Choosing the Best Rotary Hammer Drill is not an easy task. As there are not so many great tools on the market.
Whether you are doing a D.I.Y project on your own, or you’re putting together a full deck of Home Depot, purchasing power tools can be a hassle.
“Should I buy the most expensive one” or “should I get the one everyone else is getting” are the common question we ask ourselves before a big purchase. Is it speed that you rely on? Maybe it is power Or maybe you just want something to get the job done. So how do we determine which Rotary Hammer Drill in the market is right for you?
In a Hurry? Check our Top rated Rotary Hammer Drills
|Bosch 11255VSR Bulldog Xtreme - 8 Amp 1 Inch Corded Variable Speed Sds-Plus Concrete/Masonry Rotary...||451 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
|Makita HR4002 1-9/16-Inch SDS-MAX Rotary Hammer||43 Reviews||Buy on Amazon|
What To Look For When Buying A Rotary Hammer Drill
Hammer Drills are just like all other power tools, comes in many different varieties and brands. Choosing the right one for your project depends on what you need and your price range. When purchasing a drill, think about the environment you are going to be doing your project in. Are you outside not around electricity? Then you would either need a battery pack or a cordless drill versus an at-home project you can rely on a corded one which can run you a couple of bucks cheaper. Another factor to include is the speed as well as whether you want an SDS versus an SDS Max/Plus.
The speed of your drill can be adjusted to fit your hole needs. If you want a larger hole you would have the speed on slow and if you would like small holes, high speed is the way to go. Now SDS (Slotted Drive System) is at the end of bits and they match to the inside of the chuck. It secures the bit so that it will not move or slip. They can be harder to find and cost a bit more expensive than regular drill bits. SDS Max or Plus are similar in every way but that has a huge shank. You normally use it for larger applications. They are expensive as well but worth the price in the long run.
These are just some of the basics, not the add-on, one must keep in mind when purchasing a drill. For more in-depth buying guides, check out at the end of this article. If you have these things mapped out you can move on to the next part, the shopping.
9 Things to consider when Buying a Rotary Hammer Drill
Till now, you know what is a rotary hammer drill, different types of drills and their use. Now you are ready to make your purchase decision but hold on, I am not finished yet.
It’s time to get technical. Here are some of the key points you should look for when buying a rotary hammer drill.
1. Power Of The Motor
Depending on your budget, you can get motors with 6 to 8 amps or if you are willing to spend a little bit more, you can get motors that range from 7 to 10 amps.
6 – 8 amps motor can easily drill holes in brick, block, mortar and in light masonry up to 1/2 inch.
Drills that feature 7 – 10 amps motors are suitable for drilling holes up to 5/8 inch. You can use them for light to the medium-duty task.
If you want to do some heavy-duty DIY work, go for the pricier ones, because it’ll have 10 amps+ motor power. These are made for professional construction workers.
2. Impact Energy
For any medium task, you can go for hammer drills that can deliver 1.5 to 3 ft.-lbs. of impact energy. For chiseling through concrete and faster drilling, you can choose a tool that produces 5.9 ft/lbs – 10 ft/lbs of impact energy. It’s important to look out for the amount of impact energy your handy tool can produce.
This section is only applicable for battery-powered drills. For medium to heavy-duty work, it’s better to choose 18 – 20 volts of battery power.
For any cordless drills, higher the voltage means you’ll get more power out of your drill. That also comes with a problem. It’ll also make your drill heavier.
For example, The DEWALT DCH273B has a 20V battery power and 2.1 Joules impact energy. It gives you portability and at the same time gives you the power of a corded drill.
It means the twisting power of your drill. If you pick the SDS version, you don’t have to worry about torque speed. Most of these tools have ATC (Active Torque Control) or UTC (Ultimate Torque Control) integrated for safety.
ATC/UTC can switch off the tool in a blink of an eye if the motor or the bit binds or the housing starts to rotate too fast.
5. RPM & BPM
RPM means the amount of rotation or revolutions per minute and BPM means the number of blows per minute. Higher RPM means higher drilling speed. By the number of rotation, you can get a good idea of how fast the drill will rotate.
