Tools

Top 10 Best SDS Drills including corded and cordless models

Last updated on February 2nd, 2022

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Choosing the Best SDS Hammer Drill for more demanding drill and chiselling jobs

Why would anyone want an SDS drill around the home for DIY tasks when a hammer drill sounds suitable? Well, you see a standard hammer drill, whilst it has the power to easily drill into masonry when installing a cabinet or hanging a picture and such, it isn’t really made for a lot of abuse. This is where an SDS drill comes in. Whether you need to drill large-sized holes, drill through from the outside of the house to the inside, or go through several layers of tough brickwork, an SDS drill is simply up to such demanding workloads.

When it comes to selecting the best SDS drill, there are several features worth considering, including weight, speed, batteries and motor type. We’ll look at these features later on, but for now, we’d like to let you know that you’re in luck as we pulled together the 10 best SDS drills on the market to help you choose an ideal one. Top of the pack is the Makita DHR202Z SDS Hammer Drill, which is great for both DIYers and professional tradesmen. For this and more product reviews, let’s jump into the meat.

BEST PICK

Makita DHR202Z 18 V Rotary Hammer Drill
This is one of the best all-round SDS drills out there and it has a lot of advantages. First of all, its ergonomic design makes it very comfortable to use as well as manoeuvre in tight spaces. Adding to that is a rubber grip that offers a solid grip on the handle. This hammer drill is also pretty lightweight at just 3.5kg. Then there’s a LED light that illuminates your workspace in less than ideally lighted areas and since it’s a cordless drill, there are no restrictions as to where you can drill.

The major selling point, however, is the triple operation mode in the form of rotary only, hammer only and rotary hammer. You can easily switch between the modes in order to drill through various materials including thick ones like stone and masonry. Another impressive feature is the variable rotation mode that allows the chisel action to rotate a full 360 degrees with 40 different locking positions. All these attributes the DHR202Z unquestionably the best SDS drill available and it’s backed by a 3-year warranty.


10 of the best SDS Drills that we have included in our review below:

  1. Makita DHR202Z 18V plus Rotary Hammer Drill – BEST PICK
  2. Makita HR2630 3 Mode SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill
  3. Bosch Professional GBH2-20 D Corded 240V Rotary Hammer Drill with SDS plus
  4. VonHaus 1500W SDS Rotary Impact Hammer Drill – BEST BUDGET PICK
  5. Dewalt D25134K-GB SDS Plus Hammer and Quick Change Chuck
  6. Hitachi DH26PX 26mm 240v SDS plus Rotary Hammer Drill – BEST CORDED PICK
  7. Silverline Tools GMC SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill
  8. Dewalt 18V XR Lithium-Ion SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill Kit – BEST CORDLESS PICK
  9. Bosch Professional GBH L-Boxx 36 V-EC Compact Cordless Rotary Hammer Drill
  10. WORX WX390 20V 3-in-1 h3 Max Lithium-Ion Rotary Hammer Drill

SDS Drill Buyer’s Guide

First of all, you have to understand what SDS+ means because there are various meanings to the word, but the most commonly accepted is Slotted Drive System. The SDS means that SDS+ drills bits are equipped with slots at the very far end of the shank that fits perfectly into the SDS+ drill’s chuck. SDS+ drills mainly come in three types, these are the 2 mode, the 3 mode and the 3 mode with a changeable chuck.

BEST CORDED PICK

Hitachi DH26PX SDS plus Rotary Hammer Drill
  • 3 mode action with large change lever;Angle adjustment function with for easy alignment of chisel blades;One push action for easy bit mounting;A high impact energy of 3.2 Joules;A low vibration design with double moulded side handle.
  • Power Input - 830 W

Let’s look at various factors to look out for when buying either a cordless or a corded SDS hammer drill. Other factors you should consider before buying an SDS drill are:

  • Weight: this is one of the most important characteristics when considering an SDS drill. Holding a drill over your shoulder level for a long time is really tiresome and having a heavy drill will just make the situation worse. Even working with the lightest drills ranging from 2-3kg for an extended period of time is tiresome, so just imagine what working with a 6 kg drill will feel like. Unfortunately due to the nature of SDS drills, they are usually fairly heavy in comparison to standard drills.
  • Speed: a drill’s maximum RPM (Revolution per Minute) will be highly influenced by the sort of work the drill was originally designed for. Higher speeds are best fitted for softer materials like wood whereas lower speeds are used for harder material such as masonry and stone. A cordless drill, like all other cordless power tools, provides great freedom and this means no tripping over cables or moving extension cables around. Just like corded drills, cordless drills have both a low and high-speed settings that results in the availability of more torque for drilling large diameter holes. 
  • Batteries: When you buy a cordless drill, consider one with two batteries so that whilst you’re using one battery, the other one can be charging. All batteries have an Ah rating, the higher the Ah the larger the capacity and the longer the run time. The downside is the higher the Ah the more expensive the battery. Most batteries are usually 3Ah, 4Ah or 5 Ah.
  • Brushless motors: the newest trends in cordless drills is the usage of brushless motors. This results in much more power and there will be no need to replace brushes. All in all, this improves the reliability of the drill. Drills fitted with brushless motors are usually more expensive.

