There are many different jackhammers, and they come in various styles, shapes and sizes. This is definitely one situation where size does matter, mostly because of the project you have to tackle. For example, you would not want to break up a large concrete patio with a 110-volt electric hand held jackhammer. Just as you would not want to rent a jackhammer attached to a gasoline powered skid loader to cut a 3 foot long strip in a sidewalk that is ¾ of an inch wide and 2 inches deep. So the correct size jackhammer to rent does proportionately depend on the project that needs to be completed.
There are essentially 3 different sizes of jobs that need to be completed by a jackhammer. There are big jobs, medium sized tasks, and smaller sized projects. The big jobs are things such as large patios, sidewalks, concrete pools, and a large section of a concrete and or asphalt driveway. These projects would take a large hydraulic powered jackhammer attached to a gasoline powered skid loader, which you would operate within the safety of an enclosed cab. Or a large industrial stand up hand operated pneumatic jackhammer that gets its power from an industrial sized air compressor, which is usually powered by a gas generator. These units usually rent for approximately $215 dollars for 4 hours and or about $305 dollars a day.
Medium sized jobs would be a smaller sized patio, or one that is not too thick [say an inch and a half in depth], a short sidewalk, concrete curbs that are sometimes poured around trees or bedding, and a small section of a concrete or asphalt driveway. These jackhammers are a lot smaller in size than the ones above, hand operated, and easily handled. They are either powered pneumatically, which means air driven, or by a smaller gas generator. The rental cost for these sized tools range for about $77 dollars a day and or $115 dollars a day.
Smaller projects are things such as cutting out a brick or a section of brick in a wall to mount an electric outlet, cutting a strip in a sidewalk to bury an electric line, and cutting a hole in a concrete cinder block to put in a drainage pipe. These projects are usually completed with a 110-volt electric powered, hand held, smaller jackhammer. They typically have a handle in the rear with a trigger that has a button that can be pressed to run continually, and turned off when the trigger is pressed again. They also have another peg type aperture where your other hand can be placed for further stability. Another tool that can be used for this type of job is a hammer drill with a chisel point type of tip. These tools usually rent for $46 dollars for 4 hours and or $60 dollars a day.
There also are other factors to consider, such as your skill level with tools, and how long you have to complete your project. If you have a large project and are not sure of the time that it will take to finish, it might be wise to ask a contractor for an estimate. The reason for doing this is to see how long it would take them to complete the task and what size of tool they plan on using. Then depending on your proficiency with the tool needed to work on your job, your project budget, and the time factor you have available to finish the task, you will have more info to make your decision. Remember to add at least half the amount of time that the contractor gave you as an estimate to complete your project to the total time he gave you if you plan to do the project yourself. Some folks would say to just double it!
Just going to the rental store and seeing what is available for the various projects you have will be an invaluable experience. Some of the staff that are retired contractors and or have used most all of the equipment they rent. They also will be able to judge from your experience with other tools how long it may take you to accomplish your project. They also will be able to make a recommendation on the size of jackhammer to use.
If you do not have enough time to finish your project, you may need to wait till you do have enough time so you don’t have to rent the tool twice. You may need to schedule your rental around a vacation. Many rental sites offer weekend rental rates. If you do not have the time to complete your project at one time it may be wise to look into purchasing a new or even used tool. That way you can finish your project in steps when you have the time.
One last thing to consider whether renting or purchasing your jackhammer is the type of tip that you will require when breaking the material in your project, be it asphalt, concrete, dirt, or whatever. These tips were discussed in the first section of the jackhammer rental blog. Some stores charge extra for renting different styles of tips. After spending all your time deciding on the right size of jackhammer to rent, and renting it. I’m sure you will want to spend all your time using the tool on your project and not driving back to the store to rent or purchase a different sized tip.