6 Best Demolition Hammers For Tile Removal – Reviews & Guide 2020
Tile is a popular building material, but when it comes time to remove it, you’re going to need a demolition hammer. If you’ve checked your local hardware stores lately, you’ve seen there are several brands to choose from, and they can be quite pricey. It’s not uncommon to want to learn more about them before deciding.
We’ve chosen six different brands to review to help you better understand these tools and the differences between them. We took them with us on the job and learned the pros, cons, and features of each one and will share them with you here. We’ve also included a short buyer’s guide where we take a close look at what makes a demolition hammer good for tile removal.
Join us while we take a look at weight, speed, impact force, and more to help you make an educated purchase.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Bosch 11316EVS SDS-Max Demolition Hammer||
|Best Value||Mophorn Electric Demolition Hammer||
|Premium Choice||DEWALT Demolition Hammer||
|Makita HM1203C SDS Max Demolition Hammer||
|TR Industrial-Grade Electric Demolition Jack Hammer||
The 6 Best Demolition Hammers for Tile Removal – Reviews 2020
1. Bosch SDS-Max Demolition Hammer – Best Overall
The Bosch 11316EVS SDS-Max Demolition Hammer is our pick for the best overall demolition hammer for tile removal. It uses a 14-amp motor to deliver 12.4 foot-pounds (ft-lbs) of impact energy at a rate of 1,890 beats per minute (BPM). It features tool-free bit changes so you can change chisels while you work, and you can position them at 12 different angles for optimum hammering capability. It’s lightweight at 23 pounds, and most adults should be able to use it for at least a short time. The 3-foot cord gives you plenty of reach without the need for an extension cord, and the service minder light tells you when it’s time to perform preventative maintenance. Included with the purchase are an auxiliary handle and a carrying case.
The Bosch 11316EVS SDS-Max is unquestionably a great tile hammer, and the only thing we could find to complain about is the flimsy carrying case that they include for free. Ours quickly developed scuffs and cracks after a few months of carting it around to various jobs.
2. Mophorn Electric Demolition Hammer – Best Value
The Mophorn Electric Demolition Hammer is our pick as the best demolition hammer for tile removal for the money. It uses a 3,600-watt motor to deliver 1,800 BPM. We couldn’t find the force it exerts per beat listed on the box but found it more than adequate for smashing tile or concrete. The 360° swivel handle allows for a comfortable grip and the perfect work angle for smashing up the tile. The durable, ergonomic handles provide complete protection from electric current and reduce vibration. The reinforced power cable reduces wear and extends life.
The Mophorn is a great budget hammer, and while not as good as our top choice, it does a fine job breaking up tile. But at a little over 40 pounds, it’s quite a bit heavier than our top pick. There was also no instruction manual included in the box.
3. DEWALT Demolition Hammer – Premium Choice
The DEWALT Demolition Hammer is our premium choice demolition hammer for tile removal. It uses a powerful 14-amp motor to deliver up to 18.5 ft-lbs of impact energy. You can also set the amount of impact energy to one of 19 different settings to get exactly as much force as you need for the task at hand. It’s lightweight at 22 lbs and features an oversized rubber rear handle that reduces vibrations and allows for a firm grip. The front handle features a 360° horizontal swivel and a 150-degree lateral swivel, especially handy when smashing tiles on walls. The included carrying case is perfect for storing it away.
The DEWALT Demolition Hammer is an amazing tool that works well on the tile on the floor and walls. Its primary downside is that it’s extremely expensive and might be outside the budget of many people, especially if you only have a few small jobs to do.
4. Makita SDS Max Demolition Hammer
The Makita HM1203C SDS Max Demolition Hammer is a little over 20 lbs and can deliver up to 1,900 BPM, adjustable via the variable speed. Once you dial it in, the Makita will automatically adjust itself to maintain that speed under different loads, and it can deliver up to 18.8 ft-lbs of impact force on your project. Twelve angle settings help achieve the most efficient chopping, and the soft start makes the first few seconds much easier. It has an onboard LED service light that tells you when it’s time to change the brushes, and the engine has a safety shut off that will cut the power before damage occurs.
The biggest problem we had with the Makita was the handles that contributed to quick fatigue and got heavy fast, making it better suited to small jobs.
5. TR Industrial-Grade Electric Demolition Jack Hammer
The TR Industrial-Grade Electric Demolition Jack Hammer runs on 11 amps and can produce up to 1,800 BPM. Each beat delivers 33 ft-lbs of impact force to your project, which is the most so far on this list. It also comes with plenty of accessories, including 2 chisels, 2 wrenches, an oil container, safety goggles, and work gloves, so you can safely get to work immediately.
The downside to that TR is that it’s quite heavy at 31 pounds and can strain the back and arms. The 6-foot power cord is also too short, and we need it to add additional extension cords to use ours. The bits are hard to change and will require that you stop work to get out your tools, and the included case is a nice gesture, but it’s too flimsy for the heavy device, and ours cracked and broke quickly under the strain.
6. Milwaukee SDS Max Demolition Hammer
The Milwaukee 5446-21 SDS Max Demolition Hammer is our final model, but it still has a few features to offer. Weighing less than 16 lbs, it’s the lightest demolition hammer on our list. It uses a 14-amp motor to deliver 8.8 ft-lbs of impact energy at a rate of 2,840 BPM. A low-speed impact setting reduces the BPM to 2,200. Milwaukee’s Constant Power Technology automatically adjusts the device’s speed to maintain your setting regardless of workload, and an onboard anti-vibration system helps reduce user fatigue.
