12 Best SDS Drills of 2024

Written by: - Garden Maintenance Expert

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The Best SDS Drills

The Best SDS Drills
  1. Best cordless SDS drill for manoeuvrability - Makita DHR242Z 18V LXT Brushless 24mm Rotary Hammer

  2. Best corded SDS drill with extra features - Makita HR2630 26 mm 3 Mode SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill

  3. Best for vibration suppression - DeWalt DCH273N 18V XR Li-Ion SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill

  4. Best for quality and value - Bosch Professional GBH 2-26 SDS+ Hammer Drill

  5. Best for different drilling modes - Einhell Herocco Brushless SDS Plus Cordless Impact Drill

  6. Best for impact rate - DeWalt D25133K-GB SDS Plus 3 Mode Hammer Drill

  7. Best budget option - Evolution Power Tools 4 Function SDS Hammer Drill

  8. Best for no-load speed - Bosch PBH 2100 RE Rotary Hammer Drill

  9. Best lightweight SDS Drill - Ryobi R18SDS-0 ONE+ SDS Plus Cordless Rotary Hammer Drill

SDS Drill Reviews

Editors Choice

1. Makita DHR242Z 18V LXT Brushless 24mm Rotary Hammer[ SAVE 3% ]

Best cordless SDS drill for manoeuvrability

best sds drill Makita DHR242Z 18V LXT Brushless 24mm Rotary Hammer
  • This is a massively powerful cordless SDS drill. It boasts a lightning fast impact rate for breaking through concrete or masonry, and an impressive 2 Joules of energy per impact.
  • The work that Makita have put into making this SDS drill comfortable to work with is impressive. There are even vibration damping cushions between the handle and tool body.
  • Brushless motors are ideally suited to cordless tools like this. They’re more efficient and squeeze every last drop of power from the Lithium-Ion batteries.

  • This isn’t the best SDS drill for beginners. It’s sold as the drill body only- you don’t get a battery or charger for the money, so you need to factor that into the purchase price.
  • If you’re looking for pure power per impact, this drill isn’t as capable as the corded Bosch Professional GBH 2-26. The 2J per beat is strong, but not class leading.
  • Compared with the Bosch PBH 2100, the Makita is rather sluggish in drill only mode. It can only reach a maximum of 950 rpm. That’s not impressive.
Type
Cordless, brushless
Power
Battery - 18V (bare)
Modes
3
Impact Rate
0-4,700bpm
Impact Energy
2.0J
Drilling - concrete
24mm
Drilling - wood
27mm
Drilling - metal
13mm
No-load speed
950rpm
Weight
3.2kg
Overall Score 4.3
Build Quality
5
Performance
4
Ease of Use
5
Value for Money
3

A tool brand that barely needs an introduction, Japan’s Makita make an enormous range of professional-level kit as well as more reasonably priced tools for DIYers. The powerful DHR242Z is one of the best cordless SDS drills on the UK market right now. It can produce an incredible amount of torque but it’s still comfortable enough for prolonged use.

Separated into two parts to help dampen down vibrations, there’s a large and comfortable rear handle and chunky front handle that can be rotated through 360° for use at any angle. Built on Makita’s tried and tested LXT platform, this brushless drill makes the most of each battery and will cut through hard materials like a hot knife through butter.

You can select from three different modes, rotation only, hammer and rotation, and hammer only, and the SDS Bits are held in place with a one-touch all-metal chuck. Some of the safety features on board are impressive too. The electronic brake means you don’t get nasty over-run and the Extreme Protection Technology should keep the worst of the dust and dirt from penetrating as well.

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Runner Up

2. Makita HR2630 26 mm 3 Mode SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill

Best corded SDS drill with extra features

best sds drill Makita HR2630 26 mm 3 Mode SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill
  • Reliable and well-built. Makita make quality tools for trade use. They’ll last a long time.
  • The grip shape is ideal. Set the drill running, lock it off and move your hand up to the ergonomic rubberised portion. Your hand is locked into the optimum drilling position.
  • The SDS+ chuck is chunky, robust, and easy to use.
  • Makita’s blow moulded cases are rugged, easy to close and keep everything well organised.

