What Is A Hammer Drill

Are you looking for a drilling tool that you can use in your home? Please have a look at my article on what is a hammer drill.

You might want to hang a television on the wall or put up some Christmas decorations on the door. You will need the use of a hammer drill to perform such actions.

Sometimes, you might also want to make changes or renovate your house. The hammer drill is a powerful, handy tool that makes holes into concrete and even wood easy.

However, let’s now look into its meaning.

Hammer Drill Explained

Hammer Drill Explained

First, a drill is a tool that boreholes into a platform or material. It is also a tool that drives fasteners like screws, bolts, washers, and nuts.

Hence, a hammer drill is a type of drill that makes holes into hard materials which regular types cannot make a hole. Also, it is a type of rotary hammer that has both impact and percussive mechanisms.

By impact mechanism, it means that it generates a hammering motion. A hammering motion is a movement of the hammer at its striking capacity.

Also, the percussive mechanism implies that it provides quicker drilling with less effort. It does this by producing a rapid succession of hammer thrusts to grind the material that needs drilling.

Again, it can also carry out tasks like screw-driving, just like the regular drill. Moreover, this type of drill can make holes into materials like bricks, stones, tiles, lightweight concrete, and even woods.

Meanwhile, it is an advanced form of a regular drill. In terms of technology, it has also advanced to cordless type.

However, a hammer drill can also be called a percussion drill or an impact drill.

Types of Hammer Drill

Types of Hammer Drill

There are two types of hammer drills: regular and rotary hammer drills. Although, both the regular and the rotary hammer drills perform slightly different roles.

Regular Hammer drill

The regular hammer drill uses a percussion power system where a series of gear interact with each other. Thus, it can easily grind into hard materials like concrete or bricks.

It is the best for a handyperson or a Do It Yourself (DIY) work. Moreover, it is further divided into two; corded and cordless hammer drill.


This type works by plugging it into a power source to carry out any task. This type is usually more powerful compared to the cordless type.

Since it is connected to a power source, it allows the corded type to have a higher revolution per minute (RPM). Therefore, it also gives it more power to carry out the task well.

Moreover, it has less weight and is less expensive than the corded type. However, the corded type lacks mobility.

This is because the cord has a distance limit. Hence, it may require a cord extension or a lot of available power outlets to plug the device.


This type makes use of an internal battery that requires charging it. Compared to the corded type, this type is convenient to carry out tasks.

The cordless type is very portable, and it is easy to move around with it. This serves as a benefit when working on a large site.

However, since it runs on battery power, there are limits to the task it can perform. Also, it will not be able to provide much power for a long time, unlike the corded type.


This type makes use of the electro-pneumatic (EP) power system. The EP powers it using a mixture of electricity and pressurized air.

Hence, the rotary type is more powerful than the regular type. Most times, the rotary hammer drills come with three settings.

These settings include; drill only, hammering only, and a drill with hammering action. However, a rotary hammer has only hammering mode.

The rotary hammer drill has slotted drive system-SDS chucks, which are more apt for hammering.

Also, this hammering drill can perform the role of a mini jackhammer. The rotary hammering drill is primarily helpful for professional construction work.

Hammer Drill Vs. Rotary Hammer

Hammer Drill Vs. Rotary Hammer

Most people often confuse the hammer drill and a rotary hammer. Hence, a rotary hammer is a type of hammer drill.

However, both of them work on the same principle but in a different manner. The hammer drill and the rotary hammer pound their bits while spinning and grinding into the concrete.

The hammer drill drives its drill bit forward as it rotates, thereby resulting in high-speed pulse hammer-like action. Hence, it generates power by spinning the ribbed clutch plates.

Also, the impact happens when two ribbed metal discs clink against each other. Hence, it generates more power than a regular drill.

On the other hand, the rotary hammer uses a piston hammering-like action that occurs when air is compressed by a piston leading to beating the bit. Hence, this action aids the rotary hammer to generate more power than a hammer drill.

The rotary hammer has created more impacts than the hammer drill. This is because the drive mechanism of a hammer drill is electric and battery power, while that of the rotary hammer is Electro-Pneumatic.

