Hammer drills are considered a power tool used mainly for drilling tasks in dense materials. They perform best, particularly in driving holes into these hard materials before driving a screw. The hammering motion of these tools enhances their usability in drilling holes. Sometimes you may try to drive screws using a hammer drill. So let’s take a look Can we use a hammer drill as a screwdriver?
Normally, a regular hammer drill can be used as a screwdriver after switching off the hammering action and using circular sectional driver bits. This is a better solution for small and medium size screws. But it is not a highly recommended way because the chuck and driver bit can be slipped easily due to high torque.
However, you can not use them to drive screws in every situation. Keep on reading to understand some of the fundamental facts you should know about using hammer drills as a screwdriver
01. How to Use Screw Bits On Hammer Drill?
You have to use screwdriver bits in the drill when transforming a cordless drill into a screwdriver. Screwdriver bits are available with Nut driver-shaped heads, Flat blade heads and Phillips heads.
It is important to match these bits with the screw type and the size. If you choose a bit that does not fit your screw, it might slip, damaging the material.
- Before using screw bits on a hammer drill, first you had better read choose the right drill bit guide.. We can see, regular hammer drill, SDS, SDS plus, and SDS max hammer drill. There is a different hammering action SDS drill Vs Hammer drills. Regular drills have lower power hammer action and SDS max has maximum.
- When we use a screwdriver in a hammer drill, we should turn off the hammering action. If not, it will automatically activate and damage the tool as well as the user. I do not recommend any serious SDS hammer drill for this. Because they required specially designed bits with rails. So circular bits are not able to fit inside.
- Then you need to use circular cross-sectional driver bits as the screw-driving bits. Regular driving bits are not able to use in hammer drill because of its hex shape.
- But, It is not highly recommended such that usage. Because driving screws need higher torque. Normally, hammer drills are not designed for higher torque. There is a higher RPM. When driving higher size diameter screw will gain more trouble such as slipping, chipping, etc.
- For the drills with chuck keys, use the key to fasten the bit into place, to avoid slipping bits when driving the screws. Make sure that you have tightened the bit properly
So let’s see in depth, all in detail about can a hammer drill be used as a screwdriver. Below is the complete explained guide and I hope that will really help you. So please keep reading on.
02. How Does A Screwdriver Work?
An electric screwdriver is a compact electric tool that enables users to screw and unscrew easily. The handle and the shaft of the driver enable it to be placed and aided and apply torque when it is rotating. Further, a screw head with a contour applicable for screwdriver tips provides adequate torque to the screwdriver making the screw rotate with the force of one hand.
The power is connected to the battery voltage in cordless screwdrivers. The voltage of a screwdriver ranges from 3.6 V to 18V. Mainly, electric screwdriver batteries are available for less than 1.5Ah, between 1.5 and 2Ah, and over 2Ah. This makes it quite less effective than a hammer drill.
Even though screwdrivers have sufficient power to drive a screw-on soft material, they do not perform well on dense materials such as concrete and hardwood.
Screwdrivers can drive faster through predrilled holes. If your task demands you to work all day, you may need a corded screwdriver. For tasks that require 2 – 3 working hours a day, cordless screwdrivers will be an ideal choice.
03. Hammer Drill Mechanism And Function
The working mechanism of a hammer drill differs from a normal hand drill due to its hammer mechanism that pushes the drill bit in and out when drilling, making the users work on hard materials effortlessly.
While rotating the drill bit, the cam-action or the percussion hammering mechanism makes two sets of toothed gears mechanically interact with one another. When it comes to cam-action drills, the chuck processes make it move forward and backward on the axis of rotation with bits.
Cam-action drills can be utilized with or without the hammer action; however, it is impossible to use only the hammer action as it is the rotation over the cams that stimulates the hammer motion.
The particularly designed clutch in the hammer drill spins it while punching it in and out with the help of the bit axis. The expanse the bit travels in and out and the force of its blow is quite small-scale, and the hammering action is extremely rapid.
Even though each blow is of significantly low force, the immense speed of the blows per minute is well sufficient to drive off tough materials, with the masonry drill bit’s carbide wedge to pulverize it for the coiled flutes to immediately take away. Subsequently, hammer drills can drill much more rapidly than ordinary drills through cement or brick.
Focusing on the percussive mechanism, it delivers an immediate progression of short hammer thrusts to pulverize the material to be drilled, and rapid drilling without much effort. When the impact mechanism is switched off, hammer drills can be used as normal drills enabling them to perform tasks like screwdrivers.
04. Screwdriver Chuck And Hammer Drill Chuck
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The chuck usually holds the bit used to insert and remove screws. There are two most common types of chuck found on cordless screwdrivers:
- Chuck with magnetic bit holder
- Quick-release chuck.
In addition to the above types, there is a third type of chuck called a 3-jawed keyless chuck used on some cordless power tools. 3-jawed chucks include 3 jaws that fasten to the sides of the bit when processing. Users find it clever as it enables bits with round shanks and hex shanks.
Most of the hammer drills are designed with a self-centering three-jaw chuck and often come keyless. Besides, heavy-duty models require a keyed chuck that gives a tighter grip on the drill bit.
SDS hammer drills come with a spring-loaded chuck, with ball bearings that lock into holes on SDS drill bits. A sliding sleeve releases them.
Electric screwdrivers do not have chucks. Instead of chucks, they have a socket that can only fit driver bits.
05. Is It Worth Using A Hammer Drill As A Screwdriver?
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You can drive in screws with the drive function of hammer drills. The hammering motion makes hammer drills ideal for drilling holes, particularly into tough materials. Still, the heaviness of hammer drills is disadvantageous when driving screws, and they cannot easily unscrew.
More importantly, do not choose hammer drills to drive screws if the drive function is not available as it is not safe enough. Hammer drills are incredibly pricey due to the power required to pierce into concrete or brick.
Overall, hammer drills are heavy-duty tools that are both heftier and more costly than a screwdriver. So it is not worth using a hammer drill as a screwdriver. You can buy a better screwdriver