best concrete breaker

Best Concrete Breaker in 2021 (UK Buying Guide)

Last Updated on 24 September 2021

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When I think back to my building-site days, concrete breakers were giant machines that created massive amounts of noise and vibration. These oversized concrete breakers were connected to compressors and typically operated by a big, burly man who undoubtedly suffered from white-finger and tinnitus.

These days, concrete breakers come in more manageable sizes and with different power options. However, buying the best concrete breaker for the average DIY enthusiast is still a daunting task. To help navigate the complicated world of concrete breakers, I set out to find the best concrete breaker for those simply looking to dig up a concrete slab safely & efficiently.

In a Hurry? Here’s our Top Pick for 2021:

Laptronix Electric Demolition Hammer Drill Concrete Breaker Power Jack Hammer Chisel
  • Suitable for heavy demolition, masonry and chiselling work - Professional HEX-GAN breaking machine
  • Efficient Powerful 1700 watt motor - High demolition capacity 40.5J - Effective impact frequency of 1900/min
  • Robust metal casing - GAN-HEX (hexagonal) tool mount enables quick tool change - Accessory kit included
  • Input power: 1700W - Chuck: 30mm HEX - Max impact rates: 1550bpm - Impact Joules: 40.5J
  • Accessories : Metal Case 410mm point chisel bit 410mm flat chisel bit 410mm U chisel bit pair gloves goggles mask

Last update on 2021-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Do You Need a Concrete Breaker?

construction worker using concrete breaker on a wall

Before buying a concrete breaker, you should first establish that this is the best tool for your project. You might be better off with an SDS hammer drill for small demolition work, such as removing tiles or forming holes in brick walls.

However, for breaking up concrete slabs, foundations, rock and all forms of road construction, you can’t beat the thumping power of a concrete breaker. Also known as a jackhammer or demolition drill, concrete breakers are characterised by their powerful motor – around 1700W – and a high impact rate of up to 2000 BPM.

In this guide, I’m going to show you the best concrete breakers on the market. All the models we reviewed are easy to use, affordable and don’t use compressors. 


Concrete Breakers – Facts & Figures

two construction worker breaking the floor using concrete breakers

When you look at products online, you will see a lot of unfamiliar technical jargon. This information can be confusing when some manufacturers quote specific units of measurement and others don’t. For instance, some provide hertz (Hz), which measures frequency, and some use Nm, a measure of torque.

Ignore a lot of the noise and focus on the three points below when comparing products

  1. Impact rate
  2. Impact force or energy
  3. Power

1. Impact rate

Impact rate is the number of times the chisel hits the surface per minute and is measured in beats per minute (BPM). Sometimes you might see revolutions per minute (RPM), but this is a bit of a misnomer because the chisels don’t revolve.

A higher impact rate means the concrete breaker will chop through the concrete quicker, but not necessarily through denser material. For this, you need to look at impact force…

2. Impact force

Impact force – measured in Joules (J) – is the thing that determines how easily the breaker will cut through concrete. The higher the force, the more effective the breaker is.

3. Power

Power at this level is measured in watts (W). Our article on the 9 best drills and drivers explains power ratings in detail, but typically, concrete breakers have mighty motors – around 1600W. These high-power motors deliver the required impact rate and force to cut through concrete with ease.


Chisels

different types of chisel on top of a wood

You only need three types of chisel for concrete and masonry breaking:

  1. Pointed
  2. Flat
  3. Curved

In most cases, you will only need the first two.

1. Pointed Chisels

You use pointed chisels to start the breaking process. With so much force concentrated on such a small area, concrete breakers easily cut through the densest concrete or stone. In many cases, this chisel is all you’ll need.

Pro Tip: Use a crowbar to lever out the broken concrete, not the chisel, as this avoids damage to the breaker.

2. Flat Chisels

Flat chisels are best for working around the edges or where a neat, straight line is needed.

Flat chisels are also great for removing tiles (wall or floor) and scabbling concrete slabs. They come in three different widths to suit the job at hand. The wider flat chisels are better for asphalt and tarmac, which are less dense than concrete.

Pro Tip: When breaking up a concrete slab with a flat chisel, use it at an angle and not vertically. You’ll find it cuts much better this way.

