Jackhammer Bits Explained

Jackhammer Bits Types
Jackhammers are powerful machines designed to break up hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt. In fact, most people who have seen a jackhammer in use has been for street or sidewalk repair. However, there are various bits used by jackhammers that shape the job they are doing.

10 Types of Jackhammer Bits

There are several types of jackhammer bits and each bit has variations. What follows are the most common types that are used for jackhammers.

1. Breakers

These are bits used to break up rocks. This means that they are more commonly found at construction sites and quarries where rocks are broken up and used to form concrete. The shape of a breaker is typically flat at the end of the bit. It’s a relatively simple design, but it does apply the force in a manner to break up rocks and stones.
Heavy-duty moil point bit
The hexagonal moil point breaker bits are the ones you see most often for breaking concrete.

2. Chisels

The chisel is arguably the most common bit for all jackhammers. Both the narrow chisel and standard moil point can be used for breaking concrete. This is because the narrow tip allows for the most force to be delivered in breaking up the concrete and asphalt. The chisel shape also allows for the bit to pry up larger sections to make the job go faster.

However, it’s possible to dull or even break the bit if too much material is being pried up at once. It is why you see jackhammers with chisel bits used to break up smaller sections at a time.

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You can get several variations of the jackhammer chisel bits for different purposes.

  • Narrow Chisel Bits
  • Flat Chisel Bit
  • Digging Chisel
  • Bull Point Chisel Bits
  • Threaded Chisel
  • U-shaped Gouge Chisel

For the most part, the narrow chisel is the bit of choice. But there are larger chisels used when the concrete may be weak or compromised. Sometimes, the larger chisels are used for scoring concrete that may be too strong to break up with a narrow chisel bit. Chisels are important bits because they can effectively crack and break up the material instead of just punching holes.

3. Cutters

These are designed to cut into the asphalt. The overall shape of a cutter bit will seem like a spade, but it will have a flat edge instead. Plus, cutters should not be confused with bits designed for demolition. This is because the purpose of a cutter is to cut into the surface without breaking it up.
Jackhammer Asphalt cutter
Cutters are often used when pipes for example need to be laid under a road. A jackhammer with a cutter bit will slice into the surface along a pre-set line. Once finished, the loose material inside the cuts is removed, the pipe is laid, and new surface material added.

4. Spade Bits

The spade and wedge will look more like a standard flat shovel. This tool is commonly used on asphalt, hence the name “asphalt spade”. Because asphalt is composed differently compared to concrete, spade and wedge bits are more successful in breaking up the material. However, they should not be used on concrete which will dull the points and damage the softer steel that is used to create the bits.

5. Scoop Shovel Chisel Bit

Yescom Shovel Scoop Bit for gardening
Have you ever thought of using a jackhammer for gardening and landscaping? The scoop shovel bit is a variation of spade bit that you can use to break frozen soil, hard clay surface, dig large dig holes, remove gravel at your backyard, etc. Typical spades are thin and curved which allow for easier removal of the material. When broken up, the shape of the spade allows for scooping which makes the job go faster.

6. Wedges

Jack hammer asphalt wedge
Wedges are essentially the same as spades, but they often lack the curve. Flat wedges can do the same job as spades, but they may not be quite as efficient with asphalt.

7. Bushing Tools

These are bits used to rough up surfaces to make them adhere better to a new top coating. The look of a bushing bit is distinctive as it normally consists of rows of pyramid-shaped points atop a serrated surface. A typical bushing tool will have nine or sixteen points. It looks in some ways like a weapon used in a fantasy realm. But the points are nothing to joke about as they are made from hardened steel.

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Bushing points or tools are also used to remove high spots or bumps on concrete floors. You may see jackhammers used at construction joints for roughening purposes. Bushing tools come in different sizes for the different jobs in which they may be needed. For example, the paving breaker will have a square face of 2” while the chipper or electric hammer will have a smaller face of 1 ¾”.

8. Drivers

These are jackhammer bits that have a cup-shaped end. As the name implies, these are bits designed to drive or push objects into the ground or into other objects. The cup acts as a retainer, holding the object in place while it is being driven into the surface of the ground or another object. The jackhammer effect will drive whatever the object is forward until it has reached the desired depth.
Jackhammer pipe or rod driver
There are different types of drives, although most of them will have a cup-shaped or edged end designed to keep objects in place and not slip out when driving them.

  • Pipe
  • Railroad Spike
  • Ground Rod
  • Tent Stake
  • Sheathing and More

As you can see, some of the driver bits are designed to drive small objects such as railroad spikes or tent stakes. While others are designed to drive larger objects such as ground rods or pipes. When fitting the specific bit to the jackhammer, the amount of drive and pressure used will depend on the strength of the object and the hardness of the surface. Otherwise, you risk either breaking the object or cracking the surface material.

9. Tampers

Tampers are designed to pack loose material into tight corners, trenches, and the like.
Jackhammer Tamper Bits
As the name implies, it tamps down the material until it becomes part of the surface. A typical bit used for tamping will be a square or round shape with a flat surface or pad. This is important because the flat surface will spread the impact of each hammer or strike, making it easier to pack the loose material.

10. Scrapers

These are bits with blade like cutting edge that is thin and wide. The floor scraper works well for removing tiles, thinset, lineloem, vinyl and wood flooring, carpets, epoxy flooring etc.

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There are other jackhammer bits, but they are mostly variations of the ones listed above. When used with the proper bit, a jackhammer is an effective demolition tool with a wide variety of applications.

Jack Hammer Bits Explained

Here are some of the most common questions related to jackhammer bits and their answer.

What are jackhammer bits made of?

Jackhammer bits are made of hardened medium carbon alloy steel. They are often forged, case-hardened, and tempered to keep the tip hard and wear-resistant while retaining the core tough to absorb shocks.

The exact grade of steel varies according to the bit manufacturer. AISI 1045 and AISI 8640 are two of the most commonly used steel grades to make jackhammer bits. You can also get bits made out of tool steels such as S5 or S7, AISI 1075, 9260, etc.

Can you sharpen jackhammer bits?

Yes. You can sharpen the bits, but removing too much material may result in the loss of hardness properties.

Ideally, you have to cut off the damaged tip, forge it, normalize it and do the heat-treatment again. However, this may be too much of an effort unless you are doing this on a large scale.

A more practical way of doing this is to cut off the damaged tip, forge the breaker or chisel tip, grind it if required, and immediately quench it. Tempering the bit after hardening will always improve the life of the tool bit.

Which Jack Hammer bits for concrete?

The best jackhammer bits for concrete are the moil point breaker bits and the standard chisel bits. If the standard hexagonal moil bit gets damaged too quickly, replace it with the heavy-duty moil bits with a round cross-section.

You can also use asphalt wedges and brushing tools on concrete. However, do not use thin tip bits such as an asphalt cutter or spades to break concrete as they may get damaged easily.