Questions which came up only AFTER I drilled a hole in concrete

I'd like to ask basic questions about drilling these holes in concrete:
http://i.cubeupload.com/ILcx5v.jpg
I try to research new tasks before I do them but unexpected questions always seem to arise when I actually do stuff such as when I drilled concrete for the first time in order to mount a harbor freight tire-changing machine onto my backyard sidewalk.
http://i.cubeupload.com/YfywQp.jpg
The 1/2-inch wide bit I bought was in a 6-pack at Harbor Freight item #62791 "Warrior 8-inch SDS Masonry Bit Set" with "shank style SDS" and the drill I bought is the Harbor Freight item #62383 "Chicago 1/2-inch Variable Speed Reversible Hammer Drill", but it says nothing of the "shank style".
http://i.cubeupload.com/usQnEW.jpg
But no matter how many times I cinched down the chuck evenly along the three keys, the bit was wobbly in the chuck hole.
http://i.cubeupload.com/5bOwO9.jpg
So my first question is whether I bought the right kind of bits because the bits have 2 grooves in them while the chucks have 3 keys:
http://i.cubeupload.com/UtC6fv.jpg
The second question is whether we're supposed to use water when drilling through concrete. It didn't seem to matter to the drilling, which was like drilling into butter anyway (so maybe my concrete sucks)?
http://i.cubeupload.com/f1VI2I.jpg
The third question is how deep is most backyard sidewalk concrete? I had to drill a 1/2-inch wide 1-5/8ths-inch deep hole for the 3/8" drop-in anchors:
http://i.cubeupload.com/UEoGP8.jpg
But when I drilled the holes, I realized the soft concrete was only about that thick (so the bottom of the 1-5/8ths-inch hole was in soft small pebbly gravel!
http://i.cubeupload.com/KkzB6e.jpg
Is it normal for concrete to be poured so thinly?
http://i.cubeupload.com/7umFkQ.jpg
One mistake I made was to buy 3-inch long 3/8ths-inch hardware store (Home Depot) bolts (which are about 1/4 inch too long) but Home Depot doesn't sell quarter-inch increments), one of which snapped off below ground as I was screwing it in to the anchor bolt (which was set with the proper set tool).
http://i.cubeupload.com/gplfkB.jpg
I suspect I should have gotten stainless steel bolts but Home Depot doesn't sell them. Where would you get four 2/3/4-inch 3/8-inch stainless steel bolts?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 12 Dec 2016 21:11:34 +0000 (UTC), Frank Baron

SDS drills are for certain hammer drills, not a regular chuck. Sorry, but you have a tool mismatch. You may get your holes don, but not very well compared to using the right drill.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 12 Dec 2016 17:31:06 -0500, Ed Pawlowski advised:

I thought something was out of whack but those are the bits the Harbor Freight personnel said to buy.
I wonder if I can return a slightly used 1/2-inch drill bit?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 12 Dec 2016 15:41:13 -0800, Oren advised:

Thanks. Too bad I didn't ask you first, but now I have the bits and the drill, neither of which I can use.
Since I already have a 1/2-inch drill, what good is a "hammer drill" other than drilling concrete?
Does it have a second use?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Monday, December 12, 2016 at 6:47:40 PM UTC-5, Frank Baron wrote:

r

Hammer drills can be used to drill holes in lots of "hard stuff". I use min e for drilling through landscape timbers, 4x4's, etc. I lay landscape timbers in a runnin g bond pattern. With a 16” long 3/8” bit I drill through 2 at once and then spike them in place. The hammer drill just pounds right through them even if they are wet.
I just used my hammer drill yesterday to drill a 3/4" hole 6" deep into the trunk of my fresh cut Christmas tree for my spiked stand.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 12 Dec 2016 16:22:17 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03 advised:

I can imagine a fresh-cut xmas tree being sappy, which is sticky, even though it's soft wood. So if the hammer drill works for railroad tie and xmas trees, maybe I can find a use for it after all!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 12 Dec 2016 16:04:56 -0800, Oren advised:

What doesn't matter is that I was fooled (because it's over). I doubt HF will take either their drill or their bits back (I wouldn't blame them since I used them once).
However, now that I know the bits are no good for a normal chuck, I can just throw them out. But I don't want to throw out the hammer drill.
Since I never needed a hammer drill in 45 years I'm just wondering now what does a hammer drill do that I might need (knowing that drilling in concrete is one of those things but I don't need to drill in concrete again).
Does the hammer drill have any use around your house ?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 13 Dec 2016 00:35:31 +0000 (UTC), Frank Baron

I've used mine a few times for regular drilling with the hammer function turned off - can't remember why, since I have other drills. It's a light duty 1/2" Craftsman - 40-60 bucks. It's a must have for drilling holes in my basement walls, which are very hard concrete. I put ran some 3" PVC pipe through concrete block for my sump pumps this summer. My son had my hammer drill so my SIL dropped off his kit for me to use. He's an electrical contractor. A big Milwaukee, which also has a hammer only function which I used to chisel away the remainder after drilling out a 2" hole with his biggest hole saw bit. Probably save me hours over using mine. But that 3" hole was a one time deal. Your tool is simply for light duty concrete drilling. Just appreciate it for that use.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Monday, December 12, 2016 at 8:28:20 PM UTC-5, Vic Smith wrote:

I use mine in non-hammer mode with my Kreg jig. It's my most powerful drill and it drills the cleanest pocket holes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 12 Dec 2016 17:48:30 -0800 (PST), DerbyDad03 advised:

