10 Best Rotary Hammers: Reviews & Editorial Ratings

If you don’t pick out the best tools for either your DIY or professional jobs, there is a high probability that you might end up messing it up. The same is the case when rotary hammers are involved. You might struggle through drilling that large concrete slab for no good reason. Do your research well before purchasing a model, and working on your projects will definitely be more comfortable.

Our Top 3 Picks

Bosch
  • Bosch
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Durable
  • Price: See Here
Dewalt
  • Dewalt
  • 4.6 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Quality
  • Price: See Here
Makita
  • Makita
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Portable
  • Price: See Here

This means you will be having a field day whenever you put the tool to use. After all one of the fundamental requirements of a working tool is ease of use. Listed below are some other qualities you should be on the lookout for in rotary hammers.

  • Build quality – Being a power tool, the rotary hammer is likely to get damaged if it is not made from quality materials. There is a lot of shock involved in its use, and this may result in breakages. Being that these tools are sometimes expensive, you should ensure they remain a one-off purchase by getting a quality tool that will last long in the first place.
  • Handling – The best tools make it easier for the owner to use them. Other factors come into play here such as the body size and strength of the user. Don’t buy a hammer drill that is too difficult for you to use. There are no two ways about it since tools are supposed to be both functional and beneficial to the owner. Of course, if it is going to be used by more than one person, all the individuals involved should be considered.
  • Features – The more features a tool has, the This makes them more versatile in their use. However, when you get down to it, you realize that more often than not these features affect the overall design of the hammer. Once you get a nice little balance between features and design, you have found the right tool. Note down your needs and how you plan to use the device, and you could see which features are redundant and which ones are most useful.
  • Warranty terms – There are cases where tools break within the first few days of use due to mistakes made by the manufacturer or some other reason. If you have a comprehensive warranty, you have the option of shipping back the product and having it repaired for free or even getting a new one that is not as defective. Of course, this does not mean that you should go about breaking the tool. It just means that you have more options if there is some defect on the device.
  • Affordability – If you have to go through all your savings to get a tool then you are probably doing it wrong. The right tool will not ask for too much money from you. There are so many rotary hammers out there that finding one you can afford is not that much of an uphill task. Confirm how much money you have to spare beforehand, and that should help in the decision-making

Considering the above is just a stepping stone. There are way too many options out there that it can be easy to make a wrong decision. We have elected to minimize that risk for you by bringing you closer to some viable options.

Listed below are the ten best rotary hammers and make no mistake we did not make this list lightly. It is the product of a lot of research and comparison between the options available. Here are the best ten.

10 Best Rotary Hammers

 

1. Bosch 11255VSR

1. Bosch 11255VSR
As far as features go this unit holds its own with an impressive array of them. Even if you were to measure it by popularity standards more and more people seem to prefer this model over others. There has to be something that they see in the tool that makes it so lovable. As you would expect of a machine in our number one spot, it has an ergonomic D-handle. By that metric comfort and ease of use seem to rank very highly on the manufacturer's list of things to include in their tools.
Nonetheless, that is not the most impressive thing about this tool. Two other features hold that title at least according to us. They are:

A powerful motor – Power is a requirement for rotary hammers, and the 11255VSR isn’t left behind in that respect. The tool produces a maximum number of 1300 rotations per minute, and you can adjust the speed depending on the current project. The number of blows per minute (BPM) is significantly higher totaling at a maximum of 5800 BPM. This type of motion is powered by the 7.5 amp motor in the tool. Also interesting is the force that each blow delivers when it hits either the concrete or tiles. 2.0ft./lbs is quite an impact and is enough to break through most surfaces.

SDS-plus bit system – You never need to use any tools to change your bits in-between jobs. The Bosch Bulldog automatically locks bits when you put them in and ensures maximum impact energy transfer. Again this is important because the force of the impact influences how long you are going to spend with each job.

There are other exciting features in this versatile tool. It allows you to choose between three available working modes. The rotation only mode which reduces it to just a drill, the hammer mode and finally the rotary hammer one.

Expand to see more
Product Features

Three modes of operation: Rotation, hammer, and rotary hammer
7.5 amp motor
1300 RPM and 5800 BPM maximum motion
Ergonomic handle.
Variable speed trigger
Automatic bit locking
Dust protection.
Maximum impact energy transfer.

