Can You Use a Hammer Drill on Wood (Solved)

To drill holes in wood with the free hand, so not with the drill press, you can choose from different types of hand drills. The most commonly used type in woodworking is the (impact drill). These are handy, compact, and light tools. A rotary drill hammer is just the opposite, so you will almost never see them in a woodworking workshop. But what about the hammer drill? Can You Use a Hammer Drill on Wood?

Yes, you can use a hammer drill on wood, but make sure to turn off the hammer function. Drilling into wood with the hammer function turned on would ruin the drill hole and wood, and prevent the drill from cutting, making the work much slower.

In this article, I’ll delve more into the question, “Can you use a hammer drill on wood?” By reading every letter in this article, you’ll know for sure whether a hammer drill, often known as a jack-of-all-trades, is the right machine for you and your workshop. This page also explains the differences between a Drill vs Hammer Drill vs Rotary Hammer Drill.

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what is a hammer drill

An impact drill is a power tool that is primarily used to drill hard materials. It’s a sort of drilling machine that, in addition to impact-free drilling, can also drill using an impact mechanism that creates a hammering motion. The impact mechanism pulverizes the material to be drilled with a rapid succession of short hammer strikes, allowing for faster drilling with less effort. The impact mechanism will perform a hammering motion without drilling as a third function.

An impact drill has a specifically built clutch that allows it to not only revolve but also knock the drill in and out through the shaft. The drill travels a short distance in and out, but it does so quickly. The average beat is between 4000 and 5000 beats per minute.

Despite the fact that each blow (measured in Joules) has a minimal force (between 0 and 4 Joules), thousands of blows per minute are more than enough to destroy concrete or brick. The spiral grooves may swing away all the debris by using the masonry bit’s carbide wedge to pulverize with each blow. As a result, an impact drill can drill through concrete or brick significantly faster than a normal drill.

Striking powerUsage
< 2 jouleslight drilling up to Ø20mm in concrete (0.78inch)
2-3 JoulesMedium drilling up to Ø 24mm in concrete (0.95inch)
3 joulesHeavy drilling more than Ø 24mm in concrete (>0.95inch)
Can you use a hammer drill on woodOverview impact power hammer drill

Drill vs Hammer Drill vs Rotary Hammer Drill

If you’re new to drilling, you may be confused when you see all these different names popping up. Believe me, I was also at that point, and I will show you which name belongs to which drill and what you can do with it. You will never have to hesitate between a Drill vs Hammer Drill vs Rotary Hammer Drill from today.

A drill (also often used as a screwdriver). This is the lightest and cheapest drill that you can use to drill holes in wood and metal, as well as to drive screws. In my videos, you will often see me using my Hilti drill, but there are many well-known brands that offer this type of machine. At the bottom of this article, I give you my preferred choice to inspire you. The disadvantage of the drill is that it is less powerful and is therefore not suitable for drilling in concrete or stone. The drill is offered with cord or cordless, cordless being very popular.

Hammer drill. The hammer drill is the tool that sits between the drill and the rotary hammer drill. It is heavier and more powerful than the drill and has the same functions, but also has a hammer function for drilling in brick and masonry.
It is a multifunctional machine that has the advantages of the other two types. Many people choose this option because the hammer drill can handle just about anything. If you are interested in buying a hammer drill, you can check out the review on the Makita HR2470FT I did on this website.

The rotary hammer drill. The rotary hammer is the big brother in the family. This one will mainly serve to break things. These are made to break through concrete quickly. It is a specialized tool that is mainly used in demolition and construction works. As a woodworker, you will probably never need this tool.

A drillHamer drillRotary hammer
DescriptionSmall & light powertool, less expensive, easy to handleMid-weight tool that is multifunctionalHeavy tool, specialized for demolition and construction works
UsageTo drive screws and drill in wood and metalDrilling, hammering and driving screwsDrilling, hammering, demolition
AdvantagesLightweigt, works more ergonomicallyWith this tool you have all the functions of the other two typesGood for heavy drilling in concrete or breaking things down.
DisadvantageLess powerful, cannot drill into concreteHeavy weight in case you need to drive a lot of screwsVery heavy tools, not suitable for woodworking
Power sourceCord/CordlessCord/CordlessCord/Cordless
Can you use a hammer drill on woodDrill vs Hammer Drill vs Rotary Hammer Drill

Is an impact driver the same as a hammer drill

In short, an impact driver and a hammer drill are not the same thing. The primary distinction between an impact driver and a hammer drill is the direction in which force is applied to the spinning action.

