10 Best Cordless Hammer Drills of 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide
Hammer drills are a necessary tool for many projects. Whether you’re a professional or a DIYer, you need one of these in your toolbox. They are convenient and suitable for a wide variety of purposes. These tools aren’t expensive either, so there is little reason not to have one.
However, just because these tools are straightforward doesn’t mean they’ll all be worth the money. Some are not very well put together. You need to purchase an excellent cordless hammer drill that can stand up to whatever you throw at it. Otherwise, you may end up with a tool that can’t perform up to snuff.
Choosing the perfect tool can be difficult, though. We reviewed some of the top options on the market and put together a complete buyer’s guide to help you with this.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||DEWALT DCD996B XR Hammer Drill||
|Best Value||SKIL HD527802 Hammer Drill||
|Premium Choice||Milwaukee 2404-20 M12 Fuel Hammer Drill||
|PORTER-CABLE PCC620B MAX Hammer Drill||
|CRAFTSMAN CMCD711C2 Cordless Hammer Drill||
The 10 Best Cordless Hammer Drills – Reviews 2021
1. DEWALT DCD996B XR Hammer Drill – Best Overall
DeWalt makes excellent tools, and their DEWALT DCD996B XR Hammer Drill is not an exception to that rule. It was by far the best cordless hammer drill on the market. It has a high-performance transmission that allows it to run for an extended time on one battery. The high-efficiency brushless motor also improves its run time. Both of these features make it run quite long on one battery. In fact, it was one of the longest-running tools we tested.
We also liked that it can drill very fast, which allows it to work on masonry materials and other sensitive materials. The 3 different modes of LED light work exceptionally well. It has a spotlight mode, which makes working in dark places extremely easy. We would buy this drill just for this feature – that’s how good it is.
This drill is a bit more expensive than some other options. However, it is a DeWalt, so you’re paying quite a bit extra for the brand name. It also doesn’t come with a battery, increasing the amount of money you will need to spend.
2. SKIL HD527802 Hammer Drill – Best Value
Skil makes cheaper tools than most other companies. However, many of their tools are great options for the money. We liked their SKIL HD527802 Hammer Drill. It is cheaper than most options, while still being capable of many different projects. It comes with a battery, which will save you even more money. The battery is decently powerful and is charged using an included 20V charger.
It can do just about everything from tightening screws to drilling through concrete. It is perfect for DIYers, though it may not be suitable for professionals who plan on using it every day. We loved that this tool allows you to transition between hammer, drill, and screwdriver modes very quickly. You can also select your speed setting quite easily.
The LED lighting is excellent. However, it isn’t nearly as good as some other options. It will illuminate a workspace quite well. But, if you work in dark spaces all the time, the light may frustrate you after a little bit. This is only a small factor, though, so you shouldn’t rely on it too much when deciding which product to buy. It is still the best cordless hammer drill for the money.
3. Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hammer Drill – Premium Choice
For those who want a top-of-the-line hammer drill, the Milwaukee 2404-20 M12 Fuel Hammer Drill is a solid option. It is a bit more expensive than most other options, but it performs better than most. It may be an excellent option for professionals who plan on using the hammer drill a lot, as this one can stand up to quite a bit more use and punishment than the others we’ve reviewed. This product is also more ergonomic, so it will not fatigue you as much. If you’re using this tool a lot, this is extremely important.
Like many hammer drills, this one has standard features like an LED light and battery charge indicators. The battery charge indicator is a little bit rare. However, it can be beneficial when you’re doing long projects. After all, it is essential to know when your hammer drill will run out of power. Otherwise, you could be in the middle of drilling when it dies.
We also liked the ½-inch chuck. It is a high-quality chuck and is exceptionally compact. You can easily take this tool with you on the go or to the job site.
4. PORTER-CABLE MAX Hammer Drill
The PORTER-CABLE PCC620B MAX Hammer Drill is a decent option, though we didn’t like it as much as our top three choices. It is quite powerful and can deliver 27,200 blows per minute (BPM). It has a 2-speed gearbox and a ½-inch metal ratcheting chuck. The LED work light allows you to brighten shady areas quite easily. We did find that the light worked quite well and had no complaints when using it.
We did like that it has a battery level check light, which is helpful when you’re in the middle of a big project. The magnetic bit holders are also lovely and prevent you from losing your bits. As you can see, there are many things to like about this drill. It just doesn’t blow us away like some of the others we looked at.
We found that this drill is not as durable as some of the other options on our list. It will work for quite a while. However, it doesn’t last as long as some other options. Realistically, you should only expect to get a couple of years out of it.
