Hydraulic hammers are great tools to have, but only if used correctly. Using hydraulics based on Pascal’s principle, these tools use fluid and pressure to make these attachments work fast and efficiently, with more power than any handheld tool could handle. There are many different sizes and weights, which makes picking the right one for the job a little confusing. Here are some things to consider when choosing the best hydraulic hammer.
Sizing It Up
Hydraulic hammers are attachments that go on carriers. It is vital that they can go together without breaking one or the other. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for both pieces in the owner’s manual. If there is no manual and one isn’t available online after a quick search, ask yourself two questions; will the attachment be too heavy for the machine and does it meet the necessary hydraulic and pressure requirements?
Remember that many models of hydraulic hammers come with different settings so that you can direct the flow and pressure to fit the job, but always notice how many hydraulic pumps are required. If the attachment needs two, you know it is going to probably be too big if your machine is made for handling one. If it is too small and weak or too big and strong, there are serious consequences.
Too small and weak
If the hydraulic hammer is too small for your carrier, you will get less done and require a longer working time, but it can also cause damage if the hydraulic flow is too much for the attachment to handle.
Too big and strong
If the hydraulic hammer is too big for your carrier, you run the risk of overheating the machine, tipping over, or causing structural issues. It also decreases the impact strength and takes longer to do a job.
If you know the limits of your machine, you are more likely to pick out the best attachment for your circumstances.
Jobs to Do
There are some good hydraulic hammers that provide a good middle ground on pressure, force, and hits so that you can buy it for many jobs. However, if you are buying for a specific job or certain results, you may want to do a little more research. There are three classes of hammers; small, medium, and large. Each comes with different weight and ability to work. Here are some of the specifications for each size and the ideal jobs for its size.
This class is typically used to break up concrete with no steel reinforcements built into it, breaking up soft or medium compacted dirt to dig holes, and indoor jobs, like breaking down a staircase or doing patchwork in concrete. The working weight is up to 1200 pounds, so doing light duty work is ideal for this size of hammer.
Using a medium class hammer is done for a wide range of jobs. It is often used for concrete and rock work on larger scales. Hitting concrete at a faster rate with less force seems to do the best job at breaking it up. It can also be used for trenching if the material is limestone or medium hard rock. Otherwise, a large class would be more beneficial.
Breaking up large boulders for landscaping, doing utility jobs, and mining jobs are best done with a medium class. The working weight is best between 1200 and 4000 pounds, which is why it is a great multi-purpose hammer size and the most commonly offered size in rental equipment.
For jobs that are over 4000 pounds, this is the best size of hammer to use. They are commonly used in the demolition of buildings, structures, and large-sized concrete work. Use this size to break down rock walls or trenching through hard rock or anything stronger than limestone. The blows might be slower with this size, but they are stronger and heavier.
Feel Free to Ask
If you are still unsure which size is right for the job, feel free to ask a professional. Not everyone is comfortable guessing a size or carry the risk that goes with the wrong attachment. Just ask if you aren’t sure and we can have someone help you find the right hydraulic hammer attachment.