Buying the right products is an essential part of any building process for any DIYers, contractors, and homeowners. The average homeowner’s assortment of tools should include the likes of hammer drills, nail/screwdrivers, and regular drills, to name a few. DIY enthusiasts are always on the lookout for the best quality tools on the market, with hammer drills being right at the top of the “must-have” list.
Hammer drills are multipurpose tools that make light work of tasks such as assembling garden sheds, piecing new furniture together, hanging pictures, anchoring bolts, installing wall plugs, and doing everyday handyman fix-ups.
What is a Hammer Drill?
A hammer drill is a standard tool for DIYers, woodworkers, concrete workers, and aluminum workers. Its primary purpose is for drilling hard materials. The machine works by generating a hammering motion. When in action, it provides a rapid succession of hammer thrusts to make holes inside the material. A hammer drill is also known as a percussion drill or impact drill.
Why go for Cordless Hammer Drills?
In some circumstances, cordless drills have the upper hand over corded drills. They are the ideal tool when working in spaces with no electricity access. You will also find that a cordless drill is lighter than the alternative, and they are typically more compact.
The latest models with 18 or 20-volt batteries are powerful enough to give corded models a run for their money. Using a cordless drill also ensures greater freedom of movement while working, allowing you to work in tricky spaces, nooks, and corners.
If you’re new to the world of hammer drills, you may mistakenly think it’s just like a regular drill when it is vastly different. To set confusion aside and ensure you get the right tool for the job, we’ve made this super detailed hammer drill review and buying guide. You’re welcome!
Cordless Hammer Drill Buying Guide
Our buying guide below is handy when it comes to buying hammer drills. It serves as a reference point and a checklist for all the features they are looking for beginners. Experienced buyers can skip reading buying guides because they already know what they want. However, if you are a beginner, we suggest you go through our buying guide so that you can buy a machine that suits your needs.
Match your drill’s power output to your specific requirements. Suppose you are an occasional user and your work is primarily minor household tasks like pinning wall frames, hanging clocks or drilling on soft materials like plastic. In that case, a 12-volt hammer drill will suffice. 12-volt drills are less expensive compared to heavy-duty drills like 18 and 20-volt units. Heavy-duty drills can generate more power and are suitable for hard materials like metal, concrete, and wood. For heavy users, DIYers, and contractors, an 18 or 20-volt hammer drill is recommended.
The chuck is the place where the work bit is attached. It is a 3-pronged clamp located at the front side of a hammer drill. A powerful drill has a big chuck size. All the drills reviewed above come with ½ inch chuck size, which is the standard recommendation. A ½ inch chuck is heavy-duty, helps generator more power and is best for drilling in metal and woods. A ½ inch chuck size works perfectly for commercial and DIY usage.
When buying hammer drills, make sure you go with a lithium-ion battery. Lithium-ion batteries are more powerful than the previous generation of NiCad batteries. They are also more durable, give better battery timing, recharge faster, and are lightweight. Luckily for you, all the drills on our list come with lithium-ion batteries.
Charger power determines the time taken by batteries to recharge. We suggest that you look for a powerful and heavy-duty charger so that you face shorter downtimes while working, and it takes less time to charge your battery before you begin your work session.
The clutch generates torque. Torque is the measure of power with which the work bit spins. Higher clutch settings mean more power generation, and it leads to making your machine versatile and fit for different materials. If you work with hard materials, look for a hammer drill that offers at least 16 different clutch settings. For lightweight workers, a less number of clutch settings work fine as well.
We suggest you look for at least 2-speed hammer drills so that you can drill in different materials without any issues. A high-speed drill is ideal for drilling into hard materials. Don’t forget to check the BPM of the cordless drills for drilling into masonry materials.
Weight and Dimensions
The weight and dimensions will impact the workability of your machine. If you are going with a big and heavy drill, you will not feel comfortable working in tight spaces. Such machines are best for contractors. If you need a machine for home and DIY purposes, go for one with a small head length and less weight.
The ergonomics of the machine increase its usability. If you work for longer sessions, a comfortable grip, hook belts, magnetized bit holder, and easy-to-use design will come in handy. So, make sure you check such features before finalizing your purchase.
Never ignore the importance of a warranty. When it comes to hammer drills, a 3-year warranty is an industry-standard. You must not settle for anything less than this. Some brands also offer lifetime warranties, money-back guarantees, and free parts replacements – such offers are icing on the top of a good deal.
Look for extra features like LED lights, accessories, carry bags, tools, safety glasses, duct attachments, and magnetized bit holders. These features increase value for money and make your machine versatile and user-friendly.
Safety Tips and Usage Instructions for Cordless Hammer Drills
Hammer drills are common handheld power tools. Such tools are generally safe to use but can become dangerous if proper safety and operational measures are not taken into account. Make sure you follow the operating instructions and safety protocols mentioned below.
- Always perform appropriate tasks with your machine. Don’t try to use hammer drills for purposes other than drilling, driving, and hammering.
- Always work when you are comfortable with the machine. Ensure that you have gripped the machine firmly and there is no kickback or too much vibration while working.
- Check all the components of your machine before working and replace any broken parts. If there are any loose components, tighten them before beginning work.
- Always wear work gloves, safety goggles, and a face shield. Don’t wear any loose clothing while working with power tools.
- Never forget to wear hearing protection while working with hammer drills.
- Keep your workplace tidy and keep the children away while working with hammer drills.
- Never exert extra pressure on the drill. Always remember that it is the drill and not you doing the hard work.
- Make sure that the drilling bit is secured tightly in the chuck. If you are working with a key chuck, remove the key before drilling.
- Keep your tools away from extreme sunlight, rain, and snow.
- Make sure there are no open flammable substances while working with power drills.
- Always store your drill at room temperature and keep it in its case.
- Take care of your charger and follow the instructions given in the user manual.
- And above all, make use of common sense while working with power tools. If you notice something out of order like a burning smell, overheating, and extra vibrations, stop right away and check your tools.
The 5 Best Brands Cordless Hammer Drills
There are many options of hammer drills available in the market today. Quality and value for money are at the forefront of every buyer’s mind, and with this in mind, we have reviewed the hammer drills from the best brands: DeWalt, Milwaukee, Makita, and others.
Apart from the review section, you will also find a buying guide and an FAQ section to help you make a sound purchasing decision!
DEWALT – DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill Kit
DeWalt is one of the leading brands when it comes to making cordless drills and other power tools. DeWalt has been in the tool-making business and producing high-end household and commercial tools for a century. As such, the brand is a household name for many DIYers.
The DeWalt 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill Kit comes with high efficiency and a powerful brushless motor that can deliver up to 75% more runtime than 18V NiCad brushed motors. In addition, the unit is provided with lithium-ion batteries, which are 33% more powerful than its predecessors. DeWalt also offers an incorporated fuel gauge in the drill machine, which keeps the user aware of the current battery position and makes it easy to estimate how much running time the unit has available at every stage of the project. This nifty feature enables you to get the most out of your drill and ensures you can recharge your machine as you go.
The metal ratcheting chuck offers a ½ inch chuck size. The heavy-duty nitro-carburized metal chuck comes with carbide inserts for superior and stable bit gripping strength. This feature holds the chuck firmly when you are working with hard materials. The machine provides three-speed settings in drill mode. The settings are 0-450, 0-1300, and 0-2000 RPM.
It offers three speeds at 0-500, 0-1500, 0-2250 RPM in hammer drill mode. The different speed settings make this machine versatile and allow you to work on various materials and change the speed according to the materials. The speed for fast drilling in masonry materials is 0-38250 BPM.
The drill also offers a 3-mode LED lighting system with a 20-minute delayed shutoff feature. It allows you extended work time in dark and confined spaces and comes with an ergonomic grip handle covered with a comfortable rubber.
The machine measures 16.5 x 11.5 x 4.25 inches and weighs 10.98 pounds. Apart from the drilling tool, the kit provides two 20V 5.0Ah lithium-ion batteries, a charger, a belt hook, a 360-degree side handle, and a kit box. All in all, it is a complete drilling solution in a box.
|Dimensions||16.5 x 11.5 x 4.25 Inch|
|Battery Type||Lithium-ion (2)|
|Chuck Size||½ inches|
|Chuck Type||Metal ratcheting|
|Uni Watts Out||820 watts|
MILWAUKEE – Milwaukee’s 2598-22 Hammer Drill
Since 1924, Milwaukee has delivered high-quality, innovative, durable, and reliable products for commercial and household use. Whether it is cordless or corded machines, Milwaukee’s products have always been top-notch. In fact, Milwaukee is in the Hall of Fame when it comes to tools like hammer drills!
