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Introduction To DeWalt Percussion Drills

Introduction to DeWalt Percussion Drills

DeWalt Percussion Drills labelled diagram highlighting features.

Percussion drills and hammer drills are very similar but there are some key differences. At Wonkee Donkee we decided to give you a complete introduction to DeWalt Percussion Drills!

What's the difference between a Percussion Drill and a Hammer Drill?

Percussion drill and hammer drill.

Percussion and hammer drills are very similar, but the main differences are:


A percussion drill can’t be used on hammer mode only – it has to both rotate and hammer simultaneously. This is because it’s the rotation of the chuck that brings about the hammer action.


A hammer drill driver can be used for both drilling holes and driving screws, whereas a percussion drill is designed primarily just for drilling holes.


Most hammer drills are cordless and most percussion drills are corded.

Why buy a percussion drill?


A Dewalt percussion drill is ideal for general DIY.

A percussion drill is ideal for general DIY and medium-duty tasks such as drilling into breeze blocks, metal, limestone and wood.


Percussion Drill Convenience and versatility.

There is no need to wait for batteries to charge up before you can use your percussion drill. As it’s mains operated, you can just plug it in and start work straight away. And of course you can use it for as long as you want, without having to worry about recharging.

What should you look for in a percussion drill?

Useful things to keep an eye out for when you are looking at buying a percussion drill.

Mode selector




Variable speed trigger


Lock-on button

Reversing lever


Depth stop


Side handle


Keyless chuck

Mode Selector

Dewalt Percussion Drills Settings.

The mode selection collar lets you easily and intuitively switch between the hammer and drill settings, helping you get the best possible performance out of the tool.


Compact percussion drills are likely to operate on a single speed, while heavy-duty models often have two speeds to choose from.


Some Dewalt percussion drills have torque limiting clutch.

Some DeWalt percussion drills at the upper end of the market include a torque-limiting clutch (also known as an overload clutch) that will slip if the drill becomes jammed, instantly cutting drive to the motor. This helps both to protect you from jarring caused by excessive torque, and prevent damage to the tool.

Variable Speed Trigger

Dewalt Percussion Drill Variable Speed Trigger.

The variable speed switch allows you to vary the rate at which the drill turns to suit the task at hand. For instance, you will need a lower speed for starting a hole or drilling in plasterboard or plastic, and a higher speed for tackling tough materials such as concrete.


Pulling the trigger starts the chuck turning – the further you squeeze it, the faster the drill will go. To slow down or stop, simply release the trigger. 

Lock-On Button

Dewalt percussion drills include lock-on button.

Once your percussion drill is up to full speed you can push the lock-on button for continuous operation – a useful feature that saves you having to keep squeezing the trigger the whole time.


The lock-on button will only work when the drill is at full speed and in forward rotation.

Reversing Lever

Percussion drill reversing lever.

This lever changes the percussion drill’s direction of rotation, and is used for backing out jammed drill bits.


To use the tool in reverse you just release the trigger and push the lever to the left (looking from the chuck end). When you’ve finished using the reverse setting, move the lever back to its starting position so it’s in forward mode again.

Depth Rod

Dewalt percussion drill being used with depth rod.

DeWalt percussion drills include a depth adjustment rod attached to the side handle. This useful feature enables you to consistently make holes of the correct depth so you can achieve the best possible finish every time.

Side Handle

Less is more and control the movement when drilling.

The side handle fits on to the front of the gear case and lets you grip the drill with both hands for better control. You can rotate it 360° to use with your right or left hand.

Keyless Chuck

Dewalt percussion drills may have keyed or keyless chucks.

Upper range DeWalt percussion drills usually feature a keyless chuck, which makes it quicker to change bits.


More compact models may have a keyed chuck, which is tightened and loosened using an Allen key. While changing bits takes a little longer, these drills cost considerably less than keyless versions so are seen as good value. 

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