– How to choose the right percussion drill

Those who love doing craft projects or doing various types of work at home, on the terrace or in the garden, may need a percussion drill.

But how to choose between the different models of percussion drills on the market?

How to know which parameters to consider to select the models closest to your needs?

The following is a series of fundamental information to understand what type of drill may be most useful to your needs, thus evaluating elements such as design, power, rotation speed, the presence or absence of accessories and other important features.

First of all, however, it must be emphasized that with the same quality, the choice of a drill model or another can be dictated above all by personal needs or by the preference one can have towards one brand over another for previous knowledge.

For this reason, this wants to be above all an indicative guide to learn how to best evaluate the parameters to be taken into consideration when buying this type of instrument and you do not have the skills and knowledge necessary to evaluate the different elements that distinguish the different models.

The design

The shape and structure of a drill are not only an aesthetic element, but also a parameter to be taken into consideration based on the different needs of use. To understand immediately how the design is closely connected to the functionality of a drill, it will be enough to think of the handle that must be ergonomic, or of the weight, which must not hinder in case of prolonged work in time.

But what are the elements of the drill that together make it possible to create instruments of different shapes and sizes?

First of all, as already mentioned, the handle represents a fundamental element of the drill. Beyond the shape, which must be able to adapt to every type of hand, that is to say small or large hands, it is important that the handle is covered by materials that improve grip, ie grip.

You should therefore check that the handle of the drill has anti-slip plastic materials. Furthermore, for greater convenience, the various ignition, switching off and speed variation commands should be positioned on the handle, so that they can be operated without having to change the position of the hand.

Some drill models are characterized by a double handle that allows greater grip and stability during use.

The second important evaluation should be done on weight. This parameter depends a lot on who uses the drill itself as the various models can be considered light or heavy depending on who uses it and also on the basis of the duration of the work itself.

Beyond the objective weight of the instrument, therefore, what matters is that it is manageable, that is, that the user can use it without tiring himself so as to complete the job without problem.

It should also be noted that usually the lighter models are also the less powerful ones: the dimensions of the engine, in fact, influence the weight of the drill itself. Another element that influences weight is given by the technical characteristics of the drill. The lighter and more compact ones are usually those that are used for small jobs while the heavier models are used for more important interventions.

The power

The power of a drill should be chosen based on the type of work that is customary to do. Depending on this parameter, in fact, it will be possible to drill types of materials or others. It is not just the tip, in fact, that has to change when passing, for example, from a drilling in the wood to that in the metal, but also the power to be given to the drill itself.

Home use models have relatively low powers, which can be around 500 watts in the lightest models. This power can be used for do-it-yourself work, for drilling in wood or for fixing a lamp to the wall.

Who wants to be sure of buying a versatile drill, that is, able to ensure good performance on medium-intensity jobs, such as fixing furniture or pins inside walls, will have to choose models with greater power.

If you opt for solutions with a wattage of between 500 and 1000 you can be sure of a good level drill, even if not necessarily professional. Drills with power exceeding 1000 watts can be considered professional models able to guarantee high performance and punctures on a large number of materials.

The power of the drill, as already highlighted, does not only affect the type of materials that can be drilled, but also other factors, from the rotation speed to the size of the hole. Furthermore, the weight is closely related to the presence of a more powerful engine.

It should be noted that the power indicated is that which is recorded when the drill is idling. The power that instead goes to affect the mandarin, or rather the element on which the points are inserted, is usually half.

Also for this reason, depending on the power of the drill, two different types of mandarins can be noticed: rack or self-locking.

The first is typical of professional models, as it ensures a more precise grip. The self-locking mandarin, on the other hand, is more practical and faster and is often installed on smaller power drills.

The speed of rotation

The speed of rotation is very important but you should not necessarily think that the fastest drills are necessarily the best ones. In this case too, in fact, this parameter must be evaluated based on the type of work that must be carried out.

For example, making small holes in the wood for DIY jobs may not need to use very high speeds. On the other hand, when working on tougher materials, the higher speed makes it possible to drill holes with greater precision and, of course, to reduce working times.

Speed ​​indications are given in revolutions per minute. The difference between the more and less powerful models is not only in the maximum speed that can be achieved, but also in the possibility of choosing different speed options.

Therefore, professional drills can have a speed regulator, which will allow the number of revolutions per minute to vary depending on the needs and the type of drilling to be performed. These can range from one thousand to three thousand depending on the type of drill.

