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Recommendations for SDS bits

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smackie

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As I’m about to spend some time mounting hardware on breeze block, concrete and limestone walls over the next 6 months, I broke down and treated myself to a Festool BHC SDS drill (as it can use the same batteries as my C18).

I’ve had an old Bosch hammer drill for years and my general masonry bits are now, well, “unpleasant”. Not so much drilling as slowly opening a void in geological time. 😀

Does anyone have a recommendation for a decent SDS drill set? I don’t need any exotic sizes - just a good set that’ll let me drill most common bore sizes for mounting hardware In a variety of brick/stone surfaces.

Cheers!

Scott...
 

Doug B

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I’ve been using DeWalt sds bits for years, funnily enough it’s not a brand I tend to favour but can’t fault their sds bits.
 

Rorschach

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I've got Bosch, Erbauer and Lidl/Aldi SDS bits. Honestly there is no difference between them, they all work fine and show no signs for wearing out in general use (might be different if you are drilling dozens of holes every day on a building site)

In fact the only bits I had trouble with were the Bosch, had to return 2 of them because they were bent and drilled oversized holes.
 

smackie

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@Doug B, @Phil Pascoe, @Rorschach thanks for the feedback! Appreciate it.

In fact the only bits I had trouble with were the Bosch, had to return 2 of them because they were bent and drilled oversized holes.
That’s interesting. My masonry bit box of shame is pretty much entirely comprised of Bosch bits. They tended to lose cutting effectiveness in stone after a morning of work (in limestone). My other Bosch stuff has been fine.

Thanks!

Scott...
 

Rorschach

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@Doug B, @Phil Pascoe, @Rorschach thanks for the feedback! Appreciate it.



That’s interesting. My masonry bit box of shame is pretty much entirely comprised of Bosch bits. They tended to lose cutting effectiveness in stone after a morning of work (in limestone). My other Bosch stuff has been fine.

Thanks!

Scott...
I think the quality of the non-SDS bits has been very poor in recent years. I had a Bosch set set of standard masonry bits, very poor quality compared to even a Lidl/Aldi SDS bit. I wonder if the fact that SDS are now pretty much the standard has meant that the level of manufacturing quality for them is fairly high as standard and "normal" masonry bits are now not in favour so only low quality bits are made? It's a theory anyway.

I now own very few "normal" masonry bits, pretty much everything is SDS and I have a little homemade adaptor that lets me use my SDS bits in my cordless combi drill so for jobs I can carry 2 drills but only one set of bits with me, works a treat.
 

smackie

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I wonder if the fact that SDS are now pretty much the standard has meant that the level of manufacturing quality for them is fairly high as standard and "normal" masonry bits are now not in favour so only low quality bits are made? It's a theory anyway.
It’s a pretty damn good theory, to be honest. My last set of “regular” masonry bits were shocking and I took them back.

I’d held off buying an SDS drill because it’s not something I do lot of and my old Bosch hammer was “fine“. However, I have a bunch of masonry work coming up and realized I was finding excuses to avoid it because of the horror and noise...

Now I just have to break it to my trusty old Bosch that he’s going to live out the rest of his days on the farm...

Cheers!

Scott...
 

Phil Pascoe

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A decent SDS drill for masonry is a world apart from even the best hammer drills. Good bits make them even better. I usually use Bosch S4 bits, but the Hiltis are quicker. If you're not used to using them make sure when you drill deeper holes that you withdraw the bit as you go - the dust can build up behind the cutting edge and jam the bit in the hole - they can be sods to pull out. Many of our concrete blocks have elvan chips in them which take their toll on lesser bits.
 

smackie

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If you're not used to using them make sure when you drill deeper holes that you withdraw the bit as you go - the dust can build up behind the cutting edge and jam the bit in the hole - they can be sods to pull out.
Ah. That’s a good tip. Thanks! Most of the holes aren’t too deep but I have a couple of external power sockets that’ll require a thruhole in some thick walls. I’ve run across that effect drilling stucco walls before (it ends up as a very fine powder dust that gets everywhere and packs around the bit) but it’s useful to know that it can happen with SDS bits...

Cheers!

Scott...
 

PerryGunn

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I don't think I've used a hammer drill since I got my first SDS drill about 20 years ago. The newer cordless ones are brilliant if you're up a ladder or don't need to drill dozens of holes at once.

SDS drill bits are consumables, buy a cheap set from toolstation, after a while you'll work out what sizes you use most and then you can get 'better' ones in those sizes. Get others as/when you require them e.g. long bits for going through cavity walls, chisel bits etc.

You end up with quite a collection over time - I even have some 1m long SDS bits that I needed for a particular project, don't know when/if I'll ever need them again but they're there if I do...
 
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PerryGunn

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Hi

What SDS, I made this mistake a while back buying online. Difference between SDS, SDS Plus and SDS Max drills?

I use mainly Bosch as they tend to last.
The Bosch SDS seem to have good reviews, my Makita ones have been faultless - one corded and a 36v (18v x 2) cordless

Get SDS Plus, SDS Max is for heavy duty stuff - I have a cheap one that I use as a breaker, it doesn't have a clutch so it's potential thumb/wrist breaker when used for drilling

Whichever one you get ensure it has the 3 mode switch - drill only / drill with impact / impact only (with rotation lock)
 

PerryGunn

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...and don't forget to buy some SDS grease (moly grease as it doesn't rot the rubber on the chuck).

SDS bits are loosely held by the chuck and the drill bit can get very hot due to the friction of dry metal on dry metal, this can slow down the operation and lead to more wear on the chuck & bit. A bit of lube (ooh, err Mrs.!) eases the friction.
 

owen

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I've started using cheap sds drill bits from UKDrills. For the price you can't go wrong
 

Artiglio

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I bought a “trade pack” of sds bits 16 years ago covering 5-8mm , i’m still working my way through them and expect them to last a good few years yet, larger sizes i buy as required and never buy the cheapest.
Though if you are going to be doing a lot of holes in one material its well worth talking to Hilti, some of their specialist bits arethings of wonder when it comes to drilling performance. They soon cover the extra expense.
 

smackie

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Sounds like, other than going upmarket with Hilti, most of the SDS Plus stuff is pretty equivalent. I’ll pick up a decent trade pack and work out whether to splurge on my more common sizes. We see how they handle Lake District limestone. 😀

Many thanks for all the advice!

Cheers

Scott...
 

clogs

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allmy Hilti's have 4 cutting edges as oposed to the norm 2.....they will even eat rebar burid in concrete......

Here we have a lot of limestone..well the whole island is made of it.....very abrasive.....
but I think most of the problem with wear is because most SDS drill dont have the guts unless u buy decent branded machines.....
I got fed up with even so called decent machines and bought Hiti's own.....ouch....
I have 4 now all dif sizes....would love a batt model but I don't need it that much anymore....famouse last words....hahaha
 

pgrbff

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in my experience the hilti 4 cutting edges are infinitely better than anything else I have tried. If you can find the size you want in an auction they are not even that expensive
 
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