Hammer drills and rotary hammer drills are both extremely efficient for drilling through masonry and concrete. Rotary drills are the more powerful of the two, and are generally used for bigger jobs. Most rotary hammers come with a hammer-only mode that does not include any rotation, and they will also have an SDS chuck, which is ideal for hammering.
You probably wouldn’t have any problem drilling into a concrete block with an ordinary drill and a masonry bit, but you’ll need a little more power if you have a number of holes to drill, especially if you’re dealing with older concrete. Both of these types of drills generate a pounding force which makes them ideal for pulverizing masonry. When the hammer drill spins, the bit eats away at the masonry, and the mechanical process which initiates the pounding action is the chief difference between these two types of drills. The discussion below will help you decide whether a hammer drill or a rotary hammer is more appropriate for the task you’re faced with.
Hammer drills are equipped with two discs which have ridges that look very much like those on a poker chip. As one drill disc glides past the other one, it has a rising and falling action which causes the chuck to also slam backwards and forwards. When there is no force applied to the chuck, the discs are kept separate by a clutch, and there will be no pounding action going on. This is an intentional design feature which is meant to save wear and tear on the drill. A number of hammer drills can also be used as ordinary drills simply by turning off the hammering action.
Hammer drill accessories
A typical usage for a hammer drill would be to drill holes in concrete blocks, mortar, or bricks, but it is capable of also handling occasional holes which are situated in poured concrete. Accessories for hammer drills are generally not very expensive, so you should use a superior carbide tip, because these will be more securely attached, and you can count on much less breakage during heavy usage.
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Rotary hammer drills
Rotary hammer drills generate pounding action through a piston which is driven by a crankshaft. This piston rests in a cylinder, and when it’s driven forward, it creates air pressure which drives the hammer mechanism. This makes it possible for rotary hammers to generate much more impact than standard hammer drills. They are considerably more durable than hammer drills, and that’s why all professionals and many household do-it-yourselfers prefer them.
Another big advantage of rotary hammer drills is that they have three different settings, those being hammer drill, drill mode, and just hammer, and this allows them to function like a mini-jackhammer. Because of this increased functionality and durability, rotary hammer drills are generally significantly more expensive than hammer drills.
Rotary hammer accessories
Probably the most popular chuck on home improvement store shelves today is the SDS-Plus bit, and these have grooves on the shanks which keep them securely locked into the chuck. They also permit back-and-forth movement which is independent of the chuck. Another good thing about these accessories is that they’re very easy to install and take out, without the use of any tools or other equipment. Some of the biggest rotary hammers use a bit called the SDS-Max. One of the things you should be on the lookout for when you’re purchasing bits is that some of them have proprietary systems, and that means it’s important to match the bit you buy to the tool which you’re actually using.
Where to buy drills and accessories
If you have a local preferred dealer where you’ve been purchasing all your drills and accessories, then you’re good to go. If you’re just starting to equip your drilling cabinet, your best bet would be to do some research and browse a bit at MJC Marketing & Sales, where we offer a number of high-quality, excellent drilling systems and accessories. You can call at any time with questions you might have about specific tools or tasks, and what might be the best option for drilling. Friendly representatives will be glad to answer all your questions, and tell you how we can help you.
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