7 Best Hammer Drills in 2020 – Comparison & Reviews

As a professional artisan or mason, you probably know that carrying out heavy-duty projects, such as breaking concrete or hard soils, is no walk in the park. In situations like these, having the best hammer drill is a sure approach to get the job done quickly, efficiently, and without undergoing much stress.  

The best rotary hammer drill is designed and constructed to provide much-needed power, performance, control, and comfort. It is poised to transform a rather dull and laborious job into a much more enjoyable one. Even so, not every sophisticated tool out there is considered a good hammer drill, and finding a top rated hammer drill takes a bit of digging.

Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you, and we will be exploring the best hammer drills for all types of jobs, from making holes in concrete to building a retaining wall to pulling tiles and much more. In our hammer drill reviews – and with all fine details considered – we have plenty of reasons to vouch for the Makita XPH12R Cordless Hammer Drill  .

So, if you’ve got limited time to go through the entire review, you’re better off opting for this model. However, it’d be prudent to read through our hammer drill guide to secure the best rated hammer drill that’ll guarantee a clean and precise finish for your specific drilling needs.

Enough with the blabber; below is a carefully selected list of the 8 best hammer drills you would get today in the market. Take a look!

8 Best Hammer Drills – Reviews

1.  Makita XPH12R Cordless Hammer Drill

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Makita is a worldwide renowned brand that employs groundbreaking technology to produce high-end power tools. One of their models, Makita XPH12R, oozes confidence and shows the manufacturer’s commitment to excellent performance.

This is the best cordless hammer drill for those of us who desire a premium hammer drill with a variable 2-speed design. Its two variable speeds provide a range of 0-500 RPM and 0-2000 RPM, allowing for a vast array of drilling, hammering, and driving applications.

There’s a 2-speed trigger whose transmission system is all metal for enhanced durability. As for design and comfort, this is a compact and ergonomically designed tool that is 7-1/8" long. It weighs a paltry 3.6lbs, which means operator fatigue is a thing of the past.

 For enhanced power, precision and longer tool life, the Makita XPH12R combines a Max Torque of 530in.lbs with a robust brushless motor that delivers over 50% more work per charge. You’ll be able to enjoy more drilling and driving power, superior productivity, and with the least battery rejuvenations per session.

This battery-powered ½-inch hammer drill uses 18-volt 2.0A battery to power its brushless motor, which is silent and smooth. This battery uses 18V Li-Ion Rapid Optimum Charger to deliver the fastest charging speed, taking only 25 minutes to reach a full charge – the fastest charge-time in its category.

In addition to fast charging speeds, it allows for longer times of use, for increased productivity and less downtime. The Makita XPH12R has two types of LEDs for different purposes. First, there are dual LED lights that illuminate the working areas and secondly, there’s an indicator consisting of LED that displays the battery level in 3 stages.

The LED battery indicator beats the common challenge where cordless hammer drills drain their battery without warning. Equally, this Makita model has the star protection, which prevents the battery from getting an overload. It also cushions the battery against over-discharging, thereby eliminating overheating.

Generally speaking, the Makita XPH12R is versatile enough for different professionals, such as plumbers, electricians, sprinkler installers, masons, and city maintenance crew. In driver mode, you’ll benefit from adjustable torque settings, which offer more control for a broad range of applications, including large fasteners and delicate screws.

Regarding safety, it uses Extreme Protection technology, which is attuned to ensure increased dust and water resistance in hostile job conditions. What’s more, the all-metal gear housing facilitates improved job site durability.

Pros 

  • Compact and ergonomic design
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Rubberized soft grip handle for comfort
  • Two variable-speed transmission system
  • Dual LED lights illuminate dim work areas
  • Extreme protection technology

Cons 

  • Tends to stick in hammer mode. Nonetheless, it guarantees more speed and torque in the same package. If you’re into the brushless compact line, then this is for you. Period!


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2.  DEWALT DCD950KX Battery Powered Hammer drill

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It’s almost impossible to talk about heavy-duty tools without the DEWALT brand popping up. Having been in existence for many years, the company has produced stellar products that are easy to use and provide great performance.

