HomeBase MetalsSandvik’s top hammer XL breaks new ground

Sandvik’s top hammer XL breaks new ground

The Top Hammer XL, released by Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, is a drilling innovation that challenges traditional down-the-hole (DTH) drilling on surface mines and large quarries.

It offers a faster, fuel efficient and cost effective method to drill holes from 140 from 178 mm in diameter – considerably expanding the hole size range of previous top hammer drills. The system comprises the new Pantera DP1600i drill rig, the new RD1840C rock drill and new LT90 rock tools.

Percussion of the RD1840C is optimised for large hole drilling. High impact energy together with optimal pulse form gives perfect drilling performance and long rock tool service life

Chris van Tonder, product master at Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions, says these three components – the rig, rock drill and tools – have been redesigned and mutually optimised to work together seamlessly for exceptional drilling results.


“The proven carrier provides a solid base for the powerful rock drill, which generates an optimum pulse for the effective tooling system. This, in turn, transfers the high-energy shock wave to the rock, with minimum losses,” he explains

The performance of the Sandvik Top Hammer XL system has been proven in several field tests, where it has drilled over 100,000 meters in challenging rock conditions. The results showed a 50% reduction in fuel consumption, 25% lower total drilling costs and a 15% increase in productivity compared with the DTH drilling method.


The Pantera DP1600i is the newest member of the Pantera DPi series family of intelligent top hammer drill rigs, achieving high penetration rates and offering advanced automation options for databased fleet management and optimised drilling performance. It is designed for large hole size drilling, and brings its practical intelligence and support for higher-level automation solutions.

With its 49 kW of drilling power, the new RD1840C rock drill is also built for large hole drilling, boasting a robust design and well-balanced long piston percussion package for demanding conditions. Its new layout of pressure accumulators maximises efficiency and minimises hose vibrations. The Sandvik RockPulse tool stress monitoring system will be available as an additional option on the drill later in 2021.

Developed to match the other components in the Top Hammer XL system, the LT90 rock tools consist of a shank adapter, MF tube rods and drill bits, offering the best possible drilling dynamics and rock breaking efficiency. The tools increase productivity, improve hole straightness and provide great coupling characteristics and a long service life.