  • Some users mistakenly thought this drill is supplied with a keyless chuck. The HR2630 is supplied with the SDS+ chuck only.
  • The drill can get rather hot after use, especially around the vents.
  • A plastic depth stop on an SDS drill is a recipe for disaster I wonder how long it will last.
  • The hammer only impact energy is a bit low compared to the Bosch GBH 2 -26D.
Type
Corded
Power
Mains - 800W
Modes
3
Impact Rate
0-4,600bpm
Impact Energy
2.4J
Drilling - concrete
26mm
Drilling - wood
32mm
Drilling - metal
13mm
No-load speed
0-1,200W
Weight
3.3kg
Overall Score 4.3
Build Quality
5
Performance
4
Ease of Use
4
Value for Money
4

I’ve used Makita power tools for a long time, and they’ve never let me down so far. The HR2630 SDS+ rotary hammer drill is one of the best SDS drills available right now. It’s seriously sturdy and has the most comfortable grip I’ve tested out so far.

As you might expect from one of the best names in the industry, Makita are famous for their build quality. The rubber overmoulding spreads across a lot of the drill. It makes it easy to hold on to and damps down a lot of the vibration. The pistol grip moulds to the hand well and the trigger is huge.

Weighing in at 3.3 kg, it’s a bit heavier than some of the competition, but not enough to make my arms fall off even after a long drilling job. It’s a bit odd that the mode selector switch is on the bottom of the tool, but everything else makes perfect sense.

The 800 Watt motor produces up to 1,200 rpm and a maximum 4,600 bpm at the business end. Each impact creates a reasonable 2.4 Joules. You can drill up to 26 mm holes in concrete or masonry, up to 68 mm with a core cutter, 80 mm with a diamond bit, or up to 32 mm in wood.

My favourite feature on this SDS drill is what the extra setting on the selector switch is for. You’ve got the expected drill, hammer drill and hammer only options, but there’s also a little dot in between. By selecting the dot, you can rotate any chisel bit through 40 different angle settings. This means wide chisel bits can be set to any angle you need. It’s ideal for tight spots or getting flush with the floor so the drill handle isn’t in the way. It’s a simple feature but it shows that Makita know their stuff.

There is of course a reliable torque limiter and mechanical clutch for safety. You also get one of Makita’s super sturdy cases, (sadly) a plastic depth stop and a comfortable front handle. I’m a big fan.

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Also Good
  • To remind you that this is a lightweight SDS drill, it comes with a belt hook.
  • The LED work light is another handy feature when you’re working indoors.
  • Switching between drilling modes is easy. The lock button is underneath the switch, which means you can’t accidentally knock it during use.
  • Having a brushless motor makes the most out of the XR batteries. They’re more efficient and deliver more power than brushed ones.
  • The depth gauge is integrated into the body, so you shouldn’t be able to lose it too quickly.

  • For a power-hungry tool, it’s annoying that there isn’t a battery charge level indicator built in.
  • This is a “naked” tool. You won’t receive batteries, a charger, or a case.
  • The depth gauge doesn’t have any markings on it, you’ll have to have your tape measure on hand.
Type
Cordless, Brushless
Power
Battery - 18V (Bare)
Modes
3
Impact Rate
0-4,600bpm
Impact Energy
2.1J
Drilling - concrete
24mm
Drilling - wood
26mm
Drilling - metal
13mm
No-load speed
0-1,100rpm
Weight
2.5kg
Overall Score 4.8
Build Quality
5
Performance
5
Ease of Use
5
Value for Money
4

US tool heavyweights DeWalt have made some of my favourite bits of kit over the years. The DCH273N must be up there with the best. If you’re looking for one of the best cordless SDS drills for professional use, this is probably it.

As you’d expect from one of the best names in the business, this is a tough and well-designed tool. I love the grip; it feels as comfortable as one of DeWalt’s combi drills. But compared to an ordinary drill it packs an enormous amount of torque into its small frame.

Seeing as this is a brushless SDS drill, you’re going to get the most bang for your buck. Team it up with DeWalt’s XR Li-Ion battery system, and you’ve got a bit of a monster on your hands. Weighing in at 2.5 kg without the battery, it’s light enough, but watch out if you’re using a 6 Ah battery as well.

Compared to the Makita DHR242Z, this drill runs faster at 1,100 rpm, but puts out marginally less bpm at 4,600. It’s impressive when you consider that this drill has a hammer-only function though. Each impact of 2.1 Joules is plenty for most jobs, and the drilling capacity of 24 mm in concrete, 26 mm in wood and 13 mm in metal is notable.

The best thing about this SDS drill is the anti-vibration technology. Compared to the rest of the drills on my list, the DCH273N has the lowest M/s2 at 6.6. If you’re planning on drilling lots of holes in a row, this is the best SDS drill to go for.

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  • This drill delivers a massive amount of power. Compared to the equivalent Makita HR2630, the motor’s bigger and each hammer strike delivers more force.
  • You can drill some serious size holes with this drill. 26 mm in concrete is impressive for any heavy duty drill.
  • The 2.7 Joules of impact energy mean you can use this as a decent breaker. It’s perfect for removing tiles, chasing out plaster or even breaking concrete.
  • You can set a chisel bit to any angle inside the chuck, and it will stay there.

  • Plenty of users have problems with Bosch’s L-BOXX system. They keep your tools safe, but only open a certain amount and aren’t as rugged as they used to be.
  • The power cord isn’t quite long enough. I’d like to see 3 metres on an SDS drill to make sure I don’t have to use an extension cable.
  • This drill vibrates a lot when tackling concrete. Even though it’s powerful, it can take its toll on the arms after a while.
Type
Corded
Power
Mains - 830W
Modes
3
Impact Rate
0-4,000bpm
Impact Energy
2.7J
Drilling - concrete
26mm
Drilling - wood
30mm
Drilling - metal
13mm
No-load speed
0-900rpm
Weight
2.7kg
Overall Score 4.3
Build Quality
5
Performance
4
Ease of Use
4
Value for Money
4

The Bosch Professional GBH 2-26 is probably the best SDS drill on the market – it combines superior build quality with a powerful and safe hammer action.

Forming part of Bosch’s popular “blue” line of professional power tools, the Bosch GBH 2-26 is a formidable bit of kit. It’s been specially designed for drilling a range of materials and chiselling masonry or concrete. The build quality’s what you’d expect from a professional-level Bosch drill. Everything is as solid as a rock and made for reliable service. I can see this lasting for years, even on-site.

It’s a heavy power tool at 2.7 kg, but it doesn’t feel unbalanced when you use the multi-position front handle. The rear rubberised section of the handle makes it comfortable to use and helps to dampen down the vibrations, even when in hammer-only mode.

The 830 Watt motor puts out up to 900 rpm and 4,000 bpm in hammer mode with each impact rated at 2.7 Joules of force. You can drill up to 26 mm holes in concrete or masonry, up to 68 mm with a core cutter or up to 30 mm in wood.

Switching between drill, hammer drill and hammer only mode uses a chunky safety dial. You can also switch the rotating brush plate for equal power in reverse. A handy feature if your drill bit gets well and truly stuck.

One of my favourite features on the GBH 2-26 is the safety clutch. If the safety handle is properly engaged and the drill bit gets trapped, the chance of dangerous kickback is greatly reduced. It’s something Bosch take seriously, and I’m glad they do.

This SDS drill is a reliable workhorse – it’s supplied with a robust metal depth stop and blow-moulded carry case as well. When paired up with Bosch’s excellent range of SDS drill bits and chisels, it becomes a versatile and heavy-duty drill.

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5. Einhell Herocco Brushless SDS Plus Cordless Impact Drill

Best for different drilling modes

best sds drill Einhell Herocco Brushless SDS Plus Cordless Impact Drill
  • The drill is supplied with a very solid case. You get metal clasps, a rigid plastic body, and a foam insert that keeps it all together without rattling about. I’m a big fan!
  • Even though most SDS drills like this come with a depth gauge, the one on this Einhell drill is made from metal. A plastic depth stop is just not sturdy enough for this type of tool.
  • You don’t always get an LED work light on SDS drills. I’m pleased to see that Einhell haven’t left one out, as it’s always a good idea to see what you’re drilling in to.

