What Is a Percussion Drill?

When it comes time to drill into a hard material, like ceramic or concrete walls, you may see people refer to a “percussion drill.” What are these, and how do they work?

A percussion drill functions like a regular drill, but its mechanism also moves the drill bit in sharp, tapping motions against the surface as it drills. This helps the drill pound through harder materials and reduces the chance of stress cracks forming. Proper form helps even further.

Percussion Drills: What Are They?

Percussion Drills are used to make quick, strong movements in order to penetrate hard materials like stone walls, thereby creating holes in them. They are also known as hammer drills or impact drills.

There are a variety of tasks that Percussion Drills can be used for, such as drilling holes in hard, compact structures such as concrete.  They are primarily to be used for heavy-duty tasks due to their bulk.

There are a variety of percussion drills available, and no two are exactly alike.  It is also important to consider what type of batteries you are willing to take on if you select a cordless drill.  Information/specifications regarding these can be found on the product websites.

The functions, proper usage, and brand of percussion drill you will need should be thoroughly understood before you embark upon your task, so read further to learn what you need to know!

Functions and Tasks of a Percussion Drill

Percussion drills, like all other hardware equipment, have specific tasks for which they are designed.  

The percussion drill functions by having two ridged discs that work as gears by interacting with each other and creating the motion of hammering.  This, in turn, drives the drill bit forward into the concrete or other material that it is pushing against.

We have already mentioned that they are primarily used for drilling in hard areas like concrete, but they are not the only drill that can be used for this purpose.  

Rotary Hammer drills can also create holes in concrete.  According to Popular Mechanics, they are especially useful for carpenters and other labourers who prefer larger-duty drills.  

The percussion drill, with its lighter weight, will likely be handier for someone who is working on home projects.

One additional difference between the two drills is that the rotary hammer usually has multiple functions, including drill and hammer modes.

If you are trying to decide between purchasing a percussion or rotary hammer drill, you will need to take these factors and the cost (rotary hammers typically cost more) into consideration.


The right percussion drill for you is something you will need to decide based on what you are looking for in size, price, efficiency, and other factors.  Each of the major drill vendors offers products based on consumer demand, reviews of previous products, and the long-term outlook of how and where percussion drills are used.

In the end, be sure to do your own research so that you will be able to make an informed decision about the right drill.  Happy drilling!


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