Drill 101: Drilling With A Hammer Drill

Drill 101 Drilling With A Hammer Drill

Whether you are into carpentry, masonry or engaged in a construction activity, you would need a good and handy hammer drill to help you go about with your work. If you are fond of rearranging your place and making some DIYs with the furniture, a good old hammer drill will make the work easier.

Sometimes, buying your own hammer drill is more practical and more affordable than borrowing or renting one. But what is a hammer drill and what does it do? These are the questions to be answered in this article.

What is a Hammer Drill

If you are a first timer in the fields of carpentry, masonry or construction, you would probably wonder what is a hammer drill. A hammer driller is a rotary drill which also has a hammering action. It is also known as a hammering drill, roto-drill, or rotary hammer.

The hammering action of the hammer drill functions to allow rapid and short hammer thrust to pulverize moderately weak surfaces and makes faster drilling possible with relatively small effort. Usually, hammer drills are powered by electricity but there are some models which are already battery powered.

Types of Hammer Drill

A hammer drill can be generally classified into two (2) types based on the mechanism used by each. The first classification is the hammer drill or the lower power unit, while the second is the more advanced power units or the rotary hammer.

The hammer drill functions with a percussion hammering mechanism or “cam-action” mechanism that has two (2) sets of toothed gears which mechanically interact with each other to hammer and, at the same time, rotate the drill bit.

Such type of hammer drill often comes in smaller models and is powered by battery or cordless technology. In a cam-action mechanism, the bit and entire chuck move backwards and forwards on the rotation axis and the motion is tied to the chuck rotation.

The rotary hammers, on the other hand, come in larger models with more impact force due to the use of the technology known as electro-pneumatic (EP) hammering mechanism.

Instead of a separate air compressor, the rotary hammer is directly powered by electricity and the EP hammer has two (2) pistons to work with – a flying piston and a drive piston. With the EP mechanism, the drive piston is being moved back and forth within a cylinder through a crank powered by an electric motor.

Found on the other end of the same cylinder is a flying piston. The two (2) pistons have no actual contact; however, the pressure of air inside the cylinder of the EP hammer creates the transfer of hammering energy.

Use of the Hammer Drill

With the clutch of the hammer drill, it has the capacity not only to spin the drill bit into a surface or material, but also punch it into and out of a material. For this reason, a hammer drill is often preferred to be used in drilling through bricks or concretes rather than the regular drills.

As for metal and wood drilling, the hammer drill can also be converted into a conventional drill with the switch or lever that switches off the hammer clutch feature of the hammer drill.

When it comes to drilling, a hammer drill is a usual option for the carpenters, electricians, and users because it can work well with the wooden and metallic surfaces as well as the concrete or brick surfaces.

Hammer Drill vs. Impact Driver

More often than not, a hammer drill is mistaken to be an impact driver and vice-versa. However, the two (2) should not be confused as the hammer drill is not to be used for driving screws – the proper tool to use for such function is an impact driver.

While an impact driver uses an impact type action to increase the rotational drive of the tool, the hammer drill does not. And while the impact driver, with its rotational impact, works well with driving the screws, nags, bolts and nuts, it does not perform any drilling functions, unlike the hammer drill.

The two (2) tools are poles apart and one should not be used to perform the function of the other tool – the impact driver is for driving the screws, bolts, etc., while the hammer drill is for drilling different types of surfaces.

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