When it comes to drilling, grinding, cutting or working with concrete in general, times they are a changing. It used to be acceptable to kick up clouds of silica dust and people just dealt with it. Not the case anymore and even on many the jobsite this is just not tolerated. When it comes to drilling holes in concrete whether overhead, horizontally or vertically this can be create a bit of a mess but the Bosch SDS-MAX SpeedClean and SDS-Plus SpeedClean carbide bits offer several advantages above and beyond just a cleaner, safer work environment.
To properly prep a hole in concrete to be ready for epoxy or anchor of any kind you need to ensure the hole is 100% clean. Any amount of dust or debris is going to decrease the holding power of the anchor or adhesives. Below is the correct process recommended by Simpson Strong-Tie for prepping any hole in concrete. One of the biggest inherent problems in there is not an easy way to go back and inspect these holes we properly prepped and the installed anchors meet the manufacturer’s rated holding power. There have been several multi-million dollar lawsuits around just this topic so this whole process has come under the microscope.
The new Bosch SpeedClean carbide bits eliminate these additional steps needed to blow, brush, blow but probably more importantly add a level of confidence (for owner, GC, architect, contractor, etc) that no shortcuts were taken and that the anchors are going to hold at the manufacturer’s specs. We would not be the least bit surprised to see this process required in the plans for many jobs in the future.
In addition to a cleaner jobsite, less silica dust in the air and an overall improved confidence in the process these Bosch carbide bits also do the job 50% faster and extend the life of the bit itself. This makes a lot of sense when you understand how a hammer bit works, it essentially pounds the concrete while it turns breaking it and turning the debris moving it up and out of the hole. So most of the time the bit is pounding concrete that has already been broken loose and wasting a lot of energy. The deep the hole the harder it gets to move the debris out of the hole and slower you will drill. With the SpeedClean bits there is no loose concrete debris to continue to pound and deeper you go no problem because the hole is already clear.
So why hasn’t everyone already switched over to these new vacuum bits? Well there is a bit of a sticker shock when you compare to the traditional method, a Bosch SDS-MAX SpeedClean ¾” x 21” DXS5034 ($190) vs Bosch SDS-MAX ¾” x 24” HC5034 ($84). Both bits are high quality Bosch 4 Head cutters and will do a great job! Even at 50% faster drilling and even if the bit life was doubled we still think it’ll take people a little time to get used to shelling out that much more for these new bits.
Of course if you have any questions on Rotary Hammer Drills or Hammer Carbide Accessories give the pros at Ohio Power Tool a call 800-242-4424 and they would be more than happy to help you find the right tool for the job. Check out another good video on the Bosch SpeedClean from our friends at WorkshopAddict below.