I'm planning to do home remodeling all by myself and now I'm preparing for all the necessary tools. When considering cordless hammer drill, I'm at a lost. I found that the cordless hammer drill was never a best seller in Europe. Its sales were very low. Is there any special reason for this? Is it because the European buildings' material speacial and hammer drill not fit for it? Please help
European buildings are mostly masonry - brick, stone and concrete. To put even small holes in masonry you must have a hammer action on the drill. The hammering action takes a great deal of power to operate together with the action of rotation, so a cordless hammer-drill will be much weaker than a corded one, and for masonry it makes a big difference. Comparing a corded hammer-drill to a corded rotary hammer I own, the hammer-drill struggles putting even 4mm holes in concrete, while the rotary hammer makes short work of 10mm holes. I only shudder thinking the effort it would take to use a cordless hammer-drill.
That being said, I believe that for masonry work your best bet is a rotary hammer, preferably one with a chiseling function (where the rotation is disabled, leaving only the hammering action). Rotary hammers come with an SDS-Plus shank which also makes it much easier to replace bits and chisels. I myself use a Makita 2470:
Regarding cordless vs. corded, I'd say the corded wins out - it will be more powerful and weigh less than a comparative cordless one, not to mention it will be much cheaper. And I don't think you have much of a size saving as you have with cordless bit drivers. The thing to look for in the prospect is the drilling diameter in concrete - the more the merrier, even if you're not planning on drilling that big, as it will give you an indication of the power of the drill, making smaller holes easier. For example (selected models from Bosch), a cordless rotary hammer is rated to 18mm, while a corded rotary hammer is rated to 26mm. A cordless hammer-drill is rated to 13mm, while a corded hammer-drill is rated 20mm.