Imagine this: you’re a worker in a large construction site, and you need to deliver good results very quickly. You need to break down parts of a wall or drill large and accurate holes. Or, alternatively, you’re an eager DIYer trying to make some valuable home improvements. But the drill you have on hand just doesn’t work the way you need it to.
Don’t panic, this guide is here to save the day. If you’re looking for power, versatility, speed, ease of use, and durability, what you need is a rotary hammer drill. After looking into the most popular brands and models, here’s the definitive list of rotary hammer drills with everything you need, and even more. I’ve even provided basic information that can help you with handling and using these drills.
What are you waiting for? Get the job done and do it right. Read on to discover the rotary hammer drills that best suit your needs.
Table of Contents
- Rotary Hammer Drills Comparison Table
- The 6 Best Rotary Hammer Drill Models On The Market
Rotary Hammer Drills Comparison Table
|Dewalt DCH133B||Battery||20 volts||5 pounds|
|Bosch RH328VC||Electric||120 volts||13.6 pounds|
|Makita XHR01Z||Battery||18 volts||7.1 pounds|
|Dewalt DCH2735B||Battery||20 volts||6.4 pounds|
|Bosch 11255VSR||Electric||18 volts||6 pounds|
|MPT 1-Inch SDS-Plus||Electric||240 volts||10.5 pounds|
The 6 Best Rotary Hammer Drill Models On The Market
The DCH133B is currently Dewalt’s flagship product when it comes to rotary hammer drills. It is equipped with a lot of features and modes that can make drilling or fastening easy and quick.
First, this drill has 3 setting modes: hammer-only, chisel/chip, and drill. I recommend using the hammer-only setting for heavy-duty jobs that require more power, as long as you can afford to sacrifice accuracy and precision.
The hammer-only setting is usually used to drill holes into objects that are harder and more difficult to pierce such as bricks, cement blocks, cement walls, or masonry. Instead of rotating just like regular drills, it uses special pistons to do a forward-and-backward motion, similar to how manual hammers work, except with much more power.
The chip/chisel mode is usually used for chipping off tiles and rogue chunks of cement. I suggest using a spade bit to get maximum (and clean) results. Finally, the drilling mode is standard on all rotary hammer drills. It’s used to drill holes fast and accurately by rotating quickly. The DCH133B can reach speeds of up to 1500 RPM, which is impressive for a cordless drill. Thanks to its optimized 2.6J mechanism and powerful motor that helps it get to these speeds.
The motor doesn’t easily grease up or overheat which is a big thumbs up in my opinion. It is also a lot lighter than other rotary hammer drills at a weight of 5 pounds (without the battery). This drill is cordless, which means that you can use it anywhere in your home or construction site—even without a nearby power outlet.
This drill can support most battery types. The more powerful the battery, the longer it lasts. I suggest using a 5 amp battery because this makes it last for up to 2 hours of continuous use!
What we liked:
- Made of high-quality durable materials to last you a long time.
- Portable, cordless operation so you can drill virtually anywhere, anytime.
- Powerful and fast drilling, with speeds of up to 1500RPM.
- 3 versatile settings to choose from: hammer, chisel, and drill.
- Consistent speed makes consistent, precise holes in all kinds of materials.
What we didn’t like
- Overkill (too powerful) for use in the household or DIY projects.
- Requires constant forward pressure to use the hammer mode properly.
Don’t let the compact size trick you into thinking that this rotary hammer drill is weak. This rotary hammer drill is the David (of David & Goliath) of the Bosch rotary hammer drill line up because it may be small, but it’s very powerful. The Bosch RH328VC gives you power, comfort, speed, and (most importantly) impact force that’s good enough for the majority of the materials you need to work with, whether you’re a tradesman by profession or just a carpentry enthusiast.
Just like the Dewalt, this product also has 3 modes: hammer-only, chisel, and rotary hammer/drill mode. The main difference is that this beast of a drill has a very powerful hammer mode. In comparison to other rotary hammer drills that only have small up and down motions for their hammer mode, this one has stronger up and down motions due to its 2.6-foot pound-force.
The number of features this product has actually surprises and impresses me. First off, there’s the integral clutch that helps adjust the torque reaction, which helps it avoid over-tightening and malfunctioning during use.
