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It’s common practice these days to carry a specialty bit for every combination of length and bit type needed to complete the job. So if, for example, you need two masonry bits and a hole bit, and you need lengths of 6″, 12″ and 18″, that means carrying nine bits — plus spares. Milwaukee has what they think is a better idea. They want you to think about SDS bits the same way you think about sockets. Carry the bits you need, then add an extension to give you length options. Today they announced the product that backs up that idea: their new Max-Lok carbide extension system.

I know what you’re thinking: drill extensions generally suck. They get wobbly, and that’s under relatively normal load. Most of us only break out SDS for heavy loads. But this makes some sense when you think about it. The whole point behind the SDS system is to provide a positive fit — a shaped system that grabs the bit as opposed to simply hanging on to it via friction. So SDS bits give an extension system something to grab, which makes me suspect they’ll feel a lot more stable.

The system consists of a connector (the big item in the picture above), which accepts bits as well as various-length extensions. Currently you can snag SDS-PLUS, SDS-MAX, and spline variants ranging from 12-1/2″ to a whopping 82.5″. And, of course, you can combine extensions with multiple connectors to create lots of different custom lengths.

Right now it looks like the connector will retail for around $35 with the longest of the extensions running you about $90. Again, we’ll let you know when we get a chance to give these a go first-hand, and we’ll update you with real street pricing when it’s available. (Thanks, by the way, to Milwaukee who kindly invited us to their yearly launch event, at which we probably would have had a look at these. Sadly, we weren’t able to make it.)

What do you think, though? Are you concerned about durability? Do you like the idea of cutting back on the number of bits you carry — or is it important to you to be able to set bit length more accurately? Let us know in comments.

The Max-Lok System [Milwaukee]
Street Pricing Connection [Google Shopping]
Street Pricing Extensions [Google Shopping]


3 Responses to Preview: SDS Extensions from Milwaukee

  1. fred says:

    Your Goolgle Street Pricing link points to Toolup – selling the connector for $216.63

  2. rob says:

    well I could see this useful for adapting bits from sds max to spline but you just don’t get to bits big enough with sds plusto pass a conector through a hole so it would incresase your reach but generally if you need to put a whole in conrete your not in a tight space to often

    but for sds-max being able to add a som length would be handy for the odd 22″ wall you have to drill
    we have a few 36″ and 48″ bits and lots in the the 18 to 24 range from 7/8 to 2″ in diamter so this could be handy for thoose times you need a long bit but the office is to far away or it is on another site either way it is more than a day away then

  3. juliet says:

    handy for me, id love to be able to not carry a drill and only a impact and sds hammer, i do cable and this is the answer for me to be able to bore under side walks. ty

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