Hammer Drills Vs. Rotary Hammers

When deciding between various drills for work on masonry and other materials, the hammer drill and rotary hammer are both optimal choices. Despite this, each slightly differs in its capabilities, the rotary hammer providing increased power and hammer-only modes while hammer drills excel in quick drilling with minimal effort. To find which tool option is best for your particular application and requirements, one should familiarize themselves with each and their functionality.

A hammer drill will typically feature two discs that exhibit ridges similar to a poker chip. During operation, one hammer drill disc will slide across the other, resulting in a rise and fall that forces the chuck to slam forward and backward. By removing the force from the chuck, a clutch may separate the discs to prevent wear to the tool. Generally, many hammer drill tools may be used as a standard drill when the hammering feature is switched off.

Due to their construction, hammer drills are best suited for work on light masonry, and they may drill holes into mortar, concrete blocks, and bricks with ease. Hammer drill bit components are also fairly affordable, though more expensive options may be procured if one wishes to utilize carbide tips. These tips are more rigorous in their attachment, ensuring that they can drill into materials easier with reduced breakage.

To create the hammering action for conducting an operation, a rotary hammer takes advantage of a piston that is driven by a crankshaft. Within a cylinder, the piston will be driven forward to generate air pressure, utilizing produced force to operate the hammer mechanism. Due to their reliance on pistons for force generation, rotary hammers are well-known for their high impact energy and durability which makes them a common choice for many professionals. Unlike some other options, rotary hammers also come with three settings, those of which are drill mode, hammer drill, and hammer mode. As such, they can be much more versatile in their use.

For the hammer drill bit and accessory options, the most popular component is the SDS-Plus chuck. These bits feature grooved shanks, ensuring that they are highly secure while permitting back and forth movement that is independent of the chuck. One of the major benefits of the SDS-Plus bit is that it may be attached and removed from a tool with ease, rarely requiring other tools. For larger rotary hammers, a similar bit known as the SDS-Max may be used. Beyond such options, various proprietary tools may have more specialized bit types, so one should always refer to manufacturer recommendations before making a purchasing decision.

Rotary hammers are most optimal for use in heavy jobs, capable of taking advantage of clay spade, cold chisel, tile remover, bull point chisel, and scaling chisel attachments. There are also various accessories that can aid in breaking up concrete, scaling metal, removing tile, and much more. When different bits are required, a chuck adapter may be relied on.

Due to the differences in operational capabilities, one should choose between each tool by considering the requirements of a particular operation. At Parts Circuit, we provide customers competitive pricing and rapid lead-times on hammer drill and rotary hammer tools and parts for various military and civilian applications. If there are particular items on our website that you wish to procure, fill out and submit an Instant RFQ form as provided on our website, and a dedicated account manager will reach out to you in 15 minutes or less to provide a quote for your comparisons. Give our team members a call or email today and see how we can fulfill all your operational needs with ease.


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