I'm absolutely tired of renting here. I need a drill for driving ground rods and soil is moderately hard one

I wanted to know how big/heavy drill I need for ground rods. 10-13 amps, and around 12-15 lbs. Will that be enough? i know demo hammers are usually a bit higher than that

Have done quite a bit of research on the internet. it seems most prefer demolition hammer.

Also few suggesting SDS Max/Plus Rotary Hammer Drills are quite effective.

corded ones will be much more preferable i think...seriously doubting if cordless ones do have the power it needs for the job

like always, i don't want to waste my hard earned money.

What you guys actually do? Will greatly appreciate any advice, thanks

  • 2
    I use a sledgehammer. I'm not installing ground rods every day, I know how to use a sledgehammer, and I own several. Thus, a drill to drive ground rods would be a waste of my money. If I were driving one or more ground rods every day or two, I might consider some other method, but I'm not. I drove 5 or 6 over a decade ago and haven't had a need to do so since then. I suppose I might start them with my T-post driver now, since I now own one of those, but standing on a ladder and tapping with a sledge worked. - - So, what's your use case?
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 26, 2021 at 14:43
  • 1
    Whatever you get, add water as you’re driving the rod. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it is. And I use an sds-plus bulldog style rotary hammer with a homemade rod driver. (Plumbing nipple shoved part way over a cut off old chisel. Nearly free.) Nov 26, 2021 at 14:55
  • 2
    Note that you frequently need to drive a ground rod where you do not yet have power, and won't get power until you drive a ground rod, so you are requiring a generator or a long-enough extension cord to somewhere with power if you choose a corded tool.
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 26, 2021 at 17:02
  • Sounds very much like you've rented these before. What's wrong with buying similar? If you haven't, then go to a tool rent pace, and ask what they recommend - they'll know what works well/badly, and follow their guide. Never know, they may even have a used one or sale!
    – Tim
    Nov 26, 2021 at 17:18
  • Can you link the make and model of ground rod which requires drilling? It would never have occurred to me to rotate a ground rod. Does this one have threads on it or something? Nov 27, 2021 at 21:37

3 Answers 3


When I've had to drive ground rods I used a very low tech fence post driver (pic attached). It takes 2 people: One to support the ladder initially needed and the ground rod and the 2nd person to work the driver. Due to the construction of the driver, you'll need to drive the last couple of feet in with a sledge hammer.

There are lots of fancy tools out there to drive them, but this needs no power other than human power. fence post driver

  • Thank you for your recommendation, i think a lot of people do use these post drivers Nov 27, 2021 at 3:05

This question is likely to be closed as it's a combination of shopping and opinion which are both off-topic.

But if you are looking for a DIY tool, shop at one of the big box stores and buy one they have that fits your budget. These are consumer-grade and while they may look professional-grade they are not made the same way. But if you just use them occasionally, they may last for many years.

If you do this sort of work every day, you'll want a professional/commercial grade tool. These are typically sold at outlets that cater to professional trades people. These tools have the same brand names you see at big box stores but they are different models entirely and generally cost quite a bit more. But they are designed to work hard every day and be serviced.

A good compromise that you might consider is to purchase a used professional-grade tool. For occasional DIY use it will probably last for your lifetime and if it does break, service and parts are usually easily available.


I used a garden hose; put a compression fitting on 1/2 copper ( pipe or tubing) connected a garden hose and jetted it 10 ft into the ground. I do have a sandy soil. The electrician who wired the house put a rod in with a sledge hammer. I added the ground rod for an electric fence.

  • So what, then you pull out the copper pipe and drive the proper ground rod into the hydraulically drilled hole? Surely you don't mean using any old random hunk of pipe as a ground rod? They must be UL-listed... NEC 250.52 and 110.2. Nov 27, 2021 at 21:38
  • The copper pipe is the ground rod. Longer life than the copper plated steel used here. Nov 30, 2021 at 16:04
  • That's fine for an electric fence or radio grounding, not ok for service grounding unless it is identified/listed for that purpose. Dec 1, 2021 at 0:42

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