A jackhammer (pneumatic drill or demolition hammer in British English) is a pneumatic or electro-mechanical tool that combines a hammer directly with a chisel. It was invented by William Mcreavy, who then sold the patent to Charles Brady King.[1] Hand-held jackhammers are generally powered by compressed air, but some are also powered by electric motors. Larger jackhammers, such as rig mounted hammers used on construction machinery, are usually hydraulically powered. They are typically used to break up rock, pavement, and concrete.

A jackhammer operates by driving an internal hammer up and down. The hammer is first driven down to strike the back and then back up to return the hammer to the original position to repeat the cycle. The effectiveness of the jackhammer is dependent on how much force is applied to the tool. It is generally used like a hammer to break the hard surface or rock in construction works and it is not considered under earth moving equipment, along with its accessories (i.e., pusher leg, lubricator).

In British English, electromechanical versions are colloquially known as "Kangos".

Tennessee Valley Authority Douglas Dam French Broad River Sevier County TN man with jackhammer 1942
Drilling a blast hole with a jackhammer
(video) A construction worker uses a jackhammer in Japan.


The first steam-powered drill was patented by Samuel Miller in 1806. This drill used steam only for raising the drill.[2] Pneumatic drills were developed in response to the needs of mining, quarrying, excavating, and tunneling. A pneumatic drill was proposed by a C. Brunton in 1844.[3][4] In 1846 a percussion drill that could be worked by steam or atmospheric pressure obtained from a vacuum was patented in Britain by Thomas Clarke, Mark Freeman and John Varley.[5] The first American "percussion drill" was made in 1848 and patented in 1849 by Jonathan J. Couch of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[6] In this drill, the drill bit passed through the piston of a steam engine. The piston snagged the drill bit and hurled it against the rock face. It was an experimental model. In 1849, Couch's assistant, Joseph W. Fowle, filed a patent caveat for a percussion drill of his own design. In Fowle's drill, the drill bit was connected directly to the piston in the steam cylinder; specifically, the drill bit was connected to the piston's crosshead. The drill also had a mechanism for turning the drill bit around its axis between strokes and for advancing the drill as the hole deepened.[7] By 1850 or 1851, Fowle was using compressed air to drive his drill, making it the first true pneumatic drill.[8]

The demand for pneumatic drills was driven especially by miners and tunnelers, because steam engines needed fires to operate and the ventilation in mines and tunnels was inadequate to vent the fires' fumes; there was also no way to convey steam over long distances, e.g., from the surface to the bottom of a mine; and mines and tunnels occasionally contained flammable explosive gases such as methane. By contrast, compressed air could be conveyed over long distances without loss of its energy, and after the compressed air had been used to power equipment, it could ventilate a mine or tunnel.

In Europe since the late 1840s, the king of Sardinia, Carlo Alberto, had been contemplating the excavation of a 12-kilometer (7.5 mi) tunnel through Mount Fréjus to create a rail link between Italy and France, which would cross his realm.[9][10] The need for a mechanical rock drill was obvious and this sparked research on pneumatic rock drills in Europe. A Frenchman, Cavé, designed, and in 1851 patented, a rock drill that used compressed air; but the air had to be admitted manually to the cylinder during each stroke, so it was not successful.[11] In 1854, in England, Thomas Bartlett made and then patented (1855) a rock drill whose drill bit was connected directly to the piston of a steam engine. In 1855 Bartlett demonstrated his drill, powered by compressed air, to officials of the Mount Fréjus tunnel project.[12] (In 1855, a German, Schumann, invented a similar pneumatic rock drill in Freiburg, Germany.[13]) Bartlett’s drill was refined by the Savoy-born engineer Germain Sommeiller (1815-1871) and his colleagues, Grandis and Grattoni, by 1861.[14] Thereafter, many inventors refined the pneumatic drill.[15] Sommeiller took his drill to the lengthy Gotthard Pass Tunnel then being built to link railways between Switzerland and Italy under the Alps. Atlas Copco and Ingersoll Rand were two important drill companies in Europe and America respectively, each holding patents and dominating the industry. From this mining and railway tunnelling expanded.


The word "jackhammer" is used in North American English and Australia, while "pneumatic drill" is used colloquially elsewhere in the English speaking world, although strictly speaking a "pneumatic drill" refers to a pneumatically driven jackhammer.[16]

In Britain, electromechanical versions are colloquially known as "Kangos".[17] The term comes from the former British brand name now owned by Milwaukee tools.


