Compared to a cordless drill, SDS drills are far more powerful and best suited to heavy-duty applications. Whether you need to drill through concrete, brickwork, steel and other tough materials, you have plenty of SDS drill options to choose from at your disposal.
To assist you in selecting an SDS drill, our handpicked selection lists top-performing models, chosen based on our first-hand experience drilling through a range of tough materials and using several different SDS drills. Our testing and up-to-date research further ensure the quality of our recommendations.
Our Top Picks At A Glance:
How The DIY Works Team Tests & Rates The SDS Drills
As we own a number of properties (rentals and Airbnb’s), we find ourselves having to use SDS drills regularly for certain DIY tasks. For example, as shown in the main photo of this article, we used the hammer function on our Makita SDS drill to make space for us to install a new plug socket.
We’ve also owned other SDS drills in the past such as the DEWALT unit shown in the photo below. However, when compared to our Makita SDS drill, it lacked performance, which was the main reason why we upgraded.
Along with using a variety of standard SDS drills, we’ve also taken on demolition jobs that required an SDS max drill bit. As shown in the photo of the drill bits below, the SDS Max (left) is much larger than the standard drill bit (right).
It’s important to note that when you are using an SDS drill, the drill bit that it uses may differ. Both the standard SDS and SDS plus drill bits are interchangeable whereas the SDS max drill isn’t and it’ll need a dedicated SDS max drill. The SDS max drill bit is much larger and it’s best used for large demolition tasks or breaking through harder materials.
During our ongoing testing of SDS drills, we analyse the tool’s performance, build quality, usability, additional functions, adjustability and the supplied accessories.
An example of recent testing of an SDS drill can be seen in the below video that we posted on our YouTube channel. In the video, we are using an SDS drill to break up concrete with ease.
It’s worth pointing out that you can use an SDS drill for much more than just hammering and breaking through tough materials. For example, in our guide on how to install a vented tumble dryer, we used an SDS drill to make an opening through a cavity wall, which was achieved using a high-quality core bit along with the SDS drill in a rotational mode.
To rate the SDS drills within our roundup, as well as our experience and testing of multiple SDS drills, we also carried out hours of research and considered several factors. Some of the factors that we considered included the blows per minute (BPM), no load speed (RPM), modes of operation, drilling capacity, build quality, ease of using the drill, weight, additional functionality, adjustability and comfort of the handle, speed control, warranty and value for money.