Handheld Demolition Breakers Pneumatic vs Hydraulic vs Electric vs Gas Power

There are advantages and disadvantages for each type of breaking tool with a large variety of tools in each category. We wanted to do an overview of the main differences between these types of systems as well as highlight a few recommended products in each category.

Pneumatic Breakers are very common among commercial demolition. Common Pneumatic breaker sizes are 35 lb, 60 lb and 90 lb. We recommend Chicago Pneumatic for the air breakers themselves.

PROS: These air tools are lightweight and relatively inexpensive for the tools themselves. Tools can last a long time and are fairly easy to repair.

CONS: Pneumatic Breakers require a fairly large air compressor power source. They are loud to operate, inoperable at low temperatures and complete system can be pricy. Air tools also require a fair amount of up keep due to need to be oiled and fear of moisture buildup in the lines.

Power Source: The recommended compressor would be a Chicago Pneumatic screw compressor or Ingersoll Rand Gas Compressor if you are going to be working away from an electric power source. Breakers require much larger compressors than that portable one you use to power your nail gun. You will need a large tank and serious power. The screw compressors are recommended because they provide more continuous air flow, last longer, run quieter and are more compact.

Hydraulic Breakers work similar to the pneumatic systems where there is a power source completely separate from the operating tool. Our recommendation for a Portable Hydraulic System would defiantly be the Atlas Copco Power Pack (picture shown above) with the associated tools.

PROS: Hydraulic tools provide the most power and torque as the fluid can not compress like air, the tools will not freeze at low temperatures, hydraulic tools can work underwater, life span of the tool is very long, low maintenance as the parts are continuously lubricated and the tools are quieter than other options.

CONS: The main problem with the hydraulic system is the initial costs are more than other options and if the line ever breaks you have a big mess.

Power Source: The Atlas Copco Power Pack is fairly compact with wheels and handle for easy maneuverability. It can easily be lifted into a truck bed and is far more portable than an air compressor with comparable output. The Atlas Copco sytem is powered by a Honda 13 hp gas engine and works with a wide range of tools which can all work simultaneously off one unit.

Electric Breakers are probably the easiest out of the box breakers to use. Simply plug into an electrical outlet and the tool is ready to use. These are the most common for rental to take out the back patio or other one time jobs. Our Recommendations would be for the Bosch Breakers, specifically the Bosch Brute 11304 or new lighter Bosch 11335K (shown above).

PROS: Easy to use, no expensive external power source required, can use in cold temperatures, quieter to operate than other options, less expensive for complete system.

CONS: Not as powerful as pneumatic or hydraulic tools, lower power/weight, need to be near source of electrical power, shorter life of tool, more costly repairs and should not be operated around water.

Power Source: The most versatile as it can work with any electric power source with a plug. For mobile use they work with any heavy duty jobsite generator such as the Milwaukee Generators powered by Honda Engines, available in 4300, 5000, 6000 & 7000 watts.

Gas Breakers (self contained) are the only completely independent breakers that don’t have a cord or hose which could easily be cut or broken. Chicago Pneumatic makes the Red Hawk Gas Powered Breaker, our recommendation for gas breaker.

PROS: Completely self contained, quick easy set up, no hoses or electric cords to be damaged and more versatile single unit.

CONS: Noisier, poisonous exhaust fumes, heavy unit, continuous maintenance, costly repairs, lowest power/weight ratio.

Power Source: Self contained gas engine makes this ideal for small jobs and remote locations.
Overall our recommendation for any serious demolition jobs done by hand is for the Power Pack from Atlas Copco. In addition to the several options of breakers this unit works with available core drills, large saws and many other tools. Hydraulic power is the most powerful, can be used underwater or in the cold and the Power Pack unit is portable enough for almost all jobs.




This entry was posted in Air Compressors, Atlas Copco, Bosch, Chicago Pneumatic, Construction Tools, Demolition Tools. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Mithel Raul says:

    These models are so helpful,One of the benefits to having a hand held model is that those using them can be more accurate at what they are chipping away at instead of only being able to do large surfaces.

    Thanks for sharing………….

  2. Rohit kumar says:


    Greeting of the day!!!

    We have urgent Requirement Of EQUIPMENT

    Pneumatic/ hydraulic jack hammer with air compressor for demolition on reinforced concrete up to 200mm,
    rock excavation and footings removal.
    (8 working hours per day)

    • Should be image of your Items
    • Should be fill the Compliance Columns (YES or NO) because it is necessary for us

    I Shall be highly obliged to you if you kindly quote us your best competitive price with
    maximum discount with item Picture as soon as possible. I am waiting for your reply.

    Please send me your offer by 4 Oct 2017

    Your immediate reply will be highly appreciable.
    Hope you will reply us sooner.

    Thanks & Regards

    Rohit kumar
    Whatsapp, Wechet :-+91 9871073431

  3. Ashish soni says:

    Hand Bekar and fujan Masin RS.

  4. Dear sir

    My company is Zetech Oil service in Nigeria situated plot 4 Elegushi beach road, Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria.
    We are extending this bid to your company for the below stated materials we wish to procure.-

    Please treat as top urgent

    Pneumatic Inner Grinder – Small & Big Set 1
    Pneumatic Grinding Machine – 125MM Each 2
    Pneumatic Grinding Machine – 230MM Each 1
    Pneumatic Forging Machine – 120 – 650MM Each 1
    Pneumatic Reciprocating Saw​​ Set 1
    Pneumatic Cutting saw Set 1
    Pnuematic Bolt Tightning machine Each 1
    Pneumatic reciprocating cold cutting machine with chain lengths to fit pipe, Complete with all Assessories, 4” – 20” Each 3
    Pneumatic impact wrench 1” drive Each 1
    Pneumatic impact wrench ½” drive Each 1
    Pneumatic impact wrench 3/4” drive Each 2
    Pneumatic impact wrench 1 ½” drive Each 1
    AIR COMPRESSOR: 80-250 CFM, 80-350 PSI Each 1
    AIR COMPRESSOR: 351-400 CFM, 80-350 PSI Each 4
    AIR COMPRESSOR: 401-550 CFM, 80-350 PSI Each 1
    AIR COMPRESSOR: 751-900 CFM, 80-350 PSI Each 5
    AIR COMPRESSOR: 1201-1600 CFM, 80-350 PSI Each 4

    1. Commercial offer should contain your best discount so
    ​​that we will be very competitiv​​e bids.
    2. Delivery time – What is the delivery time from date of order.

    3. Clarification – Do you need any cla

    ​​rification before we place the inquiry?
    4. Specification – Is the specification as per client requirement or not advises the actual specification you have quoted for.

    5. Materials – The materials that will be used is it as per clients materials requirements.

    6. Weight: What is the shipping weight, is the goods a dangerous goods, normal

    shipping, do we required container, what size.

    7. Please send catalog picture, data sheet with specification.

    7. Account will be prepaid by wire transfer 100% before shipping.

    8. Important please confirm if you are quoting a different spec from what is require, is yes please explain why.

    9. Item include our item number on your quote for easy idenification

    10. Please send technical data sheet, catalog or picture.

    Please we will appreciate if your treat as top urgent.

    Best regards,

    Best regards,
    ​Solomon Igein​
    Zetech Oil Service Company,





    Phone number +2348175992446

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