  • Just like all the other “naked” SDS drills on my list, you don’t get a battery or charger with this tool. Unless you’ve bought into Einhell’s system already, it’s going to get expensive.
  • More than a few users have complained about how power hungry this drill is. You’ll need to have more than one high capacity 5.0 Ah batteries to get any serious work done.
  • The maximum drilling capacity in concrete for this drill is just 20 mm. Seeing as SDS drills are most often used for attacking this material, I’d liked to have seen something a bit more powerful.
Type
Cordless
Power
Battery - 18V (bare)
Modes
4
Impact Rate
0-5,500bpm
Impact Energy
2.2J
Drilling - concrete
26mm
Drilling - wood
30mm
Drilling - metal
13mm
No-load speed
1,200rpm
Weight
2.1kg
Overall Score 3.5
Build Quality
4
Performance
3
Ease of Use
4
Value for Money
3

German tool brand Einhell are making waves with their latest range of Power X-Change 18 Volt battery-powered tools. Their take on the cordless SDS drill is the impressive Herocco Brushless SDS Plus. It’s a powerful and compact hammer drill that comes in an excellent hard case.

There’s a nicely ergonomic rear handle on the drill and plenty of soft thermoplastic for decent grip. The same goes for the large front handle- an essential accessory when you’re drilling through hard materials. The big brushless motor on board puts out 5,500 bpm and 2.2 joules of energy per impact.

Einhell class this drill to have four functions, rather than the standard three. There’s drill-only, hammer drill, and then chiselling with and without lock. This means you can lock a chiselling bit at a precise angle for effective breaking.

The drill takes its power from Einhell’s X-Change line of batteries. Boasting more than 250 different cordless tools in their arsenal, once you’ve bought into their system you’ve got your pick of tools for the home and garden.

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  • The sort of tough-built quality you expect from DeWalt. It’s a rugged SDS drill for professional or DIY use.
  • The rubberised pistol grip is comfortable, and the massive trigger is easy to grip with any finger.
  • In comparison with the Bosch GBH 2 -26D, this drill has a much higher impact rate at a massive 5,500 bpm.
  • The no-load speed of 1,500 rpm is impressive for an SDS drill. It’ll make short work of fast drilling jobs.

  • Even though the impact energy is decent enough at 2.6 Joules, it’s not going to replace a heavy breaker.
  • Plastic depth stops always seem to break or get bent. It’s a shame that DeWalt haven’t gone for a metal one here.
  • Compared to the Makita HR2630, there isn’t a trigger lock. For long drilling jobs in the optimum position high up on the drill, you need to use your little finger.
  • There never seems to be a work light on corded SDS drills.
Type
Corded
Power
Mains - 800W
Modes
3
Impact Rate
0-5,500bpm
Impact Energy
2.6J
Drilling - concrete
20mm
Drilling - wood
30mm
Drilling - metal
13mm
No-load speed
0-1,500rpm
Weight
2.6kg
Overall Score 4.3
Build Quality
5
Performance
4
Ease of Use
4
Value for Money
4

One of my favourite power tool brands is US-based DeWalt. They’re easily one of the most used names by professionals and DIYers across the world. Their D25133K SDS-Plus hammer drill is a well-designed and tough tool.

Starting with the ergonomics, DeWalt have sculpted the hand grip superbly. It fits comfortably in the hand and the top lip portion helps you grip with your thumb and forefinger much more easily. The rubberised grip helps to keep down vibration as well.

It’s not overly heavy at 2.6 kg but it still packs a mighty punch. The front grip is comfortable and easy to position where you need it. Switching between drilling modes with the selector switch comes with a nice, positive click.

Specs-wise, the 800 Watt motor provides up to 1,500 rpm and 2.6 Joules of force per hammer blow. You can drill up to 26 mm holes in concrete or masonry, up to 13 mm in steel, or up to 30 mm in wood.

This is another robust SDS drill that’s well sealed to protect from dust intrusion. It features a decent safety clutch mechanism and it’s built to last. I love the sturdy carry case, but it’s a shame that the depth stop is made of plastic.

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  • One of the few SDS drills to include a speed control dial. Compared to the Ryobi R18SDS-0 there’s an amazing depth of control.
  • In comparison with the more professional SDS drills on the list, this one’s a bargain. If you’re a DIYer and don’t need to drill holes every day, then why overspend?
  • This is a far cry from a “naked” tool. Compared to the Makita DHR242Z you get a whole tool kit and a case.
  • In comparison with the Bosch PBH 2100 RE, you get 100 Watts more power for a lot less money!

