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5 Best Hammer Drills for Home Use: 2017 Review & Comparison

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5 Best Hammer Drill Reviews

A hammer drill is one of the best power tools to have around your home. Basically it is a power drill with a hammer function, the hammer smacks the drill so it can help drill even further. Unline a power drill — which is more ideal for tackling light to medium DIY projects like attaching shelves, mounting wall brackets, attaching fixtures to stone walls, or re-modelling your basement — a hammer drill is better used for more heavy duty tasks like drilling and breaking concrete or bricks.

Hammer drills have the similar power of an impact drill driver where it rotates and bores into the material's surface, but it uses more pressure. Remember: The hammer drill setting is NOT to be used for driving in screws.

A hammer drill could also be called a mini jack hammer as it produces short, rapid bursts that can drive holes into surfaces where other drills would fear to tread like hardwood, steel, brick and mortar.

It is super fast and it has a clutch that allows the drill to spin in and out of the surface very quickly. Remember: hammer drills can take some getting used to as they vibrate a lot and they are very loud and they can have a lot of kick-back.

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Product Name

RPM/ BPM

Drill Capacity (Concrete)

Bosch 1191VSRK Single-Speed Hammer Drill

3000/ 48000

1/2"

Makita HP1641K Hammer Drill Kit

2800/ 48000

5/8"

DeWalt DW511 VSR Hammerdrill

2700/ 46000

1/2"

Ryobi ONE+ Cordless Hammer Drill

1500/ 19500​

1/2"

Milwaukee 2607-20 M18 Hammer Drill

1800/ 28800

1/2"

Our pick

THE BEST HAMMER DRILL

Milwaukee 2607-20 M18 1/2" Hammer Drill

If you are looking for a compact drill that can provide you with easy handling and maneuverability, the Milwaukee is a great choice for all of those light to medium DIY tasks in and around your home. It is a sturdy well made drill, which can deliver the power and overall drilling performance you need for most drilling applications.

Hammer Drill Specifications

There are so some many power tools that are available in the marketplace and they are heavily competing for the attention of all DIYers and handymen and women.

Some hammer drills come as a “tool-only” or “bare tool”, which means you have to purchase the battery and charger separately. Other drills come with additional parts like an extra handle for the drill, and a handy carrying case.

Remember: There are seven key features to look out for when you searching for the right hammer drill for your home: Power Source, Motor Power, Torque and Speed, Chuck Size, Reversible Function, Transmission, and Operator Comfort Features.

1. Power Source: Electric (corded) or Battery-operated (cordless)

Hammer drills can be powered by electricity or by a battery, usually a 18-20 volt lithium-ion battery. Battery-powered drills are portable, so you can use them anywhere in and around your home, you can take them with if you go on holidays, and you do not have to worry about the power cord.

Electric hammer drills are more cumbersome and you have to make sure that you are close to a power outlet or use a heavy-duty extension cord. But the best thing about electric hammer drills is that they are more powerful and deliver a constant flow of power, which is ideal for working with extra tough material like stone or concrete.

2. Motor Power

If you will be doing light to medium DIY tasks around your home, then an electric hammer drill that has a motor that ranges in power from 5-8 amps will be sufficient. Drills with this power range are ideal for drilling holes up to 1/2 inch in block, mortar, brick and other light masonry. These drills will also bore into concrete, but it will take you longer.

Remember: A more powerful motor will improve the overall speed and action of the drill, and will save you from burning out the motor.

3. Torque Power and Speed

The power and the speed of the drill is measured by the torque, which is the amount of force behind the drill that rotates the drill bit into position. The higher the torque the more power or force the drill can produce. Also, some hammer drills indicate how Blows Per Minute (BPM) they can produce on tough building material like brick, stone or concrete.

The drilling speed relates to the amount of revolutions or rotation (rpm) that the drill can perform per minute. The higher the RPM's the faster the drill will be. A cordless drill will operate at the average of 1500 rotations per minute, whereas a corded one has a higher speed of up to 2,000 to 3,000 rotations per minute.

The drilling speed will depend on the type of material or surface you will be working with. Drilling though lighter materials like wood or plastic will use a lower speed, but tougher material like metal or concrete, you will need a hammer drill with a higher speed.

4. Chuck Size

The size of the hammer drill is determined by the size of the chuck that is located on the end of the drill. The chuck is where the drill bit is to be attached. Chuck sizes can be ½ , ¼ inch or ⅝ inches, and some models give you a keyless chuck, which means you do not need any tools to attach or remove it.

5. Reversible Function

The forward/reverse switch allows you to control the direction of the drill. With a flick of a switch, you can shift the drill into forward or reverse motion, which is ideal for removing a drill when it has got stuck in a hole.

