, the discs will remain separated by the friction and the action of the blow will stop.
    • Hammer hammer: the blows are generated by a piston driven by a crankshaft. The piston moves in a cylinder and, when pushed forward, compresses the air, causing the hammer to move. Hammers allow greater impact energy than hammer drills, are more durable and are the favorite tools of professionals.
    • Another great advantage of rotary hammers is that, for the most part, they have three configurations: percussion, rotation plus percussion or rotation only, so they can function like a mini pneumatic hammer. Obviously, a hammer is more expensive than a hammer drill, but we’ll talk about that later.

 

What should I pay attention to when maintaining my hammer drill?

Hammer drills and, in general, any other tool, require fundamental care in order to continue to function properly and extend their useful life. The maintenance of these devices must be periodic, even better if done before and after each use. We have prepared a list of useful tips for you:

    • Do not exert too much pressure and let the tool do its work by itself, without forcing.
    • The material you drill will determine the type of drill to use.
    • Remove dirt and debris that remain where the bit enters the drill to avoid malfunctions and jams.
    • Lubricate the drill shaft every time you change it to avoid premature spindle wear.
    • Use manufacturer-recommended lubricants and follow weight and viscosity guidelines.
    • Find out about the meaning of the LED lights on your instrument (if any) and follow the maintenance instructions recommended in the instruction booklet.
    • Always store the drill and bits in their clean case after use.

 

What safety measures should I take when using a hammer drill?

When using powerful tools, the possibility of more or less serious accidents can occur if you are not able to handle them more than well. The hammer drill is no exception. Even if its use is rather “simple”, you still have to take some basic precautions, as we explain in the following list.

    • Use eye protection: It may seem obvious, but using eye protection is something a surprising number of people don’t do. Eye protection can prevent various materials from entering them, causing serious disturbances. It can also be helpful to have a dust mask, as masonry dust is not exactly pleasant to breathe.
    • Apply the correct pressure: Using a hammer drill is pretty simple, but it is important to find a balance with the pressure you will apply. Exercising too much can damage the motor and tip. Also make sure you use good quality carbide tips for maximum strength and durability.
    • Observe your surroundings: Before you start drilling, make sure there is nothing in the area you want to drill. For example, cables, wires and pipes could be particularly problematic. If you don’t want to have any nasty surprises, you have to be sure that the only thing you will drill is brickwork.

 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of impact drills?

Many wonder if it is really worth buying a hammer drill instead of a regular drill. This will depend on the advantages and disadvantages of this tool based on how you plan to use it. So, be sure to weigh them both against the following table.

Advantages
  • Provides considerable power
  • Ideal for heavy work
  • Easily pierces masonry and rock
  • More versatility
  • Greater strength and durability
Disadvantages
  • Larger dimensions
  • Considerable weight
  • Higher price

Purchase criteria

The more powerful, specific and expensive a tool is, the more analysis is required to make the correct purchase. Choosing a hammer drill is not easy, as there are numerous factors to consider, such as the type of power supply (with or without cable) or the presence or absence of a depth gauge. We explain everything to you in this section.

  • Power
  • Adjustable speed
  • Safety
  • Chuck with or without key
  • Depth gauge and limiter
  • Supply
  • Accessories included

Power

The power of the drill defines how quickly the hammer drill can do its job. To drill solid materials such as concrete or stone, it is essential to have a powerful motor that does not reduce the number of rotations encountering resistance in the material to be drilled. For home use, a 650 watt motor may be sufficient. For concrete, a more powerful motor is recommended, from 850 watts onwards.

 

Adjustable speed

The adjustable speed is a very useful feature, because it allows you to have more control over the drill. This means that he can be much more precise in his work, so as to obtain better results. Having different speeds also allows you to use the drill for a wider range of jobs.

This feature, coupled with the fact that many drills accept different types of bits and can also drill into wood and metal, makes the tool even more useful. All you have to do is select the most suitable tip and increase or decrease the revolutions per minute (rpm). However, you must do this carefully to avoid damaging the tool or material.

Safety

Safety criteria are of vital importance, especially when using a powerful tool such as a hammer drill. One of the most common safety (and convenience) features is the presence of two levers and a locking button.

The best impact drills also have handles that are not only ergonomic, but also allow for a comfortable grip and are equipped with shock absorption technology. This is especially important in cord-powered drills, as they are particularly powerful.

Chuck with or without key

Although many drills today feature keyless chucks for quick and easy bit change, it is recommended that a hammer drill be equipped with one. Being able to manually tighten the chuck means you feel more confident that the bit will stay firmly in place, even with all the twists and kickbacks of the drill in action.

Depth gauge and limiter

This handy feature measures the depth of the hole, which certainly helps to drill more precisely and consistently. If you have to drill a lot of holes at a particular depth, a depth gauge can make your life easier. It can also help you work more efficiently and without the risk of making mistakes.

Supply

While power is undoubtedly a key feature, nutrition is just as important. For home or light use, cordless hammer drills are much more functional. In fact, they offer great versatility and portability that a corded drill simply cannot match.

Being able to move without being hampered by a long cable and reach hard-to-reach areas is very useful, but it must be taken into account that a corded hammer drill offers more revolutions per minute (rpm), therefore more power. This means that you will be able to complete difficult work much faster.

Accessories included

Of course, the accessories included in the hammer drill package do not directly affect its quality. However, keep in mind that the more accessories are provided the better it will be for you, otherwise you risk having to buy them separately.

Among these elements, the presence of a good case in which to store the drill is essential. Generally, it is included with all drills of good quality brands and is also very useful for being able to store bits, keys, batteries, and more in the best way.

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