How to maintain your hammer drill to make it shine for a lifetime?

By: John Garcia | Date Posted: January 31, 2022

It’s no secret that power tools are expensive – but also incredibly useful. Helping us finish DIY tasks in no short time and in great quality. But still, with us spending a small fortune on a power tool collection, we sure should do our best not to have them break a year later.

If you start your tool kit with a high-quality power tool and take care of it after every use, you can keep them in good condition for years to come. With a proper maintenance and cleaning routine, it’ll serve you and your kids – and maybe even your grandkids, if you pass them on!

hammer drill

Looking at a good selection, a hammer drill should be a core part of your power toolbox. The hammer drill is one of the most universal tools a handyman or DIYer can have, with its ability to quickly and reliably drill holes into even the sturdiest of materials.

You can buy different sizes and shapes to align with your different projects. Due to its nature though, soiling is rarely preventable, so here are a few tips on how to maintain a hammer drill properly and extend its life for good:

Tips on How to Maintain your Hammer Drill

The proper cleaning

Drilling tends to produce a lot of dust and debris. Your rotary hammer drill will be covered in construction dust by the end of the day. It doesn’t matter how careful you try to be.

Clean your grill after every project with a dry cotton cloth – however, you might need to use a wipe to remove oil residue or stubborn patches of dust. Use compressed air to remove any deposits that have settled into the air vents from your motor.

The right care

Once the drill is clean, you can begin to apply grease to the SDS mount of the rotary hammer. You only need to do this after every few uses to keep the holder and drill running smoothly. How often can usually be found in the instruction manual – or on the manufacturer’s website.

You should make use of the warranty on your power tools when necessary as well – especially with high-quality tools. If you don’t have a warranty, you can contact the brand and inquire about their professional cleaning services; most of the well-known names offer it.

Sensible storage

All your power tools should be stored in a dry location. After the rough cleaning, they should be placed in their dedicated storage spot. You could build a storage unit with different-sized shelves for each tool.

Store any batteries and attachments in the same spot so you can find them easily. Some power tools come in a sturdy case to protect them. Obviously, do not leave your power tools outside or in an easy-to-reach location if you have children and pets!

Cordless rotary hammer drill

cordless rotary hammer drill

A cordless rotary hammer drill comes with a lithium-ion battery. These batteries are robust and long-lasting if they are maintained and stored correctly.

Keep the batteries in a cool and dry location with their matching chargers. It’s best to charge the battery between 50 and 80% before storing it away. A little charge will protect the cells and stop the deep draining of the battery.

By making sure that you introduce a short but diligent routine after using your power tools, you will have bought yourself a utensil for life. It is only a couple of minutes extra after the initial work – and you will thank yourself in the long run.

What is the Difference between a Hammer Drill versus a Rotary Hammer?

Drilling masonry with a hammer drill or rotary hammer is very effective. However, rotating hammers are more robust and have a “hammer-only” mode. Usually, they are equipped with an SDS chuck, which is better for hammering.

With a regular drill and a masonry bit, you can drill one or two holes in a concrete block, but if you’re drilling multiple holes into 50-year-old concrete, you’ll need something more robust.

Hammer Drills

Hammer Drills

Hammer drills (also called rotary hammer drills) and rotary hammers are powerful machines that are excellent for drilling through masonry. The bit chisels away at the masonry as the hammer drill spins. The difference between these two tools lies in the mechanical process that produces the pounding action.

The two discs of a hammer drill have ridges similar to those on a poker chip. The chuck slams forward and back as the hammer drill discs move past each other.

The discs are separated by a clutch when no force is applied to the chuck. The clutch keeps the chuck in good condition. By switching off the hammering action, hammer drills can be used as regular drills.

Masonry can be done with a hammer drill. Hammer drills are best for drilling holes in brick, mortar, and concrete blocks. However, they can also be used to drill holes in poured concrete.

Hammer drill bits do not have to be expensive, but more expensive bits are usually equipped with better carbide tips, which are more securely attached to the shank to last longer under heavy use.

Tip: Start by drilling a small hole if you need to drill a few larger holes than your drill’s recommended capacity.

Rotary Hammers

Rotary Hammers

Rotary hammers pound with pistons driven by crankshafts. When the piston is driven forward, it creates air pressure within the cylinder, which drives the hammer mechanism. The impact energy generated by rotary hammers is much greater than that from hammer drills.

Because of this, professionals prefer rotary hammers. A rotary hammer also has the advantage of having three settings: drill mode, hammer drill, or just hammer to be used as a mini jackhammer. Rotating hammers are more expensive than hammer drills.

Look for a hammer drill or rotary hammer with the same batteries if you already own cordless tools from the same company. You can sometimes get a cordless tool without a battery cheaper than a corded one.

Thank you for reading!


John is the founder and chief editor of Homienjoy. With over 15 years of experience in the home improvement industry, John is passionate about helping homeowners confidently tackle their projects. Holding a civil engineering degree and working as a contractor, project manager, and consultant, John brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Homienjoy community.

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