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The SDS in an SDS drill is an abbreviation that stands for Slotted Drive System. This is often, depending on the brand of the particular drill bit you are looking at or using, Special Direct System or Slotted Drive Shaft. It basically describes the way the chucks and drill bits work to produce the torque and force necessary to work on the tougher materials this type of drill are designed to work with, like stone, concrete, and other similar substances.
As we’ve already noted, SDS drills are most commonly used for drilling into surfaces made from steel, block, brickwork, concrete, and other hardy and robust substances. They are required when a simple hammer drill or rotary drill does not have the power and torque behind it to get through harder surfaces.
You will find that most models are designed with different modes you can choose from. Many offer the option to work with just the hammer action on its own or a combined hammer and rotary action. While hammering is preferred for breaking and demolition work, the rotary is better for drilling tasks where you are working with softer substances and materials that require a little more finesse than brute force.
SDS Rotary Hammers are similar to Hammer Drills in that they also pound the drill bit in and out while it's spinning. They use a piston mechanism instead of a special clutch enabling them to deliver a much more powerful hammer blow than traditional Hammer Drills - they are able to drill larger holes much faster.
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