How Does a Hammer Drill Work?


Drilling a hole in drywall or wood is relatively easy, but what if you have to make a hole in a material that is much denser or harder than drywall and wood? In that case, you will have to use a hammer drill. While a rotary drill is able to make holes in materials like brick and concrete, a hammer drill can do the same but also allows you to put in a lot less effort in doing so. The only thing left to figure out is, how does a hammer drill work?

A hammer drill uses two motions to make holes in tough materials such as brick or concrete. The first motion is when the drill part on a hammer drill spins, drilling down into the material to create a hole. The second motion is that of a hammer. While it spins, the drill part also moves up and down.

Hammer drills have more than just one function. You are able to use the tool for both hammering and drilling. You can also switch off the hammering motion and just use it as a standard drill.

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How does a hammer drill work?

Hammer drills are ideal for penetrating concrete blocks, mortar, and bricks. 

There are a few things that you should pay attention to when picking out a hammer drill. 

Make sure you look at what functions the drill offers. It is best to get the hammer drill that has the option of turning off the hammer feature so you can use it as a standard rotary drill. 

Keep in mind that it is better to get a hammer drill with more than just one speed because a multi-speed hammer drill offers you more flexibility. 

If this is your first time using a hammer drill, it is a good idea to get one that has a helper handle near the front for better support, as you will likely be thrown off by its force and power.

It is better to get a more powerful drill because that means that it will penetrate the material more easily. 

It’s always helpful to choose a hammer drill with a depth setting, or depth stop, as it allows you to avoid drilling too deeply into the material.

Hammer drill bits are different than the ones that are used for regular drills. They are usually made out of tougher materials and tipped with carbide. The bits have to be made out of a strong material to break through the concrete or brick and to survive the hammering motion of the drill.

Hammer drill bits are also different from bits for a regular drill because of how they fit in a chuck. You can technically use a standard drill bit in a hammer drill, but you wouldn’t be able to use the hammering function. Hammer drill bits are more durable and have a longer lifespan than regular drill bits.  

When choosing which hammer drill you will get, you should also choose the source of its power. As with most handheld tools, hammer drills can be both cordless and with a cord. One of the benefits of a cordless hammer drill is that you are not limited by how far away from a power outlet you are. If there are batteries included with the cordless hammer drill, they often end up costing less than corded ones. 

On the other hand, a corded hammer drill gives you more power and you don’t have to wait for the batteries to charge in order to use it. If you have to drill somewhere far away from a power outlet, get an extension cord.

Now that you’ve found your hammer drill, it’s time to learn how to use it. You will be needing a pencil, safety goggles, compressed air, hammer drill, and hammer drill bits.

Step 1: Start by using the pencil to make a mark on the wall or surface where you’re going to drill. It’s always a good idea to use a ruler to make sure the marks are evenly spaced and at the appropriate height.

Step 2: Put on your safety goggles, as there will be a lot of dust.

Step 3: If you chose a hammer that has a depth stop, set it to the appropriate depth. If your hammer doesn’t have a depth stop, use a piece of tape to mark on the drill bit how far you want to go in.

Step 4: Set the tip of the drill bit on the mark you made on the surface. Set your hammer drill on the slowest, least powerful function and start drilling slowly to make a guide hole that’s about 1/4 inch deep.

Step 5: Slightly increase speed and power. 

Step 6: Take your drill bit out of the hole every 15 seconds to remove collected dust and debris.

Step 7: Once you’ve finished making a hole, blow the compressed air into it to blast away any remaining dust.

What is the advantage of a hammer drill?

 A standard drill only moves the drill bit in a clockwise motion which enables the drill bit to penetrate into the material that is being drilled.

A hammer drill has that function as well, but it also has a “hammer” feature which moves the drill bit in a forward motion as well. This function makes drilling into concrete, brick, stone, and so on, much easier. These materials present a lot of resistance to the standard rotary drilling method, meaning it will take longer to drill the required area. 

Can a hammer drill be used as a regular drill?

Modern, high-quality hammer drills usually have three modes that adjust their functions. The “hammer” mode is used to provide a straight impact action as in a jackhammer. The “drill” mode is used when you need a rotary action, like in a regular drill. The “hammer-drill” mode provides both those actions.

Hammer drills are usually more expensive than regular drills because they have more moving parts and need to be more durable. Unless you need to drill through  tough material, a regular drill will be just as effective as a hammer drill, but it will cost significantly less. 

Hammer drills also tend to be heavier and larger than regular drills, and they often come with a side-mounted handle to aid in their control. If you are going to be drilling something that requires you to be very precise, a regular drill may serve you better.

If you are going to only buy one drill, it is better to get a hammer drill, as it is more durable and versatile. 

Can you use a hammer drill as a jackhammer?

If you are wondering whether you can use your hammer drill as a jackhammer, the answer is kind of. The hammer drill has a “hammer” mode that can be turned on or off, which is used to provide a straight impact, just like a jackhammer.

But, if you use your hammer drill instead of a jackhammer, it will take you a lot of time. You will have to drill a series of holes close to the edge, and then break off a chunk, which will waste a lot of your time. 

It is much more convenient to just use a jackhammer, as it efficiently breaks up the material on a considerable scale. It has more hitting force than a hammer drill. 

Can you use a hammer drill to break concrete?

Hammer drill and bits are perfect for light masonry. It works best at drilling holes in concrete, and it can occasionally drill a hole in poured concrete. 

You can also break concrete with a hammer drill. Depending on how thick the concrete is, it might take you some time to break it. 

To break concrete with a hammer drill turn on the hammer function to stop the rotation of the drill. Then you can use it with a chisel, point, or flat bit for breaking. Drill a series of holes in a line where you want it to break. This will give you a fairly clean fracture line. 

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