12-Volt Panasonic EY6803GQW


Although not in the same league as the larger two-handled models in this survey, this smaller Panasonic rotary hammer is definitely worth considering for lighter and more-varied tasks. In fact, it is marketed as an overhead hammer for drilling and driving mounting bolts into ceilings. In its rotation-only mode, there is a ring clutch like that found on cordless drills that allows for setting the torque when driving anchor bolts, and an SDS-plus to 1/4-inch hex drive socket adapter is stowed on board for quick change-out.



Credit: Photo: dotfordot.com

At 5.7 pounds, it is relatively light, and it is very well balanced for one-handed operation. Its handle has plenty of room for a gloved hand. A generous amount of non-slip material around the handle as well as the end of the housing where the user's second hand is often placed provide a comfortable grip. The reversing switch is very easy to reach. And a bright LED light shines on the work when the trigger is depressed.

The maximum recommended bit is 15/32 inch, just under the 1/2-inch bit that I tested it with; although expectedly slower than the larger units, it had no problem making 4-inch-deep holes. What I mostly used it for was installing Tapcons, which required a 5/32-by-2-3/4-inch-deep hole. I found it to be very efficient for this size of job, cranking out 57 holes on one charge of its small, 3.5-amp-hour NiMH battery.

For drilling and driving into masonry, this tool nicely fills the gap between a cordless hammerdrill and the larger rotary hammers in the test.

–Rick Arnold

EY6803GQW: $439