SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer Drill Bit Comparison – Bosch vs DEWALT
When it comes to tools the old adage of “buy nice, OR buy twice” is very often true, leading to the frustration of every guy or company trying to save a buck or sticking to “their” brand of choice. This problem seems to be compounded with accessories. With aisles and aisles of bits and blades claiming “2X faster”, “3X stronger”, “lasts 4X longer” its difficult to determine the right choice for you or your business to deliver the best performance.
This poignant saying goes well beyond buyers remorse for a hundred dollar tool, for any company protecting their bottom line, “buy nice or buy twice” can be costing a business money per unit cost and in decreased productivity. Here at Tool Box Buzz we strive to point consumers and professionals to those tools and accessories that meet our audience’s needs.
Bosch offered us a chance to compare one of the most popular concrete accessories used for drop in anchors and wedge anchors most prominently used by mechanical contractors, plumbers, and electricians. So we jumped at the opportunity to test two leading companies 3/8″ Concrete SDS-Plus Drill Bits for both speed and endurance. Bosch supplied our team with Bosch’s 3/8″ SDS-Plus Bulldog Xtreme Rotary Hammer Bits, DEWALT’s High Impact Carbide 3/8″ SDS-Plus Bits, and two new 1″ SDS-Plus BULLDOG Xtreme Rotary Hammer to control for the performance of the tool itself. With the bits and tools we headed to New Hampshire, the “Granite State”, and put these bits to the test on 10″ Reenforced Concrete Bridge Decks. This is the same location we conducted our 1-9/16″ SDS Rotary Hammer Head to Head.
Before we get into the methodology and results of this SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer Drill Bit Comparison – Bosch vs DEWALT, let’s take a good look at each bit and it’s advertised specifications and features to see how the accessories compare on paper.
SDS-Plus Bit Comparison
Bosch 3/8 In. x 12 In. SDS-Plus Bulldog Xtreme Rotary Hammer BitSpecifications
- SKU: HCFC2064
- Diameter: 3/8″
- Usable Length: 10″
- Overall Length: 12″
- Average Price: $16.42
[Price based on a compilation of online retailers – See table below]
Bosch HCFC2064 SDS Plus Xtreme Rotary Hammer Bit
- Diffusion bonding technology provides stronger carbide bond for the longest-lasting bit
- 4X life in all concrete types and concrete with rebar
- Wear mark assures hole diameter tolerance for anchoring applications
- Centric conical tip results in precise hole diameters
DEWALT 3/8″ x 10″ x 12″ High Impact Carbide SDS+ BitSpecifications
- SKU: DW55300
- Diameter: 3/8″
- Usable Length: 10″
- Overall Length: 12″
- Average Price: $17.62
[Price based on a compilation of online retailers – See table below]
DEWALT DW55300 High Impact Carbide SDS+ Bit
- 2X More Carbide for Long Life
- Four flute design cleans debris out for fast, efficient drilling
- Innovative Bonding System delivers extreme durability
As you can see from the specs and features these bits compared side by side in a box store or on a online retail website appear for all intensive purposes to be VERY similar. Picture yourself in the aisle of your local lumber yard holding these two bits, trying to compare the two based on advertisements on the packaging. The only vague discriminator you get is a comparable price difference and advertised bit life. Bosch claims a 4X increased life, while DEWALT advertises 2X more carbide for longer life, again although these claims are vague we assume they would lead the consumer to favor the Bosch accessory.
Another first impression we get is the price of an accessory, which can sway our purchases depending on the difference in cost. In this case it appears the price difference between these two accessories my not be enough to change your purchasing behavior.
Bosch HCFC2064 Prices
- Amazon: $14.34
- Home Depot: $17.97
- Grainger: $17.03
- White Cap: $17.89
- AceTool: $11.24
- Average: $16.42
DEWALT DW55300 Prices
- Amazon: $17.40
- Grainger: $25.65
- Acme Tool: $17.99
- Lowes: $17.48
- Factory Authorized Dealer: $12.99
- Average: $17.62
[Average Price excludes outliers at high and low price points of retailers listed]
Bottom line, it’s difficult to choose the right accessory without the right information, this is where we come in, to provide some clarity in these vague claims of 2X, 3X, and 4X benefits. So sit back and trust the pros!
Head to Head Testing – Speed & Endurance
For this test we not only compared the overall life of the bits but also integrated the sustained speed of the bits to further analyze the increased or saved productivity using a “better” bit. We determined a speed baseline for each bit drilling a 6″ hole with a healthy sample size. We then took that baseline and had each bit tested drilling 6″ holes until the average time to drill a hole was double the baseline speed. This test was to simulate the point at which a bits performance leads the operator to change to a fresh, more productive bit.
SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer Drill Bit Comparison Results
|Bit Tested||Baseline||Time at “Failure”||Avg. # of Holes||Avg Price||Avg. Price/Hole|
|Bosch HCFC2064||14 sec.||28 sec.||550||$16.42||$0.03|
|DEWALT DW55300||20 sec.||40 sec.||300||$17.62||$0.06|
The Bosch SDS-Plus Bulldog Xtreme Rotary Hammer Bit averaged 14 seconds for a 6″ hole, approximately 30% faster than the DEWALT High Impact Carbide SDS+ Bit which averaged 20 seconds for our baseline test. These two baseline times were used to set the criteria for “failure” (the point at which we feel a user may choose to switch to a new drill bit for better performance).
With this baseline threshold for “failure” the Bosch bit drilled approximately 80% more holes (550 holes compared to 300) before it reached our failure point. Even more impressive the Bosch baseline was significantly faster than the DEWALT so that at “failure” the Bosch bit was performing only 25% slower than the DEWALT at peak performance.
SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer Drill Bit Comparison Video
SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer Drill Bit Comparison Results Summary
- Bosch HCFC2064 30% FASTER than DEWALT (with new bits)
- Bosch HCFC2064 drilled 80% more holes than DEWALT (using our criteria)
- Bosch HCFC2064 at “failure” was only 25% slower than DEWALT at Baseline Speed
- Bosch HCFC2064 average price per hole 50% less than DEWALT
Bottom line, our results point to the Bosch SDS-Plus Bulldog Xtreme Rotary Hammer Bit being a faster, longer lasting, and a more productive bit. The Bosch bit almost doubled the number of holes drilled by the DEWALT bit and furthermore the increased speed of the Bosch bit means your work is getting done 30% faster. That equates to simple job site math: less bit changes, less trips to the tool box for more bits, less trips back and forth to the store to purchase more bits and ultimately more time on task.
As a contractor and business owner I know that research has shown that only 33% of our time on the job site is productive. The rest of that time is spent on tasks such as material runs, unplanned demands, interruptions, searching for tools, searching for parts, accessories and running errands. Purchasing an accessory that lasts longer just makes sense, and the Bosch SDS-Plus Bulldog Xtreme Rotary Hammer Bit performed longer and faster in this comparative testing.
Note: The results of this test are not indicative of all Bosch or DEWALT drill bits or accessories, but rather are just specifically focused on these two SKUs and the tests we performed. While Bosch did supply all the bits and drills for this testing, we determined the actual tests, criteria, and opinions presented in this article.
About the author
Todd Fratzel is the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and the President of Front Steps Media, LLC, a web based media company focused on the Home Improvement and Construction Industry.He is also the Principal Engineer for United Construction Corp., located in Newport, NH. In his capacity at United he oversees the Residential and Commercial Building Division along with all Design-Build projects.He is also the editor of Home Construction & Improvement.
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Product reviews on this site contain our opinion of a product or service. We will always strive for objectivity and transparency in our reviews. Our goal is to provide readers with honest, objective information based on our own experiences. We never have and never will accept payment in exchange for a positive review. Many of the products that we review are provided to us for free by a manufacturer or retailer. In some cases, we also have advertising or affiliate relationships with manufacturers and retailers of products and services we review. For additional information please visit our additional disclosure policies.
The Ultimate Guide to SDS Drill Bits: Types, Uses, & Buying Guide
If you are in the market for SDS drill bits, this blog post is a must-read. SDS bits are versatile tools that can be used in many different masonry materials. This article will outline what SDS drill bits are and discuss the different types of SDS bits available on the market today. We'll also go over which SDS hammer drills should be used as well as offer some tips on buying SDS bits for your next project!
In this blog we'll cover:
- The differences between SDS bits
- A buying guide for SDS bits and your project
- Dustless or Hollow drill bits
- What rotary hammers work with which bit
- The origins of SDS bits
What's the Difference Between SDS Plus and SDS Max?
While SDS and SDS-Top bits are much less common and SDS-TE-S bits are mostly for chiseling and demolition applications, SDS Plus and SDS Max are probably why you're here. So what's the difference?
Physically there are size differences in the masonry bits. SDS Plus have a 10mm shank, while the SDS Max has an 18mm. This means that SDS Max bits have an increased capability for tougher masonry work, withstanding more torque and force.
The SDS Plus range is shorter in length and is tailored to lighter duty work and smaller diameter holes. Don't relegate them to a household duty bit. Sometimes you will need to use an SDS Plus bit when the job doesn't demand a larger hole or when you're working close to the edge. Especially when working close to the edge, a smaller, less powerful drill is preferable because it reduces the risk of chipping off a piece of concrete from an outside edge.
You'll find SDS Max have much longer lengths for deeper embedment. There is some overlap between the two but SDS Max are generally designed for more demanding, deeper drilling applications.
The SDS-Max variation has been created to have an improved torsional strength which means that it can be driven at higher speeds and still maintain its force without breaking. When drilling into concrete, bits will inevitably encounter more resistance due to rebar and aggregate that are densely packed in. This is where having a higher torque and increased force will save you time.
A versatile drill bit, you would use a SDS Max bit when you have a larger stud that needs to be embedded deep or when drilling through thicker substrates. For example, when you have to drill through a wall for a conduit or wiring.
When you're buying masonry bits, consider the different types that are available and look for one that fits your application. Don't just go buy one because it's cheaper.
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Buying Guide: What should I look for?
SDS masonry bits are most commonly used in post-installation of anchors in concrete construction and masonry applications such as stone or brick. If you work as a trades professional, there are advantages and disadvantages to using different SDS drill bits.
Before you purchase your SDS masonry bits it's important to make sure they're compatible with your current drill. Another consideration to make is the application. What diameter hole are you drilling? What are you drilling into? Concrete, stone, brick? Are there concrete dust dangers? These questions can be absolutely paramount to the success of your project. Once you have these under control, you can move onto your bit types and features.
There are key features to look for when selecting any SDS bit. Including:
- Carbide tips
- Tip design
- Flute amount and design
- Dustless drill bits
SDS bits undergo some serious pressures and friction when drilling, generating heat and affecting the integrity of the bit. That's why our SDS bits use tungsten carbide.
Tungsten carbide-enhanced SDS drill bits are approximately twice as stiff as steel and effectively shed heat. The tip material maintains a sharp cutting edge better than steel tools, allowing for a smoother finish and efficient material removal.
Other brands often can use titanium carbide which while harder, doesn't shed heat as well. It's thermal conductivity is much higher than tungsten carbide, which will bleed into the rest of the steel bit, reducing it's working life.
As most masonry bits will have different tips, their integration into the steel flutes and spline vary amongst brands. Key design features to look for will be if the tip is welded or inserted. But what's the difference?
Welded tip designs have faster performance in material removal thanks to the flutes being closer to the tip. Inserted or recessed tips can stay sharper for longer, but are often only used for softer materials. Insert tips will leave more dust that will mean more cleaning and brushing out the hole.
The next thing to look for is the tip layout. Various SDS bits will have:
- Crossed tips that can provide more performance through rebar, but leave more dust. Bits with cutting tips attached to the flutes extract concrete dust more efficiently than those with crossed design.
- Chamfered rebar carbide tips balance the efficiency needed to demolish through rebar and the working life of the bit. Always look for chamfered tips to increase the use you get out of the bit.
- Multi-cutter or Y-cutter bits are often found on dustless drill bits to efficiently move dust into the vacuum holes. But they can also be found on SDS Plus and SDS Max bits. On standard bits these designs can not be as useful due to their inserted tip design.
Flute Amount & Design
Flutes run up the shaft to the spline to remove dust efficient and prevent clogging of the tip. A large distance between tip and flute can prove detrimental but so can the flute amount and design.
The amount of flutes are typically defined by the tip design. The more flutes you have, the more material will be removed at a fast pace. However, it's important to note that both too many and too few flutes can cause problems. Bits with 3 to 4 can be the best compromise for drilling into concrete and masonry.