Who is it for?

The Bulldog is perfect for DIYers who tend to work on a lot of home projects. Also if you are a professional who frequently works on in-house projects this tool will do the job. However, if you overload it with projects like commercial driveways and reinforced concrete, it won’t last very long. The price is between low to moderate, so it should be an affordable addition and well worth the money.
Pros

Fairly easy to use

Easily cuts through concrete

Durable and long lasting

Cons

The tool is perfect for house jobs, but commercial uses tend to put a strain on it

2. DEWALT D25263K

2. DEWALT D25263K
In second place is a unit by DEWALT but being a market leader in power tools, you can expect more rotary hammers by the same manufacturer on our list. It is one of the most highly rated tools by people who have used it before. It is currently not as popular as the one in the number one spot and what makes that difference is the price. If you decide to go with this option, it is almost a guarantee that you will love what it can do. Of course, some of you won’t like it, but we can likely chalk that off to your needs being different and not a failure on the tool’s part.

However, it is possible that it might happen so it wouldn’t be wise to rule out that possibility altogether.

The 8.5 amp motor is a high-performance one and will offer a long time of service. What is most impressive in the D25263K are the following two features.

Vibration control – If left unchecked the vibrations caused by the device can be quite uncomfortable and strenuous on the hands of the user. They may even cause an injury if the person doesn’t have that much body strength to hold the tool in place. The vibration control reduces the stress on the user’s hands and makes it all the more comfortable to use. With this feature having a lot of upper body strength won’t be a requirement for those hoping to use the tool.

Integral clutch – Whenever a bit jams because it has met an obstacle it can be catastrophic. The rotary hammer might sustain damage if the user wasn’t prepared for it. Of course, in most cases, this will happen suddenly and unexpectedly, so there is barely any time to react. The aforementioned clutch responds rather quickly reducing the likelihood of the gears getting damaged.

An integrated rotating brush ring ensures that there is full torque whether the tool is going forward or reverse. Also, the impact energy for each hit is three joules. Chipping and drilling will remain fast-paced as a result.
Expand to see more
Product Features

3 joules impact energy
Rotating brush ring
Vibration control
An integral clutch which helps reduce any high torque reactions caused by the bit jamming
8.5 amp motor

Who is it for?

Not so different than the Bulldog in the first place but there is that price disparity of about sixty dollars.

Nonetheless not the tool you want to pick out for extremely heavy duty jobs as the lifespan will shorten dramatically. Quality and build are good, so you should be able to rely on the D25263K for some home projects.
Pros

Durable and high quality

Easily drills through concrete

Very lightweight and easy to carry

The anti-vibration makes handling a pleasure

Cons

Not suited to heavy duty jobs

3. Makita XRH05Z

3. Makita XRH05Z
If you are looking for the most portable tool to bring with you everywhere, then this is probably it. By far the most impressive feature about it is that you don’t need to attach it to a socket for it to function. This makes the job incredibly convenient, and even loss of power does not have to slow you down. Even so, you don’t sacrifice much of the power just because it uses batteries. An L.E.D display was somewhat of a requirement after including the two batteries that power the device. It shows the current charge level for each battery so that you know when you are about to run out.

Some other key features we couldn’t help but like are the following.

Torque limiting clutch – Once the bits get caught up there is a possibility of damage to the gear which will, in turn, make the tool useless. Repairs or even buying a new one will cost you lots of money if this happens. Luckily this device has that covered by using the torque limiting feature to prevent damage. The process of detecting a stuck bit and limiting the clutch is automatic, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Ergonomic soft grip
– We agree that this is not an impressive feature on its own. After all, lots of other devices have ergonomic grips, and it just means that manufacturers care about their users. Hand fatigue is common, and if they can do anything to reduce it, their customers appreciate them all the more. In addition to this grip, the vibration absorbing handle also comes in handy. The vibration also contributes to strain and forces the user to exert a lot of energy. Reduction of this vibration adds a lot to the overall comfort of using the tool.

