If you always need to drill through hard materials such as concrete, brick or wood, a hammer drill is a perfect tool for the job. A hammer drill is a powerful tool used to perform small and heavy-duty drilling projects. It takes less time and effort to do more work compared to a power drill.
Thanks to powerful motors and rapid hammer action, this tool can drill through everything you encounter in your professional and DIY projects. The only problem is that many people don’t know the best hammer drill that suits their needs.
This hammer drill review focuses on corded and cordless hammer drills in different sections. The reviews cover everything you need to know about the top hammer drills on the market. There is also a comprehensive buying guide that shows you everything you need to consider before choosing a drill. Plus, we cover how to operate the tool, important features and more. We will be reviewing the top products in the market separately as Cordless Hammer Drills and Corded Hammer Drills.
Cordless hammer drills run on battery. For many DIYers, a cordless hammer drill is a go-to tool for a variety of materials. The tool is mobile, consistent, and delivers a powerful performance. However, batteries run down, and this makes the cordless hammer drill unsuitable for many professionals. If your projects require working on the move, a cordless hammer drill is an excellent piece of gear in your workshop.
1. DEWALT DCK299D1T1 FLEXVOLT Combo Kit
The DEWALT DCK299D1T1 FLEXVOLT Combo Kit takes cordless to another level. It is powered by DEWALT’s groundbreaking Dcb606 20V/60V MAX* FLEXVOLT 6.0 Ah/2.0 Ah Lithium-Ion battery. This battery automatically changes voltage when you switch tools, so you can get more done on one charge.
This capable hammer drill comes with 3-speed, a high-performance all-metal transmission that allows you to adjust the motor based on project demands. The DCF887 20V MAX* 1/4″ impact Driver produces 1,825 in-lbs. of torque, producing a maximum of 0-3600 impacts per minute. A 360-degree side handle allows for multiple-hand positions for improved handling and operator comfort.
Whether you are drilling concrete, metal or brick, this combo kit provides all the tools you need to get the job done efficiently. The innovative self-regulating battery is a game-changer. With this battery, you can power DEWALT tools rated 60V and 120V.
2. Milwaukee 2704-20 M18 FUEL 1/2″ Hammer Drill/Driver
This powerful hammer drill from Milwaukee features an innovative POWERSTATE brushless motor that produces 1200 in-lbs. of maximum torque. The motor moves at 2000 rpm for faster drilling speeds ideal for masonry and other hard materials. REDLINK PLUS Intelligence protects the tool and battery from overheating and overloading to ensure longevity. The tool is powered by an 18V RED-LITHIUM battery that delivers more work per charge (not included).
Weighing only 3.4 pounds, the Milwaukee 2704-20 M18 FUEL 1/2″ Hammer Drill/Driver is easy to handle and lowers operator fatigue. The variable chuck offers excellent versatility while the motor delivers enough power to handle heavy-duty jobs. From the ergonomic design, variable speed to the quality materials, this hammer drill is an all-around winner. If you need a reliable and long-lasting cordless hammer drill, the Milwaukee 2704 is a great choice.
3. Makita XPH07Z 18V LXT Cordless 1/2″ Hammer Driver-Drill
In the innovative tradition of Makita, the XPH07Z cordless hammer drill combines engineering creativity with brute force. The drill is powered by an 18V LXT Lithium-ion battery for longer run-time. It features a brushless motor that delivers 1,090 in.-lbs. of peak torque for optimal drilling. It features an ergonomic design and weighs only 5.9 pounds with the battery for enhanced control and handling.
The XPH07Z comes with an all-metal variable 2-speed transmission that makes it a versatile tool for a variety of projects. A 3-stage LED gauge indicator helps you monitor the battery level so you don’t run out of power suddenly. There is also a side handle that improves handling and allows you to exert more pressure on the work surface. The Makita XPH07Z offers impressive drilling power in heavy-duty conditions. It delivers a longer run-time, and impressive versatility to help you do more with less exertion.
4. DEWALT DCD996B Lithium-Ion Brushless 3-Speed Hammer Drill
The DEWALT DCD996B is a popular tool among professionals and DIYers. Its brushless motor provides enhanced performance for longer run-time and longevity. It sports a 3-speed all-metal high-performance variable transmission that runs at 0-38, 250 BPM, and 2,250 rpm for a wide range of applications and increased efficiency. A 3-mode LED light provides illumination in dim and confined working conditions.