5. CRAFTSMAN Cordless Hammer Drill
The CRAFTSMAN CMCD711C2 Cordless Hammer Drill is part of Craftsman’s V20 cordless system. This means that it can use the batteries of other Craftsman tools. If you already have a variety of these tools lying around, you may want to buy this tool simply because you likely have many batteries you can use in it. This extends the run time and saves you a bit of money. There is a battery included with this drill, though.
However, besides that, this hammer drill isn’t as great as some other options. It can deliver 25,500 BPM, which is slightly lower than some of the other options on this list. The 2-speed gearbox is excellent and improves the performance of this tool. But this isn’t an incredibly rare feature. Most of the hammer drills on our list also have a 2-speed gearbox.
Our favorite part about this hammer drill was the charger. The charger can return the battery to full-charge in 60-minutes or less, which is extremely fast.
We didn’t like that this hammer drill doesn’t come with a carrying case and doesn’t have any way for you to store the bit either. This is a small problem, but it can be very annoying.
6. Makita Compact Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill
While the Makita XPH10R Compact Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill isn’t terrible, there are plenty of other better options on the list. It has a 4-pole motor that can deliver 480 inch-pounds (in-lb) of torque. This is decently powerful, but there are more powerful options on the market as well. In general, we consider this to be about average. It has a variable 2-speed design so that you can do many different jobs with it. It is also relatively compact at only 7¾ inches long. If you need a hammer drill that you can easily take with you, this is the option you should pick.
It also comes with a carrying case, 2 batteries, and an excellent charger. All of these accessories are one of the significant reasons we rated it so high. The carrying case isn’t the best, but it is included, to begin with. The inclusion of 2 batteries was an excellent addition since you can charge one battery while using the other.
Our main problem with this tool is that it seems to wear down way faster than others. Defects are shared, and the drill seems to break often. You can’t expect it to last too long.
7. Milwaukee M18 FUEL Hammer Drill
With a brushless motor, you’d think that the Milwaukee 2804-20 M18 FUEL Hammer Drill would be quite powerful. The company does advertise that it is 60% more powerful than other options on the market. However, in practice, we didn’t find that this was true. It does provide up to 1,200 in-lb of torque. But it is important to remember that this is the maximum; it doesn’t perform that well most of the time.
Our favorite part about the hammer drill is that it has Redlink Plus Intelligence. This ensures that the drill performs optimally and prevents damage from overloading and similar circumstances. It is compatible with the entire M18 system as well, which is a nice benefit if you already have Milwaukee tools laying around.
Besides these positives, there were a few things we didn’t like about this drill. It gets hot rather quickly, especially when compared to other drills. The packaging also isn’t very good and there were a few reports of damages during shipping because of that. It also doesn’t seem to stand up to much use. It is not for professionals in the least.
8. Ryobi P214 One+ Hammer Drill
The Ryobi P214 One+ Hammer Drill is a unique hammer drill. However, that isn’t necessarily a good thing! It does come with a handle, which is designed to help you put more pressure when drilling. However, we found that this handle gets in the way more often than it helps. Like most hammer drills, this one does come with a 2-speed gearbox. It has a drill mode and a drive mode. These two modes allow it to be used for a variety of different functions, including drilling holes in metal and driving simple screws.
It has a ½-inch, all-metal ratcheting chuck, which is quite durable and strong.
That’s about where the positives stop, though. The chuck is difficult to lock and took a lot of getting used to. You’ll probably need to take a bit to figure out how to use it. The chuck also spits out the bit for absolutely no reason occasionally. It also is a bit less powerful than other options; we think there is a reason the torque isn’t blatantly listed on the product description.
9. Ridgid Cordless Brushless Compact Hammer Drill
The Ridgid R86116 Cordless Brushless Compact Hammer Drill has a fully adjustable clutch. You can change it to over 100 different positions, which allows you to tackle a variety of different jobs with it easily. The brushless motor helps it run much faster and last longer than other options. The LED lighting is about average. We did like that an LED light was included. However, it isn’t the best on the market. The auxiliary handle can be inserted from any direction, so left-handed and right-handed users can take advantage of it as needed.
The ergonomic grip is nice as well. It was quite comfortable and the rubber coating is decently non-slip. It allows you to easily control the hammer drill for long jobs that may usually cause fatigue.
The major downside of this drill is that there is no factory warranty. This may not be a huge issue, but durability problems seem to be a problem with the hammer drill. There are many reports of the drill breaking easily and often. Without a warranty, you’re basically stuck.
10. Bosch Compact Tough Hammer Drill
Even though it doesn’t come with a battery, the Bosch HDS181AB Compact Tough Hammer Drill is one of the more expensive options on this list. You can purchase it with a battery. However, this costs even more money. Furthermore, despite its higher cost, we didn’t find that it was much better than most options on the list. In fact, it seems to be lower-quality than most options we reviewed.