Higher flute design, that is flutes with a less rotations, allow for greater dust removal while shallower and tighter flutes can be prone to clogging at the tip. Shorter flutes require less pressure while drilling but don't remove as much material which will slow down the job at hand.
Dustless or Hollow Drill Bits
Dustless drill bits get their own special mention. New on the market, dustless drill bits use their tips and holes to draw the dust away from the bit and into a vacuum pathway as your drilling. This allows for cleaner working conditions and more efficient drilling, especially when concrete silica dust is of concern.
The vacuum holes is an up-to-date solution to an age old problem of concrete dust clogging drill holes usually leaving incomplete holes. The vacuum holes draws the dust past the bit, leaving clean and clear drill holes. Used in chemical anchoring applications, dustless drill bits can eliminate the need to blow and brush holes before injecting chemical anchors.
Dustless drill bits can also reduce exposure to crystalline silica, commonly referred to silica dust. Silica dust is released from masonry materials when crushed, drilled, sawed, or polished. The fine particles from masonry that slip into the respiratory system can have catastrophic health outcomes, causing incapacitating and debilitating health conditions with high exposure. Dustless drill bits help as an engineered control as the extract the silica laden concrete dust before it becomes airborne.
Dustless drill bits come in both SDS Plus and SDS Max with many tip designs. Regardless of the type of drill bit, these bits are efficient and leave little to no room for error when drilling and anchoring.
Which SDS bit should I use?
When working with masonry, both SDS Plus and SDS Max tools are equally capable of getting you the results you want. An SDS Max bit is can be hard hitting and powerful tool to get the job done. But may not have the finesse on finer, closer to the edge drilling.
You now know all the key factors involved with SDS drill bits and selection. The most important takeaway is to consider the task at hand and using the facts we've outlined to make your choice. And if you're going in blind to a job, then it’s better to be overprepared than underprepared on site. In many cases, it might mean an easier drilling process and faster result; and that is never a bad thing.
We created this tactical SDS bit guide to help you choose the best SDS-Plus and SDS-Max bits on the market. And if you have any questions about the facets raised in this article, reach out to us. One of our customer service or sales representative will be happy to handle your question and drill down to the product you need to get the job done.
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Are all SDS Drill bits compatible with a Rotary Hammers?
The bad news is no, you'll need a different power tool with an SDS chuck for different bits. Older SDS bits will fit into the same drill as SDS Plus bits, but will require a SDS Plus hammer drill. And SDS Max bit require there own SDS Max hammer drill. The size of the shank prohibits each bit being compatible with another rotary hammer drill. So it's important to think about your task at hand. Look at the job and consider:
- What am I drilling into? Is it harder concrete or maybe stone?
- What size hole is required? What depth do I need?
Regardless, whether it's an SDS Plus or SDS Max bit, when it's is inserted into a hammer drill, all you have to do it just insert it and it will stay put with its shank design preventing the bit from wiggling loose. Rotary hammer drills fitted with an SDS chuck are spring loaded. Its as simple as insert, twist, and it's secure. As it was designed by Bosch, back in 1975.
The splines on the side of the SDS bits allow for movement along the shaft, enhancing the hammering action. As the bit turns and gouges the concrete, the pulverising movement pushes the SDS bits further into place.
Power drills with the hammer function are capable for use in softer masonry materials like brick or hollow block. But their 3 jaw chuck is their Achilles heel. If a power drill encounters resistance while using a smooth shank drill bit, the risk of the drill bit slipping increases. You'll lose traction and more importantly, time. As a tradesperson, use the right tool for the job. Rotary hammer drills.
The biggest take away when choosing your rotary hammer is speed and the amount of hammer actuations per minute. It can mean the difference between a two minute job that turns into a 15 minute job with an underpowered drill.
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Origins of SDS
Drilling concrete or stone with a standard drill is nearly impossible, but SDS drills and bits have proved to be the answer. After three decades of development in Germany, this new form of drilling has been used all over the world for many different types of work.
Using standard drills and drill bits required users to tighten the three jaws around smooth the shank. The problem was as soon as the drill bit encountered any resistance, the drill bit stalled in the chuck and would require retightening. Often causing frustration and slowing down work. Something had to be done.
What was needed was a fast drill bit interchanging system that was both secure but allowed for some movement vertically in a rotary hammer drill. Where other had tried using spline bits in their development, it was Bosch who came through with a reliable product. This is where German ingenuity comes in to develop the original SDS bit. SDS Plus and SDS Max would come later.