BEST CORDLESS SDS HAMMER DRILL

Dewalt 18V XR Lithium-Ion SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill
The Dewalt 18V XR Lithium-Ion SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill includes 2 x 4Ah Batteries and a fast charger for longer run times and high performance.

It' perfect for DIY task around the home and for professionals looking for a powerful and reliable SDS drill which is full of features include the hammer only function for using a chisel for removing tiles, chasing out brickwork or even tackling concrete now and again.

Overall a great set that includes nearly everything you need and the 18v 4Ah batteries is a big bonus as they provide longer run times.


Top 10 SDS Drill Reviews

1. Makita DHR202Z 18V plus Rotary Hammer Drill

BEST PICK

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Makita DHR202Z 18V Li-Ion LXT 20mm SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer - Batteries and Charger Not Included

After extensive research, we came to the final conclusion that the Makita DHR202Z is the best SDS drill on the list for most people whether for professional or home use. It’s both elegant in design and has interesting features that have been designed to act in accordance with its use. First of all, its ergonomic shape fits perfectly and it has a strong grip with ease of control.

This power tool has three operative functions, rotary hammer, rotary only and hammer only. It can easily drill through the most demanding materials such as masonry, brick and concrete.

The 18V Li-ion battery maximises the run time plus it increases the total performance overall.

One of the best features is the chisel action that has 40 diverse locking positions to guarantee full flexibility, in addition, it can rotate all through 360 degrees. When you use a chisel it makes light work of chasing out plug sockets, removing tiles as well as other chasing jobs.

It has a conveniently placed push button and rubber grip which make it easy to use, plus it incorporates an LED light that lets you work in low-lit areas and corners for better vision.

It has an in-built torque limiter clutch that immediately stops when the bit jams and a torque limiting clutch that inhibits gear damage by automatically stopping the gears if it binds.

As you would expect for such a well designed SDS drill It permits faster bit changes because it has a one-touch sliding chuck.

For full peace of mind, it comes with a 3-year warranty when you register online within 30 days.

Pros

  • Triple operation mode for rotation only, hammering with rotation and hammering only.
  • Lightweight at only 3.5kg with an ergonomic shape that fits perfectly with even pressure and simple control.
  • LED job light with afterglow for easy working in dark areas.
  • Powered by Lithium-ion batteries that have a greater lifespan and greater runtime than standard batteries.
  • Features variable rotation mode which means the chisel can rotate a complete 360 degrees with 40 different locking positions.
  • 3 Years warranty for full peace of mind.

Cons

  • Battery and charger sold separately. If you already have Makita tools the battery may be compatible.

Our recommendation

This is probably the best SDS hand drill reviewed on this list which is why it was awarded our ‘Best Pick’. Usually, we wouldn’t give the Best Pick Award to a cordless model because of the extra cost but on this occasion, we have made an exception as we really think that this model deserves it.

It’s a brilliant piece kit and it’s a top-quality product from Makita. It works superbly for a prolonged period of time when used with the 18v 5Ah battery for the long run time.

The side handles and rubber grip gives it a comfortable feel when using it. It’s very affordable compared to other brand products with the same features. I’d highly recommend this product for both professional and DIY use.

Overall, Makita has done a brilliant job with this drill.


2. Makita HR2630 3 Mode SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill

A great corded cheaper alternative to our ‘Best Pick’

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Buy from Toolstop.co.uk

Makita HR2630 26 mm 3 Mode SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill,Blue

The Makita HR2630 3 Mode SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill is an outstanding improvement compared to Makita’s earlier models, the newly installed lever for interchanging between rotation and hammer modes is a breath of fresh air in comparison to rotating the chuck to move through the settings.

This model has three functioning modes, which are, rotations only, hammering only and hammering with rotations. The rotation speed is adjustable and it greatly depends on the amount of force used to push the trigger.

It goes without saying; the model comes equipped with a reverse mode, meaning the beat can be rotated both clockwise and anti-clockwise as you would expect.

At only 2.8 kg it’s quite reasonable in terms of weight, well built but not too heavy making it comfortable to use, and with 1200 RPM, it’s capable of drilling the most demanding materials.

This model comes with a 3-year warranty for full peace of mind when you register your drill on the Makita website.

Pros

  • Powerful 800w motor delivered power when needed.
  • It is well balanced it’s not too heavy to tire your arm easily. Only (2.4kg)
  • Features a new operation-mode change switch that enables you to switch between ‘Rotation’ and ‘Hammering’ mode for ease if use and convenience.
  • Variable speed control for accuracy.
  • The main cords length is a decent length and not too short.
  • Due to its RPM, its quite powerful and great care is needed when handling.
  • The 40-bit angle setting makes the model more precise in drilling and hammering.

