Best Cordless Hammer Drill Reviews 2017
If you’re the type of person that would head for your tool chest rather than the Yellow Pages when a job around the house needs doing – then the best cordless hammer drill would be a very welcome addition to your tool arsenal.
If you ever find yourself needing to drill into brick, concrete, stone, wood or basically any hard material, then a hammer drill will be your tool of choice.
A hammer drill adds thousands of blows per minute (BPM) to the rotary power of a drill. It’s almost like you are pushing the drill forward with one hand, and using your other hand to tap the back of the drill with super-fast hammer blows.
The combination of these forces make short work of tough drilling jobs that a normal rotary drill would find next to impossible.
Best Cordless Hammer Drill (Comparison Table)
Picture Name Price Our Rating Out Of 5 Torque Voltage Warranty Bosch HDH181X-01 $$$$ 4.8 752 foot pounds 18-volts 1 year warranty with 30-day money back guarantee DEWALT DCD996B $$$$ 4.7 560 foot pounds 20-volts 3 years limited Makita XPH07Z $$$ 4.7 1,090 inch pounds 18-volts 3 years PORTER-CABLE PCC620B $ 4.5 Not stated 20-volts 3 year limited Milwaukee M12 Fuel $$ 4.8 350 inch pounds 12-volts 5 years DEWALT DCK299P2 $$$$$ 4.7 890 inch pounds 20-volts 3 year limited
The Best Cordless Hammer Drill Overall, Our Top Three Picks
The Bosch Brute Tough HDH181X-01 is an outstanding hammer drill that would perfectly suit a DIYer or professional. its Open-Frame, Four-Pole motor provides 750 foot pounds of torque which is more than enough to power through tough jobs at home or in the workplace.
The HDH181X-01 provides very good control of power with its 25+1 clutch settings and variable speed setting. It can be used as a drill or screwdriver with its 2-speed system that provides 440 rpm for screw driving and 1,850 rpm for drilling.
The Bosch’s side handle has been redeveloped with a greater length and it securely locks on to the hammer drill with a tongue and groove interface. The handle has a slim, soft grip and slots into 23 different positions making it easier to find that perfect angle to work the drill from. Bit changes can also be carried out one handed with the auto lock chuck.
When putting a hammer drill under pressure through tough drilling there is always a chance of the tool kicking back out of the material and causing injury. Bosch’s Active Response Technology reduces the risk of kickbacks by detecting sharp movements and cutting off power to the motor – while still maintaining performance.
The Bosch Brute Tough HDH181X-01 is a great all rounder. It is light and ergonomic enough for a lady to use and also packs more than enough punch to take on any job site task. Having said that, this hammer drill is very powerful and could be a real wrist breaker if you tried to use it without a secure grip.
The Bosch Brute Tough has received mostly glowing reviews online with users finding little to complain about
- 1/2-inch keyless chuck
- 25+1 clutch settings
- Maximum torque of 752 foot pounds
- No load BPM of 0-27,500
- No load RPM of 0-440/0-1,850
What Comes In The Box?
The hammer drill, two 18-volt lithium-ion batteries, one charger, an auxiliary handle, one double-sided Philips drive bit and a carrying bag.
30 day money back guarantee with manufacturer 1 year warranty.
Many users of the DCD996B consider it to be DeWalt’s finest hammer drill to date. With DeWalt’s 3-speed transmission system, this is a seriously powerful tool that generates about 560 pounds of torque.
It can take on heavy concrete and steel drilling, and its torque kicks in almost immediately. One user described drilling half inch holes in cinder blocks like drilling through pine.
The ergonomics of this tool are also great. It’s built solid, feels well balanced and helps you maintain good control with a 360 degree handle.
Another standout feature is the three-mode LED light, which can light up dark spaces up to 20 times brighter than previous models
It is a must to use high quality bits with this DeWalt or heavy work will just chew them up. Sharpening your drill bits and having them well-maintained is highly recommended with this hammer drill. Unfortunately this tool does not come with a battery so you’ll have to buy one separately. Regarding batteries, experienced users recommend the DCB203 for casual work, and the DCB205 for heavy-duty work.
Given all its great features, the DeWalt DCD996B is not without its faults. The gear slider tends to slot into 1 or 3 when you try to get it in 2, and the battery is quite loose fitting.
- 1/2-inch ratcheting nitro-carburized metal chuck
- Very bright, 3-mode LED light
- 3-speed transmission
- 0-38, 250 BPM and 2,250 RPM
- 820 Units Watts of output
What Comes In The Box?
The 3-speed hammer drill, a belt hook and 360 degree handle.
