Driving a screw into concrete or drilling a hole is not a simple task. And when you find yourself needing to do this you might start wondering, “Rotary Hammer Vs Hammer Drill… Which one do I need?”
Well, both of the tools are powerful and capable to sink screws into concrete. However, the hammering mechanisms differ that provide the tools with different pros and cons.
If you want to know which one is right for your requirements continue reading. As we are going to discuss both rotary hammers and hammer drills in detail. So, you can find which is the right one for you.
Rotary hammers engage in multiple actions at the same time. They both drive the bit forward into the material being drilled while also turning the bit much like a drill. An air pressure drive and the piston system drive the bit into concrete masonry material. And that combination of bits makes a rotary hammer more strong than a hammer drill. In addition, the number of actual strikes is also lower.
Features and examples
In terms of features, the rotary hammer uses an SDS-MAX bit or SDS-Plus. Hilti has alternate names for these; however, they are entirely compatible. Well, these bits slide and lock into the chuck of the rotary and there is no requirement for a chuck key or another tool to remove or insert.
In terms of size and shape, a rotary hammer dwarfs a hammer drill. Furthermore, you can never use a rotary hammer to drive fasteners, while a hammer drill can do both. That’s because the drilling of rotary hammers is so fast due to their robust internals.
On the other hand, the hammer drill vibrates its way into the surface a rotary hammer pounds away with great force. Many rotary hammers feature different modes. As some provide a rotary-only mode that disables the hammering piston action. And other features this with a hammer-only mode that effectively turns the tools into small chipping tools.
Different Styles available
Spline, SDS-Plus, and SDS-Max are the most common styles of bits added to the rotary hammers, and each drill bit is corresponding to that style. SDS-Plus is the standard for lighter-duty models, and SDS-Max is only found on larger and heavier units.
SDS Plus bits
- Good for professional use
- Absorbs shock effectively
- Enhanced power
- A bit more expensive
Hammer drills are simply a type of drill. As a regular drill primarily rotates the bit to drill into masonry material or concrete. Whereas a hammer drill adds a percussive action. In hammering mode, the impact gears are paired in such a way that they create almost a vibration as the bit rotates.
Through the motion of the chuck, this small vibration effect is transferred to the bit. Consequently, the drill bit drills rotationally while slightly hammering into the material. While the effect is subtle, it is significantly better than using a simple drill with masonry bits.
Features and examples
It is important to note that a hammer drill does not switch to hammer mode until it is pressed into the material. This is because of its design because a set of springs serves as a clutch to separate the two ridged discs. The mechanism is activated when you push the bit into the concrete.
Most of the hammer drills are featured as cordless hammer drills as you have to put the tool into a drill-only mode. As a result, the hammering mechanism is disengaged, making the tool suitable for tasks such as drilling and fastening wood without hammering.
Different Styles available
There are two different styles available for hammer drills. One is the corded hammer drill and the other is the cordless hammer drill.
Corded Hammer Drill
Cordless Hammer Drill
- Affordable price
- Lightweight design
- Easy to use
- Suitable for personal use or around the house
- Not good for professional use
- Does not absorb as much shock
- Not so powerful
Rotary Hammer Vs Hammer Drill: The Key Differences
Both of the hammer drills and rotary hammer drills work on a similar principle. But there are some key differences. Let’s have a quick look at the differences…
|Hammer Drill||Rotary Hammer|
|Useful for||DIY, Handyman||Professional work|
|Uses||Drilling masonry||Drilling masonry, Useful as jack-hammer|
|Tool Holder||Standard 3 jaw chuck||*SDS chuck|
|Size||Bit bigger than the drill/driver||More bulky tool|
|Mode||Drill, Hammer Drill||Drill, Hammer Drill, Hammer Only|
|Power||Better than cordless drills||Much more powerful than hammer drills|
|Drive Mechanism||Electric/Battery Power||Electro-Pneumatic|
When to use a Rotary Hammer Vs Hammer Drill and Vice Versa?
Well, there are different things to consider while choosing the right drill for your need. If you have to drive holes larger than 1 inch, and for professional and commercial use you are going to need a rotary hammer.
On the other hand, if you want to drill holes that are smaller than 1 inch in diameter and you need it for personal use you can go for hammer drills.
Rotary Hammer Vs Hammer Drill Bottom line
In a nutshell, between these two tools, rotary hammers are mostly the preferred choice as it is used by professionals and people who have to hammer screws into concrete more often. However, hammer drills are considered less powerful, but they are a more portable and affordable option.
They have a small striking mechanism, and these are good for people who need the tool for personal or occasional use. So, if you want to do a light to a medium-sized job in your house then go for a hammer drill.