If you’re looking for something that can handle anything, from wood and steel to masonry and concrete –and with great precision –, then the DEWALT DCD950KX facilitates precision performance. As the best hammer drill for concrete, it features a 3-speed patented all-metal transmission, alongside a heavy-duty ½-inch ratcheting chuck.

To ensure you stay on point, this self-tightening chuck tightens during operation, providing superb bit-gripping strength. There’s a conveniently positioned LED that adds to the visibility as you use the drill, more so in darker or confined spaces.

As for effortless and comfortable handling, the unit boasts an ergonomic grip and a 4.5-lb lightweight, well-balanced body for better accuracy. For even more exactness, the side handle affords 360-degree hand-position options, which means the user gets better control over the drill. This also enhances comfort.

This top rated hammer drill sports a high-performance motor capable of churning out well over 450 units of watts. This guarantees amazing efficiency and performance in a variety of applications, be it drilling, driving, or hammering.

The DCD950KX is equipped with two 18-volt trademarked XRP Ni-Cad batteries, which ensure up to 40% more runtime than regular Ni-Cad batteries. Moreover, any XRP battery is compatible with any 18-volt DEWALT tool, and so you’ve got all you need to expand your scope through relevant DEWALT cordless tools (sold separately) as your job demands grow.

For the fastest application speed, the DCD950KX has a patented, 3-speed, all-metal transmission system, which is aligned with the tool’s performance based on the task at hand. This equipment entails three-speed settings, including (0-500 to 0-1,250) and (0 to 2,000 RPM), as well as (0 to 8,500, 0 to 21,250), and (0 to 34,000 BPM). With these, it’s easier to make accurate hole placement and achieve material-specific performance.

Pros 

  • High-efficiency motor for superior performance
  • Lightweight & durable design
  • Patented 3-speed transmission for great precision and less user fatigue
  • Extended runtime
  • ½-inch heavy-duty self-tightening chuck for superior bit gripping strength
  • 360-degree hand-position options for better command of the drill

Cons 

  • The hand grip for the chuck is a little slippery when held with wet or sweaty hands. Even so, you can use cotton gloves if you have sweaty hands.


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3.  DEWALT DWD520K Hammer Drill

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You need to think about versatility when shopping for the best hammer drill. A good model should be easy to use, and should also provide great performance. If you value versatility, then the DEWALT DW520K is the best choice.

What makes this best corded hammer extremely versatile is provision of a dual mode, whereby you can either choose hammerdrill or drill. This makes it an adaptable option in masonry, wood, or steel drilling applications.

Worth noting, the device offers 5/32 to 7/16-inch capacity in concrete, ½-inch capacity in steel, and 1-1/2-inch capacity in wood. That means you can take on any job thrown your way.

The dual-mode function is activated by DWD520K VSR Pistol, which lets you choose between drilling and hammer drilling. Also, this unit has a 2-speed range of 0-1,200/0-3,500 RPM, which adds to the versatility by providing greater control in high-speed, high-torque applications.

For record-breaking performance, the DWD520K features a 10.0 Amp motor, whose patented DEWALT-exclusive design generates 50% more power while increasing overload protection. And besides versatility, this hammer drill provides for durability, productivity and value.

Its all-metal gear housing means it can’t overheat during extended use. Regarding comfortable usage, the unit weighs less than 6lbs and measures 14 inches long. That means it’s compact and lightweight, and its easy portability minimizes stress on hands and wrists.

On top of that, this hammer drill has a soft-grip handle that enhances comfort during use. There’s a 360-degree locking side handle for better control, along with a 2-finger trigger for greater precision.

Overall, the DWD520K is the best hammer drill corded model with user-friendly design features that enable you to work longer and more comfortably. An all-metal gear housing enhances heat dissipation in repetitive drilling, making it ideal for tough environments like construction sites.

The kit consists of a heavy-duty box for extra portability and storage, steel depth rod, 360-degree locking side handle, as well as chuck key with holder. What’s more, it’s backed by a 3-year limited warranty.