One of the major features that distinguishes SDS from other types is how it sits in your power tool. Whereas regular bits usually are secured with the 3 chuck jaws, an SDS bit has slots to connect it and tightly turn with accuracy and speed.
Developed in the 1970's, the original meaning for SDS was Stecken – Drehen – Sichern which when translated to English is "Insert – Twist – Secure". The action that you typically make when insetting a bit.
SDS Bits Today
Today, SDS stands for "Slotted Drive Shaft" and it has had many iterations over the years with different variations. One fantastic feature of SDS bits is that they don’t spin inside the drill when in use. There are a number of SDS bit types that you might find yourself using:
The simple and original SDS bit has been out of production for years, with SDS-Top bits being phased out with other models taking it's place. SDS-TE-S bits are generally chisels or scrapers used for chiselling or demolishing concrete applications compatible with 'jack hammer', aka demolition hammers. These days the most common SDS masonry bits you'll encounter on site are typically the SDS Plus and SDS Max variants. These are your typical concrete bits whether it's dustless, 3 flute, welded tip and so on.
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SDS Plus vs SDS Max – Understanding Concrete Drilling, Chipping & Demolition Tools
Remember back when there was just “USB”? Now there’s USB-A, USB-B, USB-C, USB-2, Mini-USB, Micro-USB (not to be confused with Mini-USB), and of course, USB-3. Simple, right?! Thankfully, the world of concrete drilling, chipping and demolition is a bit simpler. Simpler, but still with enough variations to confuse most people that don’t deal with concrete everyday. In this article, we’ll dive into the differences of SDS Plus vs SDS Max, two of the more common standards of concrete drilling and chipping tools. In the process, we’ll also get into the tools that drive these bits, and when you might want to reach for SDS Plus vs SDS Max, and vice-versa. Let’s get ready to make some silica dust (to be promptly vacuumed in an OSHA-compliant fashion, of course)!
SDS Plus vs SDS Max – The Basics
When it comes to concrete drilling and chipping tools, most of what you’ll see out there are SDS Plus and SDS Max. SDS Plus also sometimes uses “SDS” (no “Plus”), however both SDS and SDS Plus can be used in the same SDS Plus tool. Sometimes you’ll run across Spline tools and bits. They’re similar to SDS Max in terms of size, but there are more SDS Max bits and tools out there. If you are investing in a beefy concrete drilling or chipping tool, we’d recommend something using SDS Max vs Spline – mainly because you’ll have more accessories to choose from with SDS Max.
At the most basic level of SDS Plus vs SDS Max, SDS Plus bits are thinner and smaller than their SDS Max counterparts. I’m going to get all crazy metric on you and lay down these stat’s; the diameter of SDS Plus shanks are 10 millimeters, with the beefier SDS Max shanks at 18 millimeters. SDS Plus is lighter duty and for smaller holes when drilling, SDS Max is heavier duty and for larger holes.
When you’re evaluating SDS Plus and SDS Max tools, you’ll find they tend to have either one, two or three capabilities. The tools with drill only modes function like you would expect a drill to in that mode, with rotation only. Rotary hammer drilling mode combines the rotation with a hammering action that gives the concrete at the end of the hole repeated little Hulk smashes, while the rotation also helps extract the concrete debris. Finally, chip-only tools are all about chipping away or breaking up concrete.
Most of the SDS Plus, and some of the SDS Max tools have drill only, hammer drilling, and chiseling modes. The remainder of the SDS Max tools and what are referred to as demolition hammers (or demo hammers) only have a chiseling mode. If you’re a homeowner, doing lighter duty work I think a three mode SDS Plus tool is great to have on-hand. If you’re doing heavier duty work or demolition only (meaning you don’t need to drill holes), then a beefier SDS Max tool or demo hammer may make the most sense for you.
Is a Regular Hammer Drill Enough?
At the risk of confusing things a “bit” further, hammer drills are also used for concrete drilling. If you’re a homeowner and only drill occasional, very small diameter holes into concrete you might get by with a hammer drill. They use conventional bits, and they have a normal chuck. This means you have to tighten down the chuck onto the bit. One of the advantages of SDS Plus and SDS Max bits is that they securely slide right into the chuck without the need to tighten them down or re-tighten them.
