Rotary Hammer vs Demolition Hammer?

In a perfect world, you’ll be able to use the same power tool for multiple jobs.

It will save you a huge amount of money. Why buy an extra tool when one will suffice?

The rotary hammer vs demolition hammer debate is a little more complicated. In some cases, you will be able to complete the same jobs with either one. But they do come with their own unique benefits you’ll only find on each tool.

You’ll need to know what those benefits are before deciding which tool to pick up. Let’s look at what you’ll be able to do with either one before we mention anything else.

Why Demolition Hammer vs Rotary Hammer Is So Complicated

A demolition hammer will let you pound into materials using a chisel.

A rotary hammer will let you pound into materials using a chisel too.

You’ll be able to use either tool to chip away at materials like:

  • Plaster
  • Mud Beds
  • Tile
  • Concrete

This is information you already know, right? The real reason you want to compare both tools is because you want to know their unique differences. The reasons why you would choose one over the other if you could only pick one.

Rotary Hammer Extra Benefits

It’s fair to say the average person would be better off investing in a quality rotary hammer, so we’ll talk about this tool first. Here are a few reasons why it’s going to be the number one choice in most cases:

  1. Includes Extra Modes
  2. Cordless Rotary Hammer

Includes Extra Modes – If you’re not working on anything too tough a rotary hammer will be able to keep up with a demolition hammer. The major difference is the fact it comes with extra modes you’ll find useful:

  • Rotation Only
  • Rotary Hammer

Rotation only basically means you’ll be able to use your tool like a traditional drill. If you want to drill screws or holes into timber you’ll only need the right drill bits. You don’t actually need to own a basic drill. Or more likely, you won’t need to have one on standby all the time.

A rotary hammer will give you the power you need to drill holes into concrete, as opposed to pounding it to pieces using a chisel. You’ll be able to drill holes into anything at high speed and an anti vibration system will help with fatigue.

Do you plan on chipping away at concrete, or do you need to drill holes into it too? If you want to drill holes you’ll need a rotary hammer.

Cordless Rotary Hammer – Rotary hammers are less powerful than demolition hammers, so you’ll be able to get the power you need from a battery. It means you’ll be able to pick up an amazing cordless rotary hammer drill that will satisfy all your needs.

Have you used cordless power tools in the past? They come with a lot of benefits you’ll love. Let’s discuss a few big ones to give you an idea why you’ll appreciate them:

  • Extended Runtime
  • Fast Recharge Times
  • Freedom To Move
  • No Outlet Required
  • Work In Emergencies

Extended Runtime – Forget everything you know about cordless power tools if you’ve not used one in a few years. The battery technology has come on leaps and bounds. I know they didn’t last very long in the past before running out of juice. These days, you’ll be able to carry out all your work before it will need to be recharged.

Fast Recharge Times – Batteries would eventually run out of juice. If you wanted to charge them up it would take hours and hours. Now you’ll be able to charge a powerful battery in under an hour depending on the brand you choose. A battery indicator light will let you know when it needs to be recharged.

Anyone who uses a cordless tool should invest in two batteries. It will allow you to keep one battery on charge at all times. You can swap your batteries over before they run out.

Freedom To Move – When you’re trying to work power cords definitely get in your way. You have to take them into consideration at all times. Sometimes you can’t move in a certain direction without getting tangled up. If there are objects lying around your room you’ll need to navigate around them to avoid any problems.

A battery powered tool will give you a million times more freedom when working. You’ll be able to pay a lot more attention to the job at hand.

No Outlet Required – You must be near an outlet when you’re working with a corded demolition hammer. Even though you can use extension cords it’s still a nuisance. You need to be pretty close to outlets no matter what. When you have a cordless rotary hammer you can wander around without thinking about outlets.

Work In Emergencies – A modern battery will be able to hold its charge for months when it’s lying in your workshop. In the event of an emergency, you’ll be able to use a cordless rotary hammer until it runs out of juice. It doesn’t need to be a huge emergency with lots of lives hanging in the balance.

