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Hammer drill accessories buying guide

Guide written by:
Jeremy, construction site supervisor, Cardiff

Jeremy, construction site supervisor, Cardiff

118 guides
A hammer drill complete with concrete bits, flat and pointed chisels, spikes and gouges will fulfil all your drilling and masonry work needs. An SDS chuck (SDS+ or SDS Max) lets you change your bit in one click. You can even drill wood using your hammer drill in rotation mode and the appropriate bit.

Important features

  • Masonry bit
  • Wood bit
  • Chisel
  • Drill bit tip

Hammer drills: why do they need specific attachments?

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As always, to work efficiently and safely, you need to be equipped with the right tools.

The same goes for a hammer drill. These power tools are designed to take all kinds of drills, bits and chisels to tackle different drilling and punching tasks.
 
Hammer drills can pierce wood, concrete and stone as well as drilling tiles and breaking brick, breezeblocks etc...

With an SDS chuck, either SDS+ or SDS Max type, the drill bits and chisels have a hollow base for more rapid attachment. So you can switch from demolition to drilling with a single click!


How to choose your drill bits?

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Some hammer drills offer several different settings, including a simple rotation mode. This allows you to work without percussion, just like a standard drill; very useful for drilling wood!
 
Wood bits for hammer drills are long and large in diameter. Whereas conventional drill bits are limited to around 13mm in diameter and 15cm in length, hammer drill bits can easily reach 25mm in diameter and 45cm in length.
 
For efficient, precise drilling, choose bits with a centring point - otherwise you'll always have to pre-drill your holes.
 
In terms of material, go for hardened steel bits with a high carbon content, since they offer a superior product lifetime and wear less.
 
Whether you're using a standard chuck or an SDS chuck, you'll find a wide range of bits to suit your needs.


Hammer drills: how to choose your concrete bits?

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There's no tool like the hammer drill for drilling walls! It can penetrate hard materials from concrete and breezeblock to stone and brick.

A wide range of bit diameters are available (from 5mm to over 52mm), at varying lengths - from 10cm up to a stonking 1m!

Drill bits vary, but are often modelled after the high-quality drill manufacturers. They can have two to five cutting edges - three or more are advisable for good penetration into most masonry.

If your hammer drill has an SDS+ chuck (the most common type), you'll have a more limited choice of 30mm concrete bits.
 
When choosing your concrete drill bits, make sure to include some small diameters as you'll need to drill pilot holes (6 to 8mm). Then choose whatever sizes are most appropriate for your work; also consider the length of bits you require. Assume that you'll need at least 25cm to drill through standard walls.
 
Tungsten carbide tipped bits give optimum bite in masonry for very limited wear. If you've got the choice, choose drill bits with a double thread; this makes the drilling easier by improving the extraction of waste material and hence the penetration rate of the drill bit.


Hammer drills: how to choose your demolition chisels?

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First of all, your drill will need to have a designated chisel mode since this type of work requires percussion.

Unlike drill bits (only used for drilling), demolition attachments can be divided into several families:
 
  • Flat chisels: consisting of a shank and a flat head, these are used to break through unreinforced concrete and other less robust building materials. Flat chisels are also useful for making breaches, separating stones or bricks, and cleaning up formwork. You can get chisels of varying lengths (25cm is quite versatile) and different head widths (from 20mm to over 100mm). The larger the chisel head, the softer the material it's used on. For example, a 20-25mm chisel is perfect for breaking concrete, while a 75mm model will do the trick on ceramic and tiles.
  • Pointed chisels: this pointed masonry attachment can tackle harder materials. Here, it's length and diameter that are decisive. It's worth investing in a range of diameters from 14 to 18mm as this will cover most small demolition work. As regards materials, tungsten carbide tips are once again a very good option for their extended lifespan and limited wear.
  • Pyramidal point chisels: very similar to the above, except with (guess what) pyramidal rather than conical points. The same selection advice applies to this type of chisel attachment.


Hammer drills: final advice for choosing your bits?

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Just bought a hammer drill and still not sure what you need in terms of tool attachments? If so, have a look at the kits you can get comprising a range of commonly used bit types and a selection of chisels. These are a great way to get started with your hammer drill. And remember, avoid the cheapest of the cheap as it won't last you!

Accidents with hammer drills are common! To reduce risk, take safety precautions and always use an appropriate attachment for the task and the material you're working with.
 
Always protect your eyes with a pair of protective goggles or a visor, your hands with a pair of protective gloves, and your lungs with a mask!
 
If you're working for hours at a time, a noise-cancelling headset or earplugs can be very helpful!
 
Finally, if you doing demolition work, a helmet and safety shoes are essential to minimize accidents.


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Guide written by:

Jeremy, construction site supervisor, Cardiff 118 guides écrits

Jeremy, construction site supervisor, Cardiff

I'm a trained electrician who started off working in large-scale industrial projects. Most of my early career was spent taking on huge electrical installations. I like to think that no job is too big for me, and after all the experience I'd gained, I started managing teams of electricians.

I like to learn on the job, so around ten years ago, I moved into building and construction. As a site manager, I've overseen the building of small residences, sport facilities, and even theatres!

Working with my hands is something I love to do in my free time as well. For four years now, I've been restoring our home in the Welsh countryside. I even built a conservatory for my wife, who loves watching the sheep behind our house.

Whether it's patios, interior design, roofing, plumbing or electricity - I love giving it all a go! I've even made my family DIY converts and together we've built almost everything we have from scratch. My experience, both in the field and in my workshop, has taught me a lot and I'm happy to share what I've learned. No matter how big or small your project is, I'm here to answer your questions and help you choose the right tools and equipment.

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