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How To Choose Rotary Hammer
- Aug 14, 2018 -

A rotary hammer is a rotary drill with a hammering action designed to punch holes in hard surfaces. They are also called combi drills. Rotary hammer uses a piston mechanism to pound the drill bit in and out while spinning. The piston rides in a cylinder and creates air pressure when driven forward, and it’s air pressure that actually drives the hammer mechanism. This makes them deliver a powerful hammer blow, making it possible to drill bigger holes much faster. They excel at drilling holes in hardened concrete. They are much more durable and are the preferred tool of the pros.


When you buy a rotary hammer it is important to decide on what features matter to you. The main considerations are how much power you require, the size and weight of the tool, whether it should be cordless and how often will you be using it. The power plays a major role in deciding the capabilities of rotary hammer. They come in power ranging from 450 to 2000 watts. Tools with power up to 900 watts are the household rotary hammers and tools with power more than 900 watts are the professional ones. For usage on thicker walls, powerful rotary hammer with 1500 watts is suggested.

The two basic types of rotary hammers are horizontal and vertical. This is classified depending on the engine location. In the horizontal rotary hammers, the engine is located parallel to the impact axis and in vertical ones the engine is placed perpendicular to the impact axis. Horizontal drills are used to work on narrow slots, because they are more elongated and narrow. Vertical hammers has the advantage in terms of cooling of their motor and their power. Most of the professional hammers are vertical.

You can also choose the various rotary hammer modes like drilling, drilling with a punch, impact mode. In drilling mode, the rotary hammer resembles the conventional electric drills which can be used on softer materials like wood. In drilling with a punch mode the rotary hammer performs circular and translational motion simultaneously. This mode is used for harder materials. In impact mode, there are no rotational movements hence making it a jackhammer.

There are two types of drill cartridges, SDS plus and SDS max. Cartridge is a device for attaching working attachments such as drill, drill bits, chisels, etc. Cartridge SDS plus is installed on most household rotary hammers which can be used for holes with a diameter of 15 mm. SDS max cartridge is used in professional models which bores a large diameter of about 26 mm.

The weight of the rotary hammer is a major factor. They can weigh anywhere between 2.2 to 12 kg.Light drills are up to 3 kg and the medium ones weigh between 3 to 5 kg. The heavy drills weigh more than 5 kg. A normal household rotary hammer weighs approximately 2.6 to 3.3 kg.

The rotational speed and frequency indicates how many rotational and translational movements can the hammer drill per time unit. The rotation speed of a rotary hammer can vary from 230 to 2300 rpm. Small household hammers have higher rotation speed, about 1500 to 2000 rpm and the professional ones have lower  rpm ranging from 230 to 450 rpm. For a normal household hammer a rotational speed with 1000 to 1500 rpm is suggested.

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