BH E02 web
A Wacker Neuson gasoline-powered breaker on a demolition site

A full-sized portable jackhammer is impractical for use against walls and steep slopes, except by a very strong person, as the user would have to both support the weight of the tool, and push the tool back against the work after each blow. A technique developed by experienced workers is a two-man team to overcome this obstacle of gravity: one operates the hammer and the second assists by holding the hammer either on his shoulders or cradled in his arms. Both use their combined weight to push the bit into the workface. This method is commonly referred to as horizontal jackhammering.

Another method is overhead jackhammering, requiring strength conditioning and endurance to hold a smaller jackhammer, called a rivet buster, over one's head. To make overhead work safer a platform can be used. One such platform is a P.A.M. (Positioner Actuator Manipulator). This unit takes all the weight and vibration from the user.



Aa pneumatic drill compressor front
A compressor for running a pneumatic jackhammer.

A pneumatic jackhammer, also known as a pneumatic drill or pneumatic hammer,[18] is a jackhammer that uses compressed air as the power source. The air supply usually comes from a portable air compressor driven by a diesel engine. Reciprocating compressors were formerly used. The unit comprised a reciprocating compressor driven, through a centrifugal clutch, by a diesel engine. The engine's governor provided only two speeds:

  • idling, when the clutch was disengaged
  • maximum, when the clutch was engaged and the compressor was running

Modern versions use rotary compressors and have more sophisticated variable governors. The unit is usually mounted on a trailer and sometimes includes an electrical generator to supply lights or electric power tools.

Additionally, some users of pneumatic jackhammers may use a pneumatic lubricator which is placed in series with the air hose powering the air hammer. This increases the life and performance of the jackhammer. Specific lubricant is filled in the pneumatic lubricator. Furthermore, air compressors typically incorporate moisture into the compressed air leading to freeze-ups of the jackhammer or air hammer in cold weather.

Electro mechanical or electropneumatic

Makita demolition breaker
A single phase demolition breaker.

An electropneumatic hammer is often called a "rotary hammer," because it has an electric motor, which rotates a crank. The hammer has two pistons—a drive piston and a free flight piston. The crank moves the drive piston back and forth in the same cylinder as the flight piston. The drive piston never touches the flight piston. Instead the drive piston compresses air in the cylinder, which then propels the flight piston against a striker, which contacts the drill bit.[19]

Electric powered tools come in a variety of sizes from about 12–65 lb (5.4–29.5 kg). They require an external power source, but do not require a compressor. Although in the past these tools did not have the power of an air or pneumatic hammer, this is changing with newer brushless-motor tools coming close to the power of a pneumatic tool and in some cases even matching it. Electric powered tools are useful for locations where access to a compressor is limited or impractical, such as inside a building, in a crowded construction site, or in a remote location and it is not come under earth moving equipment or tool.

Electropneumatic tools use a variety of chucks for attaching chisels, but the most common are SDS-max, 78 in (22 mm) Hex, TE-S, and 1 18 in (29 mm) Hex. The connection end size is also related to the breaking energy of the tool. For example, the Bosch and Hilti 12 lb (5.4 kg) tools both use SDS-max, while the Bosch, Hilti, and Makita 65 lb (29 kg) tools all use 1 18 in (29 mm) Hex connection. See hammer drills for more on electropneumatic hammering.


Excavator jackhammer
An excavator-mounted hydraulic jackhammer being used to break up concrete.

A hydraulic jackhammer, generally much larger than portable ones, may be fitted to mechanical excavators or backhoes and is widely used for roadwork, quarrying and general demolition or construction groundwork. These larger machine mounted breakers are known as Rig Mounted, or Machine Mounted Breakers. Such tools can also be used against vertical walls (or ceilings for that matter), since the vehicles involved are massive enough and powerful enough to exert the forces involved without needing the help of gravity in operating the tool. Pneumatic or hydraulic tools are particularly likely to be used in mines where there is an explosion risk (such as underground coal mines), since they lack any high-power electrical circuitry that might cause a triggering spark.

Hydraulic breakers usually use a hydraulic motor driving a sealed pneumatic hammer system, as a hydraulic hammer would develop a low strike speed and transfer unacceptable shock loads to the pump system.

Advances in technology have allowed for portable hydraulic breakers. The jackhammer is connected with hydraulic hoses to a portable hydraulic powerpack: either a petrol or diesel engine driving a hydraulic pump; or a mini-excavator or skid-steer via a power take-off driveshaft to the machine's hydraulic system. Hydraulic power sources are more efficient than air compressors, making the kit smaller, cheaper or more powerful than a comparable pneumatic version.

