I'm undecided if I need an SDS Max vs Plus for masonry drill bits. I've heard that drilling with SDS Plus can take a while with larger diameter bits. Anyone ever drill larger than 1" with an SDS Plus set? Currently looking at the two options below to see what makes sense...anyrecommendations are appreciated



2 Answers 2


My gut instinct is that you want an SDS Plus drill, for the simple reason that if you wanted an SDS Max drill, you'd know that you wanted SDS Max - They are obvious beasts.

The largest hole I've drilled would be a 4-5 inch hole through a single course of brick, which would have been better served by me renting a core drill, but I still got through in about 30 minutes - (the 10 mm pilot hole took seconds however.)

You can only get a proper answer if you can tell us what you are planning to drill with it? General Domestic drilling? (SDS Plus) One hole to run a drain pipe through a brick wall? (SDS Plus) Demolishing several concrete columns? (SDS Max) Tunnling into a Bank Vault? (SDS Max)


If you look closely at the pictures of the two sets of drills that you linked you will notice something right away. The driver tang on the SDS Plus is smaller diameter than the smallest drill which is 1/2". On the other hand the driver tang on the SDS Max is the diameter of the 3/4" drill in the set. Beyond those differences the drills are pretty much the same.

From this it is should be clear that you select SDS Max if you have a rugged heavy duty hammer driver that you intend to use for drilling a lot of larger sized holes. The smaller SDS Plus hammer driver is going to more fitted to use for work drilling smaller diameter holes.

Evaluation of ratings and durability of the hammer drivers is a separate discussion.

  • Wow... never paid much attention to the driver tang... have always used a "medium" hammer driver. Good catch! +
    – JACK
    Commented Oct 9, 2019 at 16:07

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