You might want to finish work early on a Friday afternoon. If there is a blackout you’ll be able to complete a job instead of waiting to see if the lights come back on. If you’re using a corded demolition hammer you’ll be stuck waiting around.

Demolition Hammer Extra Benefits

As you can see, a rotary hammer does come with some exceptional benefits. Luckily, a demolition hammer does too. Here are a few reasons why you should opt for this tool instead:

  1. Extremely Powerful
  2. Balanced Tool
  3. Variable Speed Dial
  4. Double The Length

Extremely Powerful – Will you be able to chip into 50 year old concrete using a rotary hammer? Sure, but it’s not going to be the same. A demolition hammer will always be a lot more powerful if all other things are equal. We’ll demonstrate this by looking closely at a couple of great tools:

Please Note: Tools are very high quality + roughly the same price.

  • Bosch RH328VC-36K Cordless Rotary Hammer
  • Bosch 11316EVS Demolition Hammer

Bosch RH328VC-36K Cordless Rotary Hammer

  • 2.4 Foot-Pounds Impact Energy
  • Chuck = SDS-Plus

Bosch 11316EVS Demolition Hammer

  • 12.4 Foot-Pounds Impact Energy
  • Chuck = SDS-Max

Not only will the demolition hammer be able to tackle much tougher jobs, but it will be able to blast through normal ones much quicker too.

Balanced Tool – Rotary hammers are pretty easy to use on ‘hammer only’ mode. The best tools have a feature that let you adjust the chisel to almost any position you want. Some let you rotate your chisel 360 degrees, so you’ll feel comfortable handling a rotary hammer.

But they’re not specifically designed to hammer into materials. Their main purpose is to help you drill holes, so they’re built to be used in that exact way. Demolition hammers are specifically designed to hammer into concrete and mortar. Each tool will feel completely different when you’re holding it in your hands.

Will this make a huge amount of difference? Yeah, kind of. Even though you’ll feel comfortable chipping into concrete using a rotary hammer it will always feel better using a demolition hammer. It’s why anyone who plans on pounding into things regularly should own one.

Variable Speed Dial – Some rotary hammers come with a variable speed trigger, but only the best models. It’s still not ideal when you think about it. When you want to go at a certain speed you need to make sure the pressure your finger exerts stays the same non-stop or you might run into problems.

The best demolition hammers come with a variable speed dial, so you’ll be able to control how fast your chisel pounds back and forth. Some will come with a slow start motor to help out even more. You’ll have a while to prepare yourself before the chisel starts banging into your material at a hundred miles per hour.

Think about the kinds of materials you’ll be working on. Some will be a lot harder than others, so the ability to adjust speeds is crucial.

Double The Length – If you compare the length of each tool you’ll quickly see demolition hammers are roughly two times as long. When you’re drilling holes you want to be as close to the action as possible because you’ll want to apply extra pressure. It’s different when you’re banging away at concrete with a long chisel.

You’ll be a lot more comfortable when standing further back. You won’t need to crouch so close to the ground. When the chisel is pounding into materials you won’t be engulfed in as much dust. It will be easier to access hard to reach areas without additional help. A shorter tool makes your job a little more difficult.

Rotary Hammer vs Demolition Hammer: Final Verdict

Do you want to drill holes into your materials? If so, you should choose a rotary hammer.

Do you want to tackle much bigger projects with a more powerful tool? If so, you should choose a demolition hammer.

I wouldn’t spend too much time thinking about the type of tool you want. Ask yourself if extra power or the ability to drill holes is more important. That will tell you which tool you need to add to your collection.

Do you want the benefit of both tools? Grab the one you deem more important and pick up the other at a future date. You’ve got a much bigger problem you need to focus your attention on today.

Once you know which tool you want you’ll need to identify the ideal one. There are lots of models on the market and they all come with their own benefits. Spend time researching your favorites before coming to a final decision.