Drilling on the concrete is hard but if you do it with the right set of tools, it isn’t a big problem either. Regular drills do not pack the power that you need to cut through hard surfaces like concrete or brickwork. Cordless hammer drills are popular among electricians, plumbers, and other skilled workers as they combine the power of heavy-duty tools with the dexterity of a compact lightweight tool.
However, not all hammer drills are made for concrete and brickwork. A hammer drill should have enough power and torque to cut through high-strength material like concrete. To help you choose the best cordless hammer drills for concrete, check out the review of the five best cordless hammer drills. After independently testing various options on the market, I’ve selected these options that stood out in terms of quality and performance.
1. DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill
I’m an electrician and drilling the brickwork and concrete is probably the hardest part of my job. After trying out various rotary drills and other tools, I was able to discover the Dewalt 20V XR hammer drill. This drill was recommended by a colleague and it works exactly as he mentioned. Dewalt power tools are known for reliability and power and you can expect the same from this tool. This hammer drill is equipped with a high-power, high-efficiency motor that generates incredible power with a little fuel.
It drains the battery efficiently and offers 75% more runtime than regular drills and power tools with the same power rating. To drill deep in the bricks and concrete, I trust it more than anything else. Impressive power output coupled with a ½-inch ratcheting nitro-carburized metal chuck help it go smoothly even through the hardest surfaces. The smooth operation prevents the motor from overheating and saves the internal breakdown of the tool. The metal chuck uses carburized inserts that improve the grip and strength giving you better control of the tool.
This feature improves the work efficiency making the tool equally suitable for beginners and pros. Moreover, it keyless chuck is highly accessible and I loved how easy it was to release. Also, the removable side handle of the tool makes the handling super easy and offers impressive strength and grip. The LED light feature has been upgraded to make it 20 times brighter than the regular LEDs used on the Dewalt tool. The programmable LED features with high brightness and color saturation help you work in low-lit areas with maximum efficiency.
The LED stays lit for 20 minutes giving you a trouble-free experience during the extensive applications. The thing that bothered me a lot is the electric torque adjuster. My old Dewalt tools feature a mechanical torque adjuster that is not precise but impressively handy. The electric torque feature in this unit is precise but unfortunately not a good one for the operator. A quick change in torque can cause a strong kickback. It may lead to a serious injury or chronic wrist pain like a golfer’s elbow.
Dewalt 20V Max XR feature has been part of my tool crew for more than 2 years and so far it is the best hammer drill I’ve ever used. From hard cemented walls to brickwork and concrete this tool can handle multiple hard surfaces. Its built-in overheat and overload protection make it perfect for heavy-duty work.
2. Milwaukee 2804-20 M18 FUEL 1/2 in. Hammer Drill
I’m a fan of Milwaukee power tools since they combine handy design with strong power output making them equally suitable for everyday maintenance and commercial use. This drill doesn’t offer as much torque as the Dewalt 20V Max XR hammer drill, but with 14 clutch settings and compact profiles, it is more versatile and functional. What makes it a perfect option for tough applications like concrete, it is powered by a PowerState Brushless motor and Redlithium XC5.0 battery.
The motor delivers enough power to drill smoothly in concrete and brick walls. Also, it is a popular option among electricians and plumbers for a compact profile. The tool measures less than 7 inches in length and has a ½-inch chuck. It offers strain-free access to the tight nooks and corners that you can’t reach with heavy-duty power tools. Since cordless power tools have limited power they burn up easily when loaded more than their capacity. It has a built-in Redlink technology that prevents overloading damage and prolongs the motor life.
Also, Redlink technology reduces the maintenance requirements giving you a maintenance-free process. Three-speed settings combined with handy 14 clutch settings give you a wide range of torque. Torque settings are precise and handy allowing you to get the desired power and efficiency for a particular project. It reduces the chances of overdriving, underdriving, and stripping and therefore I prefer this tool for the beginners that join my team. This power tool is compatible with Milwaukee M18 power tool accessories.
The battery pack is powerful and it is one of the very few power tools in this price range that come with a dependable battery system. Its power-efficient motor coupled with a reliable battery setup helps you get more work with less fuel. The drill’s internal components are built to last but unfortunately, the trigger and reverse/forward switches are poorly made. Triggers become loose over time which causes low power issues.
Milwaukee 2804020 M18 packs all the power and functionality that a skilled worker needs at his job site. With a ½-inch metal chuck and strong power output, this hammer drill can drill holes in the concrete and various hard surfaces with maximum efficiency.
3. Makita XPH12Z 18V LXT 1/2″ Hammer Driver-Drill
Makita XPH12Z LXT ½ inch hammer drill is the next on the list. With a brushless motor and ultra-powerful battery packs, it delivers all the power that you need to drill in wood, metal, and concrete. This drill works in two-speed modes: low speed and high speed. In high-speed mode, you can adjust the speed at various speed levels between 0-500 rpm. In high-speed mode it allows you to work at multiple speed levels between 0-2000 rpm.
Power efficiency is synonymous with the Makita power tools and this hammer drill is also no exception. The tool uses a premium-grade brushless motor that uses an electronically controlled power generation system. This feature ensures fully optimized battery usage giving you more output with less input. It increases the runtime of the battery up to 65% masking the tool ideal for heavy-duty applications like metal and concrete.
A handy clutch dial allows you to adjust the torque as per the job requirements. The torque feature is not very precise but very smooth and accessible. With fully customizable speed and torque settings it allows you to meet the job needs with maximum ease and efficiency. Its built-in overheat protection ensures efficient ayn trouble-free operation. The motor is free of carbon brushes and brushless power generation systems to keep the system cool without limiting the power and speed.
