Best Cordless Hammer Drills of 2020

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Categories Drills
Cordless hammer drills give you a high impact for those tougher tasks.

Cordless hammer drills give you the freedom to take your power tool anywhere. They are the drill of choice for the construction industry, thanks to their convenience, portability and on-site safety.

So, if they are good enough for the professionals, they are perfect for DIY enthusiasts.

With that in mind, we bring you 7 of the best cordless hammer drills currently on the market.


Why Buy a Cordless Hammer Drill?

Cordless hammer drills have many advantages over their corded rivals. As we said in the introduction, they are portable, convenient and they improve safety, no matter what the setting.

Imagine needing to work on a task located some distance from a plug socket. First, you have to locate the nearest power outlet and then find an extension cord long enough to reach. Second, if you are working on a job site, this presents challenges because it is a trip hazard for you and your colleagues.

Another top reason for buying a cordless hammer drill is that you can take it anywhere. It’s why so many professionals use them. As for convenience, snap in a fully charged battery, and you are ready to go.

How Do I Choose a Cordless Hammer Drill?

There are many plus-points for cordless hammer drills, and you should consider each carefully when matching a drill for your needs.

Weight

Cordless hammer drills are heavier than corded varieties. This is due to the added weight of the battery. Most cordless hammer drills weigh between 6 and 10 pounds, compared to half that for a corded version.

That said, seek out the lightest option if you are using the drill all day. Hand and wrist fatigue is a real issue for professionals.

Clutch

A clutch is what sets a cordless drill apart from a plug-in variety. The clutch allows the drill motor to disengage when the maximum torque is reached. It stops you from burning out your drill and damaging the gears.

You know the clutch has engaged when you see the drill bit stop, and the drill makes a loud ratcheting noise. Some of the better hammer drills allow you to set the maximum torque.

Speed

Cheaper drills only have one speed. Look for one with adjustable speed settings. Drilling through masonry and concrete differs from other applications in that speed is less important, and torque plays a higher role. Slow and steady wins the race if you get what we mean?

That’s why adjustable speed drills are the best because they can cater to different tasks.

Motor

If you want the most efficient motor, go brushless. It extends the lifespan of your drill, keeps it from overheating during prolonged operation, and best of all, it extends the life of your batteries by up to 50 percent in some cases.

Beats Per Minute

Hammer drills are percussive tools. Percussive is the action of striking something. Inside the drill, an anvil slams into the chuck to create a downward force. This is where it gets its hammer credentials. Beats per minute (BPM) is the number of times the anvil strikes the chuck each minute.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the higher the BPM, the better the drill is.

Charge Time

Some of the best cordless hammer drills have super-quick chargers that will get your battery from zero to full in 30 minutes. If you work on-site, this is invaluable because it means you will never run out of juice.

Cheaper models can take up to 5 hours to produce the same results.

Batteries

Most cordless hammer drills have lithium-ion batteries. They are better at holding a charge, delivering the power more efficiently and having a longer lifespan. Older or cheaper models have Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) batteries that are less efficient and far more dangerous for the planet. Cadmium is highly toxic.

Voltage

In the cordless world, voltage is king. What we mean is if you want power, look at the voltage. In the US, most cordless hammer drills are 20 volts. Hammer drills rarely have less power than that because you need all that power for them to be effective.

Drill drivers have less voltage because they are used in less demanding situations.

Keyless Chuck

Time is money on a job site, so with a keyless chuck, you get a more efficient tool. Simply slot in the bit and press the trigger while gripping the chuck. Also, how many of us have lost chuck keys at crucial moments?

Keyless is the way to go.


The Best Cordless Hammer Drills of 2020

1. Milwaukee 2712-20 M18 Fuel Rotary Hammer Drill

Best Cordless Rotary Hammer Drill

Cordless Rotary Hammer, SDS Plus
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Milwaukee is one of those great American power tool brands. This model has a slotted drive shaft (SDS), meaning that it only accepts specialist bits that match. But that’s a good thing because when the drill bit is inserted, you get zero slippage when drilling tough material.

It has a brushless motor, which requires less maintenance and delivers the power from the battery more efficiently. This increases the runtime between charges.

Why We Love It

SDS Chuck

The slotted drive shaft is ideal for when you are drilling through the hardest surfaces. It doesn’t slip in the chuck. Also, it is super-easy when you need to change bits in a hurry.

