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Impact driver or hammer drill for drilling concrete?

Hokuto's picture

As the last item in my house do-over, I've got to rebuild a set of outdoor stairs. Some of the support posts will be attached via expanding anchors to holes I'll drill in a concrete retaining wall. For drilling in the concrete I have an almost new electric hammer drill and a pneumatic impact wrench (for which I would buy a Cowen chuck). Which would you prefer for this application?

 

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". . . and only the stump, or fishy part of him remained."

An impact wrench isn't for (post #205052, reply #1 of 17)

An impact wrench isn't for drilling.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

That's true, Dan, but to (post #205052, reply #2 of 17)

That's true, Dan, but to borrow a line from Apollo 13,

"I don't care what anything was designed to do, I care
about what it can do."

I've never used a Cowan chuck, but it looks intriguing.

 

 

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". . . and only the stump, or fishy part of him remained."

But an impact wrench has no (post #205052, reply #4 of 17)

But an impact wrench has no hammer action, and relatively little continuous torque.  The "impact" is from a rotating mass hitting a stop on the shaft, intended to provide the instantaneous torque needed to break loose stubborn bolts, etc.

A hammer drill, though it sounds similar, has an action where a mass taps against the end of the shaft, driving the bit into the workpiece.  Completely different.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Hok (post #205052, reply #3 of 17)

I used a Hilti hammer drill for over 25years (we got for free in the 70's when we bought a powder actuated nailer) .  It has sat almost idle since I bought a rotary hammer.  There is no comparison in the two.  While you provide the power to get the bit into concrete with the hammer drill, the rotary hammer does this for you.  In fact, leaning into/onto a rotary hammer is the wrong way to do it.

For ease of operation, nothing compares.  Hard concrete presents no majoy challenge.  If I was drilling anywhere close to very many holes of most any size (including tapcons), I'd buy or rent one.

I'd compare it to the difference in ease of driving screws with a screwgun and an impact driver.

 

 

So, if the modification you are thinking comes close to doing that, have at it.

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Since you already have an (post #205052, reply #5 of 17)

Since you already have an electric hammer drill, why don't you put a bit in it and try drilling a hole? Most likely you'll find that this process takes relatively little time or effort. Continue on, drilling all the holes needed. Then use the money you'd otherwise spend on the other tool to purchase some cold ale, sit back, and enjoy not having another tool to store. 

"Then use the money you'd (post #205052, reply #6 of 17)

"Then use the money you'd otherwise spend on the other tool to purchase some cold ale, sit back, and enjoy not having another tool to store."

Blasphamy!

I can't hear you.

I can't hear you.

I can't hear you.

I can't hear you.

For only $20, I think you owe (post #205052, reply #7 of 17)

For only $20, I think you owe it to us to buy the chuck them report back to us as to how well it worked.  Don't bother with the hammer drill, it's only good for holes up to 1/4" done once in a great while.  A rotary hammer makes holes in concrete like you expect it to be done - quick and efficient.  I takes about 5 seconds for my Bosch Bulldog to do what took 5 minutes with a hammer drill.

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!

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Thanks for all the (post #205052, reply #8 of 17)

Thanks for all the suggestions. Being the inveterate bricoleur type that I am, I'm seriously tending toward PaulCP's suggestion,
just out of the sense of curiosity. Looking at the video on the Cowan chuck website, it appears to work pretty well. My only worry is about the tightness of the chuck on the 1/2" shaft of the impact wrench; if it wobbles it could make for somewhat sloppy holes.

 

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". . . and only the stump, or fishy part of him remained."

As long as the tip goes (post #205052, reply #9 of 17)

As long as the tip goes somewhat where you want it you should be fine.  Drilling concrete without a precision diamond encruseted coring bit is ALWAYS a little inexact.  The expanding anchors eat up the slop when they expand.

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!

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In that sense, a tiny bit of (post #205052, reply #10 of 17)

In that sense, a tiny bit of slop might even be an advantage.

 

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". . . and only the stump, or fishy part of him remained."

Bosch Bulldog +1 Have (post #205052, reply #11 of 17)

Bosch Bulldog

+1

Have one with the spine drive - will put a 1 in dia hole thru an 8" wall in about 3 minutes, would take all day with a hammer drill.  Air impact with star bit would even be faster than hammer drill. 

Drilled a horizontal 1/2" hole back in 1965 thru a 12" concrete wall using plain 1/2" drill.  Took about 1-1/2 hour, sure would have liked to have had a rotary hammer back then... had to lay a ladder on the floor against the opposite wall to get enough of a grip to put force on the drill...

I think the impact driver (post #205052, reply #12 of 17)

I think the impact driver does not show a hammer action..And i feel that the hammer drill can do it..Enev though it sounds similar a bit..And i think hammer drill is the better option for this..

Time to go down to Harbor (post #205052, reply #13 of 17)

Time to go down to Harbor Freight, and invest the $75 they want for a real roto-hammer. Make sure the model has a selection that will hammer AND drill at the same time (they have some models that only drill OR chisel).

The go to the box store and buy a Bosch SDS bit the right size.

Stop off at the grocery store and get a turkey baster. You'll use that to blow dust out of the holes you drill.

>>>Stop off at the grocery (post #205052, reply #14 of 17)

>>>Stop off at the grocery store and get a turkey baster.

AhHA! Didn't know about that trick. Thanks.

Harbor What? (post #205052, reply #15 of 17)

Sure, just point me toward the nearest Harbor Freight. . .  here in Japan ;)

I still haven't started the project, by the way. Too many other things on the plate right now. I'm probably going to have to hire a real carpenter to do it.

 

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". . . and only the stump, or fishy part of him remained."

Impact driver or cordless hammer drill? (post #205052, reply #17 of 17)

I want to share my experiences on here about which one is best for drilling concrete? Impact driver or cordless hammer drill? 
 
First, what's the difference?
 
A hammer drill is a drill with a specialized hammer mode that is used when drilling into masonry such as brick, cement, and similar materials. And that is, hammer drill can be use for drilling concrete.
 
Impact drivers have more of a rotary impulse. When driving a light duty fastener, the impact driver will behave like a cordless screwdriver. 
 
Which one? 
 
A cordless hammer drill can be used to drill holes in a wide range of materials and can be used to drive fasteners when used with a bit holder or appropriate power screwdriver bits. 
 
An impact driver is more compact and often lighter, and is primarily used for driving in fasteners.
 
They are wonderful for screws and bolts, but their hammering is purely in the rotating sense, not frontwards as is needed for masonry or concrete. The ideal tool is a rotary hammer for sensible size holes. 
 
Sorry, it's not a  Spam link, just a reference source (https://www.powertoollab.com)  And help me to learn a lot,  Thank you.

If you're going to spam like (post #205052, reply #16 of 17)

If you're going to spam like this you should know at least a little bit about what your talking about.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville