The Bosch RH228VC 1-1/8-Inch SDS-plus Rotary Hammer is our best rotary hammer in which you can perform any operation with its 3 modes: drilling only, chiseling or hammer drilling. Its gear housing is made of sturdy metal so it can last long for industrial use and it also reduces vibration greatly due to its counter-balance technology that reduces vibration in the hammer mechanism for a lower fatigue experience. The torque reaction is minimized thanks to its integral clutch and you can store the tool more conveniently due to its hammer hook feature. Moreover, it has a drilling capacity of 1 1/8 inches.
Our step-up pick is the Bosch RH328VC 1-1/8-Inch SDS Rotary Hammer and it weighs only 7.7 lbs so it is very convenient to lift around. It also uses variable speed with a three-finger trigger so you can accurately adjust your preferred tool speed and you can select your preferred use with its multi-function selector: hammer only, rotation only or rotary hammer mode. It uses a vibration control in its hammer mechanism to prevent user fatigue from worsening and it has an impact energy of 2.6 ft lbs, slightly higher than our top pick and hence the high price. The drilling capacity is 1 1/8 inches and it runs with an 8-amp motor while the torque reaction is also minimized with its integral clutch.
The budget pick is the Hitachi DH22PG 7/8-inch SDS Rotary Hammer and you can choose between two operational modes: hammer-drilling and drill only. The motor runs at 5.4 amps of power and it can be used on small and narrow spaces and even on overhead drilling operations due to its slim design and lightweight feel. Prevent your gears from being damaged due to its slip clutch. It has a drilling capacity of 7/8 inch and it can drill most 5/32 inch and 3/16 inch holes required. It is backed by a 1 year limited warranty.
Table of Contents
- A Little Background
- How we picked
- Our pick
- Flaws but not dealbreakers
- Step-up Pick
- Budget Pick
- Rotary Hammer with Shocks
- Rotary Hammer with Pistol Grip Design
- Best Brushless Motor Rotary Hammer
- Best Corded Electric Rotary Hammer
- Rotary Hammer with Litheon Batteries
- Rotary Hammer with Quick Change Chuck
- Rotary Hammer with Case
- The Competition
- Other Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping it up
A Little Background
A tougher tool than a regular hammer drill is a rotary hammer, which is designed for precision and bigger concrete drilling and power. In fact, most people who regularly use hammer drills may sometimes switch to a rotary hammer for better performance and for larger projects.
However, because a rotary hammer only accepts expensive SDS or Slotted Drive Shank type bits, these are not the tools to have if you don’t have a lot of budget. But if you are really serious with your job and you absolutely need better power and accuracy in the long run then you can buy a rotary hammer for yourself or for your industrial day job.
How We Picked
When we chose the best rotary hammer out there, we considered the following in our decision:
The drilling capacity of the rotary hammer is important. You will most likely find a rotary hammer that is capable of drilling from 1 inch and above through concrete and masonry due to its unprecedented power. You should also know the drilling capacity on wood and metal, but that’s just a secondary thing. What you will want to know is the drilling capacity for concrete and masonry, that’s why it’s called a rotary hammer.
There should be at least 3 selectable modes on the rotary hammer. In most cases, a rotary hammer should have 3 options: rotation only, drilling only or both. This sets it apart from regular hammer drills because it can rotate, hence the name rotary hammer.
Tough and durable gear housing should enclose the rotary hammer for better tool longevity. You would not expect a rotary hammer to last long if the casing was not too sturdy or if it was too flimsy. A rotary hammer should be durable but should not sacrifice weight so it will maintain your strength while operating the tool.
The weight of the rotary hammer should be considered as well as the handle design. Even if it is durable, it should also be easy to carry. Ergonomically designed rotary hammers are a big plus for any workers because it reduces their user fatigue and allows them to work for more hours without getting tired and risking hand injuries. Working on any power tool is a stressful activity and this is why they will absolutely need a tool that will not give you too much vibration on your hands while working, so you can focus more on what you are drilling on and not on the numbness of your hands.