Built for heavy-duty tasks, the DEWALT DCD996B comes with 1/2″ ratcheting nitro-carburized metal chuck with carbide inserts for enhanced bit gripping strength. This power tool features an ergonomic design and weighs only 4.7 pounds. The comfortable grip enhances operator comfort and sealed and coated switches protect the machine from dust and moisture.
The DEWALT DCD996B is fast, durable, and delivers a powerful performance in every work environment. It is reliable, and worth every dime.
5. Milwaukee 2404-20 M12 Fuel 1/2 Hammer Drill
The M12 from Milwaukee is a lightweight but powerful 12V battery-powered hammer drill. While you need a firm grip to use this tool, it never disappoints when you need to make small holes.
For electricians and DIYers who need to make 1/4″ holes in concrete and wood, this tool performs with finesse. It is easy to handle, delivers a long run-time, and the weight allows for greater flexibility and comfort.
The 1/2″ chuck is impressive and produces almost no runout. It is a perfect alternative to 18v tools as it can handle most jobs the heavier drills can do although it might take longer. Whether you are installing cabinets or drilling holes through metal, you will find this drill a wonderful home improvement tool. The Milwaukee M12 Fuel combines the sleek operation of a power drill with the ruggedness of a hammer tool.
6. PORTER-CABLE PCC620B 20V MAX Lithium-Ion Hammer Drill
The PORTER CABLE PCC620B comes in a beautiful design with durable construction. It features a high-performance motor that delivers an impressive cutting force to handle any scope of heavy-duty work. The PCC620B features a 2-speed transmission (0-400/0-1600 RPMs) which allows for optimal motor and battery efficiency. There is also a 1/2″ metal ratcheting chuck with 23 clutch settings which gives unprecedented versatility.
The PCC620B features an ergonomic design with comfortable and firm grips. It is powered by a long-lasting 20V Lithium-ion battery for extended run-time. An LED light lights up your work surface in confined and low-visibility conditions. The drill also comes with a battery gauge display which allows you to monitor the power level.
This power tool is versatile and perfect for masonry, concrete, and metal drilling jobs.
Unlike the cordless version, corded hammer drills need a power outlet to work. These tools deliver an astonishing drilling performance and don’t suffer from power inconsistency. Corded hammer drills are the preferred models for professionals.
1. DEWALT DWD520K 1/2-Inch VSR Pistol Grip Hammer Drill Kit
The DEWALT DWD520K is a versatile and easy-to-use hammer drill for professional and DIY applications. This tool comes with a 10.0 Amp motor which offers optimal overload protection for increased longevity. For enhanced flexibility, the drill has hammer drill/drill dual-mode, making it a versatile tool for drilling holes into masonry, steel, wood, and other hard materials.
A 2-speed transmission allows you to switch speeds and torque levels according to the job requirements. The DWD520K features an ergonomic design complete with a soft grip handle and two-finger trigger to maximize comfort and control.
There is a 360-degree locking side handle with a soft grip for improved control and versatility. The metal casing increases reliability and job site survivability. This tool weighs only 6 pounds and a mere 14 inches long, allowing you to work with a minimal hand and wrist fatigue. The DWD520K comes with a patented DEWALT technology and is backed by a limited three-year warranty.
2. DEWALT DWE5010 1/2-Inch Single Speed Hammer Drill
This hammer drill from DEWALT comes with a 7.0 Amp motor that delivers An impressive performance and optimal overload protection. The dual-mode tool switches seamlessly from hammer drill to standard drill to handle a wide range of tasks. It offers a variable speed transmission that allows for more accuracy, increased motor life, and durability. A 360-degree side handle with depth rod delivers increased control, versatility, and improved drilling accuracy.
The DEWALT DWE5010 has a compact and ergonomic design for improved operator comfort and versatility. It weighs only 5.4 pounds and is wrapped in durable materials for extended durability in rough job sites. While this drill does not come with advanced features, it gets the job done fast and easy. If you need an affordable hammer drill that delivers like the top hitters, the DWE5010 delivers a ton of value for its price.
3. SKIL 6445-04 7.0 Amp 1/2 In. Hammer Drill
The 6445-04 hammer drill from SKIL comes with a powerful 7.0 Amp motor that delivers an exceptional drilling force in a variety of materials. It weighs only 5.5 pounds. Its ergonomic design increases operator comfort and allows for long drilling tasks. You can adjust the motor speed to suit the project requirements with the variable speed trigger, increasing motor durability and longevity. The tool comes with a 2-finger trigger to reduce fatigue. A lock-on feature allows you more control and increases efficiency.
