We research in-depth and provide unbiased reviews and recommendations on the best products. We strive to give you the most accurate information. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
There are a huge variety of different styles of drill on the market. So, when choosing one to add to your kit, which should you opt for and why? In this blog post, we’ll explain the difference between a hammer drill and a regular drill, the benefits of each and which one you should use for which applications.
What is the difference between a hammer drill and a regular drill?
There are some key similarities between the two types of drill, though there is one main function that differentiates them.
What is a regular drill?
The standard drill, sometimes known as a drill driver, is designed to drill holes and drive fasteners into materials like wood, metal, and plastic. The chuck will accept both drill and screwdriver bits to allow it to do so. They operate with a rotary motion and usually feature reverse rotation for removing screws. Use this type of drill for all standard drilling and driving applications such as to build furniture, hang picture frames, drill holes, and more.
The standard drill can handle a lot of situations, though they are typically aimed at more every day, light duty drilling tasks.
What is a hammer drill?
A hammer drill operates in exactly the same way as a standard drill, only it has 3 functions rather than 2. These include drilling and driving (the same as a standard drill) with the addition of hammer action.
What is hammer action on a drill?
In a standard drill, the chuck simply rotates to allow you to drill and drive into different materials. Hammer action does also that, but whilst the drill bit rotates, it delivers concussive blows to the drill bit, like a hammer, to assist in the drilling of tougher materials.
Hammer action makes hammer drills able to drill in much tougher materials than standard drills, such as concrete and masonry. Whilst a regular drill might be able to drill in concrete, they are not specifically designed for this purpose, and doing so may cause damage to your tool. Hammer drills contain this function for a reason, allowing them to power through these tougher materials quickly and with ease.
Hammer mode is only really essential in heavier-duty drilling tasks. So, if this is not something you do on a regular, a standard drill will suffice. However, it’s important to note that most of the time, hammer action on a drill can be switched off, allowing the tool to perform exactly the same as a standard drill.
A hammer drill is essentially the same as a standard drill, with the added benefit of hammer action.
why choose a regular drill if a hammer drill is pretty much the same but better?
Well, with hammer function comes additional costs. Hammer drills are often more expensive than standard drills because they have the ability to perform more tasks and 90% of the time are heavier in weight. In order to deliver more power, you often need larger batteries and more power output, all of which adds up, too.
There are a few different types of hammer drills on the market. SDS plus drills, SDS max drills, and more. You can check out our blog post on SDS drills where we go into more detail.