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What is an Electric Hammer?

By Klaus Strasser
Updated May 17, 2024
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An electric hammer is a tool commonly used to drive nails, and other fasteners, into materials, such as wood and plaster. As the name implies, the tool functions much like a standard hammer, except that the hitting action that would normally be performed manually is done electronically. These tools measure this force in blows per minute (BPM). Some models can work at ten thousand BPMs, which make them efficient and practical tools. These are often used in masonry work, and by amateur do-it-yourself enthusiasts.

The electric hammer is sometimes referred to as a hammer drill. This term is also occasionally used to describe tools, such as electric jackhammers, electric chipping hammers, or electric breaking hammers. All of these different implements are usually used for specific applications. The standard electric hammer is typically employed in smaller jobs that require the use of a traditional hammer or drill.

The rated power output of the tool generally falls between 600 and 1100 watts. In one of the most standard models, the hammering action is caused by the motion of two opposing cam plates that mobilize a chuck. It is the chuck piece that performs the actual hitting.

The rotary or pneumatic electric hammer drill differs in that the tool works by the movement of the bit. As opposed to the cam plate model, it features a piston design. This type of electric hammer is often used for drilling holes or chipping concrete.

Some of the drawbacks of the electric hammer are that it is thought by most professionals to create considerable vibration. This can detract from the accuracy of placing nails or fasteners. Due to this, the hammer is usually used only with normal-sized masonry bits.

The electric hammer can be limited in terms of the types of materials into which it can insert nails. It is most commonly used with wood and plaster. The standard electric hammer is usually not used when working with heavy materials, such as concrete, but this can depend on the hammer model being used.

Some versions of the tool are also equipped with a small vacuum device that is used to collect dust. This can be a good feature in projects where accuracy is important because it helps to keep the work zone clear. Dust is sucked through the vacuum, and into a small storage container, to aid the operator and improve the quality of masonry work.

Cordless electric hammers are powered by batteries. The cordless model allows the worker to become more mobile, and access areas without having to worry about a power supply. The batteries are usually stored in a battery pack attached to the tool. Most models use rechargeable batteries.

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