Best SDS Drills: Cordless and Corded

Is your regular drill not powerful enough? Is your current SDS drill not cutting it anymore? Surfaces that other drills struggle with, an SDS drill can slide through like butter. However, deciding which SDS drill to buy can be tough. 

I know searching for the right drill is hard. I was in the same situation, and after researching and testing numerous drills, I narrowed down some of my favourites for you. 

What is an SDS Drill?

SDS drills are power tools that are compatible with SDS bits and use a hammer drill function. SDS bits vary from regular drill bits because they have built-in grooves on the shank that lock into SDS compatible chucks will no tightening required. SDS bits are designed in a way to slide up and down in a piston motion while remaining secure in the chuck. 

Reasons to Buy an SDS Drill: 

Generally, SDS drills are used for heavy construction work such as masonry, bricks, concrete, granite, removing tiles, and other hard surfaces. SDS drills are also frequently used for anchoring holes into concrete walls. 

Look: 

When it comes to buying an SDS drill, there are lots of SDS features and specifications to consider. To make it easier for you, I’ll list the most important ones for each recommendation and you can decide which one is the best fit for your project. 

Let’s dive in. 

Best SDS Drills: 

 1 – Dewalt DCH133M1

Best Feature: Battery Powered, Lightweight

Specs:

  • 18 Volts
  • 3 Modes: Hammer Drilling, Rotary, or Hammer. 
  • Battery Powered
  • 4AH Battery
  • Brushless
  • SDS Plus Bits Only
  • Weight: 2.3 kg
  • Impact: 2.6 joules
  • 0 – 5500 BPM

If you need to work with masonry, the Dewalt DCH133M1 is one of the best drills out there. For reference, this model is an upgrade of the DCH033. 

The most noticeable feature would be the two handles, for the trigger, and a side one near the end for stabilization. The side handle can rotate in practically every direction, making it possible to use this drill comfortably in a wide range of angles. Both handles are coated with rubber for extra comfort. 

The second most noticeable feature is this drill is battery-powered, and the batteries are included in the set. I was honestly surprised how much power the Dewalt DCH133M1 can generate from its battery. 

What I liked most about the Dewalt DCH133M1 is the performance, it easily drills through a wide range of materials, and it’s incredibly versatile. Professional contractors use this model to drill holes in bricks, remove tiles, concrete, drill anchors, and a lot more. 

It’s also really comfortable to use, the handle uses shock-absorbent rubber to reduce the vibration levels.

2 – Makita DHR242Z

Notable Feature: Dust Filter System

Specs:

  • 18 Volts
  • 3 Modes: Hammer Drilling, Rotary, or Hammer. 
  • Cordless
  • Weight: 3.3 kg
  • Impact: 2 joules
  • Speed: 1200 Max RPM
  • Brushless
  • 0 – 4,700 BPM

Looking for a powerful compact SDS drill? The Makita DHR2427 is a good choice. The compact design makes it easy to apply thrust and drill through a wide range of materials. It’s also an upgraded version of the Makita DHR202Z. 

To help stabilize the drill, a second handle is included, and it can be adjusted too. Another feature worth mentioning is the one-touch SDS plus chuck. There’s also a built-in dust extraction system that is near the control dial. 

You can attach a vacuum or similar dust collection box to keep the surface area clean. There’s also a torque limiter that prevents damage to the machine by reducing torque when the bit binds. 

A control dial on the left side can be used to switch between the three modes: rotator + hammer, only hammer, and only rotation. The trigger is variable speed with an option for fixed. You can use this as a regular drill too. 

Most people who use this drill mention it’s more powerful than 24V cordless drills. Overall, I was very happy with this drill. It not only works as a regular drill but it’s compatible with SDS Plus bits and great for masonry work. Highly recommended. 

3 – Bosch Professional Rotary Hammer GBH 2-26 F

Notable Feature: High Performance, Corded Hammer Drill

Specs:

  • 230V
  • 3 Modes: Hammer Drilling, Rotary, or Hammer. 
  • Corded
  • Weight: 2.9 kg
  • Impact: 2.7 joules
  • Speed: 900 Max RPM
  • 0 – 4,000 BPM

The GBH 2-26F is a little different from the previous drills on our list because it’s a corded SDS drill. While battery-powered drills are more flexible, corded drills are more reliable and you don’t have to worry about the battery dying on you. 

If you’re looking for a basic and versatile drill, the GBH 2-26F is a good choice. It’s not very compact. At 407 mm, the distance between the trigger and the auxiliary handle is longer than most drills but it provides a stable grip. 

However, the performance is on par with most heavy-duty drills. As for features, it has a keyless chuck, rotation control, auto-lock, and Vaio lock. It’s also compatible with a wide range of dust extraction attachments. 

With an SDS Plus bit, the GBH 2-26F can drill through almost any material. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly but high performance corded SDS drill, this one is a good choice. I recommend buying an extension cord because you will be limited by the length of the power lead. 

