Everything You Should Know About Hammer Drill Bits (With Product Options)

Hammer drill for concrete? You’re golden! This type of drill is the champ when it comes to accomplishing drilling jobs on a concrete material. It usually comes in two types: the hammer drill and the rotary hammer drill. The two are almost the same except for the latter being more powerful in the pounding and drilling. Regardless if you have the most powerful machine, it’s not complete without the right hammer drill bits.

The bits are the one that comes in contact with the surface, hence, it needs to be as tough as the drill you’re using.  For some, choosing hammer bits is a no-brainer, but this is where the problem starts. The greatest mistake of my drilling experience is investing on the first bit that I see on the internet. It’s convenient, but boy, it cost me a lot.

If you’ve done the same mistake before or if you want to avoid it from happening, continue reading my full review.

SDS, SDS Plus, SDS Max, Straight Shank, or Spline?

Tons of manufacturers have their own types of hammer bits and discussing each one might bore holes in our brains. Here, we will focus on the five most common types of bits to decide which one fits on your hammer drill. Each one suits a specific function and it’s crucial to choose the right one if you want to accomplish your task hassle-free.

SDS and SDS Plus

SDS stands for Slotted Drive System or Special Direct System for some. This kind of bit has indentations at the end that will attach to the drill’s opening. Such thing will allow the hammering force to thrust the bit without leaving the equipment.

You can usually buy this on carbide tips with the size of 5/32 up to 1-1/8. The end of SDS Plus bits are usually 10 mm in diameter and will suit most light to moderate drilling needs. If you’re boring holes for a wall plug or a frame, SDS bits hammer drill bits would be best.

My best bet for the SDS type is the Bosch HCK001 Set of 7 SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer Bits. Each of the bits has carbide tips and four-flute helix design to make removal of the materials easier and faster while you drill. All the bits in this set have centric tips for a more efficient drilling and to produce rounder holes.

hammer drill bits

Basically, this is a compilation of many of Bosch’s individual hammer bits like HC2040, HC2010, HC051, and more.  I must say that if you’re planning to buy those individual pieces, you might as well get a whole set. You’ll never know when you’ll need to use each one.

I don’t want to stuck you on a single choice so my second bet would be the Makita Set of 5 Bit For Rotary Hammer Drill. If you want peace of mind, this Makita set will give it to you as it has the sizes of bits widely used in a variety of tasks. Like the Bosch set, this one has carbide tips.


SDS Max is the leveled up version of the SDS and SDS Plus bits. It’s built for the heaviest masonry work you could ever imagine including concrete demolition. The SDS Max hammer drill bits have a diameter of 18 mm so expect that SDS Plus bits won’t be compatible with this type of drill. If you got an SDS, you can always buy an adapter to use SDS Max. Anyway, that would be additional expenses on your end.

If you’re not into demolition jobs, you should avoid using SDS Max as it will wreck your work. But if you’re up for heavy drilling, I suggest that you check out the Bosch HC5091 Wild-Bore SDS Max Bit. This has a reinforced carbide tip of utmost quality that can endure heavy drilling. This is just a single bit, and though pricey, I assure you that this one isn’t a dud piece. Try for yourself and see just how much it could bore holes on the surfaces it comes contact to.

hammer drill bits

The Bosch bit is structured with a four-chiseling tip that fastens the drilling process and makes it even more efficient. With a usable length of 16 inches, this is a tough bit. You can drill 14-inch holes using this one!

If you’re on a budget, the affordable DEWALT DW581616-Inch SDS Max bit will be your saving grace. This has the same carbide tip for long-lasting drilling and a hardened core to avoid breakage when used in poured concrete. When it comes to price, the DEWALT bit is almost half the price of Bosch hammer drill bits. Now you know why DEWALT is my drilling darling.

Straight Shank

Of course, you won’t always be drilling large holes with a rotary hammer drill. Most households would have a simple hammer drill to bore a few holes for small tasks. I have one and it’s working wonders whenever I need to do some work on our concrete wall. With that, I often buy straight shank bits which are typically in the 1/8” – 1” measurement and works well for several holes. But before I knew better in purchasing this bit, I had to pay the price of investing in cheap but dysfunctional ones.

What broke the spell on my lousy purchases is the Bosch HCBG600T Blue Granite Bit, Set of 6. This is just a simple set, and I must say, surprisingly affordable. It has grounded diamond on its carbide tip so you can use it even on tough masonry work. The u-flute design is considerably excellent as well as the PowerGrip shank that gives a higher gripping power.

This worked well for me and it took a long time before I need to use another bit from the set. This is a handsome choice for less than $20 if you’re on a budget.

hammer drill bits

Anyway, if you can spend about $10 in a single bit, don’t hesitate to put your money on the DEWALT DW5236 1/2” x 12” Carbide bit. This is my second purchase after the Bosch hammer drill bits set and it’s a winner in durability. This has a rock carbide tip and a four-flute helix design that’s effective in warding off the debris while I drill. It also retains its tip even if I used it on my reinforced concrete wall.


The spline bit is basically one that has a spline shank or 12 indentations that are preferred by some who are using rotary hammer drills with a spline drive. This fits well and gives a good hold on the drill when boring holes for utility wiring. The drill should only be in a low rotation setting of about 350RPM when using this to avoid jamming the bit into the surface you’re drilling. If you don’t want to end up like me who used a wrench to remove a stuck bit, you might as well follow this advice.

After giving you a tip in drilling, I feel obliged to reveal my favorite spline bit when it comes to installing concrete fasteners or simply boring holes on concrete surfaces. Go and check out the DEWALT DW5704 16-Inch Spline Shank Bit. This can bear holes of up to 2 inches in diameter with the use of its rock carbide tip. The DEWALT bit is compatible with almost all brands of spline hammer drills. This one is way cheaper than other spline hammer drill bits and it’s durable based on my experience.

hammer drill bits

In case you need a longer usable part, you can consider Bosch HC 4032 21-Inch 3/4 Spline X-Rotary Bit. This has a tungsten-carbide and an active-centering tip that withstands wear and tear. There are also narrow flutes on this one to reduce the friction between the bit and what you’re drilling. But with extended length comes a bigger price tag. This one costs about 45 bucks.

The only thing that I can tell you now is to be wise on picking hammer drill bits. This can make or break your drilling jobs so make sure to invest in quality despite the price. Anyway, there are affordable ones that I suggested which worked really well on my personal use.

Whatever project you’re doing, we hope that this post helps you out. Try some of the suggestions here and we’ll be happy to talk with you about the results.

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Everything You Should Know About Hammer Drill Bits (With Product Options)

by admin time to read: 6 min