BPM is for the hammering action of the drill. Higher BPM means stronger hammering action. For example, The Ryobi P222 produces up to 5,000 BPM. It’s enough to hammer through the toughest materials.
Most of the time manufacturers won’t include RPM/BPM in the specs because you don’t need to look at them. How the drill feels in your hands will determine everything. It’s more important than the BPM rating.
6. Chuck Size
It often indicates the part of the drill that can hold the maximum recommended hole size the drill can handle. On a regular drill keyless chucks are recommended because they don’t require any tool to attach them. Most of the drills will have all-metal chucks because they are durable and more suitable for the heavy-duty task.
You are already aware of the fact that a rotary hammer is heavy & powerful. So, expect some kickbacks and vibrations. When you operate one of these tools, you need to feel comfortable. Because of the power and performance of these tools, you need to look at its handle grip and trigger.
The handle grip should also feel comfortable to hold. Soft grips are preferable. Most high-end drills have anti-vibration technology installed. You don’t have to worry about vibrations because most of the time, the handle grip will absorb it.
The trigger is important too. You need to have the best control over it. How will you know if the trigger is a perfect fit for you? Simple, if your index finger fits around it comfortably than you know it’s a perfect fit.
You are paying a lot of money for these tools so expect some extra accessories. Most of them will come with a carrying case, depth gauge, led lights, etc. If you buy a cordless drill, some of them will include extra batteries and chargers. You do have the option to buy only a “bare tool”. Which literally means only the drill itself. Saves a lot of money.
9. Other Bits & Attachments Include:
- Clay Spade
- Cold Chisel
- Bull Point Chisel
- Scaling Chisel
- Tile Remover and so on.
Top Rated Rotary Hammer Drill Reviews
Let’s check out the reviews and see which one fits your needs.
1. Bosch 11255VSR BULLDOG 1in SDS Plus D Handle
- 3 Modes: Multi function selector offers 3 modes of operation; rotation only, rotary hammer, and hammer only mode; Variable speed trigger with reverse offers accurate bit starting or easy fastener removing
- Ease of Use: The Bulldog Xtreme Bosch Drill has vibration control for comfort in all day applications
- Ergonomic: D handle design provides comfort and optimal control; especially for overhead or downward drilling applications
- Convenient: SDS plus bit system provides tool free bit changes with automatic bit locking, dust protection and maximum impact energy transfer; Vario lock positioning offers 36 bit positions for optimized chiseling angle
- Power: Bosch’s powerful 7.5 amp rotary tool motor produces 0 1, 300 RPM and 0 5, 800 BPM to power through the toughest applications; The rotary hammer delivers 2.0 feet /lbs of impact energy for maximum performance
The Bosch 11255VR is an efficient and versatile piece of equipment. This unique and powerful tool allows you to get the job done fast and with little to no effort.
The drill measures 11.4lbs with dimensions of 17.2 x 7.2 x 3 inches. It is a corded-electric drill that does not come with a battery nor does it need one.
It also has various-lock positioning that can rotate and lock the chisel into 36 different positions. That allows you to optimize and choose a specific angle base on your preference.
The Bosch Bulldog runs on a 7.5 Amp motor that has three operating modes: hammer only, the rotation only, and the rotary hammer. This drill can be used in heavy-duty work so don’t be afraid to show what it is made of.
- Best SDS-plus rotary hammer drill on this list.
- Keyless chuck design features smooth bit changes.
- It has a good weight to power ratio.
- Powerful motor meant for heavy-duty use.
- It comes with a carrying case, handle & depth gauge.
- Nothing I can think of. It is very powerful, makes sure you know what you are dealing with.
2. Makita HR4002 1-9/16-Inch SDS-MAX
- Power Tools and Accessories
- Country of manufacture: China
- Manufacturer: Makita
- Built-in torque limiting clutch disengages if bit jams
- Powerful 10 AMP motor delivers for the most demanding applications
The Makita HR4002 is a POWERHOUSE when it comes to rotary drills.
It is 14.6lbs and its dimensions are 4.5 x 18 x 10.1 inches.
It has a 10 Amp motor that delivers 2,500 BPMs. It does not contain a battery, so it is corded, but it does contain 12-bit angle settings that can be set to different positions.
