How to use a puncher so as not to kill him ahead of time

Rotary hammers are among the top selling power tools. They have long been registered in the arsenal of professionals and a huge army of home craftsmen. These multifunctional devices have a rather complex design and are not cheap. But sometimes we suddenly discover that we have been using the device incorrectly for a long time: without knowing it, they systematically killed our favorite puncher.

Long-term operation in chiseling mode
Modern rock drills can be set to impact mode without spindle rotation. This allows them to be used as a light jackhammer – you just need to install a lance nozzle (pyramidal chisel) into the chuck. This mode uses a groove chisel to create a groove, a flat chisel with an SDS + shank, or a scraping / deburring accessory. By the way, in one of the previous articles, we also considered a number of homemade products from broken drills, which are used for the chiseling function.

Rotary hammer Bosch GBH 2-28 F 15 399 *
Problem. It should be borne in mind that the clean impact mode is not a “native” option for the hammer drill, but rather an auxiliary option. If you work for a long time with locked rotation, then the tool cools worse (an important role here is played by the cooling impeller, which rotates more slowly during chiselling). In addition, in certain positions of the rock drill, there may be problems with the distribution of lubricant.

Solution. To avoid these problems, it is recommended to switch the tool to the drilling mode every 10-15 minutes of operation and run it at idle speed for half a minute.

Important: there are ventilation holes on the tool body in the area of ​​the impeller; they should not be dirty and blocked.

Damaged boot
All modern rock drills allow you to quickly install and change equipment without the use of any additional devices. To do this, you just need to insert the shank of the drill into the chuck and press until it clicks.

Rotary hammer Makita HR2470 9 699 *
Problem. In order for this important keyless unit to work flawlessly, you need to avoid contamination. Mineral dust, sawdust and metal scale can get inside the cartridge. Moreover, the tool is most vulnerable when you are drilling the ceiling. As a result, the drill may jam in the chuck, it becomes difficult to replace the tooling, because of the abrasive effect, the shank is poorly fixed, and unnecessary backlash appears.

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The rubber boot of the barrel protects the hammer cartridge from debris. But over time, the soft material loses its elasticity. Also, quite often, the boot breaks and frays if you have to work in cramped conditions, or if the master is used to drilling “all the way”.

Solution. At the slightest damage, the barrel boot must be replaced. It is also recommended to use drilling depth stops, as well as vacuum cleaners and dust collectors (including dust caps or cuffs) for work on ceilings.

Lack or contamination of grease in the chuck and gearbox
The rock drill has many moving parts, and for the entire mechanism to function properly, the coefficient of friction between them must be minimized. Naturally, at the time of leaving the conveyor, the branded tool has the right amount of the correct lubricant inside. For a while, you don’t have to look into the puncher.

Problem. During operation, the lubricant in the gearbox becomes contaminated and loses its properties. And the lubricants “flow” out of the cartridge rather quickly due to constant heating and are removed together with the drills.

Solution. Each time you insert / change the drill, apply grease to its shank (in one of the grooves of the shank). Manufacturers suggest using about 0.5-1 grams of lubricant – roughly like a toothbrush paste.

Note that our favorite lithol and solid oil are not entirely in the subject. You need to use a special lubricant, fortunately, it is not too expensive, it is economically consumed and sold separately (some companies put chromium-molybdenum grease in the box with the tool).

Important. Always wipe down the tool shank thoroughly before replacing a drill or chisel, as debris and small abrasive particles can adhere to it.

Rotary hammer Bort BHD-800N 5 799 *
Changing the lubricant in the gearbox is more complicated. Here, most likely, you will have to resort to the services of a service center – the main thing is not to miss the interval recommended by the manufacturer. By the way, some rock drills are equipped with a special inspection window, through which you can visually determine the presence and condition of the lubricant in the gearbox.

Important: for the piston system of rock drills and jackhammers, specialized lubricants are used with a given viscosity and temperature conditions.

Exhausted collector brushes
Many rock drills are driven by collector motors, which means that graphite pick-up brushes are used to transfer power.

Problem. During use of the tool, the brushes are gradually erased. This collects coal dust on the manifold, which interferes with the operation of the motor. In especially advanced cases, the brushes completely lose the graphite element, due to which the contact is broken, sparking appears, and in the end the collector plates of the electric motor suffer greatly.

Solution. Sometimes the hammer drill has a brush status indicator or a protective shutdown system. But this feature is not always there.

You can monitor the service interval for brushes, which is indicated by the manufacturer in the passport (for household models, it can be from 60 to 130 hours of operation). Also, the loss of power of the tool and the appearance of a frightening sparking will tell us about the need to replace the brushes.

Important: when replacing the brushes (this is easy to do on your own), it is recommended to clean the collector from carbon deposits and coal dust – we use alcohol or refined gasoline.

Too much pressure on the tool
You always want to somehow increase the productivity of work, so inexperienced craftsmen try to help the hammer drill, literally leaning on the tool with all their weight.

Problem. As a result of excessive pressure, the speed of work not only does not increase, but, on the contrary, significantly decreases. This is due to the fact that in this way we shorten the stroke of the striker with our own hands. There are other unpleasant consequences: the wear of the percussion group of the perforator accelerates, the equipment is damaged and jammed.

Solution. Learn to feel your instrument, observe the current performance. Select the appropriate feed force according to the characteristics of the material being cut. Work more actively with the trigger button, since many of them have a trigger function – at different pressures, the speed of rotation of the rig changes.

Perforator Whirlwind P-1000K 5 799 *
Important: if the drill “does not go” when drilling concrete, then, perhaps, it rested against the reinforcement bar. To avoid loss of carbide brazing and jamming of the tooling – start drilling with a small indent from the problem area.

The choice of modes and the correctness of their switching
The hammer drill can drill like a conventional drill or with a blow. He knows how to work like a jackhammer and rotate the drills in the opposite direction (reverse function). For this, there are special switches on the body.

Problem. There are two common mistakes. Sometimes users simply do not move the switch to a predetermined position to activate a particular mode. And sometimes craftsmen do this while the tool spindle is still in motion. In both cases, the mode changeover mechanism is subject to increased wear.

Solution. The presence of a fixing button on the switch greatly simplifies the control of switching. But if such is not provided, then you will have to pay special attention to this process.

Important: in some models, manufacturers “legalized” one intermediate position between the impact mode and impact with drilling. It makes it possible to change the position of the chisel to a more comfortable one before starting work.

Acclimatization and temperature ranges
Problem. Like any other power tool, the hammer drill does not like working on a cold (for example, if it has been in an unheated room for a long time) and can hardly endure critical overheating. In the first case, due to too thick grease, the wear of the moving parts increases. In the second, the lubricant becomes too fluid and does not perform well its functions, the gaps between the rubbing parts decrease, which can lead to increased friction and seizure.

Rotary hammer FinePower RH800
Solution. Before starting work, do not rush to load the tool, let it warm up a little – for a minute at idle speed. With intensive use and in high temperature conditions, take breaks to cool the hammer drill (for example, for household models, manufacturers in the passport always indicate the permissible continuous operation time and the duration of mandatory breaks).

Conclusion
In this article, we tried to identify the most common mistakes in operating a rock drill. Surely some of these caveats may seem pretty obvious (but, of course, not for everyone), and some will be a real revelation.

This error correction can be carried out endlessly. For example, you can mention the need to remove the plug from the socket when replacing the cartridge, or pay special attention to the correct selection of equipment by standard size.

Talk about torque limiting and the need / reason for using an insulated auxiliary handle. In fact, almost all the information you need is in the user manual, we highly recommend reading it before you start drilling.