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Best SDS Plus Hammer Drill –Makita, Einhell & Dewalt

Tough drilling & chiselling made easy with the best SDS Hammer Drill

best sds hammer drill for concrete verum verdicts UK

The best SDS hammer drill makes drilling into concrete, brick & stone easy.

Designed for a wide range of heavy-duty tasks, this is an essential power tool for professional tradesmen (& serious DIYers) working with masonry, brick & stone.

There are numerous tasks where an SDS drill is essential.

Drilling into tough concrete & masonry is the primary use. (A lintel or construction bricks are too hard for a combi drill) In addition to drilling, an SDS hammer drill is the best power tool for chiselling, chipping and channelling.

Best SDS Hammer Drill 2024

Impact energy, weight and modes are the three key specifications to check. Impact energy is measured in Joules. The bigger the better, but more impact energy usually means higher weight and cost.

IMPORTANT: Make sure your new drill can handle all tasks – it must have three modes…

  1. Rotary – Powerful option for drilling into wood & metal
  2. Hammer & Rotary – Drill into bricks & concrete
  3. Hammer only – Chiselling, chipping & channelling

Our review process is simple. We only recommend 3-mode SDS hammer drills. Weight & impact energy are critical. We then factor in, speed, bpm, safety, vibration absorption and physical size. Plus, for cordless models, battery compatibility & tool range are also important. 

Researching & comparing SDS drills from scratch can be very time-consuming.

Worry not. We have scrutinised specifications, checked real-world experience and compared 38 models to help you choose the right model for you…

Einhell TC-RH 620 4F SDS hammer drill (240v) kit with kit box and drill bits
Affordable corded SDS+ Hammer Drill

Best Corded Hammer Drill under £100
Einhell TC-RH 620

£80 £100 at Amazon

This rotary hammer drill is your affordable solution for tough jobs.

Tackling tough materials like stone and concrete is easy. Good performance and a compact design make it perfect for a wide range of tasks. Plus, its lightweight construction means it’s suitable for overhead work too.

With a 2.2J impact force and speed of up to 5200 rpm, this model from Einhell makes it easy to drill through the toughest material accurately.

The 3-modes, clever electronic controls and robust SDS-Plus tool holder mean precise work comes standard. This includes different applications and materials (Eg: wood & metal).

Although the price is low, quality details such as the sturdy metal (rather than plastic) depth-stop make a big difference.

The ergonomic soft grip handle ensures comfortable usage even during extended periods. It comes neatly packed with four SDS+ drill bits in a practical storage case.

SPECIFICATION: 3 Modes | Impact Energy: 2.2J | Weight: 2.6Kg | Impact Rate: 0-5200bpm | No-Load Speed: 0-1250rpm | Max Concrete Drilling Diameter: 20mm | Warranty: 1 Year

Effective, lightweight & affordable

Makita DHR202Z 18V Li-Ion LXT 20mm SDS-Plus Cordless Rotary Hammer

Best Seller
Makita DHR202Z

£129 £117 at Amazon

This Makita SDS+ Rotary Hammer is a trade bestseller & for good reason.

You can drill through the toughest masonry with ease using this Makita. And with three modes, it’s also good for steel & timber. Plus, chiselling & chipping. Efficiency & precision are top notch and as you’d expect from Makita build quality is robust.

Safety is always important. And full control comes as standard with a built-in torque limiter clutch and electric brake. Makita also integrates a job light with an afterglow function, perfect for all working conditions.

A one-touch sliding chuck facilitates swift and hassle-free drill bit changes, while the ability to change rotation direction simplifies screw application and removal. The chisel boasts 360° rotation with 40 locking positions, ensuring optimal working angles for diverse tasks.

The compact design does help reduce user fatigue, while the rubberised handle ensures a comfortable and secure grip during extended use. However, most users prefer the newer modern shape & weight distribution (see below).

SPECIFICATION: 3 Mode | Impact Energy: 2.0J | Weight: 3.2Kg | Impact Rate: 0-4000bpm | No-Load Speed: 0-1100rpm | Max Concrete Drilling Diameters: 20mm | Warranty: 3 Years

Power and robust build make this model standout

Makita-DHR242Z 18V LXT Brushless 24mm Cordless Rotary Hammer SDS Plus

Ergonomic SDS+ Hammer Drill
Makita DHR242Z

£194 at Amazon

Power combined with cordless convenience makes this model from Makita a top choice for all professionals.

The design, function and specification (including a brushless motor) make it impossible to fault this SDS drill. Compared to traditional drill design (see above), the ergonomics and shape make it easier to drive the drill forward. This is especially so when used for extended periods.

The brushless motor brings four significant benefits: more power, longer runtime, superior control and longevity. 

Getting the job done requires enough oomph and with 2J of energy impact, there are no issues here. Brushless motors are around 30% more efficient. This power tool will keep going much longer than your average hammer drill. Adding to this, speed control is precise. But above all else, a brushless drill will last longer. Much longer. Even if used all day, every day, it won’t overheat or burn out. 