3. Curved Chisels

Curved chisels have a U-shaped profile and are great for cutting grooves or narrow channels in masonry or concrete. Sometimes referred to as gouge chisels, they can cut to various depths by adjusting the angle of the breaker.


Key Factors to Consider when Buying Concrete Breakers

man breaking concrete

Weight

A heavy concrete breaker cuts through concrete easier than lighter models because the extra weight adds more downward force. However, heavier models are harder to haul around and require more upper body strength.

Versatility

If you want a tool that can break up concrete and cut through a masonry wall, you need a lighter model to hold horizontally with two hands. Corded electric breakers are best suited to these situations.

Power Supply

This tip may sound obvious, but if you’re breaking up a road in the middle of nowhere, you have to think about how you’re going to power your concrete breaker. 

You can, of course, use a portable generator such as this 2.8 kVA Portable Petrol Generator. The alternative is to go for a petrol-driven breaker, and we have selected one in particular for this guide.


Best Concrete Breaker – The Top 3 in 2021

Here is my shortlist of the top three concrete breakers on the UK market:

#1. Laptronix Electric Concrete Breaker

Laptronix Electric Demolition Hammer Drill Concrete Breaker Power Jack Hammer Chisel
  • Suitable for heavy demolition, masonry and chiselling work - Professional HEX-GAN breaking machine
  • Efficient Powerful 1700 watt motor - High demolition capacity 40.5J - Effective impact frequency of 1900/min
  • Robust metal casing - GAN-HEX (hexagonal) tool mount enables quick tool change - Accessory kit included
  • Input power: 1700W - Chuck: 30mm HEX - Max impact rates: 1550bpm - Impact Joules: 40.5J
  • Accessories : Metal Case 410mm point chisel bit 410mm flat chisel bit 410mm U chisel bit pair gloves goggles mask

Last update on 2021-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The stand-out feature of the Laptronix electric concrete breaker that makes it my number one pick is its power-to-weight ratio. The motor packs a powerful 1700W punch, with an effective impact rate of up to 1900BPM and an impact force of 40.5J. 

Weighing in at 22kg, the Laptronix is a heavy-duty breaker. However, its fully rotating secondary handle makes it easy to use horizontally to break through walls and chip off tiles.

The Laptronix concrete breaker cuts through the most challenging, thickest concrete with ease, and it comes with three 410mm chisels – pointed, flat, and U-shaped – to cover virtually every situation you’re likely to face.

The thick easy-grip handle and trigger make the Laptronix breaker easy to use at any angle, while the hexagonal tool-mount with a 30mm chuck (no key required) lets you quickly change the chisel as the conditions dictate.

The robust metal casing of the Laptronix provides increased durability, and a fan-cooled motor reduces wear & tear.

Other accessories include a pair of gloves, goggles and a face mask – essential PPE when carrying out demolition work – and the whole kit comes in a rugged metal case.

ProsCons
Excellent power-to-weight ratio 230V limits usage to domestic situations only
Delivers up to 1900BPM and 40.7J of impact force 
Quick tool change with the hex tool mount 

#2. ReaseJoy 52CC 1700W Petrol Concrete Breaker

ReaseJoy 52CC 1700W Heavy Duty Gasoline Petrol Demolition Jack Hammer Concrete Breaker Single Cylinder Power Tool Kit
  • [Powerful Gasoline Jack Hammer Kit]: Includes a 1700W 52CC gasoline demolition hammer, a pointed and a flat chisel, with 700 to 1350 BPM impact frequency for strong and quick demolition, great for commercial or home uses
  • [2 Exchangeable Chisels]: For suiting your needs, pointed one for better cutting through concrete, flat one for applying detail and smoothing surfaces
  • [Hand Pull Start System]: Offers a high degree of flexibility without cable, convenient for outdoor uses
  • [Handle Design]: With rubber grip for comfortable handling operation and convenient transport
  • [Wide Application]: Suitable for tearing up foundations, ripping up driveways, demolishing concrete floors or walls or breaking through solid rock; Hammer Size(LxWxH): 69 x 37 x 27 cm (27 3/16" x 14 9/16" x 10 5/8")

Last update on 2021-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The ReaseJoy concrete breaker is different from the other two models on our list, but it might be what you’re looking for if you don’t have an electrical supply nearby. Because this model is petrol-driven (2-stroke), it’s usable in every outdoor situation conceivable and is a bit of a beast!

