7 Best Cordless Hammer Drills for Concrete

7 Best Cordless Hammer Drills for Concrete

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best cordless hammer drills for concrete

Drilling into brickwork or concrete using a basic rotary drill could cause it to burn out, or the drill bit will start to heat up and the tip will disintegrate. A regular drill just won’t cut it—you need a drill with more power, and a hammer drill fits the bill. They are made to be used on materials like brickwork and concrete without any trouble.

When you’re looking at hammer drills, there are two main common types available in today’s market—hammer drills and rotary hammer drills. A hammer drill can be just that or it might be a regular drill that has a hammer action. A rotary hammer drill, however, is considered a drill made for nothing else but drilling into concrete or masonry. They are bigger and heavier than hammers drills, often resembling a small jack-hammer, and normally have an SDS chuck, which allows the drill bit to move independently up and down for extra drilling power.

Hammer drills, like most hand power tools, come in corded or cordless models. With a corded drill, you need to have access to an electrical outlet before you can start drilling, and with corded drills, the electric motor is usually bigger and heavier.

Cordless hammer drills have one advantage over corded drills—they won’t restrict where you can use them—you can use them anywhere, at any time. They are powered by rechargeable batteries and are usually 20v lithium-ion batteries, which are powerful enough for most jobs.

What you need to consider when shopping for a cordless hammer drill.
Look for a drill that has a removable side handle. This will help control the drilling.
Having a variable speed trigger allows you to control the drill speed.
A depth gauge is a handy accessory giving you precise depth control.
A hammer drill that has a brushless motor will run cooler, be more efficient, and may have features like a soft start or control over kickback.
A useful feature is a switch that allows you to stop the hammer function and use the drill as a normal rotary drill.

We have connected with our team and our community of metallurgists from around the world to find which cordless drill models have lived up to expectations and which are not worth your time:

Here are the 3 cordless hammer drills that we prefer in 2022:

Drill Bit
Best for Most
Second best choice
Best for Budget
DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill, Brushless, 3-Speed, Tool Only (DCD996B)
DEWALT 20V MAX* SDS Rotary Hammer Drill, Tool Only (DCH273B)
Milwaukee 2804-20 M18 FUEL 1/2 in. Hammer Drill (Tool Only) Tool-Peak Torque = 1,200
Voltage
20V
20V
18V
Speeds
3
Variable
2
Cons
LED helps light up dark places and removable side handle
SDS power makes drilling into concrete easy
Lightweight - 2lbs less than the other 2 options
Pros
No battery included have to buy seperate
No battery included and lack of LED
Doesn't have the same level of power as 20V options
Price
$159.99
$311.20
$100.00
Best for Most
Drill Bit
DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill, Brushless, 3-Speed, Tool Only (DCD996B)
Voltage
20V
Speeds
3
Cons
LED helps light up dark places and removable side handle
Pros
No battery included have to buy seperate
Price
$159.99
Buy Now
Second best choice
DEWALT 20V MAX* SDS Rotary Hammer Drill, Tool Only (DCH273B)
Voltage
20V
Speeds
Variable
Cons
SDS power makes drilling into concrete easy
Pros
No battery included and lack of LED
Price
$311.20
Buy Now
Best for Budget
Drill Bit
Milwaukee 2804-20 M18 FUEL 1/2 in. Hammer Drill (Tool Only) Tool-Peak Torque = 1,200
Voltage
18V
Speeds
2
Cons
Lightweight - 2lbs less than the other 2 options
Pros
Doesn't have the same level of power as 20V options
Price
$100.00
Buy Now

More detailed reviews of the cordless hammer for concrete that we analyzed:

1. DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill

DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill, Brushless, 3-Speed, Tool Only (DCD996B)

Dewalt is synonymous with quality tools, and their 20V MAX XR model DCD996B is one of the best cordless hammer drills available. This model is “tool only”, and requires the separate purchase of a DEWALT DCB205-2 20V MAX XR 5.0Ah Lithium-Ion Battery and DCB115 MAX Lithium-Ion Battery Charger, 12V-20V before use.

The heavy-duty, ratcheting 1/2-inch chuck is made from nitro-carburized metal and has carbide inserts that give superior gripping power on the bit. Its brushless motor is high efficiency and delivers 75% more runtime than a brushed motor. The built-in LED work light has been upgraded to be 20 times brighter than previous models, and has three settings—low, medium, and high. A very handy feature is when it is on the low or medium setting, it stays lit for 20 seconds after you release the trigger. If the high setting is used, it becomes a spotlight and will stay lit for 20 minutes lighting up your work area.

