Updated: June 8, 2015

Hammer Drill Reviews:

A hammer drill is often put into the same category as the rotary hammer since both are used with masonry and concrete projects. However, don't get the 2 power tools confused since each has it's own unique features. The hammer drill combines the rotary action of a drill with the pounding action of a hammer - hence the name. Hammer drills are most often used when you need to bore holes into masonry or concrete and you don't want to burn the bit. Usually they are good for holes up to 3/8" in diameter, but most of the hammer drills we review below are for 1/2 inch holes. The hammer drills are either corded or cordless and you will pay a premium for the cordless drills since they dramatically increase your range of motion and make life easier. The 18 volt lithium ion or Ni-Cad batteries provide enough power to the top rated models and the corded variety run on 6 to 9 amp motors. Cost is between $100 to $250 and you can often find the best deals with the combined hammer drill and driver sets - like the Milwaukee 0724-24 V28 Lithium-Ion 1/2-Inch Cordless Hammer Drill/Driver Kit for $350.
hammer drill


Buying Guide - Features to look for include variable speed selection, reverse, a depth rod, and removable side handles. A depth rod (mounted on the drill) lets the user know when the bit has reached the appropriate depth. A variable speed hammer drill is essential so that you can adjust speeds based on the job at hand. Experts recommend lower speeds for larger holes and higher speeds for the smaller holes. If your bit becomes stuck in the concrete or in the masonry, having a reversing function is mandatory. Side handles are great if you need that extra bit of control, but you'll want them to be removable so that you can maneuver the hammer drill in tighter spots. The top brands include Milwaukee, DeWalt, Bosch, Makita, and Hitachi. We found some great owner reviews listed on Amazon.com for all kinds of hammer drills. Drillreviews.com is another site loaded with expert advice on hammer drills and drill kits. Newwoodworker.com had an in depth review on the popular Milwaukee V28 hammer drill which definitely helped us in choosing the top picks below. You can browse the entire listing of best selling hammer drills here.

Best Hammer Drill:

RECOMMENDED - A true favorite amongst weekend DIY homeowners and professionals is the Milwaukee 0824-24 V18 Lithium-Ion Hammer Drill Kit. The 0824-24 is a cordless hammer drill powered by an 18 volt lithium ion battery. Variable speeds are from 0-450 and 0-1700 rpms. You get 550 inch pounds of torque and an all metal, ratcheting chuck with carbide blades. The soft-grip handle is non slip and you get two 18 volt batteries, a charger, and a Phillips bit. At just 6.2 pounds the Milwaukee hammer drill is light and the 5 year warranty shows they stand behind their product. Owners say the reversible battery is a lifesaver when in tight spots. Most prefer the 0824-24 over similar DeWalt and Makita models. You can see the entire list of best selling Milwaukee hammer drills here. The Hitachi DV14DL 14.4-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless Hammer Drill is another quality product available for about the same price as the Milwaukee drill.

Top Rated Hammer Drill:

RECOMMENDED - As for cordless hammer drills, Milwaukee might have the best product, but several power tool sites also say the DEWALT DCK255X 18-Volt XRP Hammerdrill/Impact Driver Combo Kit is a tool worth considering. The DeWalt high torque motor produces 500 inches per pound of maximum torque and the 1/2 inch ratcheting chuck with carbide jaw stops the bits from slipping at all. The 3 speed transmission on the DeWalt has a maximum speed of 2000 rpm. The XRP extended run-time battery provides users with plenty of charge time to finish jobs. The DC988KA comes with a 1 hour charger, 2 XRP batteries, one double ended screwdriver bit, one 360 degree side handle, and a nice carrying case. Many consumers say the DeWalt DC988KA "meets or exceeds" their expectations.

Budget Hammer Drill:

RECOMMENDED - It's hard to imagine a Bosch power tool in the "budget" category but at only $120, the Bosch 1194AVSRK 8 Amp 1/2-Inch Hammer Drill is a great deal say many owners. With a powerful 8.0 amp motor that delivers 0-1000/2600 RPM and 0-16,000/0-41,600 BPM, it's hard to go wrong. The 2 speed gear box will match torque and speed on any project. Owners say the dual control function lets them switch from rotation only to hammer and rotation at the same time. Whether you are driving, drilling or removing screws and bits, the variable speed and reverse switch will make life much easier.