The Makita XRH05Z has a 3.0-joule impact. Other statistics of how it performs include the 0-1,250 RPM and the 0-5000 BPM.
Expand to see more
Product Features

One-touch sliding chuck which helps change bits quickly
L.E.D battery charge indicator
Torque limiting clutch
Three different operation modes
Dual batteries

Who is it for?

The portability comes at a price that some may not be willing to pay. This is almost twice that of its predecessors on this list. Given the quality, if you have the funds, you would be wise to get this tool.
Pros

Portable

Excellent build quality

Powerful despite the small build

Performs quite well on medium to heavy duty work

Cons

It is a rather expensive tool

4. Bosch RH328

4. Bosch RH328
This Bosch hammer is quite expensive but yet it stands as a fan favorite. You will find that it has a lot of crucial features that justify the price range. At this juncture, we have already established that it is essential that the tool be comfortable for the user and the RH328 doesn’t disappoint. You get vibration reduction that makes the whole drilling experience smoother. Two independent elements make this possible. One functions in the impact mechanism while the other is in the handle with the rubber dampening additions. On to other very likable features, the Bosch RH328 spots the following.

Powerful motor – The more power there is, the faster jobs will get done. Not only that, the manufacturer boasts of excellent power to weight ratio. This means that the impact was calibrated to be the most effective for the weight of the tool. The RH328 weighs a total of 7.7 pounds. The impact energy also stands at 2.6 ft./lbs.

More control – The maximum speed that this unit by Bosch can operate at is 4000 BPM and 900 RPM, But you can either use it at maximum or below by using the variable speed trigger. Only you know the amount of speed and torque you would need for each assignment. The three finger trigger helps you retain control of the tool while on the job.

There are three working modes to choose from which seem typical to a lot of rotary hammers. The hammer only mode, the rotation only and the rotary hammer one. Each one is more suited to specific tasks than others. Having worked with the RH328 for a while, you will get a feel for the mode to use for each new job.
Expand to see more
Product Features

Vibration control
Minimizing of the torque reaction by an integral clutch
Three modes with a mode selector
Variable 3-finger trigger control mechanism
Powerful 8.0 amps motor
One year limited warranty

Who is it for?

The tool comes in at under $300 without accessories which makes it one of the more expensive ones on our list. If you are prepared to pay the money, then this tool is worth having around whether you are a professional or not.
Pros

Comes with a storage case

Great handling

Drills through concrete quite easily

Cons

The tool is a bit heavy

5. DEWALT DCH273P2

5. DEWALT DCH273P2
Another unit that is battery powered features on our list this time by DEWALT. Just like the Makita XRH05Z this unit also uses two batteries. Each of them is a 20V max 5.0ah battery. This makes the tool very convenient to use and carry around. If you’re thinking about storage and hanging, it has a retractable hook that you can use to keep it in your garage or workshop. Despite being built for convenience, it seems that quality was not to be sacrificed. Below are two of the reasons why we think so.

Brushless motor – Despite being very powerful for a battery operated gadget, the DCH273P2 also makes sure that your tool will last quite long. The brushless motor ensures that even during projects your use of the tools runs a little bit longer. Also of note is that the brushless motor is more durable than other motors.

Powerful tool – 2.1 joules impact energy is something you would expect only a corded power tool to supply, but the DEWALT offers that amount of power just by incorporating batteries.

You will find that the warranty is also worthy of noting given that you get a three-year coverage from the time you purchase the tool.
Expand to see more
Product Features

Vibration reduction
Two batteries
Brushless motor
2.1 joules impact energy
Retractable hook for hanging and storage

Who is it for?

You pay a lot for this tool, but it is worth it. Professionals no longer have to carry around bulky corded tools if they have this lying around. You will probably get a return on investment in no time.
Pros

Batteries last long

Compact and easy to transport

Light in use

Powerful motor and output

Cons

Quite expensive

6. Makita HR2475

6. Makita HR2475
With a 7.0amp motor, you would think it performs below par in comparison with the other tools using 8.0amps and above. That would be a very wrong assumption. In truth, this tool even performs better than some of the others mentioned above. Some of the design aspects are unique, and they have a practical value that makes the HR2475 more joyous to use. The below two features caught our eyes for all the right reasons.

