Publication Date: March/April 2003

Combination Hammers

Tool

Weight

Amps

RPM

Blows Per Minute

Maximum Impact Energy

Cord Length

Street Price

Bosch

11241EVS

14 lbs.

11

220 to 400 (loaded)

1,700 to 3,300 (loaded)

7.4 foot/pounds

8 feet

$549

Comments: This is a terrific, well-engineered machine for someone who does more horizontal work than I do. It's got great power for a mid-weight tool. It's well balanced, and vibration isolators prevent excessive vibration and operator fatigue, which is vital. I like the power indicator and speed selector switches. It has a good box. 877-267-2499. www.boschtools.com

Tool

Weight

Amps

RPM

Blows Per Minute

Maximum Impact Energy

Cord Length

Street Price

DeWalt

D25600K

13.4 lbs.

11

140 to 280

1,330 to 2,660

8 foot/pounds

13-1/2 feet

$699

Comments: While lightweight, this tool has impressive power. I like the feel and balance, which is good for horizontal work. The tool exhausts cooling air over a wide area, so it kicks up less dust than the others. I like its dual-mount handle, but when in the upper position by the trigger, it blocks the mode selector switch. The box seems tough enough, but the partitions inside could be a little sturdier. *I tested a prototype model. The tool ships this month. 800-433-9258. www.dewalt.com

Tool

Weight

Amps

RPM

Blows Per Minute

Maximum Impact Energy

Cord Length

Street Price

Hilti

TE 76-ATC

17.4 lbs.

11

0 to 282

0 to 2,770

6.1 foot/pounds

10 feet

$1,699

Comments: This is the most powerful tool in the group, plus it's the smoothest to operate. It's balanced enough for horizontal work, although a bit heavy. I like the switches, especially the 50 percent and 100 percent power selection, which increases both the BPM and RPM. The trigger lock for chipping gives your hand a break from squeezing the trigger. The electronic torque control (ATC) is nice. It needs a box that clearly indicates the top and bottom. 800-879-8000. www.us.hilti.com

Tool

Weight

Amps

RPM

Blows Per Minute

Maximum Impact Energy

Cord Length

Street Price

Hitachi

DH40MB

14.2 lbs.

8.7

180 to 360

1,400 to 2,800

5.9 foot/pounds

8 feet

$460 to $500

Comments: This is a solid tool with very good power. It's well-balanced and ergonomically advanced. I'm not crazy about the switch design and location (underneath the tool body). It's got the largest box of the bunch, which can carry plenty of bits and accessories. 800-829-4752. www.hitachi.com/hpt

Tool

Weight

Amps

RPM

Blows Per Minute

Maximum Impact Energy

Cord Length

Street Price

Makita

HR4000C

13.6 lbs.

9.6

230 to 450

1,250 to 2,500

4.94 foot/pounds

16-1/2 feet

$565

Comments: I like this hammer a lot. It's well designed, nicely balanced, and lighter than most of the tools we tested, so it doesn't quite pack the punch of the others. However, its compact design and variable handle option make it extremely versatile, especially for horizontal work like masonry demo or breakthrough in concrete. The D-handle is a nice addition for horizontal and overhead chipping. It's got a good switch and well-designed box. 800-462-5482. www.makita.com

Tool

Weight

Amps

RPM

Blows Per Minute

Maximum Impact Energy

Cord Length

Street Price

Metabo

BHE6045S

18.3 lbs.

10.6

105 to 275

1,000 to 2,600

6.049 foot/pounds

13 feet, 6 inches

$839

Comments: Metabo's is the largest tool of the lot and has enough power to handle any application. It's a bit heavy for horizontal work but will get the job done well. It's got a nice, comfortable, and large side handle you can use in two locations -- near the chuck and at the trigger grip. I think the function switch needs better graphics to indicate what function the tool is on. 800-638-2264. www.metabousa.com

Tool

Weight

Amps

RPM

Blows Per Minute

Maximum Impact Energy

Cord Length

Street Price

Milwaukee

5315-21

13.9 lbs.

11

190 to 385

1,700 to 3,400

7.9 foot/pounds

10 feet

$499 to $529

Comments: Milwaukee has a well-made, compact tool with nice features. The vibration isolators really reduce fatigue without compromising tool control and feel. There's a good switch with clear, concise graphics. The Quik-Lok cord is a nice feature that allows for easy storage in the box and damaged cord replacement. I'm not impressed with the traditional metal box, though, it adds weight and dents easily, affecting proper closure. 800-729-3878. www.heavydutytool.com

This article is reprinted courtesy of Tools of the Trade