When an impact drill impacts the material being drilled, it exerts more force in the same direction as the bit (remember the in and out motion earlier in this article). The force applied by an impact driver is perpendicular to the bit.

The hammer drill will strike the back of the drill when using an impact drill, causing the force to continue to the tip of the drill. Instead of hitting the head directly, an impact screwdriver features a specific mechanism on the inside that impacts the rotating mechanism on the side.

I’m not a technical guy, but research suggests that the mechanism should function as follows:
An impact driver, in particular, has three features that an impact drill lacks: a powerful compression spring, weight, and a T-shaped anvil.

The spring rotates at the same rate as the weight abutting the anvil when you drill. The weight begins to rotate more slowly as the resistance increases. The motor is still running at its original speed at that point, keeping the spring spinning at the same speed.

This signifies that the spring, which is just behind the weight, is rotating faster than the weight at the moment.
Because the rotational speeds are different, the faster revolving spring can exert more pressure on the slower rotating weight, which presses on the anvil. From the side, the anvil pushes against the drill and fastener. When utilizing an impact driver, the additional perpendicular pressure increases torque and offers you greater power.

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Can you use a hammer drill on wood

Now that you know what different sorts of drills are and how they work, it’s time to move on to the next and last phase. And that is answering the main question of this article, Can you use a hammer drill on wood?

So, while the answer is unmistakably yes, there is still something to say about it that is far from insignificant.

A hammer drill, as mentioned above, is a multipurpose instrument that can be used to drill holes in wood, metal, and concrete, as well as drive screws when utilizing a bit holder. A hammer drill, like a drill, features an adjustable clutch. You may set it to prevent overtightening and damaging fasteners this way.

That is why a hammer drill is ideal for drilling into wood, but it is important to remember that this equipment was designed for a different purpose. The key distinction between a hammer drill and a standard drill is that you’ll use a hammer drill to drill holes in hard materials like concrete. You always use the hammer function for this.

When you drill holes in wood, you always have to turn off the hammer function. That has two reasons. First, you would damage the wood and also make the hole bigger than it needs to be. Second, using the hammer function on the soft texture of wood would make the drill “dance” in the wood instead of allowing the drill to cut itself into the wood. While a hammer function makes drilling in concrete faster, with wood it is the other way around, and it will slow down the drilling process.

Do you need an impact drill as a woodworker? Well, I’d say, although I do have one myself (see my blog, Complete Makita HR2470FT Rotary Hammer Review | My Honest Opinion), no. As a woodworker, you are much better off with a regular drill because you will hardly ever use the hammer function. However, if you have to hang a lot of cabinets or regularly drill through concrete or stone for your projects, I recommend a hammer drill. That’s also why I have my hammer drill.

The drill(s) I prefer and recommend to you

It is feasible to drill holes in wood using a hammer drill, but as previously stated, woodworkers should use a drill/screwdriver. They are small, lightweight equipment that may be used for long periods of time, drilling and screwdriving.

I’ve been using a Hilti drill for years and years. Since I initially obtained it 15 years ago, it has shown to be a reliable and durable instrument. However, it is a much heavier tool that is not the smallest in its class. Also, at the time, the purchasing price was much higher.

I’m going to keep using this tool until it’s fully broken. I’m aware that these tools don’t last forever, therefore I’m on the lookout for a suitable replacement. That is also the drill I would advise everyone to do. What I’m looking for is, first and foremost, a cordless tool that is simple to use. It must be powerful and, most crucially, cost-effective. I’m not looking for the cheapest choice because I’ve learned from experience that buying cheap leads to buying twice, but I’m also not looking for the most costly option. The following are the dills/screwdrivers that I chose and that you also recommend:

Recently, I wrote the article, “Cordless Drills Buying Guide | Discover The 5 Best Cordless Drills For Woodworking”. It is a guide that will help you what to look for buying a cordless drill and learns you how to make a good selection to find a drill suited for your workshop. Be sure to check out that article, I’m sure it will help you a lot.
Do you prefer an impact drill? Then I would suggest these drills:

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