  • It’s clear this isn’t a professional grade SDS drill. It’s ideal for light use and home DIYers, but it won’t last on a building site.
  • Some users have complained that the drill develops “chuck wobble” over time. This isn’t ideal if you plan on drilling precision holes.
  • The 1.6 Joules of impact energy isn’t exactly heavy duty. This isn’t the best drill for chiselling jobs.
  • The case is a bit on the compact size. Trying to fit the cable back in when you’re finished is a bit of a slog.
Type
Corded
Power
Mains - 650W
Modes
3
Impact Rate
unknown
Impact Energy
1.6J
Drilling - concrete
20mm
Drilling - wood
30mm
Drilling - metal
13mm
No-load speed
1,100rpm
Weight
2.8kg
Overall Score 4
Build Quality
4
Performance
3
Ease of Use
4
Value for Money
5

Sheffield-based tool heroes Evolution Power Tools make some brilliant bits of kit, and the SDS4-800 hammer drill is one of them. If you need a full kit with bits and a box, you can’t go far wrong with this option for the price.

Although this tool looks a bit more “plasticky”, it’s been well put together. The trigger guard should help to keep the trigger assembly, and your hand, safe during use, and the rubberised portions make the grip quite comfortable.

The four-position mode selector is nice and chunky, and you can control the speed with either the trigger or the speed dial on the front of it. It’s good for setting a maximum speed or using it with the lock-off switch for longer drilling or chiselling jobs.

The 650 Watt motor is adequate for DIY jobs and creates 1,100 rpm and 1.6 Joules of force per impact. That’s not much compared to some of the heavy-duty SDS drills on my list, but more than enough for most home users. Weighing in at 3.5 kg, it’s not too heavy either.

What makes this one of the best SDS drills for beginners is the included bits. They’ve thrown in 6, 8 and 10 mm drill bits and a pointed and flat chisel. Not bad at all, considering the price.

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  • A solid and dependable DIY-level SDS drill from a reliable brand.
  • The no-load speed of 2,300 rpm is class leading. You can use this for any drilling job you can think of.
  • This drill is a bit of a bargain, considering the specs. It won’t compare to the big Bosch GBH 2 -26D, but it’s also nearly a third of the price.
  • Being able to drill up to 30 mm holes in wood is impressive for a drill in this price range. It keeps up with even the professional-level Makita and DeWalt drills.

  • Several users have complained about “chuck wobble”. This can cause large drill bits to circle round rather than stay on the mark.
  • An impact power of 1.7 Joules is a bit weak. It might be excusable in a battery powered drill, but I’d expect a bit more from a corded one.
  • A 550 Watt motor in an SDS drill is underpowered if you plan on doing anything more than light jobs.
Type
Corded
Power
Mains - 550W
Modes
3
Impact Rate
0-4,600bpm
Impact Energy
1.7J
Drilling - concrete
20mm
Drilling - wood
30mm
Drilling - metal
13mm
No-load speed
0-2,300rpm
Weight
2.2kg
Overall Score 4.3
Build Quality
4
Performance
4
Ease of Use
4
Value for Money
5

If you want to get a solid-built and reliable SDS drill from one of the most respected names in the game, the Bosch PBH 2100 RE is a handy tool to own. Making up part of Bosch’s “green” line of DIY-level tools, the specs won’t beat the formidable Bosch hammer GBH 2-26, but it’s also a lot less expensive.

Even though this is a drill aimed at home DIYers, the build quality of all the components is surprisingly good. Everything feels solid and chunky, and the big ergonomic pistol grip fits nicely in the hand. The rubberised sections on the back should help keep vibration levels down too.

You can choose four operation modes with the selector switch – normal drilling without hammer, hammer drilling, “Vario-Lock” which allows you to adjust the rotation of a chisel bit, and hammer-only mode. The trigger controls the speed of rotation or hammer action and feels reasonably solid too.

The 550 Watt motor produces a reasonable 2,300 rpm and 4,600 bpm and 1.7 Joules of impact force. This isn’t even close to the best SDS drill on my list, but it’s still enough for most DIY jobs. You can drill holes up to 20 mm in concrete, 13 mm in steel and up to 30 mm in wood.

