A hammer drill is an extremely versatile tool that is ideal for handling heavy-duty jobs such as breaking and drilling through bricks, concrete, masonry, etc. Hammer drills offer greater power, use more pressure than a power drill and work by rotating, as well as boring into the surface of the material.
Akin to a mini jackhammer, the hammer drill produces quick and short bursts that let you drive holes into tough surfaces such as brick, mortar, concrete, hardwood and steel. The hammer drill is indeed a “must have” tool in your home or at the construction site.
You are probably wondering about which hammer drill is best for you from the hundreds of models available on the market. You have hammer drills that are quite inexpensive, to ones that can be seriously pricey.
So, while buying a tool that costs so much, you need to really be sure about your choice and whether you are really making the right decision, as your hammer drill will probably be the most important tool that you will own.
In this buying guide, we will be reviewing some of the best-rated hammer drills available on the market and also discuss some of the important features you should look out for when shopping for a hammer drill. The buying guide will help you decide on the hammer drill that’s best for you.
Best Cordless Hammer Drill
Best Corded Hammer Drill
Best Hammer Drill For Concrete
Best Cordless Hammer Drill
Let's take a look on our top recommendations for the best cordless hammer drill:
Winner: Dewalt 20V Hammer Drill
If you are looking for a durable hammer drill that offers high power and efficiency, then you could consider the Dewalt hammer drill. The 3-speed hammer drill is equipped with a high-efficiency brushless motor which delivers 820 UWO (units watt out) which results in 57% more runtime than brushed motors and a faster speed.
Powered by the 20-volt Max XR lithium-ion battery, the Dewalt hammer drill batteries have a fuel gauge and offer 33% more capacity than regular batteries. The hammer drill features a ½-inch ratcheting chuck that is heavy-duty and is made of nitrocarburized metal and has carbide inserts which offer excellent gripping strength for the bits.
Weighing around 4.7 lbs and 8.4 inches in length, the 3-speed Dewalt hammer drill delivers 2.8 times faster speed at 2,250 RPM and 0-38,250 BPM that allows you to drill more efficiently and quickly into masonry. The drill offers around 82% more power and delivers around 2.8 times more runtime.
The Dewalt hammer drill is equipped with a 3-mode LED light which has three settings and it also has a spotlight mode that offers a 20-minute delay option which allows you to work for extended periods of time in dark, confined spaces.
The hammer drill from Dewalt is tough and durable and features a handle grip which is very comfortable to hold. The hammer drill includes coated switches that are sealed and prevent contamination due to dust and moisture, which makes the hammer drill able to withstand the tough conditions on the worksite.
The Dewalt hammer drill kit includes a lithium-ion brushless 3-speed hammer drill, 2 Max XR lithium-ion batteries, a charger, 360-degree side handle, a belt hook, and a carry kit box.
And, the best part is that the hammer kit comes with a 3-year limited warranty, 1 year of free service and a 90-day money back guarantee, which is designed to offer you complete peace of mind while buying the product. The numerous features, the power and speed offered by the Dewalt hammer drill makes this the best cordless hammer drill in our list.
Runner-Up: Milwaukee M18 Hammer Drill/Driver
Looking for a hammer drill/driver that offers power and speed? Then you should consider the Milwaukee M18 Hammer Drill, which is probably the most powerful drill/driver on the market.
The drill/driver is equipped with a Powerstate brushless motor, which delivers 1,200 inch-lbs torque and 2,000 RPM which provides extremely fast drilling speed thereby enhancing the productivity.
The brushless motor of the M18 is designed to deliver long runtime and high power and the brushless motor also does not need a lot of maintenance as it does not have carbon brushes which get worn out with use and require replacement. The all-metal ratcheting chuck of the M18 drill ensures durability, maximum grip and bit retention.
Measuring only 73/4-inch in length, the Milwaukee M18 hammer drill is among the most compact drill/drivers in its category. The compact and sleek build of the drill/driver allows easy handling of the tool in constricted spaces and also allows usage for long periods of time without the user feeling very tired.
The M18 hammer comes with a short but comfortable auxiliary handle and you can also use the drill/driver comfortably without the side handle as well; however, it is recommended that you make use of the side handle when operating a high-powered drill as it is safer and also offers greater control of the tool and reduces the risk of kickback.
The M18 drill/driver features the Redlink Plus Intelligence feature that ensures that the drill offers maximum performance and also protects it from being overheated, overloaded and over-discharged.
The drill/driver comes with a Redlithium battery pack which offers more work per charge. The Milwaukee M18 kit includes the hammer drill/driver, a bit holder, a belt clip and a side handle.
Alternative: Black & Decker LDX120C Drill/Driver
If you have been planning to buy a new drill/driver for your all your jobs, then the cordless Black & Decker LDX120C drill/driver is a good option.
