Guide to the 6 best demolition and concrete breakers [Summer 2020 Review]
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Sometimes a DIY job means breaking something down before you can rebuild or replace it with something better. This is often the case when you move into a new place and you aren’t exactly thrilled by the previous owner’s taste in tiles or other hard to shift objects.
It could be that you want to knock out a wall to extend a room, or break up concrete in the garden to make way for some of your more creative ideas. We all have far more time on our hands since the lockdown following the Covid outbreak started! So what better way to spend the time than making upgrades on your property.
When planning on undertaking a task like this, it is super important that you have the right equipment at hand, and this means having the best demolition breaker tools available.
What we are talking about here are the power tools that will allow you to smash through concrete, plaster, and other strong materials with ease. They are sometimes called breaker hammers, jackhammers, demolition hammers, or the term we have decided to use for the sake of this article, demolition breakers.
We took the best rated models out there for a test ride to see if they live up to the hype, and also to give you a more honest opinion of if they are truly worth your money or not. You can see our results and opinion in the reviews section below.
Also, don’t forget to check out our buyer’s guide section for more helpful information on this subject.
1. Einhell Demolition Hammer Te DH 1027
Offering the right combination of affordability and performance is the Einhell demolition hammer, one of the highest rated such tools on Amazon.
Make no mistake, this is the kind of tool that you want to be armed with if knocking down a brick wall or getting rid of a garden path, as the 1500W motor creates an impact force of 32 joules, and a bpm rate of 1,900. This speed and power will break even the hardiest of materials to dust in double quick time.
The makers have done a stand up job with the handles too, making them both comfortable and easy to grip, while a special anti-vibration system increases the level of comfort while operating this ferocious tool.
Is it loud? Well, yes. It’s a powerful demolition hammer that crunches through bricks, of course it’s loud, all of these kinds of tools all are, but with a good set of ear protectors, which you should most definitely be wearing along with gloves and safety glasses, you won’t find it distracting.
The design of the tool is nose and practical and I particularly liked the front handle which can be adjusted so that it is sitting below, on the side, or on top of the main body of the tool. This gives you the option of finding the optimal hand position for working at various heights and angles.
At 10 kilograms, it is light enough to lift up and use horizontally if you have average upper body strength, and the large handles really help you to find a good balance point to help with the weight distribution.
This is a very solid demolition breaker and has been put together really well, and this gives you the feeling that the tool is going to be around to stay for a fair old while, even if you put it through its paces regularly. Even the power cable is high quality, and what’s more it is long at 4 metres which is an uncommon thing these days.
Of course, the one thing that will inevitably have to be changed sooner or later are carbon brushes, as it is with all demolition hammers, but Einhell have designed this power tool to automatically deactivate these brushes to ensure longevity. After putting this demolition breaker through a fairly rigorous workout on an old brick wall, I have to say that this is a great all round tool that I found hard to fault. It is suitable for both DIY and professional use.
2. Makita HM0871C 240 V SDS Max AVT Demolition Hammer with Carry Case
You don’t always want or need a large, heavy, demolition breaker. There are many jobs that I can think of, especially smaller DIY tasks at home, that would go so much smoother with a more lightweight model that will allow you to get into tighter areas, and adjust the angles without the tool feeling cumbersome.
Makita’s 240V AVT demolition hammer is one such tool with dimensions of 59 x 14.6 x 36.7 cm but weighing only 5.8 kilograms which is just over half the weight of the Einhell. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking less weight, very little power and performance, oh no, this Makita is a serious little beast. Featuring a very powerful and robust 1100W motor that helps to produce 8.1 joules of impact energy, it is a mighty little machine. This is the case of any Makita equipment though. I’m always raving about it from their angle grinders to their circular saws.
Now, if you’re thinking that the impact energy is quite low when compared to the Einhell, you have to take into account that this Makita demolition breaker is not only much lighter, but also has a much higher speed at 2600bpm. As you would expect from a Makita, all the extra features are there for one purpose, to make the tool do what it’s supposed to do…better.
