In this article, we review what we have found to be the top 10 buyer rated cordless SDS hammer drills, currently available on the UK marketplace. There is a good selection of these available, from all of the leading tool brands.
They range in price from the low end at around £50 for a basic model, and all the way up to £300, for the higher featured models. A typical average price to pay for something of really good quality is around £120-170.
That type of money, will get you a very good SDS hammer drill, that will last for years.
Just below we have done a table that shows the top 10 SDS hammer drills. We have included the product name, an average RRP, and the overall buyer satisfaction rating.
The rating we have taken from reading all the online reviews, and then working out how highly buyers rated their purchase. The price we have used is the Recommended Retail Price RRP.
The good news is that most of these can be found online, at much less than the RRP. Underneath the table, we have reviewed each one in greater detail, and included the average online pricing.
Top 10 List of Cordless SDS Hammer Drills
DEWALT DCH273N Cordless Hammer Drill
The RRP on this one is £253.20, but check to the left for the latest price on Amazon UK, Hopefully it will be cheaper, and save you some money.
This is a high end SDS rotary hammer drill, that is according to buyers, a very high quality product, hence the 98% buyer satisfaction rating.
Low on vibration, and bright white LED light with a delay feature.
There are plenty of features on this Dewalt drill including a rotation stop mode that allows chiselling of render, tiles and plaster if required. It also has an impact stop mode for rotary drilling in wood and metal.
This model also has an electronic clutch, and better style of brushless motor, that lasts much longer. It measures 40 x 30 x 20 cm, weighs 2 Kg and comes with a side handle and belt hook.
Please note this is a tool only so does not come with a battery supplied, but it uses the 18 Volt XR type of battery. When you register the product, you get a 3-year warranty.
This is a great piece of kit for any type of masonry work.
This is our number one pick because people who have bought this one say it is an outstanding piece of kit. I have used this one myself for drilling steel and also for making electrical sockets in breeze block, and it is by far he best one that I have ever used.
We don't like the price, but at the end of the day, you always get what you pay for.
Makita DHR202RM1J SDS Hammer Drill
The good news is this one comes with the drill, the battery, the charger and a carry case. It is also pretty new to the market with an RRP of £521, but you can almost always find a better deal online.
At any lower price than that, you will be getting exceptional value, for such a high quality cordless drill.
It measures 36 x 10 x 24 cm, weighs 7 Kg and also has a side handle and a depth rod.
This Makita DHR202 comes supplied with an 18v Lithium-Ion battery and charger, which is great news. It will also allow you to buy other Makita bare tools, as the battery can also then be used for those. A full charge takes just over 20 minutes, which is impressive.
The rotary hammer is capable of drilling through steel, wood and masonry with ease. The chisel rotates 360 with a range of locking positions to allow you to get the best possible working angle. Vibration is very low on this one as well.
Makita DHR202Z SDS Hammer Drill
Please note that this is a body only drill and as such no battery is supplied with this one. It has a no load speed of 0-1100 RPM.
It also has the triple operation modes of rotary only, hammer only and rotary hammer which makes it very useful.
It has a sliding chuck for fast changing and of course the LED work light.
The best tip here is to buy the 5ah batteries as the other smaller batteries will not last you long enough. There is a lot of control with this drill, and almost every buyer states that it offers a superb performance.
The chisel action on this one does help make it stand out from many on this list. As you may know the chisel needs to have a very good chasing action, and this one certainly does offer this and more.
There is also a long 3-year warranty with this one, but you do need to register the product online to take full advantage of that.
The downside is that if you don't own a Makita compatible battery, then you will have to fork out for a battery and charger, and that will add another £100 to the overall purchase.
Dewalt DCH273P2-GB 18 V SDS Plus Hammer Drill
This is a powerful, very well engineered SDS drill that will quite literally blow your socks off when it comes to sheer power.
