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If you have a large amount of heavy-duty drilling to get through, an SDS hammer drill is your ultimate weapon.
However, there are huge price differences between the leading models, so is it worth paying more than twice as much if you’re after the best corded SDS hammer drill in the UK?
This article explains why Bosch leads the way in SDS technology and why rotary hammers trump standard hammers.
Best Corded SDS Hammer Drill Reviews – The UK’s Top 3 in 2022
If you’re looking for the best corded SDS hammer drill in the UK, you can’t go wrong with any of the three drills listed below. Consider the pros & cons of each one and then decide which one suits you best.
1. Bosch Professional GBH 2-20 D
- Lightweight and compact for overhead drilling
- Durable design and construction
- 1.7J of impact energy
Costing less than £100 at the time of writing, Bosch’s Professional GBH 2-20 D should be sufficient for most tradespeople and DIYers.
The GBH 2-20 D supports core cutters of up to 68mm diameter and metal holes of up to 13mm, while it can drill through concrete to a diameter of 20mm.
Weighing just 2kg, it’s almost half the weight of our other shortlisted dills. This makes the GBH 2-20 D easy to use for long periods.
Admittedly, its maximum power is a modest 650 watts, but it delivers an impressive impact rate of 4,200BPM.
An overload clutch prevents the machine from burning out, while forward and reverse rotation enable jammed bits or debris to be easily dislodged and removed.
Long-time users describe the Bosch Professional GBH 2-20 D as a balanced compromise between weight, power, durability and value.
|Impressively low price||Not the most powerful|
|Lightweight and easy to use||You can only use SDS bits unless you buy a separate adaptor|
|Compact 323mm length makes it easy for use in confined spaces|
2. Ryobi RSDS680-G
- Pneumatic hammer mechanism delivers 2.1J EPTA of impact energy ideal for drilling holes in stone and concrete
- 680W motor produces 0-2150RPM and 0-5000BPM delivering best in class drilling performance of 22mm in concrete
- SDS+ chuck for fast drilling and easy accessory bit changes
- 4 modes for extra versatility (Hammer drill, rotary drill, chisel, chisel adjustment)
- Compact and lightweight gives the user maximum comfort and control when drilling
While the Bosch Professional GBH 2-20 D offers 1.7J of drilling capacity, Ryobi’s entry on our list (the 680-G for short) delivers a beefier 2.1J for greater impact on hard surfaces. The 680-G’s motor is also slightly more powerful at 680W, while its BPM rate rises to 5,000. This additional power comes at the cost of extra weight and size.
It’s debatable how much you’d notice the 680-G’s additional power in real-life usage, and there are few reviews online. Ryobi as a brand has less of a footprint here in the UK than in other countries, though this Japanese manufacturer has been manufacturing power tools for over half a century.
The 680-G is impressively versatile, with four modes, including standard hammer and rotary drills, alongside two chisel settings accessed by a chunky rotary dial.
A 13mm chuck adapter allows this rotary hammer drill to use regular drill bits, effectively turning it into the only drill you need. The standard quick-change chuck also makes swapping bits quick & easy.
|Accepts standard drill bits||Relatively heavy|
|Powerful motor||Higher power output only has marginal real-world benefits|
|It offers two drill modes and two chisel modes||Lesser-known brand|
3. Bosch Professional GBH 3-28 DFR
- Compact size helps manoeuvre in narrow and tight spaces
- L-shaped design
- Vibration Control
- High power-to-weight ratio (800W motor and 3.6kg tool weight)
At first glance, it’s hard to see why the GBH 3-28 is almost three times the price of its GBH 2-20 stablemate. Both are drawn from Bosch’s Professional range, accept a similar range of SDS Plus accessories, and are mains-powered with near-identical front handle grips. However, this model has additional rubber mounting and foam padding to cushion vibrations.
You must delve deeper into the 3-28 spec sheet to see where the extra money goes. For many people, the differences won’t justify that additional outlay.