The Black & decker drill/driver is powered by the 20-volt Max Extended Runtime lithium-ion battery that holds charge for a very long time (around 18 months when not being used) and also offers enhanced performance and a longer runtime. The battery is compatible with the other Black & Decker 20-volt Max power tools.
The Black & Decker drill/driver delivers 650 RPM and torque of 115 in-lbs, which makes it suitable for drilling and driving screws through metal, plastic and wood. The drill/driver has a collar for adjusting the torque and you can use the tool for both hard, as well as soft materials.
The drill/driver has 11 settings for the clutch, which provides greater control of the tool and allows you to drive the screws without overdriving or stripping them. The tool also has a special drywall setting that prevents you from driving the screws very deep.
The cordless drill/driver features a 3/8-inch size keyless chuck that lets you tighten the bits by hand very easily. The drill/driver features variable speeds and it also has a forward and reverse button.
The Black & Decker drill/driver is extremely lightweight and a compact tool that you can carry around easily wherever you want. The compact size of the drill/driver allows you to use it in tight and constrained spaces and also makes it very easy to store when not being used.
The tool has a soft rubber handle that offers a comfortable and firm grip while you are working. The drill is equipped with an LED light that lets you work in dim light conditions.
The drill/driver comes with a 2-year limited warranty that is sure to offer you peace of mind. So, if you’re looking for the best tool for all the small jobs around your home, and at the affordable price, the Black & Decker drill/driver is an excellent buy.
Best Corded Hammer Drill
Here is our best pick for this category:
Porter-Cable VSR 2-Speed Hammer Drill
The Porter-Cable 2-speed hammer drill is the best rotary hammer drill for professionals, as well as homeowners. The Porter-Cable VSR hammer/drill is equipped with a 7-Amp motor that offers superior performance and durability that enables you to use the tool for the toughest of drilling jobs.
The hammer drill is very versatile and offers the flexibility of switching between drill and hammer drill modes and you can use it to drill into many different kinds of materials like wood, metal, brick, concrete, block, etc.
The gears of the Porter Cable hammer drill are housed in a cast metal housing that makes the tool very sturdy and durable and this also helps to dissipate the heat emitted by the internal parts efficiently.
The dual speed transmission of the Porter Cable hammer drill offers 2 speeds 0-1,100 and 0-3,100 RPM; setting 1 provides maximum torque, while setting 2 offers maximum speed.
The hammer drill can deliver up to 52,700 BPM (blows per minute) or 878 anvil hits in a second, which allows you to use the tool for drilling through tough materials such as tile, block, brick and concrete.
The hammer drill weighs around 5 lbs and is 141/4-inch long that lets you use it in tight, confined spaces and also overhead use for prolonged periods of time comfortably.
The body of the Porter Cable hammer drill is ergonomic and the rubberized handle and the overmolded body of the tool offer enhanced comfort and reduces fatigue when using the tool for long periods of time.
The hammer drill has a 2-finger locking trigger that provides easy use, especially if you’re using the tool for very long. The tool also has a side handle which offers greater control while using it for heavy-duty jobs.
The Porter Cable hammer drill comes with a ½-inch metal chuck and the key offers holding pressure for greater bit retention. The hammer drill comes along with a chuck holder and key, a depth rod and side handle.
The hammer drill has a 1-year service contract, 3-year limited warranty and a 90-day money back guarantee that is sure to offer you peace of mind while buying the tool. The Porter Cable is indeed the best corded hammer drill for professional use which not only offers great performance but is also quite easy on the pocket.
Best Hammer Drill For Concrete
Here is our best pick for this category:
Dewalt DW511 Hammer Drill
The Dewalt DW511 hammer drill is a versatile tool that can handle practically all types of materials ranging from masonry, concrete, wood to steel. Equipped with a 7.8-Amp motor, the hammer drill is among the most powerful drills in the category.
The hammer drill offers variable speeds and the dual mode enables it to be used as a regular drill or a hammer drill that allows it to drill through tough materials without burning or damaging the bit.
The Dewalt single speed hammer drill can produce a maximum output of 650 watts and a speed of 0-2,700 RPM and 0-46,000 BPM. The drill is equipped with overload protection.
The Dewalt hammer drill has a 2-finger variable speed trigger with a rubber covering, which makes controlling of the speed of the drill very easy and the 360o side handle of the drill allows you to handle the tool comfortably. The drill has an integrated depth rod which provides greater top-down accuracy.
The corded drill measures 111/2-inches in length and weighing only 4.3 lbs, the hammer drill is quite lightweight and is easy to handle. The hammer drill comes along with a chuck key with a holder, depth rod and a side handle.
The Dewalt hammer drill comes with a 1-year service contract, a 90-day money back guarantee and a 3-year limited warranty, which will definitely give you a lot of peace of mind when buying the drill. The mid-range hammer drill is quite affordable and the versatility of the tool makes a value for money buy for all your jobs around your home.