Our recommendation

Another exceptional tool from Makita. It is high quality and has been extremely well designed. 

It’s an extremely powerful tool and makes like work of anything you throw at it from chiseling brick, inserting plug sockets to drilling holes through the brickwork.

It’s a great save when compared to the cordless alternatives with similar specifications.

If you’re after a corded alternative to our ‘Best Pick’ then this is a great choice and at around the same price as the bare tool, before you have even purchased batteries and a charger, it comes at a very affordable price for such an impressive drill.


3. Bosch Professional GBH2-20 D Corded 240V Rotary Hammer Drill with SDS plus

Perfect entry level model for professionals

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Bosch Professional 061125A470 GBH 2-20 D Corded 240 V Rotary Hammer Drill with SDS Plus, Navy Blue

The Bosch Professional GBH2-20 D SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill is an affordable, versatile, compact yet high performing power tool with a range of drilling and chiseling applications.

It has a net weight of 2.3kgs; pretty lightweight if you ask me, its net weight makes the perfect tool for drilling overhead jobs. It is robustly constructed make it perfect for trade use and is perfect for entry-level professionals just getting started,

Generally, a hand drill’s power ranges from about 500-800W, so a 650-700W hand drill will provide enough power for most basic jobs. The Bosch Professional GBH2-20 D has a 650W motor and it can produce impact energy of 1.7j  and a 4200 BPM impact rate concentrated power means it makes light work of drilling into demanding materials to a maximum diameter of 20mm.

There are hundreds of DIY instructions out there on how to transform a hand drill into a drill press, but there is one problem with this method, there is absolutely no way to control the drill speed. With this model you don’t have to go looking for DIY videos, its high drilling and chiseling rate is out of this world and, here is the best part, it has a variable speed, meaning you can easily control the drill speed by the amount of trigger button squeezed. Simple but very effective.

Finally, this product is equipped with a torque limit that prevents damage to the rotary hammer and the user. A torque limiter is an automatic device that efficiently protects mechanical equipment and its work from all types of damage by mechanical overload.

Finally, Bosch offers a 3-year limited warranty with this drill, as with most of their tools, which just gives you full peace of mind.

Pros

  • Fast drilling – with a 1300 RPM it has plenty of power, the model does not only drill through materials quickly but users have compared it to putting a hot knife into butter.
  • Lightweight – the product has a net weight of only 2.3 kg which is much lighter compared to its size, it doesn’t tire the arm when it’s used for a prolonged amount of period and is perfect for over the head jobs because of the lightweight design.
  • Long cord – it has a substantial and generous main cord that is great for situations where cordless are not necessary nor are they cost-efficient.

Our recommendation

If you are just planning to drill a few small holes into a concrete wall then you don’t need to go for something that is too extreme, the Bosch Professional GBH2-20 D Corded Rotary Hammer Drill is perfect for masonry work and it comes at a great price. 

Overall, this is a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable and affordable SDS drill for professional or home use. However, if within a budget we would recommend investing in the Makita HR 2630 SDS Drill and spending a little extra.


4. VonHaus 1500W SDS Rotary Impact Hammer Drill

BEST BUDGET SDS DRILL SET

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VonHaus SDS Drill Rotary Impact Hammer 240V with SDS Plus Chuck 1500W - Complete with SDS Drill Bits 8/10/12mm - 2 Chisel Bits & Storage Case - 3 Functions Rotary, Rotary with Impact & Chisel

If you are thinking about getting the best price tag for your money then you should consider making the VonHaus 1500W SDS Rotary Impact Hammer Drill your best choice. It has enough power to tackle the most challenging jobs. It has an impact rate of 4200 BPM and is most suited for demolishing bricks or digging out grouting, taking off tiles and removing plaster as well as drilling into demanding materials such as steel, concrete and wood.

This incredible power tool is equipped with a massive 1500W motor, which is very impressive considering you only need about 650-750W to accomplish basic tasks. Its multi-functional capacities include rotary, rotary with impact and chisel, this ensures that it drills much faster and with extreme precision into bricks and concrete.

“With great power comes great drilling capacity” and the VonHaus 1500W SDS Rotary Impact Hammer Drill 240V has a maximum drilling capacity of 13mm for materials made out of steel, 32mm for concrete and 42mm for wood. The upgraded auxiliary handle, which is made out of rubber, is very comfortable when handling and it has a great grip making sure you use it for extended periods without it slipping from your hands because of the vibrations. The product comes with a 2-year warranty, which is outstanding when you consider it comes with accessories, a nice strong case and all for a great price too.

The total set comes with a wide-range set of accessories that include;

  • 1 pair of replacement carbon brushes.
  • Grease pot.
  • 2 Flat Head Chisels ideal for breaking up concrete, brick and removing tiles.
  • 8/10/12*150mm SDS plus drill bits.
  • Auxiliary handle for extra comfort.
  • 14mm*250mm Hex point/flat chisel.
  • 1pc 40/75mm chisel.

