Cordless Power Tool Reviews

18V Hammer Drills

Speed Under Load
Torque
Feature Set
Weight
Footprint
Value
Final Thoughts

While its official release is still a few months out, we had the chance to test out the HD529501 Skil 20V Hammer Drill during our shootout. It's one of the fastest hammer drills we tested from the medium-duty class. While it's a little light on torque, it doesn't take up a whole lot of real estate in your hand. Best of all, it won't break the bank.

Overall Score 4.1 Shootout Results

Skil PWRCore20 Heavy-Duty Brushless Hammer Drill Review – HD529501


Skil PWRCore20 Heavy-Duty Brushless Hammer Drill Shows Off Class-Leading Speed

We recently had the chance to toss 50+ drills of various shapes, sizes, speeds, and voltages into our Best Cordless Drill Shootout. It was loads of fun, we’re taking stock of each individual model. Today, we’re looking at the Skil PWRCore20 Heavy-Duty Brushless Hammer Drill. The Chervon brand has a lot going for it, particularly its solid performance and DIY-friendly pricing. We’re looking to see if that trend continues into the 20V brushless line.

Shootout Results

Skil puts together a nice package that performs well side-by-side with Pro brands. The only weak spot for Skil is torque. However, its speed and efficiency ratings tell us that it’s not struggling to do the work, even in an aggressive heavy load test.

While there are a couple of models that run away with the Medium-Duty class, they’re also much more expensive than the Skil PWRCore20 Heavy-Duty Brushless Hammer Drill. When it comes to the two major value brands, Skil puts distance over Ryobi in every category we tested except value—and Skil is no slouch there, either.

Overall 18V Medium-Duty Drill Driver Ranking: 4th Place

Overall 18V Medium-Duty Hammer Drill Ranking: 4th Place

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Skil PWRCore20 Heavy-Duty Brushless Hammer Drill Feature Set

There’s nothing dramatic about the Skil’s feature set, but it does have everything you realistically need. There’s a certain beauty that comes from simplicity, and that’s what we’re seeing here.

This Skil cordless hammer drill features a brushless motor with a 2-speed selector switch on top. We actually prefer a mechanical switch to the blister buttons that we’ve seen on some of the higher-end models coming out. Those electronic controls are sexier but crack or peel over time.

In a move we prefer, Skil puts separate collars on the chuck for the clutch and mode selection.

Skil PWRCore20 Heavy-Duty Brushless Hammer Drill Chuck

Additional Features Worth Noting

  • LED light
  • Belt hook
  • All-metal chuck

Performance

In our drill testing, we measure speed under load and soft torque. For more information about the test methods, check out our Best Drill Head to Head Review.

This Skil cordless hammer drill averaged 322.8 in-lbs of soft torque on our compression rig. It’s a mid-pack finish that’s in line with the majority of the group, but pretty far behind Bosch’s and Kobalt’s dominance in this test.

Skil PWRCore20 Heavy-Duty Brushless Hammer Drill Review Speed Test

Speed under load is not an issue for the Skil HD529501, though. With a 2-9/16″ Milwaukee SwitchBlade Self-Feed Bit, the Skil PWRCore20 Heavy-Duty Brushless Hammer Drill averaged 472 RPM. This was the fastest drill in its class for this test, which is impressive.

What’s also impressive is that maintained 86% of its no-load speed, meaning the motor wasn’t straining to keep up.

It leads the pack in our 1″ Bosch Daredevil High-Speed Auger Bit test as well, averaging 1483 RPM with a 74% efficiency rating.

For concrete drilling, we used a 1/4″ Bosch Daredevil Multipurpose Bit and drilled 3″ deep. The Skil finished in 2nd place with an average time of 5.08 seconds—faster than some of the Heavy-Duty hammer drills we tested.

Skil PWRCore20 Heavy-Duty Brushless Hammer Drill Concrete Drill

Weight and Footprint

Skil PWRCore20 Heavy-Duty Brushless Hammer Drill ProfileWith the Medium-Duty class bridging the gap between muscular behemoths of the Heavy-Duty class and the weight-sensitive Compact class, size and weight are a moderate concern.

Skil’s other tools tend to trade-off some size and weight for better performance, but it’s not as significant with this model. The Skil PWRCore20 Heavy-Duty Brushless Hammer Drill weighs 3.34 pounds bare and 4.90 pounds with a 4.0Ah battery. Considering the lightest is 4.74 pounds with a battery, that ain’t too bad.

It does a good job with its footprint as well. With a head that’s 7.5″ long, it’s the 2nd shortest of the group. Height is arguably less important and Skil’s 8.1″ height without a battery it one of the taller ones.

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Price

The Skil PWRCore20 Heavy-Duty Brushless Hammer Drill has one of the less expensive kits at $199.99. That includes a 5.0Ah battery and PWRJump charger that charges 0%–25% in 5 minutes and 100% in 30 minutes for a 2.0Ah battery.

The only player in the Medium-Duty class that’s less is Ryobi’s P251 (P1813 as a kit). It currently runs $129 with a 4.0Ah battery. Skil gives you an upgraded charger, 20% more battery capacity, and backs their product 2 years longer.

The Bottom Line

Skil puts together a nice package that performs well side-by-side with Pro brands. The only weak spot for Skil is torque. However, its speed and efficiency ratings tell us that it’s not struggling to do the work, even in an aggressive heavy load test.

While there are a couple of models that run away with the Medium-Duty class, they’re also much more expensive than the Skil PWRCore20 Heavy-Duty Brushless Hammer Drill. When it comes to the two major value brands, Skil puts distance over Ryobi in every category we tested except value—and Skil is no slouch there, either.

Skil PWRCore20 Heavy-Duty Brushless Hammer Drill Specifications

  • Model: Skil HD529501
  • Power Source: Skil 20V battery
  • Chuck: 1/2″ with 24+1 (drill) + 1 (hammer drill) clutch
  • No-Load Speed: 0–550/0–2000 RPM
  • Impact Rate: 0–8800/0–32000 BPM
  • Max Torque: 859 in-lbs
  • Weight: 3.34 lbs bare, 4.90 lbs with 4.0Ah battery
  • Height: 8.1″
  • Length: 7.5″
  • Warranty: 5 years with registration
  • Price: $199.99 with 5.0Ah battery and PWRJump charger

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Corey Moore
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Corey Moore

They named it heavy duty, so why is it ranking in your medium duty class?

Matt
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Matt

$199 for this and a batt still seems like a lot compared to the winners of your shootout