The different speeds must also be chosen according to the materials to be drilled: it will therefore be possible to use a very powerful drill to make a small hole simply by selecting a lower speed.

It should be emphasized that hobbyists, as powerful as they may be, usually allow only two or three speeds to change, while professional ones can have more options.

Tightening torque or torque

Another element that must be taken into consideration when choosing your own drill is given by the torque or tightening torque.

This is expressed in N * m (Netwon per meter) and measures the force with which the driver can tighten the screws. The best drills have a higher torque value, which translates into less effort being used during drilling or screwing.

Depending on the type of work to be performed, some drill models allow you to adjust the torque, so as not to damage the inserts into which the screws are inserted.

To be sure of a good torque value, values ​​above 40 N * m must be obtained. In the case of models of drills or cordless screwdrivers, lower values ​​can be measured. Professional models, on the other hand, provide torque values ​​in excess of 100 N * m.

The accessories

Beyond the technical performances, the choice of the drill can also be made taking into account the number and type of accessories supplied. Certainly opt for a model that also associates a suitcase with accessories, that is to say tips of various types, making your choice more versatile and practical.

While on one side a set of bits is almost always present in the packs of drills, also of the economic type, it should be emphasized that there are also many other accessories that can be presented as interesting and useful.

For example, an interesting tool is the dust collecting device, which allows those who make the hole not to drop the residues that characterize a hole. Very useful, even for those who aim for precision work, is the depth rod, to assess the correct depth of the hole.

Many drill models include a real accessory bag with everything that can be useful to make the drill a very complete tool.

– Professional percussion drill: why opt for this drill model

When it comes to drilling, we need to specify that there are different types of this tool. The difference between the different drills is not made only by the speed, the design or by the presence or not of accessories supplied but rather by the way in which the drilling takes place.

Depending on the size of the drill, the type of hole and the material to be drilled, it will therefore be possible to select different drilling technologies. The impact drill, also known as a hammer drill, is the ideal tool for drilling very hard materials, such as concrete or certain types of stone.

Their name derives from the fact that the typical rotation movement of the drills is also accompanied by a beating movement, similar to that of a hammer, which allows to impart greater force during the making of the hole.

When considering a swing drill it is necessary to insert a new parameter to evaluate to define the quality of the drill itself, ie the percussion frequency.

Like speed, the percussion frequency may vary depending on the models. Those of a basic type may have a percussion frequency of around 20,000 strokes per minute. The most powerful models, on the other hand, can even reach 50 thousand strokes per minute.

The percussion drill should not be confused with an SDS drill. The latter, in fact, is much more powerful, involves the use of completely different tips than those of the drill and is less versatile. Unlike the impact drill, in fact, the SDS (or trowel) was born exclusively for inert materials, ie bricks, cement and stone.

Having this information available on the technical and aesthetic characteristics of a drill, it will certainly be easier to choose the one that best meets your needs.

Below are some of the most popular percussion drill models. These are models that are very different from each other in terms of technical characteristics, weight, design and brand but all associated with being high quality products, perfect for a large number of uses, both hobby and professional.


* Bosch Professional GSB 21-2 RE hammer drill

This percussion drill is one of the most interesting products in its category, having features that make it practical and versatile, perfect for both hobby and professional use. Very easy to handle, it has dimensions of 36x11x39 cm and a weight of just under three kilos.

The engine has a medium-high power of 1100 watts, capable of producing a torque of 40 N * m and up to three thousand rpm. These parameters make the drill a perfect choice for those who need to drill large holes as well as for those looking for a drill model that can easily operate on a large number of materials.

The percussion frequency is very high, being equal to 15,300 strokes per minute when the drill is used at the lowest speed, and equal to 51,000 strokes per minute when using the highest speed.

The comfortable and safe handle is characterized by a soft grip grip that guarantees against slipping from the hands during work. The possibilities of use are many, given that this model is suitable for drilling small and large diameters.

It can in fact guarantee precise and perfect holes with a diameter up to 24 mm in masonry structures, up to 22 in concrete and up to 16 mm in steel. Larger holes, as you can easily imagine, can be obtained when working with wood: in fact it is possible to drill holes with diameters of 40 mm without any difficulty.

