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Invented by William Mcreavy and later sold to Charles Brady King, a jackhammer is essentially a hammer fused with a chisel which gives it its unique feature set. Available in both pneumatic and electro-mechanical variants, the smaller, hand-held models use compressed air for their operation, wherein the larger and heavier counterparts require electricity or even pneumatics. Such rig-mounted machines are typically used in demolition tasks, while for road building or any other type of construction job they’re mainly used to quickly break up rocks.

The jackhammer moves its internal hammer up and down with great force. Each time, the hammer descends upon the bit, creating an impact. Then, as it rapidly rebounds, it allows the bit to fall from its grasp – finding freedom once again before the process repeats. Carefully restraining the bit is a retainer pin, pushed out with each pounding movement to let go of the bit until it is ready to be struck again.

The power of a jackhammer is contingent upon the two elements of air pressure and hammer weight; most commonly, the air exerts a 90-pound-per-square inch pressure (620 kPa) while the hammer carries a weight of anywhere from 15-20 pounds (6.8 to 9.1 kg).

The jackhammer may appear to be a tool for disrupting concrete, asphalt, and rock, but its capabilities reach beyond that- it can also be employed in driving nails and stakes into materials, as well as compressing soil.

Since the late 1800s, jackhammers have been a staple in the world of construction and mining. Originating as massive, steam-powered tools, these robust machines were used extensively to build railway tracks and foster progress in the mining sector.

During the dawn of the 20th century, electric jackhammers emerged onto the scene, dethroning the steam-powered versions in favor of their lightweight, compact designs. These tools demonstrated an impressive level of portability and quickly became preferable to many tradespeople.

Modern jackhammers are driven by compressed air, providing a range of sizes and weights to fit a variety of construction and demolition needs. Utilized by professionals around the world, these pneumatic tools are crucial for jobs requiring intense drilling.

Electric-powered jackhammers pale in comparison to their pneumatic counterparts, which boast superior strength, increased maneuverability, and the freedom of being cordless.

Working with a pneumatic jackhammer generally produces a sound level much more muted than other tools, therefore making it suitable for most professional settings.

Where sites are a little off the grid, electric-powered jackhammers remain the tool of choice. They provide the oomph necessary to break through those tougher patches of concrete and asphalt, a boon out on the mine, or at your most tenacious demolition site.

When choosing an instrument to drill into stone or concrete, it is absolutely imperative that you obey the maker’s guidelines and take the necessary precautions. Failure to do so could prove highly dangerous!

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