Another con is that it, as well, only has two modes of operation: hammering and hammering with rotation.
Despite the lack of rotary as an operation, it has a Torque limiting clutch. This clutch makes sure to automatically disengage gears if it sees that the bit is a bind.
The speed, however, cannot be changed on this hammer drill. But with that lack of speed options, it does offer the “no hammering while idling” option so it can increase the life of the drill.
What the Makita HR4002 lacks in basics, it makes up with added features and amazing concepts that make this tool one to not miss out on.
- In terms of power, this is the best corded rotary hammer drill on this list.
- It has a very comfortable handle grip.
- It is packed with features such as different bit angle settings, dual ball bearings and many more.
- This tool has a powerful motor that can deliver 2500 BPM.
- Specially engineered to increase the tool life.
- This one is pricey. But, you get what you pay for.
3. Dewalt D25263K D-Handle SDS with Shocks, 1-1/8″
- 3 Joules of impact energy
- 8.5 Amp high performance motor
- SHOCKS - Active Vibration Control, reduced vibration felt in the handles. A Perform & Protect feature
- Integral clutch reduces sudden, high torque reactions
- Rotating brush ring delivers full speed/torque in forward and reverse
Last, but certainly not least, is the Dewalt D25263K. This drill would be the mother of all drills. It is 6.8lbs and has dimensions of 19.2 x 12.8 x 5.3 inches.
It is a corded drill with an 8.5 Amp motor which has superior performance.
It also has high torque reactions if the bit jams which is a great bonus.
It has the three operation modes and the option to change the speeds. The best feature that this drill has that the other one on this list does not possess is the SHOCKs.
The active vibration control helps to reduce the number of vibrations felt at the handles.
The Dewalt D25263K can hold its own against most competition and can be used by the average person. Go ahead, give it a try.
- The Dewalt D825263K comes with a high-performance motor.
- The active vibration control makes it very comfortable to use.
- D-grip handle makes it very comfortable to hold the drill.
- It delivers a whopping 5000BPM hammer speed.
- The clutch system minimizes high torque reactions.
- The best in the industry. The name of the brand says it all. I don’t think there is any handyman out there that wouldn’t fall in love with this one.
How To Find The Best Rotary Hammer For Your Job
If you are a complete noob & don’t know a single thing, then this section is for you. Here I’ll explain what is a rotary hammer drill, the difference between a hammer drill and a rotary drill and other frequently asked questions. I’ll also go through the key features for buying the perfect rotary tool for your job.
Whether it’s your next construction job or perhaps a critical remodeling work that you need to do, making the right choice for a rotary tool is important. For that reason, I’ve included a buying guide for you.
To get the best bang for your buck, you need to do a little bit of research of your own and invest in a quality tool. Take your time reading the rest of this article or skim through the basic section.
What Is A Rotary Hammer Drill?
Let’s get down to the basics first.
This piece of equipment got its name from the rotary mechanism that also adds a hammering function to it.
The hammer moves in a circular motion. If you combine its rotary motion with its powerful hammering function, you can drill through tough thick concrete or bore holes through ceramic tiles or bricks with ease. These are perfect for a heavy-duty task like these.
So, it’s basically a hammer drill with hammering function? Nope! Both of these tools may look the same, but they are actually quite different.
Rotary Hammer Vs Hammer Drill
In terms of mechanism and power, a rotary hammer drill comes with a lot of power under the hood. Just because both of them can drill doesn’t necessarily mean they are the same thing.
Sure, you can use them for drilling masonry. They’ll do just fine. But what about thick concrete?
That’s where the hammer drill will let you down. In this scenario, even a cheap rotary hammer drill will hand down to win the bet. They are tough, durable, packs more power and come with “hammer-only” mode for extra thrusting effect.
For a regular drill or even a masonry drill, you are better off with a regular hammer drill. But, what if I say you need to drill a bunch of holes into a thick concrete? That’s where you need to step up a notch and get yourself a rotary hammer drill.
They are preferred by many construction professionals because of the extra pulverizing functionality. You can even use them as a regular drill. All you need to do is to turn the mode selection knob and you have yourself a regular drill.
