We turn to Bosch accessories frequently when it comes to hole making. Bosch Daredevil spade bits and Daredevil hole saws get frequent use in our head-to-head comparisons. But are Bosch accessories still as good when you move from wood to concrete? You betcha! We recently reviewed the powerful Bosch RH1255VC SDS-Max Rotary Hammer and brought in some Bosch Speed-X SDS-Max concrete hammer bits to help put some holes in concrete.
It’s All About That Carbide
No matter what material you’re cutting through or making holes in, you’re likely going to here the term “carbide” tossed around at some point. The Bosch Speed-X concrete bits use this on the drilling edges to devour concrete. By definition, carbide is a binary compound of carbon with an element of lower or comparable electronegativity. Yeah, that’s massively helpful (insert sarcastic face here).
Most of the carbide you’ll find is a combination of carbon and tungsten (ever heard of tungsten carbide?) which is then cemented using cobalt and heat treated. While the actual chemistry behind it is a bit more complex than that simple definition, carbide is an incredible material that is capable of standing up to the toughest tasks – including chewing through concrete and cement.
That’s a pretty long introduction just to tell you that Bosch SpeedX Rotary Hammer Bits take advantage of carbide in the tips to keep their lifespan longer. Bosch takes that solid carbide head and fashions it with inclined side cutters, which helps to improve the cutting speed. The head itself is kept compact to extend the usable life and improve dust removal.
Bosch Speed-X concrete Bits Design
The tip of the Bosch Speed-X concrete bits intentionally and actively center the bit. This reduces slippage and gets your hole started accurately. User-friendly wear mark indicators let you know when the bit has worn down too low. At the point the hole diameter no longer maintains accuracy.
Using the Bosch Speed-X Hammer Bits
Reviewer Dan Elms needed to get his hands on the 5/8 inch HC5020 and 3/4 inch HC5030 to go with the Bosch RH1255VC Rotary Hammer. These are on the shorter side of the length range, but it’s all he needs for his tasks, plus going shorter saves some money.
Our take? These things just work and they cut fast. You don’t have to think about them and that’s high praise for any accessory.
While Bosch SpeedX SDS-Max bits chew through concrete quickly compared to the other bits we have, there’s also a silica dust issue coming to the forefront. If you’re needing more dust control than the SpeedX can offer, take a look at Bosch’s Speed Clean SDS-Max bits that pull dust at the source.
Bosch SpeedX bits come in 15 different diameters with a variety of lengths to choose from. Prices range anywhere from about $25 for the 3/8 inch HC5005 to near $150 for the 2 inch HC5099. Here’s a break down of what to expect when you’re looking for sizes.
Bosch Speed-X SDS-Max Rotary Hammer Bit Sizes
- 3/8″ (8″ usable length)
- 1/2″ (8″, 16″, 24″ usable length)
- 9//16″ (8″, 16″, 24″ usable length)
- 5/8″ (8″, 24″, 31″ usable length)
- 11/16″ (16″ usable length)
- 3/4″ (8″, 16″, 24″, 31″ usable length)
- 13/16″ (16″ usable length)
- 7/8″ (8″, 16″, 24″, 31″ usable length)
- 1″ (8″, 24″, 31″ usable length)
- 1-1/8″ (8″, 16″, 24″, 31″ usable length)
- 1-1/4″ (8″, 16″, 24″, 31″ usable length)
- 1-3/8″ (16″, 24″, 31″ usable length)
- 1-1/2″ (16″, 24″, 31″ usable length)
- 1-3/4″ (16″ usable length)
- 2″ (16″ usable length)