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7 Best Hammer Drills | Australian Buying Guide 2022

You can make light work of removing concrete, plaster and brick, or even chisel through timber with the best hammer drills. These multi-purpose tools are built for heavy work. Whether you’re buying for a big build or a minor bit of DIY, finding the best hammer drills will save you masses of time.

In this guide, we’re going to look at what makes the best hammer drill, how to unpick the manufacturer’s specifications and some of the most trusted brands behind the bestselling hammer drills in 2022.

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1. Makita HR2630 800W SDS Plus Rotary Corded Hammer Drill

Makita HR2630 SDS Plus Rotary Corded Hammer Drill
Top Rated Best Hammer Drill in Australia

2. DEWALT DCH133B 20V MAX* XR Rotary Hammer Drill

DEWALT DCH133B MAX XR Rotary Hammer Drill
Premium Choice Hammer Drill in Australia

3. TOPEX 1010W SDS+ Rotary Hammer Drill Demolition Jack

TOPEX SDS+ Rotary Hammer Drill Demolition Jack
Best Value Hammer Drill in Australia

4. WORX 20V 13mm Brushless Cordless Hammer Drill

WORX 20V Brushless Cordless Hammer Drill

5. Makita DHP485SFE 18V Brushless Hammer Driver Drill Kit

Makita DHP485SFE Brushless Hammer Driver Drill Kit

6. BLACK+DECKER 500W Corded Hammer Drill

BLACK+DECKER Corded Hammer Drill

7. Bosch Hammer Impact Drill EasyImpact

Bosch Hammer Impact Drill

Hammer Drills Buyers' Guide

Best Hammer Drills

What is a Hammer Drill?

Hammer drills are halfway between a jackhammer and a regular drill, using pulsating, back-and-forth hammering movements in combination with circular rotation.

Hammers drills are often called impact drills, precision drills, or combi drills referring to their ability to power through tough surfaces without bounding away from the material.

Hammer drills are used for removing plaster, concrete, or for extra power when drilling into tough brickwork and many standard drills you can buy now have switches, to flick between standard use and hammer drill modes.

What to Look for When Buying a Hammer Drill

When looking for a new hammer drill you have to consider the scale of the job you’re planning, the strength of the materials, and how often you’ll need it, and the power source.

Power

Like all power tools, you can buy corded hammer drills or cordless hammer drills. The only difference is convenience, as most battery-operated hammer drills have the same power as corded hammer drills.

Battery hammer drills are great for using outdoors, or on-site when mains power can be limited, while corded hammer drills are great for quick use without needing to worry about charging batteries.

Materials

For drilling wall plugs, or occasionally tackling masonry, a combi drill is the best choice, as they are designed for pulsing into masonry to create enough purchase to drill through the rest.

Rather than tearing away materials like drills through timber or metal, they essentially chisel and use the threaded drill bits to remove debris. 

For heavy-duty work like removing tiles, concrete, or plaster, standard hammer drills are more powerful and better suited for chisel drill bits. 

Cost

Combi drills are significantly cheaper than SDS drills or Rotary hammer drills, so if you’re looking for a basic tool that will handle masonry but doesn’t need regular use it might not be worth investing in contractor grade hammer drills just yet.

Different Types of Hammer Drills

How to Use a Hammer Drill

There are three types of hammer drills available, but in this article, we’re focussing more on combi and rotary hammer drills. For demolition hammers, read our guide to of the best jackhammers in Australia

Below we look at the benefits of the three most common types of hammer drills:

  • Rotary hammer drills
  • Demolition hammer drills
  • Combination hammer drills

Rotary Hammer Drill

Rotary hammer drills, or standard hammer drills, are the most powerful multi-purpose hammer drill you can buy, with a constant pulsating drill action that works great for everything from mixing plaster to splitting logs if you’ve got the right drill bit!

They’re a touch more expensive than combi drills but are by far the most efficient way to do most jobs with hard materials.