Pros

  • Excellent value for money for heavy-duty occasional home use.
  • The use of hard case in comparison to other brands that use thinner metal which often starts to rust and bend. The plastic case lasts longer and doesn’t wear out in time and is very robust.
  • Uses less power: this power tool has 1500W and the impact energy of 45j when compared to other similar brands with the same impact energy but with averages of 1700W. This makes you realise that this tool uses far less power and is as effective as the high-end hand drills.
  • Accessories: it has a wide range of accessories that come with it on purchase, all of which come in handy whenever you are using it. But beware of the grease pot because a lot of customers have complained that on purchase the pot seal is usually broken spilling out grill inside the casing.
  • 2 years warranty for extra peace of mind.

Cons

  • Weight: Is fairly heavy, especially when using it for prolonged periods of time and on overhead jobs.
  • Toggle could be better: We found some reports of the drill hammer toggle not locking completely. It may switch itself on from time to time which may be really irritating and painful at the same time.
  • May not stand up to the consistent trade use on a daily basis.

Our recommendation

We really like that the VonHaus 1500W SDS Rotary Impact Hammer Drill comes complete with SDS Drill Bits and a nice strong carry case making it the perfect set for the home user because you should have everything you need.

It’s a beast in terms of size and power and is much cheaper compared to other brands which cost many times more.

Overall, a nice set that is perfect for home use or the odd demanding task like breaking up an old concrete floor.

Probably not a great choice for trade use but perfect for domestic use and we love the fact that it comes with a 2-year warranty, as opposed to the 1 year warranty that most cheaper models come with.


5. Dewalt D25134K-GB SDS Plus Hammer and Quick Change Chuck

Great for trade use

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Dewalt D25134K-GB D25134K SDS+ Hammer 2kg 3 Mode with Quick Change Chuck 26mm 240V, 800 W, 240 V, Black/Yellow, 240 Volt

DeWalt is a company that boasts itself in the manufacture of strong durable products, and professional tradesmen will be familiar with DeWalt, their very high-quality tools and reputation. The DeWalt D25134K-GB DRILL is no different because it’s a strong efficient hand drill that is perfect for anchoring, fixing and drilling holes into both concrete and masonry with a diameter of 26mm.

This SDS+ hammer is equipped with a unique and very impressive quick-change, three modes and a rotation-stop mode for simple chiseling tasks in bricks, lighter masonry tasks and concrete once in a while. With a net weight of 2kg and a dimension of 35 x 44 x 13cm it is extremely lightweight when compared to most other models, some of which weigh more than double.

The DeWalt D25134K-GB has a superb impact stop and is best suited for drilling through steel, ceramic and wood. The product’s hammer is designed to deliver high performances with minimal stress which is critical to guarantee the component’s durability. The hammer is also equipped with a quick-change removable chuck that is best suited for drilling steel, ceramic, wood as well as for screwdriving.

Pros

  • Weight: this versatile product has a net weight of only 2kg. It’s completely lightweight and when using it you’ll notice that it never wears you out, enabling you to work for an extended period of time.
  • Precision: the product’s head is very firm giving absolute precision when drilling through sensitive material such as timber, or for accurate measurements.
  • Features rotation-stop for light chiselling jobs in brick, masonry and concrete once in a while.
  • Incorporates quick change removable chuck for drilling in wood, steel, ceramic and screwdriving.
  • 3 years warranty when you register online within 30 days.

Cons

  • Small casing: doesn’t fit inside the protective case when the standard chuck is installed, you have to either remove the chuck or store it with the SDS chuck installed instead.
  • Includes no SDS drill bits or chisels.

Our recommendation

The DeWalt D25134K-GB is an amazing product, very versatile, incredibly light but a bit expensive. However, it is worth every penny when you take the features, design and quality into account.

If you are looking for a very versatile SDS drill for doing a range of jobs this is worth taking into consideration. However, if you are looking for a drill strictly for breaking up concrete you will need a pass. It is fine for occasionally breaking up concrete and chiseling and does seem up to tackling the most demanding tasks.

Overall it’s a very good SDS  drill for anyone looking for a very versatile tool from one of the best manufacturers for tackling a range of tasks both drilling and chiseling. Worth every penny to the professional tradesmen.


6. Hitachi DH26PX 26mm 240v SDS plus Rotary Hammer Drill

BEST CORDED PICK

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Hikoki DH26PX 26mm 240V SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill and Side Handle

Hitachi is a Japanese company that was founded in 1910; it deals with a range of products including telecommunication Systems, High Functional materials & components, Automotive Systems and many more products. The centre of attention today is the Hitachi DH26PX SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill and Side Handle.

As innovative as it is elegant, this product design is an upgrade from other brands. The double-sided handle feature is just outstanding because it not only enhances its features, it also reduces the vibration. This product is clearly an upgrade from what we are used to from the previous Hitachi models we have reviewed before.

It is manufactured with a resourceful high durable hammering mechanism that seems to have twice the robustness of Hitachi’s previous models.