A keyless chuck rotary hammer is a big plus for easy bit changing. This is a feature that you will find on most rotary hammers out there and any type of drill for that matter. It is important even if you do spend a bit of extra for easy tool changing. This works well for those who operate rotary hammers for a variety of purposes and have a wide range of bits to choose from for various material operations.
The variable speed ranges of the rotary hammer should also be good for its price. Do know the BPM (blows per minute) as well as the RPM (rotations per minute) which pertain to the impact and speed of the tool respectively. They should be easily set using a dial system on the rotary hammer.
The motor’s power should be reliable to service the rotary hammer itself. Know the amperage of the rotary hammer so that you will know how much power it will give your rotary hammer on any operation whatsoever.
The impact energy of the rotary hammer should be known. It is usually measured in Joules or ft/lbs depending on the unit used and this refers to how much energy or power the rotary hammer can deliver onto your work piece.
Bosch RH228VC 1-1/8-Inch SDS-plus Rotary Hammer
Our best rotary hammer is the Bosch RH228VC 1-1/8-Inch SDS-plus Rotary Hammer in which the torque reaction is minimized thanks to its integral clutch. You can easily store the tool more conveniently due to its hammer hook feature. Furthermore, you can also perform any operation with its 3 modes: drilling only, chiseling or hammer drilling.
With this rotary hammer tool, it greatly reduces vibration greatly due to its counter-balance technology that reduces vibration in the hammer mechanism for a lower fatigue experience. What’s more, the Bosch RH228VC 1-1/8-Inch has a drilling capacity of 1 1/8 inches and the gear housing is made of sturdy metal so it can last long for industrial use when it comes to durability.
The Bosch RH228VC Rotary Hammer has impact energy of 2.4 ft lbs and it gives you a 40 percent faster speed than most rotary hammers out there. The Bosch Rotary Hammer is great for most chiseling and day drilling jobs. It also uses a keyless chuck design for your convenience and the tool weighs 6.9 lbs.
In addition to that, the Bosch RH228VC comes with a power cord that spans at a length of 8 feet and it is rated for use on 120 volts. The core bit capacity is 2.75 inches while the speed at no-load is from 0 to 1,230 RPM and its intensity at no-load is from 0 to 5,460 BPM. In addition to that, the size of the chuck is 3/4 inch (SDS-plus).
The tool also comes with a side handle for your convenience and it also has a convenient reverse switch. What’s more, it steadily runs on a sturdy 8-amp motor and it uses an ergonomic D-handle design so it can be used for overhead operations. Adding to that, the rotary hammer by Bosch has an integral clutch to protect against bind-up situations.
When it comes to flexibility, it comes with a cord turret which can pivot up to 35 degrees. As a matter of fact, you can chisel and lock it for up to 40 various positions. Being backed by a warranty of 1 year and a 30-day money back guarantee, the Bosch Rotary Hammer RH228VC comes with a depth gauge, a carrying case for safety and convenience, an auxiliary handle and the rotary hammer itself.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
Despite being our top pick, some small flaws about the Bosch RH228VC 1-1/8-Inch SDS-plus Rotary Hammer include the fact that it might run a bit too noisy for some people, but it is not a problem if you are looking for extreme power from a durable rotary hammer.
Bosch RH328VC 1-1/8-Inch SDS Rotary Hammer
The Bosch RH328VC 1-1/8-Inch SDS Rotary Hammer is our step-up pick and it uses a vibration control in its hammer mechanism to prevent user fatigue from worsening. As for the ergonomics, it weighs only 7.7 lbs so it is very convenient to lift around. Moreover, it runs with an 8-amp motor.
With this rotary hammer, you can select your preferred use with its multi-function selector: hammer only, rotation only or rotary hammer mode. Adding to that, the torque reaction is also minimized with its integral clutch. It also has impact energy of 2.6 ft lbs, slightly higher than our top pick and hence the high price and it uses variable speed with a three-finger trigger so you can accurately adjust your preferred tool speed. The drilling capacity is 1 1/8 inches with this tool.