The machine reviewed here is one of the most capable, lightweight, and compact tools in its category. It is capable of delivering power for a variety of applications. The machine delivers a torque of 350-inch pounds 1t 1700 RPM. It offers four-speed settings (0-1300, 0-2400, and 0-3300). The 4th mode is a self-tapping screw mode, for, you might have guessed, tapping screws. It is designed in such a way that it reduces overdriving, breaking, and stripping out screws. A high speed (3300 RPM) makes this machine more powerful and versatile than its competitors.
One of the distinct features of this machine is the REDLINK plus intelligence technology which protects it from overloading and overheating while giving you the best performance and battery backup possible. It uses two 2.0 lithium-ion battery packs for backing up your work on the go. Please note that for more backup power, you will need 4.0Ah batteries. The chuck size is ½ inch, and an all-metal construction gives maximum grip and bit retention. In addition, this hammer drill comes with an E-clutch for consistent repeatability in driving applications.
Another notable feature of this machine is that it a very lightweight model compared to other leading brands. Weighing only 2.3 pounds, this machine is ideal for occasional users, women DIYers, and contractors on the go. Apart from being lightweight, the hammer drill is also compact and measures 4 x 15 x 10 inches. Such a compact size and low weight make this machine ideal for working in tight spaces.
It must be noted that this hammer drill is not a very powerful machine and can deliver only 12 volts. When we compare it to heavy-duty models like 18 or 20 volts, we find that it is only suitable for domestic use and light-duty tasks. The maximum you can do with this machine is drive 3-inch screws, drill ¾ holes in wood, and run self-tapper issues. If you want to use this machine on metal, you will be draining its power and really putting it through its paces.
This machine also offers a fuel gauge and a 10-second delay LED light. Inside the box, you will find the drill, batteries, charger, extended battery pack, belt clip, and a carry bag.
|Dimensions||4 x 15 x 10 Inch|
|Speed||3-SPEED + Self-tapping|
|Chuck Size||½ inches|
|Material||Plastic & Steel|
|Warranty||Limited lifetime warranty|
MAKITA – Makita XPH12R Cordless Hammer Drill
Makita is one of the oldest and most trusted power tools manufacturers on the market. The brand has a massive global following, and for a good reason. If you are looking for one of the most powerful cordless hammer drills, you don’t need to look any further.
This model from Makita can deliver 530-inch pounds of torque with 2-speed settings (0-500 & 0-2000 RPM) (0-7500 & 0-30000 BPM) for drilling, driving, and hammering. You will certainly never feel powerless while working with this 18-volt machine. The many features of the unit make it possible to drill a variety of materials with it.
The unit offers a ½ inch chuck size and offers more stability in hammer mode than previous models. The brushless motor delivers a power-packed punch compared to brushed motors in older models, and the motor is controlled with sensors to provide more battery life.
This particular machine, with a compact and ergonomic design, features extreme protection technology. This provides increased dust and water resistance in harsh working conditions. The drill weighs only 3.5 pounds and measures 5.5 x 15.8 x 13.2 inches. It comes with all-metal housing to give a durable and long-lasting touch to your machine, increasing commercial and heavy-duty usage. The handle offers a rubberized grip for increased comfort while working.
With this hammer drill, you get two 18V 2.0Ah lithium-ion batteries, a quick charger, and a tool bag for portability. Its charger is super-fast, recharging the machine in just 25 minutes, thus reducing downtimes while working. To help you work in dark places, the machine offers dual LED lights with a delayed shutdown feature.
|Dimensions||5.5 x 15.8 x 13.2 Inch|
|Chuck Size||½ inches|
|Material||Plastic & Steel|
Bosch is another company known for providing quality cordless power tools at affordable prices. People prefer Bosch for a modern working experience with the best features and excellent performance. If you are looking for a machine for tough jobs, then Bosch’s hammer drills are ideal. The 18V machine comes with a ½ inch keyless chuck for increased bit grip and stability while working on different applications.