SDS Plus vs SDS Max Bit Sizes For Drilling
According to Wikipedia, “The SDS bit was developed by Hilti and Bosch in 1975. The name comes from the German “Stecken – Drehen – Sichern” (Insert – Twist – Secure).” We’re really glad they came up with an abbreviation for this, because saying “Stecken, Drehen, Sichern Plus” and “Stecken, Drehen, Sichern Max” in our best German accent would have gotten old pretty quickly. We have also seen SDS referred to as “Special Direct System” and “Slotted Drive System.” Let’s just stick with SDS, OK?
According to our friends over at Bosch (who supplied us with a couple of the tools shown in this article), the following sizes apply to SDS Plus, SDS Max and Spline. To clarify, these sizes are referring to drill bit diameter, and not the shank size.
- SDS-plus: 3/16″ – 3/4″
- SDS-max: 1/2″ – 1-3/4″
- Spline: 3/8″ – 1-3/8″
Core Bits for Bigger Diameter Holes
Bosch SDS Plus hammers can handle carbide-tipped core bits from 2-1/2″ up to 3-1/2″, and SDS Max hammers can handle carbide-tipped core bits from three inches up to 6″ and thru-hole bits up to 3-1/8″. The exact size core and thru-hole bits are dependent on the hammer size and whether the core bits are thin or thick walled. With all that said, if you’re in the habit of drilling 3-6 inch holes through concrete, you probably want to start looking at a heavy duty dedicated core drill.
Additional Uses for SDS Plus and SDS Max
There is more to SDS Max than just drilling and chipping. One sometimes overlooked use of SDS Max tools, is digging. Just about all of us have faced a home improvement or jobsite digging task where the soil we are excavating feels like concrete. Hardened soil, clay soil, and pretty much any undisturbed soil that isn’t sandy or loose can be a challenge to dig with your typical shovel. Landscaping is hard enough even under the best of soil conditions.
On a recent landscaping makeover, I used my Bosch SDS Max tool so much it began to feel like an extension of my body. Just a few tasks I threw at it included: breaking up a stucco wall, drilling holes in ridiculously hard soil to predrill for bender board stakes to be hammered in, excavating recesses for landscape boulders to be positioned in, digging trenches for pvc irrigation lines, and digging out portions of sloped yard for planter areas. The crew working on our concrete block wall project relied heavily on an old Makita SDS Max demolition hammer to dig the area for the concrete footing.
Using an SDS Max tool for digging involves getting a spade bit for the tool, which is also sometimes referred to as a clay spade. Due to the weight of the SDS Max tool itself, the last thing you want to do is use it for a shovel. For one thing the spade bit is a lot smaller than most shovels, and and SDS Max tool with a spade bit probably weighs 20x the weight of your shovel.
Most of the time I was digging with the SDS Max and spade bit, I would “cut” the outer lines of the area I was digging in, and then break up the soil in between those lines. Once things are nice and loose, it’s much easier to come in with a shovel (usually a square shaped transfer shovel) to dig out the soil the old fashioned way. Digging is never easy, but an SDS Max tool and spade bit can take a good chunk of pain out of the project, and is typically much faster as well.
Aside from drilling, chipping and digging, a multitude of other accessories are out there for SDS Plus and SDS Max tools. From tamping tools that help you compress soil to SDS Max Ground Rod Drivers for, you guessed it, driving ground rods into the ground, these tools coupled with the right accessories make them versatile for projects that don’t involve concrete. Accessories aside, how do you know when to reach for SDS Plus vs SDS Max?
When Do You Want to Use SDS Plus vs SDS Max and Vice Versa?
Ideally, the best way to get a sense of these tools is to have two of them side-by-side and then task them with the same drilling and chipping tasks. Most of us aren’t usually faced with that kind of time, and we don’t always have both types of tools readily available. My own learning curve came from quick realizations that I didn’t bring the right tool for the job. Or, as Sean Connery would say, I brought a knife to the gunfight.
On one project, I was demo’ing what I thought was a pretty flimsy, ancient concrete block wall. Foolishly, I thought my SDS Plus tool would power through it, but within seconds I could see the chipping action was doing nothing to this wall. I stepped things up to an SDS Max tool and it definitely broke the wall apart. If I had a jackhammer handy, that probably would have cut about 75% off the time I spent even using the SDS Max tool.