The PBH 2100 RE lags behind the Bosch GBH 2 -26D for impact power. But unless you’re planning on using it all the time or for heavy drilling jobs you probably don’t need the extra grunt. This is a good, solid drill that only weighs 2.2 kg and will work hard for you for years.

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  • Compared to the professional level SDS drills like the DeWalt DCH273N, this is a bit of a bargain. Especially if you already have some Ryobi batteries.
  • Weighing just 1.7 kg without the battery, this is an ultra-light SDS drill. One handed operation shouldn’t be an issue.
  • The grip shape is set up so that your hand and arm are always in line with the drill bit. This helps with accuracy and stability.
  • Even though there’s no auxiliary handle, the front of the drill has a grip section for two-handed use.

  • Without an auxiliary handle, this drill will never be as easy to handle as the competition.
  • The forward/reverse toggle switch is too easy to knock during use. It’s a bit too close to your finger when drilling.
  • A lot of the weight of the drill is towards the front. It can’t stand up on the battery when not in use.
  • There’s no depth gauge. You can always wrap tape around the bit to mark the depth, but I expect a bit more from an SDS drill.
  • Some users have noted that the drill motor gets hot quickly. As the motor sits under your hand, it can get uncomfortable.
Type
Cordless
Power
Battery - 18V (Bare)
Modes
3
Impact Rate
0-5,000bpm
Impact Energy
1.3J
Drilling - concrete
16mm
Drilling - wood
16mm
Drilling - metal
13mm
No-load speed
0-1,300rpm
Weight
1.7kg
Overall Score 4
Build Quality
4
Performance
3
Ease of Use
5
Value for Money
4

The other big Japanese tool brand, Ryobi, have been making excellent DIY-level drills and saws since 1943. Their R18SDS-0 is an impressive and compact drill for anyone that needs to put holes in bricks or concrete.

Making good use of Ryobi’s excellent ONE+ system, if you’ve got any of their 18V tools, the batteries will fit this. It means you can buy their “naked” tools and save yourself a fair bit of money.

The first thing you’ll notice about this drill is how light and compact it is. Even compared to the lightweight Makita DHR242Z this is about as featherlike as an SDS drill can get. It’s nowhere near the most powerful, but if your main requirement is portability then you can’t go wrong.

The 18V battery powers a brushed motor that puts out up to 1,300 rpm, and a not-too-shabby up to 5,000 bpm in hammer mode. It’s a bit underpowered at just 1.3 Joules per impact strike, but it’s not supposed to be a heavy-duty hammer. You can drill up to 16 mm in concrete, 16 mm in wood and 16 mm in metal.

I’m a big fan of the huge LED work light on the front of the drill. It’s a generous size compared with the Bosch GBH 18 V-EC and lights up the work area well. If you’re already a Ryobi convert, and not planning on doing too much heavy work, this is a great drill to pick.

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Harry's Smart Buying Tips

  1. The best SDS drill should be capable of drilling through concrete or masonry like a knife through butter! If you’ve struggled with a combi drill or conventional hammer drill, an SDS drill, with its special chuck and drill bit, is the way to go.
  2. Your first consideration is whether you want a corded or cordless SDS drill.
  3. Cordless versions are safer (no lead getting in the way) and provide more mobility but they are more expensive, not least because of the cost of the battery.
  4. The best cordless SDS drills come with a brushless motor. This reduces wear and tear on the mechanical components and increases the drill’s longevity, and also regulates the supply of battery power to the motor.
  5. Unlike a cordless SDS drill, a corded version obviously provides a constant source of power.
  6. In terms of functionality, although all SDS drills include a rotary hammer mode for drilling into concrete or masonry, the best SDS drills include a hammer-only mode to turn your SDS drill into a power chisel or concrete breaker.
  7. The power of an SDS drill is arguably its most important feature. This is translated into impact energy and measured in Joules, with typical values ranging from 1-3 Joules. Impact energy also governs the SDS drill’s impact rate, which is measured in beats or impacts per minute. Look for at least 0-4,000 bpm.
  8. Other SDS drill features to look for include the maximum drilling depth into concrete – ideally over 20mm – and noise and vibration levels (stated in the drill’s technical specification).
  9. SDS drill weight is also a factor to consider, particularly if you are going to be using the drill at shoulder or head height. More powerful drills or those with higher capacity batteries tend to be heavier.