The battery does not last as long as other models. This hammer drill is supposed to produce a lot of torque. However, it really doesn’t produce that much due to the kickback-less feature. This is supposed to make the tool easier to use – and it does. However, it does this by reducing the amount of torque the tool produces and therefore the large amount of kickback.
This hammer drill is not ergonomic in the least either. It is heavier than most options and not designed to be comfortable in your hands. After a while, it is common to get fatigued. You cannot use this tool for very long, so we do not recommend it for professionals who plan on using this hammer drill for extended periods.
Hammer drills can be used for a large variety of applications. However, you need to purchase a good tool if you want it to last and successfully complete a variety of projects. Otherwise, you may just end up with a paperweight.
Frequently Asked Questions
While hammer drills are decently straightforward, a few questions do seem to come up commonly when people start shopping for them. We’ll go over some of these questions below so you can make the best decision for your situation.
Can I use a hammer drill as a regular drill?
Yes, technically. Most hammer drills can be put in “drill” mode, which makes them act similarly to a regular drill. However, there are some limitations to this. They usually aren’t as good as a regular drill. Ideally, you should have both for this reason.
Still, in a pinch, you can use these as a regular drill if you really need to. Just don’t expect it to work quite as well as a regular drill.
What are hammer drills used for?
Hammer drills are used in situations where you need to drill a hole with lots of torque. They are not used for production drilling but can be used for occasionally drilling into concrete, masonry, and stone. They are most suitable for homeowners who do not need to drill many holes but may occasionally do projects that require it.
They are most often used for drilling into concrete floors or concrete footings. Otherwise, though, they aren’t used by professionals all that much.
Do I really need a hammer drill?
If you want to drill holes into something like concrete, your best bet is probably to purchase a hammer drill. Otherwise, you really aren’t going to make it through the concrete. You do not need a hammer drill for drilling through stuff like wood, plastic, and metals. Often, a standard drill designed for that sort of thing may be best. However, hammer drills are absolutely needed for stuff like drilling through concrete.
Can you drill concrete without a hammer drill?
You can use a regular drill. However, it is going to take a lot longer and you’ll need many drill bits. In many cases, it is just better to purchase a hammer drill. After all, this drill is designed for drilling into concrete, so it is usually going to outperform just about everything else.
Below, you’ll find an explanation of the key features you need to keep in mind while shopping. These features are really what set apart the good tools from the bad.
Because these tools are cordless, they run on batteries. These batteries can only last so long before they run out of juice and have to be recharged. As you might imagine, this is a bottleneck on how much work you can get done. If your tool only works for 30 minutes, you’re out of luck after that time period runs out.
Preferably, you want the tool to run for as long as possible. This is affected by both the battery and the tool itself. Batteries are only so big, but efficient tools can run for longer. Most companies do not list how long their tools run for, so you’ll need to rely on reviews like the ones above when considering this feature.
Hammer drills can be used for many different projects if they’re made well. You want a drill that is 2-speed, as this allows you to control which speed it runs at. This makes it usable for a wider variety of projects. This is probably the most important consideration to keep in mind when looking for a versatile tool.
There are many different hammer drills on the market, but they are all designed to do pretty much the same thing. However, not all hammer drills are equal. Some are poorly made, while others are excellent. Hopefully, our reviews and guide will help you figure out which drills are which!
If you want a fast, easy answer, we liked the DEWALT DCD996B XR Hammer Drill the best. It is not extremely expensive but is still very high-quality. If you’re a homeowner, this is the one to get.
For those who want a cheaper option, we also liked the SKIL HD527802 Hammer Drill. It is inexpensive and comes with a battery, which will save you even more money.
More of our pages about hammer drills:
Looking for a lithium-ion drill? Then see our guide here
Inspirational source used for writing this article:
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Cordless Hammer Drills – Reviews 2021
- 1. DEWALT DCD996B XR Hammer Drill – Best Overall
- 2. SKIL HD527802 Hammer Drill – Best Value
- 3. Milwaukee M12 Fuel Hammer Drill – Premium Choice
- 4. PORTER-CABLE MAX Hammer Drill
- 5. CRAFTSMAN Cordless Hammer Drill
- 6. Makita Compact Cordless Hammer Driver-Drill
- 7. Milwaukee M18 FUEL Hammer Drill
- 8. Ryobi P214 One+ Hammer Drill
- 9. Ridgid Cordless Brushless Compact Hammer Drill
- 10. Bosch Compact Tough Hammer Drill
- Buyer’s Guide