How Does A Hammer Drill Work?

A hammer or roto drill is used for drilling holes on hard surfaces. The device uses two motions while making holes in rigid materials such as concrete or bricks. The first motion happens when the drill part on the tool spins, drilling down and eventually making a material hole. In comparison, the other action is that of a hammer that pins as the drill side moves forward and backward.

The hammer has more than one function; drilling and hammering.  Plus, one can switch off the hammering motion and use it as any standard drill. The entire device is connected to an electric source. When you switch on the power, the drilling part rotates; simultaneously, the hammering part moves up and down rapidly to produce hammering action. This is the mechanical effect of power, which is also used in rotators, fans, and electronic devices.

A very significant part of the drilling device is the drill bit. Drill bits are made of substances that have a high hardness index. They are easily removable, and one cab chooses drilling bits of a suitable size. It depends on the depth of a hole needed at the beginning of the drilling action.

Hammer Drill

Steps You Can Follow When Using A Hammer Drill

To start the hammering process, you will need a pencil, hammer drill, hammer drill bits, safety goggles, and compressed air. Then follow the following steps:

Step 1: Use a pencil to mark points on the surface or wall places you will drill. It’s a beautiful idea to use a ruler to get evenly spaced marks and the appropriate height when scratching the surface.

Step 2: Ensure you put on your safety goggles since there will be a lot of dust when you begin to drill. 

Step 3: Set the appropriate depth if you are using a hammer with a depth stop. But if it doesn’t have, use tape to mark the drill bits for the center you want to achieve.

Step 4: Place the drill’s tip on the mark made on the surface or wall earlier. Then set your hammer drill on the slowest, less powerful function and slowly start drilling to create a quarter-inch deep guiding hole.

Step 5: Start increasing speed and power slightly.

Step 6: Make sure you take your drilling bit out of the hole after every fifteen seconds. By doing so, the dust will be removed and debris collected out of the hole.

Step 7:  When you have finished making your desired hole depth. Blow the hole using the compressed air into it to blast away all the dust remaining.

Can One Use A Hammer Drill As A Regular Drill?

Yes, it’s possible to use hammer drills as regular drills since they have three modes that adjust their functions. The drill mode is used as a regular drill when you need a rotary action. On the other hand, the hammer mode is used to provide straight result action like a jackhammer. Typically, the harmer drill mode provides these two actions.

Hammer drills are costly compared to regular drills because they are durable and have more moving parts. Furthermore, the standard drill can handle its work effectively compared to a hammer drill, even if it’s cheaper. A standard one will thus be the best choice not unless you want to work on rigid materials, which will require a hammer drill. 

If you want to drill a hole that needs to be precise, a regular drill will be the better option since a hammer drill is heavier and more extensive. Additionally, it comes with a side-mounted handle that helps control the device. Nonetheless, the hammer drill gives you versatility and durability.

Will A Hammer Drill Break Up Concrete?

A hammer drill can break up concrete even though it might take you some time to do so, depending on its thickness. However, hammer drills and bits are suitable for light masonry and drilling holes in concrete. Regularly it can drill a hole in poured concrete.

To make your work easier when breaking the concrete with a hammer drill, stop the drill’s rotation by turning on the hammer function. You can use it together with a flat bit, chisel, and point for breaking.  Drill several holes in the line where you need to break to enable a clean fracture line. Use it if you don’t have any other option, but a better device meant to break concrete would be the best choice.   

What Is The Difference Between A Hammer Drill And An Impact Drill?

The significant difference between the two is the direction where they exert additional force on their twisting action. Hammer drills apply more pressure directly into the bit as it hits the surface being drilled. On the other hand, impact drills increase the force being transferred perpendicular to the bit. A hammer uses more pressure compared to the impact drill.