Compare Product Features

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  • Makita DHR242Z 18V LXT Brushless 24mm Rotary Hammer
    best sds drill Makita DHR242Z 18V LXT Brushless 24mm Rotary Hammer
    • 4.3
    • Cordless, brushless
    • Battery - 18V (bare)
    • 3
    • 0-4,700bpm
    • 2.0J
    • 24mm
    • 27mm
    • 13mm
    • 950rpm
    • 3.2kg
  • Makita HR2630 26 mm 3 Mode SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill
    best sds drill Makita HR2630 26 mm 3 Mode SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill
    • 4.3
    • Corded
    • Mains - 800W
    • 3
    • 0-4,600bpm
    • 2.4J
    • 26mm
    • 32mm
    • 13mm
    • 0-1,200W
    • 3.3kg
  • DeWalt DCH273N 18V XR Li-Ion SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill
    best sds drill DeWalt DCH273N 18V XR Li Ion SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill
    • 4.8
    • Cordless, Brushless
    • Battery - 18V (Bare)
    • 3
    • 0-4,600bpm
    • 2.1J
    • 24mm
    • 26mm
    • 13mm
    • 0-1,100rpm
    • 2.5kg
  • Bosch Professional GBH 2-26 SDS+ Hammer Drill
    best sds drill Bosch Professional GBH 2 26 SDS+ Hammer Drill
    • 4.3
    • Corded
    • Mains - 830W
    • 3
    • 0-4,000bpm
    • 2.7J
    • 26mm
    • 30mm
    • 13mm
    • 0-900rpm
    • 2.7kg
  • Einhell Herocco Brushless SDS Plus Cordless Impact Drill
    best sds drill Einhell Herocco Brushless SDS Plus Cordless Impact Drill
    • 3.5
    • Cordless
    • Battery - 18V (bare)
    • 4
    • 0-5,500bpm
    • 2.2J
    • 26mm
    • 30mm
    • 13mm
    • 1,200rpm
    • 2.1kg
  • DeWalt D25133K-GB SDS Plus 3 Mode Hammer Drill
    best sds drill DeWalt D25133K GB SDS Plus 3 Mode Hammer Drill
    • 4.3
    • Corded
    • Mains - 800W
    • 3
    • 0-5,500bpm
    • 2.6J
    • 20mm
    • 30mm
    • 13mm
    • 0-1,500rpm
    • 2.6kg
  • Evolution Power Tools 4 Function SDS Hammer Drill
    best sds drill Evolution Power Tools 4 Function SDS Hammer Drill
    • 4
    • Corded
    • Mains - 650W
    • 3
    • unknown
    • 1.6J
    • 20mm
    • 30mm
    • 13mm
    • 1,100rpm
    • 2.8kg
  • Bosch PBH 2100 RE Rotary Hammer Drill
    best sds drill Bosch PBH 2100 RE Rotary Hammer Drill
    • 4.3
    • Corded
    • Mains - 550W
    • 3
    • 0-4,600bpm
    • 1.7J
    • 20mm
    • 30mm
    • 13mm
    • 0-2,300rpm
    • 2.2kg
  • Ryobi R18SDS-0 ONE+ SDS Plus Cordless Rotary Hammer Drill
    best sds drill Ryobi R18SDS 0 ONE+ SDS Plus Cordless Rotary Hammer Drill
    • 4
    • Cordless
    • Battery - 18V (Bare)
    • 3
    • 0-5,000bpm
    • 1.3J
    • 16mm
    • 16mm
    • 13mm
    • 0-1,300rpm
    • 1.7kg

How to Choose The Best SDS Drill

Sometimes you need a bit more grunt to get the job done right. Drilling holes in brick or concrete can take ages and burn out a regular drill, but the best SDS drill will make holes in the hardest materials quickly, safely and without a problem.