This device runs at 900RPM, with a quick-change chuck for faster bit switching mid-job. The GBH 3-28 DFR also has better weight distribution than its sibling and incorporates vibration control technology to reduce the level of chassis shake.
Bosch promises equal power in forward and reverse rotations, with impressive chisel performance compared to rival products. Most significantly, 3.1J of impact energy in hammer drill mode makes light work of even the hardest surfaces.
|The most impressive impact rating||Too expensive. Almost twice the weight of its smaller sibling|
|Highest power input|
|More comfortable for ongoing use|
Best Corded SDS Hammer Drill in the UK – 2022 Comparison Table
|Model||Weight||BPM||RPM||Depth stop||Impact energy||Rating|
|Bosch Professional GBH 2-20 D||2kg||4,200||650||Yes||1.7J||9|
|Bosch Professional GBH 3-28 DFR||3.6kg||4,000||900||Yes||3.1J||7|
SDS Hammer Drill Buying Guide
The differences between the leading corded SDS hammer drills are significant, but there’s one product on sale which offers the best blend of performance and value. Bosch invented SDS technology, and their Professional GBH 2-20 D is a fine piece of hardware, ticking most DIY boxes for under £100.
Admittedly, Bosch has an advantage in this market since they introduced Stecken Drehen Sichern (Insert Twist Secure, also referred to as Special Direct System in English-speaking countries) in the mid-1970s.
Other manufacturers like Ryobi have adopted and adapted similar technology in their own way. Still, Bosch has spent almost half a century developing both SDS and the more recent SDS Plus. The latter effectively replaced the original design, though it’s worth noting both SDS and SDS Plus machines share the same 10mm shank.
Rotary Hammer vs Standard Hammer
Another important distinction to make at this point is the difference between a standard hammer drill and a rotary hammer. The latter – which we’re reviewing here – are more sophisticated in that only the drill bit moves back and forth when additional force is needed to create holes or remove masonry.
Sprung ball bearings in the slots holding the bit in place provide a fluid back-and-forth impact which accentuates the power of the spinning drill bit and minimises (or eliminates entirely) any need for physical force to be applied.
On a hammer drill, the entire chuck moves back and forth, and this YouTube video demonstrates the resulting difference in performance. However, their relative simplicity also means hammer drills are more affordable. We recently reviewed the best corded hammer drills in the UK.
One of the key criteria used to determine the best corded SDS hammer drill in the UK is the amount of power it places behind its piston. Factors include the machine’s RPM and the number of beats per minute (BPM) its bits can deliver.
Any twin-handled hammer drill can chew through hardwood, but tackling aged concrete or thick stone takes real power. You’ll also need a drill bit with a diameter between 4mm and 30mm, while bit lengths range from 110mm to 1500mm.
All the products in our shortlist come with a depth stop, which helps ensure whatever you’re inserting has something to bolster it.
Drilling too far would enable rawlplugs to fall out the back of wherever they’re being inserted. Depth stops also ensure you aren’t spending more time drilling than is absolutely necessary.
These corded devices can pound away on even the hardest surfaces all day, but you’ll go through more drill bits if you have to estimate the depths for every job.
Drill Bits and Accessories
SDS Plus hardware can be combined with a wide range of accessories. Beyond the standard drill bits, core bits are great for cabling and pipework, while bull point chisels give you a starting point for tackling concrete or stone.
Mortar rakes and tile-removing chisels exploit the power of these machines for clearing surfaces, and a clay spade can even break up heavy soil outdoors.
Best Corded SDS Hammer Drill in the UK – Final Thoughts
Our analysis of the best corded SDS hammer drills in the UK reveals three powerful and versatile products. Each can make mincemeat on surfaces that would stump a standard drill.
While the more expensive Bosch 3-28 is undoubtedly the most comfortable and efficient, its benefits only justify its cost if you spend all day putting holes into concrete and brick. Its 2-20 stablemate offers only slightly inferior performance at almost a third of the price. This is why the Bosch 2-20 wins our award for the best corded SDS hammer dill in the UK.