6. Transmission

Single-speed hammer drills are generally lighter and have only one speed or gear to choose from. They are ideal for drilling into wood and aluminium. Two speed hammer drills give you a choice of two types of transmission or gear speeds. A two speed hammer drill can be heavier than the single speed, but they have more drilling power.

In first gear, they deliver a slower RPM, but have a higher torque. In second gear, the RPM will be faster, but the torque or turning force is reduced. Hammer drills that have two speeds are ideal for drilling small holes in wood and metal.

7. Operator Comfort Features.

Working with a power tool for long periods or especially when you are crouched in a tight space can put a lot of stress on your arms and hands, and other parts of your body. So when you are looking for the perfect tool fit, look at the ergonomic or comfort design features of the drill.

A good tip for checking the comfort specifications of a hammer drill (besides reading this buyer's guide, of course), is to visit your local hardware store and try out the drills that have been reviewed here, or a similar model from the manufacturer. Also you could also learn some drilling tips on how to use your hammer drill.

Choosing the Right Hammer Drills

Ask yourself these three questions when you are looking to buy a hammer drill.

1. Is the drill light and well balanced?

Although the hammer drill is similar to other power tools like the impact driver-drill, it can be heavier and it can cause a lot of vibrations, so it should feel comfortable in your hand and be easy to use. A lightweight drill or one that is well-balanced is ideal for tasks that might take you a while to complete, or for tasks that can cause strain on your arms, like reaching up to the ceiling to attach a light fitting.

2. Does it have a soft grip handle or an extra handle?

A drill with a soft grip handle allows you to maintain a firm grip on the tool, which makes it easier to manoeuvre in tight spots or for drilling through tough material.

Some manufactures provide an extra handle on the hammer drill that is positioned on the side or located near the front of the tool. This extra handle is really useful for drilling holes in a straight- on horizontal position into concrete as it gives you more purchase on the drill. There are also some hammer drills that have a handle that rotates 360 degrees, but they can be a little difficult for people with large hands.

3. Does it have extra safety features?

Look for extra safety features like a lock-on button where you do not have to hold the trigger down all the time during the drilling process. Some drills come with their own carrying case that keeps the drill from getting misplaced and helps to keep the drill in good condition.

5 Best Hammer Drills — Product Comparison and Reviews

Electric Hammer Drills:

1. Bosch 1191VSRK 120-Volt ½ Inch Single-Speed Hammer Drill

The Bosch Single-speed Hammer Drill has a lot of attractive features that makes it the ideal choice for light-duty DIY applications, or if you have never used a hammer drill. It it durable and lightweight, but can still deliver the drilling action you need with a 120 volt 7 amp motor that can drill up to 3000 rpm, and with 48,000 max bpms, it will have not any trouble drilling into hardwood and steel.

A sturdy well made drill, it has a variable speed selector, a reversing switch for removing bits or when the drill gets stuck. There is a 2-mode operation selector so that you can easily switch between using the drill for "rotation only". For added power you choose to operate the drill with the "hammering with rotation" mode.

It is comfortable to use with an ergonomic handle that provides you with multiple gripping positions. A 360° side handle with a built-in, quick-release depth gauge also gives you that much-needed accuracy and control while you work. The drill also comes with an auxiliary handle, depth rod, chuck key and carrying case.

What we like:

  • Ideal for light-duty DIY
  • Durable
  • Easy to use
  • Good size and weight
  • Powerful
  • Variable-speed
  • Reversible

What we don't like:

  • Not ideal for heavy-duty tasks
  • Not ideal for concrete

2. Makita HP1641K ⅝ Inch Hammer Drill Kit

Once again Makita delivers the goods with their 5/8 inch hammer drill kit. A durable and high quality drill it has loads of power with a 6-Amp motor that gives you an output of 2,800 rpm and up to 44,800 bp. It is lightweight at 4.3 lbs, yet it is still able to be used for the most toughest of DIY renovations around your home.

The 2-mode operation means you can use it for rotation purposes, or when you need extra drilling power you can switch it to the 'hammering with rotation” mode. The all-ball bearing construction and the extended life motor brushes provides the tool with longer life and an overall smooth running performance.

For that much needed operator comfort, the drill has a soft grip handle and an extra handle that is attached to the side of the drill, which gives you both comfort and control when you are working in tight spots and for drilling through extra tough surfaces.

An extra safety feature is the recessed lock-on button, which gives you continuous drilling action when you are using the drill for longer periods. A depth gauge helps you monitor the depth of your drilling, and the keyless chuck allows you to easily change drill bits. The drill also comes with a handy carrying case.