SDS Drills Versus Regular Hammer Drills

Slotted drive shaft, or SDS, is a universal bit type that allows a rotary drill or breaker to deliver the maximum amount of torque into the workpiece. Regular drill chucks are rounded, so there’s only so much grip they can put on a drill bit, which would lead to slip under high torque. SDS drill bits contain sets of grooves that help lock them into the drill for high torque applications as well as sliding up and down in a powerful hammer action for breaking hard materials.

Corded and Battery Powered SDS Drills

The biggest evolution in power tools is battery power. Making use of powerful and stable Lithium Ion battery packs, you can wield a whole lot of power without getting tangled in cords. Sure, the battery-powered versions of SDS drills don’t pack quite as much of a punch, but you don’t always need maximum grunt.

What you need depends on the job at hand. If you’re planning on drilling narrow diameter (2-8 mm) holes in concrete, you don’t need a huge drill. Get hold of the lightweight Makita DHR242Z or the DeWalt DCH273N. They’re ideal when you need to work up a ladder or when portability is more useful than breaking power.

However, if you’re buying an SDS drill to drill wide diameter (10 mm +) holes or to break up concrete all the time, get a corded drill. The beefy Einhell Herocco or the hugely powerful Bosch Professional GBH 2 -26D are heavy bits of kit but they pack a serious punch.

In summary, cordless drills free you up to move and save your arms a bit of ache. Corded drills need to be close to a power source but get the job done. The best SDS drill for you is the one that fits your needs most of the time.

Hammer Drilling

Hammer drilling is ideal for making holes in concrete or masonry. For every twist of the drill bit, an internal hammer impacts it, forcing it into the workpiece and making light work of even hard materials.

Hammer Only Mode

Rather like the noisy pneumatic breakers you might see on a building site or being used on roadworks, an SDS drill can be switched to hammer-only mode. This, combined with pointed or chisel-shaped bits turn your drill into a breaker or power chisel. Ideal for removing tiles or breaking up concrete.

SDS, SDS Plus and SDS Max

The diameter of SDS and SDS Plus bits is the same – 10 mm, but the Plus part is just an improvement in the shape of the grooves. They will both fit in the same SDS drill chuck. SDS Max is a larger, heavy-duty bit size of 13 mm.

Types of Breaker Bit

There are plenty of different breaker bits on the market, but the most common is the pointed bit for breaking apart concrete or masonry. Chisel bits of different widths are suitable for removing tiles or chasing out plaster. An interesting bit shape is the scutch comb – its aggressive shape is ideal for removing and levelling masonry.

SDS Drill FAQs

The best place to start is with quality drill bits. They can make all the difference when it comes to drilling accurately and with the least effort. Investing in quality bits might cost you a bit more money, but as they say – “if you buy cheap, you buy twice”.

Like any drilling task, start with a smaller bit size and work up to the target hole size in stages. Don’t try to drill a 26 mm hole directly into hard concrete, start with a smaller pilot size and work your way up. It will put less strain on the machine and should produce more accurate and neater results.

Don’t push too hard on the drill during operation. A firm, even pressure is all that’s needed to drill through hard materials. Let the drill bit do the work and there’s less chance of binding in the hole as well.

All the best SDS drills come with lock-off switches which means you can set the drill speed and lock the trigger. Once you’re drilling you can then move your hand further up the grip to where it’s inline with the drill bit and resting against the top lip. This is an ideal drilling position and means you can apply the right amount of pressure easily.

One of the most dangerous parts of heavy drilling is the chance of kickback. If the drill bit binds inside the hole, the rotational energy can be transferred back into your hands and arms. This can cause serious injury unless you’re prepared and are using the correct safety measures.

The best SDS drills come with a manual safety clutch and front handle, but you need to use them correctly for them to do their job. Make sure that any kickback will push the front handle into your palm, and not the other way round. “Catching” the handle will engage the safety clutch and avoid injury.

You should always read the manual supplied with your SDS drill, so you know how to use it safely. These are powerful machines that can cause serious injury if not used correctly.

If you follow the safety instructions and wear the proper level of personal protective equipment (PPE), SDS drills are as safe as any other power tool. Always wear correct eye and ear protection and remember that drilling or breaking concrete or masonry creates a lot of dust.

You should avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing and tie back any long hair while using any rotary power tool. Gloves are also not recommended as they can become tangled in drill bits, but special anti-vibration gloves are brilliant when you’re in hammer-only mode.

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