Bosch Speed Clean rotary hammer bits are Bosch’s solution to make chemical anchor installation easier and less time-consuming. The general process of setting a chemical anchor correctly takes six steps. You drill, blow, brush, blow, fill with chemical adhesive, and set the anchor.
By using Bosch Speed Clean rotary hammer bits, you can eliminate the blow, brush, and blow part of the process and reduce the amount of airborne silica dust at the same time. Let’s take a quick look at how it works.
How Bosch Speed Clean Bits Work
The Bosch Speed Clean bit has a more or less typical carbide tip that takes care of creating the hole, just like any other rotary hammer bit. Granted, there are styles out there with different cutter head designs that might drill faster, but they can’t do what this bit can.
You’ll notice holes in the tip of the drill. If we could shrink ourselves down and walk through them, we’d find a hollow core running through the center.
Near the end of the bit is a vacuum port. It allows the bit to turn while the hose stays in place. Bosch’s dust extractor hose nozzle is already a perfect fit, so it works well here.
Flip your vacuum on or use the automatic tool activation setting and drill away. The Bosch Speed Clean rotary hammer bit collects the dust you create as it drills. This leaves a clean hole for your chemical and anchor installation without the extra steps of cleaning it out first.
Testing the Bosch Speed Clean Bit
It really is, but there are some things worth addressing. I used the bit with Bosch’s VAC090A – a 150 CFM, 9-gallon unit that’s one of our go-to dust extractors, so it’s no slouch. With the vacuum on full power, you can only feel a slight pull through the bit. The holes are small and there’s only so much airflow they’ll allow.
When you start to drill, there’s going to be some small concrete chips that collect around the hole, but we weren’t able to tell if there was any dust coming up. Bosch claims that the bit reduces airborne dust by 90%, so it’s a good bet that it’s at the start where the other 10% comes in to play.
There’s also the potential issue of strength. Since the core of the bit is hollow, it won’t be as strong as a solid core bit. You should really let the bit and the tool do the work. For testing, I put some additional pressure on it—more than I ever do when drilling in concrete. There doesn’t seem to be much chance of damaging it, save for wearing down the tip faster (and wearing myself out in the process). Even though the bit is longer than some of the ones you’re used to, it’s still more than capable of holding up in tough conditions.
Is it a good solution for everyday drilling?
Not really. I’d save Bosch Speed Clean bits for chemical anchor installation tasks and use standard bits for your everyday work. For one thing, you can also use a Bosch dust shroud over your hole. This helps collect even more of the dust you create.
There’s a cost consideration in that as well. A 9/16” Bulldog Xtreme 18” bit will run you roughly $20 or you can get a 12” for $14. A 15” Bosch Speed Clean bit with the same diameter will set you back $68. Clearly, it’s a specialized bit.
Compared to the other options you have for hollow core bits, it’s pretty much in line with what you can expect from Milwaukee. It costs quite a bit less than Hilti.
The big question is whether the Bosch Speed Clean rotary hammer bits are part of an OSHA Table 1 compliant solution. The short answer is yes. When you use one of these bits in your rotary hammer and connect it to a dust extractor, you’re Table 1 ready without the need for a respirator.
The Bottom Line
If chemical anchor installation in concrete is on your menu, it’s worth it to keep Bosch Speed Clean rotary hammer bits on hand. It’ll save you time, which we all know is money in the construction industry. They’re also easy to use and keep you OSHA-compliant with silica dust regulations. It’s tough to ask for much more than that.
Bosch Speed Clean Key Features
- Great durability – one-piece design offers comparable life to Bosch Bulldog bits
- Hollow drill bit – connects to a vacuum system to deliver up to 50% time savings versus the conventional drill-blow-brush-blow anchor-installation method
- Faster drilling – provides up to 25% greater drilling speed thanks to less dust and reduced friction
- Part of a dust-reduction engineered solution – included rubber adapter and bit works with a vacuum system to manage airborne silica dust
- Optimized for adhesive anchoring – works with Simpson Strong-Tie Set-XP high-strength anchoring adhesive
- SDS- Plus available sizes in diameter: 5/8″, 11/16″, 3/4″, 7/16″, 1/2″, 9/16″
- SDS-Max Available sizes in diameter: 3/4″, 7/8″, 13/16″, 1″, 1-1/8″, 1-3/8″