The vibration control on this rotary hammer drill is also very good because of the padding present on both the top and bottom of the handle, making it much easier to hold for long periods of time. This drill also has an impressive 4000 blows per minute which explain why its hammer mode is so powerful.
Being a corded rotary hammer drill, it has more power than its battery-powered counterparts. Since it’s getting electricity directly from the power outlet, you don’t have to worry about running out of battery in the middle of a job, although that sacrifices portability a lot. It makes up for that by having a long power cable at 2 metres, so you can still use it around your home or construction site with some freedom.
I recommend using this for tougher work because of the power of its hammer-only mode and because of its very high blows per minute.
What we liked
- Extremely powerful hammer mode thanks to its 2.6-foot-per-pound force.
- 3 versatile settings to choose from: hammer, chisel, and rotary hammer.
- Comfortable to hold and operate, even for long periods of time.
- Fits thick drill bits for a wider variety of uses.
- Impressive high BPM of up to 4000 blows per minute.
What we didn’t like
- Heavier than most drills, so may be difficult to hold for long periods of time.
- Corded and requires an electrical outlet to operate, less portable.
- Low maximum speed/RPM, which means slower drilling.
If you’re intimidated by larger drills and want one that’s small and compact (but also want the same power as the larger rotary hammer drills), then the Makita XHR01Z is the drill for you.
With a super-efficient, electronically-controlled BL Brushless Motor, the battery life runs for up to 50% longer per charge. Because it doesn’t have carbon brushes, the BL motor runs cooler and more efficiently than other drills. This prevents overheating and quick battery drains.
It is also fairly light with a weight of 7.2 lbs with the battery, making it incredibly easy to operate with just one hand. Like most rotary hammer drills, it has 3 modes: drilling-only, chiselling, and hammer drilling. Because the gear housing is made of very strong metal, it can last extremely long for home or industrial use.
Because this is a rotary hammer, it is designed for more precise drilling on bigger and tougher surfaces like concrete. Fun fact: people sometimes switch to a rotary hammer from hammer drills because rotary hammers are proven to perform better on larger objects.
This product also has a variable speed trigger that enables you to change the speed with ease. The vibration on the drill is actually reduced in the hammer mechanism, so your comfort during use isn’t compromised. It has an integral clutch and hammer hook feature to help you store the tool a lot easier.
Still, this drill’s major selling point is that it has a better-than-average battery life because of its brushless motor, lasting up to 2-4 hours of continuous use with the right batteries. I recommend this if you want a drill that can last long and output as much power as the larger drills. I suggest that you use a 5-amp battery if you want to maximize its battery life.
What we liked
- Powerful drilling and chisel mode for faster, more efficient work.
- Battery-powered, cordless operation, making the drill more portable.
- Long battery life, up to 4 hours before it needs to be recharged.
- Very light and compact, easy to hold and operate for 2+ hours.
- Made of durable materials and well-constructed; won’t break easily.
What we didn’t like
- Slightly noisier than most of the other drills on this list.
- Drill bits for this particular model are a bit pricey.
The newer variant of Dewalt’s rotary hammer drill lineup is the Dewalt DCH2735B. It boasts some major improvements that enhance the capabilities of this drill.
The classic hammer mode on the DCH2735B is an improved version of the hammer mode on the 133B, which needs applied pressure for it to actually work. This model’s hammer mode is better because of the improved BPM and impact force that they added. This drill actually has a very high BPM of 4600, which is unusual for a battery-powered drill. The hammer mode is able to drill through concrete and mortar without any problems.
The drill mode is even more special because, instead of a regular drill mode, it has a rotary hammer mode that combines the standard drill mode and the hammer mode. It works like this: when you drill into something on rotary hammer mode, it rotates while also doing an up-and-down motion, making it more effective. It also has enough control to drill through wood without causing any damage.
Unlike the previous Dewalt hammer drills, this one has a brushless motor which makes it last longer during use. It also has active vibration control which dampens the vibrations from the drilling or chiselling. I recommend buying this rotary hammer if you need something that you can bring anywhere without worrying about running out of battery life.
