Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing and Using a Jack Hammer

Rohan Mathew

Updated on:

No doubt, breaking down hard surfaces and concrete happens a lot on construction sites. While there are countless equipment options designed to handle such tasks, today we’re advocating for the simple, yet timeless jack hammer.

Are you in need of this versatile tool but aren’t sure which one to pick? You have two options; either to buy your own or hire one. If you need one for long-term use and have the finances, by all means, purchase one. If however, you need it temporarily for a short-term project, jackhammer hire is a more sensible option. It’s cheaper, not to mention convenient.

So let us help you choose the right jack hammer for the job and discuss how best to use it for optimum results and your safety.

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How Does a Jack Hammer Work?

Jack hammers are often referred to as demotion or pneumatic drills. The terminology may differ, but their purpose is the same.

Jack hammers are designed to disintegrate or blast hard surfaces. Most use a piston. And the more power the piston has, the more effective the blasting process.

Types of Jack Hammers

There are seven different types of jack hammers to pick from. What differentiates each type from the rest are factors such as weight, power used, intended application and mode of operation, to mention a few.

Light Jack Hammers

Light jack hammers usually weigh between 20 and 30lb. This means they’re generally compact, portable and lightweight, making them ideal for small jobs such as indoor demolition or ceiling work. They are usually powered by electricity.

Medium Jack Hammers

Medium jack hammers typically weigh between 35 and 40lb. Though slightly heavier than light jack hammers, they’re still portable enough for easy handling. They do have more power and can be used for both horizontal and vertical jobs such as roadwork construction.

Heavy Jack Hammers

The name says it all. These hammers weigh around 60lb and above. They can either be powered by a portable air compressor, gas or diesel depending on the model. Needless to say, they are suited for heavy duty tasks.

Mounted Jack Hammers

Not all jack hammers are handheld. Some are extremely heavy and require mounting—like the mounted jack hammers. They are usually mounted to excavators or backhoes and used for heavy duty construction groundwork.

Pneumatic Jack Hammers

If you’re planning on doing explosive blasting, opt for this type. Not only do pneumatic jack hammers exert a lot of force, but sound produced is very loud. Also, a lot of intense vibration happens when using this type of tool.

Hydraulic Jack Hammers

These tools are either powered by gas or diesel engines and ideal for use outside buildings. They are available in different sizes. But regardless of size, they’re extremely effective and powerful.

Electric Jack Hammers

These electrical models are powered by electricity and available in different sizes. They are extremely popular among jack hammer rental outlets for their low maintenance and low emission.

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What to Consider Before Making Your Pick

You know the types available and now you need to familiarise yourself with key features to look out for when making your choice:

  • Weight: Are you looking to perform a light or heavy-duty task? Pick a lightweight jack hammer for smaller jobs and a heavier one for heavy duty projects. Ask for advice regarding the correct size from the hiring company if need be.
  • Noise control: Concrete blasting isn’t exactly the quietest process. But you can still pick a jack hammer with noise control features to minimise severity. Pick one with mufflers or silencers to preserve your workers’ hearing. Loud sounds can damage hearing in the long run so best to play it safe.
  • Vibration control: Along with hearing control features, opt for a model that controls the unit’s vibration intensity. Excessive vibration can interfere with blood circulation in the hands, resulting in numbness.
  • User-friendly: Look for a unit that’s easy to operate. Ideally, you must pick a unit with accessible controls and dials that allow you to use the machine with ease—even with gloves. Also, if you can pick one that offers ample grip control that’s ideal. This eliminates slipping which may result in injuries.
  • Variable speed controls: Opt for a model that allows you to control the speed settings for increased accuracy. This way you can control the blasting intensity when you reach delicate material such as pipes.
  • Boxes: Insist on boxes or cases to store the jack hammer in after use. This eliminates the possibility of losing different bits and attachments, resulting in the hiring company fining you.

Safety Tips

Choosing the correct jack hammer for the task is important. Using it correctly is even more important. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s safety procedures on using jack hammers, read the product instruction manual, get the necessary training and wear safety equipment.


Do you now have what it takes to hire jackhammer tools and accessories? Follow the tips outlined and make sure you hire from a reputable company that offers quality products that are tested and properly maintained. Your workers’ well-being depends on it!