One of the best power tools you can keep around the home is a hammer drill. It’s similar to a power drill, except it has an added hammer function. This hammer motion continuously hits the drill to drive it in harder and tighter. While a normal household power drill is awesome for DIY home projects (like mounting wall brackets), a hammer drill can make those super heavy duty tasks much easier – like drilling into concrete and brick.
Our Top Pick >> Milwaukee M18 Cordless Hammer Drill on Amazon
Don’t be confused, hammer drills are NOT for driving screws. They have a huge amount of power and apply more pressure than an impact drill driver. Consider the hammer drill like a handheld jackhammer. Expect fast bursts of pounding power to twist holes into the toughest of materials.
Most likely they’ll take some time to get used to, but they’re well worth it for those tough projects.
Best Hammer Drills – Reviews
Best Electric Hammer Drills:
1. Milwaukee M18 1/2″ Hammer Drill
The Milwaukee is a great choice of drill offering easy maneuvering and great handling, hence our number one spot. This super compact drill rocks any do it yourself tasks and covers everything you’ll need in the household. It’s a top quality drill, offering powerful and budget friendly drilling for your light to medium jobs.
If your looking for really heavy duty tasks you may prefer the Makita, as you may have trouble with harder materials such as brick or concrete. Overall though this is a solid choice, offering around five hundred pounds of torque and 1,800 RPM. Add in it’s variable high to low speed options and you’ll be finished with your work in no time.
The drill uses a complete metal casing and has great technology to avoid over heating issues typical of more demanding tasks. This power drill is easy and light to carry job to job and compact enough for those tight work spaces. The LED light is built in for convenience, but the charger and battery are sold separately unfortunately.
- Great Value
- Very compact
- All-Metal build (solid construction)
- LED light for dark spots
- Powerful, breeze through light to medium workloads
- Hard time with thick brick and concrete
- No battery or charger included
2. DeWalt DW511 ½ Inch 7.8 Amp VSR Drill
If you need something more powerful to drill hard masonry materials or types of steel, this Dewalt offers the highest torque of the last wit 2,700 rpm. It easily handles everything around the household with its’ 2.8 amp motor and can power through some commercial jobs too.
It has a dual mode which lets you use it as an ordinary drill as well as a hammer drill when drilling concrete. Another good feature is its reversible, so no more stuck drill bits.
The speed is able to be changed. Low speeds are great for those precise tasks, while high speed makes deep holes fast. Coming in at only 4.3 pounds makes this a great daily hammer drill. It’s not too bad to lug around, but with an 8 foot power cord it’s won’t replace any cordless drills.
- Built strong
- Most comfortable
- Fast and Accurate drilling
- 3 year limited warranty
- Fairly lightweight
- Wouldn’t use it on light surfaces (soft or thin wood)
- Higher price than other options
3. Makita HP1641K ⅝ Inch Drill Kit
This drill makes the list because of it’s powerful 6-Amp motor, delivering a solid 2800 rpm and maxing out at 44800 bp. Makita lives up to their name, building a highly durable drill that only weighs 4 pounds, making it perfect for the hardest of home renovations.
The Makita hammer drill sports a comfortable soft grip handle and another handle on it’s side. This extra soft grip handle adds extra stability and comfort for both hard drilling and awkward angles.
It has 2-modes – rotational and rotation with hammer – so it can cover a large amount of tasks with one tool. An included depth gauge makes tracking your drilling depth easy and it also includes a keyless chuck and carrying case.
- Top Quality Hammer Drill
- Light for long and easy usage
- Powerful enough for hard surfaces
- The quality of the chuck could be better
- Bonus Case is flimsy and plastic
4. Bosch 120-Volt ½ Inch Hammer Drill
The Bosch is a single speed hammer drill offering plenty of great option for any lighter household or do it yourself tasks you’re about to tackle. It’s a great first tool, offering a good amount of power for the price. It’s lightweight, but it’s 7-Amp, 120 volt motor is still powerful enough to drill through the hardest steel and wood surfaces. It can drill 3000 rpm and has a max BPM of 48,000.
Like the other drills on this list, it offers the ability to reverse drill (remove or unclog the hole – see types of screws) and also has 2-modes; rotation and hammer rotation. Hammering with rotation will give you the added power you need for tougher jobs.
The Bosch Hammer Drill offers a great amount of comfort with multiple grip positions and a soft gripped handle. The side handle has a unique 360 degree rotation so you can get drilling on any angle with more precision and control.
