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If your next DIY project requires you to drill through tough surfaces, then you need a hammer drill! Corded hammer drills offer additional performance and power that cordless models simply cannot provide, thus making them essential for drilling through hard materials such as brick or concrete.
Most hammer drills can double as standard drills too, making them better value for money than regular drills. So, even if you’re not planning on drilling through your walls, or any masonry today, it makes sense to go for a hammer drill in the long run!
With five contenders and a useful section explaining all you need to know about using your new hammer drill, we’ve got all angles covered. So, read on to discover which model is best for your needs.
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…
- In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…
- What is a Hammer Drill?
- How to Use a Hammer Drill
- Hammer Drilling Tips
- How to Choose the Best Corded Hammer Drill
- Top Five UK Corded Hammer Drills
- 1. Bosch EasyImpact 550
- 2. Bosch Professional GBH 2-26
- 3. Tacklife Hammer Drill
- 4. VonHaus Impact Hammer Drill
- 5. Meterk Hammer Drill
- Comparison Table
- Final Thoughts
What is a Hammer Drill?
Hammer drills, or percussion or impact drills as they are also known, are used to drill holes into hard materials. They differ from regular drills in that they generate a hammering motion in addition to the drill’s normal rotary motion.
If you are looking to drill holes in concrete, brick or stone walls, you’ll need a hammer drill. While each small hammering motion is not very effective individually, with thousands of blows per minute, a hammer drill is significantly more effective at drilling holes in hard surfaces than a standard drill.
How to Use a Hammer Drill
Whether you’re new to power drilling, or just want to find out the best way to use a hammer drill in particular, here’s how to get started using your hammer drill.
1. Get Marked and Measured up
Before you start drilling, it is essential to plan exactly where you need to drill your hole(s), as well at what depth and size you will need. So, rather than rushing to get started, spend a few moments planning and marking where you need to drill.
2. Choose and Fit Your Drill Bit
With your surface marked and armed with the knowledge of what size holes you’ll need, it’s time to choose your drill bit.
Your drill bit should suitable for the material in which you are drilling, so make sure that you select the correct one.
Your drill may have a keyed or keyless chuck. To insert a drill bit into a keyless chuck, simply turn the chuck anti-clockwise to loosen it and remove the previous bit. Then, insert your chosen bit and very gently squeeze the trigger several times to tighten while ensuring the bit doesn’t fall out.
With a keyed chuck, line the key’s teeth up with those on the drill’s chuck. Insert the key into one of the holes and turn it anti-clockwise to loosen the chuck. Remove the previous bit and insert your chosen one. Turn the key clockwise to tighten. Before using, squeeze the trigger to check that the drill bit is securely in place.
If you’re still uncertain about how to change your drill bit, take a look at this video guide.
3. Protect Yourself
Once you’re ready to start drilling, don’t forget to put on your protective gear. This is especially important when using a hammer drill.
You will need protective goggles to shield your eyes. Safety gloves and ear defenders are also recommended, especially when drilling tough surfaces. If you’re drilling inside, don’t forget to lay down a protective cloth to help to catch dust and reduce your clean up time afterwards.
4. Get Drilling!
With your hammer drill plugged in and ready to go, place the tip of your drill bit on the spot you have marked.
Gently squeeze the trigger and begin drilling. You should aim for light pressure, but avoid pushing too hard. You may need to stop occasionally to blow away dust and small chunks of material. Use the reverse rotation to remove your drill when you’re done.
Hammer Drilling Tips
If you’re having difficulty getting a hole drilled with your hammer drill, here are some handy tips:
- Do not apply too much pressure – you will risk damaging your drill bit.
- Stop every so often to clear debris out of the hole.
- Add a little water to control dust and to stop your drill bit overheating.
- If you hit an extra-hard spot in reinforced concrete, try to work through it by hitting a concrete nail into the hole with a hammer. If this does not clear the obstruction, you may have to try drilling your hole elsewhere.
How to Choose the Best Corded Hammer Drill
When you’re looking for a new corded hammer drill, it’s important to bear the following features in mind in order to choose the model that’s best suited to your needs.
Opting for a corded hammer drill over a cordless one is usually all down to the extra power that corded power tools supply. This is especially important when you’re drilling through tough surfaces such as brick or concrete. You will want to look for a corded model with a minimum 500W motor. The more powerful the motor, the easier it will be for your drill to get through hard surfaces.
While torque is less important for drilling into softer surfaces like wood, for metal and masonry higher torque ratings will enable your drill to perform better. Torque is essentially the twisting power that your drill provides.
