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SDS Drill

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Concrete moisture meter

When you have been working with concrete and testing it for moisture level contents with your moisture meter, you may find that you have to perform new work on the concrete. Working with concrete requires specialized tools, one such being the SDS drill.


The sds drill was first introduced to the market in 1975 by Bosch and what an impact they made. The sds drill is a more powerful, versatile and safer drill to use than it’s counterparts. For drilling all varieties of substances, whether you be a professional tradesman or just a DIY enthusiast, the sds drill is an important and extremely useful tool to add to your tool inventory.


The sds drill is very similar to the normal drill but has a much improved hammer action which will give you greater power enabling more powerful hammer blows. This opens many doors for you as regards to which substances you can drill through. With the sds drill comes special sds drill parts which have been designed specifically for the sds drill and it’s intended uses. These special sds drill parts are stronger and more durable than standard drill parts.


They cost more because of their quality but also for the safety factor they provide as well. They improve safety by reducing slips.


Normal drills require the whole drill chuck to move to apply the necessary hammer action. But with an sds drill the bit is allowed to move inside the chuck which allows the power to be directed more accurately and of course efficiently. The result of this is better performance especially when drilling through tough substances such as concrete.


The most astounding fact about this better performance is that when you are drilling substances such as concrete, masonry or bricks the sds drill excels over it’s competitors by as much as drilling 90% quicker. So by using an sds drill over a whole day the time saved is quite staggering and in trades where time means money, the sds drill will pay you back very quickly for your initial financial outlay whilst in the long run making you buckets much more than it’s contemporaries. The drilling modes with a sds drill are drill only, hammer only and drill and hammer.


Choosing a sds drill


When searching for a sds drill to buy think of the safety aspect as well. Ideally you will want a sds drill with a safety clutch fitted. These are great for cutting off the power to the sds drill if the drill bit happens to jam. If the bit does happen to jam and you don’t have the safety clutch you are risking damage to your wrist or arm, the possibility of falling off a ladder or damage to the substance that you are actually drilling. If you are going to be using your sds drill regularly then weight too is an important factor. 2kg is an ideal weight for a drill that will be used all the time. Any sds drills that are heavier than this are fine to use but in your hand for a whole day you will soon notice the difference and find the work getting tougher and tougher the longer you use the drill for.


Speed control is also vital especially with tasks such as entering and exiting substances. And finally rotation lock is also another great feature to keep your eyes open for. With a rotation lock you can lock the rotation of the sds drill which will allow you to chisel into substances without rotating. In fact it is an essential feature to have if you are planning to use your sds drill in hammer mode to chisel accurately.


SDS - Special Direct System


The origins of the sds system originated in 1975 when Bosch invented the first sds drill system. Sds stands for Special Direct System internationally but in German speaking nations it is known as Spannen Durch System which roughly translated means Clamping System. There are three types of the sds drill available to purchase. These 3 types are the sds plus, sds top and the sds max.


Sds plus is the smallest of the 3 options available and is a very common fitting for many professional and DIY enthusiasts. With this plus the size of the sds drill system is 10 mm and inserts 40 mm into the chuck and has a rating of up to 4 kg for hammers.

Sds top is the least common of the 3 choices. It has a 14 mm fitting that inserts 70 mm into the chuck and has a hammer rating between 2 kg and 5 kg.


The sds max is mostly used in industrial fittings. With the sds max comes an 18 mm shank which has 3 open grooves as well as a locking mechanism. The locking mechanism has replaced the the two rolling balls that are employed both in the sds plus and the sds top. The shank on this sds max inserts 90 mm into the chuck. Sds max is rated for hammers over 5 kegs and is a most common fitting for industrial uses.


How sds works


All the sds tools such as the sds drill have a cylindrical shank that has grooves down the sides of the shank. With the sds plus and sds top bits are small grooves that give rotary force and also two closed channels for the ball roller to fit into. This ball roller will allow the bit of the sds drill to move backwards and forwards when under hammer action. The sds max system uses 3 ball rollers instead of 2 ball rollers.


To fit sds plus tools all you have to do is press the chuck back to the body of the drill and insert the bit. To remove the system you just carry out the same action as loading the system. Sds chucks are keyless, hence very easy and quick to turn your drill into a sds drill.