Demolition Hammer Drill (SDS Drills)

Demolition hammer drills are essentially tiny jackhammers, making demolition easier, and removing plaster, tiles or concrete a truly easy task, but they won’t work for everything.

The problem with demolition hammers is that they just have too much power. For a decent drilling action with the pulse that helps get a grip on masonry, you’ll need a combi drill or a standard rotary hammer drill.

Combination Hammer Drill

Combi hammer drills are exactly what you’d expect, doing slightly more than a standard drill, but slightly less than a rotary hammer drill. They have less power, but it’s usually more than enough for DIY jobs, and their relative price compared to rotary hammer drills could save you over $100. 

For contractors and anyone who regularly finds themselves doing DIYs though, they’re not quite powerful to tackle the really big jobs, so it might still be worth thinking about the bigger tools instead.

How to Use a Hammer Drill

Hammer drills come with extra handles for stability. While many combi drills have removable handles so they can be used as a standard drill most of the time, it’s important to reattach the second handle to make sure you don’t make mistakes while drilling. 

Those handles aren’t just for stability, they’re also for accuracy, and any DIYers worth their salt will tell you that accuracy is everything when drilling into masonry. A ¼ inch to the left and there’s no going back. You can’t just refill masonry and drill again later.

Always sweep walls to remove dust, and if you’re drilling into bare brick without plaster, tap masking tape over the hoe first. This helps to prevent any slippage when the drill first gets going – similar to how you would drill through tile.

Hammer Drills Safety Guide

Hammer Drills Safety Guide

Despite their high power, hammer drills are very safe tools if used correctly. Follow these basic instructions to ensure you always use a hammer drill safely:

  • Always use the T-handle for extra stability.
  • Never use a faulty hammer drill.
    • Hammer drills may be faulty if they smoke, or smell of burning.
    • Their pulse has become irregular.
    • Their handles are loose.
    • Chucks have become loose, or no longer stay tight.
  • Try to use hammer drills while standing for better posture, and pressure.
  • Avoid using your back to apply pressure on the drill. Lean evenly from the legs, with one leg forward to allow safe pressure.
  • Wear goggles, particularly for demolition work.
  • Wear gloves for demolition work.

Best Hammer Drill Reviews 

1. Makita HR2630 800W SDS Plus Rotary Corded Hammer Drill

Makita HR2630 800W SDS Plus Rotary Corded Hammer Drill

Source: amazon.com.au

Quick facts: Rotary hammer drill

The Makita Rotary Hammer Drill is one of the most powerful models for DIYers and a great option for multipurpose use in commercial settings.

While the Makita drill is technically a combi drill, so it can also be used for standard tasks like timber work and screwing, its primary design is as a sturdy, low vibration hammer drill. 

What’s really special about the Makita hammer drill is that it has three settings, not two, meaning you can use it for standard drilling, hammer drilling, and just hammering, making it ideal for demolition work too.

Pros

  • Well built
  • Good value
  • Hammer function
  • Rotary hammer function
  • Drill only function
  • Corded electric for convenience
  • Low vibration
  • Depth rod

Cons

  • N/A

2. DEWALT DCH133B 20V MAX* XR Rotary Hammer Drill

DEWALT DCH133B 20V MAX XR Rotary Hammer Drill

Source: amazon.com.au

Quick facts: Rotary hammer drill

For contractors looking for an adaptable hammer drill that can be used flexibly around sites, this battery hammer drill from DeWalt is ideal.

It’s purely a rotary hammer drill, so is very much built for purpose, but that makes it perfect for tougher jobs, and it can easily handle concrete as well as masonry.

While most of its high end features come as added extras, you can install dust extractors to help keep mess down, which attach easily to the body of the drill.

Pros

  • Optional dust extractor
  • Well built
  • Powerful rotary hammer drill

Cons

  • Battery sold separately
  • Expensive

3. TOPEX 1010W SDS+ Rotary Hammer Drill Demolition Jack

TOPEX 1010W SDS+ Rotary Hammer Drill Demolition Jack

Source: amazon.com.au

Quick facts: Combination drill, with rotary hammer drill functions

For a drill that looks and feels like a budget tool, with a flimsy chick, and cheap T handle, this hammer drill from Topex is astonishingly good for the money.

