What Is An SDS Drill? Everything You Need To Know Here!

Welcome to my article that discusses: What is an SDS drill and what is it used for?

If you are a do-it-yourselfer or construction worker, the drill you use is very important.

There are many drills on the market, but the SDS (Slotted Drive System) drill is said to be the best for heavy duty tasks.

Read on to find out what makes this drill so special.

What Is An SDS Drill?

dewalt sds drill
Dewalt SDS Drill

SDS drills came out in the 1970’s and revolutionized the world of construction.

Before they were invented, people had a hard time drilling through concrete and similar surfaces.

Once the SDS drill was released, construction workers and DIYers found that they had a much easier time drilling concrete, brick, steel and more.

When SDS drills hit the market, they offered a more efficient alternative to rotary drills and hammer drills.

They combine rotary motion with a hammering movement. They feature a mechanism called a chuck that causes the drill to make a hammering motion.

Additionally, the drills have drill bits that move back and forth inside the chuck. This allows them to drill quickly and more precisely.

People usually think SDS stands for Slotted Drive System, but it can also stand for Special Direct System or Special Direct System.

These terms refer to how the chucks and drill bits perform to produce extra force to drill through dense materials.

The slotted drive keeps the bits from slipping into the chuck while allowing the bit to move back and forth during the hammering process.

How Do SDS Drills Work?

Let’s take a more in-depth look at how SDS drills work.

The drills have a chuck that contains a hammer mechanism. Its drill bits have indents along them that allow them to fit between the ball bearings inside the chuck.

The hammer tool moves the drill bits inside the chuck back and forth to deliver a precise hammering motion.

SDS Drill Uses

SDS drills can be used in a variety of applications.

They are typically brought in when a hammer or rotary drill isn’t enough to get the job done.

They drill hard materials like block, steel, brick and concrete and can be used for DIY and professional projects.

SDS drills offer a variety of modes. They can use hammering and rotary action, or they can be switched to modes that allow them to perform hammer or rotary tasks only.

The hammer mode is ideal for demolition while the rotary mode is best for softer materials that don’t require as much force.

SDS Max vs. SDS Plus

When shopping for an SDS drill, you will have the option of purchasing an SDS Max or an SDS Plus. Which should you choose?

SDS Plus is the more modern variety of SDS drills.

The line features rotary hammer drills that are recommended for general purposes.

The SDS Max has more indentations, and its drill bits are larger.

It is commonly used for demolition, rock, and masonry work. It is reserved for heavy-duty jobs.

How to Choose the Right SDS Drill

There are other considerations to make when purchasing an SDS drill beyond choosing between a Max and a Plus.

Here are some to think about.

  • Cordless or Non-cordless: Cordless drills are more convenient to use as you won’t have to worry about dragging a wire behind you as you move around. However, they will need to be recharged regularly. They are also more expensive than corded varieties.
  • Cost: Cost is a major consideration in any purchasing decision. Ultimately, you will want to find the best drill at the best value.
  • Safety: SDS drills are powerful and the more force they have, the more damage they can do. It’s advisable to buy a drill that you feel confident using.
  • Use: The job you are using the drill for will be taken into consideration when you purchase your product. If you are doing a heavy-duty project, you will need a drill with a lot of power.
  • Other Features: Other features such as noise control, vibration control, clutch and speed must be considered as well.

Will an SDS Drill Bit Work in a Normal Drill?

bosch sds drill
Bosch SDS Drill

The short answer to this question is yes, but if you use an SDS drill bit in a normal drill, you will come across some issues due to the shape.

A standard drill will grasp the chuck differently than an SDS drill.

So, if you put an SDS bit into a normal drill, it will seem tight at first, but it will loosen eventually and at a faster rate than a drill that’s designed to hold different kinds of chucks.

It can also damage the edges and sides of the drill.

Can I Use Standard Drill Bits in an SDS Drill?

It is not advisable to use a standard drill bit in an SDS drill.

You will once again find issues in the variation of shapes of the drill and drill bit.

What’s more, a standard bit is not meant for hammering action and it will wear down quickly.

There are adapters you can purchase that will allow you to use standard drill bits in an SDS drill.

However, you will need to constantly think about adding the adapter before using the two together.

You also will not be able to use the drill bit for hammering action in any circumstances.

You are better off using standard drills with standard chucks and SDS drills with SDS chucks.

This will save you time and money and it may even mean saving your drill!

How Do I Use an SDS Drill Safely?

SDS drills are very powerful and it’s important to use them safely.

Read the manual before proceeding to make sure you are following proper guidelines.

Wear protective gear like goggles, boots, and while drilling.

Inspect the drill and drill bit before you start drilling to ensure they are not damaged.

If in doubt, switch it out.

Make sure you are using the most suitable bit for the job and clean it before use to ensure no dirt or grime gets into your drill’s interior to negatively affect its functionality.

Where to Purchase SDS Drills?

SDS drills can be purchased from any hardware store.

You can also order them online through retailers such as Amazon.

What Is An SDS Drill: Conclusion

SDS drills changed the face of the construction industry. Their immense power allowed them to take on heavy duty jobs faster and more efficiently.

I hope this article has not only clarified what an SDS drill is, but also how it works, it’s uses, and the best way to operate one safely!

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