Adjustable speed is important. For certain projects with softer materials, you will want to drill faster. On harder surfaces, you will want to take your time and drill slower. Drills with a feature to lock your drilling speed can be extremely useful when you’re going to be drilling numerous holes in tough materials.
While keyless chucks are a popular choice nowadays, for high powered corded hammer drills, you may prefer a keyed chuck to ensure that your bit is fully tightened before use. However, this is a matter of personal preference and, depending on your experience, you may prefer the speedy bit-changing offered by a keyless chuck.
Corded hammer drills tend to be lighter, without the need for heavy battery packs. Lightweight models reduce fatigue when drilling for long periods, which is more likely when drilling through brick or concrete.
To increase your comfort and safety when using your hammer drill, you should look for models with two handles. Ideally, the main handle should have a comfortable, secure grip and the auxiliary handle should be non-slip. This will help you to hold on to your drill securely when it is in hammer mode as the increase in vibrations requires an extra-firm grip.
While you will often need to use an extension lead when using a corded drill, some models have a much shorter length power cord than others. For quick jobs near a power socket, it can be easier to simply plug in your drill directly.
While you should never choose a power tool just for its case and accessories, they can certainly help nudge a product further up your wish list.
A carry case makes taking your drill to other places hassle-free and is often a good way to ensure that you don’t lose any of its accessories. A hard carry case also doubles up as a good way to keep your drill safely stored.
If you are new to DIY and don’t already have a collection of various drill bits, then you may want to consider purchasing a hammer drill that comes complete with a selection of different bits. While they can be useful for various tasks around the home, in a lot of cases you may need to purchase a specific size and type of drill bit anyway, so don’t let included extras sway your decision too much.
While you may not wish to purchase them straight away, some models are compatible with upgraded accessories that can be bought for an additional cost. Even if you do not wish to pay out extra cash, the fact that these tools can be upgraded and adapted is generally a sign of a superior product that may be of use to you in future projects. One example of this is a paddle mixer attachment as mentioned in our mixing plaster guide.
Top Five UK Corded Hammer Drills
Here’s our selection of five of the very best corded hammer drills.
- Easy to use for everyone: dedicated to enjoying hobbyists
- Easy to control: most lightweight and compact corded impact drills
- Compact Design without compromising in power
- Up to 25% faster drilling time due more power & better impact mechanism
The Bosch EasyImpact 550 features a 550W motor, with a respectable maximum torque of 9Nm, making it suitable for varied jobs including drilling into concrete.
With its new impact mechanism, it drills faster through tough projects. And thanks to its forward and reverse rotation, this hammer drill can also be used as a power driver, considerably increasing the use you will get from it.
While it will drill through tough materials, bear in mind that the EasyImpact 550 is not the most powerful model on the market. So, if you are looking for a drill exclusively for brick and concrete tasks, then you might prefer to look at another model exclusively for those types of job. On the other hand, if you only occasionally need to drill through such surfaces, then it also makes a good general-purpose drill to have.
In terms of comfort and usability, the EasyImpact 550 is exceptionally high scoring thanks to its compact, ergonomic design combined with its low 1.5kg weight and SoftGrip handle. It also features fully variable speed for complete control, as well as a non-slip auxiliary handle. The keyless chuck makes changing bits simple and fast, although note that this particular model does not come with any drill bits included.
If you’re looking for a good all-rounder for DIY jobs around the house, then the Bosch EasyImpact 550 makes an excellent choice.
|550W motor||No drill bits included|
|Maximum torque: 9Nm||Not very powerful|
|Forward and reverse rotation|
|Electronic speed control|
- Ball grommet for preventing cable breaks
- Rotating brush plate for equal power in forward and reverse rotation
- Gets the work done quickly due to fast drilling rate and high chiselling performance because of 800 W powerful motor and 2.7 joules of impact energy
- Reliable and robust with long lifetime due to high-quality components
- Wide range of applications with rotation stop for chiselling work
If you need a powerful hammer drill to take on seriously tough tasks, then the GBH 2-26 by Bosch Professional is sure to live up to the job.
Its 830W motor has the power you’ll need to get through tough masonry, equating to 2.7J of impact energy with an impact rate of up to 4,000 bpm. This product can be used as a standard drill, hammer drill or for chiselling.
Thanks to its rotating brush plate, both reverse and forward rotation modes are equally powered, so you won’t risk getting your drill bit stuck. The lock-on switch is an excellent feature, allowing you to set the drill to continuously power on through hard, long stints without tiring your fingers on the trigger. Setting and maintaining your chiselling angles is made easy thanks to the Vario-Lock system.
