The Best SDS Drill 2022

Whether you need to drill through concrete, masonry, metal, wood or any other hard material, an SDS drill is the best tool for the job. Within this article, we list some of the best options that are suitable for all budgets and available as a corded or cordless tool.

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If you require a quick answer, the best SDS drill is the Makita DHR242Z, which is a cordless unit that offers three modes of operation and delivers up to 4,700 blows per minute. However, if you are tackling any large demolition jobs or need to break harder materials, the Makita HM0871C is the brand’s alternative drill that uses a SDS max drill bit.

To rate the SDS drills within this article, we based our recommendations upon our experience and testing of multiple drills (as shown in the “How We Rated” section below). We also carried out hours of research and considered a number of factors. Some of the factors that we took into consideration 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.

SDS Drill Comparison

SDS DrillDrill BitType
Makita DHR242ZSDS & SDS PlusCordless
Bosch GBH 2-26SDS & SDS PlusCorded
Milwaukee M18CHX-0SDS & SDS PlusCordless
Makita HM0871CSDS MaxCorded
Bosch GBH 5-40SDS MaxCorded

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.

Below is a list of the best SDS drills that are ideal for drilling through plaster, wood, metal, concrete and masonry.

The Best SDS Drill

1. Makita DHR242Z SDS Plus Drill

Makita DHR242Z 18V LXT Brushless 24mm Rotary Hammer SDS-Plus
By far the most popular and highly rated SDS drill available in the UK is the Makita DHR242Z. It’s a versatile drill that’s cordless and offers rotation and hammering, rotation only and hammering only modes of operation. In terms of it’s capacity, the brand state that it can drill into concrete up to 24mm, steel up to 13mm and wood up to 27mm.

Other features of the Makita DHR242Z include:

  • Delivers 4,700 blows per minute
  • Accepts SDS and SDS Plus drill bits
  • Variable trigger and constant speed control
  • Ergonomic and easy to grip adjustable handle
  • Electronic brake control
  • Backed by a 1 year manufacturers warranty

In terms of the warranty of this SDS drill, the brand provides an additional 2 years if you register the drill within 30 days.

To conclude, the Makita DHR242Z is by far the best SDS drill for the money and it really does tick all the boxes. It provides excellent performance, adjustability and control as well as offering great value for the money too.
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2. DEWALT DCH133NT Cordless SDS Hammer Drill

DEWALT 18V XR Brushless 26mm SDS-Plus Hammer Drill
DEWALT are another brand that produce a huge range of SDS drills to suit all budgets. However, by far their most popular SDS drill is their cordless option, which is ideal for drilling through concrete, brick and masonry.

It’s important to note that this cordless SDS drill only comes as a bare tool, which means you need to purchase a battery and charger separately if you don’t already own them.

Other features of the DEWALT DCH133NT include:

  • Delivers up to 5,500 BPM
  • Drilling capacity varies from 4 to 22mm depending on the material
  • Intuitive rotation stop mode for light chiselling
  • Weighs just 2.3 KG without the battery
  • Supplied with a carry case
  • Backed by a three year warranty

Overall, the DEWALT DCH133NT is the best cordless SDS hammer drill for the money if you already own the battery and charger. However, even if you need to buy the complete package, it’s still a high performing SDS drill that won’t disappoint. It’s also built by a reputable brand that provides a three year warranty for complete peace of mind too.
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3. Bosch‎ GBH 2-26 Corded SDS Drill

Bosch Professional Rotary Hammer
One of the cheapest SDS drills that’s manufactured by a reputable brand and is also very popular in the UK is the Bosch GBH 2-26. It’s a corded SDS drill that’s available as a 110V or 230V tool to best suit your requirements.

Although it’s an affordable option, it’s still able to perform just as well as the premium alternatives with a impact rate of 4,000 BPM and a no load speed of up to 900 RPM.

Other features of the Bosch GBH 2-26 include:

  • Desirable chisel functionality
  • Variable speed control
  • Soft ergonomic grip
  • Quick change chuck
  • Rotation clutch control
  • Supplied with a hard carry case

If you require a relatively affordable SDS hammer drill, you can’t go wrong with the GBH 2-26 model by Bosch. The popularity of this drill is a clear indication of its quality and it certainly won’t disappoint.
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4. Milwaukee M18CHX-0 Cordless SDS Drill

Milwaukee M18CHX-0 M18 Fuel SDS
By far the most expensive cordless SDS drill within this article is the Milwaukee M18CHX-o and its the brand’s new and improved model. According to Milwaukee, the motor is able to last twice as long and it provides up to 25% more power when compared to previous generations of their drills. It’s also far more powerful and the brand themselves state that it’s the “second hardest hitting SDS hammer in its class”.