The variable speed can be set from 0 to 4,000 BPM on its impact and 0 to 900 RPM on its speed / torque. The Bosch RH328VC Rotary Hammer is rated for 120 volts usage and it also has an auxiliary handle which can be adjusted up to 360 degrees for better flexibility even at the tightest spots and any project deemed possible.
The rotary hammer by Bosch has a keyless chuck design that is SDS-plus while it also comes with a D-handle for your convenience. The max diameter hole for the core bit is 3 1/8 inches while 1 1/8 inches on concrete and the included power cord has a length of 8 feet.
Additionally, it has a 3/4 inch chuck size and it also comes with a carrying case for your convenience. This rotary hammer includes a depth gauge as well and has a core bit capacity of 3.125 inches. Going on down to the specs, the max cutting capacity for wood is 1.125 inches and 0.5 inches in metal while 1.125 inches in concrete.
Indeed, the Bosch RH328VC has one of the best power-to-weight ratios of commercial rotary hammers out there while it also has a reversing feature. In fact, the grip area has padding for better comfort while working with the tool and reduces stress and fatigue all the way. The tool is backed by a 1 year limited manufacturer’s warranty and a 30-day money back guarantee.
Hitachi DH22PG 7/8-inch SDS Rotary Hammer
Our budget pick is the Hitachi DH22PG 7/8-inch SDS Rotary Hammer in which you can prevent your gears from being damaged due to its slip clutch. It can drill most 5/32 inch and 3/16 inch holes required and it has a drilling capacity of 7/8 inch. Moreover, it can be used on small and narrow spaces and even on overhead drilling operations due to its slim design and lightweight feel.
With this awesome rotary hammer, you can choose between two operational modes: hammer-drilling and drill only. In fact, the motor runs at 5.4 amps of power. It has a very compact design in which the motor runs at a power of 620 watts. The Hitachi DH22PG Rotary Hammer is great for overhead drilling.
For now, let us go to the specs. Being rated for use on 120 volts, the rotary hammer has a no-load speed of up to 1,500 RPM. It weighs 4.2 lbs and it has a quick bit insert for easier changing of bits. Moreover, it has a no-load vibration to reduce user fatigue and the wood drilling capacity is 1 inch and 1/2 inch for steel and 7/8 inch for concrete. It has an impact rate of up to 6,200 BPM and it comes with a side handle and a case.
Moreover, it uses an idle strike restrictor to prevent hammering without a load to avoid damaging internal parts. For safety purposes, tri-axial vibration at no-load is at 1.2 m/s2. Being backed by a 1 year limited warranty, this rotary hammer by Hitachi also has a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.
Rotary Hammer with Shocks
DEWALT D25263K D-Handle SDS Rotary Hammer
The DEWALT D25263K D-Handle SDS Rotary Hammer has a drilling capacity of 1 1/8 inches and this rotary hammer delivers 3 joules of impact energy. It uses SHOCKS technology for its vibration control to reduce user fatigue. Most high torque reactions are reduced with this rotary hammer due to its integral clutch.
One thing you need to know about this rotary hammer is the fact that it has a rotating brush ring so you can get the max torque and speed both in reverse and forward motions. Its motor runs at 8.5 amps which is significantly high for a rotary hammer. It accepts SDS+ bits and it also has a D-handle design for an ergonomic grip.
In addition, the side handle can be adjusted up to 360 degrees for total flexibility. The rotary hammer comes with a kit box and a depth rod and weighs 12 lbs. As it is enclosed in a plastic case, the DEWALT D25263K Rotary Hammer delivers incredible power through concrete material. This particular tool is under a 3 year limited warranty.
Rotary Hammer with Pistol Grip Design
Makita HR2611F 1″ Pistol-Grip Rotary Hammer
The Makita HR2611F 1″ Pistol-Grip Rotary Hammer gives you 50 percent faster drilling due to its sequential impact timing technology to make hammering during rotation better and lessen overlapping impacts of the bits. In fact, this rotary hammer uses a patented AVT or anti-vibration technology which greatly reduces vibration in its internal counterbalance system so you get a better and a more comfortable performance overall because the impact vibrations are absorbed by the damper spring at the impact bolt’s base.
