What are The Difference between Rotary Hammers and Hammer Drills?

hammer drill

When you need to make some holes in concrete or masonry, conventional drill won’t be sufficient. You will need a specialized tool for that. Hammer drill and Rotary Hammer- are two options available for this job. But you need to know what’s the difference between these two and which one would be the perfect option for your job?

Well, first we would know about these two tools.

Hammer Drill

Hammer drill, as the name suggests, provides hammering action as it drills. It has a grip system with two rigid discs inside that contribute to creating the force. This tool is generally used on softer materials like light-duty concrete or brick and of course for holes up to 3/8” diameter. the tool is apt for amateurs or homeowners for simple tasks.

Rotary Hammer

A Rotary Hammer is also used for the same function, but with a greater impact. This is the go-to tool for larger holes in harder concrete or masonry. It has a rotary part to move the hammer which ultimately results in a more powerful drill, that is, larger holes. This tool is of great help for heavy-duty professionals in construction sites.

Hammer Stretch

Though the main function of the hammer drill and the rotary hammer is same, the way the hammer force they create is the difference. The hammering action of hammer drill is created by two internal disks with metal ridges where they spin against each other and produce drilling. You can use them in softer concrete, brick or wood. The impact it leaves is fast but shallow.

In contrast, a Rotary hammer works through a piston system where it uses air pressure to generate stronger power. It hits harder than a hammer drill and leaves a more powerful impact through the slower blows.

Another thing to be noted that, unlike a hammer drill, you are not allowed to work in wood or metal with a rotary hammer.

How a Hammer Drill and Rotary Hammer function

Hammer drill produces smaller hammer force which is perfect for lighter works. Professionals who need to drill 3/8 inches for larger holes in masonry, a rotary hammer is a must-have tool for them. Like if you want to make some holes in metal, brick or lighter concrete, a hammer drill will do the job well. But, when you are to drill on heavy-duty concrete, you will need a rotary hammer for sure.

While hammer drills are usually equipped with a standard variable wedge, a rotary hammer includes spring-loaded chuck to match the dimensions of bits being used. That means bits must be used in accordance with that specific chuck. Generally, SDS-plus bits are widely used bits which are specially designed to make holes within 5/32 to ¾ inches in diameter. And SDS-max bits are designed for drilling 3/8 inches to 2 inches of holes.

However, as mentioned above, the rotary hammer is more powerful, hence, it is obvious to cost more than a hammer drill. And keeping the price fact in mind here is a tip for you- if you need a drill for lightweight concrete in the home, opt for a hammer drill. And if not for a professional reason, where a rotary hammer is a must, consider one in rent. But, of course, for professional use in heavy-duty drill works, a rotary hammer will lessen your work burden to a great extent.

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