It isn't a cheap option but boy is this machine high quality. It has the Dewalt brushless motor and that will last far longer than motors with brushes.
Uses the high capacity 5 Ah 18 Volt batteries which will really enhance your run time when using this drill.
I actually got to use this for the first time. Initially it felt really heavy to me, but having drilled through steel plate using this, I have to say I was very impressed. You forget about the weight of it though, as it is really well balanced when you make the proper use of the side handle.
You can use the side handle in a variety of positions, and the belt hook is great, and I used that more than I thought I would have. I don't own this one YET, but I sense a spending spree coming on.
Makita DHR242Z 18 V 24 mm Cordless SDS Hammer Drill
Another body only option here, but as you can see another one with a very high buyer satisfaction, and at the medium price point for these type of cordless hammer drills.
It has the three mode operation of rotary, hammering and rotation plus hammering.
What is interesting is that this one include the Makita brushless motor, and many manufacturers are certainly going down this route.
Buyers say this kit is lightweight and yet has lots of power for the tougher jobs. Those who bought a 5 or 6 Ah battery stated that it could last all day. Going through concrete with this drill is an absolute breeze according to all buyers.
Bosch Professional GBH 2-26 DRE SDS Hammer Drill
Please note this is a corded option, but I included it here as some buyers may decide to go for that type, rather than a cordless option.
It is also by a very good brand and also at a more affordable price than many others on this list. I do prefer cordless of course, but if you don't mind the trailing lead, this is a very good choice.
It has an 800 watt motor so plenty of power and also has an over load clutch. Really fast drilling rate on this model.
Buyers do seem well impressed with this drill, and stated that is packs plenty of power, and although a beast of a drill, it is still at the right weight not to make your arms tremble and ache.
DeWalt 18V XR Lithium-Ion SDS Plus Hammer Drill
A more expensive option but you do get 2 batteries and a charger, and that is probably all that you will ever need.
Great for drilling anchors, light chiselling into plaster, render or tiles. It uses 4.0 Ah batteries from Dewalt and in the XR range. Also has an LED work light.
Comes complete with a tough and durable carrying case, which for me is an important thing to have to stop the drill from just laying around.
Like the others plenty of power and what buyers commented a lot about was the lack of vibration. It is sturdy, well made and robust as you would expect from a Dewalt tool.
Hitachi DH26PX SDS Hammer Drill
This is another corded option and again I included this one here simply because of the excellent price point.
While we would all like to own an SDS powerful drill, we all can not afford the £200-300 price range, and this one offers superb value.
As you can see it also gets very high buyer ratings, so well worth your consideration in my opinion.
Buyers liked this one a lot and it allowed them to own a powerful drill at a price that they could afford to pay. It has the 3 mode action, one push action for alignment of chisel blades and is also low on vibration.
This drill does have all the right features and at the price point should not be ignored, though I wouldn't use it as a contractor. It should be ok for home owners who want something more powerful than an ordinary cordless drill.
Ryobi R18SDS-0 ONE+ SDS Plus Hammer Drill
If you already own another Ryobi product, and it has a compatible battery, which it should, then this is probably going to be your best choice for sure.
The buyer rating is not as high as we would like it to be, but at 84% it is still a very good rating. It does have an LED work light and the quick change bit system.
There were a number of buyers who said this was just not powerful enough, and that has cost it points in the ratings.
At the other end of the ratings the majority of buyers did say it was powerful enough, and you will always get this difference in opinion. We think the hammer action is weak, so not an industrial drill, but good enough for using around the home.
Silverline 633821 DIY SDS Plus SDS Hammer Drill
Most DIY people will never really need to own an SDS hammer drill. However for smaller projects, this would be a good enough buy. It is corded though so please be aware of that.
It doesn't cost the earth, and it will give you more drilling power than a normal cordless drill.
It weighs around 4.7 Kg, so it is a heavy drill.