Most low light jobs are not a problem due to its illuminating LED work light. The included function selector is recessed for better access and is located below the tool’s gear housing. In fact, you will experience 2x fewer vibrations overall. This particular tool has impact energy of 2.1 ft lbs while the motor runs at 7 amps.
What’s more, the pistol grip design is highly ergonomic for gripping. The Makita HR2611F 1 Rotary Hammer has a drilling capacity of 1 inch and it weighs only 5.7 lbs so it is easy to lift despite being power-packed.
Best Brushless Motor Rotary Hammer
Makita XRH01Z 18V-LXT Brushless Rotary Hammer
Super easy to carry at only 7.2 lbs, the Makita XRH01Z 18V-LXT Brushless Rotary Hammer measures 12 7/8 inches in length with an ergonomic design. It also uses a brushless motor so it conserves energy for up to 50 percent per full charge and it accepts SDS+ type bits.
Due to being a cordless brushless motor rotary hammer, it runs efficiently without the need for carbon brushes. What’s more, its electronic control makes it energy efficient. Adding to that, it uses lithium ion battery (18 volts) for longer lasting tool operation life per charge.
The Makita XRH01Z Rotary Hammer also has a max drilling capacity of 1 inch. Its variable speed control is up to 950 RPM for its speed and 4,700 BPM for its impact. The tool uses 3 modes of operation: hammering with rotation, hammering only and rotation only) and it has an impact delivery of up to 2 Joules.
Overall, the rotary hammer by Makita comes with a helpful depth adjustment guide for accuracy as well as a two-finger trigger for easily switching with comfort. In fact, this Makita rotary hammer is also a Star Protection tool which accepts Star Protection batteries.
Best Corded Electric Rotary Hammer
Milwaukee 5317-21 Rotary Hmr 1-9/16 SDS-Kit
The Milwaukee 5317-21 Rotary Hmr 1-9/16 SDS-Kit is a highly durable rotary hammer and it has a drilling capacity of 1 9/16. The tool accepts SDS Max bits and is rated for 120 volts usage. Moreover, it also comes with a sturdy case for protection. Overall, the Milwaukee SDS-Kit is a greatly priced rotary hammer drill for those who need a regular corded drill.
Rotary Hammer with Litheon Batteries
Bosch 11536VSR Litheon 36-Volt Rotary Hammer
The energy-saving Bosch 11536VSR Litheon 36-Volt Rotary Hammer uses Litheon / lithium ion batteries and it has a drilling capacity of 1 inch. Moreover, this rotary hammer accepts SDS+ bits. The handle can be adjusted up to 360 degrees for great flexibility and the charger fills up the 2 Litheon batteries up to 1 hour for a full charge.
This tool weighs 9 lbs and measures 15 inches in length wherein you can lock the chisel into 36 various positions. What’s more, it runs at 36 volts of power for the 2 Litheon batteries. You can freely choose between hammer only, rotary hammer and rotation only modes. The overall torque reaction is lessened due to the included integral clutch.
In addition, the Bosch 11536VSR Rotary Hammer includes a handy depth gauge for extreme precision and has a voltage of 127V. An extremely ergonomic cordless rotary hammer, it uses ECP or electronic cell protection to protect the rotary hammer from overheating and overloading as well as accidental discharging.
The drilling capacity is 1 1/4 inches in wood, 1 inch in concrete and 1/2 inch in metal while the tool has an auxiliary side handle. It can drill as much as 7.1 in/min which is remarkably faster than competition rotary hammers that are cordless. As a matter of fact, the batteries can quickly reach 80% in only 25 minutes. Going along with the specs, it has a no-load speed of up to 960 RPM and a no-load impact of up to 4,260 BPM while impact energy is at 2.2 ft lbs.
A convenient rotary hammer to consider, the Bosch 11536VSR is backed by a manufacturer’s warranty of 1 year for tool replacement and 2-3 years for free tool repair as well as a 2 year warranty for the batteries. It includes a carrying case as well for your ease.
