Rotary Hammer Drill
A rotary hammer drill is used to cut holes in wood. A rotary hammer drill is made up of two rotating cylinders, which are connected with a spindle at one end. The cylinder is held in place by a pair of screws or bolts at its other end. When the screw or bolt turns, it causes the cylinder to rotate around the spindle, turning the hole in wood. The rotation of the cylinder and the spinning of the hole in wood are controlled by a hand crank attached to the opposite side of the spindle.
The rotary hammer drill is useful when drilling holes into hardwood such as oak, maple, birch, pine and many others. It works well for cutting small holes through boards or large ones through solid material like concrete.
How Does a Rotary Hammer Drill Work?
The rotary hammer drill works by using the force of the rotating cylinder against the spindle to turn a hole in wood. To make a hole in wood, you need to first cut out a piece of wood big enough to fit inside your rotary hammer drill. Then, you insert the drill bit into the opening and start turning it until it reaches an angle where you want it to go. When it reaches that angle, you pull the trigger and give it a try.
If your drill bit is not sharp enough, it will not go through the wood. If it is too sharp, it may go through the wood but splinter and crack apart, making the hole unsightly and weakening the integrity of the board. Your drill bits will dull after a few holes in wood and will need to be replaced.
How to Use
Using a rotary hammer drill to make holes in wood is a fairly simple process. To start, you will need to cut out a piece of the board that you want to make the hole in and choose the right size bit for the size hole that you want to make. After deciding on the size bit, you must then cut out the center of the piece of wood so that it fits into the opening of the rotary hammer drill. If you are making a hole that does not run completely through the board, half of this opening will be the front of the drill bit and the other will be the back. Next, take your piece of wood with the hole in it and place it over the drill bit so that it fits snugly inside the opening and make sure that the hole is aligned with the center of the drill bit.
Then, place a piece of tape around the drill bit and the wood so that it stays secure.
Now, all that you need to do is start cranking the drill bit into the wood. To make the hole go through easily, hold both sides of the wood with your hands and keep a firm grip on it with each turn of the drill bit. If you want to make a hole all the way through a board, make sure that the tape is covering the front of the drill bit and that the piece of wood will be going through from the back of the board to the front. Before you get to that step, however, you need to drill a pilot hole so that the drill bit can keep from slipping out of place. All you need to do for that is take a smaller drill bit and drill into the wood until you are through both sides.
Drill about an inch deep in the center of where you want the hole to be. Then, take the tape off of the bit and put it back on the drill. Make sure that it is covering the front part of the bit and that the pilot hole that you just made is on the back side.
Now comes the fun part: drilling the whole all the way through. Take a firm grip on both sides of the board and make sure you have something to catch the wood chips that are about to be produced. Turn on the drill and hold it at about a 45 degree angle so that the bit goes into the wood at an angle. Go slowly at first so that you do not put too much pressure on the bit and snap it off. If you have done everything right, it should go through the wood with no problem.
Just make sure that you have something to catch the wood as it comes out of the backside of the board. If you want to go through a wall or any other piece of wood where there is not a backside, you can just keep the drill bit at a 90 degree angle so that it goes straight through and into the wall that you are drilling into.
After you are done drilling, you can take the tape off and pull the wood out of the opening in the drill. You may need to use a screw driver to pry it out if it gets stuck, but it should come out fairly easily.
Once you have made your hole, you can do whatever you need to do to finish your project. Good luck and happy drilling!
Tips & Warnings
Make sure that the drill is unplugged before you attempt to use it. If it isn’t, you or someone else could get hurt.
Do not over-tighten the tape around the drill bit. This can cause it to snap off inside of the wood and then you will need to take extra time to dig it out.
Always wear safety goggles when operating power tools.
If you get frustrated while drilling, take a break and then start again.
When drilling through walls or other areas where you cannot see the backside, drill a pilot hole first so that the bit doesn’t slip out of place while you are drilling.
Be careful not to drill too deep when making a pilot hole. If the drill bit goes through the back side of the board, you will need to dig it out before finishing the hole.
Always use eye protection when operating power tools.
If the bit gets dull, change it out for a new one. A dull bit will cause the motor to get hot and could potentially cause a fire if used excessively.
Plug the drill in and make sure that it works before using it.
Only use the drill on wood. Never use it on anything else.
If any of the tape on the drill bit starts to come off, take a break from drilling and apply a new piece of tape.
Make sure that you hold the drill firmly or it could slip out of place and cause injury.
If you are not comfortable using a drill, get an adult to help you.
Do not operate the drill at anything but low power. High power can break the bit or cause it to get very hot and possibly start a fire.
It may be a good idea to wear latex gloves when drilling to prevent the tape and wood from getting stuck under your fingernails.
Breathe properly when drilling. Do not over exert yourself by taking short quick breaths and don’t hold your breath either.
If you feel lightheaded, stop immediately and take a break.
Wear safety goggles when working with power tools. Flying wood chips can damage your eyes.
If the drill starts to feel hot, stop using it and let it cool down before trying again.
Never look into the hole that you are drilling. You don’t want to get wood particles in your eyes.
A cordless drill will give you much more freedom of movement when drilling.
