Hammer Drill vs. Impact Driver

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Forum topic by Jim Savage posted 12-27-2011 10:10 PM 24078 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jim Savage

26 posts in 3190 days

12-27-2011 10:10 PM

Topic tags/keywords: hammer drill impact driver

I need to hang some storage cabinets on a cinder block wall in my garage. Everything I’m reading recommends using a hammer drill to drill anchor holes in the block wall. I do not have a hammer drill, but I do have an impact driver.

I know those tools aren’t the same, but will the impact driver drill holes in cinder bock?

If I need a hammer drill instead of an impact driver, has anyone rented one? How did that work out?

Also, do the Tapcon screws work well for this kind of thing? (The HD near my house sells Tapcon.)

I’ve never done anything like this, so any other advice you have would be appreciated.


Jim Savage

11 replies so far

View Earlextech's profile


1161 posts in 2685 days

#1 posted 12-27-2011 10:45 PM

A hammer drill is a nice luxury to have but a regular drill will do the job.

No, an impact driver is not the same as a hammer drill. Use a drill to put holes in the block. Use the impact to screw the cabinets to the wall.

-- Sam Hamory - The project is never finished until its "Finished"!

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2920 days

#2 posted 12-27-2011 10:53 PM

Tapcons do a great job. Have used almost a thousand of them.

You can drill the pilot hole (bit usually comes in the larger boxes) without an impact then use the drill to fasten them. Only thing to be careful of, use at very low speed when installing Tapcons and stop when it gets tight, do not strip them or they hold nothing.

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View jerkylips's profile


406 posts in 2565 days

#3 posted 12-27-2011 11:09 PM

I think toggle bolts are a good idea. To add to that, If it were me I’d consider using a french cleat attached with construction adhesive, toggle bolts, then hang the cabinets from that. I think it would distribute the weight better.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3069 days

#4 posted 12-27-2011 11:12 PM

You can use a regular drill to drill holes into concrete block, but it will hake a long time.

A corded hammer drill does not cost very much anymore. The real cheap ones run in hammer mode only and it is essentially useless for anything other than drill holes in concrete. The slightly more expensive ones (but still cheap) let you switch from regular mode to hammer mode. Hence, you have an extra drill.

In my opinion, this is all you need – -,default,pd.html?ref=froogleDR650R&zmam=31282435&zmas=40&zmac=427&zmap=DR650R&gclid=CObh8v2Uo60CFYHrKgoddj0p6A

I like to use an impact driver to drive the tappon screw into the concrete. Jusfine is right about going slow and stopping when you are no longer making progress.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Don W's profile (online now)

Don W

18707 posts in 2562 days

#5 posted 12-28-2011 12:39 AM

I agree with the tapcons. To just drill a hole, use a masonry drill with a regular drill.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Loren's profile (online now)


10376 posts in 3642 days

#6 posted 12-28-2011 01:51 AM

Make sure you use a bit matched to the Tapcon screws you are using.
Drill the hole under or oversized for the screw and it won’t work out.

You can drill a few holes with a masonry bit and a regular drill. If you
are drilling more than a few holes in concrete a hammer drill is nice
to have. A heavy duty 1/2” corded drill is a useful tool to have and
many are available with a hammer drill mode.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2963 days

#7 posted 12-28-2011 03:15 AM

If you have no alternative to drilling a hole with a regular drill in concrete, start with a small bit, then ream it out to the size you want with successively larger bits. Try it anyway, I have found it to be quicker than to go boring with the ‘correct’ bit. The hole won’t get out of shape either.

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2687 days

#8 posted 12-28-2011 04:12 AM

Tapcons are for concrete, masonry, stone & materials with a higher density than cider block. Yor are looking for a concrete lag shield connector. They use a lag screw, works great on thre coarse and crumbly cider block.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View jaydubya's profile


183 posts in 2806 days

#9 posted 12-28-2011 04:23 AM

Tapcons work great, so dont hesitate to use them. I have drilled holes in concrete without a hammer drill, but it takes FOREVER and you will go through masonry bits fast. I have a cordless Makita hammer drill/impact that I absolutely LOVE

View ZiggyZ's profile


65 posts in 2379 days

#10 posted 12-28-2011 05:40 AM

Hey Jim,
I’d check out Craigslist for a cheap hammerdrill. Tapcons will work fine for the CMU block.

View linjay's profile


100 posts in 2618 days

#11 posted 12-28-2011 06:58 AM

Agree with Tapcon and proper size concrete (carbide tipped) drill bit. No special drill required for concrete block.

-- It's easy when you know how - but that's the hard part. Ontario, Canada

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