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What's an SDS Carbide Tipped Drill Bit?

by RockHard Toolz August 16, 2017

What's an SDS Carbide Tipped Drill Bit?

SDS carbide tipped drill bit

An SDS Carbide Tipped Drill Bit is a masonry drill bit designed to drill into hard materials like concrete, brick, cinder block, stone, etc.  SDS stands for Slotted Drive System or Slotted Drive Shaft which is meant to explain how the carbide bit is held in the drill.  The reinforced Carbide Tip allows the drill to be more durable offering a longer life than your traditional drill bit when drilling into hardened materials. 


How is an SDS Carbide Tipped Drill bit made?

The SDS drill bit is made up of 4 parts.

1. First, there is the shank.  The shank has two sets of grooves that fit into the hammer drill. The smaller grooves prevent the chuck from falling out.  The larger grooves extend to the end of the shank and when chucked in the drill, it guides the SDS bit to a positive rotation. The large set of grooves allows the bit to slide in the chuck, increasing the drilling torque and hammering force of the tool.

 2. The second part of the SDS bit is the land - this is the upper portion of the spiral. 

 3. The third section is the flute, which is the tough section of the spiral. The flute helps with the removal of debris while drilling.  The faster the debris is removed, the faster you can drill.

4. The last component of an SDS bit is the head with the carbide tip.  They work together to break up the concrete. The carbide tip is attached to the head of the drill to harden the tip to break the concrete. 


How do you use an SDS Drill Bit?

SDS Drills are primarily designed to be used with a Rotary Hammer Drill.  Place the  SDS Carbide Tipped Drill Bit in the drill and twist the chuck to secure the drill in place. SDS Drills are designed to be loosely held by two ball bearings in the Rotary Hammer Drill allowing the drill bit to slide in and out like a piston to provide both a drilling and hammering effect when in use.

A good rotary hammer drill can drill a 3/4" diameter hole, 4" deep in about 30 seconds with out much effort from the user.  One thing that's unique about a rotary hammer drill is pushing harder on the drill will actually increase the amount of time it takes to drill a hole.  A rotary hammer drill both reciprocates and turns simultaneously. Pushing down on the drill slows its progress and causes the bit to wear out faster.


When should an SDS Carbide Drill Bit be used?

The SDS Drills are designed to drills holes into concrete, stone, or brick to install a concrete fastener or to create a path for installing wiring and plumbing.

When drilling into a wall using an SDS Carbide Drill Bit, it is important to support the weight of the rotary hammer drill. If the drill doesn't have the proper support, this may cause excess pressure on the flute of the bit causing the drill to break off in the hole.


How long of an SDS Drill do I need?

All SDS Drill Bits will include a usable drilling depth on the packaging.  Drilling a hole deeper than the intended drilling depth can cause excess debris and dust to build up in the hole and causing an increase in friction and heat.  The increased heat can potentially melt the brazing material and for the carbide bit to be broken off into the hole.

  How to Extend the Life of your SDS Carbide Drill Bits

  1. Prior to drilling, check the carbide tip is in good shape.
  2. Inspect the connection for excessive wear.  This helps prevent the drill bit from getting stuck in the chuck.
  3. Lubricate the shank where it connects to the Rotary Hammer Drill with a small amount of grease to allow the shank to slide in the chuck.
  4. Hold the drill level and let the tool do the work.  Apply a little pressure evenly throughout the drilling process and you will drill into the concrete with relative ease. 

Rockhard Tools provides quality masonry drill bits, jobber twist drill bits, anchors and fastening systems, hacksaw blades, jig saw blades and more.   


RockHard Toolz
RockHard Toolz

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