This model has a one-push function for calm bit mounting and an angle adjustment function that allows a much relaxed alignment of chisel blades for the perfect fit. It has a high impact energy (3.2j), safety clutch and a very impressive maximum drill bit diameter of 28mm.

With a net weight of 2.8kg, it’s lightweight for its size and measures a tidy 36.5 x 20.5 x 7.5cm so it isn’t too large for overhead work either. Once purchased the product comes with a depth stop which is always handy, a side handle for extra comfort and a good quality robust carrying case.

Pros

  • Large motor: the product has a very large 830-watt motor giving it immense power and the average ability to work for a long period of time without any hiccups.
  • Durability: due to its robust structure it’s able to last for a long period of time without the need of replacing it or upgrading to another model.
  • Weight: with a net weight of 2.8 kg and dimensions of 36.5 x 20.5 x 7.5cm it’s very simple to work with for a prolonged period of time.
  • Excellent value for money and ideal for home or professional use.
  • 3 years warranty when you register online or 1-year standard if you don’t.

Our recommendation

This product is an update from the older models from Hitachi and it has great power, which is one of the most important things when buying a power tool.

There have been some concerns though about the hand drill selector, a few customers have claimed it has a tendency to jam and doesn’t respond at all. However, there have been a few reported cases of this incident and Hitachi has completely repaired or replaced every Hitachi DH26PX that has been reported with this problem.

Overall, this seems to be another excellent SDS drill and comes at a fantastic price too.

On Amazon, we noticed it had over 100 reviews, the majority of which are very good, and this further confirms the quality and performance of this drill.

A great choice for any home user or professional tradesmen, personally I would edge towards the Makita or DeWalt model and pay a little extra, however, for those who already prefer Hitachi, this is certainly worth adding to your collection of tools.


7. Silverline Tools GMC SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill

Another beast of an SDS drill

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Silverline Tools GMC MRHD1500 SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill, 1500 W

Silverline Tools SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill is a product of GMC (Global Machinery Company) which was founded in 1997 in Australia, they pride themselves in being a leader in the product information.

This heavy-duty affordable model features three modes and these include operations such as stop rotation which is essential , the hammer function that can be used with a chisel for breaking up concrete, chasing brickwork, removing tiles, basically anything that requires a chisel and a lot of power and force. It obviously also has drill only, as well as hammer and drill for drilling into the densest and demanding surfaces like stone, brick and concrete.

It features a very powerful 1500w motor that produces a no-load speed of 270-780 rpm and has an impact force of 5J to ensure you have all the power needed.

One feature we don’t see on all models is variable speeds, the Silverline SDS drill has an easy-to-use rotation switch to set the speed and this provides ease of control and penetration into concrete and wood at the optimum speed.

As a safety measure, the torque clutch is designed to disengage automatically so as to protect your wrist from too much pressure, however, if it could be preset to a higher torque then the awesome power could really be put to great use.

Finally, it has a net weight of 6kgs, which is not the lightest model we have reviewed. The full set includes:

  • 1 x Chuck Key
  • 1 x Hard carry case
  • 1 x 13mm keyed chuck
  • 2 x Carbon brushes
  • 1 x Dust cap
  • 1 x Adjustable depth gauge
  • 1 x Grease pot1 x Pin wrench
  • 3 x SDS drill bits
  • 2 x Chisel bits

Pros

  • Wide bit selection: Comes with a wide selection of SDS bits, chisel and maintenance bits, unlike some brands that don’t offer such a wide range of drill bits.
  • Excellent value for money for such a heavy-duty drill.
  • 3 Year warranty for extra peace of mind.

Cons

  • Weight: the drill is really heavy and is not intended for cutting precise holes through brick walls. Its weight also wears you out easily and is not ideal for over the head jobs. 
  • Dust: when being used the product directly blows exhausted cooling air and any dust that might be sucked by the motor straight into your face. It’s quite irritating if you’re right-handed but if you’re a lefty then the dust just blows past you. Don’t forget to wear protective eyewear. The good part is that the fan keeps the motor cool.
  • Needs to be regular re-greased approx every 6 hours which means added maintenance.

Our recommendation

Overall, this is a very heavy-duty drill with plenty of power and will make light work of the most demanding and back-breaking work, the only real downside is the weight, at 6kg it really is heavy and takes some effort to use.

If you are looking for an SDS hammer drill for breaking up concrete or drilling holes into very hard materials such as solid stone or concrete then this is the drill for you, it’s fairly well priced and with a 3-year warranty it offers excellent value for money.

Don’t forget to make sure there is grease in the drill and it does come with grease in a pot ready to use. 

Overall, a fantastic drill for anyone setting out to tackle a very demanding task and is brilliant when used as a breaker, far cheaper than renting one.