Rotary Hammer with Quick Change Chuck
DEWALT D25324K Rotary Hammer w/Quick-Change Chuck
This rotary hammer, the DEWALT D25324K Rotary Hammer w/Quick-Change Chuck, accepts SDS bits and can deliver up to 2.8 Joules of impact energy and it uses a variable speed trigger with a dial control. You can set the speed from 0 to 1,150 RPM or set the impact from 0 to 4,300 BPM. The tool conveniently gives you 50 percent less vibration compared to competitor rotary hammers using its Shocks Active Vibration Control technology.
Chipping and drilling are made easier due to its 8-amp motor which also has protective measures against overloading. Easily select between rotary, rotary hammer and chiseling modes and easily shift between wood and metal drilling due to the quick change chuck. The side handle has a 360 degree action for better flexibility and the tool is easy to carry along at only 7.8 lbs of weight and 12.1 inches of length.
With the specs, the DEWALT D25324K has a max drilling capacity of 1 inch and the fastener removal is a breeze due to the reversing feature to set you free from bind-up moments. It also has a convenient dust extraction system to keep things clean and well-maintained in your workplace.
In addition to that, the special feature about the DEWALT D25324K Rotary Hammer is that it comes with a quick change chuck for easier operations. The tool runs at 120 volts 60 Hz and the warranty is 3 years limited for materials and workmanship and 2 years for service warranty as well as a 90-day money back guarantee. Moreover, the rotary hammer by DEWALT comes with a user’s manual, a storage box, the rotary hammer and a quick change chuck.
Rotary Hammer with Case
Metabo KHE-D28 8.2 Amp Rotary Hammer
The Metabo KHE-D28 8.2 Amp Rotary Hammer is a great rotary hammer to consider in which the carbon brushes have an auto-stop feature. In fact, this rotary hammer also has an anti-clockwise or reverse rotation feature and it also has a torque limiting clutch that is S-automatic.
Going on with the specs, it has a drilling capacity of 1 1/8 inches while the torque of this rotary hammer is 124 in lbs. Its motor is sturdy at 8.2 amps of power. It accepts most SDS type bits and it also comes with a handy case. The drilling capacity using hammer drill bits on concrete is 1 1/8 inches while 2 9/16 inches on masonry with core bits.
Being rated for use on 120 volts, the Metabo KHE-D28 Rotary Hammer weighs 12 lbs while its ball bearing motors run from 4 to 15 amps. It also uses a winding protection grid and it uses an electronic speed control (full wave) using VTC or Vario Tacho Constamatic technology. The quick tool change system makes it easier and more convenient to use. The tool is currently backed by a 1 year standard warranty which can be extended up to 3 years with an online registration of the product.
From the rest of the competition, we chose the following rotary hammers because unlike the rest, they excelled in terms of speed and impact delivery. It is essential for a rotary hammer to be an all-around tool when it comes to drilling speed and drilling force in the big picture.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the difference between a rotary hammer and a hammer drill?
A: According to Electrical Contractor Mag , in general, rotary hammers require more expensive bits such as the slotted drive shank or SDS bits and chucks, which ideally makes them more expensive than regular hammer drills.
In addition to that, most hammer drills are for regular concrete breaking but rotary hammers are designed for heavy duty work. In point of fact, bit slippage is almost none when it comes to operating a rotary hammer due to the unique design of the SDS chuck and bit system.
Q: What you should you consider when using a rotary hammer?
A: According to For Construction Pros , it is recommended that you do not force the tool too much and let it do its job. You should always be alert on its warning lights if it shows some signs of problems. What’s more, the bit shank should be greased every time you change the bits so it does not result to the decrease in the productivity. You should always clean up debris and dirt after drilling and you must consider the material and hammer size first before deciding on a bit size. In fact, the greasing should be done only with recommended grease by the manufacturer. Remember these safety tips and you will have a great operation with your rotary hammer.
Wrapping It Up
Overall, the Bosch RH228VC 1-1/8-Inch SDS-plus Rotary Hammer is our best rotary hammer when it comes to overall reliability, impact, speed and usefulness on concrete and masonry work.