My husband and I have ripped down an old lath & plaster ceiling and we are trying to board it. However, my husbands Bosch drill keep switching itself from screw to hammer mode, which means the screws are not going all the way into the joists. Is an expensive repair needed or are we better off ditching the drill and buying a new one?

Many thanks

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    I don't have a drill with the hammer mode, but it occurs to me that a drill might be designed to automatically switch to hammer mode if it encounters high resistance. Some very old dimensional lumber can get very hard to drive screws into and you might need screws designed for such wood. The screws might need a "drill point" or you might have to drill "pilot holes" before driving the screws. What clutch setting are you using? I would think that one would want to use the hammer function to drive screws. If the screws are not going in all the way, use a higher clutch setting. Apr 1, 2018 at 13:05
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    FWIW, I've never heard of a drill that switches to hammer automatically. That sounds like it would be absolutely counterproductive. To the OP, can you specify the model? Apr 1, 2018 at 14:17
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    I agree with @AloysiusDefenestrate it’s highly unlikely that the drill automatically switches to hammer mode. Doing so may in fact ruin the material being drilled. Hammer mode should always be a conscientious decision made by the operator.
    – Tyson
    Apr 1, 2018 at 14:34
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    Since you did not state the model I would believe you are reaching the drill's torque limit for the setting being used. I use impact drivers to drive sheetrock all the time, this is different than hammer but dosent hurt anything. I would invest in a multi speed drill as you reduce the speed setting the torque increases.
    – Ed Beal
    Apr 1, 2018 at 14:49
  • What kind of screws are you driving? Are you are using the wrong kind of driver bit? I only recently came to understand the difference between Phillips and Pozidriv when I tried to drive Phillips screws with a Pozidriv: finehomebuilding.com/2015/09/16/… Apr 1, 2018 at 19:47

1 Answer 1


First, make sure the "hammering" you are experiencing is not the clutch, doing what it is designed to do.

It is not uncommon for the switching mechanism from drill to hammer-drill to break and stop functioning properly. Whether it is worth repairing depends, Bosch sells different grades of tools. A professional grade Bosch hammer drill might be worth repairing, a consumer grade one would not. To even get a quote on repair cost you have to pay to ship it to an authorized repair center (or find one and take it there).

Consumer grade Bosch hammer-drills sell for as cheap as $60 (U.S.) at discount hardware stores, your repair price would likely be equal to or higher than that.


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