The versatility of this drill is recognized not only by the numerous materials it can operate on, but also by the type of tips that can be used. In fact, percussion drills, milling bits and Forstner bits can be mounted according to the different drilling needs. The safety of the installation of the tips is guaranteed by the self-tightening mandarin which allows for quick changeover.

As already pointed out, the Bosch Professional GSB 21-2 RE hammer drill it can be used for both amateur and professional use. For those with high demands, in fact, it will be possible to combine the drill with a series of accessories, to be purchased separately, as tips of various types and sizes, up to holesaws.

In the event of heavy work and to improve the grip, an additional handle is provided.

Finally, for those who needed a professional model of swing drill but characterized by different powers, it should be noted that this same drill is available in six different versions, from 600 to 1300 watts.

* BDCHD18K-QW impact drill and screwdriver by Black + Decker

This drill can be considered a basic model, but of high quality compared to direct competitors. It has a compact size of 19.5 × 7.6 × 22.2 centimeters and a weight of just 1.3 kilos.

The handle is characterized by high ergonomics and an anti-slip handle that allow you to work in complete safety. To carefully check the positions of the holes and the points to be drilled, the production company has equipped this model with an LED light, which allows to perfectly illuminate the work area.

One of the main peculiarities of this percussion drill is that it operates on batteries: it has a standard voltage for this type of instrument, equal to 18 volts, and a good torque of 40 N * m.

This allows to guarantee a precise work in every type of drilling. The maximum speed of this drill is 360 revolutions per minute: this is a value that ensures perfect work in the case of holes in wood, plastic materials and a large number of metals.

The presence of percussion also ensures good drilling even on stone and concrete, but only for relatively small holes. Therefore, this model is particularly suitable for DIY and DIY.

Depending on the speed set, it can be used as swing drill, reaching 21 thousand strokes per minute and being able to make holes up to 10 millimeters in diameter. At lower speeds it can instead be used as a screwdriver.

Depending on the speed, the different torques can also be defined: in fact, this drill allows you to set ten different tightening torque adjustments.

Inside the package there is already the lithium ion battery necessary for operation. The same drill, however, can be purchased in different versions, ie without the battery, with a 1.5 or 2 Ampere-hour battery or with a set of accessories, to be chosen in the 50 or 109 piece version.

Regardless of the version, the practical case for carrying the drill is always included.

* Electric Drill with Tacklife Percussion

This model of Tacklife drill is a practical and versatile tool, which combines three different instruments in one. In addition to being an excellent model of percussion drill, in fact, it works as a classic drill and as a screwdriver.

Operation is guaranteed by two 2-amp-hour rechargeable lithium ion batteries included in the package. When one is used, the other can be charged to make sure you can complete even long and demanding jobs without having to interrupt to wait for the battery in use to charge.

It also has a high maneuverability being characterized by compact dimensions, equal to 5.5x29x25 centimeters and a weight of just over a kilo and a half.

The design is simple and essential: the ergonomic and well balanced handle allows you to keep the drill with ease in all its functions. To improve the control of the area to be drilled or screwed, simply use the integrated LED light.

There are two speeds of use: one that reaches 450 rotations per minute and the other, much more powerful, capable of performing 1600 rotations per minute. Depending on the selected function, whether it is a drill, a percussion drill or a screwdriver, and based on the type of material to be worked on, it will be possible to select the most appropriate speed.

The three functions that characterize the percussion drill Tacklife are not the only interesting features of this instrument. The packaging, in fact, allows you to enjoy a large number of accessories, starting with the drill case.

Also included in the package are 9 different drill bits, an adapter for bits, 32 inserts for screwing, a hexagonal extension and the battery charger. In addition, the instruction manual is present to be able to know all the features of the drill and the possible uses on the different materials.

Precisely with regard to the materials, it should be emphasized that these can be different depending on the function chosen. If you opt for the percussion drill you can also drill high hardness materials like concrete.

The width of the possible hole depends on the type of tips but the large 13 mm self-locking mandarin allows to make large diameter holes to be chosen using the 16 different adjustment possibilities of the same.

Specifically, it will be possible to make holes with a diameter of 20 millimeters when working on wood, equal to 8 millimeters in concrete and 6 millimeters in metals.

* Makita percussion drill HP457DWE10

Those looking for a drill that can combine different functions while remaining very practical and manageable can opt for Makita’s HP457DWE10. It has a simple design, sea-green and black color, dimensions of 8 x 24 x 24 centimeters and a weight of 1.7 kilos.