If you want a drill that is cheap and cheerful, and you want it to be an SDS, then this is a good enough option for that. Again not something I would want to use on an industrial scale, but it will do a decent job around the home.
SDS Rotary Hammer Drill Buying Guide
We always like to include a buyer's guide that covers off what we call the basic nut important features, as we think that ensures you get the right drill for your needs.
SDS drills are known for combining normally rotary drilling with a hammering action to work on the tougher jobs. They are used for heavy duty masonry drilling and also to remove old tiles or chase out bricks.
Electricians also use these quite a lot to make socket spaces in masonry walls.
Can You Use Ordinary Drill Bits with an SDS Drill?
This is the question that I am asked most often. You can not put an ordinary drill bit into an SDS chuck.
However you can buy an SDS adaptor with a normal drill chuck. One end fits into the SDS chuck, and then use your normal drill bit on the other end of the chuck.
That way you have the use of your drill as an SDS option, and yet you can still use all of your other types of drill bits. It is a really useful thing to have.
What Does SDS Mean?
It stands for "slotted drive system," and all that really means is that the bits are slotted at one end of the shank, and they form a perfect slid fit when pushed into an SDS chuck.
The chuck normally slides back, you pop the drill in and release the chuck, and in seconds your drill bit is fitted securely. You don't have to worry about tightening the chuck, or using a chuck key.
Any good SDS drill has three modes, rotary only, hammer only and a combination of rotary and hammering. So you can just use this like a normal drill for normal rotary drilling. Likewise you can set it straight to the hammer mode, and use it like a normal hammer drill.
The combined rotary/hammer setting means that the drill works on rotary mode, but when you apply a certain degree of pressure, it will automatically kick into hammering mode.
Batteries and Power
If the tool is cordless, it really is only as good as the battery that you will use. Having read so many reviews about these, the wise decision seems to be as follows. If you plan on using it around the home from time to time, then the 4.0 Ah battery will do very nicely indeed.
However if you plan on using it for work, or for the bigger jobs on a regular basis, then move it up to the 5.0 or even the 6.0 Ah, as that will simply last a great deal longer.
The bottom line with many cordless products is that if you already own a compatible battery and a charger, then buying the bare tool from that brand makes perfect sense.
If you don't then there is usually better value buying the drill, a couple of batteries and a charger. Yes there is a one off big cost, but after that you only ever need to buy the brand bare tool.
Weight and Balance
From my point of view, these are just about as important as any other feature on a drill. I am a bit old school, and I do remember using really heavy drills. After a few hours of that your arms were practically dead.
The manufacturers have made major improvements in design, and now they are a lot lighter. They have also spent a lot of time on the ergonomics and the balance of the drill. My advice is don't buy one of these unless it has a side handle, that can be quickly adjusted to different angles.
In normal drills speed is important. Typically for wood you would use a fairly high speed and a much lower speed for masonry. Drills including SDS have a range of speeds and having a variable speed option is a must have feature. That puts you in control of drilling speed, and you can change this to suit the material you are drilling.
Brushless Motors - Nice to Have or a Necessity?
The bigger and better brands like Dewalt and Makita are moving towards these all of the time. Dewalt started and Makita quickly followed. If you don't know what the difference is, then I have explained that just below.
A normal motor in any power tool is the driver behind the tool. The higher the power in watts, is usually the best as it has more strength. I won't bore you with exactly how this motor works, but essentially two brushes help create electricity around a transformer.
That is what powers the motor. The brushes however are a weak pint and over time they will burn out. That means they have to be replaced which is not always the simplest of jobs.
It isn't difficult to do but you do need to know what you are doing and also have the right tools to replace them. That is of course assuming that you can find the brushes as parts that are still available in the market. (not always easy)
So the bigger manufacturers are making motors that don't use brushes in the motor. In principle they should therefore last longer as there is less to go wrong with them.
They have not been out long enough to know if this is true, so we shall see, but tests so far have been very good.