How to Use a Hammer Drill

Hammer drills are a handy tool to have around when performing various DIY tasks. A hammer drill is able to punch through materials which a regular drill may not, such as masonry. This doesn’t mean they are only suitable for heavy duty applications though – many hammer drills have a setting which means the heavy-duty hammer action can be switched off, ensuring it can be used as a standard drill.

A hammer drill works by using two different motions to punch through hard materials – one motion is similar to that of a regular drill in that it spins down into the material creating a hole. Then, it replicates the motion of a hammer or chisel – moving up and down to break through masonry and concrete with ease.

When using a hammer drill, you need to consider if it is needed. If you try to use it for an application where it is not required, you may not get the desired results. Generally, the ideal materials for hammer drills are concrete, mortar and bricks whereas for drywall and wood a standard drill is enough.

Step by Step Guide to Using a Hammer Drill

When you go to use your hammer drill, for whatever application you need, you should make sure you have the following at hand:

  • Pencil
  • Safety Goggles
  • Compressed Air
  • Hammer Drill
  • Drill Bits

1. Mark the Surface

The first step in using a hammer drill is to ensure you have marked the wall or surface you wish to drill using a pencil and ruler.

2. Fit your Drill Bit

Make sure to put on safety goggles to prevent any dust getting in your eyes and then fit your drill bit. You should always start with a smaller drill bit and drill a small hole first before replacing with a larger bit and drilling again to increase the size of the hole.

3. Set the Depth

Some hammer drills won’t have a depth stop, but if yours does make sure to set the appropriate depth. If not, you can use a piece of masking tape to mark on the drill where to stop.

4. Start Drilling

Start drilling using the least powerful setting and start slowly to create guide hole. Then you can begin to increase the speed and power very slightly. As you go you can increase this more.

5. Clean the Hole

Whilst drilling make sure you keep stopping every 15 seconds to pull the bit out and clear dust from the hole. Then when you have finished you can blow compressed air into the hole to blast away all remaining debris.
There you have it, that’s how to use a hammer drill – now you can continue with your DIY projects with ease.


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Matt Raynes


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