Pros 

  • Ergonomic design
  • 2-speed range for use with various materials
  • 10-amp motor for enhanced power delivery
  • Metal-gear housing for improved reliability and job site durability
  • 360-degree locking side handle for better control and versatility
  • 2-finger trigger with soft-grip handle for user’s comfort

Cons 

  • Sometimes getting the chuck to engage is challenging. However, read the manual clearly and follow instructions. To tighten the chuck, do each hole one at a time, and it’ll work like a champ.


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4.  Bosch 11255VSR Corded Electric Hammer Drill

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Very few rotary hammers available today can meet the Bosch 11255VSR’s efficiency and performance. For improved efficiency, it accommodates up to 3 modes, including rotation only, rotary hammer, and hammer only.

In terms of performance, this best rotary hammer drill uses a 7.5 Amp motor capable of variable speeds of 0-1300 RPM and 0-5800 BPM. It can also produce 2.0 ft/lbs of impact energy, enough for most applications like anchoring and large material breaking.

Aside from maximum impact energy transmission, you’ll take advantage of tool-free bit changes arising from the SDS-plus bit system. This, combined with a variable-speed trigger, ensures unmatched precision control.

The Bosch 11255VSR provides the highest possible comfort, thanks to its D-handle design that makes it possible to drill downwards or in overhead direction. Although it may be on the heavier end at 10.4 lbs, it comes with Vario-Lock system, which rotates and locks the chisel in 36 different positions.

This optimizes working in different angles in hammer-only mode, making it ideal for DIYers and contractors alike. Also on offer is the Bosch-exclusive patented rotary brush plate, whose task is to provide equal power in forward and reverse for enhanced flexibility on the job.

In the event the bit gets into a bind, the unit disengages torque transmission using an integral clutch, thus minimizing torque reaction. There’s also a variable speed reversing trigger which gives you accurate bit starts and effortless removal of fasteners and bound bits.

The Bosch-exclusive cord turret provides a 35-degree pivot to boost flexibility and extend cord life. This unit also has several added-value features like an automatic bit locking feature and dust protection for maximum performance.

For safety purposes, the device has a vibration control that protects the user. What’s more, this best electric hammer drill has a hammer hook which allows for quick tool storage.

Pros 

  • Ergonomic D-handle design for optimal control
  • 3 modes of operation
  • Tool-free bit changes
  • 35-degree patented cord turret
  • Vibration control
  • Varying speeds for effective use

Cons 

  • Too large to fit into tight spaces
  • Not so good performance on concrete


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5.  DEWALT DCD996P2 Hammer Drill

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If we look at the best hammer drills from the power and speed perspective, then DEWALT DCD996P2 takes the cake. This best hammer drill cordless model really does pack a punch. Its powerful brushless motor generates 820 Units Watts Out, which guarantees a heightened application speed.

In fact, this hammer drill provides up to 2.8X faster application speed and 2.8X more runtime at 0-38,250 BPM and 2,250 RPM. This is up to 82% more powerful compared with other models in the same class.

Aside from power, its brushless motor is made from quality materials which ensure durability and improved runtime even in harsh working environments. Still on durability, this hammer drill kit features robust nitro-carburized metal ratcheting chucks, which are guaranteed tough for prolonged existence.

The switches are coated and sealed for better resistance to moisture and dust contamination on the jobsite. As for comfort while in use, the CD996P2 weighs only 4.7lbs and is 8.4 inches long. This, coupled with comfortable handle grips, ensures ease of use even in confined locations.

When working in dark or confined spaces, you’ll be able to put the 3-Mode LED to use. It’s up to 20X brighter than its predecessor, which means you’ll enjoy better illumination.

An LED Spotlight mode, which entails a 20-minute shutoff function, facilitates extended work time in confined or dim spaces. For fast drilling in masonry materials, the unit uses DEWALT’s proprietary all-metal 3-speed transmission, which delivers optimized power and speed for tough applications like 2-9/16" self-feed bits.

