This post includes 2 tools. First is the Makita 18V battery-operated brushless rotary hammer, the second tool is a Bosch 1/2” dust extraction masonry bit. I used both of these tools together, so I’m going to be reviewing them together.
Makita 18V battery-operated brushless rotary hammer
The Makita Rotary Hammer is an amazing new tool that Makita has designed to try to tackle the problem of having to roll out cords to use a rotary hammer when drilling through concrete or rock. A lot of Makita’s stuff nowadays is becoming more and more compact - they’re trying to get lighter weight tools in people’s hands. Especially when working above your head on a lift, this compact 18V rotary hammer is a beast of a tool.
This rotary hammer drill fits any Makita 18V Lithium-Ion battery and is very powerful as long as you’re drilling small holes or not having to go very deep. One problem I found with this tool is that it doesn’t put out an insane amount of power, so trying to drill ½” holes or larger in masonry you’re going to have a time getting through them quickly. With a corded rotary hammer tool, there’s several settings for speed. You can increase or decrease the speed depending on what material you’re drilling through, but a corded tool is always significantly more powerful than its battery-operating counterpart. That’s the only fault I find in this tool.
I don’t see there being much of an advantage to using this rotary hammer over a regular cordless hammer drill because it seems to be about as powerful. In my opinion, buying an extra tool needs to have an extra function or spec to make the purchase justifiable. If this is no more powerful or longer lasting than the average hammer drill, I wouldn’t see it as a worthwhile buy. However, the construction of this tool is excellent, the weight is very light. Most rotary hammers are extremely heavy so just lugging one around all day while dragging a cord around is kind of a pain in the ass. The other downside I see is that this tool has a factory set speed, so you can’t adjust it high or low for what material you’re drilling into. It doesn't work with SDS MAX bits, but does accept SDS and SDSplus bits.
It comes with a handle attachment so you have a point of hanging on to the tool and drilling with an extra handle. To be honest, I don’t use them on any tools that come with them. Normally I just put my weight on the back of the tool, and it seems to do just fine. It also comes with a depth gauge that mounts into the side grip so you can adjust the depth of your holes. Again, I don’t see many people use this function but it’s handy if you need it.
The Makita Rotary Hammer gets a 4/5 stars because it’s very well built and I can see people using it and being happy with it as their primary masonry drill. The only reason I held back that last star is I that it doesn't blow my mind. I don’t need to buy one more tool when I already have a hammer drill that can work at least as powerful as this rotary hammer. If this tool was far stronger and more powerful I’d give it 5/5 stars no problem. But it’s not powerful enough for me to justify buying a rotary hammer when the hammer drill I already have works just fine.
Bosch 1/2” dust extraction masonry bit
This bit seems bizarre because there's no spiraling around the entire length of the shaft, but it feels like it is quality built. The tip appears to be a new design, and the SDSplus is a great addition to the SDS family. I was excited to stick this in some concrete!
This is a new style of bit that Bosch has been developing. Rather than having a 12” bit that has spiraling cutting edges up its entire length, the front of this bit is all the cutting surface you need. Most of the bit is just a smooth shaft and the bottom is where the action happens. Being that everything is changing to dust extraction these days, you don’t need to have threads all the way up a bit to extract the dust from the hole. These dust extraction bits have a hole in the bottom and top, and you can hook a vacuum up so as you’re drilling, the dust gets sucked through the center of the bit and into the vacuum. As soon as you’re done drilling, the hole is completely devoid of any dust. This is handy as hell.
The only fault I see in this particular design is the vacuum attachment that comes fixed to the bit itself. This vacuum attachment is not the right size for any of the Shop-Vacs that I personally own. I have two, both from Home Depot – one is a Rigid with a large hose and the other is a Stinger with a smaller hose. I tried hooking both vacuums up to this bit attachment and it didn’t fit either of them. The bit even comes with an extra adapter so you can change the diameter for your specific vacuum, but even this didn’t fit either the Rigid of Stinger Shop-Vacs. I could see that being a huge pain. I would have designed this bit to work with whatever vacuum people have, with an attachment and some way to adjust the vacuum clamp so it can be used regardless of the vacuum or Shop-vac. Not everyone is going to have a Bosch vacuum or a specific vacuum with a specific diameter hose.
People are going to use all kinds of different brands across multiple different trades. That’s why manufacturers have started designing breakers that can go into other brands’ panels. For instance, Square D has always had QO, a line of breakers that can only go into a QO panel. But Siemens, Westinghouse, and GE have interchangeable breakers that can work in each other's panels. Square D recently designed a Home-Line breaker which doesn’t fit in their QO system but DOES fit in all other brands’ panels. So you can still buy Square D breakers even if you have a GE panel. It’s just smart business – more people are going to buy your stuff because they like the quality and they can use them with other products. In my opinion, Bosch should really be designing this bit to be used with every vacuum system out there and for me personally, I won’t buy this bit AND a third vacuum cleaner just to be able to use it.
The Bosch bit gets 3.5/5 stars. It has a great design, is sturdy and is rated to drill through rebar. The technology behind it is very clever. I like that it’s SDS/SDS+ compatible and I can tell they put some time into it. What I don’t like is the little boot that attaches to the vacuum moves, so you kind of have to sit and mess with it if it slips at all. And I didn’t like how it didn’t mate up to either of the Shop-Vacs I have – I think that’s missing the mark a little bit. If Bosch addresses these issues this bit is a 5 star tool, hands down.
For more detailed information on these tools follow the links below:
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