Instead of a head that rotates the drill bit into a surface, hammer drills have an impact mechanism that breaks down hard materials by continuously and rapidly thrusting the head in a hammering motion, proving much more powerful than a regular drill. Whereas a normal drill is ordinarily used to make smaller holes, an impact drill is used for making much larger holes, for instance for air conditioning units, and even breaking through surfaces like walls or floors for maintenance or remodels. Some hammer drills provide the option to switch off the hammering motion enabling you to use it as a regular drill.
Milwaukee M18 cordless hammer drills are performing tools for heavy-duty jobs. Milwaukee has a vast selection of cordless tools for a wide range of applications. Hammer drills are suitable for drilling into hard surfaces and similar uses. The smart features of these tools, reliable construction, and performing batteries are reasons to consider this brand if you need a cordless hammer drill.
M18 Cordless Hammer Drills from Milwaukee
Milwaukee offers different 18-volt hammer drills with a few differences in their designs and features. You will also find different buying options for the same cordless tools.
The M18 Fuel 1-1/8 In. SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer is a highly-performing cordless tool with its 3.3 foot per pound of impact energy. You can use this tool as an impact driver or drill. The rotary hammer feature concentrates impact and power into the drill.
The M18 Compact ½ In. Hammer Drill Driver – Tool Only is a must-have tool if you perform DIY repairs or need a compact tool to get into small spaces. The compact design of the hammer drill makes it portable, and the metal construction makes it durable. The tool delivers 500 inches per pound of torque, and you can easily change the bit depending on what you need to do with the hammer drill.
The M18 Cordless Lithium-Ion 7/8 In. SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer is a versatile and heavy-duty tool. It comes with a depth rod, and you can use it to drill concrete or make large holes. It delivers 1.8 foot per pound of impact energy and comes with an anti-vibration system.
Why Buy Milwaukee M18 Cordless Hammer Drills?
Milwaukee is an excellent choice if you need a cordless hammer drill because the brand uses sturdy metal cases for its tools. The battery system delivers an outstanding performance that supports the drilling capacity of the tools. There is a five-year warranty on these cordless tools.
Types of Hammer Drills
CORDED HAMMER DRILLS
A corded hammer drill is a pretty straightforward kind of tool. In order to operate your drill, you’ll need to plug it into an electrical outlet, and the attached power cord will keep you working for as long as necessary. Corded hammer drills offer consistent, constant power, and with 6-foot or longer power cords, you can work pretty easily across sizable areas to tackle different drilling projects.
Corded models also tend to have high power because they have fewer limits. The constant power supply allows them to deliver more power for the toughest materials you’re working on. But they do have a significant downside: You can only travel as far as the power cord stretches. And you can only use your hammer drill if you’re near an electrical outlet. This restricts your mobility a bit.
CORDLESS HAMMER DRILLS
Cordless hammer drills have an advantage that corded models don’t—they aren’t going to restrict your mobility at all. With no power cord and no electrical outlet required to turn it on, a cordless hammer drill can get to work anywhere, any time. These tools run on rechargeable batteries (typically, a 20-volt lithium battery), and some of these batteries can even be swapped between different power tools. When you’re out of power, all you have to do is recharge.
But there are two drawbacks to cordless hammer drills. While you get better mobility and portability, these drills are usually a little less powerful than corded models because of their battery size limits. And, while they can work for hours on a single charge, you do need to make sure you can recharge. If you’re working all day long, you’ll likely need to recharge.
Hammer Drill Specifications
There’s a wide range of options available in terms of hammer drills. Corded or cordless, various levels of power, even the size of the chuck used. Let’s go over some different options available on the market and discuss what you need to decide what the best hammer drill for your needs will be.
You’ve basically got two options: corded, or non-corded.
A corded hammer drill makes you reliant on a location where you can plug in. No power, no drilling! However, what a corded hammer drill provides is a consistent flow of power which never drains.
Battery-operated hammer drills are great for portability. If you need to take your drill with you to a remote location, this is an easy choice. The downside is that the battery does drain quickly. As it drains, the power of the drill ebbs. You may want to pack a spare charged battery if you’ve got a big task to accomplish.
Neither option is better than the other overall, but depending on your needs, either one might be the best hammer drill for you.
Generally speaking, the more power your drill can provide, the less likely it is to blow out its motor. Also, the more power your motor has, the more you improve the overall speed of your task.
Having said that, most people don’t need to fork out huge stacks of cash for the top of the line motor. For most DIY tasks, a motor that has about 5-8 amps of power is fine. Unless you’re trying to drill a massive hole into solid concrete, you’re unlikely to need it. 5-8 amps will provide you up to a half-inch hole in most hard surfaces without breaking the bank.
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.
Our Top Picks
Based on functionality, cost, and design, these are the best milwaukee hammer drill options for DIYers and pros.
The Milwaukee 2804-20 M18 FUEL 1/2 in. Hammer Drill/Driver offers the best combination of high performance and compact size in the industry. This cordless hammer drill measures only 6.9 in. in length while delivering a peak of 1200 in-lbs of torque, ensuring maximum power in tight spaces. Up to 2000 RPM on high means that users will get their jobs done faster.
An all-metal keyless ratching chuck accomodates all types of bits with shank sizes up to 1/2 in., and a 14-setting clutch helps deliver precision power. Hammer mode delivers up to 32000 BPM to help chip away at masonry, stone and tile. Milwaukee’s REDLINK PLUS intelligence monitors tool activity to protect from overload conditions, while a removable side handle helps users keep this cordless drill’s power under control.