What we like:

  • Excellent hammer drill
  • Lightweight
  • Ideal for hard surfaces like concrete
  • Very powerful

What we don't like:

  • Chuck is not very good quality
  • Carrying case made out of cheap plastic

3. DeWalt DW511 ½ Inch 7.8 Amp VSR Hammer Drill

If you are looking for a hammer drill that can easily tackle tough surfaces like steel or masonry then look no further than the Dewalt DW511 VSR. With a 7.8 amp motor, high torque of 2,700 rpm, this drill can power through most DIY or tough maintenance applications in and around your home.

The DeWalt drill gives variable speed modes, so that you easily change the speed of your drilling depending on what kind of surfaces you will be working, from a low speed for more precision drilling and high speed for boring deep holes.

The dual mode allows you to quickly switch between using the tool as an ordinary drill driver or as a hammer drill for drilling into concrete. The drill is also reversible, which is a handy feature for when the drill gets stuck or you have to remove a drill bit.

Although it packs a lot of power it is still quite light at 4.3 lbs, and it has extra operator features like a 360° side handle with a depth rod that offers greater control and an overall precise drilling performance.

The 7.8 Amp motor has overload protection, and the two-finger rubber trigger gives you that much needed comfort for those tasks that might take you a while to complete. As it is powered by electricity, the drill also comes with a 8 foot power cord. Extra features include a 360-degree side handle, depth rod, and chuck key with holder

What we like:

  • Ideal for medium-duty tasks
  • Easy to use
  • High quality
  • Strong and powerful
  • Good size and weight
  • Fast
  • Accurate
  • 3 year limited warranty

What we don't like:

  • Not ideal for light wood surfaces
  • No key-less chuck
  • Expensive

Battery-Powered/Cordless Hammer Drills:

4. Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ 1/2 in. Cordless Hammer Drill

The new sturdy and powerful hammer drill from Ryobi is the perfect choice for those small to medium-duty DIY tasks around your home. You can use it as an ordinary drill driver for lighter work applications, or if you need some extra drilling power, it can be used for drilling holes in concrete as it can produce up to 600 in./lbs. torque an up to 1500 rpms and 19,500 bpm. The 24 position clutch gives you more control when you are switching between drilling and driving applications.

The Ryobi ONE+ is also loaded with handy operator features that will make your DIY chores so much easier and faster to complete. The drill has an 1/2 inch single sleeve keyless all-metal chuck that allows you to easily change drill bits.

You can store all your bits and screws into the MAGTRAY TM magnetic holder and the built-in bubble level helps you maintain better accuracy. The GRIPZONE ™ handle provides you with a firm grip on the tool. Although the 18 volt lithium-ion battery and charger has to be purchased separately, the battery can be used with other Ryobi tools.

What we like:

  • Ideal for small to medium DIY chores
  • Good size and weight
  • Durable
  • Powerful
  • Strong
  • Extra handle

What we don't like:

  • Not ideal for drilling through very thick concrete

5. Milwaukee 2607-20 M18 ½ Inch Cordless Hammer Drill

The 2607-20 M18 Hammer-Drill from Milwaukee is one of the most compact hammer drills on the market, but don’t be fooled by its size, it is a well made drill with loads of power for small to medium maintenance and DIY tasks.

It can handle most drilling applications and surfaces, but it can struggle with thick concrete. An all-round greater performer, it a variable speed mode from low to high speed, it has 500 in. lbs. of torque and can produce up to 1,800 RPM, so it will have you powering through your DIY tasks in a flash.

The drill's red and black all-metal casing is solid and the ½ inch single sleeve ratcheting chuck:is also made from metal, and the REDLINK Intelligence ™ protects the tool from overheating, when you are using it for more demanding tasks.

The compact Milwaukee drill is easy to use and fits snugly in your hand, which is ideal for those moments when you have to work in tight spaces, and built-in LED light illuminates low-light working areas. The battery and charger has to be purchased separately.

What we like:

  • Ideal for light to medium duty tasks
  • High quality
  • Good value for money
  • Compact
  • Comfortable fit
  • Well built
  • Very powerful

What we don't like:

  • Not ideal for thick concrete
  • No extra handle
  • The chuck wobbles a bit when it rotates in thick material

Our Top Pick

Our top pick for the best hammer drill is the Milwaukee 2607-20 M18 ½ Inch Hammer Drill.

Our pick

THE BEST HAMMER DRILL

Milwaukee 2607-20 M18 1/2" Hammer Drill

If you are looking for a compact drill that can provide you with easy handling and maneuverability, the Milwaukee is a great choice for all of those light to medium DIY tasks in and around your home. It is a sturdy well made drill, which can deliver the power and overall drilling performance you need for most drilling applications.

The highlights of this smart looking drill is the REDLINK Intelligence technology that protects the tool from overheating, and the handy LED light helps you maintain precise drilling action in low light areas.

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