Can You Use SDS Drill Bits In Normal Drill? – A Complete Guide

What do you do if you have some SDS drill bits but don’t have an SDS drill? Can you use SDS drill bits in the regular drills? That’s what I will be discussing here today.

I will go through every little concern you may have regarding this issue and hope you get your answers from here. So, let’s not waste any more time and get started with it.

Can you use SDS drill bits in normal drill?

Here’s the thing, even if you can use SDS drill bits in a normal drill, you shouldn’t use them at any cost.

A normal drill chuck won’t have the shaft or space to make the SDS drill bit work properly. Primarily a normal drill chuck isn’t designed to work with SDS drill bits, and that’s pretty much all the reason you need not use them in a normal drill.

Just in case, if you’re facing the issue of stuck drill chuck on a drill then we’ve this covered with a troubleshooting guide.

What is an SDS drill bit?

An SDS drill bit is a kind of bit that you can use on an SDS drill. Here, SDS stands for the slotted drive shaft. This is a standard for drill bit size when using a rotary hammer or hammer drill.

They are particularly stronger than regular drill bits, making them suitable for heavy-duty drilling.

How do SDS drill bits work?

Now, the working mechanism of an SDS drill bit is what differentiates them from regular drill bits. Because of the slotted shaft on the drill bits, it can fit right into an SDS drill.

When the bits get slotted in the shaft, they don’t move or rotate like a regular drill bit would have done while drilling through heavy concrete.

The slot on the drill bits makes sure that when you are using the hammer drill, the drill bits don’t move around and damage the chuck.

What is the SDS drill bit used for?

SDS drill bits are typically used for heavy masonry work. This means whenever you have to drill through harder materials like a concrete wall, you can use an SDS drill bit for that purpose.

You can use the SDS drill bits on a hammer drill to get the full potential of the hammering functionality for drilling holes in concrete.

The difference among SDS, SDS Plus, and SDS Max

Well, this can be a very broad topic. Still, I will try summing it up for easier understanding. SDS, SDS Plus, and SDS Max are three SDS drills and drill bits. There are no major differences between an SDS and SDS plus drill; you can pretty much interchange between them.

The real difference you have to be aware of is between an SDS plus and SDS max drill. The SDS plus drill bits are smaller and less powerful than the SDS max drill bits.

So, when you have to do heavier duty drilling through concrete, then SDS max is the choice for you.

With a light to medium drilling on tough materials, you can rely on SDS plus. The whole thing comes down to the shaft shape each drill type has, which creates the disparity between their strength.

Can you use normal drill bits in an SDS drill?

No, in general, you can’t use a normal drill bit on an SDS drill as the chuck won’t be compatible with that. However, there are certain adapters that you can find for an SDS chuck to make that work.

You can use a normal drill bit on an SDS drill to get the job done with these adapters. While doing that, you have to make sure you are switching off the hammer action for drilling using a normal drill bit on the SDS drill.

Can you use SDS plus bits in the SDS drill?

Yes, as I said earlier, SDS plus and SDS bits are interchangeable. You can use either of them in place of one another. So, using an SDS plus bit on an SDS drill shouldn’t be an issue. Here is a SDS-plus Shank Chuck Adapter in BOSCH 1617000132

Can I use SDS max in SDS plus drill and vice versa?

No, you can’t generally use SDS max drill bits in an SDS plus drill and vice versa. The reason is their different shaft design. Because of the shaft design, an SDS max won’t fit in an SDS plus drill chuck.

Also, the size of these two types of drills is different. While the SDS max drill bits are 18mm, the SDS plus drill bits are 10mm.

SDS plus drill bits are a much more popular drill bit because of their use in DIY projects. At the same time, SDS max drill is better for professional use.

Can you use hammer drill bits in a regular drill?

Only if there is a hammer mode on your regular drill, without the hammer mode on the drill, the bit will only rotate but not drill through concrete whatsoever.

As hammer drills are made for drilling masonry, the drill bits also have that characteristic. You will need a special chuck to meet that need on a regular drill.

So, if you don’t have to hammer action on your regular drill, you can’t use hammer drill bits in a regular drill.

Can I use any drill bit in my drill?

No, there is no way you can use just about any type of bit in your drill. First, you have to go through the drill bits and the drill you have. For instance, you can’t use SDS drill bits on a standard rotary drill. Also, you can’t use regular drill bits on an SDS drill.

Then comes the chuck size. If your chuck size isn’t compatible with the drill bits, you can’t use them in your drill. Even if they are the same type, with varying sizes, it’s impossible to use them.

For example, you can’t use 1/2 “sized drills on a 3/8″ drill shaft. You can only use 3/8″ drill bits on a 3/8” drill chuck.

Are Bosch drill bits compatible with Makita drills?

Yes, you can use any standard-sized Bosch drill bit on any compatible Makita drill. It doesn’t matter if they are from different makers, as long as they are compatible with the chuck type and size.

However, some drills can have manufacturer-specific drill bits; in that case, you have to get drill bits from the same brand. Although, this isn’t the case all the time. So, you can use Bosch standard drill bits on a Makita drill for the most part.

Is there a universal drill bit?

Certain drill bits in smaller diameters are said to be all-purpose drill bits. But is there any true universal drill bit that can get through all common materials? Well, there isn’t.

You can’t find a drill bit that can do both the job of a percussion drill bit and have the same power as a hammer drill bit.

Different drill bits are designed to serve other purposes. They vary in functionality, usage, and size. For instance, you can’t use masonry drill bits instead of a regular drill bit.

There are drill bits that can drill through a variety of materials. In terms of that, yes, you can find universal drill bits that can go through almost any surface.

Will Drill Bits Fit into Impact Drivers?

This mostly depends on the end of your drill bit. Typically, regular drill bits have a rounded or circular end. Whereas impact drivers are only compatible with bits with hex ends. So, you can’t fit a regular drill bit into an impact driver.

However, some drill bits have hex ends, so you can fit one of them in an impact driver if you have one of those bits.

If you are looking for a Drill Chuck for your Impact Driver then here is DEWALT Quick Connect DW0521.

Are drill bits interchangeable?

This depends on several factors that go into a drill bit and the drill in question. Drill bit brands are most of the time interchangeable. Also, most standard drill bits are interchangeable. But drill bit types or sizes aren’t interchangeable. 

For example, you can’t use regular drill bits in a hammer action drill and vice versa. In the same way, you can’t use different drill bits in the same chuck size. Drill bits are only interchangeable when they have similar characteristics.

Most of the time, common drill bits are interchangeable.

What is the difference between a carbide drill and an HSS drill?

There are several differences between a carbide drill and an HSS drill. The first one is in the construction of the drill bit.

A carbide drill usually has a titanium carbide or tungsten carbide tip. This gives the drill bits a hardy characteristic. On the other hand, HSS or high-speed steel has a hardened steel tip on the drill, providing it with speed to go through metals.

Another difference between them is in their functionality and usage. You can use an HSS drill for drilling through steel and different types of metals.

Whereas you have to use a Carbide drill whenever you have any masonry work. Meaning, you have to drill through concrete and similar surfaces.


To sum up, I hope all your confusion and questions regarding drills and drill bits got cleared up here. Knowing all these can be very helpful, as you can avoid very silly mistakes like using wrong drill bits on a drill chuck and so forth.

It’s easy to get confused with all the technicalities of drill bits and their usage, so I tried to ease things up for you. I mean, if you are going into drilling with the right information, you won’t have any obstacles on the way, that’s for sure.

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