How to Use a Hammer Drill – A Step by Step Guide

Drills have become fairly commonplace in residential settings. People use them to hang television sets and assemble furniture along with performing numerous other DIY projects around the house.

While conventional drills have a wide variety of uses, they have their limits. To be more specific, some materials are too hard and dense for them to drill through. One of the most prominent examples is concrete. A standard drill cannot successfully drill through concrete.

But this is why hammer drills were created in the first place. They do not differ that drastically from normal drills in terms of their basic design. However, they have components that enable them to push through tougher materials.

How to Choose a Hammer Drill?

Before you can use a hammer drill, you must first buy one. That sounds like a simple task but it isn’t. There are so many hammer drill models on the market that you are going to have a difficult time narrowing your options down. The only way to ensure that you land the best possible unit is to take the following factors into account:

  • Power Type

You can either buy a corded or cordless drill. Cordless drills are more flexible because you can use them in any location regardless of whether or not a conventional electrical outlet is present. Corded hammer drills offer a lot more power. They are compatible with difficult tasks such as breaking up concrete floors.

  • Chuck Type

You can either get a keyed or keyless chuck. A keyed chuck is less convenient because changing the bit requires an Allen key. However, the chuck has a more secure hold on the bit. A keyless chuck allows you to change the bit with a simple twist.

However, a lot of hammer drills have unstable keyless chucks that do not hold the bit firmly enough.

  • Chuck Size

The size of the bits you want to use will determine the chuck size you will prioritize. Hammer drills tend to offer larger chucks that can accommodate larger bits.

  • Drill Type

You can either purchase a conventional hammer drill or a rotary hammer drill. A conventional hammer drill has an optional hammer function that is compatible with materials like brick and cement.

The rotary version has a rotating piston that is supposed to gain momentum while you work. This delivers a more powerful drilling function.

  • Features

Hammer drills come with a variety of features. You are encouraged to select models whose features are suitable for the work you want to do. You should know that the more features a hammer drill has, the higher its price tag.

Most people cannot afford to simply purchase a hammer drill that has every feature, regardless of whether or not they need them all. This is why they endeavor to identify drills that have only those features they are willing to pay for.

Some notable features include a chiseling function that chips materials, a variable speed trigger that controls the speed of the drill, an auxiliary side handle that gives you more balance when you use the drill, LED lights that can illuminate your work, and a depth rod that will allow you to maintain accuracy where the depth of your holes is concerned.

How to Use a Hammer Drill

Using a hammer drill isn’t that difficult, not if you know how to use an ordinary drill. The key is to first assemble all the tools you will need.

What You Will Need?

  • Hammer Drill
  • Compressed air
  • Marker
  • Safety devices
  • Drill Bits

Buying Hammer Drill Bits

You have to buy Hammer drill bits. This issue needs to be emphasized because some people prefer to use standard drill bits in their hammer drills. Standard drill bits have their uses but they are not suitable for hammer drills.

They will work to an extent. But they won’t give you access to the hammering function. A hammer drill bit is strong, made from tough materials that can survive the stress of hammering through dense surfaces. They typically feature carbide tips that have a longer lifespan than standard drill bits.

Choosing Between Corded and Cordless Drills

While cordless drills sound like the obvious choice because of their flexibility, as was noted above, corded drills are more powerful. Cordless drills are cheaper but their corded counterparts are the only rational option for anyone that wants to undertake heavy-duty projects.

In other words, your choice between the two will depend on your need. Do not buy a cordless drill simply because it is flexible; neither should you buy a corded drill because it is more powerful. Let your needs guide you. Buy the hammer drill that is most compatible with your situation.

What You Will Do

The process of using a hammer drill is fairly straightforward, and it typically involves the following:

  • Measurements and markings

Start by identifying the locations on the target material where you will make the holes. Use the tape measure to make the necessary measurements. You can make your markings with a pencil.

  • Drill Configuration

Get your drill and the relevant bits. Identify the hole depth and set the drill’s depth-stop accordingly.

  • Safety

Before you start drilling, slip your protective gear into place. You need goggles to safeguard your eyes. You need plugs for your ears, leather gloves for your hands, and a respirator (N95) for your mouth and nose. The respirator is important because the drilling process produces dust. If you’re drilling brick and mortar, they will generate crystalline silica which presents a health hazard when inhaled.

The respirator will protect your lungs from scarring.

  • Drilling

Once your protective gear is in place, install the pilot drill bit and start the drilling process. The drill should be placed perpendicular to the wall. The layperson thinks that you need incredible speed to puncture hard surfaces but the opposite is true.

The harder the surface, the slower you should drill. Materials like brick and concrete are tough, so you have to work at a slow speed. Use two hands to keep the drill level and perpendicular.

Drill a pilot hole to the recommended depth. Change to a large masonry bit and drill into the pilot hole. You can use compressed air to remove dust and debris.


Q.Why the Hammer Drill?

ANSWER: A hammer drill brings more power to the table. As its name suggests, it drills and hammers at the same time. This allows the tool to punch through hard surfaces with greater ease.

However, it produces more dust and debris, which is why you need goggles.

Q. How a Hammer Drill Works?

ANSWER: A hammer drill has a hammering device and a drilling device both of which are connected to an electric source. When the drill is activated, the drilling device will rotate. The hammering device, on the other hand, will hammer. In other words, the drill will spin while moving back and forth.

Q.What is a Hammer Drill Used For?

ANSWER: People use it to drill multiple holes of a large width through hard surfaces such as ceramic tiles.

Q. Can I Use a Hammer Drill to Chisel?

ANSWER: A hammer drill can chisel tough materials like mortar, stones, and bricks. Chiseling involves breaking up hard soil, busting strong surfaces open, making holes, removing tiles, and the like.

You can perform these tasks with a hammer and chisel. But a hammer drill can achieve similar results at a faster rate.

Q.Can You Use a Hammer Drill as a Regular Drill?

ANSWER: The best hammer drills are multi-functional. They have ‘hammer’, ‘drill’, and ‘hammer drill’ modes. You can switch between these models depending on the need at hand.

In other words, by simply switching to ‘drill’ mode, you can use a hammer drill as a regular handheld drill.

However, hammer drills are larger, heavier, and more expensive which is why many people are unwilling to buy them if they don’t need them. Though, if you can only buy one of them, you might as well get a hammer drill. A regular drill might fail you once you encounter surfaces like concrete.

Q.Will a Hammer Drill Go Through Concrete?

ANSWER: Yes. A hammer drill combines rotating and back and forth movements to generate the sort of power that can push through concrete. With some experience, you can use a regular drill on concrete. But a hammer drill is much faster.

Q.How to Use a Hammer Drill on Concrete?

ANSWER: Drilling through concrete isn’t that different from drilling into brick:

1). You need a decent masonry drill bit with a carbide tip that can withstand the stress of drilling through dense surfaces like concrete. The length of the bit should match the depth of the hole you want to drill.

2). You need to apply pressure, but not too much pressure. Otherwise, you will damage the motor. This is especially true for heavier drills. With smaller, lighter models, you can afford to push a little harder.

3). You should drill in phases, especially if the depth is considerable. Pull the drill out every dozen or so seconds. Blow some of the dust out while the drill cools.

4). If the concrete has objects on the inside that were added to reinforce it, you can overcome this issue by placing a masonry nail in the hole and using a hammer to break up these challenging sections.

5). Whenever you hit rebar, you will observe sparks. You should switch to rebar-cutting drill bits at this point. They will make short work of this obstruction.


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