Torque limiting clutch – Having your bit get caught up while you are trying to drill a hole can sometimes damage the tool you are working with. This is because the device keeps trying to spin the bit either way. The torque limiting clutch recognizes when such a scenario occurs and prevents damage by disengaging the gear.

Sequential impact timing – The hammer has to hit the concrete or rock or whatever you’re drilling into a couple of times to make inroads. Since these are hard surfaces, Makita has optimized how each impact hits the surface to reduce on overlapping. The result is a faster drill time.

The features, however, don’t end there. Included are mechanisms that increase energy transfer which might explain how it performs on par with higher powered gadgets. Also, extended life brushes will ensure your hammer lasts more than a few years.
Expand to see more
Product Features

7.0 amp motor
0-1,100 RPM and 0-4,500 BPM
40-bit angle settings
3-modes of operation
Sequential impact timing
Torque limiting clutch
Ergonomic handle with a soft grip

Who is it for?

This is an all-around tool that you can use either for home projects or even for small commercial ones. The pricing is moderate, and as such, just about everyone can afford it. Also, this is one of the most positively reviewed gadgets, so the manufacturer is definitely doing something right.
Pros

Sturdy and well made

Drills easily through concrete

Easy and comfortable to use

Torque limiting clutch prevents the device from getting damaged

Cons

The reverse action might be a bit slow which shouldn’t be a deal breaker

7. DEWALT DCH133B

7. DEWALT DCH133B
Does size matter all that much? Not according to this compact edition by DEWALT. In essence, this is a small powerhouse that you can get for moderate pricing. Working in a tight space may end up being just like any other day on the job. It is a battery powered gadget, but most times you will have to get the batteries separate as they are not sold along with the device. Some of the tools best features are as follows.

Powerful impact – A 2.6 joules impact is powerful by any standards. Add the fact that bits spin at a speed of 0-1,500 RPM alongside a BPM of 0-5,500 you get the feeling that it makes light work of concrete.

Brushless motor – These have been known to give rotary hammers a longer lifespan. Get the DCH133B, and you might end up not having to buy another tool for a couple of years. By the time you get to replace it, you will have had more than your return on the initial investment. Also, the tool will adjust the power needs according to the specific job you are working on.

Despite being small, the DCH133B maintains normal high speeds of operation whether you use it alongside big or small bits.
Expand to see more
Product Features

Battery powered brushless motor
2.6-joule impact
Comfortable D-handle
Mechanical clutch

Who is it for?

This tool doesn’t have a preferential use scenario. If you are a professional, you can use it. Of course, if you are a DIYer, you can still use it and get the desired results on your home project. Some would call this a bargain due to the features of the tool, but overall it is moderately priced.
Pros

Light as well as powerful

The small size comes in handy when drilling in tight areas

Quite versatile

Cons

Goes through most batteries quickly

8. DEWALT DCH273B

8. DEWALT DCH273B
Some hammers will drain most of your strength whenever the scenario dictates you drill into something above you. They are just too heavy. The DCH273B installment by DEWALT doesn’t have that problem. It is so light that it allows you to drill overhead for as long as you want. Like most of the other units on our list by DEWALT, this device is battery powered. Here are some of the features that help stack it up to other top gadgets.

Brushless motor – The motor reads into how much power is needed whenever it is in use. The more resistance the bit encounters, the more the motor exerts additional power and vice versa. This is a feature that should guarantee a longer lifespan for your tool.

Active Vibration control – There have been situations where professionals and DIYers have been injured by their tool. With this feature in-built you as the owner will probably not have to worry about hurting your hands. That said you should still be cautious while using any power tool.

German engineering has a reputation for producing top-notch products, and the DCH273B doesn’t disappoint.
Expand to see more
Product Features

2.1-joule impact energy
Brushless motor
Active vibration control
Retractable utility hook

Who is it for?

You need to have more than a little change in your pocket if you want this tool. Nevertheless, once you purchase it, you will find it is worth every penny.
Pros

Easy to use

Sturdy and well built

The clutch protects the gear even if a bit jams

Cons

Quite expensive as a drill and the cost increases with buying the batteries

9. Makita HR2811F

9. Makita HR2811F
Work areas that are not well lit sometimes present a challenge. The possibility of drilling in the wrong place is quite high. Makita has decided to include an L.E.D. light in this unit. This way you can take the guesswork out of the equation and drill holes where you want. This is a workhorse that you can use for extended periods of time and still have in tip-top shape. Some quantifiable features that make this tool so great are mentioned below.