Secondly, the drill differs in purpose. A hammer drill is perfect for drilling into a hard surface like concrete or bricks. Modern hammer drills have a feature that enables them to turn back into regular drills. In comparison, an impact drill is majorly used for driving in fasteners such as nails and screws. Besides, it can drill holes and drive nails through sheetrock if need be. The impact drill is not suitable for woodworking because extra power might knock anytime if needed by a fastener being applied. It might eventually damage the item being handled.

The two differ in appearance too. The impact drill is stubbier and shorter, with a hexagonal socket in place of a chuck. The device can hold the adapter where bits may be attached. On the other hand, hammer drills are large and heavy, similar to a small jackhammer. They have drill chucks that can take several types of bits and sizes. 

Hammer Drill VS. Impact Drill

FeatureHammer DrillImpact Drill
The direction where they exert additional force on their twisting actionApply pressure directly into the bits Increase the force being transferred perpendicular to the bit
Purpose Perfect for drilling into a hard surface like concrete or bricksUsed for driving in fasteners such as nails and screws
AppearanceLarge and heavy, similar to a small jackhammerStubbier and shorter, with a hexagonal socket in place of a chuck

Can One Use A Hammer Drill As A Jackhammer?

Wow! The question is a little bit tricky, so is the answer. The hammer drill has a hammer mode that can turn on and off to provide a straight impact, just like a jackhammer. However, there will be a waste of time if you use a hammer drill rather than a jackhammer. Several holes close to the edge need to be drilled before breaking off a chunk. So, it will be better to use a jackhammer to break up the material efficiently. Moreover, it has more hitting force compared to a hammer drill.

What Is The Best Drill For Home Use?

A power drill is the most versatile tool one can keep at home. It’s mainly used to bore holes, stir motor, drive screws, among other things. For the best drill, look for versatility. Some of the best drills you can consider for DIY projects at home include:

1. The Black + Decker 12-Volt Max 3/8 in Cordless drill device

2. Bosch PS31-2A-Volt Drill/ Driver.

3. Porter-Cable 20V ½- Inch Brushless Cordless Drill.

4. Makita 1/2 -Inch Corded Drill.

5. Makita 18V ½-Inch Hammer Driver-Drill.

With the right tool, you can do your work faster, control the holes’ depth, and avoid hitting your thumb with the hammer. You’ll be surprised by how precise you can make holes of different sizes to repair and hang pictures. If you plan to perform DIY work in your home, a power drill is a must-have item.

What Should You Look For In A Hammer Drill?

When purchasing a hammer drill, there are specific things you should pay attention to. These include:

1. It will be great to choose a device with a side helper handle for better support, control, and accurate drilling.

2. A two-finger trigger gives you more comfort and greater control.

3. The in-built LED lighting will help you see what you are doing, especially in a dark place or at night.

4. A carry case is handy, especially when you carry a collection of bits with your tool.

5. It would help if you considered a powerful drill because it will penetrate the material more easily.

6. A hammer drill with a depth stops or depth setting is beneficial because it enables you to avoid drilling deeply into the surface than what is required.

 7. You should buy a hammer drill with more than just one speed since a multi-speed hammer drill will offer flexibility.

8. Ask: Is it a corded or cordless hammer drill? Corded one offers you extra power, so you don’t have to wait for the batteries to charge for you to use it. Get an extension cord if you are drilling far from a power outlet. While the cordless hammer drill will not limit how far away you are from the power outlet. Cordless batteries will cost even less than corded ones.

9. Hammer drills are not similar to the regular bits since they fit in the chuck. More so, hammer bits are durable than regular ones.

10. A hammering switch will enable you to switch off the hammer function using the hammer drill as a regular drill.


There are multiple choices for hammer drills available worldwide. Yes, they are quite expensive, and you need to be extra vigilant while deciding. Understanding the features you need makes a big difference once you get the device. Consider the versatility of the tool and enjoy your work journey. Please go through our article and learn more about the things you need to consider before purchasing. Check for some best DIY models and see if it fits your budget.

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