Rotary Hammer Drill Vs Hammer Drill: When To Use Them

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Written By Scott Angel

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Different types of hammer drill are used for different purposes. Many of us face the dilemma of buying a rotary hammer or hammer drill. Properly selected equipment is half of the success in achieving the assumed goal. Manufacturers of power tools offer many options to choose, but to decide on the right one is worth familiarizing yourself with the operation and purpose of rotary hammer drill and hammer drill. So, everyone needs to know about the effectiveness of Rotary Hammer Drill Vs Hammer Drill.

What Is Rotary Hammer Drill?

A rotary hammer drill is a device for demanding professional tasks. Particularly useful if we drill very often. It provides efficient drilling of larger diameter holes than a hammer drill. The possibility of drilling without impact and forging allows for a massive operation.

Electro-pneumatic shock does not require such a high-pressure force. At low revolutions and a strong impact, light pressure is enough, which makes the machining of hard materials in more comfortable conditions.

Rotary hammer drills are used to drilling holes, mainly in hard concrete. They can also be used to forge holes and grooves in walls and ceilings. They work well for removing old wall coverings and floors.

Parameter of Rotary Hammer Drill

Type of impact – Hammers usually have a pneumatic impact. It has much more strength than mechanical impact in drills. Some have a mallet stroke that is a modification of the mechanical stroke. It is weaker than pneumatic.

Possibility of forging in the material – any hammer drill can be drilled, but not all are suitable for forging holes. Forging in the material enables the impact function without rotation.

Maximum drilling diameter – informs you about how large drills you can use and what diameter the holes can be made.

Torque – given in Newton meters [Nm], the higher the better. At high torque, the drill will overcome more resistance, so it can be drilled in harder material.

Uses of Rotary Hammer Drill

Rotary hammer drills are heavy equipment designed for drilling large diameter holes in hard materials like concrete. With them, you can also forge holes and grooves in the walls and ceilings. They also work well when removing old wall coverings and floors.

Mostly they are powered from corded power sources, but you will also find models that draw electricity from the battery. When buying a cordless hammer drill, choose the one with the high capacity battery. Let’s also remember that lithium-ion batteries last a long time, but they discharge almost suddenly. The power drop is only felt when the battery is almost empty.

Nickel-cadmium discharges gradually—hammer drills for sale cheaper (with mechanical stroke) and more expensive (with electro-pneumatic stroke). The latter one can handle even the hardest reinforced concrete.

What Is Hammer Drill?

A hammer drill is the right solution for lighter work performed mainly at home. Due to the smaller mass, it will be more convenient to use for novice users. It will allow precise drilling in concrete, but it is less efficient than a rotary hammer drill.

Due to the mechanical impact, which consists of high speed, a lot of weaker blows, and the need for intense pressure, work with a large number of holes becomes tiresome and puts a strain on the operator’s hand.

Uses Of Hammer Drill?

Hammer drills are the type of power tools that are not generally used for production heavy construction drilling jobs. But instead, they are used for occasional drilling of holes into concrete, masonry, or stone. They are also used to drill holes in concrete footings to pin specific wall forms and to drill holes in concrete floors to fasten wall framing.

The Rotary Hammer Drill vs Hammer Drill


The hammer drill is dedicated to drilling, while the rotary hammer drill (also known as rotary hammer) is a more versatile tool. It can work in three modes: hammer drilling, hammer drilling, or forging. Drilling without hammering is possible thanks to the hammer-off function, which allows working in wood and metal. The tool working in these modes is, among others, Bosch RH328VC SDS rotary hammer.

Impact Mechanism

The rotary hammer drill works using an electro-pneumatic hammer, while the hammer drill is used for drilling with a mechanical hammer. Electro-pneumatic shock does not require as much pressure as mechanical impact, hence the machining of hard materials with a hammer drill will be more convenient for the user. When working with a hammer drill, remember not to press it too hard, as this will slow down your work.


When choosing both power tools, pay attention to the power of the device, the energy of a single impact in the case of rotary hammer drills and the frequency of the effect in the case of hammer drills. The higher these parameters, the more effective the work.


Rotary hammer drills are equipped with an SDS holder, in which we distinguish SDS-Plus, SDS-Max, SDS-Quick, SDS-Top. The tool-less SDS chuck provides quick and secure clamping of drills and chisels.

However, it is not as versatile as in hammer drills. Hammer drills are equipped with universal and self-clamping chucks, thanks to which it is possible to mount drills, discs, reamers, and other accessories.

Parameters That Need to be Checked

When choosing a hammer drill and rotary hammer, many parameters are repeated, which should be checked in both cases:

Rotation speed and adjustment range (e.g. from 600 to 2900, smooth control);

Number of strokes (in both cases it is best to be able to disconnect the stroke);

Drilling diameter in steel and concrete;

Clutch (will avoid loading the engine in the event of a blockage of the drill);

Rotation direction switch (currently practically standard);

Gear housing material (the best are metal because they quickly dissipate heat).

Power and Torque

Both of these values are very important and cannot be missed: there are devices that with a power of 800 W can be almost stopped by hand and are a bit weaker, which with such an attempt would break the wrist – this is due to the torque. The power, as a rule, the greater, the better, while the torque should be 85-90 Nm.

Summary of Rotary Hammer Drill Vs Hammer Drill

For hammer drills, you can invest in one with a self-locking chuck. It will facilitate your work and increase the multi-functionality of the device. If the primary purpose of the equipment is to be drilling in concrete, then such a proposal seems optimal to get a top-quality rotary hammer drill

Rotary Hammer Drill

  • Much more possibilities when it comes to machining hard materials, but less precision.
  • More weight and problems with keeping it in place.
  • Pneumatic shock requires much less force.
  • SDS handle – comfortable, but definitely less universal.
  • Combines all the functions of a hammer drill and, additionally, forging.

Hammer Drill

  • The equipment is more precise, although “weaker”.
  • Less weight, easier to use for beginners.
  • The use of a stroke requires a lot of strength.
  • Universal handle – the option of installing drills, discs, reamers and other accessories.
  • It will not perform all tasks that a rotary hammer can perform.

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