A ½” heavy-duty ratcheting nitro-carburized metal chuck comprises carbide inserts which facilitate superior bit gripping strength. The kit is complete with DCD996 - 20V MAX* XR Lithium Ion Brushless Premium 3-Speed Hammer drill, 2 DCB205 - 20V MAX* XR High Capacity Li-Ion Batteries (5.0Ah) with Charger, 360-degree side handle, Belt Hook, and kit box.

Pros 

  • Great build quality
  • 3-speed silent brushless motor with 57% more power than brushed motor
  • 3-speed transmission for maximum speed and power
  • Extended runtime & increased life span
  • Superior bit gripping strength
  • 3-mode LED for illumination

Cons

  • Battery attachment securing to the drill is ridiculous. Unsecured battery is disappointing, but not deal breaker
  • Forward reverse switch does not feel right


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6.  Bosch 1191VSRK Hammer Drill

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Bosch has received numerous accolades and most of their products are gracing the list of corded hammer drill reviews everywhere. The Bosch 1191VRSK is all about simplicity; because not all the time we need a high power tool.

Its lightweight design is adequate for small diameter drilling applications or creating small diameter holes. This single-speed hammer drill gives you unmatched performance if you use it correctly, and on the right object.

Using a 7.0 Amp reversing motor and an ergonomic design, the 1191VRSK exhibits great performance-to-weight ratio in its category. This motor generates enough power to work with tough objects. At only 4.1lbs, it feels so light, and keeps operator fatigue at bay.

This machine sports a built-in depth gauge with instant release property that gives you unlimited movements. Even more, there’s a side handle that can be positioned at a 360-degree angle, giving you a wide range of movement.

The unit supports two modes of operations: hammering action and rotation only. You’ll use a 2-mode selector to switch between rotation only and hammer drill, allowing you to cut through the tough objects.

Also on offer is the reverse switch, which helps you automatically disengage the hammer drill from the object. As a bonus, the manufacturer offers a bag for carrying the hammer drill. Nice, huh?

Pros 

  • Great for drilling small diameter holes
  • Excellent performance-to-weight ratio
  • 360-degree handle ensures wide range movement
  • 2 operation modes
  • Reverse function for dislodging the hammer drill from work pieces
  • Easy to carry with bag

Cons 

  • Requires electrical outlet
  • No trigger lock


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7.  SKIL 6445 Hammer Drill

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The SKILL 6445 is the best cheap hammer drill for those on a budget. Despite costing significantly less than most options, this best small hammer drill has uncompromised power. A powerful 7 Amps motor powers the ½-inch bits of this hammer drill, ensuring it can tackle even the toughest problem areas.

 Its ½-inch keyed chuck is engineered to accept large diameter bits on numerous applications, from woodworking to cutting or drilling through the wall. And since it can create wide holes, it stands out as the best hammer drill for concrete.

This tool can drill up to 3000 RMP speed, and the drilling speed is also within your control. A variable speed triggering system gives you much-needed control over the drill. This property lets you adjust the speed according to your job requirement.

In addition to smooth transmission from low to high speeds, you also get a 2-finger trigger lock-on option for even more control. That means, it places all the power and control in your hands, which is handy when you need additional precision.

As far as easy handling goes, the unit weighs only 5.5lbs which makes it simple to transport, and is equipped with a side assist handle for better support when needed. Furthermore, this handle is reversible, which means right-handed and left-handed users will find it pretty simple to use.

You can also rotate the drill up to 360 degrees, making it easy to use in any direction or angle. To top it all off, this wall-powered drill eliminates the hassle of dealing with batteries and chargers. All of these things make the SKILL 6445 the best hammer drill under 100.

Pros 

  • Portable size
  • Decent power
  • 360-degree rotational side assist handle
  • Variable speed triggering switch for speed control & precision drilling
  • Creates large diameter holes through wood and concrete
  • Best value for money

Cons 

  • Quite basic and only perfect for lighter use. Nonetheless, its side handle provides more control and helps in accurate drilling.


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8.  Hiltex 10513 Corded Electric Hammer Drill

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Usually, when shopping for the best rotary hammer drill, you need to ask yourself what type of tasks you need to do. In this case, you wanna see the product’s working capacity to determine what it can bring to the table.