Features:
• Voltage: 20V
• Chuck Size: 1/2 inch
• # of speeds: three
• Battery Lithium-Ion (not included)
• Weight: 4.7lbs

What we love
The LED in the drill base lights up the drilling point with no shadows.
The keyless chuck locks better than most drills and releases easily.
It comes with a removable side handle for extra strength when drilling.

We don’t like this as much
The reverse button needs some modification; the 3-speed selector sometimes sticks.
There’s no battery included, you have to buy it separately.

Sale
DEWALT 20V MAX XR Hammer Drill, Brushless, 3-Speed, Tool Only (DCD996B)
  • DEWALT-built high power, high efficiency brushless motor of DEWALT 20V hammer drill delivers up to 75% more runtime vs. 18V NiCad brushed motors
  • The cordless hammer drill features heavy-duty 1/2-inch 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

2. DEWALT 20V MAX* SDS Rotary Hammer Drill

DEWALT 20V MAX* SDS Rotary Hammer Drill, Tool Only (DCH273B)

This Dewalt SDS rotary hammer drill (model # DCH273B) is one of their most powerful and robust. It warrants a slightly higher price because you get the power of a corded drill but without the cord. It is lightweight compared to a corded rotary hammer drill, but it is just as durable and it delivers prolonged runtime.

If you have been using an electric rotary hammer drill, you will have experienced the vibration that these drills generate. With this cordless model, the manufacturers have incorporated “SHOCKS Active Vibration Control Technology”. This technology significantly helps to reduce the vibration felt in the handles while increasing the comfort for the user.

Having an SDS chuck means that whatever bit you are using will be gripped securely and will not loosen during the drilling operation. It also means you can use other tools like chisels and with the blows per minute of 0 – 4,600 BPM it gives you the speed and strength to get any task done quickly.

Voltage: 20V
Chuck Size: 3/4 inch
# of speeds: variable
Battery: Lithium-Ion (not included)
Weight: 6.8lbs

What we love
The belt clip is really handy when working up a ladder
This SDS drill cuts through concrete like a knife through butter.
It’s much quieter and more powerful than a basic hammer drill

We don’t like this as much
This is a tool only. No battery or charger, which makes it even more expensive
It doesn’t have an LED light to help you in dark conditions

Sale
DEWALT 20V MAX* SDS Rotary Hammer Drill, Tool Only (DCH273B)
  • Cordless hammer drill has 2.1 Joules of impact energy for fast drilling in concrete.
  • SHOCKS ACTIVE VIBRATION CONTROL System of DEWALT 20V hammer drill reduces vibration felt by the user at the handles, compared to rotary hammers without this feature.
  • Lightweight design makes this DEWALT 20V brushless hammer drill ideal for rod hanging, seismic and safety attachments, cable tray and strut mounting, clamp mounting, and rail mounting.
  • OSHA Table 1 Compliant when paired with DWH303DH On Board Extractor.
  • Brushless motor and durable German-engineered mechanism for efficient performance and runtime.

3. Milwaukee 2804-20 M18 FUEL 1/2 in. Hammer Drill

Milwaukee 2804-20 M18 FUEL 1/2 in. Hammer Drill (Tool Only) Tool-Peak Torque = 1,200

Milwaukee has always been a popular brand within the power tool community, and their 2804-20 M18™ Fuel hammer drill is no exception. It has a purpose-built, power state brushless motor which, according to the manufacturer, will provide up to 60% more power than its competitors.

It measures just under seven inches long making it one of the most compact hammer drills in its class. The compact size means you can work in tight spaces with less fatigue. It is a bit heavier than other drills weighing in at four and a half pounds, but it does have an option for a belt clip to be fastened close to the battery.

The M18TM Fuel drill has two-speed settings, a half-inch chuck, and fourteen clutch settings, it gives you a broad range of torque should you wish to prevent stripping or overdriving screws. Battery life is also very good, and it takes less than 30 minutes for a full charge—very handy if you’re working on a project that needs to be completed quickly.

• Voltage: 18V
• Chuck Size: 1/2-inch
• # of speeds: 2
• Battery: M18™ Lithium (not included)
• Weight: 4.5lbs

What we love
Overall, it is a great drill. Smaller than others but delivers awesome power
Lightweight and comfortable in the hand
The compact design hasn’t affected the power it delivers

We don’t like this as much
Users have reported the speed selector switch doesn’t always stay in position
The handle seems to heat up after a few uses caused by a heatsink

Sale
Milwaukee 2804-20 M18 FUEL 1/2 in. Hammer Drill (Tool Only) Tool-Peak Torque = 1,200
  • Power state Brushless motor: purposely built for the M18 Fuel 1/2" Drill driver to provide up to 60% more power than the competitive set
  • Redlink Plus Intelligence: ensures optimal performance and provides overload protection to prevent damage to the tool and battery during heavy applications while still maintaining compatibility across the entire M18 system.
  • Red Lithium XC5.0 battery pack: delivers more work per charge and more work over the life of the pack than competitors
  • Up to 60% more power: 1, 200 in-lbs of torque

4. DEWALT ATOMIC 20V MAX* Hammer Drill,

DEWALT ATOMIC 20V MAX* Hammer Drill, Cordless, Compact, 1/2-Inch, 2 Batteries (DCD709C2)

This hammer drill from DeWalt comes to you as a complete kit. You get an Atomic 20V Max* brushless compact drill, two 20V Max* batteries, a charger, a belt clip, plus a sturdy carrying bag.

