Corded Hammer Drills can take projects that would be very difficult with a drill or a hammer alone, and turn them into a fast, easy process. We often wish that shopping online was just as fast and easy, but it often turns out to be much harder than expected.
Manufacturers aren’t shy about talking up their tools, sometimes inflating their capabilities and downplaying their flaws. That can make it hard to tell which tools are great and which are destined for the trash can. And that doesn’t even include price, which varies wildly and makes it hard to tell if you’re getting a great deal or a piece of cheap junk.
We think that a well-informed consumer can find the tool that will best serve them. That’s why we’ve created this list of reviews of the best corded hammer drills of 2020. We also included a buyer’s guide, so you can learn everything you need to know about these tools.
|Hitachi FDV16VB2 5/8||1 Year||4.3/5|
The DEWALT DW511 is a great overall corded hammer drill, and the best available on the market. It comes with a powerful 7.8 Amp motor which makes short work of wood, concrete, and even steel, giving you unparalleled power and versatility. It comes with a variable speed trigger, which helps you maintain good control over the unit as you work and helps achieve the exacting precision you need. It also includes an easy to adjust depth rod, which you can use to get the depth that you’re looking for, every time.
It also weighs just under five pounds, which means you won’t wear yourself out while working with this tool, which is a concern with other, heavier models. In fact, this model is so good that we have only one complaint. It gets hot fast. And while you’ll never feel it if you’re careful and only hold it by the two provided handles, there’s a good chance that you’ll burn yourself if you touch the engine casing. With care, you can avoid this problem, but it’s something you have to pay attention to. However, this is still the best model on the market and a tool many people will love.
The Milwaukee 5376-20 comes with a ton of ways to hold it, making it one of the easiest corded hammer drills to use. Not only does it have a pair of handles like the previous entry on our list, but it also comes with rubber down the backside of the device, which gives you a convenient place to push if you need to get a little more oomph. It also comes with an independently-adjusted chuck and trigger lock. The downside is that you may accidentally adjust one, but the upside is that you can reset one or the other anytime you need to.
It comes with an excellent trigger lock which greatly reduces the chance that you’ll accidentally set it off, and it is variable speed, which allows you to have the control you need to get the exact depth you need without burning out the motor or the surface you’re working on. The one problem we have with it is that it’s a bit bulky, and that makes it a bit awkward to hold. However, that’s a minor complaint, though it is enough to cost it first place against the lighter and slimmer model found there.
The BLACK+DECKER DR670 is the deal you’re looking for if you want to break into the corded hammer drill market without breaking the bank in the process. You can get this model for just over half of what you’d spend on other models on this list, making it a great deal based on that factor alone. However, it does have some good features. It comes with rubber on the backside like the previous model, which gives you more ways to hold it and get more power out of your work. It also comes with an easy-to-read depth gauge, which makes getting the right depth easy.
Relative to the other models on our list, this one comes with a very slim form, making it a good tool to use if you’re limited in space. However, there’s one big problem that plagues this model. The chuck occasionally falls out of its housing when you’re done drilling. While annoying, it’s easy to pop it back in, but we still don’t think anyone will want to deal with it. This model is a tradeoff. You can get it for a good price, but you have to be willing to deal with its flaw.
The Hitachi FDV16VB2 5/8 has some things going for it, but ultimately has enough problems to slip to fourth on our list. It comes with variable speed, which is expected on most corded hammer drills, but you’d be surprised by the ones that don’t come with it. It also comes with an excellent non-slip grip, which gives it a good feeling to hold relative to some of the other models on our list. It also comes with a cooling air-flow design, which should help it keep cool and last longer than other models that heat up a lot.
However, it has a poorly-laced trigger lock. That poor placement means a lot of people hit it by accident and find themselves frequently having to go back and unlock it. The best models make work seamless, and this oversight detracts from the experience. It also has quality control issues. If they were limited to a single part, we could rank this model higher, but many people report different failures on this model, which means that there’s a general problem in design and quality. Since it’s not a cheap model, it’s not going to be the right tool for most people.
The Hiltex 10513 is an example of a tool that is trying to be heavy-duty and discount at the same time. It comes with a radical design which means that you hold it a bit differently than with other tools. The trigger is in line with the bit, which means you can pull the trigger and push more efficiently with the same hand. The forward handle also rotates around the body 360 degrees, making it easy to get a comfortable grip on the device. It also comes with 10 Amps of power, which is the most on our list, though only by a few Amps.