You also have the feature of adding extra bits like scaling chisel, bull point chisel, tile remover, cold chisel and for larger concrete the SDS-Max clay spade. For more details on how the mechanism works, why not check out our Hammer Drills vs Rotary Hammers comparison.
Different Types Of Rotary Hammer Drills
In terms of mechanism, there are two basic types of rotary hammers.
1. The Ordinary Rotary Hammer
2. The SDS Rotary Hammer.
The first one you can use it as a regular drill. If you want more powerful hammering motion, go for the SDS rotary hammer.
Don’t get me wrong, you can still use the hammer function on a basic rotary tool. The SDS gives you more option to do so, don’t forget the extra power it comes with.
For light to the medium-duty task, the basic version is good enough. But for a heavy-duty task, the SDS provides the necessary punch. Aside from giving you the extra drill power, it’s also a very versatile tool. It can be used as a
- Power screwdriver
- Hammer drill
- Impact driver.
It’s like having the power of three handyman tools in one. With the SDS, you can do a lot of jobs like breaking up hard soil, bust up concrete, pull up ceramic tiles, removing concrete or weld spatter and drill holes (obviously).
In terms of power source, they can be classified into two types
1. Electric or Corded
Like most other power tools, these are also available in two different power sources. Based on your requirement, you can either go for the corded (electric) or the cordless (battery-powered) one.
Both have similar functionality. If I want to drill for a long time and need a lot of power, I would go for the corded one. On the other hand, for small at-home garage work, I would rather choose the cordless one.
Corded drills are powerful. You’ll have access to the continuous power supply and extra power. The downside is you must stay close to a power outlet or use an extension cord.
2. Battery Powered or Cordless
Cordless drills are great for portability. For offsite work, I would use a cordless rotary hammer rather than use a regular electricity-powered drill. The only drawback is you have a limited work period.
In the end, it all comes down to your choice. With cordless drills, you won’t be able to do any heavy-duty task as they lack power, but good enough for a medium task.
If you are still asking yourself “what is the best rotary hammer drill to buy?”, then check out this buyer’s guide and hopefully, you’ll get your answer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Which Drill Bit Is Right For Me?
Most of the time, when you are drilling into reinforced concrete you need to invest in a certain type of bit that is specifically designed to chew through the rebar, mesh wire as well as concrete.
2. Should I Spend In A Rotary Tool That Will Only Drill 1/2 Inch Holes?
If I were you, I wouldn’t buy a rotary hammer just for that. If you want to buy one it must be for something more. Suppose you want to drill larger holes or drill faster or want to drill a lot of holes, then you need this type of tool.
3. Which One Is The Best Rotary Hammer Brand?
It depends on your budget and requirement. There is no single brand that excels in everything. Some of the popular brands are Hiltex, Makita, Dewalt, Bosch, and Ryobi.
- Make sure you buy the right tool for the right job.
- Read the manuals before operating any hammer drills.
- Always wear proper safety gear. Safety glass, shoes, gloves are recommended.
- Rather than forcing your tool, let it do its job.
- Always stay alert on its warning signs. It’ll notify you if something gets wrong.
- Whenever you change the bits, make sure you grease them for increased productivity.
- Done drilling? Make sure you clean up that debris and dirt.
- Always use a carrying case for your drills and other accessories.
I know it’s a long guide. But I had to cover up all the necessary information here. If you are new to buying a rotary drill, go for the brand names. Check out the infographic about few Essential Tips for DIY Safety
In a competitive market like these handy tools, they will always make the best rotary hammers with lots of features. As I’ve said before, it’s very important that you know your requirements first before you decide to invest in them.
Many people are doing things on their own. From mounting a television to the wall to installing a swing set, everyone is a carpenter now. Even the stay at home moms has toolboxes in the garage. So it seems only fitting that they have a drill as well. For more advanced and heavy duties of the Bosch, it’s a great power tool and deserves a spot on the Best Rotary Hammer Drills today. Now the next time you are setting something up or preparing to, go ahead and try out any one of these drills. I am sure one of them will fit you and your project perfectly.