The biggest issue with this tool is its troublesome mode-changing system. Mode shifting from driver to drill is pretty challenging. I’m unable to figure out the root cause of the problems and the technical support by Makita is pretty disappointing this time. Also, the tool doesn’t come with a battery which increases the overall cost of the tool.
Makita XPH12Z 18V hammer driver-drill combo is a versatile tool that comes packed with torque and speed making it a perfect option for concrete drilling. With a removable side handle and compact profile, this tool helps you reach tight corners and hard-to-reach spaces with a little effort.
4. BOSCH GSB18V-490B12 18V EC Brushless 1/2 In. Hammer Drill
BoshGSB EC Brushless 1/23 inch hammer drill used a high-efficiency motor and slim pack battery setup making it one of the best cordless hammer drills for concrete. It is one of the lightest cordless hammer drills that you can buy today. It weighs only 2.4 lbs giving you an untiring experience in the tough commercial applications. In addition to a lightweight profile, it boasts user-friendly ergonomics like a removable side handle and non-slip grip.
The best part of this tool is the weight-impact ratio. The tool is designed to deal with tough applications like concrete and offers impact energy of 22,000 beats per minute. In addition to that, it comes with a high-strength metal chuck that ensures smooth and trouble-free performance even under maximum pressure.
The torque clutch with 20 plus settings makes the torque adjustable and super easy. It brings precision and accuracy to your work and helps you get the torque and speed level that is perfectly in line with the needs of applications. Chances of over drilling and stripping are pretty low and this tool is a good option for beginners also.
It comes with a powerful battery pack and a premium-grade brushless motor. The power step on the drill is highly efficient and offers good runtime per charge. The biggest downside of the unit is its malfunctioning auto-block feature. The auto-lock feature gets activated before the chuck stops spinning. It makes the process noisy and also reduces the tool’s lifespan.
Bosh GSB18V0-490B12 is a lightweight yet powerful hammer drill that allows you to deal with tough concrete blocks and brickworks. Its highly functional torque feature coupled with class-leading impact energy helps it stand among the best cordless hammer drills for concrete.
5. DCK 20V Hammer Drill Cordless
DCK 20V hammer drill is the final option on the list. The only reason to put it at the bottom of the list is its price. It is slightly more expensive than the other option on the list but delivers incredible power and torque while working with the most demanding concrete drilling applications.
With an all-metal chuck and ultra-powerful brushless motor, this drill can handle a wide range of tough surfaces like hardwood bricks, metal, and concrete. The maximum torque it offers is 519 lb-inches and you will be able to use this tool at various speed levels. A handy side-mounted clutch allows you to adjust the torque at various levels. With 22+1+1 clutch settings, it helps you get the right torque and speed as per the project’s demand.
It comes with ½ inch all-metal ratchet chuck with a keyless profile. The high-strength chuck construction ensures a greater bit of holding force allowing you to perform drilling and screwing jobs with maximum efficiency. It comes with an ultra-powerful battery pack and charger for a trouble-free experience right out of the box.
The tool is lightweight and comes with a handy side handle for ease of use and transportation. The adjustable handle helps you access tight nooks and corners without limiting speed and efficiency. The battery included in the package is good but unfortunately, the tool is not compatible with off-brand batteries. It is the biggest limitation since you can’t upgrade your tool.
DCK 20V hammer drill is slightly expensive but with impressive torque output and class-leading speed, it gives the best value for your bucks. With a lightweight profile, user-friendly design, and a reliable power generation system it is one of the best cordless hammer drills for concrete.
3 Must-Have Features Of a Cordless Hammer Drill
Power And Torque
Cordless tools have limited power as compared to corded electric tools. Therefore power and torque should be among your top concerns when buying cordless hammer drills for concrete. To drill in hard materials like concrete you must look for a drill with an ultra-power motor and battery packs. Drills featuring 18V+ battery packs with powerful motors are reliable.
These motors can generate high power demands without breaking and burning. A powerful brushless motor can produce a stable power output without overheating and overloading issues. For concrete application, a drill must have a torque of at least 500 lb-ft. Also, an adjustable and precise torque feature helps you avoid over-drilling and stripping and improves work efficiency.
Design And Ergonomics
A cordless hammer drill should be handy so that you can work in tough conditions with maximum ease and comfort. A compact and lightweight profile make the handling easy giving you an untiring experience even during extended working hours. Also, a compact head design allows you to access the tight corners and hard-to-reach spaces with maximum ease and comfort.
In addition to side and weight, it is necessary to focus on the grip, trigger position, and side handle. A side handle makes it pretty easy to carry the drill at awkward angles. The speed adjustment dials and torque adjusters should be placed in a way so that you can access them easily no matter in which position you are working.
Quality Of The Internal Components
The performance and efficiency of the tool depend on the quality of the internal components. You can upgrade a low-quality external component but if the internal components are built poorly, the tool is nothing more than garbage. The quality of the battery packs, overloading protection, premium-grade brushless motors, and high-quality circuits make the tool reliable.
A tool with all these features is dependable for tough applications like concrete drilling. Brushless motors keep the temperature low even under the maximum load and prevent internal damage due to overheating. Power-optimized electronics use the power as per the application needs and help you get more run time per.
I’m hopeful that this review will enable you to choose the right hammer drill for your projects. I’ve tested all the options reviewed above to let you know what they actually offer. My two favorites from the list are:
- DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill for reliable brushless motor, competitive price, programmable LED, and impressive power output.
- Makita XPH12Z 18V LXT 1/2″ Hammer Driver-Drill for class-leading runtime, reliable brushless motor, and driver-drill combo.
Torque and speed settings are crucial for a hammer drill. You must look for a highly functional torque feature to get the right power and speed for an effective project. Multiple torque settings help you prevent stripping over drilling and under drilling while drilling and screwing in concrete.