Use of Electric Hammer in Construction Industry

Electric hammer is used for breaking or cutting stones, bricks, and concrete blocks. Electric hammers are useful when the most suitable type of conventional equipment like vibrator or drill rig is not available and there it is desirable to use a powered tool to break up rock with minimum effort and noise. An electric hammer is a powerful tool that consists of a handle, a chisel, and a piston. A side-mounted motor drives the piston up and down.

Working principle:

The basic principle of breaking rock by means of an electric hammer is impact-induced fragmentation. A high-energy pulse from the motor accelerates a mass of metal up to a high velocity. When it hits a rock, the head crushes and fragments the rock into small pieces. In order to produce a good fragmentation of large rocks, the electric hammer has to provide a large energy input. This energy is provided by an electric motor that must have a sufficient power rating, i.e., horsepower or kilowatts.

Use in Construction Industry:

All types of rock can be broken by using an electric hammer. It is used to break the large rocks into small pieces. The depth of penetration is about 5 cm to 10 cm. For deep penetration, the electric hammer has to be used in tandem with conventional methods like drill rig or vibrator.

To break a block of solid masonry, a suitable recess is required to be made on the surface of the masonry. The size and shape of the recess depend on the size of the chisel used. A suitable hard metal point is then rammed into this recess, with its driving edge in the center of the masonry.

When the electric hammer is switched on, it starts delivering blows to this point with high frequency at very high energy, not only crushing the masonry but also shattering it into fragments. After working with an electric hammer, rebars of the broken structure are bent by another useful tool called rebar bender. The fragments are collected by an excavator or a loader.

Main advantages:

  • The main advantage of using an electric hammer is that it can be used in places where the use of other conventional equipment is not possible.
  • It requires less manpower and it is economical for large-scale operations.
  • It has a portable structure so it can be moved to different sites according to the requirement of the project.
  • The power consumption is smaller when compared to other conventional equipment.
  • It has a high production rate when it is used in sites that have less availability of natural stone and rock.


The main disadvantage of using an electric hammer is that it produces a lot of noise. The use of ear protection is necessary, as the noise level reaches as high as 100 decibels. The electric power supply is another major problem associated with this tool, it should be available at the working site all the time. Furthermore, large rocks cannot be broken by using an electric hammer, only small and medium-sized stones can be broken.

Inappropriate use of the electric hammer could lead to disastrous results. For example, during the process of breaking a stone using an electric hammer, if the chisel is driven into a stone with too much force then it might go crashing into the handle of the electric hammer. So, the use of an electric hammer in the construction industry is not recommended for breaking large rocks.