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Nail it with 9 best hammer drills

Which hammer drills are best?

Everyone should have a basic set of tools. That way, you can fix minor issues instead of having to pay through the nose for help. And among these tools should be a good power drill.

But what happens if your usual drill isn’t strong enough? You get a hammer drill. Hammer drills work exactly like standard drills, only they have a feature that essentially simulates the back of the drill being hit with a hammer, adding extra power for punching through hard materials. When the feature is disabled, it can be used like any standard power drill.

What to know before you buy a hammer drill

Corded vs. cordless

Hammer drills are powered either by a cord or by a battery.

  • Corded drills are typically less expensive than cordless drills, even though they're more powerful. Only the best cordless drills can compete. However, the cord can make using it clumsy and can restrict where you can use the drill. It’s especially restrictive if your plugs and extension cords can’t supply enough power.
  • Cordless drills need to be of good quality. Otherwise, they can lack the power necessary to be effective. To get a good-quality cordless drill, you need to have the money, as they can be expensive. However, the ability to drill anywhere at any time is hard to beat.

Impact rating and revolutions per minute

Two of the most important numbers to know concerning your hammer drill are its impact rating and its rpm.

  • Impact rating: The impact rating is typically given in blows per minute, with higher numbers meaning more power. Many hammer drills have 30,000 bpm or more.
  • Revolutions per minute: As with impact rating, the higher this number, the more powerful your drill. Additionally, the higher the rpm, the faster a job can be completed. Most drills have 2,000 to 3,000 maximum rpm. However, sometimes more power is dangerous, like if you’re drilling into something soft. The best drills have variable rpm to tackle this issue.

Second handle

Hammer drills, especially the most powerful, can be difficult to hold with only one hand. The best drills counter this by using a second handle near the tip of the drill. This handle is usually adjustable — most offer three positions, while the best have full 360-degree customization. Some of these handles can be removed if you’re going back to low-power jobs that don’t need the extra stability.

What’s included

Hammer drills come in three package tiers.

  • Tier one only includes the drill, whether it’s cordless or corded. That's why it's the cheapest tier. Only go for it if you already have a battery (if it’s cordless) and the bits you need, or you can spend another $50-plus to complete your set. 
  • Tier two includes a cordless hammer drill and a battery, and usually includes a battery charger. Start here if you already have a collection of drill bits or if you already have a bit set picked out to go with your new drill.
  • Tier three includes everything you need: the hammer drill, a battery or two plus a charger if it’s cordless, a collection of bits — though some sets are nicer than others — and usually some kind of storage container for either just the bits or for everything. Get this if your collection of tools is small.

How much you can expect to spend on a hammer drill

A hammer drill with nothing but the tool included typically costs $50 to $150. Starter sets with a battery and other accessories typically cost $100 to $300.

What are the best hammer drills to buy?

Black and Decker Hammer Drill

This corded drill has a three-position handle so you can always drill at a comfortable angle. It has a 6.5 amp motor and a half-inch single-sleeve chuck to handle larger bits.

Sold by Amazon

Cacoop Hammer Drill Set

This set includes a cordless drill, a battery, a fast battery charger, eight multipurpose titanium-plated drill bits and eight hex shank Phillips and slotted nickel-plated bits. The drill has a two-year warranty.

Sold by Amazon

DeWalt Atomic Hammer Drill

Only the cordless drill is included but it works with most DeWalt batteries that you may already have on hand. It’s only 2.5 pounds without a battery, making it easier to use for extended periods.

Sold by Amazon

Handife Rotary Hammer Drill Set

This set includes a corded drill, multiple bits and a case for storing everything. The drill has six adjustable speed settings to tackle everything from wood to concrete. It has a 360-degree detachable handle.

Sold by Amazon

Makita Hammer Drill

This cordless drill is sold alone, though there are two options that include batteries of different capacities. It has a brushless motor that can eke out up to 50% more battery life.

Sold by Amazon

Milwaukee Hammer Drill

This cordless drill is sold alone. It has a maximum chuck size of 6.35 millimeters and weighs 4.5 pounds.

Sold by Amazon

Porter-Cable Hammer Drill

This corded drill weighs 6.4 pounds. It has a maximum speed of 3,000 rpm and a maximum power of 550 watts. It has a rotating handle to give you a better grip.

Sold by Amazon

Shieldpro Hammer Drill Set

This set includes a corded hammer drill, several bits and a carrying case to store everything in. It has three functions — hammer only, drill only and combination. It has a 360-degree rotating handle.

Sold by Amazon

Skil Hammer Drill Set

This includes a corded hammer drill, but the real draw is the massive 70-plus piece bit set that sets the drill up to chew through and screw in almost anything.

Sold by Amazon

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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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