Cordless Hammer Drill Preference?

I am looking for a cordless hammer drill for our next project where we will be mounting conduit and enclosures on multiple apartment buildings. 50-70' of conduit at each building, and an enclosure. Brick siding.

We use a corded Makita SDS and it makes short work of it. Problem is we typically have to rig the electric and put a temporary outlet in, as we need to drill the holes for our enclosure and mount it, before we make a permanent outlet.

This is really a hassle, time consuming, and probably not the safest method.

99% of our holes will be for anchors, 1/4" and once in a while a 1"+ hole to bring wire into a building if necessary. (most of the time enclosure is on exterior, conduit up to attic and mount cameras on eaves, so we dont penetrate many buildings except for head end)

So what brands does everyone like? Battery life? Other tools that use the same battery?


I talk about some of the issues here. Basically, if you're shopping for drills, you might want to either choose something that uses batteries you already have, or a drill that will use the same battery as another tool you'll need to buy in the future.

I personally like the M18 FUEL series from Milwaukee because I find the series very comfortable to hold, carry, and use- it fits my hand well and feels well balanced to me. But drill preference is highly personal, so if you like Makitas, check out their LXT series.

I've always had good luck with Milwaukee's 20V.

If your work is mostly conduit, box and camera mounting I would highly recommend the M12 Milwaukee Rotary Hammer. This is perfect for light anchor work. The drill is light and causes less fatigue than their bigger brothers. My guys carry both the M12 and M18 versions plus we have a SDS-Max plug in version for the big holes.

I have the M12 mentioned above and for 1/4" holes they are awesome. I haven't needed to pull out my Hilti cordless as often. Being 36V, it gets heavy. The M12 makes it easy to one hand and it fits in the ToughBuilt drill holster so I can carry two light weight drills.

I can vouch for the Dewalt 20v line of cordless SDS. We have the compact and standard styles, and with a 5 Ah battery it lasts forever. I wasn't a huge fan of the Makita 18v with 2 batteries, it felt super awkward and I don't think it added much in terms of power. One of my techs is picking up a Rigid this week, so we'll see how that goes. I really like Milwaukee and still use their 12v line, but I've had too many reliability issues the M18 line to wholeheartedly recommend them. They are great tools though.

Milwaukee M18 Fuel SDS with 1" chuck with extra M18 batteries

I second the M12 Fuel line! Their rotary hammer drill is really well balanced and light. You can drill those small holes all day without fatigue. I wouldn't use it for large holes often, but it would still get the job done, just not as fast.

There seems to be several models of the M18. I went to home depot and put some in my hand. There was a sds max and that joker was heavy! But the 1" seemed comfortable. I picked up one that i thought was an M18 but it didnt have a hammer only feature. Once in a blue moon we find that option handy. I have had guys use it when digging a hole for a pole...

I think well go with that.