If you are the handyman or woman of your home, or have just taken up carpentry as a hobby, then hand-held power drills are a powerful option for your tool kit. Choose from power hammer drills, power rotary hammers, power drill drivers; any of these perform really well for all kinds of jobs.
Depending on their specs, some are better suited for heavy use, some for daily household purposes—from hanging a picture to DIY projects.
What to look for when buying a hammer drill
Motor needs to be powerful
Choose between 7 amps for a low to medium workload, and up to 10 amps for DIY projects and other heavy-duty jobs.
Impact energy produced
This is a measure of work done when drilling into a material. Choosing a drill from 2 to 4 ft/lbs/J.
Look for the voltage, especially for cordless drills. Higher voltage gives more power; choose from 18 or 20 volts.
Torque is related to how fast the drill bit twists. High torque produces the higher twisting action of the drill.
Drilling speed (RPM and BPM)
Rotations per minute (RPM) from 1,200-1,500 or more than 2,000 RPM is best suited for all jobs.
Blows per minute (BPM) is the number of blows from the drill. The higher the BPM, the stronger the action of hammering on the material is.
Convenient varieties are those without an additional accessory to fit the drill/screw bit into the chuck.
Always try the drill in your hands, with battery, etc., to feel the level of comfort when you actually use it. Gauge how the handle feels, especially if the grip is designed to provide maximum control when in operation. Also, try to fit your index finger on the trigger to have a feel of how the drill will respond.
Accessories and packs
Manufacturers come up with a lot of options to choose from: full kit with a number of drill bits; free extra battery and their chargers; carry cases; depth gauges. Look for in-built LED lights that are especially useful in emergencies or when working in less illuminated spaces.
Bosch 11316EVS Demolition Hammer
- Drill weighs 22.5 lbs.
- Dimensions are 25” X 16.7” X 6.2”
- Power source is electric with cord
- 120 volts
- Special features include variable speeds for variety of jobs
- Batteries not required
- Origin of the product is China
- SDS-max bit system does not require additional tool to change the bits
- Automatic bit locking system
- Maximum impact energy rate
- Variable speeds possible
- Constant response circuitry provides a powerful start, and maintains a constant speed throughout with overload protection
- Service minder light to indicate maintenance
- Vario-Lock system where the drill rotates and locks the chisel into 12 various positions for better working angles
- Bare tool, meaning no other accessories come with the drill
- Trigger switch is not the most convenient; however, the instrument handles well in action
DEWALT D25263K D Rotary Hammer
- Drill weighs 12.2 lbs.
- Dimensions are 19.2” X 12.8” X 3”
- Motor is a high performing 8.5 Amp
- Size is 1-1/8”
- AC power source
- 115 volts
- Amperage capacity is 8 Amp
- 3-year limited warranty
- Impact energy is 3 Joules
- Active vibration control reduces the vibration felt in the handles while operating
- Comes as a kit with the rotary hammer, a 360 side handle, a depth rod all in a kit box
- Integral clutch reduces high and sudden torque jerks
- Full torque is provided by the rotating brush ring both in forward as well as in reverse
The drilled holes may be slightly larger than the traditional sizes, but with trial can get an idea to achieve the required size.
DEWALT DC825B Cordless Impact Driver
- Drill weighs 2.2 lbs.
- Dimensions are 5.8” X 6.7” X 4.1”
- Size of the drill is 6.4 mm
- Battery-powered cordless hand drill
- High torque of 1,330 in.-lbs.
- 18 volts
- Batteries required: nickel cadmium battery cell type
- 3-year limited warranty
- Origin of the product is Thailand
- Compact hand drill light in weight with overall good design and build material
- Designed to be used in small working spaces
- Comfortable grip handle does not slip
- Comes with a frameless motor for extended durability and life of the drill
- Replaceable drill brushes
- Comes as a bare tool in packaging with no additional accessories like a battery pack or charger
- Does not have a torque adjustment like on other electric drills
- Only notched ¼” bits can be used
- Service slightly more expensive than other types
Makita XFD10R 18V Lithium-Ion Cordless with Kit
- Driver drill with 70-piece bit kit
- Battery operated
- 18 volts
- Lithium ion battery
- 4-Pole Makita motor 480 in.-lbs.
- 2-speed mechanical transmission of 0-600 and 0-1,900 RPM
- Black-oxide coated bits
- Corrosion-resistance unit and bits
- Extreme protection technology increases water and dust resistance
- Two LED lights on the unit
- Rubberized soft grip
- 135° split point tips
- Might need to purchase a bit holder attachment
- Slight chuck wobble with longer bits
When buying a hammer drill, look for features that suit your work and needs, and that include the manufacturing brand for durability and value for money. Hammer drills have become a regular unit in a household toolkit with increasing interested in DIY projects where it has the combined benefit of both a drill and a hammer.