Cordless SDS Drill Reviews

8. Dewalt 18V XR Lithium-Ion SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill Kit

BEST CORDLESS PICK

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DEWALT DCH253M2 18V XR Lithium-Ion SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill includes 2 x 4Ah Batteries, Yellow/Black

This 3 mode cordless hammer drill by DeWalt features a rotation stop mode that is better suited for simple lighter jobs, for example, chiseling off tiles, removing plaster and render, chasing brickwork. There is an impact stop mode for rotary drilling explicitly in metal and wood where the hammer action is not needed. Finally, the hammer drilling mode is perfect for drilling holes, fixing anchors and has a maximum capacity of drilling holes in masonry such as concrete and brick to a maximum diameter of 24mm, making it a very versatile tool for any tradesperson.

The full set comes equipped with 2 x 4Ah 18 Volt Lithium-Ion batteries that give around 33% more run time than the 3Ah battery which most models have. This power tool guarantees high performances for maximum run time and an equally fast charging time.

It has total dimensions of 11.2 x 48.2 x 29.6cm and a net weight of only 5.6kg making it fairly lightweight in comparison to the cheaper models.

It also has the best vibration of 6.9m/s in its class and comes with a bright white LED light to ensure better visibility, even in dimly lit areas.

Finally, DeWalt now offers a 3-year warranty for this product, however, it must be registered online. If you don’t register you get the default 1 year so be sure to register online to take advantage of the extra two years.

The total set includes the drill, two large capacity 18v 4Ah lithium-ion batteries and a charger. It all comes in a very robust case for easy storage and transportation from job to job.

Pros

  • Very well made and great performance, plenty of power.
  • 2 x 4Ah Lithium batteries are very long-lasting, you can use it constantly and it seems to last longer than you would expect.
  • Take advantage of 3 years warranty when you register online.
  • Comes in a very robust plastic carrying case for easy storage and transportation to jobs.

Our recommendation

Initially, I expected the cordless hand drills to have less power but that is not the case and this product has enough power for regular jobs. It will come in handy whenever you want to get precise holes.

This is a fantastic set for anyone looking for the battery and charger included as most cordless models are sold as bare tools only. It’s very well made (as you would expect for DeWalt) and we like the fact that it includes two 4Aah batteries rather than the smaller 2Ah or 3Ah most models would come with to keep the price down.

It’s certainly not cheap but when you consider what it includes, it still offers excellent value for money for the professional.

We certainly would not recommend it for heavy chisel work, such as breaking up a concrete drive or path, but it’s just perfect for lighter jobs such as removing tiles or chasing out walls. A great set for any window fitters or electricians looking for a professional SDS drill for daily work. 

We simply could not find any faults or drawbacks, an absolutely brilliant drill.


9. Bosch Professional GBH L-Boxx 36 V-EC Compact Cordless Rotary Hammer Drill with 36 v 2.0 Ah Lithium-Ion Battery

A lighter alternative to the DeWalt 18v XR drill, but it comes with NO hammer-only function

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Bosch Professional GBH 36 V-EC Compact Cordless Rotary Hammer Drill + 36 V 2.0 Ah Lithium-Ion Battery, L-Boxx

We all are familiar with Bosch and its range of products and the Bosch Professional GBH L-Boxx 36 V SDS Hammer Drill is an upgrade compared to its predecessor, the GBH 36 V-LI. It has a faster work rate as a result of the higher single impact energy.

It has a great combination of power and can drill up to 160 holes (6 x 40mm in C30/37 concrete) with just one battery charge.

Bosch Electronic Rotation Control (ERC) motor maintains control whenever the drill bit jams, is maintenance-free and enhances the tool life and improves ease of use. 

The Electronic Motor Protection is extremely robust; it completely shuts down the motor in case of an overload. The hand drill weighs just about 2.9kgs and has a solid design which makes it much more comfortable to use.

Its compact, lightweight and dust protected so as to reduce the amount of time taken in maintaining the product.

Bosch Cell Protection (ECP) protects the product’s battery from overload, overheating or discharging, and the battery can be charged no matter the charging state without damaging the cells.

This set comes with the following but you will need to invest in some SDS Bits if you do not have some already.

  • 1 x GBH 36 V-EC MD SDS+ Hammer Drill
  • 1 x AL3640CV Quick Charger
  • 2 x 2.0 Ah 36v Li-Ion Batteries
  • 1 x Auxiliary handle
  • 1 x Depth Stop 210mm
  • 1 x Inlay L- Boxx
  • 1 x L- Boxx 238 Carry Case

Pros

  • At only 2.9kg its lightweight making it ideal for overhead drilling with ease and can drill up to 160 holes from one charge.
  • With the impact energy of 1.8j and an impact rate of 4.850 BPM, this power tool has a lot of power and is capable of drilling through concrete, steel, wood, ceramic and plastic with ease.
  • Soft grip: the main and auxiliary handles have soft grips that absorb a lot of vibrations also ensuring you hold the tool firmly without it slipping through your hands.
  • Supplied with two 36v 2Ah batteries and a quick charger all presented in a robust stackable carry case.
  • Includes 3 years warranty when you register online.

