A hammer drill, when equipped with a masonry bit, is designed for drilling into stone, concrete, brick or mortar. When a hammer drill operates, it rotates like a normal drill, and at the same time, has a forward, hammering, type action. Watch or listen to The Handyguys discussing when and why to use them.
Types of hammer drills
You can buy a dedicated hammer drill such as the big rig Hilti Rotary Hammer that Handyguy Paul shows on the video. More commonly, people will use a drill that has a hammer setting. These multi-purpose drills are available corded and cordless.
Dedicated hammer drill
A dedicated hammer drill, sometimes called a rotary hammer, is a specialty tool that is used when you have a lot of masonry drilling to do. It sometimes makes sense to rent these as the expense is often hard to justify for the average DIYer.
Corded drill with hammer option
A corded drill with a hammer setting is useful when you have electricity nearby and you do not want to worry about having charged batteries. They also tend to have higher RPM and more power.
Cordless drill with hammer option
Cordless hammer drills are very handy when you do not have electricity nearby. The newest 18+ volt models have power that approaches corded tools. If you are not drilling hundreds of holes at one time, these cordless wonders are the way to go.
What a hammer drill is NOT
The hammer drill setting is NOT for driving screws and should never be used when driving screws. Many people confuse hammer drills with a completely different tool called an impact driver. An impact driver uses an impact type action to increase rotational drive. Rotational impact excels at driving screws, lags and nuts but does nothing related to drilling. Don’t use an impact driver for drilling of any kind. Impact drivers are only for screws, lags, bolts and nuts.
After watching this video, make sure you check out one of The Handyguys earliest audio-only show where we discuss drills.