Buying Guide for Rotary Hammer – How to Choose the Best One

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The rotary hammer drill comes with rotary mechanism that make the hammer to move in a circular motion used to drill and bore holes into ceramic tiles, masonry, brick and thick concrete. It is used by various professionals (especially at construction sites) due to its extra drilling and pulverizing action. This will guide you on what to consider, its purpose, and how to choose the best rotary hammer drill that perfects fits for your requirement.

Types of Rotary Hammer Drill:

In general, there are 2 main types of rotary hammer available on the market – basic rotary hammer and SDS rotary hammer.

1.Basic Rotary Hammer Drill:

  • It operates just like a regular drill
  • It is used for medium duty tasks & perform more than one function.
  • To know how to use the rotary hammer properly, you have to start using this basic rotary drill.

2. SDS Rotary Hammer Drills:

  • It operates with an extra powerful hammering motion.
  • It is meant for heavy duty & acts as a versatile tool.
  • The SDS will give 3 options like use as regular power drill or switch over the rotary hammer model or use it for rotation purpose.
  • The SDS is having the power screw driver, impact driver and hammer drill.
  • The SDS rotary drill will provide the extra drilling and chiseling power.

Things to Consider Before Buying Hammer Drill

Here we are providing you to know what are the factors we have to consider before buying this rotary hammer. Have a look on those factors.

1. Power Source:

In general, the most power tools are available in 2 power sources – electric coded or cordless (battery powered). Although, their operating functions are similar but the choice depends on where to use or what king of work, how long to use and how much power required.

Electric Corded:

  • It is powerful to operate for continuously longer time but the power supply should be continuous.
  • Ideal to perform tough jobs such as drilling into thick stone or concrete and suitable for heavy duty like tile chipping & demolition.
  • If you want to use the hammer drill for professional use or in construction site, then use this corded hammer drill, which don’t have any power limitation.
  • All you need is to switch on the power source (electric outlet) and perform your operation, as they have a high RPM.
  • The only drawback is that the rotary hammer has to use a heavy duty extension cord and also stay close to the power outlet. This makes you to get mindful about the position of the cord.

Cordless (Battery – Powered):

  • Cordless rotary hammer drills run with the battery source which allows you to work anywhere around the home in confined conditions.
  • Most of the batteries are made with lithium ion which are strong and provide stable power source and get recharged quickly.
  • Suitable for small to medium duty works/tasks and also useful if you’re travelling and working in sites where there is no ample power supply.
  • If you’re DIY’er and want to use the hammer for household purpose, then use the cordless one.
  • It has limitations of power and have to change the batteries on regular basis.
  • The only drawback is that it’s usage is limited to a few hours and have to recharge for further working.

2. SDS Chuck

The rotary hammer produces more force that needs to have special bits, here are 3 types of shank bits the rotary tools generally use. These standard chucks used for milling equipment and drilling and also combat the situations and used in conjunction to create a comfortable grip.

SDS+ (Slotted Drive System) The slots at the end of the bits will match to the inside chunk on the drill and it holds tight without getting slippery. It enhances the hammering action and they are designed for some chiseling and smaller shank sizes. We can expect it’s range from 3/16 to 3/4 inches.

SDS Max They are specially designed for heavy masonry work and used widely for large industrial applications. We expect the range from 1/2 to 1 ¾ inches.

Spline Shank Similar to SDS Max except for the chucks. The bit selection and tool is small why because it is an older type of shank. We can expect it’s range from 3/8 to 1 3/8 inches.

3. Powerful Motor and Torque

The motor specifications are essential to check why because it provide the enough strength for breaking down the hard materials into small parts for your project. The motor stars from 7 amps for medium duty maintenance work and 10 amps or above for heavy duty works. Torque as known as Twisting Power of the drill, which will influence the rotational speed and thereby it gives the effect on the boring ability. In simple words, if the torque rating is high then the twisting action produced by the drill is also high.

4. Comfort

Comfort is essential to check for rotary hammer why because anything which we feel uncomfortable while operating is waste of money and time. So, here the comfort depends on the handle (choose soft grip) which comes with an ergonomic design of mechanism to minimize it. Also, check the versatility before purchasing it.

5. Hammer Drill Bites

There are 3 main types of SDS drill bits – Twisted Bits, Core Bits, & Chisel Bits. Let’s know about them.

Twisted Bits These regular bits use twisted grooves along the outer edge. It is capable to drill through 12 inch wall and also used for drilling holes for anchors about 1 ¼ inches in diameter.

Core Bits Used to cut holes up to 4 inches in which it has cutter around the diameter and hollow in center. So, cuts the outer diameter of the hole and center has chiseled out. It used for cutting large holes for electrical wiring and pipes.

Chisel Bits Used for a number of purposes from cutting grooves into floors and walls to remove old plaster or tiles and removing material from surface.

