I'm in the market for a hammer-drill. I'm somewhat spoiled because I've used a Hilti TE72. My needs aren't great enough to warrant spending that kind of money but I would like to get an SDS type. I do residential work so the biggest task is probably drilling through foundations. I've used the Hilti to drive ground rods and that is a real pleasure so I'd like a drill big enough to do that. Any opinions on the Milwaukee 1" SDS-Plus rotary hammer? I've also seen a Bosch but I don't have the info handy.
Hi Don, I've used Milwaukee, Hilti, and Bosch, but have the most experience with milwaukee.
For residential I really like the milwaukee eagle with the sds-7 chuck. It's light weight and easy to handle with one hand, but still handles the heavier bits when you need it to. It's easy to find repair shops who can fix the milwaukee.
Repair parts for the bosch are expensive. Needed a switch for one once and it cost over $300 on a drill that cost about $800 new. Smaller bosch drills hammer at a higher frequency that make them very hard on the ears, another plus for the milwaukee.
FWIW we just shelled our milwaukee 1 1/2" thunderbolt. The cost to repair is approximately the same as the cost of a new drill....but we're allready in too deep to quit now. Not good and this drill is only about two years old.
I bought a Black and Decker 1/2" Hammer Drill from WalMart a few years ago. I've abused this poor thing with 4 1/4" hole saw sawing though 100 year old Oak "jenny lynn" walls, 7/8" Mason Bits through hardened concrete, 1-1/2" Spade bits in Knotty Pine and tried an auger bit in locust once (it just sat there and hummed).
I only paid $49.95 plus tax brand new. It has paid for itself 10 times over.
Use the $500 for the Hilti and get 10 of these things and abuse the h*ll out of 'em.
I've got a Makita angle drill that I rarely use, I like my B&D so well...
Get a Dewalt 36V cordless Rotary Hammer. It's on MY wish list...
-Virgil Residential/Commercial Inspector 5 Star Inspections Member IAEI
I've used them all bouncing around different union shops.
For my own business I bought a Bosch 1 1/8 sds best value for the price, easy availability of bits. I would rarely have to drill a hole larger than 1 1/8, but you can use hammer only with chisels to egg out a hole.
Bosch tools tend to be a little lighter, a plus when working on ladders and overhead.
FWIW you can now buy sds max bits at home depot that will fit your hilti. I find Hilti stuff way overpriced.
Hammer drills: It depends on the job. I have 3 hammer drills. A Dewalt 1-1/2" spline type I use for 7/8"-1-1/4" solid bits and up to 6" core bits.I paid around $500.00 for it. I also drive ground rods with it as well as use a bull point and a chisel for demolition. I've been extremely pleased with it over the last 4 years. My second hammer drill is a Porter Cable 7/8" SDS. I paid a little under $200.00 for this one. It is a lot of hammer drill for such a light weight tool. It is real handy for 3/8" to 7/8" anchor setting, especially if you are working on the ground. My #3 hammer is a Porter Cable 14.4V driver/drill/hammer with a 1/2" chuck. This one cost less than $200.00 and came with 2 batteries, charger and a flashlight. This is an extremely versatile tool and is the one that gets the most day-to-day use. It's great for setting tapcons when hanging conduit in a concrete or block building. All together, I've got around $1400.00 in hammers, spline and SDS bits, arbors and cores. This seems like a lot at first, but I spent $1500.00 on rental the 2 years prior to buying my own spline and SDS outfits. That doesn't count the down time I lost running down a rental tool or waiting my turn to rent one.