Despite its high-end specification, the ReaseJoy is easy enough for any DIY enthusiast to operate, but at almost 24kg, it does take some muscle power to haul it around. However, the rubber handgrips absorb a lot of vibration in use, making it one of the most comfortable concrete breakers on the UK market.

The ReaseJoy comes with a 52cc engine delivering 1700W of power. This engine generates an impact rate of 700 to 1350BPM and an impact force of 20 to 55J. This power makes the ReaseJoy great for commercial and domestic use. 

An easy-to-use thumb throttle varies the impact frequency and force, providing total control from start to finish. Although some reviewers say the ReaseJoy breaker starts well, my experience of hand-pull starting mechanisms has not been good.

The included tool bag contains a flat chisel and a pointed chisel (410 x 30mm SDS-Hex type), a spare spark plug, and maintenance tools.

The fuel tank capacity is 1.3 litres, which should be enough for two hours of operation. 

Pro Tip: Always carry a spare refill tank when working in remote locations.  

ProsCons
Powerful 1700W motor delivers up to 55J of energyAs with any petrol engine, it requires regular servicing
Rubber grip for comfortable handlingHand-pull start system is prone to failure
Petrol driven – use it anywhereNot suitable for horizontal use, e.g. walls
Impact rate and force are variable via the thumb throttleVery expensive compared to the electric models

 #3. VonHaus 1500W Electric Breaker

VonHaus 1500W Electric Breaker - Demolition Hammer Drill for Concrete
  • Impact Rate 1500 blows per minute, ideal for tackling brick, blockwork, asphalt and concrete
  • Powerful 45 joules impact force, perfect for demolition work around the home and garden
  • Frequency 50/60 Hz - Rated Voltage 230V
  • 360 degree rotational side handle for comfort and control
  • Complete with comprehensive accessory set: BMC, 5/6/8 socket head wrench, 30mm*400mm Hex point/flat chisel, 1pc wrench, 1pc oil can, 1 pair carbon brush

Last update on 2021-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The VonHaus electric breaker drops to third place because of question marks over its longevity. However, if you’re prepared to accept this, VonHaus is still a good choice for many part-time users.

With an impact rate of 1500BPM and an impact force of 45J, the VonHaus easily cuts through most materials such as brick, concrete, and general road surfaces. 

Compared to other models on the market, the VonHaus breaker is lighter at 20.5kg but still heavy enough to do a good job. The lighter weight makes it easier to use horizontally on walls, using the 360° rotational side handle for support.

Like the Laptronix breaker, the VonHaus uses a quick-release hexagonal chuck and includes all the accessories needed for maintenance. I.e. hex keys, spanner, oil can, spare pair of carbon brushes and two 400mm long by 30mm diameter chisels – one pointed and one flat. All of these tools are packed into a plastic case with wheels for easy manoeuvring.

ProsCons
At 20.3kg, the lightest of the three230V limits usage to domestic situations only
It comes with two chisels, spare brushes and other maintenance toolsThe plastic case is flimsy – more for storage rather than carrying
Great for use in tight spacesThe plastic handle is prone to cracking
Although only 1500W, it delivers 45J force 

Best Concrete Breaker in 2021 – Comparison Table

Product Impact rate (BPM) Power (Watts) Impact force (Joules) Weight (Kg) Cost Rating out of 10
Laptronix1900170040.722£9.0
ReaseJoy700-1350170020-5523.8££8.5
VonHaus1500150045.020.3£8.0

Final Thoughts

The Laptronix comes out on top because it’s more potent than the VonHaus, has a better impact rate, and is slightly cheaper. 

The ReaseJoy is more than twice the price of the Laptronix and almost 2Kg heavier. However, if you’re in a remote location with no access to electricity, it’s well worth considering.

If you’re unsure how to break up concrete slabs, this video on the Ultimate Handyman channel should prove helpful. Please ignore the first part about hire shops; it’s almost as cheap to buy in most cases. Also, don’t confuse the different terms for “point” and “chisel” as they’re both chisels. Another helpful resource is WikiHow’s guide on How to Break Up Concrete

Would you please share this guide with friends & family looking to hire or buy a concrete breaker? It saves them borrowing yours 🙂