The XPH07Z is another heavy-hitting hammer drill. Makita is the go-to brand for many professional contractors and this entry is one of the best hammer drills on the market. This tool is ideal for heavy-duty work but may prove to heavy and powerful for a casual user.
Its brushless motor puts out over a thousand pounds of max torque and the variable, two-speed transmission generates (0-550 and 0-2,100 rotations per minute for a large range of tasks.
At around six pounds, this cordless hammer drill is heavier than most and will definitely wear out your arms if you’re drilling overhead – although, the extra weight is made manageable with the side handle that comes with the tool.
The hammer drill is powered by Makita 18 volt Lithium-Ion batteries that charge faster than any others in their category. The Makita XPH07Z is a jobsite workhorse that will keep trucking through the toughest conditions. It’s an ideal tool if you have enough heavy-duty work to continually put it through its paces.
If you are a casual user that will occasionally get out a hammer drill for some light work then you might want to give this one a miss.
- BL Brushless Motor delivering 1,090 inch pounds of Maximum Torque
- 3-stage LED gauge to show battery charge levels
- All-metal variable, two-speed transmission (0-550 and 0-2,100 rotations per minute)
What Comes In The Box?
A depth gauge, belt clip, and side handle
Three-year warranty on the hammer drill and a one-year warranty on batteries.
Best Cheap Cordless Hammer Drill
If your hammer drill will only be taken out of the box on occasion for some light jobs around the house, then you don’t need to hand over a small fortune for the biggest, most powerful tool on the market.
In fact, a hammer drill that’s too heavy and powerful for light work can put you at a greater risk of fatigue or even injury.
The PORTER-CABLE PCC620B is a 1/2-inch, 20 volt lithium-ion hammer drill that produces 0-400/0-1600 rotations per minute and 27,200 blows per minute.
It features a 2-speed gear box, 23 clutch settings and an LED light to brighten poorly lit work areas.
One contractor who bought this hammer drill commented that it easily kept up with models that cost more than twice its price. He also said that the reverse, gears and torque clutch performed very well. His only concern was that he didn’t think this model would be as durable as more expensive ones.
- High performing hammer drill delivering 27,200 BPMs
- Two-Speed gear box (0-400/0-1600 RPMs)
- Half-inch metal ratcheting chuck with 23 clutch settings
- LED light to illuminate dim work area
Three-year limited warranty.
Best Small Cordless Hammer Drill
The M12 Fuel is a small and lightweight tool that can hold its own with the best cordless hammer drills on the market. The runtime of this tool is outstanding. The M12’s POWERSTATE Brushless Motor provides more power output, a longer motor life, more runtime, and it outperforms all the leading hammer drills in its class.
At less than 8-inches in length and 2.6 pounds weight, the M12 still packs quite a punch. It has a max torque of 350 inch-pounds, hammers at 0 to 25,500 blows per minute, and has an RPM of 0-450/0-1,700.
The Milwaukee M12 Fuel is a perfect all round tool for a DIYer. In combination with a hole saw, it can get into places that few other drills can. It will easily drill 1/4-inch holes through concrete and is one of the best cordless hammer drills for working from a ladder.
- 12 volts
- Brushless motor
- Overload protection
- Half-inch metal ratcheting lock
- Max torque of 350 inch-pounds
- Blows per minute of 0 to 25,500
- Rotations per minute of 0-450/0-1,700
What Comes In The Box?
Bare tool with no battery
Best Cordless Hammer Drill Impact Driver Combo
The hammer drill features three speed levels, a max torque of 2,000 RPM, and BPM of 0-38,250. It has an all-metal transmission and weighs just 3.4 pounds – giving it an excellent power to weight ratio.
A great feature this hammer drill has, that you won’t find on many other brands is its three gear system. The more gears you have the more control you have over RPM and BPM. This widens the range of jobs this hammer drill can take on.
The second power tool in this combo is the DeWalt DCF887. This impact driver is a second generation tool that has an application control and gearbox that allows you to choose the amount of torque to use depending on the material you’re working on.
The impact driver generates a max torque of 1,825 inch-pounds and has a compact size of just 5.3-inches from end-to-end.
People who have bought this combo set were extremely impressed with the power and features of both power tools. They are equally impressed with the battery life – commenting that the tools keep working all day long.
- Maximum RPM of 2,000, and BPM of 0-38,250
- Bright LED work light
- Three-speed gear box
- Compact size
- 205Nm maximum torque
- M5 to M14 bolt size
- M5 to M12 machine screw
- No load RPM of 3200
What Comes In The Box?
The hammer drill, impact driver, two lithium-ion batteries, one charger, two belt hooks, one side handle and a contractor bag.
