What is the difference between SDS Max and SDS Plus?

For those looking for the best SDS drill bits for masonry, it can be a bit confusing to know the difference between SDS Max and SDS Plus. Both of these drill bits are used for heavy drilling into concrete and both are used in rotary hammers. With that said, there are a few key differences that will determine which is the best option for your project.

The Difference Between SDS Max and SDS Plus

What is the main difference between SDS and SDS Plus? Ultimately, the biggest difference will come down to size and power. Here’s how each type of bit compares.

SDS Plus

SDS Plus drill bits are thinner and smaller compared to SDS Max bits. These bits have two open grooves and two closed grooves. Locking balls are attached to the grooves. These bits are interchangeable with SDS drill bits and are available in a variety of sizes. As they are thinner, they are ideal for smaller holes. 


SDS Max shafts are thicker. These bits have three open grooves, with a locking segment attached to the grooves rather than locking balls. They are made for bigger hammer drills and make bigger holes. SDS Max chisels are also available that can be used for chipping, digging, chiselling, and other heavy-duty work. 

Which is Best?

If you are doing heavy work such as demolition, it is best to go with an SDS Max bit as they have more power and strength. If you are doing smaller projects, an SDS Plus will get the job done. If you do both heavy and lighter duty work, you could also look at using an adapter that allows you to use both types of SDS bit in the same hammer drill. 

Ruwag offers both SDS Plus and SDS Max bits in various sizes. To find out more about the difference between SDS Max and SDS Plus drill bits, contact us today.

Ruwag SA What is the difference between SDS Max and SDS Plus