I recently undertook quite the garden project that involved having to buy a concrete breaker to get rid of a garage base & other bits of stone, as you can see in the lovely flattering picture above. Like most, I initially thought about hiring one, because of it being a heavy bit of equipment I naturally thought it would be quite expensive to purchase.
I always try and purchase tools as opposed to hire them, even if it’s a bit more expensive, because I’m of the mind that I’ll use it again at some point, so I began researching concrete breakers and it wasn’t easy to find everything I wanted to know, so here’s a guide of everything for you:
This articles quite long, so here’s a table of contents to quickly navigate:
- Types of concrete breakers
- What to look at for when buying
- Handheld or mounted
- What else should I consider? (Budget, weight & extras)
- My top 7 concrete breaker picks
There are three main types of concrete breakers that you have the option of choosing from, but if you’re looking at buying your own and doing a DIY project then typically you will only need the first. Here are the three:
Electric – These are powered by using a motor that pumps the head of the tool, are relatively straightforward and simple making them easier to use. All you have to do is plug them into the mains and go. These typically won’t be suitable for large scale demolition jobs and if you’re in the trade you’ll probably want to consider other options, however for the most looking at a DIY task these are the best and cheapest option.
Petrol – The heavier duty concrete breaker that allows you to use it in an area that doesn’t have any electricity. If you’re on a building site with no access to electrics this is likely your best option, but they are usually more expensive to run, more expensive to buy and require more maintenance than their electric counterparts.
Pneumatic – The top tier and heaviest duty model. These air compressors to move the attachment up and down and if you have a large extensive demolition project then these are the ones to choose but they are by far the most expensive and should only be purchased if you’re going to be using it regularly.
When looking at buying a concrete breaker there are two things really that you need to look at, the blows per minute & the amount of jules (J) it produces. The higher the blows per minute and the jules the heavier duty the model is in essence.
Don’t just look at these two figures though, make sure you check the reviews & do your research around each of the products, because most of the heavier duty mounted models will do pretty much any DIY job you require with ease, so it’s more about the quality and handling of the product to ensure you can use it for the duration you need.
Some of the cheaper models have quite a bit of rattling and can often be quite heavy, and after using it for a period of time it can get tiring and you may need to take breaks. The more expensive models are usually much more comfortable and easier to use for longer periods.
Handheld concrete breakers look a little bit like drills, with a hammer head. These are okay for small projects, like chipping bricks or breaking off little bits of concrete, but when you’re referring to a “concrete breaker” they often aren’t powerful enough and will struggle to break through anything of substance.
A mounted concrete breaker is more likely what you’re looking for, these are the heavier duty upright models that you need to grasp in two hands, one on the handle and one on the power. These usually weight quite a bit, around 10kg – 18kg, so be aware of that when purchasing.
There are a few additional things that you may want to consider when looking into concrete breakers, which are:
Budget – Concrete breakers vary massively from around £100 all the way to in the thousands, chances are if you’re undergoing a bit of DIY you don’t need to buy one in the thousands… What you really need to consider is what you are going to be using the concrete breaker for and how often you’ll need to use it. If you’re looking for repeated use you might want to buy a more reliable model like the Makita or DeWalt we mention below.
Weight – I’ve touched on this previously but weight is a big thing to consider. It depends on your personal physical strength but remember that you probably have to lug the breaker around for a few hours at a time when undergoing your project, so weight is definitely something you could look at with some concrete breakers weighing up to 18kg.
Extras – There are lots of extras you can get with a concrete breaker and some come with a few when you buy them & others come with none which is something you need to watch. There are different types of chisels and heads that you can get for the breakers themselves, as well as carry cases, so when buying a model do a bit of research on how much these extra pieces may cost, if you require them.
Without further ado, here are my top 7 picks for demolition concrete breakers (jack hammers) to suits all kinds of budgets, these are in no particular order:
- DeWalt 110V 10KG Breaker
- 2200W Electric Breaker Chisel Demolition Jack Hammer
- Silverstorm 263570 – 1500W 15kg Electric Breaker 230V
- PETROL: 1800W Gasoline Demolition Jackhammer Jack Hammer Concrete Drill Breaker Kit
- PETROL: EBERTH 2.5 HP Petrol Demolition Hammer
- Makita HM1317C/2 Demloition Hammer
- Draper 17768 1600W Powerful Breaker
Undoubtedly one of the best concrete breakers you could choose, and if you’re looking to hire one this might even be the one you come across. It’s one of the most expensive in the list, but for a reason.
It’s quite light in comparison to a few others in the market at 10KG and will carve through any kind of concrete you need it to with ease. It handles well so you can often keep using it for a longer duration than some of the cheaper models.
The only perhaps downsize to this model is that it doesn’t come with an extra chisel which can be a useful part.
Now this one doesn’t carry a particular brand, but I bought one of these and it was actually called Bauker, but had the exact specifications. The reason I’ve got it in 2nd is because of how cheap & efficient it is.
Frequency 50 Hz – Rated Voltage 230V. No Load Speed: 1900RPM. Speed: 1800 Impacts Per Minute. It’ll cut through just about anything you need.
A lot of people complain about the oil leaking, and when I first had it delivered I did have to top up the oil, but after which had no problems with it whatsoever.
Another budget Jack Hammer choice, the Silverstorm is an electric breaker that boasts some good statistics:
Blows/Impacts Per Minute: 1900bpm; Power: 1500W; Impact Force: 45J
It’s more than suitable for brick, block, asphalt and concrete and is priced well in comparison to some of its competitors. Although I have personally never used this breaker the reviews at the time of checking have been fantastic with most being 5 stars and I can find very few complaints.
This is a heavy duty solution, if you’re doing a lot of demolition work and you’re away from main electrics then this could be a good option for you. For a petrol jackhammer this is one of the cheaper ones on the market, but it still boasts some great stats:
Impact Frequency: 3200min-1, Impact Energy: 30J, Max Power and Speed: 1800w (1.34HP) and 7000r/min
Another petrol choice, and a little bit pricer than the above, but a great option with it’s powerful 2 stroke engine. This model offers the ability to control the impact force from 20J to 55J so it can be used for really heavy duty work on a maximum setting.
This also comes with a pointed chisel and flat chisel as extras that are included, so you save a bit of a cost there compared to a few of the other alternatives.
This one has mixed reviews, it’s a German brand and the manual comes in German which can cause a few problems, but with a bit of online research you should be able to overcome these.
Another top tier choice the Makita brand is reliable and you can be assured that it’s quality, but of course this as you can see comes at a premium. It’s one of the leaders in the industry and boasts 1,450 bpm and 25J impact energy.
It’s got great handling, accuracy and control which is where the real difference to some of the cheaper alternatives are. When buying something around the price of the Makita here you will find that you can use it comfortably for a lot longer than you can with some of the budget models, so if you are undertaking a project that is going to take you a long time, then it may be worth considering something like this.
Another well known brand in Draper, this model is ideal for landscapers, builders, contractors and DIY’ers alike. It’s reliable and can be used over and over again without issue. Unlike some of the others it also comes with a flat chisel, pointed chisel, oil bottle, spare pair of carbon brushes and spanner as well as a heavy duty carry case.
It’s one of the heavier of the breakers at 15KG but it boasts an impressive 45J of force. A great product, priced right in the middle of the cheapest and most expensive.