The brushless motor can produce 535-inch pounds torque, making this machine ideal for tough jobs. With 20+1 clutch settings, this hammer drill will effortlessly handle all your drilling, hammering, and driving tasks. The machine offers 2-speed settings (0-600 and 0-1900 RPM) and 0-28500 BPM for drilling in masonry materials.
One of the unique features of the Bosch GSB 18V-535CB15 Cordless Hammer Drill is the Bluetooth connectivity option allowing you to customize the machine settings on a connected device. It is a rare feature in hammer drills, and full credit goes to Bosch for introducing such a user-friendly option in a hammer drill. The 18V 4.0 Ah lithium-ion batteries are strong, powerful, and durable.
The unit provides a kickback control feature for increased safety while working. Bosch also offers cool pack technology to keep the battery cool. This feature provides 20% more efficient battery management than previous models. The machine also includes LED lights for illuminating the work area.
Bosch offers one of the best package deals on the market, and it’s worth noting that there are more accessories included in this kit than in the other brands. When purchasing this hammer drill, you will find the following inside the box: the hammer drill, one 18V 4.0Ah lithium-ion battery, 18V charger, one 4x bit holder, 4 bits, one belt clip, and a carry bag.
The machine measures 7.9 x 7.25 x 2.3 inches and weighs 2.7 pounds. These dimensions make this machine perfect for use in tight and confined places.
|Dimensions||7.9 x 7.25 x 2.3 Inch|
|Chuck Size||½ inches|
RYOBI – Ryobi P1813 Hammer Drill
Ryobi is known for producing high-quality and powerful tools – in fact, it’s a top brand. If you want a hammer drill capable of delivering more than the hammer drills reviewed above, Ryobi is the best option for you.
The P1813 can deliver 750-inch pounds torque and comes with 24 clutch settings, making it a versatile machine, ideal for drilling different materials such as wood, masonry, and plastic. The 18V power provides ample power and will never let you down while working on rigid materials. The 3-speed settings and ½ inch chuck size complement your work needs while working on different materials and applications.
One interesting feature of this machine is the magnetic bit holder for connecting bits. You can find this feature located near the base of the machine. This is a time-saving and convenient feature as you won’t have to search for bits in your work bag.
Looking for cordless tools? This machine’s batteries are 18V 4.0Ah and come with an onboard fuel gauge, keeping you aware of the remaining battery life throughout your project. The battery has been designed to work in different temperature conditions. As such, it can operate in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. The included charger can recharge the batteries in less than 30 minutes, thus reducing downtime while working. The auxiliary handle assembly allows for greater accuracy and grip while drilling.
The LED light is located just above the battery slots and is perfect for illuminating the workplace, although we should point out that this is not the ideal location for a light. Some users feel that the focus of the light is not in sync with the work bit.
When buying this product, you will get one 4.0Ah 18V lithium-ion battery, a dual chemistry charger, screwdriver bit, auxiliary handle, belt clip, and a tool bag along with the hammer drill. The drill measures 8 x 3.4 x 8.2 inches and weighs 7.7 pounds.
While this is a decent drill, buyers should be aware that it’s slightly heavier than the other models reviewed above, and the LED’s location is also troublesome.
|Dimensions||8 x 3.4 x 8.2 Inch|
|Chuck Size||½ inches|
Yes. You can use a hammer drill for fastening screws when converted in the right mode and used with appropriate power screwdriver bits.
The answer depends on your work needs. Hammer drills have more moving parts and are a bit more expensive than regular drills. If you will be drilling through tough materials, a hammer drill is a better option. They are more durable and are best for heavy-duty work. Please keep in mind that this comparison is between a cordless hammer drill and a cordless drill.
All the drills reviewed above are the best models from the best brands. Generally, DeWalt and Ryobi are considered to be the best hammer drill brands.
Attach the appropriate working bit, begin on a low speed and establish a hole. Once the hole is established, speed up your drill and continue until you hit your depth.
Now that you’re aware of the best hammer drills on the market, it’s time for you to consider each option and make a well-thought-out buying decision carefully!