I just grabbed my three (now four) drills, and looked with a magnifying glass at the specs, so I agree with your assessment that it's now my "most powerful" drill, if I count the speed and amps as "power".
http://i.cubeupload.com/mvDK5D.jpg
1. 1/2-inch, 7.5amp, 0-2800rpm VSR hammer Chicago Electric 2. 1/2-inch, 16VDC, 0-1600rpm VSR cordless DeWalt 3. 3/8-inch, 2.5amp, 0-1200rpm VSR Sears Craftsman 4. 1/4-inch, 2.3amp, 2000rpm Rockwell Model 70 (my 1st drill as a kid)
I bought the drills in the order below, where my 'kid' drill was the Rockwell which was a Christmas gift when I was just a boy. Later, probably in college days, I bought the Craftsman because I had to drill using larger bits than 1/4-inch bits so I got the 3/8ths-inch chuck.
After that, I never used any other drill but the Craftsman 3/8ths-inch chuck VSR but at some point I needed to work outside and didn't want to deal with extension cords so I bought the 1/2-inch chuck DeWalt cordless.
Now, due to the need to drill four holes in concrete, I now have the hammer drill.
In reality, the DeWalt cordless does pretty much all that I need, but I guess if/when I have to drill a *lot* of 1/2-inch bit holes, I will have the drill to do it now. :)
I still can't think of any reason for wanting the hammer though, other than to drill concrete (and maybe railroad ties).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 13 Dec 2016 18:14:49 +0000 (UTC), Frank Baron

The hammer drill with a chisel blade is great for removing floor tile too....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That Chicago Electric drill doesn't look like a rotary hammer to me. The chuck isn't visible in the picture, but it appears to be a standard chuck. The drill also seems to be quite small.
A rotary hammer is a much beefier drill, something like this:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
They take special SDS bits (squarish bits that snap in, instead of tightening down with a standard chuck.

A basic impact driver (often called "hammer drill" though the name is misleading) won't help much with drilling holes in concrete. The impact is rotational, instead of up and down. It's better than a basic drill, but not by much.
As I mentioned in my other post, an impact driver works great for driving or loosening fasteners (lag bolts, machine bolts, etc.).
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 14 Dec 2016 05:33:46 -0000 (UTC), HerHusband advised:

I appreciate any advice you can provide because I never used one of these things before.
The HF item number is 62383 which is described here: http://www.harborfreight.com/12-in-heavy-duty-variable-speed-reversible-hammer-drill-62383.html
They call it "1/2 in. Heavy Duty Variable Speed Reversible Hammer Drill" The owners manual is here: http://manuals.harborfreight.com/manuals/62000-62999/62383.pdf

I have a motorcyle, where a hand-operated impact driver is de rigueur.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Frank,

As I expected, that's a basic hammer drill. Essentially a standard drill with an impact setting.
It should be fine for drilling a few holes into concrete. Certainly better than a standard drill, but it won't be as fast or efficient as a rotary hammer.
It's a shame the various drills use such confusing names...

Your hammer drill will be really handy if you need to drive lag bolts or something. Although, the cord will limit your flexibility. I would be surprised if your cordless Dewalt drill didn't have an impact setting?
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 12 Dec 2016 19:28:15 -0600, Vic Smith advised:

Here's what I now have as light-duty home drills:
http://i.cubeupload.com/mvDK5D.jpg
1. 1/2-inch, 7.5amp, 0-2800rpm VSR hammer Chicago Electric 2. 1/2-inch, 16VDC, 0-1600rpm VSR cordless DeWalt 3. 3/8-inch, 2.5amp, 0-1200rpm VSR Sears Craftsman 4. 1/4-inch, 2.3amp, 2000rpm Rockwell Model 70 (my 1st drill as a kid)
Thanks for that advice that I basically have a second 1/2-inch drill for light-duty work that just happens to have a button to add a slight hammer feature (and VSR which is variable speed reversible).
Looking at the specs, it's not any bigger than my existing DeWalt cordless drill, but it seems to go faster.
When, at home, is a "faster" drill useful though?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 12/12/2016 05:35 PM, Frank Baron wrote:

Does it have a lever to lock out the hammer clutch and turn it into a regular drill? Other than that drilling masonry is its only claim to fame.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Monday, December 12, 2016 at 10:02:28 PM UTC-5, rbowman wrote:

Really? I guess I better stop using for the other things I mentioned before.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 12/12/2016 08:45 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

When you have a hammer drill, everything looks like a piece of masonry. Use it for whatever you want. Whether it's any more efficient for drilling railroad tie than a conventional drill with a decent bit is another question.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tuesday, December 13, 2016 at 1:15:29 AM UTC-5, rbowman wrote:

I have a hammer. I also have a screwdriver. Not everything looks like a nail.
I have a hammer drill. I also have a standard drill. Not everything looks like masonry.

In my experience with various materials, the answer is yes.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 12 Dec 2016 20:02:40 -0700, rbowman advised:

Thanks for explaining that the hammer feature is only for masonry work.
The Chicago Electric 7.5Amp hammer drill has two buttons, a trigger, and a lock.
1. The trigger is for speed control 2. The lock button is to lock the trigger 3. There is a forward/reverse slider perpendicular to the trigger 4. At top there is a hammer/drill control slider
The funny thing is that I don't *feel* any difference with that hammer/drill slider set to hammer versus drill.
Is that odd?
Whether I'm drilling in air (playing the air drill) or if I'm drilling in the concrete, I feel no difference in the drill no matter if the slider selector switch is set to hammer or to drill.
Is that normal?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.