However, cordless convenience and brushless longevity cost a few quid more. But, if you already own Makita batteries, choosing this model is a no-brainer. Alternatively, if you need to buy batteries & a charger to go with your new drill, Makita is a great brand to invest in. The range of quality cordless tools is huge and being able to use the same batteries across all devices will make your next power tool purchase much cheaper.

SPECIFICATION: 3 Mode | Impact Energy: 2.0J | Weight: 2.7Kg | Impact Rate: 0-4700bpm | No-Load Speed: 0-950rpm | Max Concrete Drilling Diameters: 24mm | Warranty: 3 Years

Power, cordless convenience and low-fatigue ergonomics make this Makita a great buy

Best Buy Dewalt DCH273N-XJ 18V XR Li-Ion SDS Plus Cordless Rotary Hammer Drill

Best Cordless SDS Plus Hammer Drill
Dewalt DCH273N

£237 £199 at Amazon

The brushless Dewalt DCH273 hammer drill is a power tool game-changer.

Power, impressive features, enhanced efficiency and user experience mean this drill outperforms most competitors. It will allow you to complete tasks quickly and without fuss.

The anti-rotation control and low vibration level of 6.6m/s² will enable you to work for extended periods without experiencing fatigue. Plus, the electronic clutch ensures consistently high torque, enhancing durability and overall performance.

The compact, lightweight, and ergonomic design of the DCH273 further contributes to user comfort and makes prolonged use doable. Whether drilling anchors or fixing holes into concrete, brick, or masonry ranging from 4mm to 24mm, this drill delivers exceptional results with its 18V brushless motor, offering extreme runtime and reduced maintenance requirements.

The versatility of this model (3 modes) is highlighted by its rotation stop mode, ideal for light chiselling in plaster, tiles, and render, and its impact stop mode, which facilitates rotary-only drilling in wood and metal. Additionally, the bright white LED with a delay feature improves visibility in dimly lit work environments, ensuring precision and accuracy in every task.

SPECIFICATION: 3 Mode | Impact Energy: 2.1J | Weight: 2.5Kg | Impact Rate: 0-4700bpm | No-Load Speed: 1100rpm | Max Concrete Drilling Diameter: 24mm | Warranty: 3 Years

Power, usability, longevity, ergonomics and cordless convenience…
…This Dewalt ticks all the boxes

SDS Hammer Drill Buyers Guide

Most drilling jobs on-site and around the home are easily handled with a decent cordless combi drill. Powerful, lightweight and affordable the combi drill is truly versatile. However, tough jobs require a powerful hammer action, here you need an SDS drill. 

Two SDS plus drill bits one for holes and one for chiselling UK
SDS Plus Drill Bits with a 10mm Shank

What is an SDS Drill?

SDS drills use a different chuck & fit to a standard drill. The SDS shank pushes into a spring-loaded chuck (no tightening required). The drill bit therefore can slide back and forth and will not slip on rotation. Rather than the whole chuck moving, the drill bit does the work. This efficient system means more power is delivered to the task, rather than turning a heavy chuck. 

The downside is the drills are more expensive. However, there is no alternative for drilling or chiselling tough materials (especially concrete or stone). The technical benefits of the SDS system are clear:

  • High torque transmission
  • Non-slip
  • Chiselling action with rotation-lock mode
  • Quick & easy bit change

Once you use an SDS drill, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.

Can I use normal drill bits in an SDS drill?

Standard rotary drill bits do not fit in an SDS drill chuck. However, you can buy adapters which allow the use of standard drill bits.

What does SDS mean on a hammer drill?

Developed in Germany, SDS stands for ‘Stecken – Drehen – Sichern’ which translates to ‘Insert – Twist – Secure’. However, SDS is often referred to as the ‘Slotted Drive System’. 

SDS, SDS Plus and SDS Max

There are a few different SDS systems. The SDS Plus with a 10mm shank, is the most popular system and perfect for most jobs. Available for a few years now, it’s replaced the standard SDS design.

For very heavy construction jobs, consider SDS Max. Designed for large drill bits, using an 18mm shaft, these high-powered drills are powerful, expensive & heavy.

You may also see SDS Top, SDS Quick & the odd brand-specific fit quoted.  

All the Verum recommendations here use the SDS Plus system. 

Budget Best Corded

Einhell TC-RH 620
Affordable SDS+ Hammer Drill to get the job done

Best SDS+ Hammer Drill

Dewalt DCH273N
Standout Cordless SDS+ drill that makes tough jobs easy


An SDS hammer drill makes drilling into concrete, stone & brick a doddle. Choose one of the Verum recommended models above and your new drill will chisel, chip & channel too.

For occasional work, the Einhell is a good option. It has the ‘must-have’ three modes, it’s reasonably powerful, lightweight and good value for money.

If you need a trade-quality SDS+ hammer drill that will perform all day, every day, buy the Dewalt – you won’t be disappointed!


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