It’s got to be one of the cheapest hammer drills we’ve ever reviewed with the range of functions it has, and can handle serious demolition work with an easily attachable SDS chuck, and flicks quickly between demolition and standard drilling modes.

While the Topex hammer drill might not be ideal for contractors, it’s perfect for anyone taking on a big DIY project, or undertaking home renovations.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Comes with SDS chuck, ready for demolition chiselling
  • Demolition mode
  • Hammer drill mode
  • Drill only mode

Cons

  • The default chuck is flimsy
  • Feels like a budget tool

4. WORX 20V 13mm Brushless Cordless Hammer Drill

WORX 20V 13mm Brushless Cordless Hammer Drill

Source: amazon.com.au

Quick facts: Combination drill

I’m a big fan of Worx as a tool range. They don’t have the household name status of some brands, but they make reliable tools to suit a range of buyers.

This combi hammer drill fits right into the DIY user range though, with its lower power making it easier to control, but not powerful enough for concrete or really tough jobs.

What’s really great though is that it’s really quite a compact drill. That’s often thought of as a negative because you can sometimes control heavier tools more easily, but the small size of this well-built tool makes it easy to handle, quick to use, and super convenient.

Pros

  • Good value
  • Well built
  • Easily adjustable power & functions settings
  • Quick change chuck

Cons

  • Battery not included
  • Low powered hammer setting

5. Makita DHP485SFE 18V Brushless Hammer Driver Drill Kit

Makita DHP485SFE 18V Brushless Hammer Driver Drill Kit

Source: makita.com.au

Quick facts: Combination drill

Makita makes more powerful hammer drills than this, but for DIY use, this 1V brushless hammer drill, with battery and charger included is a brilliant tool.

It’s a combi drill, with a case included, making it ideal for homeowners who need to keep a tidy organised garage, with everything stored together in one place, and adjustable speed settings mean that you can run through masonry, as well as gently screwing into timber without ramming straight through and damaging surfaces.

It has to be said that rotary drills are significantly more powerful than these combi drills, but I swear by these quick drills that get 90% of jobs done perfectly with no fuss.

Pros

  • Battery included
  • Adjustable speed
  • Rotary drilling
  • Rotary hammer setting
  • Really well-built
  • Storage box included
  • Good value

Cons

  • Low powered hammer drill – not ideal for concrete.

6. BLACK+DECKER 500W Corded Hammer Drill

BLACK+DECKER 500W Corded Hammer Drill

Source: amazon.com.au

Quick facts: Combination drill

Black+Decker has been making great budget tools since I was a kid, and safety is always at the top of their design agenda.

Now, I’m not advocating buying a hammer drill as a birthday present for a child, but I got a Black+Decker combi drill for my 7th birthday and I’ve still got it today, which I think says something about the quality of their products.

Ok, so this isn’t the most powerful drill in the world, but it’s not designed to be. It’s a budget hammer drill that will hang pictures, drill into masonry for hanging baskets, and help re-fix plumbing and drainpipes.

For those sorts of jobs, you don’t need to spend the sort of money that some high-end models can set you back. Save some cash, and buy a simple tool that will last like this combination hammer drill.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Corded for convenience
  • Easy to switch between hammer and drill modes
  • Excellent build quality

Cons

  • Not powerful
  • Basic chuck

7. Bosch Hammer Impact Drill EasyImpact

Bosch Hammer Impact Drill EasyImpact

Source: amazon.com.au

Quick facts: combination drill

The T handle on this Bosch drill is above expectations, making it really simple to gauge depth when you drill into masonry, which can cause all sorts of headaches later when you’re trying to force 60mm screws into 50mm holes.