It also has a retractable utility hook that helps with storing it pretty much anywhere. This product can be used in household and construction projects. It’s delicate enough to pierce through wood without breaking it, but also strong enough to bust through extremely hard materials such as cement and masonry.
What we liked
- Easy to store due to its lightweight and compact design.
- Great built-in vibration control, making it easier to operate.
- No load speed; drill can reach maximum speeds with minimal wait time.
- Powerful hammer mode with a BPM of up to 4600.
- Innovative and ergonomic design makes it a pleasure to use.
What we didn’t like
- Weaker drill mode with a lower-than-average RPM; slow drilling.
- The drill and some of its parts are known to break easily.
A drill that is certainly fit for a demolition crew, a construction site, residential construction, and commercial construction as well. It’s no surprise that this model is considered one of the most versatile and useful drills today.
Considered one of the most advanced rotary hammer drills in the market, the Bosch 11255VSR has incredible versatility, power, speed, and precision. It is called a 3-in-1 hammer drill because it features a multi-function selector which quickly shifts between three modes/functions: hammer-only mode, rotation-only mode, and rotary hammer mode.
Its trigger controls the variable speed for more accurate bit starts. The speed makes sure that power is constant and non-stop. The constant speed also applies additional power to the motor for those especially challenging jobs. Tougher and thicker objects are easy to drill through without being tough on your hands, thanks to the padding on the handle and near the housing.
The drill makes accurate, clean holes over any surface—from wood, cement, to even masonry. The rotary hammers also include field core interlocking steel laminations to increase energy transfer, giving you more power and longer tool life.
Because of its uncommon design that’s longer than other drills, it has a more unique and distinct look compared to its competition. Despite the longer design, it actually has a very comfortable D-handle grip design that makes it more comfortable and easy to handle—as well as giving it a very strong grip for better control.
I recommend buying this if you need a powerful drill for construction sites and more heavy loads because of the sheer power that this drill provides. This is a very great product if you want to demolish a wall as well because of its great hammer mode.
What we liked
- Comfortable design; drill is easy to hold and operate for long periods.
- Extremely clean, accurate, and precise drilling, even at high speeds.
- 3 versatile settings: hammer, rotation, and rotary hammer drill modes.
- Extremely powerful; can drill through thick and tough materials.
- Great for overhead drilling due to the long, D-handle grip design.
What we didn’t like
- Less durable materials and construction compared to other models.
- The motor tends to overheat with continued use; needs breaks.
With its triple-function design that allows you to switch from drill mode, chisel (groove) mode, and hammer drill mode, the MPT 1-Inch SDS-Plus easily convinces you that it’s the only drill you’ll ever need.
It has a high-performance motor that can take up to 8.5 amps. Because of this drill’s triple-function design, it can drill through objects with impressive ease. Hammer drill mode allows for heavy-duty drilling that you can apply to wood, concrete, and bricks.
It has a maximum drilling diameter of 1 inch, optimal for putting up paintings or pictures on the wall, as well as for making shelves or wooden cabinets. The chisel mode also gives you more control and precision than the rest of the modes. You can chip off a variety of materials, such as ceramic, tiles, cement, and even mortar!
The handle on this drill is made out of rubber and is fully adjustable, which gives it a comfortable grip. You have more control, allowing you to increase your precision when drilling.
Since this drill is corded, you don’t have to be afraid of it running out of power quickly. The length of the chord isn’t even a problem because the power chord is 2 meters long.
It’s also incredibly useful when you need more speed because it has a very high RPM, giving it an edge against other drills. The impact energy on it is also very good and perhaps even close to perfect, depending on your preferences. The high impact energy really shines during its hammer mode. I recommend you use this for lighter jobs such as household projects and drilling through concrete walls.
What we liked
- 3 versatile settings: drill, chisel/groove, and hammer modes.
- Powerful motor with a high RPM and high impact energy.
- Lightweight grip for easy, comfortable drilling at any angle.
- Easy to use, perfect drill for beginners and carpentry enthusiasts.
- Very precise chisel mode; can make small chips without damaging material.
What we didn’t like
- No safety clutch, increasing risk of injury while in use.
- Motor leaks grease when overused.
