Can a Hammer Drill be Used as a Regular Drill?

Are you wondering if a hammer drill can be used as a regular drill? It’s a common question that arises when you’re considering purchasing a new power tool or trying to maximize the functionality of the tools you already have.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the world of hammer drills and regular drills, exploring their differences, applications, and the possibility of using a hammer drill as a regular drill. Let’s get started!

Understanding Hammer Drills

Before we can determine whether a hammer drill can be used as a regular drill, it’s crucial to understand what a hammer drill is and how it functions. Hammer drills are powerful tools specifically designed for drilling into hard materials like concrete and masonry. Here are some key features and components that make hammer drills unique:

  • Hammering action: Unlike regular drills, hammer drills employ a hammering action in addition to the rotational motion. This hammering action helps break through tough surfaces.
  • Additional handle: Hammer drills often come with an auxiliary handle or side handle. This feature provides better control and stability, especially when dealing with heavy-duty projects.
  • Depth gauge: Many hammer drills have a depth gauge that allows you to set a specific drilling depth. This feature ensures consistent drilling depth and prevents over-penetration.

Hammer drills are invaluable for tasks that involve drilling into concrete, brick, stone, or other similar materials. Their powerful hammering action makes them ideal for these demanding applications.

Understanding Regular Drills

Regular drills, also known as rotary drills or standard drills, are versatile power tools suitable for a wide range of drilling applications. Here are some key features and components typically found in regular drills:

  • Chuck and keyless chuck system: Regular drills feature a chuck that holds the drill bit securely in place. Keyless chucks allow for quick and easy bit changes.
  • Variable speed settings: Regular drills often have variable speed controls, allowing you to adjust the rotational speed based on the material being drilled or the desired level of precision.
  • Clutch for torque control: Many regular drills come equipped with a clutch that enables you to control the amount of torque applied. This feature helps prevent overtightening screws and allows for more delicate tasks.

Regular drills are commonly used for drilling into wood, plastic, metal, and other softer materials. Their versatility makes them an essential tool for general-purpose drilling.

Key Differences Between Hammer Drills and Regular Drills

To determine whether a hammer drill can be used as a regular drill, we need to examine the key differences between the two. Here’s a comparison of hammer drills and regular drills:

AspectHammer DrillRegular Drill
Hammering ActionUtilizes a hammering actionOnly rotational drilling
Impact ForceDelivers high-impact forceLacks the same level of impact force
Speed and RPM RangeTypically lower speed and RPM rangeOffers a wider speed and RPM range
Bit CompatibilityCompatible with specific hammer drill bitsCompatible with a variety of drill bits

As the table illustrates, the primary difference lies in the hammering action and the impact force generated by a hammer drill. Additionally, hammer drills usually have a lower speed and RPM range compared to regular drills, and their bit compatibility is often limited to specific hammer drill bits. These distinctions have significant implications for their respective applications.

Using a Hammer Drill as a Regular Drill

Now that we understand the key differences between hammer drills and regular drills, let’s explore the possibility of using a hammer drill as a regular drill. While hammer drills are specifically designed for heavy-duty applications, it is feasible to use them for non-hammering tasks with certain considerations. Here’s what you should keep in mind:

Factors to Consider

Before using a hammer drill as a regular drill, consider the following factors:

  1. Material and surface type: Ensure that the material you’re drilling into is suitable for hammer drilling. Hammering action can cause damage to delicate surfaces.
  2. Bit selection and compatibility: Choose the appropriate drill bit that is compatible with both your hammer drill and the material you’re drilling into.
  3. Adjustable settings and controls: Familiarize yourself with the adjustable settings on your hammer drill, such as disabling the hammering action or reducing the impact force.

Guidelines for Using a Hammer Drill as a Regular Drill

If you decide to use a hammer drill as a regular drill, follow these guidelines for optimal results:

  1. Adjust the settings appropriately: Disable the hammering action and set the drill to drilling mode. Reduce the impact force to a minimum or as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  2. Apply consistent pressure: Apply steady and even pressure while drilling. Avoid exerting excessive force, as it may lead to reduced control or damage to the material.
  3. Monitor drill performance and heat generation: Pay attention to the drill’s performance. If it starts to overheat or shows signs of strain, take breaks to let it cool down and avoid potential damage.