This SKIL hammer/drill combo features a 1/2-in keyed chuck that allows it to accept a wide range of bits. This means the drill is versatile enough to use bits for concrete, metal, brick and woodworking tasks. A side assist handle provides improved handling and accuracy. The compact body makes working with this drill convenient and flexible.
4. Meterk 7.0 Amp 1/2 Inch Corded Hammer & Impact Drill
The Meterk 7.0 comes with an innovative electric and impact drill dual mode. The dual-mode allows you to switch function according to the task, increasing efficiency. The drill features a non-slip adjustable speed impact drill with a speed of 3000 rpm.
The Meterk 7.0 is driven by a powerful 7.0 Amp pre copper motor that delivers an impressive cutting power. A lock button allows you to maintain a constant speed without depressing the trigger for increased operator comfort. The tool provides an easy and convenient operation with its adjustable and detachable side handle.
This drill delivers enough power to handle drilling and chipping on masonry, concrete, metal, wood, and others. One impressive feature of this tool is it’s forward and reverse switch that automatically locks the spindle. The function allows for safer and easier operation of the drill. You can use the tool as a screw extractor.
5. TACKLIFE Advanced Hammer Drill 1/2In. 2800Rpm Corded Drill Hammer
The TACKLIFE Advanced Hammer Drill is perfect for small and large drilling projects. With a dual hammer and drill function, this versatile tool allows you to get the job done quickly regardless of the material. It can handle masonry, concrete, metal, wood drilling projects with ease.
The variable speed trigger allows you to set the motor to a specific speed between 0-2800 rpm for different applications. There is also a forward and reverse switch for removing and tightening screws. The lock-on button helps improve operator comfort and reduce fatigue.
The Advanced Hammer comes with a 360-degree rotating side handle for optimal control and versatility. With a compact design and a soft, firm grip, this tool offers convenient handling and increased accuracy. It sports a sturdy metal chuck for seamless drill swaps. Included in the kit are 7psc different size drill bits for a variety of materials and application.
6. Ingersoll Rand Air Hammer 114GQC
This Ingersoll Rand air hammer uses compressed air to deliver a heavy punch. The tool produces 2-5/8-ich stroke and 3,500 blows per minute, enough to cut through metal and other hard materials. Handy and lightweight, this pneumatic hammer is excellent for cutting panels, scraping and chipping hard surfaces. It is also ideal for fixing exhaust systems and general repairs. It comes with a quick-change retainer that allows for quick chisel swaps.
Designed for heavy-duty applications, the 114GCQ features an alloyed steel barrel and heat-treated piston for excellent durability and longevity. It sports an award-winning ergonomic grip that delivers greater comfort and control during operation. This tool is compact, lightweight and durable. Other features include a professional touch trigger, in-built power regulator and a diffused exhaust at the end of the handle. If you need an air hammer that offers professional accuracy, safety and comfort, the 114GCQ from Ingersoll Rand is a worthy candidate.
Hammer Drill Buying Guide
Are you looking to buy a hammer drill? There are several factors to consider before choosing a particular hammer drill. The power source, price, size, and features are things that can make a difference.
7 Important Considerations When Buying a Hammer Drill
The power source is an important factor when shopping for a hammer drill. Hammer drills can be electric, gas or pneumatic.
Electrical Hammer Drills
Electricity powers this type of drill. The tool can either be corded electric or cordless. Corded hammer drills sport long power cables you connect to the mains. These types offer immense cutting power and can work continuously with no downtime. However, they cannot be used in a place without an electrical outlet such as off-site projects.
Batteries power cordless drills. The battery can be Lithium-ion, Nickel-Cadmium or alkaline cells. However, the best batteries are the Li-ion types. Battery-powered drills are portable, mobile and also powerful. However, they stop working when the battery runs down.
Pneumatic Hammer Drills
Gas-powered or pneumatic hammer drills derive their drilling force from compressed air. They are powerful but are not as common as the electric versions. These types of drills are used for specialized tasks such as cutting and chipping metals.
Electro-Pneumatic Hammer Drills
This hammer drill uses an electro-pneumatic mechanism that includes a drive piston and flying piston. An electric motor turns the motor which then moves the drive piston in a cylinder. The moving piston builds up pressure in the EP cylinder to create a hammering effect in the flying piston.
