SDS Drills

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I don't think this one has been aired for a while, and since the options seem to vary with time, I hope you don't mind me bringing the topic up again.
I'm looking at buying a SDS drill, bottom end of the range, as it will only be used for domestic work. Looking through the Screwfix catalogue, the options seem fairly wide, in the 2Kg range we seem to have 4 different models all offering broadly the same features and performance, however power ratings vary from 600 to 780w, and prices range from £90 to £140. So what does the jury think, should I go for the Erbauer, Bosch, DeWalt or Makita ?.
Any other advice for an SDS novice appreciated.
TIA
Adrian
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Look on your news server for my post on 25 Sept titled "Which SDS?", I got a lot of help before choosing the Makita. Yet to put it to serious use, but happy with my decision.
Colin M
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On Sun, 2 Nov 2003 17:01:31 +0000, Adrian Simpson

I can't comment on the types listed, but I wonder whether if it is intended only for domestic use you might be better considering one of the heavier lumps? These lighter jobbies are good for tradesmen who are drilling holes all day long, but a bit of overkill for occasional domestic use.
I bought a Homebase special several months ago and it probably weighs about 5Kg - which is heavy if you are going to be holding it aloft for a while.
However it does me just fine for the occasional elevated drilling. I do use it occasionally in a "professional" sense, but it's not as if it is up high every day for hours on end. The other thing is that an SDS drill cuts into brickwork like a hot knife through butter, so it tends to be used for a couple of seconds at a time - literally.
If you haven't used an SDS before and are comparing its potential use with a regular domestic-type hammer drill, forget it - the difference in drilling holes in brickwork is very significant indeed, and especially where hard bricks are concerned.
You can get the heavier lumps for about £30 now - and that would leave you with £100 or more to spend on other tools which might be used more frequently.
PoP
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Nutool 800w with roto stop and tools £29.99 Woolworths + 5 year warranty
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On Sun, 2 Nov 2003 17:01:31 +0000, Adrian Simpson

Broke my Bosch one so bought the DeWalt one. ;-)
Wouldn't be without either one. :-)
Mark S.
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Go to Makro and get any of the cheap NuTool brand ones. Should be about £30 plus VAT and will come with case and some bits.
The useful thing is to look for 'roto-stop' so you could use it for chiselling should you wish.
NuTool have proved to be good power tools with me. I had an SDS drill break on me last week, due partly to mis-use. I bought it 17 months ago and it has seen some heavy use. I took it back to Makro and then refunded without question on the 2 year guarantee, so I bought a later model for £20 less.
Some will say to pay more for these tools, but I will happily replace them frequently at these prices, especially since tools seem to get mislaid or stolen often. Frankly, I think a two year guarantee is worth that nowadays. Bargain. Screwfix offer the Ferm brand with a 3 year guarantee. Let's hope we see more of this.
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Those are nearer top of the range these days. Prices start from about 30 quid now. I've no direct experience of the cheapies, though, but they might well be ok if a little heavy.
I've had good service out of my DeWalt, which when bought about 5 years ago was near the bottom of the range. Others have had problems, though.
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For occasional DIY use, nothing beats the NuTool. It is so cheap, that you can regard it as disposible. Mine still works after several years. I even know several builders who use them. They'd rather have one of these (which works fine) than an expensive model that gets half inched off the building site within a week.
Christian.
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Christian McArdle wrote in message

first day. What do people actually use them for? Drilling into lintels? Yes. Removing tiles? Quicker with a bolster and hammer. Breaking concrete? Forget that if it's anything over an inch thick. My neighbour wanted to borrow mine the other day to take his concrete drive up. I gave him a club hammer and wrecking bar instead and he did the whole thing in a day.
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I disagree. When removing tiles, my chisel and hammer was taking 2 minutes per tile and reducing them to shards embedded in lumps of adhesive. With the SDS chisel, each tile popped off complete and almost undamaged in approximately 2 seconds per tile.
Christian.
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stuart noble wrote

I bought one recently (cheapie Argos) after the new garage was completed, I had all the electrical sockets, shelves, brackets, hooks etc to fit. Drilled around 200 holes - it must have saved me hours of work.
I might rarely use it in future but IMO it was worth the £35
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Shaun Robertson wrote:

