How to Use a Jackhammer

Whether you need to break apart a pavement, a sidewalk, or something, a jackhammer is your go-to tool. However, due to the intensity of the work that this tool can carry out, it is no joke to properly use it.

To use a jackhammer, you first need to make sure that you have equipped the mandatory safety gear. After that, you will require several steps, including the placement of the compressor, inspection of different components of the tool, and more.

In our guide, we will take a dive into details of all these steps, and more. So, let’s get started!

Types of Jackhammers

The three main types of jackhammers are pneumatic, hydraulic, and electric jackhammers. A pneumatic jackhammer functions using the high pressure of air, that comes from an air compressor, a hydraulic jackhammer functions using the hydraulic energy of some fluid, while an electric jackhammer functions by electric power.

You can use either of the three, depending on the nature of your application. Here are all the tips and tricks, that you should keep in mind, to properly use a jackhammer.

Steps for Using a Jackhammer

How to Use a Jackhammer

Equip Safety Gear

A device, like a jackhammer, is harmful in the hands of a novice user; one wrong move and you can easily cause irreversible damage to the body. Therefore, before you proceed to use a jackhammer, you must put on protective gear.

The safety gear includes a hat, buds or earmuffs, respirator, goggles, work gloves, steel-toed shoes, and a vest. Keep in mind to keep this gear equipped throughout the whole project.

Apart from that, a thing that people often overlook is to spray down your surface as you aim to minimize dust.

Acquire the Required Training

Using a jackhammer is no easy task; you are going to need proper training and knowledge about the subject in order to successfully excel at it.

Hence, whether you are a DIYer or a professional, you must acquire the required training.

Clear the Workspace

For a device as heavy as a jackhammer, make sure that it is not placed near untrained workers, animals, and especially, kids. If someone approaches you, be sure to immediately turn off the tool.


Inspection of a Jackhammer

Before you use a jackhammer, make sure that you inspect every single part of it for any shortcomings or defects. Make sure that all the components are complete, secured, and in working condition.

For instance, check the air ducts for any sort of cracks, and the cable for wear and tear. Resultantly, you would save quite a lot of money over time.

Placement of the Compressor

A jackhammer is a noisy tool and if you also factor in the noise, created by the air compressor in the case of the pneumatic variant, the overall sound could become pretty unbearable. Therefore, make sure to put the air compressor as far from the workspace as possible in order to reduce the level of noise.

Correct Positioning

A jackhammer is a heavy tool; as such, it can cause injury to its user. Therefore, while using a jackhammer, you need to assure correct positioning.

Place the jackhammer at an angle such that the hammer’s body is leaning back to you. As a result, the hammer tip will be kept from jamming and you will have more control in case the jackhammer goes berserk.

Furthermore, to steer clear of back injuries and strains, be sure to use your thighs for lifting the jackhammer. Also, when changing places, keep your hand on the lever.

Handle the Chisel Carefully

Jackhammer Chisel

If you happen to be a beginner, the chisel of your jackhammer will surely get stuck a few times. When that happens, instead of trying to force out the chisel, which will cause a strain in your back, work it out in a side-to-side motion until the chisel is being freed.

While working your way through the breakage, you are likely to get overeager; however, avoid sinking the chisel tip below the depth of the bit. If you end up doing so, there are chances that the entire tip will break off or get stuck, prolonging your job greatly.

Utilization of the Right Points

Next, you need to ensure that you are using the right, undamaged jackhammer points for the material, you are going to break. For instance, for stone, you need to use rock points.

In case you need to switch between tool points, be sure to first turn off the air source and relieve the pressure in the nozzle.

Check the Structure


Whichever material you are working on with your jackhammer, make sure that you keep its structural integrity in check from time to time. If the weakened points converge, the whole structure could fail, resulting in the collapse of a whole structure.

Also, ensure that there is not any live wiring or piping underneath the cement.

Take Breaks In-Between

Jackhammers are known to cause muscle and vibration fatigue. Therefore, be sure to take regular breaks while using them instead of trying to finish everything in a single go.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should You Operate a Jackhammer?

On average, a jackhammer should not be used for more than 40 minutes a day by a single user.

Can You Break Rock with a Jack Hammer?

Yes, you can and this would be a feasible option as compared to getting rid of the whole rock, which will require you to spend a lot of money.


Well, there you have it – a complete guide on the usage of jackhammers.

To reiterate, make sure to have a clear workspace, use the right points, take breaks regularly between the project, and most importantly, have the safety gear equipped.

Liam Weissman

Hello and welcome to PowerToolGenius! My name is Liam and for the last 9 years, I have worked extensively with various power tools and accessories. I have tested hundreds of different brands and models and understand the industry extensively and have been working with tools my entire life!

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