For improved longevity, this professional hammer drill has an active air cooling system to prevent overheating that often occurs when drilling hard surfaces with cheaper models. There is also a ball grommet to ensure that the cable won’t snag or easily break. For added usability, you can change out the chuck to a quick change one, sold separately.
If you opt for this pro model, bear in mind that it does not come with any drill bits. The included carry case is not of the same high quality as the drill itself, however, this is only a minor inconvenience.
For high-speed, reliable drilling and chiselling through masonry, the Bosch GBH 2-26 is hard to beat with its high power and an array of useful features.
|830W motor||No drill bits included|
|Drill, hammer drill & chisel drill||Poorly designed carry case|
|Active air cooling|
|Vario-lock chisel system|
- HAMMER & DRILL 2 FUNCTIONS IN 1: According to your task, switch the button on the top to select hammer and drilling functions; Hammer function for drilling on the wall and drilling function for drilling holes on steel plates and wood
- 13 MM KEYED CHUCK & DEPTH GAUGE: Max drilling depth, Steel: 13mm, Concrete: 13mm, Wood: 25mm. Considerate depth gauge makes your drilling more precision; the max drill chunk is 13mm can withstand more challenging drilling
- 360°ROTATING HANDLE: With the speed adjusting button, you can change the speed in accordance to your task; anti-slip assisting handle can be rotated by 360°，making drilling comfortable and convenient
- 710W & 2800 RPM ADJUSTABLE TEMPO: Powerful motor (710W) provide 30% more power to easily drill, light weight (1.98kg), compact size (26 * 19 * 6.5cm), You can set the required speed between 0 and 2800rpm according to your different jobs. offer you 30% more powerful and efficient drilling
- PACKAGE INCLUDES: 1 x Tacklife PID01A Hammer Drill; 3 x Twist drills for steel plate(mm):5/6/8; 3 x Construction drills for cement(mm):5/6/8; 1 x Woodworking flat drill:for wood; 5 x Woodworking round hole drill(mm):19/22/28/32/38, 1 x Chuck Key; 1 x Side Assisting Handle; 1 x Depth Gauge; 1 x User Manual;If you encounter any problems please contact us by Email: email@example.com.
This hammer drill by Tacklife features a powerful 710W motor with an adjustable, variable speed of up to 2,800rpm, making it suitable for tackling the vast majority of drilling jobs. Simply switch the top button to shift between the hammer function (for impact drilling) or the standard drilling function.
Weighing in at just under two kilos, this hammer drill is fairly lightweight making it easier to use, especially on tiring, repetitive jobs. Its 360-degree rotating handle makes it easy to use at any angle, no matter what surface you’re drilling. This handle is also non-slip for added safety and comfort.
The Tacklife Hammer Drill comes complete with a 12 piece drill bit set. It does not, however, come with a carry case; which can be a little inconvenient for storage and transportation. While the instruction booklet does have an English language section, it could be improved upon.
On the whole, this hammer drill makes a solid choice thanks to its powerful motor, adjustable speed, and lightweight design.
|710W motor||No carry case|
|360° rotating assisting handle||Poor instructions|
|Complete with 12 drill bit set|
- 2-IN-1 HAMMER & DRILL – choose from 2 functions to suit your task. Use the hammer function for drilling into concrete and brickwork. Use the drilling function for drilling holes in steel plates and wood. (Please note: it can't be used on reinforced concrete walls)
- ADJUSTABLE SPEED & 360° ROTATING HANDLE – control the speed from 0-3000 RPM. The anti-slip assisting handle can be rotated by 360° for comfortable drilling
- 13MM KEYED CHUCK & DEPTH GAUGE – the max drill chunk is 13mm to suit more challenging drilling. Depth gauge assists in making drilling more precise
- SET INCLUDES – 1pc drill, 3 X HSS bits: 5mm, 6mm & 8mm. 3 X masonry bits: 5mm, 6mm & 8mm. 3 X wood bits: 5mm, 6mm & 8mm. All presented in a durable BMC case
- MANUFACTURER 2 YEAR WARRANTY INCLUDED
If you are looking for a no-nonsense, low priced hammer drill, then take a look at this model by VonHaus. Suitable for drilling through brick and concrete in its hammer mode or steel and wood in its normal drilling mode, this drill is suitable for a wide variety of household tasks.
