DeWALT Cordless Hammer Drills make quick work of masonry, concrete and other tough material. These versatile tools can do anything from demolition to driving.
These cordless rotary hammer drills generate high impact power that pulverizes your project. For versatility, DeWalt produces 3-mode hammer drills that also give you the same functionality as any of the DeWalt cordless drills/drivers. A 3-mode model lets you work at different tasks without the need for a second or third tool.
Types of Cordless Hammer Drills from DeWalt
DeWalt’s cordless SDS hammer drills use SDS chucks that deliver power directly to the bit, rather than the chuck. This gives you power comparable to a corded model with cordless portability. DeWalt’s cordless rotary hammer drills run on high-capacity lithium-ion batteries that range from 18 to 36-volts. Higher capacity batteries give you longer, more powerful performance, while smaller battery models are lighter and easier to carry for long projects. The 20-volt MAX battery line provides a fantastic run time, and you can use the same battery from your rotary hammer in your other DeWalt cordless drills, saws or similar tools.
Rotary hammers can be hard on your hands and shoulders, so DeWalt developed the SHOCKS™ vibration control system to reduce strain. The 360-degree rotating side handles let you leverage your body weight for exceptional control of your cordless rotary hammer drill. The integrated LED work lights let you see your workspace for greater precision and safe operation at an unlit jobsite. For extra convenience, you can purchase these tools in a kit that comes with a battery and carrying case.
Why Buy DeWalt Cordless Hammer Drills?
DeWalt cordless hammer drills deliver incredible power wherever you need it. DeWalt cordless tools come with a 90-day money-back guarantee, a service contract and a 3-year limited warranty.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Cordless Hammer Drill
The more power you have, the quicker you can complete your task. A typical hammer drill motor has about seven amps, while larger motors have about 10 amps. The bigger the motor, the more power it will deliver. However, hammer drill brands with bigger motors will be larger and heavier.
The best hammer drill for concrete and other materials should include safety features for your protection. As a result, most feature two handles. An auxiliary handle provides stability while you operate the drill and also makes the action more comfortable. The side handle should be ergonomic with a comfortable grip. They should also be shock absorbent.
MULTIPLE WORKING MODES
One hallmark of the best hammer drills is multiple working modes, or a selection switch that allows you to choose which mode you’d like to use. Typically, a hammer drill that comes with multiple working modes allows you to choose between rotary drilling and rotary-plus-hammer drilling. This is beneficial because it allows you to use the rotary mode for all of your typical drilling and driving needs. But at the same time, you can always switch over to the hammer functionality if you’re working on masonry. You’ll get more versatility and great on-the-job flexibility, all in one handy drill.
You want to make sure your hammer drill is powered by a brushless motor if you opt for a cordless model. A brushless motor is the best kind of power source; it’s efficient, gives you increased power, and works flawlessly with a rechargeable battery. These high-speed motors can increase your hammer drill’s run time by as much as 50 percent per battery charge when you compare them to a typical brushed motor. And that’s an improvement you want to make sure to take advantage of.
Before You Buy a Cordless Hammer Drill
While most of the best hammer drills can pull double duty as standard drill drivers, they’re not for everyone. Even smaller hammer drills will have heavier-duty components inside, which means they are substantially heavier than even the best cordless drill. They also have a lot more torque than light-duty drills, so if you’re new to power tools, don’t be surprised by their power.
If you’re not drilling into concrete, bricks, stone, or masonry, you probably don’t need a cordless hammer drill. You can save a bit of money by going with a standard drill driver for most of your projects. However, if you find yourself mixing concrete or paint often, you might decide that the extra torque hammer drills can offer will help speed up the task.
Our Top Picks:
1. Dewalt DCD999B Cordless Hammer Drill Driver
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 DCD999B Ergonomics
The pistol grip is great. It has the same non-slip and formed design I have come to love on my other DEWALT cordless tools. Additionally, I found the checkering, non-slip etching pattern on the keyless chuck to be more comfortable than etching on other chucks I’ve used. And it still maintained a great non-slip grip. The weight was well-balanced when paired with my 6Ah battery. When I used my 2aH battery it was a bit top-heavy but that was expected. When the handle is mounted any slight weight imbalance becomes a non-factor as the dual point hold eliminates this concern. Also, with the auxiliary handle, the extra weight of the larger battery was a positive as it offered more stability and natural pressure when drilling.
Lastly, the location of the speed, mode, and light switches are placed in easy-to-reach locations where I could still single-handedly hold the drill and change any setting required. The switches were a bit stiff. With additional break-in, I’m confident they would slide smoothly yet firmly.