While the Bosch hammer drill is definitely not as powerful as it looks, it’s good at what it does, easy to use, and adjust. I’m not a big advocate of Bosch tools, but if you’re looking for a hammer drill that’s slightly better than a basic DIY tool, but not in the price range of contractor tools, this is a really good choice.

Pros

  • Good value
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to adjust
  • Simple settings
  • Handy T bar for depth control
  • Corded for convenience

Cons

  • Not powerful

Best Hammer Drill Top Picks for 2022

Our Top Picked Hammer Drill

Top Rated Best Hammer Drill in Australia
Makita HR2630 800W SDS Plus Rotary Corded Hammer Drill

Source: amazon.com.au

I honestly don’t think I’ve ever come across a better hammer drill than the Makita HR2630. Without any hesitation, it gets our title of the best hammer drill of 2022.

OK, so it’s expensive, but if you want tools that last, and don’t want to buy multiple tools for every single job, then you really cannot go wrong with this drill.

So far, I don’t think we’ve found any surface that this won’t drill through, but be careful when you use it because it really does have a kick!

Premium Choice Hammer Drill

Premium Choice Hammer Drill in Australia
DEWALT DCH133B 20V MAX XR Rotary Hammer Drill

Source: amazon.com.au

I do like the DeWalt hammer drill, and it’s worth the money for the precision you get with the sturdy t bar, the SDS chuck, and the simplicity with which it flicks between hammer, drill, and chisel modes.

I’m always frustrated when I see tools sold without batteries, but DeWalt is a reliable brand and the chances are you’ve already got a DeWalt battery pack hidden away somewhere in the garage anyway.

Best Value Hammer Drill

Best Value Hammer Drill in Australia
TOPEX 1010W SDS+ Rotary Hammer Drill Demolition Jack

Source: amazon.com.au

I have to be completely honest in this review, so I’ll start by saying that the Topex drill is not particularly well built. It’s got a flimsy chuck, and the T bar leaves a lot to be desired, but…

I have never found a hammer drill for this price that chips, and I have never found a hammer drill this efficient in this price range either.

For DIY users who want something a bit beyond the norm, with a basic power cable for quick and convenient use, the Topex hammer drill is the best budget hammer drill we’ve ever found.

It’s powerful enough for most jobs and comes with a great SDS chuck that helps with the poorly manufactured default chuck too, so for all its problems, you really won’t regret buying the Topex hammer drill.

Hammer Drill FAQs

Which hammer drill should I buy? Regular, combi, or SDS?

Hammer drills are any drills with a pulsating hammer mode. For most DIY tasks, a combi drill is the best hammer drill to buy, but for contractors needing them for regular demolition work, look for the high powered regular hammer drills, or even the dedicated demolition drills (SDS drills).

What’s the best weight for a hammer drill?

Hammer drills should be heavy enough to provide stability, but not so heavy they are hard to handle. If a hammer drill is too light it can bounce, making it difficult to get accurate holes in masonry. The best weight for a hammer drill is around 2kg, but a little on either side is fine.

Do hammer drills work on poured concrete?

Hammer drills are the only tool to use for poured concrete, ideally with a diamond-tipped or tungsten masonry drill bit. While poured concrete is one of the hardest surfaces to drill into, hammer drills are designed to chip out and remove debris at the same time, meaning that even concrete shouldn’t clog up the drill bit if used correctly.

How is a hammer drill different from a regular drill?

Regular drills rotate evenly, often with variable speeds. Regular drills are ideal for timber work, metalwork, and adapting plastic fittings, but hammer drills have a pulsating action which makes them different and gives them the ability to chip through stone.

For more DIY tools you might need, see our list of buyers' guide below:

Make Renovations Easier Using the Best Hammer Drills for 2022

The best hammers drills don’t come cheap, but for any serious DIYers, or contractors looking for an upgrade, they are the only tool that can do what they do.

If you’re starting a house renovation, be sure to follow this guide for all the information you need on finding the best hammer drill for your project.

Best Hammer Drills Australian Buying Guide

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