Best Hammer Drill

We’ve researched, compared and looked at test results to bring you this list of the best hammer drills for concrete, woodworking and more. Because they push the drill bit forward as well as turning it, delivering thousands of blows per minute (BPM) a hammer drill makes the job of drilling into concrete walls or masonry much easier. In compiling our list we took into account power, versatility, quality and price, making sure to include corded hammer drills as well as cordless.

Our top pick, the KIMO 20V cordless hammer drill, scores high marks for versatility and battery power, and it comes with a 46-piece accessory kit which makes it great for DIY home improvement projects. Read on to see more of our top choices for the best hammer drill on the market.

Top 5 Best Hammer Drills

 #1  KINO 20V Cordless Hammer Drill

Award: Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: This cordless hammer drill features a heavy duty battery tested for a minimum of 1000 cycles and comes with three distinct modes: regular drilling, impact drilling and screw driving, making it the most versatile cordless hammer drill for home projects.

Pros
  • Best cordless
  • Also works as screwdriver and regular drill
  • Built-in LED light
Cons
  • Not the most powerful hammer drill on the list
  • Not the cheapest hammer drill out there

For the money, this KINO is among the best cordless hammer drills that also functions as a screwdriver and non impact drill. It’s powered by a 2.0 Ah battery that promises a lifetime of at least 1000 cycles. It comes with a fast charger that gives you a full charge in about an hour. This cordless hammer drill has 2 speed settings, 0-350 and 0-1350 RPM, along with a reverse switch and a built in LED flashlight.  With these features, this is by far the best cordless drill on our list.

A great DIY tool, this hammer drill for concrete, woodworking and home remodeling projects comes with an impressive 46-piece accessory kit. It includes a carrying case, a flexible drill bit for tight spaces, 33 regular drill bits, 3 brad point drill bits and 6 twist drill bits, making it a great value for the money.  If you’re also trying to spruce up your yard, you should consider the best string trimmer too.

 #2  SKIL 7 amp 1/2-inch Hammer Drill

Award: Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: This Skil hammer drill is powerful and takes common, 1/2-inch drill bits, making it one of the best hammer drills for brick walls and other light duty, DIY work.

Pros
  • Best for brick
  • Accepts large diameter drill bits
  • Includes built-in chuck organizer
Cons
  • Not designed for heavy duty building tasks
  • Controls for speed setting can be tricky

This SKIL hammer drill, corded and using a 7-amp motor to deliver rapid steady state drilling or light percussion drilling to get through materials like masonry, plaster, clay and hardwoods more easily. It differs from the KIMO mainly in that the SKIL 7 amp is a corded hammer drill. Additionally, the SKIL hammer drill has a larger 1/2 inch keyed chuck, compared to the KIMO’s 3/8 inch keyless chuck. This means that the SKIL requires a chuck key to tighten the bit.

When driving a 1/2 inch brad point bit, the SKIL hammer drill is powerful enough to drill holes in masonry and concrete and to quickly bore out spaces in any kind of wood, making it great for home building projects and more.  For your next big project, you may also want to look into the best mig welder.

 #3  DeWalt 20V MAX HR Hammer Drill

Award: Best Quality

WHY WE LIKE IT: This DeWalt cordless hammer drill packs the power of a corded hammer drill but in a portable form, letting you conveniently and quickly drill concrete and brick without worrying about cord access.

Pros
  • Best for concrete
  • Durable all metal frame
  • 3 speed transmission delivering up to 38,250 BPM
Cons
  • Heavier than the KIMO cordless hammer drill
  • Doesn’t include bits or accessories

The DeWalt MAX HR delivers performance nearly equating that of its 7.8-Amp corded hammer drill, while offering the flexibility and maneuverability of a cordless drill. It has a durable all metal chassis and a 360º side handle that lets you work more comfortably at any angle. Its brushless motor promises improved efficiency and up to 57% more battery life than a comparable brushed motor.

Among the best cordless hammer drills for home construction, remodeling and DIY building tasks, the DeWalt 20V MAX HR uses a three speed transmission delivering up to 38,250 BPM (blows per minute) for speedy drilling in cement. It also comes with a super bright 3-mode LED to help you see what you’re doing.  Clean up your project hassle free with the best air blower.

 #4  DeWalt DW511 1/2-Inch 7.8-Amp Hammer Drill

Award: Best Medium Duty

WHY WE LIKE IT: Powerful drilling with hammer action for masonry and brick, plus handy features like a variable speed trigger and an integrated depth rod for precise drilling.

Pros
  • Best for masonry
  • Up to 46,000 BPM
  • Depth rod with adjustable built in stop
Cons
  • Motor not as powerful (650W vs 820W) as the DeWalt MAX HR
  • Wears through bits somewhat rapidly in harder concrete

One of the top corded hammer drills for home DIY and medium duty job site tasks, this DeWalt 1/2 inch features a strong, 1/2 carbide chuck, an integrated 360º rotating side handle with depth rod, and a built in chuck key holder. It uses a strong, 7.8 Amp, 650W motor to deliver up to 46,000 BPM in hammer mode, letting you drill precisely and to a pre-selected depth in masonry, wood and other materials.