Other features of the Milwaukee M18CHX-o include:

  • 4 mode operation
  • Keyless chuck changing
  • All metal gear case
  • BPM rated at 5,100
  • No load speed rated at 1,400 RPM
  • Weighs 3.3 KG
  • Integrated LED torch
  • Dedicated HEPA filter

Although expensive, the Milwaukee M18CHX-o is the ultimate cordless SDS drill that’s ideal for anyone that uses these tools on a daily basis. It’s also packed full of unique features such as the LED torch and HEPA filter as an added bonus.
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5. Makita HM0871C SDS Max Demolition Hammer

Makita HM0871C 240V SDS-Max
Another Makita SDS hammer drill is the HM0871C and unlike the other model mentioned above, this particular tool is adapted for SDS-Max drill bits. This makes it ideal for any large demolition jobs such as taking down a chimney stack to hammering through masonry or concrete. It’s important to note that with this SDS max drill, you are only able to use it for hammering only and it does this at a speed of 2,650 BPM.

Other features of the Makita HM0871C include:

  • Soft start functionality
  • Anti-vibration technology
  • Double insulated
  • LED power indicator
  • Variable and constant speed control
  • Supplied with a heavy duty carry case
  • 1 year manufactures warranty (plus another 2 years if registered)

Although expensive, the Makita HM0871C is the best SDS max drill on the market and it’s well worth paying the extra for. The addition of the brand’s patented anti-vibration technology (AVT) also makes a huge difference whilst continuously drilling into hard surfaces. Therefore, if you require a SDS max drill, you can’t go wrong with this model.
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6. Bosch GBH 5-40 Professional SDS Max Drill

Bosch Professional Corded Rotary Hammer Drill with SDS Max
Another SDS max drill that’s worth considering is the Bosch GBH 5-40 and it’s available as a 110V or 240V unit to best suit your requirements. Whether you are removing plaster or chiselling slots in masonry, the brand states that it’s a versatile and easy to use SDS drill that can be easily adjusted to suit each material and task.

In terms of the performance of this SDS drill, its power is rated at 1,150W with an impact rate of up to 3,050 BPM.

Other features of the Bosch GBH 5-40 include:

  • Vibration control for comfortable continuous use
  • Ball grommet for improved movement
  • Ergonomic and adjustable grip
  • Automatic switch lock
  • Weighs 6.8 KG

Overall, the Bosch GBH 5-40 is a great option to consider if you require a SDS drill that uses the much larger SDS max drill bit. The only drawback is its premium price tag, which is more than the Makita SDS Max above. However, the improved performance and reputable brand backing make it a worthwhile investment that won’t disappoint.
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How We Rated The SDS Drills

As we own a number of properties (rentals and Airbnb’s), we find ourselves having to use SDS drills on a regular basis for certain DIY tasks. For example, as shown in the main photo within 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 a SDS max drill bit. As shown in the photo of the drill bits below, the SDS Max (on the left) is much larger than the standard drill bit (on the right).

As we mentioned previously, the SDS and SDS Plus drill bits are interchangeable but the SDS max drill bits aren’t.

best sds hammer drill
best sds drill bits

To rate the SDS drills within this article, as well as our experience and testing of multiple SDS drills, we also carried out hours of research and considered a number of 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.

Below is a video that we posted onto our Instagram page that shows us using a SDS drill to make an opening through the cavity wall. This was achieved using a high quality core bit along with the SDS drill in a rotational mode.

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As you can see from our own usage of an SDS drill, it’s a very versatile tool and we can’t be without it for many of the DIY tasks that we carry out. All of our recommendations within this article are suitable for all jobs big or small as well as all budgets. However, if you need further information regarding SDS hammer drills, feel free to get in touch.

The Author Who Worked On This Article

author dan darimo

Dan Morgan

As a keen DIY’er, gardener and somebody that loves the latest tech, Dan is someone that brings years of experience in multiple trades. Since buying his first house, he has been obsessed with renovating properties and filling it with the latest products. This has led him down the road of testing hundreds of products and creating in-depth “how-to” and informative guides that offer his first-hand experience. Other interests include working on cars, keeping fit through sports or his home gym, caravanning and drinking great coffee.

If you would like to read more about Darimo and the authors, you can visit our about page. This goes into great detail regarding how we test products, create our guides and everything else.

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