Bits (chisels)

Bit types include

  • Spade — provides flat finish for concrete or edging in asphalt or dirt.
  • Flat tip — allows direction control or finer edge finish
  • Point — general breaking
  • Stake driver — drives concrete form stakes
  • Scabbler — finishes surface smooth or for cleaning prior to bonding
  • Flex chisel — flexible metal blade (attached to shank with bolts) for tile removal and scraping
  • Bushing tool — multiple carbide points for cleaning up seams and knocking down rough spots in concrete

Chisels may be resharpened in a shop or with an angle grinder with grinding disc. After resharpening, they must then be heat treated to restore the integrity of the steel before use. As an alternative, Hilti also manufacturers self-sharpening polygon and flat chisels in SDS-max, TE-S, and 1-1/8" Hex connection ends.

Health effects

Pneumatic drill.jpeg
A jackhammer with black silencer attached

The sound of the hammer blows, combined with the explosive air exhaust, makes pneumatic jackhammers dangerously loud, emitting 100 decibels at two meters. Sound-blocking earmuffs must be worn by the operator to prevent a form of hearing damage, of which tinnitus is the main symptom. Most pneumatic jackhammers now have a silencer around the barrel of the tool.

Use has been linked to Raynaud syndrome.

Prolonged exposure to the pronounced vibration conducted by the tool can lead to blood-circulation failures in the fingers, a condition known as vibration white finger. Applying athletic tape is not very effective in preventing white finger but seems to help alleviate some of its discomfort. Pneumatic drill usage can also lead to a predisposition for development of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Some manufacturers of electro-pneumatic tools now offer vibration reduction systems to reduce the vibration felt by the operator. For example, the Hilti TE 3000-AVR has approximately the same impact energy of a 60 lb (27 kg) pneumatic hammer, but the vibration felt by the operator is significantly less (7 m/s2). Other manufacturers such as Makita, DeWalt and Bosch also offer electric tools with vibration dampening.

Using a jackhammer to break up concrete pavement may expose the operator to hazardous dust containing respirable crystalline silica.[20]


Aa pneumaticdrill hosecoupling 01
Air hose connection on pneumatic drill
  2. ^ "Minutes of Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers". 1891.
  3. ^ Brunton, C. (September 21, 1844) "Design of wind hammer for boring rocks," The Mechanics' Magazine, 41 : 203–204.
  4. ^ West, Graham, Innovation and the Rise of the Tunnelling Industry (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1988), p. 33.
  5. ^ "Patents for inventions. Abridgments of specifications". 1874.
  6. ^ Henry S. Drinker,Tunneling, explosive compounds, and rock drills … (New York, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1878), pages 153-157.
  7. ^ Drinker (1878), page 160.
  8. ^ Drinker (1878), page 164.
  9. ^ Drinker (1878), page 266.
  10. ^ The project was called the "Mount Cenis tunnel" although the tunnel passed under Mount Fréjus.
  11. ^ Drinker (1878), page 152.
  12. ^ Drinker (1878), pages 168 and 266.
  13. ^ Drinker (1878), pages 151-152.
  14. ^ Drinker (1878), pages 169 and 266.
  15. ^ See: Drinker (1878), page 168. See also: page 2 of Eustace M. Weston, Rock drills: design, construction and use (New York, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1910).
  16. ^ How It Works - Horobin, Wendy; Marshall Cavendish Corporation, Third Edition, Page 1195
  17. ^ Ellis, Iain (7 September 2006). Ellis' British Railway Engineering Encyclopaedia. lulu.com. p. 371. ISBN 9781847286437. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
  18. ^ Hughes, Phil; Ferrett, Ed (2008-06-12). Introduction to Health and Safety in Construction. ISBN 9781856175210.
  19. ^ Clint DeBoer. "How's It Work? Rotary Hammers". Pro Tool Reviews. Retrieved June 22, 2016.
  20. ^ "Workplace Safety & Health Topics: Silica: Jackhammer". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 29 July 2013. Retrieved 20 December 2014. Publication date is date of last page update.