Sequential impact timing – Each blow to concrete is timed to give the most substantial impact. With this kind of optimization, the result is 50% faster drilling. Your projects will take a lot less time to finish than they would have otherwise.

Torque limiting clutch – This alongside the extended life brushes extends the life of your device. You, therefore, get more use of the tool and won’t need to go back to shopping for another machine for quite a long time.

If you are going to be using the tool for long periods of time, then the recessed lock-on button might come in handy.
Expand to see more
Product Features

7.0 amp motor
Extended life brushes
L.E.D. light
Torque limiting clutch
Sequential impact timing
3 mode operatioN

Who is it for?

The pricing comes in between moderate to high. For a professional, this would be a great addition to their arsenal of tools. They will, however, have to refrain from using it on massive jobs if they want the HR2811F to last a while.
Pros

Ideal for home and light commercial work

Compact yet powerful

Very low vibration hence a comfort to use

L.E.D. is pretty helpful in some situations

Cons

Using the tool optimally may be a little complicated

10. Bosch Professional Gbh 18 V-26 F

10. Bosch Professional Gbh 18 V-26 F
In the last place is this edition by Bosch. As you can probably tell from the name, the product is aimed at the professional market. It is therefore equipped to handle a regular commercial project. The manufacturer even claims a 50% boost in power for the impact force. Seemingly this tool has most components necessary to feature much higher up on our list except one. That is social proof. Not many people have used it enough to give good reviews. This is certain to change over time. Some of its cool features include:

Optional integrated dust collector – Spend a little bit extra money on this gadget, and you can do away with your dust masks.

Kickback control – Your hands are protected by the machine’s kickback system so you can concentrate on what’s important; drilling those holes.

Being a professional tool does not mean you cannot use it for home projects.
Expand to see more
Product Features

Brushless motor
Kickback control
Electronic precision control
Optional dust collection

Who is it for?

It would be preferential if professionals could get it. Nonetheless, this does not lock out anyone else as long as they can pay the high price for the machine.
Pros

Durable construction

Low vibration

Easy to use

Cons

The unit is corded so you can only use where there is a socket

Tips on how to use rotary hammer drills

Keep periods of use short

All rotary hammer drills produce some vibration. If you use them for extended periods of time, there is a likelihood that you might damage your hands in the process. For your safety keep each work period to a minimum, so your hands have enough time to rest and recover.

Also, put on some gloves as they will act as an extra protective layer even though the overall difference is small.

Pay attention to your work and how the tool feels

Any slight attention deficit could lead to an accident. Remember these are power tools and they can easily cause injury or cause damage to something. An example is when a bit jams.

If you pay attention, you will quickly notice and turn the hammer off. If you don’t, you will only realize when it is too late, and the gadget is damaged. Of course, some of these tools have in-built mechanisms to guard against this.

Turn it off before placing it down

Even after you turn the tool off, you should wait until the bit stops spinning before placing it elsewhere. You don’t want it drilling into anything else rather than what you had intended, do you?

FAQs

Can you use a rotary hammer drill like a regular drill?

It all depends on the make and model of the tool. As you will notice above some of the models, have three working modes. These are hammer mode, rotation mode, and rotary hammer mode. The rotation mode can, in fact, work as a drill, but you need to be careful with the application.

Is it possible to drill into concrete without this tool?

It is possible in some cases if you use a regular drill. However, if you get down to it, you are dramatically shortening the lifespan of your tools if you keep on doing it.

Is there an absolute best option?

No, there is not. It all depends on what use you have in store and some other factors. What you perceive as the best may not be liked by someone else. If you get to use multiple gadgets like these, you will realize they all have their upsides and downsides. Do your research well, and you are bound to find the perfect fit for you.

Conclusion

Use safe practices once you have one of the above gadgets in your hands. Also, let us know how much this list helped you in selection. We appreciate any feedback you could give.