How To Use A Hammer Drill Chisel? Our 2021 Guide!

Last Updated On August 28, 2021 By Elliot

Can I Use a Hammer Drill As a Chisel - Here's How

Hammer drills are a handy tool to have in your kit for drilling into masonry and other hard materials with ease thanks to their pulsating hammer mechanism which breaks down material with force. 

Sometimes you might be faced with the task of having to chisel out hard material to remove tiles or break up concrete, luckily, a rotary hammer tool can help with this process when used on hammer mode as this stops the rotary hammer drill rotation allowing you to chisel away with ease if you have a chisel attachment. 

To know how to chisel away tough materials on hammer mode, we have put together a simple to follow guide below which will take you through the chiselling process.

What Type Of Hammer Drill Do I Need For Chiseling? 

If you want to bust up some concrete, then you need to make sure you have the right type of chisel hammer drill, to begin with as not all come with a chisel function. 

The type of hammer drill you need for chiselling are rotary hammer drills, these types of drills act differently to a typical hammer drill as they come with three modes allowing you to switch between a hammer drill and just a hammer mode without rotation which uses pneumatic hammer air compression to deliver blows when chiselling. 

A normal hammer drill will not come with a variety of modes to turn off the drilling effect, therefore, cannot be used for chiselling.

You can also use a demolition hammer tool for chiselling as well, this could be to remove ceramic tiles, break up concrete or any other solid materials. 

Popular Rotary Hammer Drill Bits For Chiseling 

Now we know we need to use a rotary hammer tool or a demolition hammer tool for chiselling, you also need to make sure you are using the right tool attachments for this job.

The most popular attachments for chiselling with your suitable hammer drill are SDS-plus bits, these rotary hammer accessories include chisels for scaling metal or even breaking up hard soil in the ground. For drilling concrete itself, you would need a masonry bit, but these should not be used for chiselling.

We have listed the best chisel attachments you can use for your rotary hammers model below. 

  • Clay spades - These are best for breaking up hard soil. 
  • Cold chisel - Perfect if you need to beat up some concrete.
  • Tile remove - For pulling up individual tile. 
  • Bull point chisel - Good for starting holes in concrete. 
  • Scaling chisel - Removes rust, concrete and weld spatter.

Our Step By Step Guide To Chiseling With a Hammer Drill 

To chisel away concrete materials we need a rotary hammers model by now as they allow you to use a hammer function with no rotation, this should be used with a chisel bit for the best results. 

We have composed a small step by step guide below that will teach you how to chisel with your hammer drill.

  • Step one - First of all, set your rotary hammers device to hammer mode only and attach the type of chisel bit you need either SDS-plus or SDS-max and place it at a 45-degree angle to remove material. 
  • Step two - Turn on the switch and start chiselling slowly with not too much pressure, for lifting tiles you would need to move the rotary hammers model from side to side to lift the tile.
  • Step three - Clear debris away as you work for clear vision every time you move on to the next tile to chisel.
  • Step four - If you want to remove any mortar you can also use the chisel attachment for this process.

Safety Tips For Chiseling With You Hammer Drill 

Using the chisel function on your hammer drill is relatively safe, but you should ensure you take the necessary safety precaution to avoid any accidents when chiselling. 

We have listed our best safety tips for chiselling with your hammer drill below.

  • Only use rotary hammers for chiselling - Never try and chisel with a standard hammer drill, these should only be used for drilling masonry as you can't turn the rotation function off on these models, trying to chisel with a hammer drill mode will ruin the material and cause debris to fly everywhere.
  • Wear PPE - When working with hard materials like tile or concrete you must protect your eyes and lungs from the dust and debris created, make sure to wear a dust mask as well as safety goggles for this job. 
  • Make sure you are on hammer mode - Even when using a rotary hammer device, you need to ensure that its mode is switched to 'hammer only' before trying to chisel, do not get this confused with a hammer drill mode or driver mode.
  • Never force the chisel - If your chisel gets stuck never try and force it through the material, this can damage the drill itself, instead, try and move it side to side rather than apply centre pressure.
  • Use a low speed - Always start chiselling on a low speed first till you get control of the device's movement, if the material is harder to break away then switch to a more powerful setting.

Frequently Asked Questions About Using a Hammer Drill Chisel 

Can a compact hammer drill be used as a chisel? 

Only if the hammer drill is a rotary hammer drill with multiple functions as you need to be able to switch the drill mode off and use the hammer function only.

How much do rotary hammer drills cost? 

A rotary hammer drill tends to cost around the £100 mark, they are slightly more expensive than a standard hammer drill as they have more striking power.

Can a rotary hammer tool be used for drilling too? 

Yes, a rotary hammer can be used for pressure drills when set on the hammer drill mode and used with a masonry bit.

What types of chisels are there for my hammer drill? 

There are many types of chisels to use with your rotary hammer drill, some include; pointed chisels, flat chisels, spade chisels, channel chisels and tile chisels, all are suited to chiselling away specific types of material.

Should I use a demolition hammer or a rotary hammer for chiselling material?

Both types of hammer tools will work fine for chiselling, a demolition hammer is often more powerful so might be suited for chiselling away harder material of a large size. 

Last Words 

Overall, using your hammer drills as a chisel is a simple process as long as you have the right chisel bits handy for your tool and you are using a rotary hammer drill rather than a standard hammer drill. Rotary hammer drills should only be used for chiselling as they have a hammer only mode, trying to chisel with your normal hammer drill will not work.


I'm Elliot Higgins the Founder of multiple hardware stores around the UK. I love wood and wood working. Watching a fine piece of pine or cedar turn into a work of art is extremely satisfying. The one thing I love more than woodworking is the toys that we use! On; we bring you information and reviews on all kinds of tools.

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Last Updated On August 28, 2021

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