The biggest reason the Milwaukee 5446-21 SDS didn’t make it higher on our list is because of the low ft-lbs of impact force. While you don’t need a lot to break up tile, not having the power limits the tool’s versatility. Our model died after a few work sessions of moderate workloads.
Here is a list of things to consider before you purchase a demolition hammer to remove tile.
How it Works
A demolition hammer is very similar to a jackhammer but is smaller and used on walls if needed. They get their name from their use to destroy walls. Since there is no air compressor connected to these devices, they use an electro-pneumatic system that uses a rotating piston to compress an air pocket in order to create the force required to drive the chisel.
The bouncing of these machines can wear out even the fittest individuals, so choosing a brand lightweight enough to manage long-term is critical for getting your job done on time. On our list, we considered anything over 30 pounds too heavy and pointed out any models that exceeded this limit. If this is your first demolition hammer, we recommend using that as a starting point, at least until you are more familiar with how much weight you can handle.
You don’t use horsepower or fluid displacement to determine engine size in electric demolition hammers motors; instead, they use amps and watts. As you would expect, more amps and watts equal more power, so if all other things are equal, choose the brand with more. The downside to more power is a higher electric bill, and your increase will vary depending on how much you use it.
Demolition hammers that don’t have enough power will struggle to break up the tile and extend your time on the job. We recommend choosing a brand with at least 14 amps or 1,700 watts.
Your next biggest concern how much force your tool can create to drive into the tile and smash it up. Most companies list how much smashing force a tool makes in foot-pounds, and you’re going to want to look for one that delivers at least 10. Like power, more force is better, but anything under 10 ft-lbs will struggle to break up the tile and won’t be useful for much else.
Speed, force, and power are the three main ingredients in a demolition hammer, and the speed of your hammer can make the difference between a job that takes an hour and one that takes 10 minutes. We measure speed in beats per minute, which counts how many times the chisel hits the object in one minute. We recommend looking for a brand that produces at least 1,500 BPM, but more is always better.
Many models offer a handle system that allows you to angle the chisel in any direction you desire. Tilting the handle can be very useful when using flat chisels, and it makes the machine easier to handle in many cases.
Your ability to accomplish a large job will directly link to how comfortable the tool is to use. A demolition hammer that allows you to angle the chisel isn’t too heavy and has large ergonomic soft-grip handles, will allow you to get much more work done than those without these features, even if they have more power. We tried to point out any brands with these features in our list and those uncomfortable to use.
Some demolition hammers allow you to angle the chisel in multiple directions. They may also offer the user the ability to change the speed and force of the device. The ability to change speed and force may let you save power by reducing BPM on softer materials and can also make the tool easier to use by reducing kickback and vibration. The more versatile a tool is, the more you’ll be able to use it.
Many people don’t consider the cord length until they take the device out of the box and realize they will need extension cords to reach the project. While not necessarily a deal-breaker, you will need to purchase a suitable extension cord as many household versions are too thin to handle the power draw. On our list, we tried to call out any models that had a cord shorter than 8-feet.
The vibrations created by these machines are a serious concern if you are going to use them for more than a few minutes. Your hands and arms will quickly become fatigued, and you’ll need to stop until you recover, extending your workday. Any brands that take steps to control the vibrations are worth considering. Most only offer shaft grip handles, but some provide spring-assisted kickback reduction, making smashing through tile a lot easier on the body and other steps that can reduce fatigue so you can get more work done.
Some brands will include helpful accessories like chisels to get you started or a storage container to protect your tool when you’re not using it. One brand on our list even comes with safety equipment, but it usually comes as a bare tool, and you should expect to buy any chisels you may need to complete your project. If your model doesn’t come with a carrying case, we recommend purchasing one to protect it when you’re not using it and to help you transport it to the job site.
Personal safety is a serious concern when you’re working with a demolition hammer, not only from the device itself but from the debris it creates and puts into the air. If you’re working in an old home, there could be asbestos in the walls, and tile creates a fine powder that could be harmful if it gets into your lungs. Not to mention the risk created by flying objects as the machine smashes the wall.
We highly recommend wearing heavy-duty safety goggles with side protection while you work, as well as a dust mask. You should also consider work gloves, steel-toed work boots, and hearing protection as well.
When choosing a demolition hammer for tile removal, we recommend the Bosch 11316EVS SDS-Max Demolition Hammer. It’s chosen as our best overall because it has a large motor that delivers plenty of impact force, making short work of any tile surface. It’s 12 different chisel angles help ensure you’re comfortable, and its high RPM makes sure the job gets done quickly. Another smart choice is the Mophorn Electric Demolition Hammer, which is our choice for the best value. This low-cost unit produces high RPM and comes with 2 chisels to get you started.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over our reviews and found a suitable model for your project. If you need to continue shopping, we hope our buyer’s guide will help you sort through the many brands. If we have helped you, please share these six best demolition hammers for tile removal on Facebook and Twitter.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 6 Best Demolition Hammers for Tile Removal – Reviews 2020
- Buyer’s Guide