Getting Size Right
When it comes to ergonomics in demolition hammers, vibration typically receives most of the attention. Yet, there's more to ergonomics than vibration.
"I think that contractors are taking more and more notice of what reduced-vibration hammers could do for them," says Jonathan Cook, Chicago Pneumatic Construction Tools. "And another issue that people are recognizing is the need to use the proper size tools."
Many of today's demolition hammers offer substantially more hitting power than their predecessors. For example, Chicago Pneumatic's new generation 40-lb. CP 1210 delivers 90% of the hitting power of a 60-lb.-class breaker. "So people are noticing that they can use a 40-lb. breaker and still get excellent production - and significantly reduce fatigue in the process," says Cook.
The JACK 11335 breaker hammer has the power of a 68-lb. breaker, asserts Randall Coe at Bosch, yet weighs only 40 lbs. "Because it's about 25 lbs. lighter, this JACK class can be used in a horizontal application, busting up the side of the wall, etc.," he states. "With the assist handle and the weight of the product, it allows it to be a more versatile demolition tool."
Even larger hammers are packing more power into lighter packages. For example, DeWALT's 68-lb.-class D25980K pavement breaker features a bigger, heavier ram that delivers 61 ft.-lbs. of impact energy. According to Eric Bernstein, this means it can deliver the same performance in 7- to 8-in. concrete that comparable models might provide in concrete only 4 to 5 in. thick.
"Our goal on this project was to really bridge the gap between the electric breaker and the pneumatic breaker," he adds.
Ultimately, the benefit is the ability to use a lighter tool to accomplish bigger jobs. "People are getting away from the mentality that you need a 90-lb. breaker every time you have to break up concrete," says Cook. "Ergonomics do wonders for productivity, but simply using the right size tool is also beneficial."