best corded sds hammer drill uk

Best Corded SDS Hammer Drill UK – Top 3 in 2021 (Buying Guide & Reviews)

Last Updated on 27 April 2021

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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 it is worth paying more than twice as much if you’re after the best corded SDS hammer drill UK?

In this article, we explain why Bosch leads the way in SDS technology and why rotary hammers trump standard hammers.

In a Hurry? Here’s our Top Pick for 2021:

Bosch Professional GBH 2-20 D Corded 240 V Rotary Hammer Drill with SDS Plus
  • High drilling rate and 30% higher chiselling performance than other rotary hammers in the entry-level class
  • Lightweight and compact, ideal for working overhead
  • Max. drilling diameter masonry, core cutters - 68 mm , Max. drilling diameter in metal -13 mm
  • Versatile range of applications due to chisel function
  • Overload clutch to protect the user and the machine

Last update on 2021-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Learn the Drill

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, but Bosch have 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.  


It’s Hammer Time

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.


Power to the People

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 it takes real power to tackle aged concrete or thick stone. You’ll also need a drill bit with a diameter somewhere between 4mm and 30mm, while bit lengths range from 110mm to 1500mm.


Strength in Depth

All the products in our shortlist come with a depth stop, which is helpful for ensuring 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 all day on even the hardest surfaces, but you’ll go through more drill bits if you’re having to estimate depths for every job.


Accessorise for the Big Occasion

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 UK – The Top 3

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

Bosch Professional GBH 2-20 D Corded 240 V Rotary Hammer Drill with SDS Plus
  • High drilling rate and 30% higher chiselling performance than other rotary hammers in the entry-level class
  • Lightweight and compact, ideal for working overhead
  • Max. drilling diameter masonry, core cutters - 68 mm , Max. drilling diameter in metal -13 mm
  • Versatile range of applications due to chisel function
  • Overload clutch to protect the user and the machine

Last update on 2021-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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, this is almost half the weight of our other shortlisted dills. That 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.

Pros:  Impressively low price, lightweight and easy to use, compact 323mm length makes it easy for use in confined spaces

Cons: Not the most powerful, can only use SDS bits unless you buy a separate adaptor

2. Ryobi RSDS680-G

Ryobi RSDS680-G 680 W 2.1 J SDS Plus Corded Rotary Hammer Drill
  • 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

Last update on 2021-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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 does come at the cost of extra weight and size, though.

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.

Pros:  Accepts standard drill bits, powerful motor, offers two drill modes and two chisel modes

Cons: Relatively heavy, higher power output only has marginal real-world benefits, lesser-known brand

3. Bosch Professional GBH 3-28 DFR

Bosch Professional GBH 3-28 DFR Corded 240 V Rotary Hammer Drill with SDS Plus
  • High drilling rate and 20 Percent higher chiselling performance than other rotary hammers in its class
  • Low vibration (only 13 m/sq s) For more comfortable working due to Bosch vibration control
  • Quick-change chuck for fast changes between drilling with impact in concrete and drilling without impact in wood and metal
  • Balanced weight distribution due to L-shaped design for more comfortable working
  • Rotating brush plate for equal power in forward and reverse rotation

Last update on 2021-07-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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, both accept a similar range of SDS Plus accessories, and both are mains-powered with near-identical front handle grips. Admittedly, this model does have additional rubber mounting and foam padding to cushion vibrations.

You have to delve deeper into the 3-28’s 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 particularly 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.

Pros:  The most impressive impact energy rating, highest power input, more comfortable for ongoing use

Cons: Too expensive, almost twice the weight of its smaller sibling


Final Thoughts

Our analysis of the best corded SDS hammer drills in the UK reveals three powerful and versatile products. Each is capable of making mincemeat of 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. For occasional use, its 2-20 stablemate offers only slightly inferior performance at almost a third of the price. 

The Ryobi is an impressive device in its own right, and worth considering if you regularly swap between SDS and standard drill bits on a job. 


Best Corded SDS Hammer Drill UK – Comparison Table

ModelWeightBPMRPMDepth stopImpact energyRating
Bosch Professional GBH 2-20 D2kg4,200650Yes1.7J9
Ryobi RSDS680-G3.48kg5,000680Yes2.1J8
Bosch Professional GBH 3-28 DFR3.6kg4,000900Yes3.1J7