Written by Marloes

What do I use a demolition hammer for?

When you think of DIYing, you'll mostly think of building or remodeling things in and around the house. DIYing can also mean something needs to be torn down, demolished, or cut away. An obsolete wall, for example, or those dated '70s tiles in the kitchen. In those cases, your cordless drill won't be of any help, but you'll need heavy machinery, such as a demolition hammer, also known as a jackhammer. Whatever you call it, there's 1 thing they do best: demolish.

1. How does a demolition hammer work?

How a demolition hammer works

A demolition hammer's force is indicated in joules. The higher the number of joules, the more force the demolition hammer generates. It makes a pretty big difference, you see, whether you want to cut out a narrow slot, or you need to break open a concrete floor. The technology behind every demolition hammer is the same. The head doesn't rotate, but moves back and forth. With this movement, the chisel hammers into the tiles or floor tiles. You won't succeed in drilling a hole with a demolition hammer; it's simply not made for that. A chisel that lands on rock hard floor tiling with massive strength will need to stay firmly in place. This is why a demolition hammer always has an SDS drill head. The chisel gets lodged in there so firmly, it always stays locked in place.

2. What should you keep in mind?

What should you keep in mind when it comes to a demolition hammer?

There are several properties you could pay attention to when adding a demolition hammer to your collection of tools. For example, one demolition hammer will have a higher vibration value than another. The more expensive models usually feature technology that reduces the vibration in the grip. Especially when you're working for long periods of time, it's nice when the massive force used for demolition work isn't completely left to your arms to absorb. This way, you'll be able to keep working for longer, and you won't be as bothered by unpleasant muscle soreness the next day.

3. What are chisel settings?

Demolition hammer chisel settings

If a demolition hammer has multiple chisel settings, that means you can choose what way to fasten the chisel into the head. This is especially convenient when cutting away tiles with a spade chisel. The flat part of the chisel, though, needs to be able to be put behind the tile, so you won't have to hold the demolition hammer at an impossible angle. The number of chisel settings you can set varies between demolition hammers from 6 to no less than 15. Some don't offer this function at all.

4. Demolition hammer or combi hammer?

Demolition hammer or Combi hammer

Let it be clear: you should use a demolition hammer for breaking or demolishing and no more than that. For light breaking work like removing old joints, but also for heavier demolition duties, a demolition hammer is your best friend. If a demolition hammer has a screw plug, we call it a combi hammer and it can do more than just break. This means you don't only use a Combi hammer for light breaking work, but also to drill holes into concrete or hard types of stone.

5. Don't forget the accessories!

Demolition hammer accessories

On a demolition hammer, you use chisels, which come in various shapes and sizes. Depending on the job, you'll choose the most suitable chisels. If you're going to drill gullies or slots into concrete to cover up power cables, a slot chisel will be more effective than a flat chisel. If you need to get rid of the tiles in the bathroom to replace them with fresh white ones, a spade chisel will be more useful than a slot chisel. Chisels differ in length as well. You'll need a longer chisel for hacking up a concrete wall than for chiseling away plaster. In short, consider carefully what you plan to use the demolition hammer for, in order to choose the most suitable chisels.

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