The M18 1/2 in. Brushless Hammer Drill/Driver delivers the most power in its class while maintaining compact size. This hammer drill delivers 725 in. lbs. of torque and 0-550/0-1,800 RPM, for a wide range of drilling and fastening applications.
The Milwaukee built brushless motor, REDLINK Electronics and REDLITHIUM batteries provides more efficient power delivery, for fewer trips to the charger. At only 7.0 in. long and 4.6 lbs. (with battery), this hammer drill provides excellent control and balance in a compact size, perfect for work overhead or in tight spaces. An all-metal gear case and 1/2 in. metal chuck provides maximum durability.
The M12 FUEL Hammer Drill Driver is the Most Capable, Lightest Weight, Most Compact tool in its class. The POWERSTATE Brushless Motor delivers the power to do a wide variety of applications at 1700 RPM’s and 350in.lbs. of torque. Weighing only 2.3lbs it is extremely portable, great for overhead applications, reduces fatigue throughout the day.
At 6.6 in. in length this tool has the best access in tight spaces. REDLINK Plus intelligence protects the tool from overloads and overheating while ensuring maximum performance. Using REDLITHIUM CP2.0 Ah and XC4.0 Ah extended capacity battery packs they deliver more work per charge and more work over the life of the pack than competitive batteries.
The M18 FUEL 1/2 in. hammer drill with ONE-KEY is the industry’s most powerful drill, delivering up to 60% more power, up to 1.5 in. shorter length and up to 2x faster speed under heavy load. The POWERSTATE brushless motor produces 1,200 in-lbs of torque and 2,000 RPM providing fast drilling through demanding applications.
At 6.9 in. in length, this is the most compact drill in its class, allowing better access in tight spaces. REDLINK plus intelligence ensures maximum performance while protecting from overloads, heating and over-discharge. The M18 REDLITHIUM battery packs (not included) deliver more work per charge and more work over the life of the packs than competitors.
The best-in-class all-metal ratcheting chuck provides increased bit strength and corrosion resistance. With ONE-KEY, users gain the ability to customize, track and manage their tool. Anti-kickback technology increases control in bind-up situations and reduces unwanted shut-downs, with the added benefit of sensitivity control and ability to turn on and off based on application. Using the tool’s tracking functionality, if ever lost or stolen, lock it out to protect your investment.
The most powerful single-speed hammer drill on the market, with up to 2X more durability. This practical 8 amp, 1/2 in. dual-mode hammer drill offers power and versatility for a variety of tough jobs, with an impressive 0 – 2,800 RPM and 0 – 48,000 BPM.
Superior engineering, an all-metal gear case and a heavy-duty metal chuck make this twice as durable as the leading competitor while maintaining outstanding performance. The compact 11.5 in. profile lets you work in tight spaces, and the two modes accommodate drilling in wood, steel and plastic or hammer drilling in concrete.
A removable 360-degree side handle helps you set the depth rod for pre-set hole drilling. Over-molding ensures a surer, more comfortable grip and minimizes vibration and fatigue on the jobsite.
6. Milwaukee 2607-20 M18 Lithium-Ion XC Compact 1/2 in. Cordless Hammer Drill Driver
More powerful and compact than the competition, Milwaukee’s 2607-20 M18 XC Lithium-Ion 1/2 in. Hammer Drill delivers class leading power and performance. Built with a reliable Milwaukee built 4-pole frameless motor, the compact 2607-20 delivers up to 525 in-lbs. of torque and up to 1,800 RPM for maximum power and versatility in a wide range of applications.
At only 7-3/4 in. long, it allows improved mobility and access to tighter work areas normal sized drivers just won’t reach, and with the integrated REDLINK Intelligence communication system, ensures consistent tool, battery and charger performance (Battery and Chargers Sold Separately).
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HAMMER DRILL AND A ROTARY HAMMER DRILL?
A rotary hammer is extremely powerful and features a piston. This type of power tool is usually larger, heavier, and more costly than a hammer drill. If you need to drill larger holes a hammer drill can’t handle, then you will need a rotary hammer.
CAN A HAMMER DRILL BE USED AS A REGULAR DRILL?
It depends on the brand. If it only has a hammer mode, you can’t use it as a regular drill. However, some have both hammer and drill settings; just make sure to use the proper bit.
What is the strongest Milwaukee hammer drill?
The M18 FUEL™ ½” Hammer Drill is the Industry’s Most Powerful Drill by delivering Up to 60% More Power, Up To 1.5” Shorter length and Up To 2X Faster Speed Under Heavy Load. The POWERSTATE™ Brushless motor delivers 1,200 in-lbs of torque and 2,000 RPMs, providing fast drilling through demanding applications.
Does Milwaukee make a air hammer?
The hammering action is not as powerful as that on a rotary hammer, which utilizes an internal air cylinder to provide the hammering action. The Milwaukee rotary hammer is much more powerful, and accepts only SDS or SDS-PLUS bits, which lock into place instead of being held in the chuck with friction.
What Does 1 and 2 mean on a drill?
The adjustable gearing provides versatility based on the task you will be performing. Setting 1 is low speed/high torque and is best for driving screws. Setting 2 is a medium speed/torque and can be used for drilling or driving.