This model is trying to be heavy-duty, and it weighs more than triple what the top model on our list weighs, despite not having triple the power. But, it doesn’t hold up well. This model is prone to breaking, even under light use, and many users report that it breaks down within a few hours of use. That makes it a bad deal for the price, even if it is stronger than the competition. While you might be attracted to the power, the quality control problems should be enough to drive most people away.
Hopefully, our reviews have already given you some insight into the world of corded hammer drills. We’ve included more information that should help you make your selection in this buyer’s guide, which is designed to help novices learn everything they need to know about these tools before they buy. It’s also a good resource for experts who are returning to the market for the first time in a while and want to learn what’s new in the market. If you want to make sure that you get the best deal for your money, make sure to read this guide.
One of the best things about modern power tools is that they weigh far less than models that came out 20, or even ten years ago. There are a lot of factors that have gone into this, including the introduction of brushless motors, which not only weigh less but have greater durability as well.
We mention this because it’s important to understand that you can get great power out of a corded hammer drill without investing in a model that weights a lot. Weight is one of those factors that can have a big impact on you without you noticing it, and if you want to not feel utterly worn out after using a tool, investing in a lightweight model is the way to go.
Today, you can get a corded hammer drill that weighs less than five pounds that has plenty of power most domestic, and even some construction jobs. Given how much easier these tools are to position and how much less they wear you out, you should prioritize getting a lightweight model.
Unlike many tools the power that a corded hammer drill has directly impacts its performance. The more power it has, the more it can do. With more power, you can drill deeper into most surfaces, and if you want to make deep mountings in solid metal, you’re going to need a beefy hammer drill.
The first significant cut-off is at about five Amps. With that level of power, you should be satisfied with both the speed at which the hammer drill sets fixtures, but you should also be able to get enough depth for most common projects. If you buy a hammer drill with less than five amps, might be able to complete most of your projects, but there’s a good chance the process will be much slower, and the maximum depth will be much shallower.
If you’re looking for something that will make projects fast and easy, invest in a model that has seven or more amps of power, as they tend to make short work of most materials.
Some features can make a big difference when you’re working with a corded hammer drill. Unfortunately, most models rely on a keyed chuck. If you’re a long-time drill user, you may be expecting a keyless chuck, one that you spin to lock the bits in place. Keyed chucks, while more inconvenient when replacing bits, do a better job of holding them in place, which is important when you’re drilling into masonry or metal.
Many models also require the chuck to be released to adjust the depth gauge, which can be something of a pain. The best models allow you to change the two independently, so getting one of those models can save you a lot of time and frustration.
You’ll also want to avoid models that heat up a lot as much as possible. Not only can those models present a burn hazard, but high heat wears down internal components much more quickly and leads to a shorter life.
You may want the best corded hammer drill, but for a lot of people, the best on the market is beyond their budget. Instead, you should be focusing on getting the most value for your money. Value is simply the usefulness of a tool measured against how much it costs.
If you get a tool that meets all of your needs, it has high usefulness. You could get a model that covers your needs, and then some, but there’s a chance you won’t make use of the extra features, and that means you’re probably paying extra for those features you’re not using.
If you want to get the best value, figure out what your needs are. Once you’ve done that, create a shortlist of corded hammer drills that meet those needs. It’s then safe to pick the cheapest one on that list, as it will cover your needs. And, that model provides the best value, as it provides good usefulness at the lowest price.
The DEWALT DW511 is our top model, coming with a powerful motor, lightweight frame, and variable speed trigger that make it a great all-around choice. The Milwaukee 5376-20 comes in second due to its great rubberized coat, independently adjustable depth gauge and chuck, and excellent trigger lock, though its bulk costs it first place. The BLACK+DECKER DR670 is the best value for the money on our list due to its great depth gauge, rubberized exterior, and great price. The Hitachi FDV16VB2 5/8 has some potential due to its non-slip grip and cooling air-flow, but its poorly-placed trigger lock and quality control issues knock it down to fourth on our list. The Hiltex 10513 comes with the most power on our list, but it’s heavy and suffers from serious quality control issues, which means it earns the last place.
We hope that our reviews and buyer’s guides have helped you learn about corded hammer drills. Armed with that information, you should be able to find the tool that makes your next project a breeze.
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Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!