- Materials used and construction are less durable than other drills.
8 Things To Look For When Buying A Rotary Hammer Drill
Choosing the perfect rotary hammer drill takes careful consideration and planning. You have to know exactly what’s on offer, and what’s going to benefit your work. Here are 8 things to look out for when choosing the best hammer drill for you.
Type Of Motor Inside Your Drill
The motor is determined by what type of work you want to do with the rotary hammer drill. If you’re just going to do minor projects like DIY home improvements, putting up paintings, or making small wooden furniture, making then a drill with a motor power of 6 amps (enough to make a half-inch hole) should suffice.
But if you’re getting one for your construction company or for more heavy-duty drilling, you’d want a motor that ranges from 8-10 amps.
Torque And Speed (RPM)
The torque of the drill is one of the most important parts of a good drill. The more torque, the more speed, power, and force. Finding out the torque of a drill is no stress at all; you can usually find it in the product description.
The speed of the drill is calculated by how much rotations it makes in a minute. Cordless drills can go as high as 1500 RPM while corded ones usually go up to 2000-3000 RPM. If you’re planning on using the drill on tougher objects like steel and concrete, you should get one with a high RPM.
Rotary Hammer Drill’s Chuck Size
This feature will basically determine what the rotary hammer drill’s size is. The chuck is where you can put your drill bit or spade bits in. Chuck sizes vary from drill to drill. You can choose from the following sizes: ¼-inch, ⅜-inch, and ½-inch.
Some have keyless chucks, which means you don’t need to use tools in order to put the chuck in or take it out. A good chuck size for standard household use would be ⅜ inch.
A Versatile Hammer Drill Is Vital
Versatility is always important, no matter what the task is or the tool is. If a rotary hammer drill can be used with precision, speed, and has enough power to plough through metal and cement, then it’s versatile enough to pick up.
Usually, it would have three modes: a drill mode, a hammer-only mode, and a chisel-only mode. A drill mode is for everyday use. A hammer mode is for more intense work, such as when you want to pierce through cement, metal, or masonry. And a chisel mode is for chipping off ceramic, tiles or chunks of cement.
The Lighter The Drill, The Better
The weight is an essential component of the drill’s usefulness. A good weight means that you can handle it very easily and that you can use it with one or two hands. I recommend getting one with a weight below 11 pounds. Any drill heavier than that would be uncomfortable and will make things difficult for you. A lighter drill would also be much more portable.
Size Of The Drill & Portability
The size affects how portable the drill is and how easy it is to store in your house or in your tool shed. Different sizes mean different uses as well. The longer rotary hammer drills are a lot better at overhead drilling, while the smaller and more compact ones are a lot better at precise downward drilling. The longer ones are also a lot heavier than the smaller ones as well.
I recommend getting a smaller one so that you can store it easier and bring it places without any hassle.
Durability: Choosing A Drill That Lasts
This is probably the most important consideration in buying a rotary hammer drill. The durability of a drill is defined by key two components: the material of the housing and the materials used to make it.
The housing is the central part of a drill because it forms and secures the drill handle. You have to look for a drill that has a strong metal housing. That way, it won’t break or heat up easily when it’s being used.
The second component is the materials used to create the drill. I recommend getting a drill that has strong plastic and rubber parts. Rubber on the outside makes sure that it’s shock-proof, which means it won’t break when it’s accidentally dropped. Some amount of rubber should also be inside to provide insulation.
Power Source: Battery-Powered vs Electric
Check whether your rotary hammer drill is battery-powered or electric. Battery-powered drills can be used anywhere, as long as it has enough battery life. Electric drills have to be near a power outlet to work or else it’s virtually useless, but they are much more powerful than battery-powered drills.
I recommend bringing multiple batteries just in case so that you can use it anywhere and anytime without losing power. The pros of buying a battery powered one is that it can be used during blackouts, which makes them very versatile. However, electric powered drills get constant electricity, which means that they won’t stop working even if you’ve been using them for hours on end.
How To Operate A Rotary Hammer Drill
Before going to the store and actually buying the best rotary hammer drills on this list, you have to learn how to use or operate these tools. This helps you avoid running into problems (or worse, injuring yourself or others) while handling one of these drills.
