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
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.
To Reply :
replace "news" with "adrian" and "nospam" with "ffoil"
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
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
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
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.
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.
*Strip mining prevents forest fires.
Dave Plowman firstname.lastname@example.org London SW 12
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.
I have the JCB/Argos which has sat in its box after 3 hours of use on the
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.
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.
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
I might rarely use it in future but IMO it was worth the £35
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?
RD400E, Bandit 12, XR400R (in length of service order)
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.
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.
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
Martin Angove: http://www.tridwr.demon.co.uk /
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