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If you've had the misfortune of drilling holes in concrete then you'll fall into one of two camps; those with the correct tools and those without. Incorrect tools require you to fight with the concrete in a battle of wills until it eventually gives way and allows you to pop in a few rawl-plugs. A proper drill with a good masonry bit and you'll zip around the job melting through the concrete as if it was pine.
I would consider myself a serious DIY'er and so have over the years collected a few decent pieces of construction equipment. One of these is my DeWalt D25323 SDS Drill. I'll preface the rest of my review by saying that this piece of technology is complete overkill for the home DIY'er. Completely. Even building a house does not require you to purchase this drill! If you've read that and are still interested then read on my friend and I shall tell you a tale of mechanical wonder.
DeWalt, as any serious DIY enthusiast knows is the upper echelon of the Black & Decker range and graces building sites around the country alongside Makita, Hitachi and Festool. Originally founded in 1936 by Raymond DeWalt, the inventor of the radial arm saw, they branched out beyond saws into other tools, and following their take-over by B&D in 1960 they had expanded to over 200 tools by 1992. Painted in iconic luminous yellow and black their tools tend to be made of high quality plastics and metals, leaving a product more than able for the rough and tumble of the building site. And far more than is needed for the home!
Chances are if you've done any home improvements you've owned or borrowed a corded drill for the heavier tasks. Corded drills run directly from the mains and offer a constant power supply that is usually stronger and allows for more torque than battery driven models. As drill size increases it becomes increasingly difficult to produce a battery that can drive the heavy motor and still offer portability to the user. This typically tops out at about 18v which by all accounts allows for a powerful drill but is simply not up to the task of drilling through mass concrete. This drill is available in both 220V and 110V in case you plan on using it as a building contractor and so will be using a transformer on site. I own the 220V version as even as a power tool yuppie I have yet to succumb to buying my own transformer!
According to the manufacturer this drill weighs 3.4kg and offers 3.4J of impact energy. Now I have no idea what this second number means the first refers to the fact that this is a heavy cumbersome tool. You won't be hanging pictures with this drill, and if you tried you'd quickly snap any bit smaller than 5mm. While the weight is a negative you'll fail to find any other similarly sized or powered drill weighing any less. I'm not sure what the industry standard for impact energies is but believe me, 3.4 of them is more than enough to rip through 3 inches of mass concrete without breaking much of a sweat. The drill can also be used without the hammer action if you plan on drilling info steel or wood. You'll need to get an SDS adapter chuck though if you want to use your regular drill bits, and as I said earlier, you'll probably snap anything smaller than 5mm.
I'd feel I was reinventing the wheel if I went through the use of a power drill. Suffice to say, the handles are very comfortable and you can power the drill on without over stretching your fingers. Vibration is typically an issue with heavy duty drills and this is no exception. While DeWalt claim new anti-vibration technology I found my arms tiring relatively quicker if using the hammer action over the straight drill. Would this be any different with any other device? Hard to say and so probably isn't fair to use as a negative.
Overall I'm very happy with my purchase of this drill. Is it over the top for the home DIY enthusiast? Definitely. Is it a high-quality piece of kit that will make your life easier on occasion? Definitely. At two hundred pounds on Amazon it's a steep but quality purchase. 4 stars, would have been five only the cost may be prohibitive for most.
"Corded: yes / Subcategory: Corded SDS Drill/SDS Max 3 Function / Dewalt D25323K-LX 3.4kg SDS Plus Hammer Drill 110V / Anti-vibration drill for drilling holes and fixing anchors into concrete and masonry from 4 to 26mm in diameter. Features: 800W; Drill; Hammer Drill & Chisel; Variable Speed; Mechanical Safety Clutch; All-Metal Gearing; Lock-Off Switch. Specifications: Max. drilling capacity in masonry 26mm, wood 30mm, steel 13mm. Max. impact energy 3.4J. Weight 3.4kg. Includes plug."