External links

Backlash (2003)

Backlash (2003) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It took place on April 27, 2003, at the Worcester Centrum in Worcester, Massachusetts and starred talent from the promotion's Raw and SmackDown! brands. It was the fifth event under the Backlash chronology.The main event and featured match of the Raw brand was the encounter of Goldberg and The Rock, where Goldberg, in his first WWE Pay-Per-View, defeated The Rock by pinfall, following a spear and a Jackhammer. The featured match on the undercard was a WWE Championship match from the SmackDown! brand, between John Cena and the reigning champion, Brock Lesnar, where Lesnar defeated Cena by pinfall after an F-5. The other predominant match on the undercard was a six-man tag team match from the Raw brand, between the team of Triple H, Ric Flair, and Chris Jericho facing Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, and Booker T. Triple H, Flair, and Jericho won the match by pinfall, after Triple H hit Nash with a sledgehammer. The predominant undercard match from the SmackDown! brand was the encounter of The Big Show and Rey Mysterio, where Big Show pinned Mysterio after a chokeslam.The event grossed $450,000 with 10,000 ticket sales and had a 0.67 buyrate. Following the event, Goldberg began a feud with Chris Jericho. At Bad Blood, Goldberg defeated Jericho via pinfall after a Jackhammer. Brock Lesnar began a storyline with The Big Show over the WWE Championship. At Judgment Day, Lesnar defeated The Big Show in a Stretcher match to retain the WWE Championship. Triple H engaged in a storyline with Kevin Nash over the World Heavyweight Championship. At Judgment Day, Nash defeated Triple H via disqualification; due to WWE regulations, Triple H retained the championship.

Demolition Team

The Demolition Team are fictional characters, a team of mercenaries in the DC Comics universe. They first appeared in Green Lantern #176 (May 1984) and were created by Len Wein and Dave Gibbons.

Denis Coderre

Denis Coderre (born July 25, 1963) is a Canadian politician from Quebec, Canada. Coderre was the Member of Parliament for the riding of Bourassa from 1997 until 2013, and was the Immigration minister from 2002-2003 and became the Mayor of Montreal in 2013, but lost in 2017 to Valérie Plante.

Esophageal disease

Esophageal diseases can derive from congenital conditions, or they can be acquired later in life.

Many people experience a burning sensation in their chest occasionally, caused by stomach acids refluxing into the esophagus, normally called heartburn. Extended exposure to heartburn may erode the lining of the esophagus, leading potentially to Barrett's esophagus which is associated with an increased risk of adenocarcinoma most commonly found in the distal one-third of the esophagus.

Some people also experience a sensation known as globus esophagus, where it feels as if a ball is lodged in the lower part of the esophagus.

The following are additional diseases and conditions that affect the esophagus:


Acute esophageal necrosis

Barrett's esophagus

Boerhaave syndrome

Caustic injury to the esophagus

Chagas disease

Diffuse esophageal spasm

Esophageal atresia and Tracheoesophageal fistula

Esophageal cancer

Esophageal dysphagia

Esophageal varices

Esophageal web



Hiatus hernia

Jackhammer esophagus (hypercontractile peristalsis)

Killian–Jamieson diverticulum

Mallory-Weiss syndrome

Neurogenic dysphagia

Nutcracker esophagus

Schatzki's ring

Zenker's Diverticulum


Hatebeak is a death metal band, formed by Blake Harrison and Mark Sloan, featuring Waldo, a grey parrot (b. 1991). Hatebeak is reported to be the first band to have an avian vocalist. They never tour so as to not torture the bird. Hatebeak is signed to Reptilian Records. They released the album Number of the Beak on June 26, 2015, through Reptilian Records.The band's sound has been described as "a jackhammer being ground in a compactor". Aquarius Records magazine called Hatebeak "furious and blasting death metal". Hatebeak made its second record with Caninus, a band whose lead singers were two dogs. Hatebeak's goal is to "raise the bar for extreme music".

Jackhammer (comics)

Jackhammer (Matthew Banham) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Jackhammer (disambiguation)

A jackhammer is a percussive drill.

Jackhammer may also refer to:

Jackhammer, a wrestling powerslam

Jackhammer (comics), a Marvel Comics villain

Joliet JackHammers, a professional baseball team based in Joliet, Illinois

MTX Jackhammer, a 22-inch (560 mm) subwoofer

Pancor Jackhammer, an automatic-shotgun designJack Hammer may refer to:

"Jack" Hammer, a character in the Rescue Heroes line

Jack Hammer, a professional wrestler from United States Wrestling Association

"Jack Hammer", a song by the Odds from their album Bedbugs

Jack Hammer (songwriter) (1925–2016), pseudonym for songwriter and singer Earl Burroughs

Jack Hammer (South African band)

Otis Blackwell or Jack Hammer (1931–2002), African-American singer and songwriter

List of Transformers comics characters

This is a list of characters in the Transformers Generation 1 comics series.

MTX Audio

MTX Audio is an American consumer audio company that manufactures sound equipment for applications including car audio, home audio, marine audio and live sound products. They are best known for their car audio products and they specialize in subwoofers and subwoofer amplifiers.MTX Audio is a brand name owned by the Mitek Corporation.

