February 12, 2010

Rockwell 12-Volt H3 Multi-Function Hammer Drill

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Rockwell seems to be maintaining its position as the company to watch with their new H3 Multi-Function Hammer Drill. According to the company, this 3lb tool is capable of drilling 1/4" holes in concrete. The fact that it's a mini SDS hammer drill is only part of the appeal though. Rockwell was smart enough to make it an all-in-one by including a 3-jaw chuck and a 1/4" bit holder.

With those adapters comes the ability to switch the tool from hammer mode to straight drilling mode. The tool is powered by a 12-volt li-ion battery that is part of Rockwell's 'Free Batteries for Life" program (no, really, it's true, free for life), and the charger comes with a USB port so it can also power up a cell phone or an iPod if you need it in a pinch.

We're constantly wishing we had an SDS/3-Jaw adapter for our rotary hammers because it would mean that in some circumstances we wouldn't even have to unpack the drill. But here, in the smaller package, it makes that much more sense. If this tool is as good as it looks on paper, it should join the JawHorse in Rockwell winner's circle.

The tool has a look similar to Metabo's BHE20 Rotary Hammer, which must be what Rockwell is getting at when they refer to the H3 as 'Euro-Styled.'

This looks like a great tool and it will be sold in the spring for around $180 at Rockwell and Amazon.com

The press release is after the jump if you're interested.


MULTI-FUNCTION 12-VOLT H3 HAMMER DRILL GEARED FOR PERFORMANCE
Charlotte, N.C. -- The Rockwell® H3 Hammer Drill is ideal for anyone who has the need to drill a few holes in even the toughest concrete but doesn't want to lug around a 20-plus- pound rotary hammer drill.

Before the Rockwell H3 came along, users were forced to choose between lighter weight hammer drills or true rotary hammer performance. Not anymore, the Rockwell H3 is a true rotary hammer drill with an *SDS Plus® quick chuck, packed into a 3 lb., 12-volt lithium-ion tool.

Ultra-compact, lightweight, powerful and Euro-styled, the H3 hammer drill is one of the latest tools in Rockwell's extended family of 12-volt lithium-ion power tools, which includes a drill/driver, screwdriver, impact driver and SoniCrafter.

This 3-Function Rotary Hammer Drill is a real time saver when it comes to drilling in concrete or brick. It makes jobs like installing concrete screws, gutter brackets, mail boxes and conduit clamps a snap. The H3's unique 3-in-1 quick change chuck system gives the user flexibility to immediately switch between using the tool as a rotary hammer drill, conventional three-jaw drill or power screwdriver. Insert the traditional three-jaw chuck into the tool's collet, and it converts from hammer drill to conventional drill. Insert the SDS Plus bit-holder, and the H3 is now a powerful screwdriver. A dial switch on the body of the tool lets the operator switch from hammer to drilling mode.

The rotary hammer drill's impact rate is 0-4800 blows-per-minute (bpm). In drilling mode, the tool operates at a no-load speed of 0-900 rpm. Its drilling capacity is 3/8 in. in wood and concrete and 5/16 in. in steel. The H3's powerful 12-volt lithium battery drills up to 15, 1⁄4-in. holes in 4800 psi concrete on a single charge. That's no lightweight task for a tool that only weights in at 3 lbs.

LithiumTechTM batteries are lighter weight than, and characteristically outperform, their NiCd counterparts. These batteries last longer and feature a greater number of recharges. There also is no memory effect, so the battery can charge anytime. In fact, with a 30 minute recharge time, they reach 75 percent of their charge after 15 minutes. LithiumTech batteries also are recyclable, which keeps their components circulating and out of landfills.
The LithiumTech 12V Battery Charger is unique, as well. This innovative charger features a built-in USB recharging port. So don't worry about losing power on your cell phone or MP3 player. Recharge it right on the job site.

The Rockwell H3 12V Lithium 3-Function Rotary Hammer Drill is part of Rockwell's Free Batteries for Life program, which reinforces the company's confidence in the quality of its batteries and cordless tools. Registered users never need to worry about buying new batteries because Rockwell will replace them free for the life of the tool. The Free Batteries for Life program reduces the overall cost of owning a Rockwell cordless tool by 40 to 70 percent.

The Rockwell H3 12V Lithium 3-Function Rotary Hammer Drill (#RK2513K2, $179.99) is available at rockwelltoolsdirect.com and other online Websites, including amazon.com. It also is expected to be available through various local retailers such as Menards and independent hardware stores and lumber yards starting in early spring 2010.

Read More in: Cordless | Lithium-Ion | Power Tools

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Posted by Doug Mahoney at February 12, 2010 5:51 AM

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Recent Comments

Yeah, this is definitely a thought I had. I'm thinking though that is might be good for putting in a few tapcons on the fly. But you're right, cinder blocks don't put up too much of a fight.


Posted by: Tool Snob at February 12, 2010 8:51 AM

I tried one at the IBS. Low rpms and low power, and that was drilling into a cinder block. It definitely didn't impress me. I just don't think 12v (10.8V) really has enough voltage to make this work.


Posted by: Joe at February 12, 2010 8:30 AM
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