This thread came up in time for me to decide what SDS drill to get. I looked at the Argos site and their drill is rated at 1000w and was £29.99. Placed an order online which was reserved at my local store (easier for me than delivery). I picked it up late this afternoon.
Impressions? Its big and its heavy. But for £30?
I'm about to start putting in new electric boxs for TV, telephone and networking. I'm adding some lights to the walls and I may just get rid of the horrible tiles in the kitchen.
So if it helps out on all those tasks then it'll be a bargin. If it breaks with two years I'll take it back.
Did I mention it's heavy?
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Big Tim wrote

Heavy isn't it?

I asked in an earlier thread as I found it so powerful that it tended to take a hefty chunk out of the surface, so I'll pass on the hints and add what worked for me.
Drill the first 5mm with a normal hammer drill.
Then use the SDS, at right angles and making firm contact with the wall.
If you're drilling all the way through, it will make a hefty exit hole too, so best to finish off with a standard hammer drill too.
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Why not just use the SDS drill with the hammer action switched off to finish - and/or start? I do this with mine to get a more accurate start, and at very low speed.
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Dave Plowman wrote

With hammer off I found it useless, much easier to use my other drill which at least has *some* hammer action. I tended to start off each hole with my hammer drill (9 shelves, 3 brackets each, 3 holes per bracket = 81 holes to drill one morning), then put away my old drill and get the SDS out to "finish them off". Loads of fun, took no time.
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Yeah, 7.9kg! Just bought one of these too - it still said £35 in the catalogue so I was pleased to see it at £30 on the till! Focus had what appeared to be the same Challenge model at £50. I also have a Makita, which is *very* nice, but bought this one as I have some heavy dismantling to do which I didn't want to chance with the Mak. Thoughts:
It has two little selectors for hammer on/off and rotate on/off. Wierd, but also dangerous - the switch (near the front of the machine) which stops the rotation has several times spontaneously clicked back into rotation mode, right in the middle of chiselling. Not so bad with a pointy chisel, but a right wrist-wrencher with a flat chisel of any sort. AFAICT is has no clutch - the Mak does, which helps when you get stuck down a hole.
The first one (I'm on number two at the moment) "exploded" after about 2 hours on the job - no more than 45 or 50 minutes real use. The chuck fell apart, and a vital part of it went missing in all the debris so that tools no longer clicked into place. Of course, Argos swapped it with no questions, but it was a round-trip to the shop I shouldn't have had to make. I check this one every ten minutes or so.
The lead is too short! I'm dismantling a chimney breast and I have to have an extension lead up the ladder with me in order to reach the three or four courses of bricks nearest the ceiling.
It takes a lot of pressure for the hammer action to "kick in". Not sure why, but it makes chiselling a longer job than need be.
Other than that, well worth £30 IMO. Ok, it doesn't reverse and is single speed, but 1000W can be very useful. I bought it as a disposable to get rid of this chimney for me, and even if I'm on number 4 or 5 by the time I've finished, I reckon I'll have saved a fair bit of wear-and-tear on my Makita. Oh, and I'll have built a fair set of biceps too :-)
Hwyl!
M.
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Martin Angove wrote:

Usage tips noted

My local Argos is 15 mins tops from my house, so swapping them (if needed) is't much of a problem.

I noticed that as well while I was checking the drill and contents out.

My thought as well. It also sounds like I'll save on the Gym subs as well :-) so it's even more of a bargain.
Now, what shall I use to practice on tomorrow...
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On Tue, 04 Nov 2003 22:52:02 GMT, Big Tim wrote:

Thats fine , if they have stock... By the time you've returned a broken one 3 or 4 times they might be out of stock. Check the stock level machine next time your passing... B-)
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Dave Liquorice wrote:

Good point.
However I can always use the web-site to check stock levels before leaving the house.
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Broke up a concrete floor, demolished several brick walls, stripped off 900 sq ft of quarry tiles and 300 sqft of ceramic wall tiles. Drilled a lot of holes in concrete (over 500).
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