Best SDS / Hammer Drill Review
If you’re regularly working on masonry projects, either at home or as a profession; you know the necessity of having a great quality hammer drill. SDS drills (or Hammer drills as they are also known) are a hugely important tool. This is because they give you the ability to drill through stone, brick, concrete, cement, and asphalt easily. The reason they are worth their weight in gold is that they manage the real heavy-duty stuff.
Picking the right SDS hammer drill is critical. You need a tool that allows you to work efficiently but you also need it to be durable enough to not get easily damaged whilst completing high-quality work. You don’t want to have to waste time on corrections or dealing with the consequences when something doesn’t quite fit. As they say, it is easy to drill a hole, it is not so easy to ‘un-drill’ it.
At Wonkee Donkee we have years of experience in testing and reviewing hand tools and power tools. For this article, we have handpicked our favourite SDS drills for you after testing the top option from the most popular brands and models. As always, we’ve tried to include a little of everything so that no one is left out. So in this SDS drill review, we have the best drill on the market, the drill that offers that best value for money and also the best drill for anyone who is on a budget.
Makita XPH12R Hammer Driver Drill Kit
This drill is the perfect tool for almost every mason or construction professional who needs a highly-durable drill that has the ability to drill through almost anything. The tool is built to stand the test of time and the ‘Extreme Protection Technology’ that has been cleverly built into the design is extremely effective. This Makita drill is astonishingly resistant to any sort of dirt or debris that tries to get in the way – and it’s so rugged it will even deal with falls off of buildings (don’t try this at home).
The charge time is one of the features that really make it stand out. As is the incredible power of this machine which is one of the main reasons why contractors love this tool and why it is a great investment. To quickly number crunch, it has 530 pounds of torque, 2,000 RPM and 30,000 BPM. It really puts the hammer into hammer drill. For us, this is hands down the best hammer drill on the market. The power specifications matter, but don’t be fooled. This is not just an out of control powerhouse it is a completely rounded great tool.
What We Like:
DEWALT DCD996P2 Brushless Combi Drill
The DEWALT DCD996P2 is just simply an outstanding drill and easily one of the best on the market. This is why we just had to include it as our premium choice when your budget is not an issue. The hammer drill is built specifically with the construction and mason professional in mind, making it the ideal tool if you need a robust tool that can take on a heavy workload without slowing down. As the name suggests, it is also a combi drill meaning that you get more than just a hammer drill!
This tool really has a lot to offer. There are so many great features, but we don’t want to be here all day so the one feature that really stood out to us is the powerful spotlight feature that allows masons or construction workers to work in dark areas. As you’d expect, DeWalt has thought about everything. The 20-minute shut-off function is a great example of this, saving the battery life when it’s not in use ready to go again when you need it.
In addition to this, the DeWalt DCD996P2’s battery packs come with a fuel gauge so you always know how much run time they have left. This is invaluable if you are working on a big site project, allowing you to plan your job more effectively. Overall, the DEWALT DCD996P2 is our premium choice, a truly great tool investment. If you are a contractor or a professional that regularly completes masonry projects then having the best SDS drill on the market is worth the extra bit of money.
What We Like:
SKIL 6445-04 Hammer Drill
The final model in our best SDS Hammer Drill review is the SKIL 6445-04 SDS driver drill. At Wonkee Donkee we have picked this as our budget option and is the perfect tool for people who need a good quality masonry drill without spending a lot.
SKIL is known for combining power, efficiency and durability in their products whilst keeping them affordable. In the SKIL 6445-04 drivel drill, they have included a ½ inch chuck that allows you to complete a range of tasks. This allows you to use the larger bits for tough woodworking and cutting tasks which can be completed with the assistance of the side handle, so you stay in control. Its 7 Amp motor is activated using the variable speed trigger so you can easily control your drilling speed. Add to this trigger lock-on options which keep the drill running at a consistent speed so you can focus on your accuracy as you drive the hammer drill.
The SKIL 6445-04 is a great tool for anyone looking who needs a powerful hammer drill without breaking the bank. It can easily break through concrete and stone but also used for work on different materials like wood and metalwork. Just make sure that you ensure the hammering option is off so your hammer drill won’t cause havoc. Overall, this is the best budget SDS drill available on the market. It’s tough and durable enough to get the job done, yet affordable enough that you won’t get in trouble for buying it!
What We Like:
Hammer Drill Buyers Guide Questions
How Does a Hammer Drill Work?
A hammer drill / SDS drill is a tool that works rigorously chipping away at concrete, stone, or brick, by hitting its target like a hammer without any rotating movement. It’s important to remember that the hammer drill setting is not designed for hammering screws in. If you try this you will definitely find out why. The ideal tool for that job would be an impact screwdriver as the hammer drill is dedicated for predominantly masonry drilling.
What is a Rotary Hammer Drill?
Rotary hammer drills are a range of hammer drill that uses a piston and rod to hit against the bit. This process results in amplifying the power and consequently making the rotary hammer drill more powerful than your standard regular hammer drills. This extra power that is generated helps in masonry projects by concentrating the impact in one place to chip away or break down tough materials such as brick or concrete.
How Does a Rotary Hammer Drill Work?
Rotary hammer drills work by using a piston and rod to create more powerful blows against its intended target. Turning on the motor moves a gear, which in turn moves a rod. The rod hits against a hammer mechanism and produces an intense force through the hammer bit. This happens extremely rapidly and creates a concentration of force which translates into a more powerful, more efficient impact, especially compared to standard SDS drills.
Can a Hammer Drill work as a Regular One?
Sometimes you want to be able to use a hammer drill as a standard drill. But whether that can happen or not really depends on the functionality of the hammer drill you have. If you only have a hammer drill that has no other functions then it won’t be possible.
If you have the functionality remember to change your bit before you start – an SDS drill could be ruined if you don’t take the time to switch your bits. These models are typically a bit more expensive but you do get one tool instead of two, so you should take this into consideration when looking at which is the best SDS hammer drill to buy.
What is the Difference Between a Hammer and an Impact Drill?
The major difference is that the hammer drill is the ability to create holes in stone, brick, and concrete by hitting its target repeatedly like a hammer. There’s no rotation motion with this tool. More often than not, when you use this drill, it’s a good idea to use a chisel bit to get the best results. Most models come with chisel bits as standard but if not there a large range of different chisel bit sets available online if not.
Not all drills work the same. For example, corded, cordless or brushless impact drills get a very similar result but by using a rotational motion rather than a hammering motion. If you are using any of these drill types in order to carry out we recommend that you use a masonry bit in order to get the best results.
Do You Have to Use a Hammer Drill for Concrete?
In theory, you can still drill through concrete without the need for a hammer drill, but it isn’t very easy. If you find that you regularly need to drill concrete then you should really consider getting yourself a hammer drill. These drills are designed to cut into materials (like concrete) quickly and efficiently, make it extremely easy. You’ll also want to ensure that you are using the right bit for drilling (as we mentioned earlier that’s usually the chisel bit).