The hammer drill is useful for making holes in bricks, blocks, light concrete, and masonry. In contrast, the rotary hammer is useful for stronger materials like concrete and strong masonry.

A rotary hammer is heavier and larger than a hammer drill. Also, in terms of mode of operation, the hammer drill has drill and hammering mode while the rotary has drill, hammering, and drill with hammering action.

Lastly, a hammer drill is useful for a handyperson and Do It Yourself (DIY) homeowners and amateurs. On the other hand, the rotary hammer is useful for construction and concrete workers.

Working Principle

Here I will explain how it works.

Hammer drill makes use of a percussion or cam-action hammering mechanism. This is a mechanism where two sets of toothed gears interact automatically with each other while spinning the drill bit.

The drill bit is the cutting tool of the hammer drill. It varies in size from the spade, brad point, masonry to the twist drill bit.

Therefore, with the hammer drill, the chuck operates where the entire chuck and drill bit moves along the rotating axis. The chuck holds a rotating tool.

You can use the hammer drill with or without the hammer mode. Hence, it is impossible to use the hammer mode alone because the rotation over the cams results in the hammer motion.

The hammer drill has a clutch that spins the drill bit and punches it along the drill bit axis. As a result, the distance the bit travels and the force of its blows are tiny.

Also, the hammering action is rapid and measures thousands of blows per minute (BPM) or impacts per minute (IPM). Though, these thousand blows per minute can break up a block of concrete or brick.

As a result, the hammer drill makes holes into concrete or bricks way faster than a regular drill would do.

For simplicity, hammer drills operate by a striking mechanism. Hence, the impact occurs whenever two ribbed metal discs go in and out of one another.

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Hammer Drill

Factors To Consider When Choosing A Hammer Drill


The first thing to consider is its function. A buyer must look at the functions it provides.

Also, the buyer should choose the hammer drill with a hammer feature that can easily be turned off. This is because you can always use it for other functions.


A buyer has to pick the one that operates at a multi-speed. This is because it will offer more flexibility with more than one speed.


Here, the drill’s power depends on what you need the tool for. It could either be for your house or a professional job. Nevertheless, you will need to choose the most powerful one for either of them.

This is because you need a powerful hammer drill that is enough to get the work done. Also, a powerful hammer drill will make holes in the materials easily.

Hence the power and the torque is also necessary.


Another essential thing to consider is the handle support. Again, for a first-timer, you will need to choose one that has a helper handle in front.

This is for better support because the force and power of the hammer drill can easily throw you off.

Depth setting

Choosing a hammer drill with a depth setting or depth stop is also essential. This will make it adjustable and prevent you from drilling too deep into the material.

Drill bits

Its bits are usually different from regular drill bits. This is because of the difference in how they fit in the chuck.

Though you can use a standard drill bit in a hammer drill, it will not be able to perform the hammering function. Hence, drill bits are composed of solid materials that make them strong enough to make holes into concrete or a brick.

Also, the material of a drill bit must be strong enough to survive the hammering motion of a drill. It would help if you chose a hammer drill bit because it is durable and has the range of bits a model can hold.

Power source

Since hammer drills have a corded and cordless drill, you need to consider their power source. A corded one has a distance limitation, but it is more powerful and can perform more tasks than cordless ones.

This is because it connects directly to the power source. You will need an extension cord when the power outlet is far from where you want to use it.

However, the cordless one does not have a distance limitation and uses batteries. Hence, with the batteries, there are limitations to the load of work that it can do, and also, you will need to charge it to be able to use it.


Though this tools are not too expensive, they are essential to keep a budget in mind before selecting the type you want. Thus, this will help you choose a tool that will fit your budget.

Pros And Cons Of A Hammer Drill

Pros And Cons of A Hammer Drill


  • Hammer drills are very portable and light-weight. This makes them easy to carry around and also easy to work with.
  • With new technology, there are hammer drills that makes use of batteries instead of cords. This makes it more efficient.
  • It is more powerful than a regular drill.
  • The striking mechanism of a hammer drill is not much since it has a small size.
  • They are ergonomic. This is because it is easy to work with the tool and use it in the house for personal task.
  • It is easy to operate. It is not complex to use at all.
  • Lastly, they are very affordable. They are not very expensive to purchase.


