When you see the yellow and black of DeWalt, the first thing that comes to mind is quality and innovation. The DeWalt line of products has been a staple in the tool world for many years and keeps going strong because of their commitment to excellence. They see a need and come up with creative solutions to fill it.
DeWalt drills follow this innovative idea. They offer power and style, and put it in a portable, battery-powered unit that is very versatile. They make it easy to use any of their tools, and the drills have enlarged features for tuning while still wearing work gloves — an idea very few tool companies would have even considered.
DEWALT Hammer Drill
DeWalt Products Company was formed in Leola, Penn., in 1924 with the launch of the electric universal woodworking machine, mortiser, and jointer. In 2018, the company celebrated its 100th anniversary of the Product Service Division of Stanley Black & Decker. Two popular products are the DEWALT 20V MAX XR Lithium Ion Brushless 3-Speed Hammer Drill Kit and DEWALT Hammer Drill Kit.
Benefits of Hammer Drills
Key Shopping Considerations
Hammer drills can be used for a large variety of applications. However, you need to purchase a good tool if you want it to last and successfully complete a variety of projects. Otherwise, you may just end up with a paperweight.
Different jobs often require a drill to run at faster or slower speeds to improve accuracy and penetration, while avoiding any damage to the drill itself. A good hammer drill will feature either a variable speed setting dial or a trigger control that lets you adjust the operating speed. To determine if a drill has a variable speed setting, look for a dial that shows the numbers from 1 to 2, or sometimes 1 to 3, with 1 being the lowest setting.
A trigger control, which responds to the amount of pressure you apply, offers a greater degree of speed control. Some prefer this personalized control, while others want a drill to operate at the same speed, all the time. A trigger control tends to be most beneficial when the user doesn’t have a free hand to adjust the speed—one reason trigger controls are preferred by professionals.
Hammer mode is a setting on all hammer drills commonly marked by a symbol depicting a hammer. This mode introduces a pulsating action that helps drive masonry bits through hard surfaces, such as concrete, brick, and stone. In addition to the increased hammering force, the drill maintains its rotational capabilities to drill and punch through hard material, similar to combining an auger and a jackhammer, though to a lesser degree.
Hammer drills commonly have a button that allows you to switch between hammer mode and normal operation. This is generally referred to as “drill mode” and may be marked only by a variable speed setting ranging from 1 to 3. Alternatively, it may be marked by a symbol that resembles a drill bit, depending on the model. This mode has a more controlled torque and is intended for drilling holes through softer surfaces, such as wood or plastic.
Some hammer drills (as well as regular drills) feature a setting called a drive mode, which is used for driving and removing screws. Drive mode eliminates the pulsating force of the hammer setting and instead engages the torque-adjustment setting for precision work like driving screws into a deck. This low-power setting helps ensure that the torque of the drill won’t strip the screws. A hammer drill with drive mode will often show a symbol that resembles a screw on the mode control switch.
Higher-end hammer drills may offer extra features that can help you complete a project faster or add a touch of comfort or functionality. These options include a 360-degree auxiliary handle for the best grip possible in complex or enclosed spaces or a built-in flashlight to help you see what you’re doing without needing to hold a separate light source.
Take advantage of more power with the 20V MAX brushless tools with DEWALT FLEXVOLT ADVANTAGE tool technology. This 1/2 in. Cordless Hammer Drill has up to 42% more power when paired with a DCB606 FLEXVOLT Battery vs. a DCB205 20V MAX 5 Ah Battery. Battery and charger sold separately.
Integrated Safety & Electronics Protection Features
First, it is worth noting that this hammer drill doesn’t have an integrated kickback safety feature when in the drill or hammer drill modes. So the risk of sudden torque twists still exists. When drilling through tough surfaces, especially hammer drilling, I am always leery about torque-related risks. (I’ve caught a drill bit too many times on steel or concrete and had a sore wrist for a few days. The DCD999B does feature a variable speed trigger for additional torque control. This means that the more fully you depress the trigger the higher the speed the tool operates at. The responsiveness and sensitivity of the variable speed trigger made it very easy to ramp up the drill speed as required.
Additionally, while all drills will heat up during extended drilling operations (especially hammer drilling), the DCD999B seemed reasonably cool during operation. I wasn’t worried about thermal overload or the battery overheating. The additional power did seem to reduce bit stoppages during operations though. The DEWALT DCD999B hammer drill/driver employs DEWALTS’s industry-standard Electronic Protection System (EPS) which will shut the tool off in cases of potentially dangerous battery overheating or overdraw due to extended usage.
Dewalt DCD999T1 20V MAX Brushless Lithium-Ion 1/2 in. Cordless Hammer Drill Driver Kit with FLEXVOLT ADVANTAGE (6 Ah)
Get more power with the DEWALT 20V MAX brushless tools with FLEXVOLT ADVANTAGE tool technology. The 1/2 in. Cordless Hammer Drill has up to 42% more power when paired with a DCB606 FLEXVOLT battery vs. a DCB205 20V MAX 5 Ah battery. This kit includes (1) 6 Ah FLEXVOLT Lithium-Ion battery, 6 Amp charger, and Kit Bag.
How Does a Hammer Drill Work?
Hammer drills have something called percussive motion. Imagine the percussion section of an orchestra hitting their instruments. That is why it’s called percussive force because the hammer drill rotates the drill bit while hammering down like a hammer hitting a nail.
Can I use a hammer drill as a regular drill?
Yes, technically. Most hammer drills can be put in “drill” mode, which makes them act similarly to a regular drill. However, there are some limitations to this. They usually aren’t as good as a regular drill. Ideally, you should have both for this reason.
Still, in a pinch, you can use these as a regular drill if you really need to. Just don’t expect it to work quite as well as a regular drill.
Do I really need a hammer drill?
If you want to drill holes into something like concrete, your best bet is probably to purchase a hammer drill. Otherwise, you really aren’t going to make it through the concrete. You do not need a hammer drill for drilling through stuff like wood, plastic, and metals. Often, a standard drill designed for that sort of thing may be best. However, hammer drills are absolutely needed for stuff like drilling through concrete.
Can you drill concrete without a hammer drill?
You can use a regular drill. However, it is going to take a lot longer and you’ll need many drill bits. In many cases, it is just better to purchase a hammer drill. After all, this drill is designed for drilling into concrete, so it is usually going to outperform just about everything else.