Great Brand

As we’ve said already, Milwaukee is an American brand that generations of people will know. It has a long and trusted history in the US.

Weight

At 5.5 pounds, this drill packs a punch. The good news is that you will suffer less with hand and wrist fatigue after long periods of use.

Anti-Vibration System

Milwaukee has fitted this model with an anti-vibration system to minimize wear on your hands and wrist.

Warranty

This drill comes with an industry-leading 5-year limited warranty. It means you can buy with confidence.

Keep In Mind

Made in China

While we have mentioned Milwaukee’s history as a great American brand, like others, they have outsourced the manufacturing process to China to save costs. If you like to buy American-made, this is not the drill for you.

Cost

Even though this drill is made in China, the price does not reflect this. This drill is expensive.

Additional Specs

Weight 5.5 pounds
Number of batteries 1
Dimensions 3.25 x 11.8 x 8.17
BPM 4,900
RPM 1,400
Warranty 5-year limited

2. DeWALT 20V Max SDS Rotary Hammer Drill

Best SDS Cordless Hammer Drill

DEWALT 20V MAX SDS Rotary Hammer Drill, Tool Only (DCH273B)
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This DeWALT hammer drill is, like the Milwaukee, an SDS hammer drill. And DeWALT is another great American brand. This model has 1,100 RPM and creates 4,600 beats per minute.

This model also has vibration control to make the drilling process smoother and less of a workout, and the brushless motor extends the runtime of the battery.

Why We Love It

Great Brand

DeWALT is a worldwide success story. The company has a history that stretches back to the early 20th century, and it has grown into one of the biggest manufacturers of power tools in the world.

Ergonomic Design

The design and power to weight ratio make this an ideal drill for overhead work. It also has a vibration-reducing feature to decrease hand and wrist fatigue.

Brushless Motor

The brushless motor requires less maintenance when compared to brushed varieties. It also means the power gets distributed more efficiently, increasing the runtime of the battery.

Keep In Mind

Separate Battery and Charger

To sell the battery and charger separately is a bit cynical of DeWALT. It means you double your purchase costs, and their batteries are not cheap.

Price

This drill is very expensive as a bare tool, let alone when you factor in the cost of the battery and charger.

Additional Specs

Weight 6.4 pounds
Number of batteries 0
Dimensions 13 x 4.2 x 8.6
BPM 4,600
RPM 1,100
Warranty 3-year limited

3. Makita XRH01Z LXT Rotary Hammer Drill

Best Cordless Hammer Drill For Concrete

Makita XRH01Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 1-Inch Rotary Hammer Accepts SDS-PLUS Bits
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This Makita rotary hammer drill packs a real punch. The RPM is lower than the DeWALT, but that’s not an issue when drilling through concrete. It creates 4,700 BPM, 100 BPM more than the DeWALT.

The brushless motor increases the runtime of the battery by 50 percent, so you get optimal use out of each charge. This drill has 3 settings, rotary, hammer drill and hammer only, so the toughest concrete doesn’t stand a chance.

Why We Love It

Power Management

The batteries have three protective management systems. You have overload, over-discharge and overheat protection.

Longer Runtime

The runtime is increased thanks to the brushless motor. It is more efficient, requires minimal maintenance and allows you to work for prolonged periods because the motor stays cool.

HEPA Vacuum Attachment

Okay, so the vacuum attachment costs extra, but it means that this drill is entirely safe to use and removes any dust particles that would otherwise get inhaled.

Keep In Mind

Separate Batteries

As with the DeWALT model, this Makita comes with no batteries or charger. Buying them separately is fine if the bare tool is priced competitively, but this drill is already expensive. When you add in the cost of the extras, it makes this drill very costly.

Additional Specs

Weight 7 pounds
Number of batteries 0
Dimensions 4 x 10 x 5
BPM 4,700
RPM 950
Warranty 3-year

4. SKIL PWRCore20 Heavy-Duty Hammer Drill

Best Heavy-Duty Cordless Hammer Drill

SKIL PWRCore 20 Brushless 20V 1/2 Inch Heavy Duty Hammer Drill, Includes 5.0Ah Lithium Battery and PWRJump Charger - HD529502
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This SKIL hammer drill produces 850-inch pounds in torque, making it the ideal heavy-duty cordless hammer drill. It has adjustable speed settings from 550 RPM to 2,000 RPM. It also comes with a 5 Ah battery to give you plenty of runtime.

