When you are working with concrete or breaking up rocks, you need something more substantial than a sledgehammer. While it is possible to use a sledgehammer, you will be at work all day. The jackhammer is the perfect tool to work through hard materials in a fraction of the time. Best of all, it is safer to use a jackhammer than it is to use a sledgehammer.
The question becomes how to use the jackhammer as well as what kind you should use. We will discuss the different types of jackhammers as well as making suggestions for which ones are best for which jobs. Keep in mind, unless you find yourself in need of powering through concrete and rocks on a daily basis, you will probably do best to rent a jackhammer rather than purchasing it.
Air Powered vs Engine Powered vs Hydraulic
There are two classes of Jackhammers. One class is hydraulic jackhammers that attach to machinery like Bobcats or excavators. The second class is handheld jackhammers which come in electric or air-powered configurations. Let’s take a look at the difference between an air hammer and an electric engine jackhammer.
- Air Powered Jackhammer – This is by far the most industrial of the two jackhammers. It requires a separate air compressor in order for it to work. The heavy-duty steel throughout the tool makes it powerful enough to drive its way through concrete, asphalt, rocks, and so much more. Most of the noise you hear from a jackhammer is actually from the compressor. The rest is from the chisel breaking through the surface of whatever you are hammering. These are favored by contractors because of how powerful they are. There are even jackhammers that attach to the front of a skid steer for even bigger jobs.
- Engine Powered Jackhammer – Smaller in nature, the electric jackhammer has everything all in one. It does not require an air compressor, so it has a quieter operation. These are generally lighter and come in several different sizes with different functions. Simply plug them into the wall, and they are ready to use. The average homeowner can use these as rentals without having to purchase or rent anything additional.
How to Use the Jackhammer
The jackhammer is most often used to power through concrete and asphalt. The air-powered jackhammer is best used outdoors due to the noise it generates. Thanks to the air compressor, the air-powered jackhammer is also able to power through tough jobs a lot easier than an engine-powered one can. The diesel-powered engine also makes it necessary to use these models outdoors.
If you are working in an area with a noise ordinance, you are best to opt for the engine jackhammer. The electric models offer the lowest possible noise creation thanks to a lack of a combustion engine. Electric engine jackhammers can even be used indoors on small projects. They are very portable and easy to manage.
Always make sure to use the jackhammer on solid surfaces. Never use it on items that are already broken up. There is a chance a smaller piece could break off and hurt someone, or the jackhammer could slip off, causing damage to the jackhammer or to the operator.
Using the Right Bit Attachment
The most common bit attachment to use with a jackhammer is a chisel. This is a perfect bit for when you want to drive directly into the surface, making a small hole. You can use this to break off small chunks from the edge of a surface as well as to drill right into it.
If you are looking to get through hard soil while digging, you can use a spade bit rental. You can easily drive through clay and other hard soils. More often, this bit is used when working on asphalt to break up the material faster. The appearance is that of a flat shovel.
Cutters are used when you would like to cut into the surface without breaking it up. The wide flat head has a sharp edge that will dig right into the surface when you want to cut in a straight line. This is perfect for when you would like to make more precise cuts.
Breakers are sued when you would like to break up rocks and other hard surfaces. Similar in nature to the chisel, these tend to have a flat end so that they will hammer away at the surface. These are most often used in construction sites and in quarries.
Different Sizes of Jackhammers
Electric jackhammers come in many different sizes. For instance, there is a roto hammer that is only 18.3 lbs. Something like the Hilti TE 70-AVR roto hammer rental can literally be taken anywhere. It is perfect for when you would like to work on vertical surfaces or in enclosed areas.
Suppose you are looking for something a little bigger, the 60 lb. Hilti TE 3000-AVR jackhammer rental will allow you to power through concrete easily. This is less portable but still quieter and easier to use than an air hammer. You will also not need to buy or rent anything additional when using it.
In terms of power, the most powerful of the hand use jackhammers is the air-powered jackhammer. The CP 90 lb class pneumatic breaker rental allows you to power through the toughest jobs with ease. Even boulders can be broken up with the help of this powerful jackhammer. This will require the use of an air compressor, so it is only recommended for those who own one or are willing to rent one in addition to the tool.
The absolute toughest jackhammers are the ones that attach to large machinery like a skid steer. This is still an air-powered jackhammer, but it has the backing of the heavy machinery to assist with powering through surfaces. Something like the Bobcat breaker rental is a hydraulic powered breaker that will easily slice through anything.
Regardless of your project location, size, or budget, there is a jackhammer you can rent that will suit your needs. You can go for ease and economy by using an engine-powered jackhammer, or you can go for power with the air-powered models that are man-powered or machine-powered.
As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact a member of our team to get started. We will be happy to answer any of your questions.