How to use a hammer drill

Hammer drills are essential tools in construction work and are used to drill and cut holes in concrete through a combination of powerful rotation and impact.

What is a hammer drill and how does it differ from a vibration drill?

A hammer drill is a power tool that works by combining hammer-like blows and drill rotation. It is possible to work on  hard surfaces, such as concrete, that cannot be cut by a simple rotary motion. The operation of the hammer drill can be selected from three types: ’rotation and impact’, ‘rotation only’ or ’impact only’. The  impact only mode can be used to drill large holes in concrete.

Hammer drills are often compared to ‘vibration drills’, which also use both impact and rotation. However, there are a few differences between vibration drills and hammer drills.

Vibration drills, which are relatively small in size, have a common chuck similar to electric drills and can use bits of the same standard. Hammer drills, on the other hand, have a completely different standard chuck than electric drills and require special bits.

Hammer drill

ハンマードリル

Vibration Drills

振動ドリル

The vibration drill is also a tool that can perform two types of work: rotation and  impact and rotation only. Since the striking force is not very strong, it must be pushed by hand to dig. With a hammer drill, in addition to these, it also has an impact only mode, and since the impact force is very strong, there is no need to push it by hand. The capacity of both drills is about 1 cm in diameter against concrete for the vibration drill, and 2 to 10 cm in diameter for the hammer drill.

Overall, vibration drills are tools for light work that can use the same bits as electric drills. On the other hand, hammer drills are tools for heavy-duty work that require specialized bits and can be used only with blows.

How to use a hammer drill

As hammer drills are very powerful tools, it is important to know how to use them properly in order to prevent accidents and use them safely. The following are instructions for use.

Preparing drill bits 

Hammer drills work on various materials such as wood, concrete, or steel, and the size of the workpiece that can be drilled is also determined by the material. Check the specifications to see if the hammer drill to be used is capable of cutting the material.

Select the drill bit according to the work to be performed, and replace the drill bit while the power is disconnected.

Safety measures

Workers should wear protective glasses, masks, work gloves, etc. as dust and cutting debris might scatter in the work area. 

Operation

Turn on the power, hold the handle and side handle firmly with both hands, and start operation. Place the tip of the drill bit on the desired location and lightly press down to prevent the shaft from being displaced while drilling. Unlike vibration drills, hammer drills are powerful enough to drill with very little pressure. Be careful not to press too hard, as this will reduce work efficiency.

Cleaning up cutting debris

A large amount of cutting debris and dust are generated when drilling with a hammer drill. These debris accumulate inside the hole created by cutting and gradually interfere with cutting. If you feel that the progress of the hammer drill seems to be slowing down, stop the operation and clean the inside of the cutting hole.

Cautions

The drill bit part is hot immediately after finishing the work. Contact with bare hands may cause burns, so leave the hammer drill for a while after work to cool the bit. At this time, disconnect the power supply as soon as the work is finished to prevent any work malfunction.

Summary

Hammer drills are powerful tools with powerful impact. If you can master its use, you can expand the range of your work. Remember to use this tool in a proper manner while paying full attention to safety.