There’s a soft start so that it doesn’t catch you off guard or labour the tool too quickly, a variable speed control for working on different materials of varying thicknesses, and an excellent constant speed control which maintains constant speed under load by automatically providing more power.
Like the Einhell, the carbon brushes will automatically cut off to protect the commutator and ensure a longer work life, and on top of that, this model has an LED service light that lets you know when it’s time to change the brushes.
One thing I always look out for on lightweight demolition breakers is the level of vibration, and this is where the Makita excels. The vibration levels were really low for this kind of tool and this is thanks to Makita’s anti-vibration technology that it has developed over the years, as well as the damper springs behind the drill bit and in the handle which absorb vibration.
This Makita demolition breaker has been adapted to take SDS-Max bits and this makes inserting the bits quick and easy with no need for adjusting the tightness or any screwing motion. You just drop the bit in and it practically secures itself. SDS-max bits are superior to others when hammer drilling a large diameter hole or handling tough materials, due to their design.
To sum up, Makita has done it again and produced an outstanding product with some excellent design features to ensure you get optimum performance and durability. The only question is, are you willing to pay the extra for that Makita quality?
3. Draper 81077 1050W SDS Max Breaker
The Draper 81077 SDS Max breaker is a direct competitor of the Makita HM0871C, offering the user outstanding power for a demolition breaker that weighs in at 7 kilograms.
We first threw this at some breeze blocks, and backed up by the incredibly high rate of 4,300bpm, not to mention an impressive 25 joules of impact energy, the Draper made total mincemeat out of the lot and really impressed me.
Next we had a go at a concrete path and again the Draper handled it without it once ever getting jammed up and the bit coming loose of the chuck. Good work, Draper. This model features an SDS-max chuck so you have the same quick bit changes or removals and less chance of the bit not doing its job properly. There are two SDS-Max bits included in the price, a flat head and pointed head, and they are of high quality and will look ok for a good while.
The anti-vibration features on this demolition breaker actually work really well, just like the Makita model, and the moulded soft grip handles are comfortable to hold. The secondary front handle is adjustable with an easy screwing action to set it at the angle you desire quickly and efficiently.
Draper have fitted this demolition hammer with a lockable trigger and when I read about this I thought it was a good addition to the tool. After all, anything that makes using a heavy duty bit of kit like a demolition breaker is welcome right? Well, after using it I can safely say that the design needs some work. There’s nothing wrong with the trigger itself, the action is nice and smooth and has reassuring feedback and it also locks in place easily.
The problem is that if you squeeze the trigger again with a bit of pressure once it’s locked, it causes it to unlock and obviously we grip these kinds of tools with a lot of pressure while using them so it happens all the time. This isn’t a deal breaker, but something that Draper should have done better. That’s the only niggle I’ve got with the Draper though, and this is a highly durable and robust demolition breaker with outstanding performance for its size and weight.
It also comes with some additional extras like the chisel bits, a spanner for locking and unlocking the grease port, a grease pot, and a thick hard wearing power cord. All of this comes in the free hard carry case and for a very low price, making it a great deal and one of the best demolition breakers for the money.
4. Silverstorm 263570 - 1500W 15kg Electric Breaker 230V
Do you have some asphalt you want to smash through? Maybe some thick concrete flooring? Well going to need a heavy duty tool to accomplish it, and this Silverstorm Electric demolition hammer from Silverline might be just the tool for the job.
And ‘heavy’ it certainly is when compared with the Makita or Draper models. At 15 kilograms and with dimensions of 72 x 30.8 x 16.6 cm you probably aren’t going to be wanting to try to swing this up and drill through a wall at shoulder height unless you’re built like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime.
However, that extra weight really comes in handy when hammering through floors. In fact, you can pretty much let the weight of the tool do the work for you without the need to push down with too much force.