  • Hammer drills are not very powerful as a rotary drills. Hence there is limitations to the kind of task it can perform.
  • It absorbs less shock. They generates a lot of shock which makes it difficult to handle and hold.
  • It has limit to its application. This means that it is suitable for small to medium jobs like tasks around the house and not for professional jobs.

My Recommendation

Here I will be giving a series of recommendations for this tool.

DEWALT 20V MAX XR 3 Speed Brushless

This type is battery powered type with a lithium-ion battery cell. It has a voltage rating of 20volts with a power rating of 300watts.

It has a maximum chunk size of 20mm. This particular type comes with a 40 pieces drill bit set.

Hence, It has a heavy-duty ratcheting nitro-carburized metal chuck with carbide inserts for superior bit gripping strength. Also, it has a high-efficiency brushless motor that delivers up to 75% more runtime.

It also features a 3-mode LED and is 20X brighter. This type is very powerful.

Milwaukee Kit

This type is battery-powered with a lithium-ion battery cell. It has a maximum power of 2000watts with a speed rating of 2000 RPM.

It has a brushless motor that provides up to 60% more power than the competitive set. Hence, this type ensures optimal performance.

Also, it has overload protection to prevent the tool and the battery from being damaged during heavy applications.

GALAX PRO 5Amp 1/2-inch Corded Impact Drill

This type has a 2 in 1 function of hammering and drilling. Then, it makes use of a corded electric power source.

Also, it has a voltage rating of 120 volts with a speed rating of 3000 RPM. It has a maximum chunk size of 13mm.

This type has a high torque of 5 amps motor, perfect for most demanding projects. It also has a speed setting knob and variable speed trigger to control the drilling speed.

Hence, this type has a green dual-mode on top, allowing you to switch between the drill and hammer function. Also, this type comes with some accessories.


This type uses a corded electric power source. It has a maximum power of 1800 watts with a speed rating of 2800 RPM.

It has a 6.5 amp motor that operates at 48,000 BMP to drill quickly and effectively into hard materials like concrete. Also, it has a 2 position switch that helps you switch between the hammer and the standard drill function.

This type also has a 3 position side handle that helps keep your drip up and comfortable. It also has a single-sleeve chuck that makes changing bits fast and easy.

Hammerhead 7.5-Amp 1/2 Inch Variable Speed

This type has a corded electric power source. It also has a voltage rating of 120 volts with a speed rating of 3000 RPM.

Thus, it has a maximum chuck size of 1/2 inch that allows frequent change of bits quickly and easily. This type has a 2 in 1 function with a two-mode selector switch.

This will allow you to be able to hammer-drill mode to rotation mode. Also, it has a variable speed trigger that allows you to control the drilling speed.

The hammerhead drill has an adjustable side handle to reduce arm strain and muscle fatigue.

My Final Thought

My Conclusion

A Hammer drill is an essential helpful tool to make holes in concrete or even for wood. In addition, it would be beneficial for making holes through hard materials when you need to carry out our home renovation projects.

It is an essential tool that needs to be added to the tool you keep at home because you can find them very useful. Also, an amateur can operate the device because of how easy it is to operate.

Moreover, this tool is very affordable. Thus, I gave a series of recommendations that buyers can choose from to suit their preferences.

I hope you found this PowerVersity pick helpful?

If you found it helpful, kindly share your thoughts with the “Leave a Reply” form found towards the end of this page.

Finally, you may want to read other articles like this; visit our below pages.

What Is A Brushless Drill; Brushless vs Brushed Motor

What Is An Air Compressor

What Is A Riveter?

Oreoluwa Falujo
Oreoluwa Falujo
Oreoluwa Falujo is a Lead Content Editor at PowerVersity.com. She has a bachelor's degree in political science. She likes to watch movies, play games, and listen to music. At PowerVersity.com, Oreoluwa writes buyer guide articles, best picks, and technology-explained articles. She also leads a content writing team.


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