It has a switch, so you can easily change from the hammer drill mode to the standard drill mode, according to the job in hand. It features speed control via the variable speed trigger allowing precision if you’re working on delicate materials. The ratcheting chuck means that it delivers excellent gripping power on whatever bit you use, whether you are drilling into concrete, brickwork, wood, or metal, you are sure to finish the job in a short time.

Some thought has gone into the manufacture of this drill inasmuch as the handle has been ergonomically designed to increase the user’s comfort level, balance, and control of the tool.

• Voltage: 20V
• Chuck Size: 1/2-inch
• # of speeds: 2
• Battery: Lithium-Ion (2 batteries included)
• Weight: 2.5lbs

What we love
The drill comes complete with two batteries and a charger, in a tool bag
It’s a lot lighter than other drills and the front flashlight is a plus
You can use it as a hammer drill or a standard drill

We don’t like this as much
It takes a bit of effort, possibly both hands, to switch from speed 1 to speed 2
Not having a battery level indicator is a disappointment

Sale
DEWALT ATOMIC 20V MAX* Hammer Drill, Cordless, Compact, 1/2-Inch, 2 Batteries (DCD709C2)
  • Hammer functionality of DEWALT 20V hammer drill enables users to complete masonry drilling applications.
  • The cordless hammer drill is compact at only 6.9-inch front to back designed to fit in tight spaces
  • Lightweight at only 2.5 lbs.
  • LED foot light for superior visibility
  • Variable speed trigger allows for control and precision on delicate work surfaces

5. Makita XPH12Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 1/2″ Hammer Driver-Drill

Makita XPH12Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 1/2' Hammer Driver-Drill, Tool Only

Makita is at the forefront of brushless motor technology, and their XPH12Z model of cordless hammer drills brings you not only power, but excellent run-time for drilling, and fastening jobs whether it be in wood or metal, or concrete delivering 530 in.lbs. of torque, and up to 2,000 rpm. This hammer drill is equipped with Makita’s “Star Protection Controls”, allowing data transfer between the battery and the drill protecting the tool from any overload, overheating, and over-discharge.

The two speeds are controlled by a slide on top of the drill and via the variable speed trigger. The low speed will give you 0-500rpm, and the high speed gives you 0-2,000rpm. The clutch dial can be rotated to select changeable torque settings to match the job at hand. Having a brushless motor means that it can adjust the torque, running time, and therefore the power used. For example, if you are drilling into concrete, the drill will automatically increase power while reducing speed.

• Voltage: 18V
• Chuck Size: 1/2-inch
• # of speeds: 2
• Battery: Lithium-Ion (not included)
• Weight: 2.9lbs

What we love
It’s smaller and lighter than previous models, but just as powerful
It’s great having a drill, driver, and masonry hammer drill all in one tool
Easy to work with because it’s lightweight

We don’t like this as much
A few users report it gets stuck in hammer mode, but eventually corrects itself
The handle could be a little more sturdy, otherwise a good drill

Makita XPH12Z 18V LXT Lithium-Ion Brushless Cordless 1/2" Hammer Driver-Drill, Tool Only
  • BL Brushless motor delivers 530 in.Lbs. Of max torque
  • Efficient BL Brushless motor is electronically controlled to optimize battery energy use for up to 50% longer run time per charge
  • The BL Brushless motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL motor to run cooler and more efficiently for longer life
  • The electronically-controlled BL Brushless motor efficiently uses energy to match torque and RPM to the changing demands of the application
  • Variable 2-speed design (0-500 & 0-2,000 RPM) (0-7,500 & 0-30,000 BPM) covers a wide range of drilling, driving and hammer applications

6. Makita XRH04Z 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion Cordless 7/8″ Rotary Hammer

Makita XRH04Z 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion Cordless 7/8' Rotary Hammer, accepts SDS-PLUS bits, Tool Only

The Makita XRH04Z model is an 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion powered rotary hammer drill that delivers efficient, fast percussive drilling. It has three operation modes—Rotation only, Rotation with hammering, and hammering only, giving you the best options available. It also incorporates a 7/8-inch SDS-Plus chuck so using the drill in hammer mode only with a chisel bit will make short work of any chipping or removal of surface material.

