I've just bought myself an SDS drill (the £30 Ferm one from Screwfix), which
won't see much heavy use but will supplement my normal hammer drill when
As I've never played with one before, I grabbed a couple of loose bricks
that were lying around and set to playing with my new toy. Using a chisel
bit made cleaning off old mortar etc childs play, I can see that doing a
pile of bricks will be much quicker with this.
I then tried drilling a couple of holes. Using a 16mm bit, I drilled through
the brick like it was butter (my hammer drill would have taken at least 3
times as long with a 6mm bit, and would have required me applying quite a
bit of force), however when the bit broke through the brick large parts of
brick broke off. When I tried drilling a second hole, the brick actually
broke in two when I was nearly through. Now, before I am actually let loose
on my house, is there a way to use this thing that won't result in large
parts of wall falling off? :)
You know, I'm in exactly the same situation with another cheap SDS, the
Argos one. In order to run power to the newly-built garage, I drilled a
hole through 2 courses of brick from near the consumer unit into the
It went through like a knife through butter, but took a chunk of brick
with it on the other side. Its just too violent!
In addition, if I start drilling a hole with the hammer action on, it
takes a chunk out of the surface. I've got loads of sockets and shelves
to put in the garage, and I fear that for each hole I'll have to start
off with a traditional hammer drill, then finish off with the SDS. Not
sure its worth the hassle.
So I'd be grateful for any advice too!
I always start drilling with the hammer off, and if you end up
going into mortar (particularly lime mortar), then the hammer
is not necessary. I do find the odd brick which just completely
disintegrates when an SDS drill in hammer mode touches it. I
switch to hammer mode only when I hit something which is fairly
solid and needs it, although SDS bits don't work anything like
as well in non-hammer mode as regular (non-SDS) masonary bits.
> I then tried drilling a couple of holes. Using a 16mm bit, I
If you're drilling all the way through a wall, then it's best to
drill half way from one side, and the other half from the other
side. You get a nice neat hole then. But that's easier said than
done, and I often just drill and fix up later ;-)
If you're only drilling to put in a screw/whatever, make sure
you don't drill any further than 2" away from the other side -
so if drilling a 100mm block, don't drill further than 50mm.
To prevent chunks being blown off when you start the hole, hold
the drill firmly against the surface and at right angles.
I had the similar problems when drilling holes in my concrete prefab garage.
I was able to help matters by securing a piece of scrap wood behind where I
I appreciate this may not always be possible.
If you can turn off the "hammer" action unless you need it or take it
I took some bricks out for my dad the other week for a new sink waste
and because the mortar is sandy he had to spend half the time it took
putting back the bricks it had shook loose. ;-)
An SDS drill *is* a hammer drill, it just uses a slightly different
mechanism to apply the blows. You should still drill pilot holes
rather than force the thing through, and to prevent excessive
break-out spalling support the far side surface with a board
and prop or similar, or drill from each side.
Good way to shag the bit.
Bulls and china shops spring to mind!
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