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
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
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
Still looking for an answer regarding what kind of bits a hammer drill uses
if it has a keyed chuck.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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)
Spline drive - older system, but still readily available, even
heavier shank than SDS Max.
Keep the whole world singing. . . .
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