Rotary hammer: When should each chisel be used?

The times when rotary drills were only used by professionals are now over, a rotary drill can already be found in most DIYers' basements and is gradually replacing the impact hammer drill.

This change is primarily due to the sharp drop in prices of this device class in recent years. Simple rotary hammers cost only a little more than impact drills, but offer far more possibilities for different applications. These facts quickly influence DIYers’ decisions.
In addition to drilling concrete and other hard materials, chiselling is a specialism of these small, powerful devices. The market offers a suitable chisel for almost every task. But when and which chisel to use and the strengths of the individual chisels are unknown to many DIYers. In this article, we present the most common chisel types and their applications.

The pointed chisel

The pointed chisel has, as its name suggests, a pointed tip. Thus, the entire impact force of the impact drill is directed to a small point. This makes the pointed chisel one of the chisels with the highest pointed impact force. Its range of applications is diverse, whether slight unevenness in concrete or a complete wall is to be removed, the pointed chisel is always at home where a lot of force is needed in a small area.

The flat chisel

Unlike the pointed chisel, unsurprisingly, the flat chisel has a flat tip. As a rule, the length of the tip corresponds exactly to the diameter of the shaft. The flat chisel can be used to control the refractive effect and, above all, the break line. If you want to brace cable ducts in the wall or partially remove the floor screed in a house, it’s here the flat chisel will show its strengths.

The spade chisel

The spade chisel is the perfect chisel to remove plaster or other bumps, such as tile adhesive and other adhesions, from walls. The spade chisel differs from the flat chisel in that its shaft thickness is extremely wide at the tip. Due to this special shape, the impact force is delivered over a larger area on the wall when using the rotary hammer, which means it can remove plaster from brickwork in large pieces over its entire surface.

The channelling chisel

Channelling chisels specialise in creating channels for power lines or water pipes in walls. The tip of the channel chisel is formed in a semicircle so that the loosened material can be purposely removed. Thanks to its semi‐circular shape, the risk of erupting sides of the cable channel is greatly reduced.

Safety precautions with the rotary hammer

Since chiselling with the rotary hammer can cause splinters to fly around and in some places produce a lot of dust, it is important to protect yourself accordingly. Safety goggles protect your eyes against the splinters flying around and are essential when chiselling. Even if you’re a glasses wearer you need safety goggles too because splinters often penetrate from the side at an acute angle behind the edge of the glasses. And the same applies for your hands. Sturdy work gloves protect your hands from splinters. As the rotary hammer in combination with a chisel is one of the louder power tools, it is also recommended to wear ear protection.

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Picture of the author Hauke Leweling.
Written by Hauke Leweling
Published on 14.01.2019

Whether it's the garden or the workshop, Hauke Leweling is a true all-rounder and a freelance blogger. For Einhell, Hauke is armed not only with pen and paper but also with various gardening tools and equipment that he thoroughly tests. He shares his experiences, as well as tips and tricks, in his blog posts.