Speaking of force, the Silverstorm demolition breaker has plenty of it. 45 whopping joules of impact energy to be exact and a beat per minute rate of 1900, the same as the Einhell. All of this combines to give you a tool that demolishes whatever you point it at.
The overall design is nice and ergonomic with a large handle and small trigger at the rear and a 360 degree adjustable secondary handle in front. The secondary handle has a curved shape that makes it comfortable to grip and also a soft covering for extra traction while wearing gloves.
This tool doesn’t use SDS-max bits like the Makita, Draper,etc. and instead uses standard 30mm steels that use a spring loaded pin mechanism to secure them. Personally I prefer the SDS bits, but under strain throughout our tests, this demolition breaker more than held its own.
When in use, this is about as loud as all the other models we tested and it all depends on what material you are working on. Vibration is also dealt with very well although you do feel it more than with the lighter Makita and Draper models.
Now, because this is a bit of a heavy brute, you don’t really want to be lugging it around everywhere, and thankfully Silverline thought the same and gave it its very own hard storage case that has wheels on the bottom, allowing you to pull it along behind you with ease, no matter how small you are.
And this isn’t the only free accessory that comes with the Silverstorm demolition breaker. Also included in the rice are a flat head chisel bit and a pointed bit, two hex keys, a spanner, and an oil bottle. There are also 2 replacement carbon brushes which are a very welcome addition.
5. FERM HDM1037 Rotary/Demolition Hammer 1500W
The Ferm rotary demolition hammer is an ideal tool for doing small to medium sized home renovations, both indoors and out, because of its compact size (45 x 12 x 44.5 cm), lightweight (5.76kg), and impressive performance. The small size of this tool makes it really manoeuvrable and also has the added benefit of being light enough to hold up at any angle and height without your arms and shoulders getting too tired.
This is a rotary/demolition breaker which means that it has multiple functions that can change at the flick of a switch, so you can choose from drilling, hammer drilling, chiseling, or rotary chiseling. This makes it a very versatile tool.
Now, there’s always a trade off with power tools. It could be that for a really powerful demolition hammer, you have to put up with more weight, or that for a tool to be multi-functioned it can’t perform all those tasks well.
This isn’t the case with the Ferm demolition breaker and it does whatever task you set it to, admirably. Of course there is a loss of power due to the compact nature of the tool, but the 1500w motor still allows it to reach 950rpm for the drill function and 4400bpm for the breaker tool. It also has an impact energy of 6 joules.
Speed can be altered through a decent range using well placed controls on the body of the tool, adding even more options to this already highly versatile demolition breaker. There’s a handy depth limiter included, not one, but three different sized drill bits (8mm,10mm,12mm), and also two 250mm chisel bits, one flat and one pointed. All the bits are SDS plus and can be changed over in a matter of seconds. You will also find a spanner for the grease cover.
Other notable features are the adjustable secondary handle, which again is easy to use and can be done in no time, and a high quality 3 metre long power cable giving you plenty of range. A very competitive price tag puts the finishing touches to this solidly built tool, and books its place in our list of the best demolition breakers in the UK.
6. DeWalt 240V 10Kg SDS-Max Breaker Demolition Hammer
If your wallet can take the blow that buying this Dewalt demolition breaker will throw at it, I would find it hard to suggest you buy nothing else. This power tool offers true professional level performance and build quality and is often used by experts.
In the 10kg class of demolition breakers there is no other tool that comes close to this one. Powered by a 1500 watt 95mm motor, it will cut through the thickest and hardest of materials without ever feeling labored. Our test for it included pavement and this bad boy blasted through it.
There is also no other demolition breaker in our list that can match the Dewalt for anti-vibration technology. The tech inside the tool, combined with the ‘floating’ handle design do a truly excellent job of reducing vibrations down to a minimum.
This tool is built to last. Not only is the body super solid and robust, but dewalt have also added other features that will keep their demolition breaker running for years to come like the non-air pumping beat piece and spring loaded dust seals. These will keep dust and debris from getting inside the tool to the important working parts.