- Up to 42% more power when paired with FLEXVOLT batteries
- Compatible with all DEWALT 20V MAX and FLEXVOLT Batteries
- GREAT BIT GRIP: Heavy-duty 1/2 in. ratcheting nitro-carburized metal chuck with carbide inserts for superior bit gripping strength
- 20X BRIGHTER LED: 3-mode LED provides lighting in dark or confined spaces up to 20x brighter than the DEWALT DCD985
- EXTENDED WORK TIME WITH LED: Spotlight mode features 20-minute shutoff function, allowing for extended work time in dark or confined spaces
- Tool Connect Chip Ready: Chip pocket accepts Tool Connect Chip DCE042 and connects with Tool Connect Site Manager app for easy asset management on the jobsite (DCE042 sold separately)
- OPTIMIZE TOOL to task with 3-speed transmission
2. Dewalt DCD998B 20V Cordless Hammer Drill
The new range of DEWALT 20V MAX XR tools with POWERDETECT tool technology maximize performance when used with high-capacity XR batteries. Using the 20V MAX 8Ah battery, the Drill will output up to 29% more power and get 60% more runtime than the standard XR Drill.
DEWALT 20V MAX POWER DETECT HAMMER DRILL PERFORMANCE
The DeWalt DCD998 matches up with the DCD996, DCD997, and DCD999 with its 2000 RPM top speed and 38,250 BPM hammer rate. Where it differs is in power.
The Power Detect hammer drill sits in between the other two with 1072 UWO. The 20V Max XR and Tool Connect versions max out at 820 UWO while the FlexVolt Advantage can reach 1219 UWO.
- DEWALT-built high power, high efficiency brushless motor delivers up to 57% more run time over brushed
- The DCD998 Hammer Drill has 3-speeds, high performance, all-metal transmission to optimize tool-to-task for fast application speeds and improved run-time for drilling in masonry materials
- Heavy-duty 1/2-in ratcheting nitro-carburized metal chuck with carbide inserts for superior bit gripping strength
- 3-Mode LED provides lighting in dark or confined spaces up to 20x brighter than previous model
- LED spotlight mode features 20 minute shutoff function allowing for extended work time in dark or confined spaces
- Maximum initial battery voltage (measured without a workload) is 20 volts. Nominal voltage is 18
If you’re looking for the best performance DeWalt has to offer in a hammer drill, it’s between Power Detect and FlexVolt Advantage. Neither one will disappoint you.
If you have no plans to move into the FlexVolt platform for 60V tools, then go with the DeWalt 20V Max Power Detect hammer drill. If you are, you may be better served with the FlexVolt Advantage model. Either way, you end up with one of the best hammer drills currently available.
3. Dewalt DCD985B 20V Cordless Hammer Drill
The DCD985B 20V MAX Lithium-Ion Premium 3-Speed Hammer Drill delivers 3 speed variations allowing users to choose the level of performance needed for various applications. Powered by a high perforamance motor and bits are secured by heavy-duty 1/2 in. ratcheting chuck.
The DeWalt DCD985B is more than capable of handling all hammering and drilling applications that you can think of. The thing that makes this possible is the unit’s powerful motor, which can be used at three different speeds and powers the high-quality 1/2″ metal ratcheting chuck.
The model is well-balanced and provides the user with ergonomic shape – the fatigue is kept to a minimum and there’s little to no kick back. Other features include an integrated LED light, a very convenient 360° side handle, as well as 22 adjustable torque settings.
The unit is powered by a 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion battery (which is sold separately, just like the charger) and comes with a very generous warranty package.
The machine is powered by the high-efficiency 535 UWO (Units Watt Out) engine, which provides superior performance no matter what task you throw at it. It makes this drill a good workhorse, allowing it to reach the maximum torque of 500 in-lbs and the maximum speed of 2,000 RPM. The motor can be used at three different rates – 600, 1,250, and 2,000 RPM, allowing the user to adjust the speed to the task at hand.
The DCD985B has an all-metal ratcheting chuck (1/2″), with its jaws having a carbide coating. This leads to an exceptionally strong grip, particularly if we’re talking about round shank bits. Using other drill accessories is not an issue here – you’ll be able to use your wire brushes and sanding pads as well.
Unfortunately, the 20-Volt MAX Lithium-Ion batteries for this unit are sold separately. Nevertheless, they provide the drill with a right amount of juice and allow continued operation. We recommend purchasing the DeWalt’s DCB115 charger, too – it’s among the fastest ones on the market.
- DEWALT 20V MAX Lithium Ion batteries offer longer tool run-time and enhanced durability
- Heavy-duty 1/2 in. metal ratcheting chuck with carbide inserts provides superior bit gripping strength
- High power, high efficiency motor delivers 535 unit watts out of max power for superior performance in all drilling and fastening applications
- 3-Speed, all-metal transmission matches the tool to task for fastest application speed and improved run time
- LED light with 20-second delay after trigger release
4. Dewalt DCD996B 20V Cordless Hammer Drill
With a high power, high efficiency brushless motor, the 20V MAX XR Brushless Lithium-Ion 1/2 in. Cordless 3-Speed Hammer Drill/Driver (Tool Only) delivers up to 57% more run time over tools with brushed motors. Compatible with XR Li-Ion batteries (sold separately), this unit can provide 33% more capacity over standard packs.
