sds on hammer drills

rbiggSeptember 15, 2009

On my Milwaukee hammer drill, people have said "use SDS bits".

Can my regular key chuck use these OK?

Or, does it take a "SDS configured chuck"?

The things on SDS tools make it look like there are different slots down the inside on the tool bottom. Are these for the three sided chucks to grip?

One looks like it's not as long as the others. How does this work?

Kind of interested in learning about this. SDS sounds like the way to go.

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masiman(z7 VA)

From Wikipedia you get this info on drill bit shanks. Wikipedia does not always have the correct answer but I think this one is accurate.


SDS shank
SDS-plus drill bit shank

The SDS shank has the advantage of a simple spring-loaded chuck, so that bits can be chucked with a simple and quick hand action. Further, the shank and chuck are uniquely suited to hammer drilling in stone and concrete. The drill bit is not held solidly in the chuck, but can slide back and forth like a piston. The hammer of the drill acts to accelerate only the drill bit itself, and not the large mass of the chuck, which makes hammer drilling with an SDS shank drill bit much more productive than with other types of shank. So, SDS shanks are most often seen on masonry drills, for which hammer drilling action is most helpful.

Rotational drive uses the sliding keyways that open to the end of the shank, which mate with keys in the chuck. The smaller indentations that do not open to the end are grasped by the chuck to prevent the drill bit falling out. The hammer of the drill hits the flat end of the shank. To allow the bit shank to slide in the chuck, the shank must be lubricated with grease.

SDS is available in four sizes, SDS, SDSplus (or SDS-plus or SDS+), SDS-Top and SDS-max. SDS-plus is the most common by count of tools manufactured, with masonry drills from 5 mm diameter to 30 mm diameter ordinarily available. The shortest SDS-plus masonry drill bits are about 110 mm overall length, and the longest 1000 mm. This long drill bit is entirely practical for use in a portable power drill, provided a 400 mm long bit is first used to start the bore off. It's very useful for installing wiring and plumbing in existing brick and stone buildings.

The SDS bit was developed by Bosch in 1975 and the name comes from the German "Steck  Dreh  Sitz" (Insert  Twist  Stay). German-speaking countries may use "Spannen durch System" (Clamping System), though Bosch uses "Special Direct System" for international purposes.

* Relatively complex to manufacture
* Superb hammer drilling performance
* Drills with a "rotation-stop" mode can use chiselling bits
* One-handed quick chucking operation
* Can only be held in an SDS chuck
* Not very accurate centring
* High torque transmission

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 12:59PM
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Great info !!! Thanks.

If I read correctly, it seems a regular chuck will take SDS bits.

Do Home Depot and Lowes sell SDS plus type bits?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 9:50PM
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masiman(z7 VA)

The third to last bullet makes me think not:

* Can only be held in an SDS chuck

Plus, based on the picture from Wikipedia, it looks like the shank of the SDS bits are smooth, with just the indentations providing anchor points for the chuck. Unless the indentations are matched to the 3 jaw pattern of standard chucks I don't see how the standard chucks could grip the SDS bits.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 9:46AM
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Well, I'll start checking around to find an SDS chuck.

These things are good to know. Thanks for the help.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 1:03PM
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rbigg, If you need to do serious concrete drilling just buy an sds type hammer-drill. You're wasting your time thinking any conventional drill will work as good.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 3:50AM
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