The Hiltex 10513 uses a 1,000-Watt rotary drill motor with a 0-3500 BPM rotation speed at no load impact frequency. The same motor delivers powerful 5ft/lb impact energy at a 0-800 RPM no load rotation speed, enough to complete heavy-duty tasks on solid steel, concrete or brick.

The machine offers 3 working modes namely hammer only for chiseling, hammer-drill for hammering and rotation, and finally drill only for rotational drilling. This makes it ideal for multiple jobs which require more than just drilling – hence suitable for your exact needs.

For operational comfort, it features a 360-degree swiveling handle, which can be repositioned to fit any working space. Whether you’re working in a hard-to-reach area or in an awkward angle, the auxiliary handle is engineered to complement your stance while drilling.

That aside; the handle is equipped with a textured grip to safeguard against slipping during operation. In this regard, the Hiltex 10513 ensures the highest comfort and safety at the same time.

Above all, the hammer includes some versatile accessories all neatly organized in a heavy-duty blow mold case with handle for effortless transportation between job locations. You’ll get three 6” SDS drills, depth gauge, SDS chisels, oil bottle, and chuck with key and adaptor. So, it’s the best rotary hammer that comes as a complete package in order for you to handle a wide variety of projects around your home.

Pros 

  • High-powered motor for multiple purposes
  • 3 different modes for different needs
  • Textured handle grip to reduce slipping
  • 360-degree swivel
  • Comes with all essential accessories

Cons 

  • Heavier than most hammer drills (at 16.65 lbs.)
  • Not good for frequent use on heavy duty tasks


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What You Need To Know When Purchasing the Best Hammer Drill

Although innovation is a continuous process and we might conclude that all rotary hammer drills are dynamic, there are certain considerations we can’t afford to overlook when choosing the best hammer drill. Remember, not any hammer drill is able to meet your working requirements, and selecting a suitable option requires a cautious evaluation of the crucial features on offer.

To avoid the aftermath consequences of buying a tool that’s not meant for you, we recommend paying attention to features based on the scale of importance. That is, you can forgo certain features if you don’t need them, and choose only those that will heighten your operation.

Always consider the following factors when purchasing the best hammer drill.

  • What will you use it for? 

Your decision process should begin with the purpose for which you’re buying a hammer drill. A hammer drill, as we all know, uses a rotating hammer action to help tackle heavy-duty projects. It can drill harder surfaces than a regular drill such as rock and masonry.

Even more important is the fact that it has a lightweight and ergonomic design, making it possible to execute smaller projects without too much stress or fatigue. In order to buy the most ideal hammer drill, first consider the purpose you want the tool for.

Some hammer drills are meant for heavy-duty projects, whereas others are designed for menial jobs or both. Some models even offer the option of using different drill bits depending upon the job at hand. Buying the best model for your specific job type can make hard work easier and quicker.

  • Do you need a corded or cordless model? 

The second most important decision to make is whether to opt for a corded or cordless hammer drill. The choice between the corded and cordless actually boils down to the size of the job, its location, and material hardness.

The best corded hammer drill provides a high and steady power supply, and would be suitable for drilling a lot of tough materials for extended period. On the other hand, the best cordless hammer drill is great for people seeking for portability and handiness.

A battery-powered unit is a wise choice for small jobs, or when you’ve got limited to no access to power. By comparison, cordless options are more expensive than corded ones and are mostly underpowered or limited by their battery quality. If the situation allows, it’s better to go for corded models, because they’re more powerful and finish the job in the least time possible.

  • Motor power 

It also pays to check the motor power of a hammer drill before settling for one. The power of the motor is normally denoted in amperage, such as 6 amps or 7 amps, and determines the strength, efficiency, and duration in which the hammer drill operates.

A high-performance motor comes with a higher amperage rating and delivers more torque, which improves the speed of the rotary hammer when handling heavy duty drilling situations. When selecting the best hammer drill, it’s also advisable to consider the torque to weight ratio in their respective categories.

Larger drills call for larger motors in order to adequately balance the weight and work effectively. On the contrary, smaller drills have smaller motors whose lower amperage could still be enough for intended application, more so smaller drilling operations.  