It may not be the newest drill or the most compact high torque drill or the strongest, it’s still very much a heavy hitter and stronger than most high torque drills out today and coupled with the best in class cordless hammer drilling performance and super bright spotlight mode, it makes it very easy for me to award the DCD996 with the Tool Crazy Recommended award!
- DeWALT-built high power, high efficiency brushless motor delivers up to 57ore run time over brushed
- Heavy-duty 1/2 in. ratcheting nitro-carburized metal chuck with carbide inserts for superior bit gripping strength
- 3-Mode LED provides lighting in dark or confined spaces up to 20X brighter than previous model
- LED Spotlight Mode features 20 minute shutoff function allowing for extended work time in dark or confined spaces
5. Dewalt DCD797 20V Cordless Hammer Drill
We recently conducted our Best Cordless Drill Shootout, where the DeWalt DCD797 20V Max Compact Hammer Drill finished in second place in the Compact Drill and Compact Hammer Drill divisions. Overall, it showed the requisite power, functionality, ergonomics, features, and value to put all but one competitor in the rearview mirror.
Everything that DeWalt is putting out in the drill categories has performed pretty well in our shootout and this model is no exception. The DeWalt DCD797 was the fastest drill in its class under load, and it was no slouch in the torque department either. With a solid feature set that highlights the brand’s Tool Connect capability, this compact model should make fans of the brand happy and give other brands a target to aim for.
So all the bells and whistles are neat, but how does this hammer drill actually perform? As far as speed under load goes, it blazes past every other model we tested with its impressive quickness and efficiency. With a 3/4″ auger bit, we measured the DCD797 turning an average 1,948 RPM.
This is an incredible 98% of its no-load speed. the best efficiency any other model pulled was 80% and most of the drills are in the 60%–75% range. With a 1-1/4″ self-feed bit in low speed, we measured an average speed of 512 RPM from the DCD797. This is 97% of its no-load speed. Once again, no other drill comes close to DeWalt’s speed and efficiency.
We also tested our hammer drills by drilling 3″ deep into concrete using a 1/4″ Bosch Multipurpose bit. The trend continues as the DeWalt DCD797 smoked every other hammer drill in the 18V Compact division. With an average time of 5.92 seconds, this hammer drill beat the next fastest drill to the finish line by more than a full second.
- LAST SEEN feature helps reduce wasted time and money by providing the street address of where your compact hammerdrill was last in range of your Tool Connect-enabled device
- Easily and quickly assign tools to jobsites and users on the Tool Connect Inventory Manager software, increasing accountability and reducing lost tools
- Receive diagnostics on the tool like internal coin cell battery life, temperature, number of trigger pulls, and how long the tool has been running
- Once you’ve downloaded the Tool Connect app, easily pair with the app by holding down the pair button on the tool foot for 3-5 seconds
- Set “disable when out of range” alerts to help deter unauthorized use or theft
- Program 3 customized RPM settings for precise speed of application
- Customize the brightness and delay of the integrated LED light
- Integrated blue LED light indicates when your hammerdrill is paired with your Tool Connect app
- DEWALT brushless motor delivers up to 75% more runtime vs. 18V NiCad brushed motors
- Ergonomic comfort grip handle provides ideal balance and comfort
What is Dewalt hammer drill used for?
A hammer drill is designed to drill holes into brick, concrete, other masonry, and even rock. A hammer drill uses a particular type of drill bit designed specifically for these tough materials.
Is Dewalt drill driver a hammer drill?
The DEWALT DCD985 20V MAX lithium ion premium 3-speed hammer drill/driver kit (3.0 Ah) has a patented 3-speed all-metal transmission that matches the tool to task for fast application speeds and improved run time. The heavy-duty 1/2-inch metal ratcheting chuck provides superior bit gripping strength.
What is a Hammer drill?
Hammer drills fulfill a very specific role, which is to pulverize holes in concrete, brick, marble, granite, and other similar materials. There are mainly two types of hammer drill; the regular hammer drill and the more powerful rotary hammers. Although there is variation between different kinds of hammer drills, generally speaking, they all operate roughly the same.
Inside each hammer drill, a hammering mechanism (the exact mechanism can change depending on the type of hammer drill) essentially “pounds” the drill bit forward. It is this internal mechanism that allows a hammer drill to pulverize its way through concrete and masonry. In terms of what they are meant to do, hammer drills are mean to make holes in tough materials; they can also drive fasteners into the concrete.
Can you use a Dewalt hammer drill as a regular drill?
You can use a hammer drill as a regular drill by selecting the drill mode that disengages the clutch and the hammering action. In this mode, the tool works as a regular power drill or a cordless drill.