Magnesium housings are yet another design feature included by Dewalt and intended to keep the motor ticking on and on. The chuck is an SDS-max one for the quickest chisel changes and the chisel position can be adjusted through 12 pre-set positions. The mechanism for doing this works through a simple twisting action so it can be changed in a split second.
Sporting dimensions of 67.8 x 41 x 17.4 cm the Dewalt has quite a streamlined design which would allow the user to work in more confined spaces than with a lot of its closest competitors.
The only thing that I could mark this demolition breaker down for is that for the higher than average price, you don’t really get any extras thrown in like a nice carry case, or even just some free chisels would have been nice.
Then again, if you’re going to splash out on a top tier tool like this, having to buy some chisels separately isn’t going to be top of your list of worries. Outstanding build quality, performance, and design, Dewalt have done it again.
Best Demolition Breaker Buyer’s Guide
Got a demolition job in mind but aren’t sure which demo breaker is right for the task?
Well, there are certain factors that you should know about before deciding so we thought we’d talk a little about them here in the hopes that it leaves you better informed.
If you want to get an idea of how well a certain demolition breaker will perform when set to task, there are a few things that you should be concerned with. The first is the size of the motor and obviously, the larger the wattage the more powerful it will be. But more important than that, at least when it comes to breaking performance, are impact energy and percussion rate.
Impact energy is measured in joules and powerful models can be upward of 40 joules. Smaller, light weight, demolition breaker tools tend to have lower impact energies but higher percussion rates to compensate for it.
Percussion rates are measured as blows per minute, usually abbreviated to bpm. A thousand blows per minute is about the lowest you want to go and anything between that and 4000 is going to give you decent performance when combined with a good impact energy rating.
You want to look for a demolition breaker that has multiple anti-vibration design features. It might be tempting to go for a cheaper model to save a few quid but trust me, you’ll regret it if that low budget tool doesn’t have proper vibration control.
Using a tool like this for extended periods of time is extremely unpleasant and could damage your nerves, muscles, and joints, so it’s definitely worth paying a little more with the proper tech to reduce vibration levels.
The type of jobs you have in mind will play a big part in deciding what kind of demolition breaker you will go for and how heavy it will be. If you want to break pavement and other things down low, a heavy unit is a good thing as the weight will add more punch to the tool and help you get the job done. But for working at waist or shoulder height, you’re going to want to buy one of the lighter models like the Makita or Draper products we featured in our reviews. These tools can be handled easily without straining no matter what angle and height.
Type of chuck and bits
Not all breaker tools use the same kind of bits. The best ones to go for are SDS max or SDS plus. These will not only help you to make quick and easy chisel changes, but the design of the chuck and bit makes them more secure so they won’t pop out if you hit a particularly tough bit of material.
Having all the power in the world is not going to help you if the tool housing falls apart on you after a month, so this is something you need to keep an eye on.
While metal is always stronger than plastic, it does add a lot of weight to the tool and the modern day plastics used by the better brands are more than strong and tough enough to last for years.
Again though, be careful when opting for a very low budget model as this is where a lot of the costs are cut. This is not always the case, but as a general rule, it is a good one to follow.
You also want a demo hammer that has good dust seals, as using these tools creates a lot of debris that can get into the inner workings and cause damage.
Some other handy things to have on a demolition hammer are adjustable secondary handles, a lockable trigger, speed variation controls, depth limiter/gauge, spare chisels, and carry cases. A good quality power cord that has a decent length of at least a few metres is essential too or you’ll be tripping over extension cables all the time.
Electric or petrol powered
We only included electric models in our reviews because we think that for most DIY tasks at home, they are ideal. Petrol powered demolition breakers can produce more power but they do require more maintenance to keep them running. There are also fuel and oil costs to consider, as well as fumes, so unless you really need the power of a petrol model, I would stick with electric.