It charges from zero to full in 60 minutes to keep you on the job, and it has a 24-position clutch to preserve the all-metal gears and keep the brushless motor from burning out.

Why We Love It

5 Ah Battery

This 5 Ah battery lets you work for 5 hours at a time between charges. It means the battery holds the charge for longer.

Quick Charge Time

It takes just 60 minutes to get this battery from empty to full. Compared to some, that is quick.

24-Position Clutch

Choosing the right torque setting stops your drill motor and gears from becoming damaged under too much pressure.

All-Metal Gears

How the power is delivered depends on the quality of the parts inside the drill. All-metal gears have the strength to withstand harsh treatment to prolong the life of your drill.

Keep In Mind

Key Chuck

While it may only be a minor complaint, having a chuck that needs a key, you will have to bear in mind it will take longer to change drill bits.

Trigger Lag

When you depress the trigger, there is a slight delay before the drill motor engages. This is more of an annoyance than a complaint.

Additional Specs

Weight 6.62 pounds
Number of batteries 1
Dimensions 7.56 x 2.85 x 8.19
BPM 3,150
RPM 2,000
Warranty 5-year limited

5. DeWALT 20V Max XR Hammer Drill

Best Cordless Brushless Hammer Drill

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill, Brushless, 3-Speed, Tool Only (DCD996B)
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This is the second outing for DeWALT. It creates 38,250 BPM for drilling into harder materials, and because it is a brushless model, it increases the runtime on the battery by 57 percent.

This is a jobsite-proof drill because all the switches are coated and sealed to protect them against moisture and dust. Also, this hammer drill generates 2,250 RPM.

Why We Love It

All-Metal Transmission

The 3-speed all-metal transmission means that the drill is durable for harsh work applications and better tool-to-task speeds and runtime.

LED

This hammer drill has three modes, as well as a spotlight for working in dark and confined spaces.

Nitro-Carburized Chuck

The metal chuck gives it superior strength, and the carbide inserts improve the grip.

Keep In Mind

No Battery or Charger

Yet again, we have a battery-operated drill being sold without a battery or charger. It’s a bit like buying a car and paying extra for a steering wheel or engine. We just don’t get this policy.

Expensive Batteries

Selling the battery separately means that DeWALT makes the drill look cheaper than the rivals while doubling the costs of the model. Clever!

Additional Specs

Weight 4 pounds
Number of batteries 0
Dimensions 4 x 10 x 8
BPM 38,250
RPM 2,250
Warranty 3-year limited

6. Ryobi P1813 One+ 18V Hammer Drill

Best Lightweight Cordless Hammer Drill

Ryobi P1813 One+ 18V Lithium Ion 750 Inch Pound Cordless Hammer Drill Power Tool Kit (Includes Battery Charger and Bag)
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This Ryobi hammer drill produces 750-inch pounds of torque and has a 24-position clutch for the correct torque setting. A 2-amp hour battery will charge in just 30 minutes, so while you are on a coffee break, the drill is back to full power.

At the base of the drill is a magnetic bit holder so that you will always have the correct attachment when changing them mid-task.

Why We Love It

Lightweight

As far as hammer drills go, this one is light. It weighs just 2.99 pounds. That is the lightest on the list, by far. It reduces your chances of developing hand and wrist fatigue.

Torque

For a lightweight drill, this still produces 750-inch pounds of torque. That should be ample to drill through the most robust material.

Fast Charge Time

This charger will have your 2-amp battery fully charged in 30 minutes. That beats waiting for hours. It also means you can use your lunch break to recharge the battery.

Keep In Mind

Build Quality Issues

Many people have complained that the quality of the drill is simply not as good as other brands. Some have said that their drill stopped working after a few months.

Chuck

Sometimes the chuck struggles to grip the drill bit, and it falls out mid-drilling.

