How Does a Hammer Drill Work?[Fully Explained]

There are different types of drills used daily, from simple household task to large industrial-scale projects. One type of these drills is called Hammer drills, also known as a percussion drill or an impact drill. It is mainly used in making holes in hard materials like concrete, bricks, or stones. These holes are then usually filled with nails or hooks for respective uses. We will show you all about “how does a hammer drill work”.So, please read the whole article carefully.

how does a hammer drill work

Basic Parts of Drills:

Understand how a Hammer Drill works; it must be broken down to its basic components so that the function of its individual parts may be realized. Only then can how the whole machine functions can be understood. The most common parts of a typical Hammer drill and their functions are listed below:

Rigid Grip

This is where the whole object is held and usually made of plastic. Some have a rubber grip to prevent slippage others have contours for the fingers on the plastic surface.

Speed Control Switches/Trigger

This is where the speed of the drill is controlled. It may have switches for different speed settings or a trigger where the speed increases with how much it is pulled in.

LED light

Modern drills are equipped with an LED light in the front of the body of the drill for better working in poorly lit places.


This is what hold the different types of drill bits or screwdriver bits being used in place.


Inside the casing of the drill a motor is found which a be powered by rechargeable batteries or connected directly to the mains electricity supply depending on the manufacturer. The motor is responsible for providing the chuck its rotation for said drilling.

Do you get your answer of how does a hammer drill work? Not yet?? Then please read through the last of this article.

Caucasian builder worker working with pneumatic hammer drill equipment at construction site. Young builder worker using pneumatic hammer.

The difference in working mechanisms for different Drills

There are usually two types of drills:

  •   A combination drill: These drills can be used both for screwing and drilling.
  •   A Hammer Drill: This drill is especially designed only for drilling.

Both of their working mechanisms are explained below

 A combination drill has two toothed plates interlocking in place. As one of the plates rotates the two plates slide against each other. Since they are toothed as the slide against each other one of the plates rise and stores potential energy in a spring positioned behind the plate. As the plate keeps sliding, they fall back in place, and the potential energy stored in the spring is released, and this impact causes the chuck to move forward. The same process is repeated to produce a forward and backward hammering action.

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As the speed of the rotation can be controlled, several beats may be produced every minute, but this reduces the impact force generated in each beat. This system is compact; thus, the mechanism takes up less amount of space, but because of the limited hammer travel distance and weightless force is delivered to the drill bits.

This may create problems when trying to drill into extra-hard materials. This is where a Hammer drill comes in. This type of drills is designed with one purpose only, to punch holes into substances. In a hammer drill, the hammer mechanism is designed to be completely separated from the rotation mechanism. So, as the shaft inside rotates, the whole weight of the machine is driven into the end of the drill bit.

The system is designed to maintain a lower number of beats per minute, but the force exerted per beat will be significantly higher than what a combination drill may produce. This allows much harder materials to be drilled a limitation for the combination drills. Although combination drills allow both drilling and screwing, it will never be able to replace a hammer drill completely.

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Hammer Drill Bits

The hammer drills are useless without their drill bits. Drill bits are attachments place inside the chuck and secured into place. They come in different shapes and sizes. These attachments used to make the holes in the material being drilled. Therefore, they must be very tough. They are most commonly made of a form of tool steel called High-speed Steel or HSS. This type of steel is very tough and can withstand very high temperatures compared to High-carbon Steel. Some bits have augmentation in them depending on their use. These include from nickel-silver, tungsten carbide inserts to even diamonds.

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