There are times where too much power is no bueno too. We had to have the top several feet of brick on our fireplace demo’d and rebuilt. That job was two stories up in the air, with lots of interior plaster, tile work and other construction materials that, unlike the Beach Boys, don’t appreciate good vibrations. Our mason used only SDS Plus tools to surgically remove the bricks to minimize the risk of damaging the house around the work area (and the parts of the chimney we didn’t want to demolish).
In another example of SDS Plus vs SDS Max, I wanted to clean up the rough concrete edges around a concrete pad. I didn’t want to break up the pad itself, so I chose SDS Plus to more gently chip off the rough section of concrete.
Choosing SDS Plus vs SDS Max becomes pretty apparent when it comes to drilling. If you’re doing repetitive work, especially with larger diameter holes, there’s no question the SDS Max tools are going to be much more efficient and productive for you. If you start drilling and make steady progress with your SDS Plus tool, you’re probably in good shape. If instead of progress you feel as if the drill bit is going nowhere and sweat begins to drip heavily from your brow, then it’s probably time to kick it up a notch to SDS Max.
SDS Plus vs SDS Max vs BOJ (Big Ol’ Jackhammer)
Sometimes, even SDS Max isn’t enough brute force. If you are breaking up a patio, concrete stairs, or really any area that encompasses more than a couple square feet of concrete, you should definitely be reaching for a jackhammer. Most of these use 1 1/8″ hex bits designed to take some pretty heavy abuse. For concrete demolition, usually a pointed bit or a chisel bit are used.
A jackhammer can breeze through even the most stubborn, high PSI concrete. If you have a relatively thin layer of concrete (less than 6″ or so), a good jackhammer can have you taking your after-project break with a frosty beverage in no time. The three biggest downsides to all this power and brute strength are, 1) They’re expensive. 2) They’re heavy. In fact, most come with their own handcart to transport them. 3) They are not surgical. If you’re working around delicate surfaces nearby, or you’re trying to leave a portion of the concrete intact, it’s easy to get carried away with a jackhammer.
A Word or Two About Silica Dust
Whether you are a weekend warrior DIY’ing your next home project, or especially if you are a concrete or construction professional, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of silica dust. OSHA standards require professionals to comply with their Silica Dust Standard, and DIY’ers should take precautions to to avoid inhaling the stuff too.
Cutting and grinding concrete produces the most gratuitous amounts of silica dust, but that does not mean you should not worry about the relatively smaller amount of dust drilling and demolition produces. The two biggest weapons in the battle against silica are going to be a dust collector and dust collection accessories for your drilling. We covered some of Bosch’s unique Speed Clean hollow core bits previously, but just about all the major tool brands have dust collectors and accessories designed to capture and contain silica dust and keep you (and those around your work area) breathing easy.
Maximizing Your Results with SDS Plus vs SDS Max Awareness
At the end of the day, these tools are all designed to make your job easier by getting you the results you want, as efficiently as possible. The old adage about “Having the right tool for the job” most definitely applies to concrete tools. After all, concrete is hard stuff that’s designed to stand up to time and the elements. Bending concrete to your will isn’t easy, but it shouldn’t be a completely uphill battle either.
When it comes to SDS Plus vs SDS Max, and even jackhammers, my general advice is it’s better to be over-equipped than under equipped. That general advice is especially relevant if what you are doing is concrete demolition. A task that might be doable with SDS Plus in 30 minutes is in some cases a task that can be cranked out in five minutes with an SDS Max tool. Or a task that feels impossible with an SDS Max tool, can be a quick job with a jackhammer. If you find yourself sweating and cursing more than usual on your next concrete project, make sure you grabbed the right tool! We hope this article helps you get pointed in the right direction and gives you a better understanding of SDS Plus vs SDS Max tools. Now go Hulk-smash (or gently chip) some concrete!
Filed Under: Bosch, Concrete, ToolsTagged With: concrete, concrete demolition, concrete drilling, demolition hammer, jackhammer, Rotary Hammer, sds max, sds plus, splineSours: https://homefixated.com/sds-plus-vs-sds-max/
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Perhaps from the shock she had not yet had time to fully understand it, but she could already start to panic with. Might and main.
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