Additional Specs

Weight 2.99 pounds
Number of batteries 1
Dimensions 8 x 3.4 x 8.2
BPM 5,400
RPM 1,800
Warranty 3-year limited

7. Tacklife 20VCordless Hammer Drill

Best Budget Cordless Hammer Drill

TACKLIFE 20V Cordless Drill, 35N.m, 43pcs, 1 Hour Fast Charger & 2.0Ah Li-ion Battery, Hammer Drill with 0-1600RMP Variable Speed, 1/2' Metal Chuck, 16+3 Clutch, Drilling Wood, Metal, Cement - PCD04B
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This hammer drill is super-affordable compared to some included on this list. It costs four and a half times less than the DeWALT models featured. Because it is so cheap, you would expect to get a lot less for your money.

It has a 1-hour charge time, a maximum of 1,600 RPM and 310 in.lbs of torque. You also get 16 + 3 torque settings and a whole range of accessories thrown in for the price. Bargain!

Why We Love It

Price

There is no denying that this drill is exceptionally cheap. And yet it matches some on the list with bigger price tags for performance.

Accessories

This is the lowest price drill to feature but it has the most generous accessory set too. And you don’t have to buy the battery and charger separately.

Fast Charge Time

This charger gets your dead batteries back to full life in 1 hour. That’s as good a performance as many top priced drills.

Keep In Mind

Build Quality

It’s a cheap drill, and because of this, it won’t last as long as more expensive models with better quality parts.

Low Torque

The torque levels are less than half that of some featured models. This will limit you to using the drill on lighter material like blockwork and softer concrete.

Additional Specs

Weight 6.55 pounds
Number of batteries 1
Dimensions 8.66 x 7.87 x 3.15
BPM Not stated
RPM 1,600
Warranty 2-year

Cordless Hammer Drill Comparison Chart

Product Best Weight No. of batteries Dimensions BPM RPM Warranty
Milwaukee Fuel Rotary Hammer Drill Rotary Drill 5.5 lbs 1 3.25 x 11.8 x 8.17 4,900 1,400 5-year limited
DeWALT 20V Max SDS Rotary Hammer Drill SDS Drill 6.4 lbs 0 13 x 4.2 x 8.6 4,600 1,100 3-year limited
Makita XRH01Z LXT Rotary Hammer Drill Concrete 7 lbs 0 4 x 10 x 5 4,700 950 3-year
SKIL PWRCore20 Heavy-Duty Hammer Drill Heavy-Duty 6.62 lbs 1 7.56 x 2.85 x 8.19 3,150 2,000 5-year limited
DeWALT 20V Max XR Hammer Drill Brushless 4 lbs 0 4 x 10 x 8 38,250 2,250 3-year limited
Ryobi P1813 One+ 18V Hammer Drill Lightweight 2.99 lbs 1 8 x 3.4 x 8.2 5,400 1,800 3-year limited
Tacklife 20VCordless Hammer Drill Budget 6.55 lbs 1 8.66 x 7.87 x 3.15 N/A 1,600 2-year
Jump to the Full Cordless Hammer Drill Reviews

How to Determine the Horsepower of Cordless Hammer Drills?

Horsepower is the description of the relationship between speed and torque. Horsepower can be misleading because manufacturers frequently measure the peak power, which is the maximum the drill produces before stalling.

It shows the drill at maximum output, and if you were to run your tool like that, it wouldn’t last a week before burning out.

Horsepower is also affected by the efficiency factor, and the quality of the tool determines this. An efficient motor might deliver 93 percent of the power thanks to better quality parts and a more durable gear system.

Cheaper models with the same horsepower may only deliver 70 percent because standards have dropped in the quality of the manufacturing.

Which Hammer Drill Voltage Should I Choose?

Most cordless hammer drills are advertised as either 18V or 20V. So deciding which to choose can be confusing. There is no difference between 18V and 20V. They are the same. It would come down to the cost between models and the torque the motor can supply with its available voltage.

For example, you may get a hammer drill with an 18V battery but it produces a higher torque and is considerably cheaper than a similar 20V hammer drill. It makes sense to then opt for the 18V hammer drill.

What we do know is if you are choosing a hammer drill, don’t consider anything below 18V unless you are using it for lighter tasks. As we said earlier, voltage is the way we measure the power of the drill.


The Cordless Drill Future

Cordless drills used to have a reputation for being weak and only suitable for lightweight tasks. Not any more. Battery technology and advances with brushless motors have improved the battery-operated drill beyond recognition.

Nowadays, they easily perform as well, and in some cases, better than their corded rivals.

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About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.
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