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Bosch recently introduced a new corded rotary hammer — a 1-1/8″ model that delivers a whopping 2.4 ft-lbs. of impact energy. But what’s most interesting here is Bosch’s apparent desire to switch to the traditional long, D-handle design. DeWalt, Milwaukee, and others have long adopted a chunkier vertical-motor design (see above) for their largest hammers, generally claiming a better in-hand balance as the length of the traditional D-handle models proves relatively front-heavy.

DeWalt, for example, has even moved the vertical design down to their smaller hammers, while Milwaukee still offers a mix. On the Bosch’s product page, they list the D-handle design as “ideal for overhead and downward drilling applications,” which would seem true; the same weight shift that makes the vertical models more balanced in side drilling would work against them in an upward/downward mode.

Besides the overall form factor, the Bosch’s spec list looks pretty hefty. A “cord turret” allows the power cable to swivel 35 degrees, keeping it from binding — and eventually wearing down. You not only get a metal gearbox, but also a metal gear cover, too, as you can see in the photo. We definitely like the idea of Bosch’s “Vario-lock” system, which enables you to rotate a chisel “into 40 different positions to optimize working angle.” That sounds a lot better than cranking your arm around to get the perfect position. And, of course, you get Bosch’s anti-vibe system, which includes a counter-balance in the hammer mechanism to reduce vibration up to a claimed 30%. Though we haven’t tried this specific Bosch, we can attest to the value of good anti-vibe in a rotary hammer. These systems have come a long way in the last few years, and they make using this relatively hard-on-your-ass tool a lot more comfy.

Expect to pay around $225 for one, and it looks like they’re in stock now.

Note: I have to admit that I’m stupefied by the huge assortment of rotary hammers offered by the major tool companies. I’d be interested to see a rundown of target users for each of the models and ranges, but in the meantime I’d love to hear from any of you who regularly uses one. What do you do with it, what do you use, and why did you choose it?

RH228VC 1-1/8″ Rotary Hammer [Bosch]
Street Pricing [Google]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]


12 Responses to Bosch’s New 1-1/8″ Rotary Hammer

  1. browndog77 says:

    Bosch also has the 328VC unit, which is very similar in specs but w/ a vertical motor. It has a little more impact, and a lower price as well. I have an older Bosch 1″ rotary hammer-drill which works well, but it lacks hammer-only mode, which enables the use of chisel-type tools. They are great for tile/grout removal projects.

  2. jeff_williams says:

    We use Hilti TE-25, 35, 40, and 70. The 25 and 35 are mostly for tapcons and redheads. The bigger ones we use for dowels and chipping applications. It’s really tiring to hold the TE-70 up in the air for any length of time. We chose them because we’ve always had good luck with them. Cost a lot more but have had zero down time.

  3. Simon says:

    The thing to consider with very torquey tools like this is what happens when the drill bit gets stuck or a fastener stops spinning. Instead of the motor stalling, the handle violent rotates into your face or pulls your arm out of your socket. Hence the various styles depending on how you will be bracing for impact.

    • Tom G says:

      Hilti starting making these with ATC -Anti Torque Control to prevent those injuries. No other Manufacturer has this yet.

  4. Jeff is close to the answer of why power tool companies make so many models; if you’re drilling thousands of the same size holes overhead, you only want just enough hammer. Any over size is just too much extra work. Tradesmen also demand certain configurations (D handle or pistol grip, drop-down or inline motor).

    Simon, pretty much all of these tools have an integral clutch that can help minimize torque reaction. That requires to be in a “work position” though. Don’t think that the clutch will help you if your hanging off a ladder or not holding tightly on to the tool.

  5. John says:

    I have permanent nerve damage in my arm / wrist from a rotary hammer that caught and twisted my arm around when the clutch didn’t work. I really wish they would make them with an opposing two hand operation so that you don’t rely on just a clutch.

  6. Daniel says:

    You blame the clutch, but it is up to operator to keep himself safe when drilling into rebar/conduit/junk impregnated concrete.

    • John says:

      So the operator is supposed to magically know that there is going to be something buried several inches deep in the exact spot that they are drilling? It’s not like you have time to react when something happens and you have virtually no feedback that can detect a small change in material when the tool you are using works by dumping several HP worth of energy into hammering / twisting.

      The only thing that kept me from spraining/breaking my wrist was the fact that I had a good hold on the handle with my other hand.

  7. Daniel says:

    Why doesn’t every single person who has used one in a pad/slab/wall/beam with rebar, have nerve damage?

  8. Chris Fitzpatrick says:

    This is a great little rotary hammer drill for the DIY’er and professional alike, love the quick insert chuck for SDS and the AV technology.

  9. Jimmy Xu says:

    TM made a mistake.The picture of this rotate hammer is not correct. At the bottom of the handle, there is a metal cover.

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