Cons

  • Depth stop: the depth stop has few faults, it constantly moves when drilling and cannot be relied on when drilling extremely pricise holes or sensitive materials. Due to its design the depth stop cannot be tightened to prevent it from moving and as a result of this, it fails to function effectively.
  • No hammer only: the biggest challenge to this drill is that it doesn’t have a hammer only option. Because of this, you wouldn’t be able to use an SDS chisel or any channelling tools.
  • No torque: the product lacks a torque setting so you need to use the speed control on the trigger to make sure you do not overscrew and round off screws.

Our recommendation

This is a very powerful drill but it lacks what we consider an important function, it lacks the capability of switching to the hammer-only mode which is very useful for the odd time you need to use a chisel bit to remove tiles or do some chasing out.

All in all, it’s a great tool despite its flaw, is very robust and does an excellent job at drilling in concrete, brick, stone etc. The downside is that it is very expensive when you consider you don’t have the hammer-only option. However, it’s very light and is very comfortable when using it for longer periods of time and comes with 2 x 36v batteries that seem to last a surprisingly long time to say they are only 2Ah rated.

It retails at a very similar price to the DeWalt 18v XR SDS Hammer Drill and the DeWalt has the hammer function fitted and comes with 2 x 4Ah battery, but the Bosch model is lighter and more compact.

All in all, it’s a good tool, just a shame about the hammer-only function not being available.


10. WORX WX390 20V 3-in-1 h3 Max Lithium-Ion Rotary Hammer Drill

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WORX WX390 18V (20V MAX) 3-in-1 H3 SDS Rotary Hammer Drill

The WORX WX390 is a 3 in 1 power tool that is built with an extremely powerful pneumatic (filled with compressed air) hammering action making it a perfect option for the most demanding drilling tasks such as drilling into brick or concrete.

The ergonomic design allows the user to have a strong grip and much better control when using it for tougher jobs. It’s powered using a 20v Lithium-Ion battery with long life and it has a compact lightweight design that makes it both attractive and easy to use.

It has a fatigue-free working feature making it much more comfortable to use plus, it has an installed LED Work Light that lets you work your way, even in darker areas without a hassle.

It measures 41.2 x 28.8 x 12.8cm making it an extremely compact drill and weighing only 3.8kg, it’s very lightweight.

The set comes with a fast charger that allows you to charge the battery in just under 1 hour meaning you will not be waiting long before you can get working again. The power share option allows you to interchange the 20v batteries with other WORX tools.

The whole set is ideal for the home user and includes the following:

  • 1 x WX390 H3 20V Max Lithium-Ion 3 in 1 Rotary Hammer
  • 1 x WA3551 .1 20V/2.0Ah Lithium Battery
  • 1 x 1hr Charger
  • 1 x Keyless chuck adapter
  • 1 x Keyless chuck adapter
  • 2 x HSS Drill Bits2x SDS Drill Bits
  • 4 x Screwdriver bits
  • Carry Case

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight design.
  • Comes with a range of SDS drills and can also be used with standard drill bits using the chuck adapter.
  • It’s a 3 in 1 tool that makes it perfect for tackling a range of jobs around the home as well as drilling into more demanding materials such as brick and concrete.
  • Design: Due to its ergonomic design it has a fatigue-free working feature that makes it very comfortable to use and way more convenient.
  • Longer battery life: It comes with a long-lasting 20v Lithium-Ion battery with long life and a fast-charging charger that will fully charge the battery in only 60 minutes.

Cons

  • Less power: Despite running on a 20v battery, the drill doesn’t have as much power as expected and it is better suited for accomplishing simple home jobs and won’t be of much use to professional contractors.
  • The drill speed is a little slow.
  • Not suitable for using with a chisel.

Our recommendation

The WORX WX390 Cordless SDS Hammer Drill is an amazing and efficient product in driving in screws, drilling and impact drilling.

The fatigue-free design is top-notch and brings a different feel to the market. The long-lasting battery is an added advantage and it’s one of the best products on the market for the home user.

We like that is incredibly lightweight and small when compared to other models and is a great choice for home use for drilling into demanding materials. 

It’s a great set and comes with a good range of drill bits and a fairly robust case, the only real downside is that it’s not suitable for use with a chisel because it would not have the power to deal with such demanding jobs and to be honest, is not heavy-duty enough. Overall though, a great SDS drill to have around the home for drilling holes where a standard drill simply does not have the power. Great SDS drill set.


FAQs

What is an SDS drill used for?

An SDS hammer drill offers both hammering and drilling actions, making it such a versatile tool to have around for various projects. This type of tool is effective at drilling holes in almost any material, whether wood, concrete plastic or bricks. Moreover, it can perform chiseling actions.

A typical SDS drill has 3 modes. The reality is that it should be primarily used for heavy drilling, but it can be useful in lighter jobs that you don’t have a particular tool for. On mode 2, the tool can be used to drill concrete, masonry and stone, as well as jobs like setting ground anchors to concrete. Mode 3 is perfect for chiseling projects such as making trunking channels for cable runs and removing bricks or tiles. There’s just so much you can accomplish with an SDS hammer drill.