Great for beginner DIY projects! 

4 –  Einhell Herocco Brushless SDS Plus Hammer Drill 4513900

Best Feature: Compact, Four Functions

Specs: 

  • Brushless
  • SDS-Plus Tool Chuck
  • Battery Powered (Cordless)
  • 18 Volts
  • Sound Level 103 dB
  • Weight 2.12kg
  • Impact Strength: 2.2J
  • 0 – 5,500 BPM

Looking for a mid-range one-handed and versatile SDS drill? The Einhell Herocco 4513900 is a great kit. The most noticeable thing about this product is the design, it’s very compact and designed for one-handed use. The main trigger grip is made from soft rubber and the handle is vibration resistant. It also has an auxiliary handle to provide more support when working with SDS Plus bits. 

As for performance, for a compact tool, it delivers quite a punch. The drill has four operating modes: drill, impact drill, the chisel with lock, and chisel without a lock. While small, it can chisel away hard concrete, easily create anchor holes, and a lot more. 

Einhell power tool batteries are compatible, so if you have other Einhell products, you can swap the batteries to this one too. I recommend the Herocco 4513900 for one-handed projects like making holes. It’s one of the smallest SDS drills on our list, quite similar to Makita DHR2427

5 – Makita HR2630

Notable Feature: Budget-Friendly, 3 Modes

Specs: 

  • Impact energy 2.4J
  • Variable Speed
  • Corded
  • 3 Modes
  • One-touch Sliding SDS chuck
  • 240 Volts
  • 1200 RPM
  • 2.8 Kg
  • 4600 IPM
  • 800 Watts
  • 0 – 4600 BPM

Here’s a budget-friendly mains-powered SDS drill by Makita. The design is very similar to the Bosch Professional Rotary Hammer GBH 2-26F, except the Bosch is a bit more expensive. The HR2630 Makita drill is a longer drill with a variable speed trigger and an auxiliary handle that can rotate in 360 degrees. 

As for the modes, it’s got rotary only, hammer only, and rotary + hammer. There’s a handle dial on the side to adjust the modes. While not super heavy-duty, this tool slice through most masonry such as concrete, bricks, tiles, and whatnot. 

For the price, it’s hard to beat. One concern I had is the chuck is only for SDS bits. If you want to use this drill with normal bits, you’ll need to buy a conversion kit. I also noticed the vibration and noise level was a bit loud. Nevertheless, for budget home renovation projects, this a great choice. It can handle practically any DIY task. 

The fact that it’s not limited by the battery is also nice. If you want a good mains-powered and also budget-friendly SDS drill, consider taking a look at the HR2630 Makita.

SDS Drill Buyer Guide:

What is BPM on Hammer Drills? 

BPM stands for “Beats Per Minute” also called “Impacts Per Minute” (IPM) which represents the number of times that bit can hit the surface in a given minute. While the range of these impacts is not much, the speed at which they’re delivered can easily provide enough force to break hard surfaces like concrete. 

Corded vs Cordless SDS Drills: 

Corded SDS drills are preferred for projects that consume a considerable amount of time such as removing tiles and other home renovation projects. Cordless SDS drills are good for quick projects such as drilling holes in concrete or brick and they’re a lot more mobile.

Are SDS Drills and Hammer Drills The Same? 

SDS drills and hammer drills are similar because both use the hammer mechanism. However, SDS drills use an SDS chuck which only works with SDS bits. Meanwhile, most hammer drills are compatible with regular drill bits, and not SDS bits. 

Rotary Hammer Drills vs SDS Hammer Drills

Rotary hammer drills rotate the drill bit while also creating a hammer motion. Rotary hammer drills are preferred because they’re more efficient at creating holes in tough surfaces. 

SDS Hammer drills are designed to use SDS bits, which make them good for chiselling and breaking apart surfaces. Rotary hammer drills provide you with the option to switch between multiple modes, while SDS hammer drills are limited to only one hammer mode. 

Can I Use an SDS Drill with Normal Drill Bit?

You can’t use an SDS drill with standard drill bits because they’re not compatible and won’t fit into the SDS chuck. There are SDS chuck adapters that allow you to use normal drill bits but only in rotary mode. If your SDS drill does not have a rotary mode, you won’t be able to use the SDS chuck adapters. 

What’s The Difference Between SDS and SDS Plus?

There are four SDS bit standards: SDS, SDS Plus, SDS-Top, and SDS-Max. SDS is the original design by Bosch back in 1975. SDS Plus is an improved version of SDS that adds 4 splines on the shank to keep it more secure. SDS and SDS Plus bits are the only SDS bits that are interchangeable because they both have a 10 mm diameter. For more information on the SDS standards, check out our SDS bit guide. 

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About Tony

Tony Moran is a writer, blogger and DIY enthusiast living in rural Norfolk, England, UK, with his wife and a lively border collie. Subscribe to this blog for updates and receive more awesome home improvement tips.

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