Sometimes, a rotary drill of the traditional kind simply doesn’t cut the mustard, particularly if you’re trying to drill through a material like stone. In this instance, a hammer drill will likely be the more effective tool of choice.
Also referred to as an impact drill, they are recognizable by their reciprocating hammering motion, which enables short, firm thrusts to be performed on harder materials.
If you’re about to start working on some heavier materials such as concrete or stone, you should invest in a hammer drill, or hire one if you aren’t likely to use it on a regular basis. With its hammer function, this type of drill pulsates while rotating, making it far easier to drill through concrete and tough stone. Note however, that if needing to drill into materials that are softer, such as wood or metal, the high power of a hammer drill may prove detrimental to the task, and could damage the material.
Now that you know what a hammer drill is primarily used for, here are some tips for using it safely but effectively:
- When reversing, always stop the drill
If at any point you need to reverse the drill’s direction, you must always stop it fully before doing so, and never attempt to change direction while the drill is in motion.
- Wear the right protective items
PPE or personal protective equipment, should always be worn when operating a power tool such as a hammer drill, and some of the most important items of protective equipment are safety goggles, dust masks and heating protection.
- Never obstruct air vents
There are air vents on a hammer drill (usually at least one or two), as there are with many other power tools, and it’s important that these be kept clear at all times, with no obstructions. Should debris or dust be allowed to accumulate on the vents at any time, it could cause damage to the drill and threaten your safety when using it.
- Always hold it with both hands
Both hands are required when using a hammer drill safely, and this is particularly important with this particular tool as it has a lot more power than regular, rotary drills. While you may be able to hold a hammer drill with one hand alone, controlling it once it’s switched on is a whole different matter, and it could easily fly out of your hands if you don’t maintain full control of it at all times, with a firm, two-handed grip.
- Check the bit
Before every use, take a few seconds to inspect the drill bit, which can easily become damaged over time. Whether rusty or cracked, a damaged bit shouldn’t be used, and if it doesn’t come up to standard, it should be replaced.
- Use accessories that are approved by the manufacturer
There are several different accessories that can be used with a hammer drill, but it’s essential that you only ever use that have been approved by the manufacturer, otherwise you risk damaging the drill, or worse, yourself.Safety is paramount when using all manner of power tools, and if purchasing your tools online, simply check to see whether the retailer sells protective equipment, too, and buy everything you need to start using your hammer drill, in one convenient place.