The advantages of having a sds system are that there is a quick exchange of tools, you do not need a chuck key for this tool exchange, there is improved hammer action compared to normal varieties of drills and the rotation stop or hammer only action on the sds system gives you more versatile uses with your sds drill over a conventional drill. The disadvantages of the sds system if you can call them disadvantages is that the tools cost more than normal fittings, the chuck requires regular maintenance with lubrication and the chuck must be always kept clean or else you will find yourself the subject of internal damage. But for just a little maintenance you will receive a much greater performance from your sds drill compared to a normal drill.


How To Use The Sds Drill


The sds drill is a drill to be used where extra drilling power is required. So for any heavy duty jobs that you have to carry out the extremely powerful sds drill is your main requirement. The sds drill has 3 functions which are normal drilling, hammer action drilling and finally chiselling capabilities. The sds drill can use larger bits than normal drills with the sds drill bits well exceeding the 13 mm diameter of the normal drill bits. The sds drill tends to be heavier than the normal drill so working up a ladder and small jobs, a normal drill is a better option.


When using the sds drill there are a few procedures that the user should adhere to.


Always ensure that the electrical cord is laid out properly. The reason for this is to ensure that the user does not trip over the power cord.


A circuit breaker is a good idea on the safety front. If an electrical fault occurs in the sds drill then the circuit breaker will automatically cut the power.


Safety clothing should always be worn when using the sds drill. Especially safety goggles or glasses to protect the eyes from any flying debris the sds drill kicks out.



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The sds drill comes with both a normal handle and an additional front/side handle. When operating the drill always hold both handles firmly and securely. By doing this the user will keep the drill steady against any vibration and be in a position to to exert more pressure on to the drill for drilling in to tougher materials.

Stand with your feet apart when using a sds drill. This will assist with balance and help when the user needs to lean in to the drill to add extra pressure. The last thing you want to do is lose your balance when operating a sds drill.

It’s never a bad idea to take a training course in any power tool that you are planning to use. The sds drill is no exception to this rule. As well as using your training always use common sense and any knowledge that is available. For example you need to know the locations of water and electrical cables in the vicinity where the sds drill will be used.

The Sds Drill Bit

The particular type of sds drill bit that you will use with a sds drill is dependant upon which actual type of sds drill you have. Sds drill bits are not compatible for every drill as different drills will have different sized chucks on them. The sds drill bits can be standard sds bits, sds plus bits, sds top bits or sds max bits. You need to check your drill to see which drill bits are compatible with it.

Inserting drill bits in to the sds drill is easy enough to do. Simply push the sds drill bit in to the chuck and it will be held in place by grooves in the bit. There is no need for you to tighten as each particular sds drill bit has been designed to fit exactly and tightly.


Sds Carbide Bit


A carbide drill bit is a much tougher drill bit due to it’s hardness of tip. This makes it a more durable bit and suitable for the sds drill because of the materials that are drilled with a sds drill. More expensive than standard drill bits, the carbide tip bit nevertheless proves to be an excellent investment and accessory for the sds drill. There are 5 parts to the carbide bit which are: the shank, the land, the flute, the head and finally the carbide tip. A lot of design and technology has been put in to producing these types of sds drill bits and providing they are taken care of properly, the carbide bit will have a long and fruitful working life.


SDS Drill Care And Maintenance


The sds drill is an investment and should be taken care off accordingly. This means that the owner should always keep it clean, in good condition and store it properly when not in use. As robust and hardworking as the sds drill is, it is still susceptible to ailments and at times can prove to be rather fragile.

As with any power tool that you own you need to check out the workings once in a while and the body of the unit to ensure that everything is in top condition and working order. Always check the body of your sds drill after a days work. If there is damage to the body take the appropriate steps and repair it. The body protects all the workings inside the drill and proves to be an essential part of the drill for prolonging it’s working life. The chuck of the sds drill takes on the brunt of any force and definitely requires tender care and affection. Always keep the chuck well lubricated.

The brushes inside the sds drill will be victim to wear and tear. That’s inevitable. And if they wear out too much you need to change them. And finally the drill bits need caring for if you want them for a long time. Always clean and grease them, particularly after a hard session. A tip here is to grease them every five hours or so when working with them. This keeps them lubricated and cools them down.

A hammer drill is a versatile and powerful drill to own. Add the sds drill system to a hammer drill , and what you have is a hammer drill with a much improved hammer action resulting in greater drilling power Sds Hammer Drill.


Sds Hammer Drill

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