Hammer Drill question

I purposely bought a cheap hammer drill from Harbor Freight to do a specific job (59 bucks). The chuck broke just as I completed the job, and was worth it. The bits have about a 3/4" slot, which I assume is what contributes to the hammer effect. The collar you pull back to insert the bits unscrewed itself, and the spring and little ball bearing thingies (that fit the bit slots) all fell out and got lost. Now I'd like to buy a nicer unit for future jobs. However, at Home Depot there are several brands ...some appear to use bits with the same type of slot, but others appear to have a standard looking electric drill type chuck (???) I was under the assumption that hammer drill bits would require a chuck similar to that of the cheap one I had, instead of appearing to use a chuck key. What kind of bits does the other style use? Why the difference in styles?
M.B.
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The chuck broke after you completed a job and it was worth it ? My 20 yr old 250$ 3/4" Porter Cable has completed hundreds of jobs and isnt ready to break yet.
It has a standard key chuck, Porter Cable Milwaukee and Bosch are worth looking into
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Thanks Yes, the cheap one I bought was worth the gamble in my case, since a) I didn't know if it would even DO the job, and it did complete it, b) someone wanted 300 bucks to do it for me, and c) I really had no planned future use for a hammer drill after the initial project ...and still may not. I don't normally spend 250 bucks for tools I might use once (wife won't let me unless I hide it) ... or if someone is going to charge me 300 bucks to do it. Still looking for an answer regarding what kind of bits a hammer drill uses if it has a keyed chuck. M.B.

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Hilti!! or Hilte ??
Used all Hilti products when I was working on contruction sites. they have a nice suite of tools that were VERY hard to break! Only succeded once! Broke a hammer drill handle...drill still worked though!

specific
to
chuck
chuck
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There are umpteen types of shank, for various reasons. You're probably familiar with SDS, or Slotted Detent Shank. There's no substitute for doing your homework on this one. Off to Google with you!
I use a 1/2" Milwaukee with a straight shank chuck -- the 'regular electric drill" type. It's adequate up to about 1/2" in masonry, with the advantage of having a regular (non-hammer) function as well, so I also have a drill with gobs of torque when I need it.
However, on larger holes I've had problems of the bit spinning in the chuck. That isn't possible with a design like SDS. I'm stuck using hex shank bits (and in a pinch, I once ground a 7/8" bit's straight shank into a hex shape to keep it from spinning loose, but that's too jury-rigged for regular use.)
In other words, there are tools that will fit your specific applications, so enjoy the shopping.
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M.Burns wrote:

bring it back to harbor freight.. they will fix it for you... or swap it out.....
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M.Burns wrote:

I have a Bosch Bulldog that uses the bits you describe. It's done hundreds of projects without a problem.
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M.B.-
You might consider renting a hammer drill next time you need it. From your description, this isn't to be a frequently-used tool, so making the investment in a high-quality drill may not be the best thing to do.
While I don't know where you live, most places have several tool rental yards.
Good luck!
Marc
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I did the same thing 3 years ago. Bought the $59 hammer drill for a specific project. It made it through the project, but not without having to put it back together a time or two. I then called Harbor Freight and they told me to return it. About two weeks later, I received from them another generic brand named hammer drill, but of obviously better quality than the first one. I have used it a couple times in the last 3 years with good results. You might want to contact them if your experience has been recent.
Bobby
PS: This drill was for home use. I have a Bosch on my service truck that has been great for several years, but quite a bit more money.
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Your question has to do with the types of bit shanks.
There are many conventional chucks that use regular smooth shank bits. These do not hold as well as some other choices, but do allow a drill to function both as a hammer drill and a regular drill. There are good carbide masonry bits available with straight shanks, but there are many more poor grade bits in this style.
Most commercial hammer drills use one of the following:
SDS - heavy shank with detents. Usually any bit you find with this shank is a better grade of bit than the straight shanks.
SDS Max - Same as above, but even heavier (larger diameter) shank.
Spline drive - older system, but still readily available, even heavier shank than SDS Max.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Keep the whole world singing. . . . DanG

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