While a hammer drill can be used as a regular drill, it’s important to note that using the right tool for the right job is always recommended for optimal performance and safety.

Limitations and Risks

Using a hammer drill as a regular drill does come with some limitations and risks. It’s crucial to be aware of these factors before proceeding:

  1. Potential damage to drill bits: Hammer drills generate higher impact forces, which can cause increased wear and tear on drill bits not specifically designed for such forces.
  2. Reduced precision and control: Hammer drills may not offer the same level of precision and control as regular drills due to their hammering action. This can be a concern for tasks requiring accuracy.
  3. Increased fatigue during prolonged use: Hammer drills tend to be heavier and more powerful, leading to increased fatigue during extended periods of use.

Safety Precautions to Consider

To ensure your safety when using a hammer drill as a regular drill, follow these precautions:

  1. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE): Use safety glasses, gloves, and hearing protection to safeguard against potential hazards.
  2. Ensure a stable work surface: Make sure the work surface is secure and stable to prevent slips or accidents.
  3. Regularly inspect the drill and its components: Check for any signs of damage or wear on the drill, chuck, and drill bits. Replace any worn-out or damaged parts before use.

Frequently Asked Question

Q: Can a hammer drill be used as a regular drill?

A: Yes, a hammer drill can be used as a regular drill for various applications, although it may not be as efficient or precise as a dedicated regular drill.

Q: Is it possible to use a hammer drill for non-masonry tasks?

A: While hammer drills are primarily designed for masonry work, they can be used for non-masonry tasks such as drilling into wood or metal. However, it’s important to note that dedicated regular drills are typically more suitable and efficient for these applications.

Q: What are the advantages of using a hammer drill as a regular drill?

A: One advantage of using a hammer drill as a regular drill is its versatility. It allows you to tackle both masonry and non-masonry tasks with a single tool. Additionally, if you already own a hammer drill, you can u003ca href=u0022 moneyu003c/au003e by using it for regular drilling tasks instead of purchasing a separate regular drill.

Q: Are there any limitations when using a hammer drill as a regular drill?

A: Yes, there are a few limitations to consider. Hammer drills are generally heavier and bulkier compared to regular drills, which can make them less maneuverable in certain applications. Additionally, hammer drills may produce more vibration and noise, which can affect precision when working on delicate materials.

Q: Can a hammer drill achieve the same level of precision as a regular drill?

A: While a hammer drill can provide satisfactory results for many drilling tasks, it may not offer the same level of precision as a regular drill. Regular drills often have adjustable speed settings and higher RPM (rotations per minute) options, allowing for more control and accuracy in various materials.

Q: Are there any precautions to take when using a hammer drill as a regular drill?

A: Yes, there are a few precautions to ensure safe and effective use. Firstly, always use the appropriate drill bit for the material you are working with. Secondly, consider wearing safety goggles and hearing protection due to the increased vibration and noise. Lastly, be aware of the potential for a kickback, especially when drilling in non-masonry materials, and maintain a firm grip on the tool.

Q: Should I invest in a separate regular drill if I already own a hammer drill?

A: If you frequently work on non-masonry projects and require higher precision, investing in a dedicated regular drill would be beneficial. However, if your regular drilling needs are occasional or less demanding, using a hammer drill can suffice, saving you the expense of purchasing an additional tool.


In conclusion, while it is possible to use a hammer drill as a regular drill, there are important factors to consider. Hammer drills and regular drills have distinct features and applications. By understanding the differences and following the guidelines provided, you can use a hammer drill for non-hammering tasks.

However, for optimal results and to preserve the longevity of your tools, it is recommended to invest in both a hammer drill and a regular drill, as they are designed to excel in their respective applications. If you’re unsure about tool selection or have specific project requirements, it’s always advisable to consult a professional for expert advice.

Remember, choosing the right tool for the job will ensure efficient and safe drilling experiences.