Hammer drills can be expensive, especially if you go for a model with advanced features. Before choosing a hammer drill, ask yourself whether you need all the features that come with the type. If a simple and affordable model is enough for your needs, don’t buy a bigger version.
If you are a professional who performs heavy-duty drilling jobs consistently, you will get maxim value in an expensive and advanced hammer drill. However, DIYers and homeowners who only use their tool occasionally should get a less priced but capable alternative.
Hammer drills usually have motors rated 9 volts to 20 volts or 7 amps to 10 amps and higher. Most DIYs don’t need more than 12vs for their small drilling tasks. Professionals who tackle hard surfaces such as in masonry, concrete, and metal works use 18v hammer drills.
Consider the materials you will work on with the drill and buy a model that provides the capabilities you need. You also need to decide whether to buy a brushless or brushed drill. Manufacturers claim the newer brushless motors are more efficient and durable than brushed motors.
The size of a hammer drill is a function of the type of work it can do. Professionals who handle heavy-duty drillings such as concrete and masonry buy large, high-speed hammer drills. While these tools are powerful, they are heavier and difficult to control.
As a DIYer, you need something versatile and compact you can use with increased accuracy and comfort. Only light and smaller sized hammer drill can deliver such capabilities. If you compare a hammer drill vs impact driver, you may find out what you need is not a hammer drill. Our impact driver reviews provide in-depth information on how to select a perfect model for your needs.
The Most Important Hammer Drill Features and Specifications
Hammer drills offer a variety of features to make operation easier. Many of these features are standard but it’s advisable to double-check. If you are in the hunt for a new hammer drill, the following features will increase the efficiency of your purchase.
The chuck size is usually a function of a drill’s power and versatility. The size of the chuck determines the size of drill bits you can use with the tool. Most drills feature either a 1/2-in or 3/8-in chuck. If you plan to use bits with wider shanks, it is important to buy a hammer drill with a bigger chuck. Also, the chuck size shows how powerful the drill is; the bigger the chuck, the more powerful the drill.
Dual Drilling Modes
If you don’t need a dedicated hammer drill for heavy-duty tasks, it is advisable to go for a drill that offers standard drilling and hammer drilling. That way, you can use the tool to drill into wood and plastic and still be able to use it for masonry-level projects.
Look for a hammer drill with a brushless motor. Brushless motors adjust the amount of power according to the job requirement. This helps to reduce friction, increase efficiency and improve the motor’s longevity. Manufacturers also back brushless motors with longer warranties because they have higher confidence in the technology.
When you are drilling wood or metal, speed control allows you to adjust the motor’s output to the demands of the task. Jobs that require higher cutting power such as masonry may not enjoy this feature. But it is essential if you plan to use the tool as a standard drill.
If you are buying a cordless hammer drill, go for one with Lithium-ion batteries. Lithium-ion batteries last longer than nickel-cadmium types and deliver consistent power for longer. Li-ion batteries don’t self-discharge and the rate of memory loss is almost non-existent. The only downside is that Lithium-ion batteries are expensive, but they are more reliable than other battery types.
It is better to buy a hammer drill with ergonomic designs. Look for drills that sport a soft, firm grip, adjustable side handle, and a compact size. Lock-on option and two-finger trigger controls also make operation smoother and reduce operator fatigue.
Things like a built-in LED, hard-sided cases, belt clips, and safety features will increase the usefulness of your drill. The LED is an excellent add-on when you need to work at night or in tight spaces.
Hammer Drills According to Their Power Sources
There are two types of electric hammer drills including the corded and cordless. Both versions of the tool are readily available on the market but have different applications.
Corded Hammer Drill
A corded hammer drill is the ultimate drilling tool for professionals. It comes with an electrical cable that allows for continuous drilling on a variety of materials. There is no downtime when using a corded hammer drill as long as you have the correct drill bits. Corded versions are ideal for workshop use but perform badly when you need mobility.
- Consistent performance
- Powerful motor
- Lightweight and easy to use
- Can’t work without a source of power
- The length of the power cord limits mobility and portability
Cordless Hammer Drills
Cordless hammer drills offer versatility, mobility, and portability. They are the preferred tool for DIYers and tradespeople who need to move around or work in remote areas. The only issue with cordless models is the downtime you experience when the battery runs out of power. If you only do occasional drilling, a cordless hammer drill is perfect for your needs. If you wish to own a cordless drill, you can buy a spare battery to reduce run-time. When one battery is out of power, swap with a charged one and continue working.