- Best Hammer Drill for DIY tasks
- Quality build
- 360 degree handle
- Not great for really intensive tasks (concrete)
Best Battery-Powered/Cordless Hammer Drills:
5. Ryobi 18-Volt 1/2 in. Drill
For those who need a solid, reliable drill for around the house or for those DIY tasks, the cordless hammer drill offered by Ryobi is your best bet. A strong driver and and equally as strong drill, this can still be used as a cordless hammer drill for concrete. The clutch offers 24 positions for precision control when you switch from drill to driver uses.
The Ryobi uses a half inch all-metal chuck (keyless) for easy bit changes. The motor is 600 lbs per inch. Unfortunately the battery and charger are purchased separately, but the 10 volt lithium battery are able to be used between Ryobi tools.
- Great size and weight
- Cordless battery powered option
- Nice handle
- Not the first choice of Hammer drill for concrete
- Wouldn’t recommend for thick concrete
6. DEWALT DWD520K Hammerdrill
The Dewalt DWD520K shares a lot of similarities to the Dewalt DW522 (number 2 on this list) except it provides around 50% more drilling power. This 1/2 inch drill delivers 3,500 rpm with a 10-amp battery and is great for drilling hardened materials like masonry, wood, of steel.
It’s lightweight enough for all day working, coming in at just under 6 pounds. The handle includes a 14 inch soft grip with a two-finger trigger for less wrist strain during drilling.
Included in the full hammer drill kit is a steel depth rod, chuck key holder, and case.
- Most powerful drill on the list
- Great for hard surfaces (1/2 capacity in steel)
- Comfortable grips
- Heavier than other options
- More than you would need for typical household tasks
Hammer Drills and Rotary Hammers – Buying Guide
You know our best picks, but for those of you having a tough time differentiating between hammer drills and rotary hammers, or just aren’t sure which is best for you, this handy guide will explain the difference between them.
Types of Hammer Drills
A hammer drill is a regular drill that also adds the pounding motion of a hammer. This adds more power to drill holes in masonry quicker than a drill and without wearing out the bit.
A rotary hammer is a step up in power over hammer drills. They’re usually meant for masonry removal and light chiseling as they only provide one heavy hammer motion. These have a ton of power, so be sure you know how to use a drill safely before you begin.
Hammer Drill Features
Some features and terms you’ll want to know before you buy are;
Depth Rod – these are attached to the drills chuck and lets your measure the depth of the bit.
VSS (Variable Speed Selection) – An adjustable feature which selects speed. A great feature, as higher speeds drill small holes better and large holes are best with slow speeds.
Side Handle – Adds additional control to the drilling/pounding action. It can (usually) be easily removed for those tight places.
Reverse – A recommended feature, reverses the motion to remove stuck bits.
Slotted Drive System bits (commonly abbreviated as SDS) are made to help the bit easily enter the chuck during the powerful pounding action the drill delivers. By making this easier it adds more torque power as theirs less resistance in the hammering motion.
Slotted Drive System Max bits are the same as regular SDS bits, but are made with bigger shanks and have much bigger available sizes than general SDS bits. SDS Max bits are usually only used for industrial purposes.
Best Hammer Drill Comparison Chart
|Product Weight (lb)||Warranty (Years)|
|Bosch 1191VSRK Single-Speed Hammer Drill||3000/|
|1/2″||7.25||30-day money back, 1 year|
|Makita HP1641K Hammer Drill Kit||2800/|
|DeWalt DW511 VSR Hammerdrill||2700/|
|1/2″||4.3||90-day money back, 3 years limited|
|Ryobi ONE+ Cordless Hammer Drill||1500/|
|Milwaukee 2607-20 M18 Hammer Drill||1800/|
DEWALT DWD520K Hammerdrill
Corded Electric Power or Cordless
When purchasing a hammer drill, you have the choice between a cordless hammer drill and a corded one. There’s pro’s and cons for both, so let’s review them.
Cordless Hammer Drills
These cordless options are great for portability as they don’t need to be plugged in to an outlet. For small and hard to reach spaces these are probably the best portable hammer drills for you. The downside is they lack power for really heavy duty tasks and you will need a backup battery if you plan on all day working.
- Easily portable
- Can work easily in tights spaces
- Have to wait for battery to charge
- Flow of power is not as even
- Not always great when drilling very hard surfaces
Corded Electric Hammer Drills
A corded drill has a limited range as it requires a nearby outlet to be plugged into. Extension cords can be used for extended range, but heavy duty construction cords are recommended for any kind of tough hammer drilling.
- Delivers a constant power stream
- Better for working on extra tough materials such as stone or concrete
- Need to be near an outlet and deal with extension cords
In this guide we’ve covered the basics of hammer drills and our best hammer drill reviews. By now you should know the task you’re about to do and our article should have given you a good idea how to pick one. If you have further questions, looking to learn how to use a drill, or are looking for more information drop a comment below and we’ll be sure to answer those for you.