6. Drilling Speed (RPM and BPM)

The number of rotations or revolutions the drill can do in a minute (RPM) indicates the speed of the drill. Choose a drill with RPM that range from 1200 – 1500 to perform medium to heavy duty tasks. The 2000 or above RPM of the drill is perfect for heavy duty tasks. BPM of the drill indicates the count of blows it makes per minute. So, for stronger hammer action, you have to choose the drill that has higher BPM.

7. Chuck Size

The chuck used to hold the screw bit or drill. Mostly, they are keyless which allows you to manually remove or attach them easily without any tool.

8. Price / Budget

The price of the rotary hammer drill will start from 3000/-. You can simply select the hammer drill according to your budget but make sure to check the quality, minimum features along with its working efficiency.

9. Impact Energy

Check the amount of impact energy produced by the drill while drilling the material. In general, the rotary hammer drill which comes with impact energy that rate from 2 – 4 Joules or ft/lbs and works perfect for medium to heavy duty jobs.

10. Size

Always check whether the rotary hammer will provide large drill bits which are crucial for the specific projects and then select the best one. Determine the size of the hole which you need to drill will help you in choosing the right drilling machine.

11. Operating Mode

Different models come with different (multiple) modes such as regular drilling, hammer drilling, chiseling, screw driving, and demolition. So, check the operating modes before buying.

12. Speed

Generally, the low speed of the drills won’t affect the work but the high speeds is required in case, if you’re handling heavy duty works like demolishing stone structures or drilling the concrete slabs. So, always prefer to look for rotary hammer that comes with multiple speed modes and variable speed triggers to get complete control over the speed of the tool.

13. Built

To make use of this rotary hammer for a longer time, you have to consider the body in which it comes with rust-resistant metal along with fiber enclosures. Also, make sure to check its weight why because we have to bear it while drilling. So, choose it wisely.

14. Warranty & Reliability

Warranty and reliability ensures the quality of the product. So, you have to choose the product that comes with longer warranty period. Also, it is quite helpful in case, you found any defect or damage done during that warranty period. Then you can get it either replaced or repaired without extra cost.

15. Power Requirement & Function

In general, the power requirement will depend on what material you are drilling for most of the times. Also, use either select from cam – action or electro-pneumatic by depending on your usage.

16. Features of Rotary Hammer:

You have to look at the below mentioned features before purchasing this rotary hammer.

Variable Speed Selection This feature will allow the user to adjust the speed on the drill for a particular job. For instance, usage of high speed for small holes and operating at low speed for large holes.

Reverse Mode This will allow the user to bit out of the hole back, in case it tend to get stuck easily.

Depth Rod It is mounted on the side of the drill to make the user know whenever they reach the desired depth. It is used instead of tape for measuring the length of the hole to get bored while operating this hammer drill. Quite useful for the precision engineering and professionals.

Side Handles It provides better control while drilling by the user to hold the tool with an additional hand. Used for handling heavy projects and can be removed easily while operating in confined spaces. Also, check for the drills that comes with anti-vibration technology (AVT), where most of the drill vibrations gets absorbed by the handle. Prefer to buy a drill that has soft and comfortable handle grip, if working for long hours.

LED Light It is essential in case if you’re working in dark areas or night time. The bright LED light will make you not to keep pressing an extra button while operating. The light will help you to focus on the place where you want to drill. Useful especially where to illuminate low light working areas. Trigger – Always check whether the index finger fits perfectly around the trigger or not for a comfortable operation with complete control over drilling, especially in case if drilling into tough surfaces.

Accessories Other than bare tool (drill machine), you can grab various drill attachments like spades, chisels, extra batteries, safety equipment, chargers, a depth gauge, kit or handy carrying case, and other demolition – specific bits are essential to provide extra strength and precision.

Tips to Follow before using Rotary Hammer:

  • Make sure to read the user’s manual before start using this rotary hammer to get a complete idea on how to use it completely.
  • Always follow the safety tips like safety eye protection, safety shoes, gloves and helmet (or hard hat) while working with this hammer drills. Avoid using the sweat – induced slips to prevent any injuries from falling debris.
  • While changing the drill bit, you have to unplug the machine.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. On what mechanism the rotary hammer drill function?

The hammer drill produces a sort of action that attributed to a unique clutch that delivers powerful close to 500 per second. This hammer action will move the chuck in and out and thereby the rapid motion pounds the material and thus breaks it during this drilling process.

2. What is the difference between Rotary Hammers and Hammer Drills?

Although, both the rotary hammer and hammer drill are used for concrete work and hammer in and out while spinning but they are separate tools. The rotary hammer generally uses a piston mechanism instead of using a clutch. The piston mechanism will make to drill the bigger holes at a faster rate with more power and brute force than the normal drilling machine.

Hammer drills has two discs with ridges in which one disc slides past the other. It will either rise and fall and thereby the chuck to slam back and forward motion. If you want to use hammer drill just like a regular one, then you can shut off the hammering action. Also, the rotary hammer is durable, strong and mostly preferred to use by professionals, as it comes with three settings – drill mode, standard hammer and hammer drill. Whereas the hammer drill is used for normal hammering action. The rotary hammer is costlier than hammer drill.

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