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History section needed...[edit]

Having just watched the hand-drawn opening credits of One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing and noticed a picture of a workman with a pneumatic drill, we wondered whether it was an appropriate illustration for a film supposedly set in the 1920s...

So, who invented the pneumatic drill, and when??

EdJogg 23:24, 13 February 2007 (UTC) says " Samuel Ingersoll invented the pneumatic drill in 1871. Charles Brady King of Detroit invented the pneumatic hammer (a hammer which is driven by compressed air) in 1890" billbeee 11:04, 5 March 2007 (UTC) billbeee has been known to use a jackhammer in the past, and has the carpel tunnel to prove it! (was it the Carpel Tunnel where John Henry met his end?) Removed a section that was a little "How-to". billbeee 07:42, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Agree - needs some history. For instance, it is called a Jack hammer afer the cornish miners that used it so skillfully in the gold mines of CA in 1849. these men were called "Jacks" in the same way irish were called "micks" HarneyCreek 03:18, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Please could someone explain? "Samuel Ingersoll invented the pneumatic drill in 1871." But then Germain Sommeiller (1815-1871) "pioneered the use of pneumatic drilling and dynamite to achieve record-breaking excavation speeds" in constructing the Fréjus Rail Tunnel (completed 1871, would otherwise have been completed in 1887). Must be some kind of magic!!!! Budhen (talk) 17:59, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

Manual jackhammer[edit]

agree on the history. Recently I read Ask the Dust, written by John Fante in 1939, he has a meat-loving character who sneaks into a barn at night, kills a calf with a jackhammer to the head, and brings the carcass back to his hotel. I don't remember where I found the description, but a manual jackhammer looks like a long shaft with a shoulder at the bottom and a heavy sleeve that slides down it to deliver the impact. --CliffC 04:39, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

I believe the device you are describing is actually called a slide hammer. Frankja79 (talk) 17:44, 11 June 2012 (UTC)


Hmmm... The version as of 08/09/2009 said 'as it relies on the inertia of the mass of its body to drive the bit into the work.

No it doesn't. It relies on the momentum of the hammer to drive the bit into the work. The massive body is there for a number of other reasons: reduce recoil amplitude, workplace-abuse resistance, temperature insensitivity (i.e. cylinder and hammer made of same material), etc. (talk) 15:04, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

I believe the "body" may be referring to the entire "body of the jackhammer." — Preceding unsigned comment added by CocolutoBeans (talkcontribs) 01:53, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

About name of article[edit]

Wouldn't power source agnostic "jackhammer" be more appropriate overall name of the topic than pneumatic drill. --Usp (talk) 11:00, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Agreed! I definitely support this proposal. Wizard191 (talk) 13:51, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

The proper and formal definition of jackhammer IS in fact a pneumatic drill. Air hammer is reserved for the definition of a percussive ONLY tool. 01:59, 31 March 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by CocolutoBeans (talkcontribs) 01:55, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

Jackhammer is not a common or even a known term in some English-speaking countries, they are often referred to simply as pneumatic drills. (talk) 22:38, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

I wonder what happened to the English language? If I were in a workshop and wanted a drill I wouldn't dream of asking for a hammer, nor would I ask for a drill when I needed a hammer. Somehow if air is applied then "hammer" means "drill". Or maybe "drill" means "hammer". Does anyone know why? Budhen (talk) 18:08, 21 January 2013 (UTC)

This page lacks basic information[edit]

This article does not explain the most common uses, functions, and types of jackhammers. It spends too much time discussing specifics and history of air compressors, horizontal and overhead drilling, and electric and hydraulic hammers. It lacks much (if any) information on the most common usage and applications of jackhammers (vertical drilling?), the interior mechanism, modern data, etc. This article appears written as if it assumes the reader already knows a great deal about jackhammers, which is probably an incorrect approach for an encyclopedia article. (talk) 20:40, 27 July 2014 (UTC)