If you don’t have access to a drill, you can use a hand-crank pencil sharpener in a similar fashion.
If you don’t have access to a drill or pencil sharpener, you can use an awl or ice pick instead. It just won’t be as quick or as neat.
Be sure to pick an end of the tape that you can easily remove when you are finished.
If you have trouble removing the tape, try picking at it from the inside. This will prevent the tape from snagging as you pull it out.
Wear safety goggles when operating any power tools.
It might be a good idea to wear gloves and perhaps even long pants to prevent the tape from sticking to your skin.
If you are drilling into drywall or plaster, try using a piece of wood alongside the wall as you drill. This will prevent the wall from crumbling as you make your hole.
If you are drilling into wood or masonite, drill a pilot hole first to prevent the back side of the material from crumbling.
Always wear eye protection when using power tools.
Be sure to remove all of the tape when you are finished so that it doesn’t snag or get stuck under your fingernails.
If you are using a cordless drill, be sure to charge the battery and keep it nearby so that you can use it if needed.
If you are using a corded drill, make sure to keep the wire out of the way so that it doesn’t get damaged while you work.
There will always be some splintering and cracking when drilling into wood. To decrease this, predrill several holes in the material first. Then, use a scrap piece of wood to support the back side. Drill through one of the holes that you made earlier, applying even pressure until the bit comes through the other side.
Drill at an angle toward the spot that you want to drill through. This will prevent the wood from cracking and splintering as much.
If you are drilling into metal, use a special bit designed for this purpose.
When drilling into glass or acrylic, use a special bit designed for this purpose. These bits have a hollow center with a ball bearing that helps them to grip the material. This allows you to drill much faster than you could with a standard bit.
If you can’t find a bit designed for the material that you are drilling, try using a spade bit. These work pretty well for most materials other than metal.
When drilling into metal, use a high speed bit designed for this purpose.
Wear proper eye protection when using power tools.
Be sure to use the right size bit for each job. Using a thin bit in dense wood will only cause it to snap.
You generally don’t need to soak wooden items in water before drilling into them. Most modern bits are designed to cut through wet wood with ease.
If the bit keeps getting jammed or stunned and won’t drill, try switching to a new one. Old bits get worn down and dull over time, losing their cutting edge.
When you are finished drilling, pull out the bit and clean out the hole with a small stick. This will prevent the wood from getting jammed in the hole.
If you are drilling through a very dense material, try using a cordless drill. These drills have very strong batteries which can get through even the toughest materials.
Never use your hand to hold the drill bit while it is in use. If the bit snags or breaks, it could cause an injury.
Some materials are much harder to drill through than others. Before you attempt to drill, find out what material you will be working with.
If you are drilling into plastic or hard rubber, these materials are difficult to work with. For this reason, try using a narrow, small bit for these materials.
When drilling into something, hold the item you are drilling in one hand and the drill in the other. This way, if the bit snags or breaks, you won’t be injured by the drill.
If you have to drill into a curved or uneven surface, try clamping a scrap piece of wood on the other side of the object you are drilling. This will prevent the object from breaking or splintering.
Be careful not to apply too much pressure or the bit will either break or get jammed in the material.
If a bit breaks while you are drilling, don’t pull on it. This will only cause the broken bit to tear up the material and get jammed. Instead, hold the drill steady and use pliers to grip the broken bit and pull slowly.
Drilling is a great way to put holes into different materials for a variety of reasons. Just make sure that you are using the right size bit for the job and applying even pressure when needed.
Here is a simple guide to help you choose the appropriate bit for the job at hand.Metal: Use a spade bit.Wood: Use a spade bit.Glass and Acrylic: Use a paddle bit, brad point bit, or spade bit.Brick: Use a masonry bit.Ceramic Tile: Use a diamond core bit.Soft Metal: Use a HSS drill bit.Hard Wood: Use a HSS drill bit.Soft Wood: Use a paddle bit or brad point bit.PVC: Use a spade bit.These are just recommendations.
If you find that another type of bit works better for you, then use it!This book has everything you need to know about drilling. When you are finished, try the projects in the back of the book to put your new skill to use.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Rotary hammer (R Wache – US Patent 4,895,212, 1990 – Google Patents)
- Rotary hammer with a pneumatic hammer mechanism (U Demuth – US Patent 5,435,397, 1995 – Google Patents)
- Rotary hammer (RB Wache, M Droste – US Patent 6,241,026, 2001 – Google Patents)
- Rotary hammer ultrasonic/sonic drill system (M Badescu, S Stroescu, S Sherrit… – … on Robotics and …, 2008 – ieeexplore.ieee.org)
- Rotary hammer (M Stirm – US Patent 7,051,820, 2006 – Google Patents)
- Method of controlling the speed of a drill, hammer-drill, or rotary hammer and apparatus therefor (S Huber – US Patent 4,454,459, 1984 – Google Patents)
- Rotary hammer (JD Hetcher, DR Bauer, DC Marinkovich… – US Patent …, 2006 – Google Patents)
- Rotary hammer (AR Wyler, JR Ebner – US Patent 9,849,577, 2017 – Google Patents)
- Small rotary hammer (JL Schnettler – US Patent 3,395,765, 1968 – Google Patents)