With its powerful 850W motor combined with adjustable drilling speed of up to 3,000 rpm, you can finely tune the drill to suit the job at hand. The 360-degree rotatable side handle features a non-slip grip and is a useful addition for getting into tight corners and awkward angles. Other useful features include a depth gauge and a keyed 13mm chuck.
Complete with a carry case and nine assorted drill bits, this set is great for taking on household DIY projects. You will, however, probably find that the power cord is a little on the short side even for tasks located near to a power socket. So make sure that you have a power extension to hand. Also, the included carry case is rather impractical, as it takes a long time to get the cable positioned inside to close it up.
Thanks to its low price and high power, this corded hammer drill by VonHaus makes a good choice for home projects that require drilling through walls. It also comes with a manufacturer’s two-year warranty, so you can purchase this product with confidence.
|850W motor||Impractical case|
|Adjustable speed||Short power cord|
|360° rotating handle|
|Includes 9 drill bits|
|Two-year manufacturer’s warranty|
- ADVANCED DRILL DRIVER - Non-slip and adjustable speed impact drill for comfortable and easy operation with no-load speed of 3000rpm. Speed setting knob and variable speed trigger allow you to control drilling speed at 0-3000 RPM according to your requirements.
- HAMMER & IMPACT DRILL DUAL MODE - With a dual mode selector, just switch it to easily convert hammer and drilling function depending on your tasks, suitable for installing chandelier, TV and furniture, drilling on wall, door and window.
- SPECIAL PRODUCTS ADVANTAGES - With lock button to enable you to lock the speed without a constant grip on the trigger to reduce fatigue. Adjustable and detachable side handle for easy and convenient operation. Locking button on handle can fix the speed to free your hand.
- CONVENIENT FUNCTION DESIGN - The 850W pure copper motor that generates 30% more power provides added durability and overload production for drilling and chipping on wood, masonry, steel, wall, concrete and other hard materials.
- EASY AND SAFE CONTROL SWITCH - Forward and reverse switch with automatic spindle lock for safe use, meeting your different needs for screwing tasks. Push the forward & reverse switch at the middle position of handle, it will lock the screwdriver for safety.
With its powerful 850W motor, this hammer drill by Meterk is designed for drilling masonry, concrete and other hard surfaces.
Thanks to its dual-mode selector, you can easily switch between impact drilling and normal drilling for extra versatility. You can also use it as a power driver for putting up flat-pack furniture or shelves with its forward and reverse rotation switch.
This hammer drill has a variable speed of up to 3,000rpm and comes with a speed lock feature, allowing you to drill at a consistent speed when needed.
For difficult angles or hard to reach spaces, the adjustable side handle can be rotated 360 degrees. This model also benefits from large air vents, designed to prevent overheating. Unfortunately, this hammer drill does not come with a carry case or drill bits.
While this product does not have any information regarding its torque rating, it is a powerful model that will make light work of drilling holes in hard surfaces. Thanks to its lockable, adjustable speed and 850W motor, the Meterk Hammer Drill offers good value as an all-purpose corded drill.
|850W motor||No drill bits included|
|dual-mode: hammer & impact drill||No torque information|
|Lockable, adjustable speed|
|Forward and reverse motion|
|360° adjustable side handle|
|Large air vents|
|Model||Power||Key Features||Price Range||Rating|
|Bosch EasyImpact 550||550W||Keyless chuck|
Forward and reverse motion
9Nm maximum torque
|Bosch Professional GBH 2-26|| 830W||Three drilling modes|
Active air cooling
Vario-Lock chisel system
|Tacklife Hammer Drill||710W||Variable speed|
360° rotating assisting handle
Includes 12-piece drill bit set
|VonHaus Impact Hammer Drill||850W||Adjustable speed|
360° rotating handle
Includes 9 drill bits
|Meterk Hammer Drill||850W||Lockable, variable speed|
Forward and reverse motion
360° adjustable side handle
dual-mode: hammer & impact drill
Hammer drills are an essential piece of kit for any DIYer. Whether you need to drill holes in your walls, concrete or masonry, a hammer drill is the best tool for the job. Corded versions offer higher levels of power over cordless models and you don’t have to worry about your batteries going flat.
If you are looking for the best corded hammer drill for everyday use, one that will perform equally well on walls as it will as a power driver for flat-pack furniture, then we recommend the Bosch EasyImpact 550. It has all of the performance and quality that you expect from Bosch and at a low price.
Although its power is slightly lower than many other models, its great feature set and easy controls make it our top pick for home projects.