Unlike the DeWalt MAX HR cordless hammer drill, this model lacks a three-speed transmission, but it does offer variable motor speed control– what that means is that the ratio of motor speed to drill bit speed doesn’t change, but you can still vary the rate of drilling, of course.  Another great rotary hammer drill is the Dewalt 1/2 inch, 7.8-Amp Hammer Drill, which only weighs 4.3 lbs. It’s a versatile tool that can perform hammer drilling and also switch to a standard drill mode for wood, steel, and masonry projects. For your woodcutting needs, you might also want to look into the best jigsaw.

 #5  Neiko 6.0-Amp Hammer Drill

Award: Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: This bargain priced hammer drill is excellent for the starter DIYer thanks to its 1/2 inch chuck, integrated depth rod and rotating handle for comfortable drilling.

Pros
  • Great for newbie DIY
  • 1/2 inch chuck for masonry bits
  • Good ergonomics with variable speed control
Cons
  • Handle and some chassis parts made of plastic
  • Not for heavy duty cement, sheet rock drilling

For general handyman tasks and DIY home projects such as hanging shelving, this bargain corded hammer drill is a great value. It accepts 1/2 inch masonry bits and has a quality keyed chuck to keep a secure hold on bits.

Like much more expensive hammer drills such as the DeWalt DW511, it comes with a rotating side handle and integrated depth bar for precise drilling. Drawing 6.0 Amps of current to power its 710 Watt motor, it operates in either hammer mode or standard drilling mode. In hammer mode, it has enough power to drill small holes in masonry, concrete and brick, and to make quick work of wood drilling tasks.  For heavier duty wood projects, you might could also consider the best pole saw.

How we Decided

In picking out our list of the best hammer drills on the market, we looked at both corded and cordless hammer drills and sought to highlight the best values in each category for DIY home improvement and we also called attention to more heavy duty options suited for a mix of home and professional uses.

For power, we made sure all the hammer drills on our list had at least 500W motors, with a motor speed of at a minimum 2500 RPM, and for cordless hammer drills, at least a 20V battery capacity, in order to give you the continuous power and torque necessary to drill into tough materials like concrete, adobe and brick. For corded hammer drill models, we picked only those with at least 600W of power.

We also only included hammer drills that were designed to work in concrete and brick as well as wood, masonry and other materials. For the sake of versatility, we limited our search to only include hammer drills with reverse speed control and that could double as regular rotary drivers.

Hammer Drill Buying Guide

 

Features to Consider

  1. Cordless vs Corded Hammer Drill
    A cordless hammer drill allows you portability and vastly extended reach, at the cost of maximum run time. If you’re working out in the yard, or on a project site where electrical outlets are not convenient, then a cordless hammer drill may be your best bet. For working at home or in the garage or on a site with ample 120V access, a corded hammer drill may allow you more peace of mind when it comes to time management.
  2. Chuck
    Hammer drills commonly feature a 1/2-inch keyed chuck for accepting the kind of drill bits necessary for drilling smoothly into concrete walls, brick and other hard, brittle materials. On the other hand, if you mainly will use the drill for general purpose DIY tasks that call for a rotary driver, and only occasionally need to make holes in hardwood, masonry or concrete, a keyless chuck can add convenience.
  3. Rotating Side Handle
    A side handle that rotates gives you added leverage on the tool and helps you get it positioned right for ideal drilling even in hard to reach spaces.
  4. Depth rod
    Using a hammer drill with a depth rod allows you to see exactly how far you’ve gone so you can make the right size bolt and anchor holes.
  5. Battery Life (of cordless)
    When picking out a cordless hammer drill, battery life is an important consideration. If you’re looking for a hammer drill (cordless) that gives you the longest battery life, look for one with a brushless motor like the Dewalt MAX HR.

FAQs

  • What is the best drill for concrete?
    A hammer drill is far better for drilling holes in concrete than a regular household drill or rotary driver. A hammer drill adds percussive impacts to the rotational motion of the bit, pulverizing the concrete as it goes.
    Is a hammer drill better than a regular drill? A hammer drill is much better for cement, masonry, brick and even for many woodworking tasks, since it combines a chiseling action with the spinning action of the bit. This means the bits won’t wear out as fast and the job will get done much sooner.
  • What is the best corded hammer drill?
    For general household use and DIY projects that require some medium duty concrete drilling, our pick for best corded hammer drill is the DeWalt DW511.
  • Will a hammer drill break up concrete?
    While hammer drills are mainly designed for drilling small-to-medium sized holes in masonry walls, brick and mortar, they can also typically handle short concrete drilling tasks such as drilling 3/8” to 1/2” holes.
  • Are corded drills more powerful?
    In general, corded hammer drills are more powerful, and lighter, than their cordless counterparts. However, you do give up the convenience and mobility of a cordless hammer drill.
  • What’s the difference between a hammer drill and an impact driver?
    A hammer drill uses its hammering action to help push the bit inwards, while an impact driver multiplies the torque being applied to rotate the bit, but doesn’t include a “pushing” or striking action.

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Ryan Mcbride

Ryan McBride is a writer based in Los Angeles. He has contributed work to magazines and sites including Gayot, Spy, Paper, Ladygunn, 3AM and the Crab Creek Review. He writes consumer reviews, essays, science and tech journalism as well as literary and art criticism.

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