As contractors in New York City, my crew spends most of its time pouring, cutting, drilling, and anchoring in concrete. For some framing and all mechanical and electrical work, we use rotary hammers on a daily basis to attach virtually anything to concrete, and the tool we reach for most is a 1-inch rotary hammer with three operating modes: rotary hammer, hammer only, and rotation only. The lightweight, compact size and ability to shift from hammerdrilling to chipping to simple drilling, and even driving, makes it the most versatile tool on our jobsites.
There is nothing quite as dirty, dusty, and plain-old tough as demolition work, especially for breaking up concrete and masonry. The work is unpleasant enough for both the crew and the tools so we try to get it over with as quickly–and as painlessly–as possible. But here in New York City, a town basically encased in concrete and rock, it's nearly impossible to avoid; we find ourselves starting virtually every job with heavy demolition. Our tool of choice for this work is the 20-pound demo hammer. It's heavy enough to break up hard stuff but versatile and light enough to work in a variety of positions and locations, and it still fits in the truck or gang box at the end of the day.