Your book club has suddenly decided to put on a live action performance of Edgar Allen Poe’s “Cask of Amontillado.” Your hapless neighbor, assigned the role of Fortunato, is now walled up in the basement. You are torn between either rescuing him to avoid sticky legal entanglements, or boring a hole through the wall and sliding in a camera so that you can watch him go stark raving mad.
Sure, we’ve all been there. For your next move, a hammer drill is going to come in handy. You check out some SDS hammer drill reviews for advice and happen by this one. We’re happy to help, and if you don’t find our models to your liking, we’ve included some handy buying tips to assist you in your great adventure.
|DEWALT DCH273B||6 lbs||4.6/5|
(Best for the Money)
|Makita HR2475||11 lbs||4.3/5|
|Goplus SU-1265-ET||14 lbs||4.0/5|
You’re going to pay if you purchase Bosch’s RH328V—and we don’t mean that someone’s going to take revenge on you. This hammer drill costs a lot of money compared to other competing models. But there are reasons why it’s our pick of the litter.
You get your money’s worth. This brute can do it all: bore holes through cement, anchor screws deeply in concrete, and atomize rocks. Okay, maybe that last one is a bit of an exaggeration. But you get the point.
We love this hammer drill, to the point that the expense seems like a fairly insignificant thing. It does everything, does it spectacularly, and does it without leaving the operator exhausted.
Aside from the price, the only complaint we have is that the depth gauge has some trouble staying in place. This means running the risk of sinking screws deeper than you want them to go. If you choose our top pick, make sure that you keep this in mind.
We’ll say it. We love the flexibility of cordless tools. It’s not just that you don’t need to worry about locating an outlet, it’s also because one of our team members always seems to get tangled up in power cords. So, if you’re a born klutz who needs cordless tools because they’re idiot friendly, we’re going to suggest you skip our top choice and take a look at DeWalt’s DCH273B.
Its chief selling point is that it’s cordless and lightweight, which means that it’s super portable. You don’t have to worry about attaching a heavy duty extension cord and hoping that you have enough length. It’s also great at drilling and setting anchors.
But, that comes at the cost of reduced power. It’s a truism that currently it’s very unlikely that you’ll get the same amount of power from a cordless tool that you’ll get from a corded one. We’ve heard rumors that some people don’t see any decrease in power, but that wasn’t our experience with it. It’s also got very limited capability for straight-up demolition work. In other words, don’t use it for demolition work. It’s also on the higher end of the price spectrum.
Hiltex’s 10513 is our choice for best value. That starts with the asking price, which is generally bottom tier among all hammer drills. That is, it’s super affordable.
But, this affordability translates well into value. Though it isn’t a top-shelf performer, it exceeds expectations when you consider the price tag.
The 10513 does a basic job, and its features make it easy to use. If you need to knock out a broken cinder block or sink a screw near the surface of a concrete wall, and that’s as far as you’re ever going to go, it’s a good fit for you. But, if you need to do something more complicated—maybe break up a problem rock or drill a hole through thick concrete to run a cable—you’ll just have to make peace with the reality that you’ll need something more heavy duty.
Here is what we like about the Makita HR2475. It does its job, and does it at a very competitive price. It anchors screws into masonry when set to hammering rotation, and it breaks up concrete when set to hammer. If you’re looking for bottom line, black-and-white results, on paper this isn’t a bad investment.
In reality, you get what you pay for, which is a barebones, no-frills performance. It doesn’t come with any features and, aside from the fact that it doesn’t weigh a lot, it’s not terribly comfortable to use. It shakes, which makes using it a tribulation for the operator. It’s also pretty underpowered compared to its competitors, so it’s slower than more expensive models.
The HR2475 is an attractive choice for people who are primarily motivated by its cost. Anyone who is looking for honest value, or for something that can do the job quickly and comfortably, will want to consider looking at a different model.
Goplus’s SU-1265-ET walks hand-in-hand with the word cheap. Compared to its competitors, it is cheap to buy. That’s clearly supposed to be its primary selling point, and it does fit that bill.
Unfortunately, it’s also cheaply constructed. Set on hammer, its performance declines significantly once you get past soft masonry. Set on rotational drilling, it loses power quickly once the bit starts to sink in. Depending on how hard the masonry is that you’re trying to drill, you might get half an inch in before the tool loses power and heats up, and you need to take a long break to get back to work.
If you’re looking for one-time, light usage, this is a great model to look at. As far as hammer drills go, it’s cheap enough to be considered disposable. If you’re looking to buy one for serious jobs, or as a general purpose model to buff out your tool collection, find something else.
Because it’s used for a few different things, buying a hammer drill can be a little bit intimidating. You probably aren’t going to use it very often, and the jobs you will use it for are specialized ones for which nothing else is going to work. So, how do you know which one to buy? Normally, we tell you to start by being honest with yourself about what you need it for. That’s a given here, so instead, we’ll go through what you might do with it.
While it’s technically possible to set regular screws into regular materials like wood, that’s not what a hammer drill is for. A hammer drill is a heavyweight piece of equipment intended for masonry work and other things a regular drill can’t handle. While a lot of them have settings so that they can insert regular screws into things like light metal and wood, in general, they’re too heavy for that. The real application comes when you turn on the hammer rotation feature. This pairs the function of a regular screwdriver/drill with repeated jerks that simulate whacking the back of the tool with a hammer so that it can sink screws or bore holes into things like masonry. These tools also require specialized bits. If you try to use your regular bits to do this work, you’re going to break them. Don’t break your regular bits, or it will make you sad.
Many hammer drills come with a regular rotation setting, a hammer rotation setting, and also a hammer-only setting. If you use a specialized bit for the hammer-only setting, you’ll get something that functions as a high-powered chisel or a low-powered jackhammer. You won’t want to go all John Henry on a boulder though, because at the end of the day your hammer drill will give out. But if you need to break up a cinder block to replace part of a garage foundation, or dig up a small portion of sidewalk, the hammer drill has application here.
Now that you know what you might need a hammer drill for, it’s a matter of figuring out what features you need to pay for. The Bosch RH328V ranks as our top model because it does absolutely everything well. If you have the need for a complete, excellent, reliable hammer drill, this is a great choice. We like the DeWalt DH273B because it’s cordless, which makes it super portable and less of a hassle to set up. It just doesn’t have the juice that something connected to an electrical outlet will have.
Most people can probably get by with a model like the Hilltex 10513. Though it doesn’t have the power to break up iron ferrite meteorites, it can drill pretty well through a concrete wall. It’s also super affordable.
The trick, for you, is to decide what features you need and what you can afford and then find the model that best matches that.
Bosch’s RH328V is our chosen king of the mountain because it’s flat-out the best model we reviewed. You pay for that excellence but, in exchange, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that it’ll do whatever you ask it to. Not only will it perform well, it also won’t leave you exhausted at the end. The DeWalt DH273B is a great alternative if you want a cordless hammer drill. It has less power but is more portable—an invaluable feature if your work is distant from outlets or if you’re just a klutz. If you want just a general, everyday hammer drill, Hilltex’s 10513 delivers the best dollar value. Makita’s HR2475 can do just about anything and does it at a low cost, but the experience is so stripped down that most homeowners will probably want to look elsewhere. Just don’t look to the Goplus SU-1265-ET, which is cheaply-made junk.
We hope that ours is one of the most useful reviews of SDS hammer drills you read and that at least our buying tips will help you get the best purchase possible for your hard-earned dollars.
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