Three year limited.
How To Use A Hammer Drill
How To Choose The Best Cordless Hammer Drill For Your Needs
If you’re shopping for the best hammer drill, you’ll quickly find out that they come in a wide range of models with features and specs varying hugely. Obviously, if you choose the best models from the best brands like DeWalt, Bosch or Milwaukee, chances are you’ll end up with an excellent tool.
But it’s not always that simple. Buyers on a budget can’t take their pick of the best models. And often the top models cater for heavy-duty job site work. That makes them big, heavy and overpowered for many DIY and casual uses.
By understanding a few key features, you will make a much better informed buying decision and save yourself the frustration of buying a hammer drill that’s not fit for purpose.
The thing to consider before anything else, is what type of work will you be doing with the hammer drill? If it’s the occasional odd job around the house or light work such as building a timber deck, you won’t need a heavy drill killing your arms every time you have to drill a hole overhead.
The best hammer drill for the DIYer will be compact, lightweight, ergonomic, and still have enough power to tackle heavy-duty jobs like drilling into concrete. It should also have some features that will make work safer and more enjoyable.
Ideally, a hammer drill you have in your tool chest for odd jobs around the home is a drill you should enjoy using.
Features To Look For In The Best Cordless Hammer Drill
A Brushless Motor
Brushless motors are becoming the norm. You’ll find them on almost all mid to top-of-the-range hammer drills. But you won’t find them in many of the cheapest models. A brushless hammer drill performs better than a brushed hammer drill in almost every way. Here are a few of the benefits of choosing brushless:
- Less maintenance
- Longer life span
- Delivers more power
- More energy efficient
- You spend less time charging batteries
If at all possible, spend the extra few dollars to get a brushless model. It will probably save you money in the long run. If you’d like to read more about brushless vs brushed motors there’s a good guide here at TotalTools.
The most important thing to remember about volts is: the higher the volts, the harder the hammer drill will work. A hammer drill with higher volts will deliver more damage with each blow of the bit, and deliver more turning power with each rotation.
The best hammer drill for a homeowner should have a minimum of 12 volts and for heavy-duty use, a minimum of 18 volts.
The Gear Box And Clutch
The more clutch and gearbox settings you have, the more control you have over the hammer drill’s rotations and impacts. Being able to adjust the amount of RPM and BPM for a given task is important and makes the hammer drill much more effective and enjoyable to use.
Why is it important to have as much control as possible? Let’s say you want to drive a Phillips-head screw. If the drill has too much torque and you can’t reduce it enough, you could over-drive the screw or the screw head could get damaged.
Thankfully, even budget hammer drills usually have a good range of clutch and gearbox settings giving you good control for a variety of applications.
Aim for a hammer drill with at least 24 clutch positions and a minimum of a 2-speed gearbox.
The chuck is the part of the hammer drill that tightens around the drill bit. These days, even the majority of budget drills come with a keyless chuck. Keyless is the way to go, unless you want to spend hours looking for a lost key – just to change the drill bit.
Good ergonomic features can save you from a lot of fatigue and even injury. The best ergonomics are found on the top-of-the-line drills by the big-name brands. If you have a budget, you won’t be enjoying all of those features. At a minimum, you should look for a side handle that has a few different position changes and a slim trigger-handle with soft rubber grip.
Most new models – including budget ones – come with an LED light as standard. The light illuminates the area in front of you so you can see where you’re aiming the bit. On top models you can expect to find an LED with various modes and brightness levels – such as spotlight mode.
On budget models you’ll find a fairly basic light that may have a couple of settings. Having a light on your hammer drill is definitely a feature worth having but I wouldn’t get too caught up on modes and brightness. After all, It doesn’t take much to illuminate the area directly in front of your drill.
As a general rule, you want to have as many safety features as possible. But if you’re on a budget, you will likely have to forfeit some. The very cheapest hammer drills will have little in the way of safety features.
Top-of-the-line models will have smart systems to stop the hammer drill from overheating or overloading. They will also have some sort of response technology to help prevent against kickbacks. If you are deciding between two models and the only difference is a safety feature – definitely choose the one with added safety.
That’s about all you need to know to choose the best cordless hammer drill to suit your needs. The most important thing is to choose from a reputable and trusted brand. Don’t be tempted to buy from an unknown brand from China. Many of those tools are made to look impressive but can be far from it. They can contain fake or substandard parts and they are not tested to Western standards – if at all.
Thank you for reading and I really hope I’ve helped with your buying decision. If you’d like to ask anything further or leave a comment, please do so below.
Categorised in: Power Tools