- Offers mobility
- Suffers extensive downtime, particularly if you don’t have a spare battery
- Heavier because of the battery, making control and accuracy lower
- Can be more expensive compared to corded versions.
Features of the Best Concrete Hammer Drill
Concrete hammer drills are actually rotary hammers. A rotary hammer is a powerful hammer drill that works with an electro-pneumatic mechanism. This hammer drill is a heavy-duty tool for drilling into hard and dense materials like concrete and masonry. When you compare a rotary hammer vs hammer drill, the former may be the better tool for your needs. Check out our post for a detailed review of the best rotary hammer drills.
Here are 7 key features of top hammer drills for concrete drilling tasks.
- Drive Mechanism: Concrete hammer drills work with an electro-pneumatic drive which delivers immense hammering action on the work surface.
- Power: These tools are usually corded electric. The electric motor produces the pneumatic action that delivers the drilling blow.
- Size: Concrete drills are heavier and bigger compared to standard drills.
- Tool Holder: These tools use the SDS chuck, which is usually a three-part assemblage that holds the bit firmly at the drilling end.
- Mode: Concrete drills have three modes including Drill, Hammer Drill and Hammer Only. In some models, the drill can only perform as a hammer.
- Uses: It is used for heavy-duty tasks such as masonry, drilling concrete, and as a jackhammer.
- Used by: This is a purely professional-level tool.
Hammer Drill Attachments
Hammer drills have several attachments to make your work easier and faster. Below are attachments to enhance the use of your drill.
Drill bits of different sizes and shapes for a variety of materials and functions.
- Self-centering hinge bits: This attachment increase your accuracy and speed when drilling centered holes.
- Rotary Rasp: A rotary rasp is an excellent tool for grinding off extra wood. It is perfect for shaping or widening holes in plastic and wood.
- Drywall Bit: A drywall bit is an ideal tool when you need to make holes in drywall. It offers the correct depth without damaging the material.
- Magnetic bits and bit holder: This is useful when you are driving screws with your drill. It prevents the screws from falling off, making your work faster.
How to Use a Hammer Drill in 7 Steps
Using a hammer drill is simple. But first, you need to know the fundamentals and follow safety precautions. Get your safety glasses and wear hearing protection if your tool is a noisemaker. Below is a step-by-step guide to using a hammer drill.
- Measurement: Use the right bit size for the measurement of the hole you want to drill. To reduce error, drill a pilot hole if you are making a bigger hole.
- Choose the correct bit: A wood bit won’t drill into a concrete wall. Always work on each material with the correct bit.
- Bit attachment: Fit the bit tightly into the chuck.
- Measure the whole depth: This is easier if your tool comes with a depth stopper. Otherwise, mark the depth of the hole on the bit with masking tape.
- Power your drill: Choose a suitable and safe outlet to plug your drill. Use your safety equipment.
- Position your drill: Now, position the bit on the spot you want to drill. All you need to do is apply minimal pressure on the bit and it will do the rest.
- Remove the dust: The drilling will produce debris and dust. Reverse the bit movement to get rid of all the dust.
Want to know how to buy a drill press? Our helpful drill press buying guide will tell you what to look for when it comes to selecting the best one.
- Can a hammer drill be used as a regular drill?
Yes, but you need to buy a model that has a dual-mode function. The dual-mode allows you to switch between hammer drilling and standard drilling.
- Are the bits of a hammer drill interchangeable?
Drill bits are material-specific. You need to buy different bits for each material you work on.
- Is a rotary hammer the same as a hammer drill?
A rotary hammer is a more powerful type of hammer drill. It is used for heavy-duty tasks such as concrete drilling.
- Is the variable speed an important feature?
If you work on a lot of wood and other light materials, adjustable speed is an important feature. Not only does it make your work easier, but it conserves power if you are using a cordless drill and increases motor life.
There are different types of drills on the market today. Find which one best suits your needs!
The best hammer drills offer immense cutting power, variable speed, a big chuck size, and ergonomic construction. Before you buy a hammer drill, outline the features you want in the tool, and go for the right size.
If you are buying a drill for DIY and private use, a cordless model, preferably powered by a Lithium-ion battery makes sense. Professionals who work on heavy commercial projects will find the best value in high quality corded hammer drills.
We hope our hammer drill reviews will help you make an excellent choice when you go shopping. There is an abundance of hammer drills from different manufacturers. Every brand claims its models are the best but do they satisfy your requirements? You don’t have to buy an expensive or innovative drill-all that matters is for the tool to have the capabilities you desire.