Firstly, you have to identify if it’s cordless or not. If it’s cordless, put in the battery and you’re all set to go to the next step. If it’s corded, then you have to plug it into a nearby outlet; make sure it’s nearby as some drills have short 1-meter cords.
Next, you have to install your drill bit. You put it in by pulling the chuck back to open up and release the lock inside the chuck. Then you get your drill bit. As you are putting it inside the rotary hammer drill, you turn it so that it locks in.
Once you hear it make a clicking noise, let go, and you’re ready to drill. You can also attach a spade bit to it if you’re going to use the rotary hammer drill to chip objects such as tiles, ceramic, or cement. Some drills will have keyless chucks, which means that you don’t need a chuck key to attach or remove your chuck.
Next, go to the surface you want to drill into. Select the hammer drill mode. Before you start drilling, I suggest that you have a good stance to make sure you don’t experience any discomfort or accidentally hurt yourself while using the drill.
Then, place the drill bit onto the area you want to drill a hole in. Pull the trigger to make it start rotating. Remember not to force it in. Make the drill do the work for you, or else you risk cracking and damaging the surface that you’re drilling into. Not only does this create a mess, but you could be wasting valuable construction materials in the process.
Next, if you want to chip tiles and or cement, you have to make sure that it’s on chisel-only mode. Or if your drill doesn’t have a chisel-only mode, you can use hammer-only mode. I suggest that you position it in a way that the entire tip is on the side of the surface, then pull the trigger, and watch it chip away at the tiles, ceramic, or cement.
Which Is Better — A Rotary Hammer Drill Or A Hammer Drill?
Before we jump the gun and compare them instantly, let’s first look at the features and basically what these individual drills can do.
Let’s start with the hammer drill. The hammer drill is used in construction sites, demolition work, and most other heavy-duty work. A hammer drill has two ridged disks that move in a rapid back-and-forth motion. By doing this quickly, it is more efficient at making holes on harder objects such as mortar or masonry and at demolishing walls when using the correct type of drill bits.
It also has a classic drill mode for more delicate or lighter materials such as softer cement. I recommend using the hammer drill at construction sites and for heavy-duty projects only and not in your household because it’s too powerful to use on lighter materials like wood. If you use the hammer drill on wood, it would just damage or crack the wood.
Now, onto the rotary hammer drill. The rotary hammer drill is very versatile. It has three modes: a rotary hammer mode, a hammer mode, and a chiselling mode. It is similar to a regular hammer drill in power and function, except for the fact that it has a rotary hammer mode and a chiselling mode.
The rotary hammer mode actually combines the hammer and drill mode, which means that on that specific mode, it can rotate while also moving back and forth— making it much more efficient than either mode on its own. Also, instead of using ridged disks, it uses a special piston that compresses air to go back and forth.
Rotary hammer drills also have a chiselling mode that makes them a lot easier to use on tiles, ceramic, and rogue cement bits. This versatility actually makes it a great option to use at home and also on construction/demolition sites. Some people even prefer to use the rotary hammer drill when doing heavy duty work because of its incredible power.
Now, there’s a clear winner here. In most (if not all) cases, the rotary hammer drill is a lot better than the hammer drill. The rotary hammer drill is a lot more versatile, powerful, and a lot more useful in a lot of situations. So the next time you want to buy a drill that can fit your every need, go ahead and get a rotary hammer drill. I’m sure you won’t regret buying it.
A good rotary hammer drill makes sure that your work is clean, precise, and fast. But with so many different options to choose from, buying the right rotary hammer drill can feel like a challenge on its own. I hope this guide can lead you in the right direction.
So if you need a specific rotary hammer drill for home improvements or heavy-duty construction work, just refer back to these recommendations. This list features some of the best rotary hammer drills that are currently on the market. They are sleek, useful, versatile, powerful, and very innovative.
Best of all, there’s so much variety on this list that there’s truly one for every need. Whether you need battery-powered or electric, high BPM or high RPM, power or portability, this short guide has everything for you—including an in-depth explanation on how to properly use a rotary hammer drill.
Read More: Top 10 Cordless Hammer Drill Reviews