How does an SDS drill work?

An SDS drill has a special chuck with a hammer mechanism within. The drill bits for this tool have indentations along their shaft that fit between two ball bearings inside the chuck, providing them with the freedom to move back and forth.

The hammer mechanism functions as a piston, sending the drill bits forwards and backward inside the chuck and consequently delivering accurate and powerful hammering operation as you drill. This technique of delivering the hammer action is a lot more efficient than an ordinary hammer drill, which fires its entire chuck backward and forwards. The power of an SDS drill is also a lot more concentrated for efficient and effective drilling.

What is the difference between SDS Rotary Hammer Drill and SDS max?

SDS Max is primarily used for many heavy-duty applications which DIYers are unlikely to come into contact with. Perhaps the major difference is the speed of drilling through the material; SDS max does the job faster than the SDS Rotary Hammer Drill. Remember the SDS max is an improvement from the original SDS (Slotted Drive System), which refers to the technique in which SDS chucks and drill bits work to produce great force and torque needed to drill through tough materials such as concrete, brickwork and stone.

Another thing is, SDS Max drills use larger drill bits (18mm diameter shanks) than their counterparts that work with 10mm diameter shanks, making them perfect for demolition jobs and heavier-duty work on masonry.

Can SDS drill bits be used in a normal drill?

Not recommended at all. The chuck on a normal drill, whether standard rotary or hammer drill, is not designed for SDS drill bits. Using them will risk damaging the drill itself work or the bits can come loose and affect the quality of your work.

What Accessories Can I Use With My SDS Drill?

It depends on the drill mode you’re using with your SDS drill. For instance, if it’s a hammer drill with rotary action (classic mode 2), you’ll need to begin with slotted SDS+ bits, which can be as large as 2 inches in diameter. You can even use longer bits for drilling through the brick wall. Likewise, mode 3 will require specialised bits made for chiseling projects such as trunking channels, while mode 1 can use virtually any round-shanked bit.

What is the difference between an SDS drill and a hammer drill?

It lies in how they function to do the actual drilling. An SDS drill uses a piston mechanism to deliver the drilling power, whilst a hammer drill has a special clutch system that not only allows it to spin the drill bit but also hammer it in and out. Both tools, however, pound the drill bit in and out whilst it’s spinning.

Elsewhere, an SDS drill has 2 to 3 operating modes. Tools with 2 modes provide rotary action and hammer action, whilst those with 3 modes include an extra rotation stop function in addition to the rotary action and hammer action. This allows it to be used as a demolition hammer with a proper chisel bit.

Will an SDS drill break concrete?

Sure. If the job includes breaking concrete rather than drilling through, all you have to do is switch to hammer-only action mode with rotation stop and voila. Of course, this is only as good as small demolition jobs go; you are better off with a dedicated demolition hammer for massive projects.


Final Conclusion

The products reviewed in this article have all made it onto our top SDS drill list because they all have their advantages and furthermore, beat a further 12 models that we didn’t think made the cut. Every product reviewed above is best written so as to provide you with complete knowledge to help you make an educated decision on which SDS drill is best for you.

Below is a quick summary of our favourite SDS Hammer Drills and this includes our ‘Best Pick’, which after our research, we considered the best SDS drill for most people, Our best cordless hammer drill and finally our best recommended corded SDS hammer drill.

BEST PICK

Makita DHR202Z 18 V Rotary Hammer Drill
This is one of the best all-round SDS drills out there and it has a lot of advantages. First of all, its ergonomic design makes it very comfortable to use as well as manoeuvre in tight spaces. Adding to that is a rubber grip that offers a solid grip on the handle. This hammer drill is also pretty lightweight at just 3.5kg. Then there’s a LED light that illuminates your workspace in less than ideally lighted areas and since it’s a cordless drill, there are no restrictions as to where you can drill.

The major selling point, however, is the triple operation mode in the form of rotary only, hammer only and rotary hammer. You can easily switch between the modes in order to drill through various materials including thick ones like stone and masonry. Another impressive feature is the variable rotation mode that allows the chisel action to rotate a full 360 degrees with 40 different locking positions. All these attributes the DHR202Z unquestionably the best SDS drill available and it’s backed by a 3-year warranty.


Related reviews

Best concrete breaker for heavy-duty demolition

A round-up of the best Makita hammer drills

Best cordless hammer drill for domestic and professional use

Best combi drills for a range of drill jobs

Last update on 2022-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Welcome to my site, my name is John and I have been lucky enough to work in horticultural nurseries for over 15 years in the UK. As the founder and editor as well as researcher, I have a City & Guilds Horticultural Qualifications which I proudly display on our About us page. I now work full time on this website where I review the very best gardening products and tools and write reliable gardening guides. Behind this site is an actual real person who has worked and has experience with the types of products we review as well as years of knowledge on the topics we cover from actual experience. You can reach out to me at john@pyracantha.co.uk

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