So, what is the best hammer drill? The best hammer drill is one that offers you the features you require the most for all the jobs that you do, especially if it involves drilling into tough materials such as masonry, brick, stone or concrete. However, before you actually decide on the best hammer drill for all your jobs, here are a few things that you should check out.
What Features To Look Out For?
Before you buy yourself a new hammer drill you should take a look on this things:
Speed And Impact
The power and the speed of the hammer drill are very important features that you should consider before deciding on the tool that’s best for you. The speed and the power of the hammer drill are usually measured in terms of the torque i.e. the amount of force which rotates the drill bit.
The higher the torque, the greater the force or power the drill is capable of producing. Typically, the drilling speed is measured in terms of the RPM or rotations or revolutions performed by the drill in a minute. The higher the RPMs of the drill, the faster the tool will be.
Usually, a cordless drill operates at around 1,500 RPM, while a corded drill typically has higher speeds of around 2,000-3,000 RPM. The force of the hammer drill is also measured in terms of the BPM or blows per minute that the drill can produce on hard materials such as concrete, stone or brick.
This is also measured as IPM or impacts per minute, which is essentially the number of times per minute that the impact mechanism of the hammer drill pushes the bit against the material you’re working on.
The drilling speed of the hammer drill also depends on the surface or material you are working on. Lighter materials such as plastic or wood will require lower speeds, while harder materials like stone, metal or concrete will require higher speeds.
Size Of The Drill Bit
Another important thing to consider is the size of the chuck which is where the drill bit is attached. The chuck is located at one end of the hammer drill. Modern hammer drills have keyless chucks, which means that the bits can be tightened by hand, while older drill models may have keys for tightening the bits. The sizes are usually ½-inch, ¼-inch and 5/8-inch.
The size of the drill bits really depends on the kind of job and material you’re working on and having a hammer drill that can use different sizes of drill bits provides you with a wider range of options of drilling holes of different sizes.
Choose drill bits that have carbide-tipped heads, as these are more durable and allow you to drill into hard surfaces such as stone, concrete, brick, etc. Also, look for accessories that will help to improve the performance of your hammer drill.
Front LEDs, Grips And Other Accessories
Extras are always welcome and having additional features can add greater value to your hammer drill. Hammer drills with LED lights are very useful, as this allows you to see clearly even if you’re working in dark areas or in dim light conditions.
The grip of the hammer drill should be ergonomic and comfortable so that you can have greater control of the tool. Having an extra handle grip offers greater comfort, stability and control while you’re working with the hammer drill.
Choose a hammer drill that has a streamlined handle with a comfortable rubberized grip that also offers good shock absorption and one that will reduce fatigue while using the hammer for prolonged periods of time.
Other features such as variable speed, adjustable clutch, etc. can add to your comfort and provide greater control while you’re working with your hammer drill.
A variable speed hammer drill with an adjustable clutch offers more versatility especially when you’re using the hammer drill for drilling holes into different surfaces and materials and when you are making use of different types and sizes of bits.
Overload And Overheat Protection
Look for a hammer drill that is equipped with overload protection, which will protect the tool in case of an overload and will prevent the motor from burning out. The overload protection will ensure that your tool delivers optimal performance and protects the motor if it is used for tasks that are more demanding than the tool’s capacity.
Also, buying a hammer drill with an all-metal housing will ensure that the tool is durable and will not get overheated when used for extended periods of time.
Battery Capacity And Amperage
Hammer drills usually come in two types, corded and cordless and you can decide on the one that is best for you depending on your work environment. If you want a hammer drill that offers more drilling speed and power, and if portability is not an issue, then you can opt for the corded hammer drill.
However, the only minus of a corded hammer drill is that the wire of the drill can be hampering while you work and you may have to make use of a heavy-duty extension cord. If you need to carry your hammer drill around and use it in places where an electric supply may not be readily available, then it is better to go in for a cordless hammer drill.
Cordless or battery-operated hammer drills are usually powered by 18V-20V lithium-ion batteries and cordless hammer drills give you the flexibility of carrying your drill even to remote workplaces.
However, the only drawback with a cordless hammer drill is that the battery will require to be recharged after every 2-3 hours of use. However, this can be easily sorted if you have an extra battery.
Hammer drills are extremely useful tools to have in your toolbox whether you are a DIYer or a professional contractor. There are several options and models available that make the buying decision of a hammer drill a very difficult and confusing task.
However, you should choose the best hammer drill that is most suitable for a particular job. The best tool for the job is not always the one available for the best price or the strongest one, it is all about being the best hammer drill for the particular task.
It is a good idea to do your homework and research the various options available and go through product reviews and evaluate the features and the pros and cons of various models before determining the best hammer drill for your projects.