  • Speed settings 

Hammer drills consisting of variable speeds are more versatile since they allow you better control over your tool and make it easier to chip away and bore concrete. When we talk about versatility, we simply mean that such drills allow for more precision with the depth, thus preventing you from overdoing it.

Some drills have only one single speed, which means that you might not be able to see through a range of applications without seeking the intervention of other tools. In variable speed, the actual speed is in correlation with the torque delivered by the motor.

High-end models entail the Vario-lock enabled function whose role is to ensure multiple bit angles. Combined with compactness of the machine, multiple bit angles enable you to access tighter spaces and defeat the challenge of angles.

  • Ability to use in not-so conducive environments 

We’d also advise checking on the flexibility of a hammer drill before choosing one. That is, how well it can handle tough working conditions, such as those with limited spaces.

Steer clear of models that confine you to work in a single and especially conducive environment with no challenges along the way. The best hammer drill is one with the ability to function perfectly in whichever working condition or environment.

Another thing, pick a model comprising LED guide light for added precision. An LED guide light ensures drilling is done just at the right point. And, without it, the project is more than likely to get ruined due to miscalculating distances or areas while drilling.

  • Design and comfort 

Design and comfort are two features every best hammer drill should be boasting. Anything that lacks an ergonomic design feels uncomfortable to use, chiefly due to the poor grip. Such a rotary hammer may discourage you from using it the next time.

To get the best in the world of comfort, choose a model with an ergonomic design as well as a soft grip handle. That way, you’ll be able to use it for any project, right from masonry to metalwork and anything in between.

If shopping online, make sure to read product descriptions and reviews to get the bigger picture of the unit before investing in it. We recommend opting for a unit whose rotary motor has a mechanism for minimizing discomfort occasioned by torque reaction.

  • Think safety 

Of course, thinking about user’s safety when working with power tools is of great importance. A hammer drill is such a powerful tool, and any mishap can be perilous, to say the least.

In that case, ensure there are adequate safety features in place for your protection in case something unthinkable happens. For instance, get a device consisting of two ergonomic handles for improved safety and comfort during operation. This also enhances stability.

On the same breathe, choose a unit that has an automated bit locking system, which keeps the bits secure to prevent accidents from happening. In case of unexpected torque reactions, there should be an integral clutch to save your arms from jolting together with the drill. Other safety features to keep an eye on include the shock absorption technology, overheating protection, and tracking technology for locating the drill in the event of negligence or theft.

  • Operation modes

The best hammer drills offer at least three modes of operation, with default modes being hammer-only, rotary-only, and rotary-hammer. You’ll be able to use the hammer-only mode for projects to do with demolition, such as cracking a large piece of concrete.

The rotary-only function is the best choice for purposes like drilling holes or driving screws. On the other hand, the rotary-hammer mode is usually used for demanding applications, and especially those involving tough materials. If possible, select a device that features all these operation modes for added flexibility.

  • Price 

Finally, we advocate for choosing a hammer drill based on the size of your budget. That is, if your budget is tight, you may want to choose quality over features. If getting a better build quality means sacrificing an extra feature, do it. It’s worth it!

Nevertheless, if you ain’t short on cash, then invest in something that meets your expectations and demands. Although a higher price is often considered a determinant for quality, it’s not always the case.

It’s easy to get the best hammer drill under 100 these days, and will address your needs just as well as pricier ones. What’s more, choose products that originate from a popular brand, because well-established brands tend to offer better warranty terms and unparalleled after-sale support.

Final Verdict

We’ve carefully tested the above-listed hammer drill models, and we found them to be ideal for light to heavy-duty projects at home or construction sites. The manufacturers designed these models in a manner that they’re workable and can serve their intended purposes without giving you much headache.

The Makita XPH12R Cordless Hammer Drill  is our top pick because it excels in terms of flexibility and precision on different surfaces. This model is a fine piece of engineering that will fulfill your needs while ensuring maximum comfort. It’ll never disappoint you, to say the least!

Last update on 2020-08-04 at 03:16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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