The variable-speed motor can deliver 0-1200 rpm and 0-4000 BMP. It features synchronized RPM and BPM giving efficient drilling while drilling at twice the speed, plus the integrated torque limiter clutch will disengage if the bit gets stuck.

One handy little feature is the shock-absorbing handle that helps reduce vibration, plus the depth gauge that attaches to the drill for precise drilling.

• Voltage: 18V
• Chuck Size: 7/8-inch
• # of speeds: variable
• Battery: Lithium-Ion (not included)
• Weight: 7.7lbs

What we love
This is a MONSTER drill. It drills through concrete and masonry like butter
Works great drilling anchor holes in concrete and block, and for chipping away brickwork
It has loads of power and makes light work of removing tiles

We don’t like this as much
Because it isn’t brushless, it does use up the battery fairly quickly
Problems have been reported with the clutch failing after drilling continuously

Makita XRH04Z 18V LXT® Lithium-Ion Cordless 7/8" Rotary Hammer, accepts SDS-PLUS bits, Tool Only
  • Makita-built variable speed motor delivers 0-1,200 RPM and 0-4,000 BPM
  • 3-mode operation for "Rotation Only", "Hammering with Rotation" or "Hammering Only" for multiple applications
  • Torque limiting clutch engineered to prevent gear damage by automatically disengaging gears if the bit binds
  • Faster drilling with synchronized RPM and BPM
  • Job site tested shock absorbent handle protects the battery housing for extra durability

7. BOSCH GSB18V-490B12 18V EC Brushless 1/2 In. Hammer Drill/Driver Kit

BOSCH GSB18V-490B12 18V EC Brushless 1/2 In. Hammer Drill/Driver Kit with (1) 2.0 Ah SlimPack Battery

This brushless hammer drill from Bosch, model # GSB18V-490B12, comes as a kit, complete with ½ inch hammer drill/driver, an 18V 2.0Ah battery and charger, plus accessories, and a carrying bag. It has been made to handle the toughest of jobs from metal, to concrete and masonry with a clutch that has 20+1 settings, you will have fewer damaged screw heads, overtightening will be reduced, and the drill will last longer.

The efficient EC brushless motor can generate 1940 In.lbs. of torque with a no-load of 0-22,000 bpm. Its two-speed gearbox has a variable speed trigger delivering 0-460 rpm in high-torque mode and 0-1,800 rpm in high-speed drill mode. The chuck is capable of taking bits up to 1/2-inch and has been upgraded to all-metal giving excellent hold on the bit and torque transfer.

This drill is light enough to be able to clip it to your tool belt as you work on the go.

• Voltage: 18V
• Chuck Size: 1/2-inch
• # of speeds: 2
• Battery: Lithium-Ion (included)
• Weight: 2.4lbs

What we love
Having lights that tell you how much charge is left in the battery is a great idea
A very powerful drill with all the features a DIY enthusiast may need
This drill comes with a battery, charger, drill bits, bit holder, belt clip, and carrying case

We don’t like this as much
The extra bit holder can’t be attached to the drill
Users have reported some problems with the chuck sticking when opening or closing

Sale
BOSCH GSB18V-490B12 18V EC Brushless 1/2 In. Hammer Drill/Driver Kit with (1) 2.0 Ah SlimPack Battery
  • Powerful hammer drill/driver design – made with a brushless motor to deliver runtime and power for tough applications
  • EC Brushless motor – efficient power that delivers 490 In. -Lbs. of torque and outstanding runtime
  • Precision clutch with 20 plus 1 settings – provides driving accuracy for reduced fastener damage
  • All-metal chuck – for more durability, along with first-rate bit retention
  • Great impact-to-weight ratio – weighs just 2. 4 Lbs. , but delivers 0-22, 000 bpm

In conclusion.

You won’t find hammer drills or rotary hammer drills in many garages, tool sheds, or home workshops, but they do have their purpose. The average home improvement project usually doesn’t require the power of a hammer drill, since most homes today have timber studs and drywall so drilling into a wall to hang shelves etc., can be done perfectly well with a standard drill.

Where the cordless hammer drill comes into its own is when you have to drill into the outside wall, which is probably concrete block or brick. An ordinary drill, fitted with a masonry bit may do the job, but it will take longer to complete compared to a hammer drill, and you run the risk of burning out the motor if the material you are drilling into is particularly dense. A hammer/rotary hammer drill on the other hand has the power to “eat” its way into concrete or brick with ease.

Hammer drills, if they have a hammer-only mode setting, can be used not just for drilling holes, but also, with a chisel bit, for other tasks like breaking up concrete, removing tiles, and loosening compacted soil, etc.

Whatever your home project is, it is worth considering investing in a cordless hammer drill if your budget can run to the cost.