It is therefore a very compact model, perfect to be used for small hobby interventions or for small jobs at home. The ergonomic handle and the non-slip coating ensure a greater and easier grip, even in the case of sweaty or greasy hands. The drill is contained in a practical case measuring 42x14x31.5 cm.

Its operation is guaranteed by a lithium ion battery: inside the package there are two different batteries, so as to always guarantee a ready recharge in case of drilling operations that last over time. The speed can be adjusted to two different options: the first, which reaches 400 rpm, is perfect for the screwdriver function.

The second, instead, equal to 1400 rpm, should be used when you want to opt for the percussion drill. Furthermore, in this capacity, the drill reaches percussion frequencies of 21 thousand strokes per minute. At lower speed, on the other hand, 6 thousand strokes per minute can be reached.

When using the hammer drill option, metal, wood and concrete can be drilled, making holes of different diameters depending on the material. In the case of holes on metal or masonry surfaces, in fact, diameters of 13 millimeters can be reached; in wood, on the other hand, 36 millimeters can be reached.

The self-locking mandarin can be adjusted in 16 different positions depending on the type of tip that is inserted, thus allowing a wide possibility of drilling. Furthermore, it is possible to reverse the direction of rotation to quickly screw and unscrew the screws.

The drill is sold with a solid carrying case, and a large number of tips and accessories. Inside, a booklet is available for instructions in different languages.

Remember that when using the drill, a series of safety rules must be followed, especially when the swing function is activated, for which special ear protection will be required.

– Additional parameters to be assessed in the choice: the materials and the brand

When working with tools that require high attention and precision, it is important to pay close attention to two factors, namely construction materials and the production brand.

THE percussion drillsin fact, they are subjected to very high stresses and pressures, especially when they have very high speed and stroke rates. For this reason it is essential to opt exclusively for products characterized by high quality materials.

Most quality models are characterized by plastic materials for the body and the handle and by metal alloy structures for specific elements such as tips or particular accessories.

If the quality of the body of the drill can be more difficult to assess, that of the drills instead should be carefully controlled. In fact, at best they can create holes that are not precise and clean.

In the worst situation, on the other hand, they can break down and even create accidents. Furthermore, unsuitable tips tend to overheat easily.

The good quality of a percussion drill is almost always guaranteed by the brand. Choosing brands specialized in the production of tools for hobby and bricolage will allow you to be sure of the best quality tools for your small jobs at home.

When, on the other hand, we are looking for more professional tools it will be necessary to turn our gaze to specific brands, able to satisfy even the most demanding customers. Furthermore, specialized brands often offer a better organized customer service and offer better guarantees on the functioning of the appliances and accessories.

Of course, with the improvement of quality there will also be an increase in the price of the different models. A professional percussion drill has an average cost higher than those for hobbyists and also compared to standard drills, that is, which do not have a swing function.

On the market there are also many drills that have different functions, including that of a screwdriver.

Although these instruments are less powerful than professional percussion drills, also lend themselves very well to a large number of do-it-yourself and do-it-yourself jobs: the cost of these tools with more features is usually medium and certainly much lower than one might expect.

When buying a percussion drill it is important to pay attention to the price because usually the cheaper models can be made with not high quality materials.

It should be emphasized, however, that there are many products at excellent prices and that, especially when making online purchases, it is possible to find offers, discounts and a large number of occasions, thus being able to purchase a high quality drill at a very low cost.

Of course, the price must never be the only element of evaluation of a product, be it a drill or other type of tool: as already pointed out, in fact, the materials, the brand and above all the type of use that must be made of the The appliance represents the three main parameters to be evaluated in the purchase of the percussion drill.

Power supply or battery powered?

When choosing the best percussion drill, one cannot help wondering if the best models are those powered by electricity or by battery. As always, even in this case, giving an unambiguous answer is not easy since a lot depends on the type of interventions that must be performed.

However, it must be emphasized that if the choice of one model or another can be due to purely personal factors, of comfort and preferences, some objective differences are present and must be emphasized.

The cable-powered models, in fact, are more powerful than the battery-powered ones and, therefore, can be used more easily in the case of complex, long jobs with very rigid surfaces to be drilled.

The presence of the cable, however, can be a hindrance in certain cases and, for works that must be carried out far from a socket, the presence of an extension becomes mandatory.

