How Does a Hammer Drill Work?

A hammer drill is a versatile yet multifunctional tool that works in different ways based on its working mode. So, to learn how does a hammer drill work, you have to understand its working modes and usability.

Luckily, we will briefly discuss on hammer drill in the following guide, which will help you realize how this powerful tool works. Apart from these you will learn how to use a hammer drill and its benefits based on the working mode, so you can use this drill where it needs to be.

What is a Hammer Drill?

A hammer drill is an especially designed power tool that is mostly used to drill through hard materials like concrete and brick using its hammering motion. This tool also uses rotary action to move hard and fast impacts through the drill head. A hammer drill can deliver a pulsating knock that is considerably greater than a typical drill. This pulsating knock especially allows the drill bit to dig through the harder surface and break down easily.

The hammering motion of this power tool is also handy for pounding nails into the board since the consecutive blows offer the essential pressure. A hammer drill is a reliable power tool among expert DIYers to drill through masonry surfaces. It can create holes in concrete, rocks, bricks, and drywall conveniently.

The Advantages of using a Hammer Drill

Hammer drills make the tough surface drilling task efficient. It can drill through concrete, mortar, blocks, and bricks most conveniently. In general, a hammer drill is designed with two discs with ridges that are pretty much the same as chuck slams. When the discs of the drill slide past the other discs, the ridges start rising and falling. Therefore, the chuck smashes with a back and forth motion. So, you can use hammer drill as a regular drill too.

This motion happens for a typical hammer drill on average 30,000 times per minute. you can also compare this action with the principle of the transformation of electrical energy to kinetic energy to operate fans and other devices. Once the operator stops applying force, the clutch gets separated from both discs and the hammering motion stops.

Apart from these, a cordless hammer drill usually has multiple working modes. So, apart from the hammering, this power drill can be used as a standard drill by keeping the hammer mode off. A drill bit is also a dispensable part of a hammer drill. Since the hammer drill mostly needs to drill through masonry and concrete surfaces, it requires a solid bit. The drill bits of the hammer drill is available in a wide range of sizes, so the DIYers can create the hole while maintaining the desired diameter.

The key advantage of a hammer drill is its power. With a combination of quick and consistent blows and higher RPM, this power tool offers extreme power to drill through solid surfaces like concrete and masonry. Therefore, the hammer drill is mostly used to drive into hard surfaces conveniently.

The Hammer drill also includes a switch to change the driving mode and can be chosen between two or three different functions. Following that, we will discuss some exciting advantages of the hammer drill, mostly based on its function:

Can a Hammer Drill be Used as A Regular Drill?

Most modern hammer drills have three working modes. Among them, the first one is the hammer mode, which is used to offer a direct impact motion, likewise the jackhammer. The second one is drill mode, which delivers rotary action to drill through like a regular drill. The last one is hammer and drill mode, which offers both of those actions.

A hammer drill is costlier than a typical power drill due to its more moving parts and durability. Apart from drilling into a tough surface through a hammering motion, a regular drill has the same effect as a corded hammer drill and is a fairly cheaper option. However, hammer drills are slightly heavier and come in a larger size.

These also include a side-mounted handle to ensure better control over the project. Having a hammer drill allows you to enjoy the benefits of a regular drill without incurring additional costs. Even if you are planning to buy a new power drill, it’s recommended to invest in a hammer drill, as these are more durable and versatile than typical power drills.

Can be used as a Jackhammer

Another exciting advantage of getting a hammer drill is that it can be used as a jackhammer. As you already know, a hammer drill features a hammer mode that you can control through a trigger. By switching on the hammer mode, you will get a straight impact like a jackhammer.

But using a hammer drill for the jack hammering project is quite time-consuming. It needs to create lots of holes near the edge, and then you can break off a chunk which causes plenty of time. Though the hammer drill will work, it will be better to use a jackhammer to break up the material efficiently. In general, a jackhammer comes with more hitting force compared to a hammer drill.

Drilling holes in concrete

A hammer drill is an appropriate DIY tool for working on a masonry surface. It’s a perfect tool to drill through concrete and can sometimes create holes in dense concrete. a hammer drill is also a suitable appliance for creaking concrete, though it takes a little more time considering the thickness of the concrete.

For breaking down concrete, it needs to turn on the hammering mode, keeping the rotation mode off. It also requires a point bit, chisel, or flat bit to break the concrete. Then drilling a series of holes around the desired place will break down the concrete, leaving a clean fracture.

How to use a Hammer Drill

Operating a hammer drill is quite a difficult task compared to operating a regular drill. Due to its hammering motion, DIYers often need a lot of effort to control the drill. To use a hammer drill, you will require protective gear, a pencil, a hammer drill bit, and the best hammer drill.

  • Firstly, mark the place with a pencil where you want to drill a hole. Using a ruler will be a good idea to make an evenly spaced mark while maintaining the right height.
  • Wear your safety gear, especially goggles to protect your eyes from flying dust.
  • If your hammer drill features a depth stop, then adjust the required depth. If the hammer drill doesn’t have the function, you can still create a hole at the desired depth by marking the depth on the drill.
  • Place the drill bit tip on the marked spot. Then set the hammer drill’s speed at the lowest setting and start with gentle pressure. It’s better to create a guide hole with a 1/4″ depth.
  • Once you have created the guide hole, it’s time to increase both the pressure and speed.
  • Pull out the drill bit every 15 seconds and remove the debris to clean the hole. Continue the method till you achieve the desired depth.
  • Clean the hole and sounding area after creating the required on the masonry or concrete surface. You can apply an air compressor to blow up the dust quickly.

FAQs on How Does a Hammer Drill Work

Do hammer drills require special types of drill bits?

Most of the hammer drills are designed with three-jawed chucks that are compatible with regular twist bits to drill soft surfaces and metal while keeping the hammering mode turned off. Despite this, you have to insert a specialised bit type to drill into masonry.

What is SDS in hammer drill?

SDS is the preferred slotted drive system or slotted drive shaft. SDS also stands for a type of drill bit that is compatible with both hammer drills and rotary drills.

What is the difference between a hammer drill and a standard drill?

Hammer drills typically produce more power through hammering action. The pressure of the hammer drill is also applied directly through the drill bit. While a regular drill bit is suitable for creating a hole in the wood and soft surfaces, the hammer drill is perfect for drilling through masonry and concrete. Even a DIYer can use a hammer drill as a regular drill, keeping its hammering motion off.

Final words

A hammer drill is a deal-breaker when it needs to handle a solid surface. It’s a multi-functional tool that allows use for a variety of surfaces with different mechanisms in an inconvenient way. Thus, learning how does a hammer drill work be worth using this powerful tool where it needs to be and getting the desired performance.

Finally, whether you are a professional or a weekend DIYer, it is highly recommended that you keep this hammer drill in your toolbox so that you can deal with hard surfaces whenever they arise.

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Sam Morgan is a general contractor based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He does home renovations, extensions, landscaping maintenance, and general handyman jobs for homeowners. He is also the part-time content writer at Machine Handyman and a lifelong tools enthusiast. Sam loves hand tools, power tools, machinery, and DIY gadgets of all shapes and sizes! He is always researching the different types of home improvement tools that will get the best results. This site will cover products like power drills, air compressors, saws, nail guns, screw guns, grinders, cutting tools, and many more.

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