The Best Hammer Drills Combine Power With Precision, Heres Why You Should Add One to Your Toolkit

Theres a lot you can do with a basic corded or cordless drill, but some projects require a little more power. One of the toughest handheld tools you can have in your garage or cabinet is a hammer drill. Many household hammer drills can switch between various settings, making them usable as regular drills, too. But its worth exploring when you should and shouldnt use a hammer drill. The best way to do that is by taking a look at how a hammer drill functions.

Hammer drills are often confused for impact drivers, but they serve wildly different functions. Impact drivers can be used for driving in screws and fasteners, much like regular household drills. When you use a regular drill, even a powerful one, youll often run into times when the motor starts to slow down as it meets resistance. Impact drivers, however, respond to resistance by automatically giving extra power to get the screw into place. Since they deliver an appropriate amount of power, they reduce the risk of stripping screws.

Hammer drills, at least when used in the hammer setting, are not suitable substitutes for drills. As the name suggests, hammer drills use a back and forth hammering motion to power through hard materials like concrete. Theyre great for masonry, but you shouldnt use the hammer setting on wood or for screwing in fasteners. However, many of our favorite hammer drills can switch modes, allowing them to be used as an all-purpose drill and driver. So, while theyre more expensive than the average drill, they can add a lot of value to your lineup of tools.

Weve rounded up some of our favorite hammer drills, including corded and cordless options.