Matador (cocktail)

The Matador is a tequila-based cocktail. Less widely known than the margarita, its structure is similarly simple, with three primary ingredients: silver or blanco tequila, pineapple juice, and lime juice. Its chief coupling of pineapple and a single spirit resembles a Jackhammer, a variant of the Screwdriver which substitutes pineapple juice for orange juice to mix with vodka. Matadors are often presented differently, either in a martini glass or a champagne flute.

My Jackhammer

My Jackhammer is the debut album from the Benevento/Russo Duo, released in 2003 under their own production.

Pancor Jackhammer

The Pancor Corporation Jackhammer was a 12-gauge, blow-forward gas-operated bullpup automatic shotgun designed in 1984 and patented in 1987. Only three working prototypes of the Jackhammer were built. Nonetheless, its distinctive aesthetics and futuristic design have made it a prop in action films, television programs, and video games.

Power move

Power moves are loosely defined as moves relying on speed, momentum, and acrobatic elements for performance. They are prominent in B-boying, often the centerpieces of routines featuring the other elements (toprock, downrock, and freezes) that make up breaking. Power moves are closer to gymnastics than dancing. B-boys who focus heavily on power moves and execute them as a main part of their routines are often called "power heads".


A powerslam is a professional wrestling body slam move in which the wrestler performing the slam falls face-down on top of his/her opponent. The use of the term "powerslam" usually refers to the front powerslam and the scoop powerslam. It was innovated by Ervin Smith or Ted DiBiase.

Souled Out (1999)

Souled Out (1999) was the third Souled Out professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event produced by World Championship Wrestling (WCW). The event took place on January 17, 1999 from the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, West Virginia.The main event was a Stun Gun ladder match between Scott Hall and Goldberg, based on Hall helping Kevin Nash in beating Goldberg for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship and ending Goldberg's undefeated streak, the previous month at Starrcade. The objective of the match was to retrieve the stun gun by climbing the ladder and tasing the opponent with the gun to win the match. Goldberg won by tasing Hall after performing a Spear and a Jackhammer.

Summer in the City

"Summer in the City" is a song recorded by The Lovin' Spoonful and written by John Sebastian, Mark Sebastian, and Steve Boone.

It appeared on their album Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful and reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, in August 1966, for three consecutive weeks. The song features car horns and jackhammer noises during the instrumental bridge, to represent the sounds of a noisy city street. The song became a gold record. It is ranked #401 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The Jackhammer Massacre

The Jackhammer Massacre is a 2004 horror film written and directed by Joe Castro, and co-written by Daniel Benton. It stars Kyle Yaskin and Aaron Gaffey.

Two and a Half Men (season 8)

The eighth season of Two and a Half Men premiered on September 20, 2010, and finished on February 14, 2011, with only 16 episodes aired, making season eight the shortest season to date. It was the last season of the show with Charlie Sheen as its main star. Although being advertised with a Gag Reel, the Season 8 DVD did not include one, making it and Season 5 the only DVDs not to have them.

As of December 22, 2010, Two and a Half Men is ranked at number 10 on the 10 most watched TV programs of 2010.

Vince McMahon

Vincent Kennedy McMahon (; born August 24, 1945) is an American professional wrestling promoter and executive, American football executive, and businessman. Since taking over the company from his father in 1982, he has worked in the corporate area of the WWE and behind the scenes. He currently serves as the majority owner, chairman and CEO of WWE as well as founder of Alpha Entertainment, which is the holding company of the American football league the XFL.McMahon has also served as an announcer and professional wrestler in WWE—using a gimmick known by the ring name Mr. McMahon, based on his real life persona. He is a two-time world champion, having won the WWF Championship in 1999 and the ECW World Championship in 2007. He was the 1999 Royal Rumble winner. He headlined multiple WWF/WWE pay-per-view events from 1999 to 2000 and participated in the main event of WrestleMania 2000 as a cornerman for The Rock. In singles competition, he holds victories over former WWF/WWE Champions Ric Flair, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Triple H. He continues his backstage and on-screen roles as the main authority figure along with the rest of the McMahon family.

Prior to this, he was the broadcast color commentator and later chief broadcaster for the company until 1997.

A third-generation wrestling promoter (following his grandfather Jess and father Vincent), McMahon is married to former WWE CEO and former American SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, with whom he has two children, son Shane and daughter Stephanie. He is the father-in-law of WWE executive/wrestler Paul "Triple H" Levesque and has six grandchildren.

Mining equipment


This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.