It should also be emphasized that with this type of instrument it becomes practically impossible to operate in the absence of current: any work for which it will be necessary to interrupt the current in the home becomes therefore very difficult to perform.

Battery-powered models are better suited for quick jobs where excessive power is not required. They are also easier to handle precisely because there is no wire that hinders certain movements.

Most of the percussion drills with battery power it works with a voltage of 18 volts. Lower voltages may be sufficient in the case of simple screwdrivers or drills that do not include the percussion function.

To be sure not to run out of battery while working, many brands offer two different batteries, one to keep in charge and the other to use. In this way, in the event of prolonged work, if a battery is discharged the second one will be ready to be easily inserted and to be able to continue the work without interruptions.

The difference between battery and power supply models naturally also affects two important parameters of a percussion drill, namely the speed and frequency of strokes that can be generated during percussion.

These two parameters affect the type of holes that can be made, ie the diameter and depth that can be reached. In fact, lower speeds and frequencies do not prevent the creation of holes in more cohesive materials, as can be mistakenly imagined, but prevent a clean and deep drilling.

Drills with lower power, speed and percussion frequency, therefore, with the same materials, they can make smaller and less precise holes.

Regardless of the maximum speed that can be reached, however, it should be noted that most drill models allow the adjustment of two different speeds.

In the models that in addition to the function of percussion drill also allow that of screwdriver, the lower speeds are usually used for screwing. In this case it is important to check that the direction of rotation is reversible, so as to allow the screws to be screwed and unscrewed without difficulty.

However, it should not be assumed that the variation of the tightening direction is a useful function only in the case where screws are to be tightened. Even when using the drill, in fact, it may be necessary to use the reverse rotation function, for example to disengage a bit that is stuck in too rigid a material.

– To conclude

THE percussion drills they are a special type of drill that allows you to drill a large number of surfaces and materials and, in particular, they have been designed to be able to create holes in concrete and stone.

On the market you can choose from many types of products, but you have to pay attention to a number of aspects in order not to risk buying models that are not able to meet your needs.

First of all, therefore, even before proceeding with the purchase, it is important to carefully assess what your job needs are, ie why you buy the drill.

Often, in fact, this instrument is purchased a priori, that is not when it is necessary to carry out a specific job but to have the certainty of having a drill at home. This option occurs mainly in the homes of those who love DIY so they know that just as there may be a need for a hammer or various types of screwdriver, it may be necessary to have a drill at home.

Unfortunately this type of behavior is not always convenient since the drills have very different characteristics and must be chosen for the type of work for which they are usually necessary.

Naturally, those who are DIY enthusiasts or small jobs at home, can aim without problems on a good-quality percussion drill, that is on a cable or battery powered product that has characteristics of power, speed and average percussion frequency.

In this way you can be sure of having a product that can be useful in all types of interventions that are usually performed at home. It will therefore be possible to focus on models with a power of around 800-1000 watts, which can be used both as standard drills and as flying drills.

As already mentioned in the opening, in many cases the doubt may arise between the choice of a percussion drill and one that also has the function of a screwdriver: in this case it is possible to opt for models that provide double function. Instead, be careful not to confuse the percussion models with the SDS drills, that is with the hammer drills.

These, in fact, are often referred to as percussion drills but in reality they have very different characteristics compared to the actual percussion drills. The first main difference is in the power, much greater for the toppers.

However, the two instruments can be considered completely different also due to the type of mechanism that allows their operation.

In fact, the hammer drill is not a more powerful pressure drill, but a completely different tool. The percussions that are produced in this instrument are characterized by a piston which, compressing the air, creates a series of impacts that are transmitted to the tip of the drill creating a greater intensity of percussion.

This operation results in a shorter working time and less effort compared to what would be required instead by the impact drill. For this reason, SDS drills, which are also referred to as hammers, are widely used to make large holes in all those materials where the work of the drill would not be sufficient or would require excessive effort and time.

It can therefore be said that the SDS drill represents an evolution or in any case a more complex and professional tool than the impact drill. The latter, in fact, can be used without problems both by the hobbyists and by the professionals, while the tessellators, being more complex to use and even more dangerous, are more suitable for those who work with the drill by profession.

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Billy King
A carpenter by profession, father of 2 wonderful children and always passionate about DIY. Tricks, secrets, shortcuts, suggestions, this is what I want to share with those who will read me here on Spotless Homes.