Bosch “Bulldog” rotary hammer drills come in a variety of shapes and sizes. For many years now, contractors and DIYers have come to depend on these noteworthy drills. Why is this such an enduring favorite? Few power tools have earned the recognition that the bulldog so deservedly has. This review of the Bosch SDS-Plus 1” hammer drill should throw some light on the topic.

I’m one of the many who swear by Bosch rotary hammer drills. Although DeWalt dominates my shop, this is my top power tool brand (closely followed by Makita), there are some exceptions to this rule. My trusty Bosch Bulldog hammer drill is a perfect example of this. So, it’s clear that this is going to a rave review. Like anyone who’s come to love a bulldog, the drill or the canine best friend, I too will sing their praises and remain forever loyal.

If you’re in search of a faithfully reliable and ultimately rugged rotary hammer drill, this review is going to knock your socks off. There are many great drills, though few have generated the kind of buzz as this one. A rotary hammer drill is no ordinary power tool, it has to work extremely hard in hot and dusty conditions. If you’ve spent any length of time drilling through an old hard concrete slab, you’ll know what I mean. Having the right tool for the job is always a pleasure. When this tool keeps going, no matter what you throw at it, well… that’s a winner.

Bosch 11255VSR Bulldog Xtreme SDS-Plus Rotary Hammer Drill

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  • Robust 8A Rotary Hammer drill – 2.0 FT-LBS impact energy

  • Vario Lock Position – rotates and locks chisel to optimize working angle

  • Variable speed trigger with reverse

  • Integral clutch – disengages torque if the bit gets into a bind-up scenario

  • D-Handle design with HammerHook for quick easy storage

  • SDS-plus tool-free bit system with automatic bit locking


The Bosch 11255VSR SDS-Plus is a relatively small rotary hammer drill. I suppose, in the Bulldog lineup, this one can be called the puppy. Personally, I really like the size and shape of this drill. It’s fantastically lightweight only 6.7 pounds. In the context of rotary hammer drills, which tend to be growling unruly beasts, this one is quite comfortable and delightfully easy to use. Vibration is not all bad, far better than most, and it has a remarkably comfortable easy gripping position.

The 8A electric motor is, as I’ve come to expect from Bosch, as tough as nails and provides good power for its size. With the Bosch rotating brush plate, the SDS-Plus has perfect power both forward and reverse. A sensitive trigger switch gives you excellent power control for slow starting, it’s easy to line the bit up and get going.

As much as I like the compact, lightweight design, I think guys who spend a lot of their time drilling large diameter holes into concrete or chisel away regularly and old cured concrete, might prefer one of the bigger, more powerful Bosch Bulldog drills. Make no mistake, this little pup packs quite a punch. It can accommodate large bits and chisels: up to 1” concrete bit; 2⁵⁄₈” concrete thin wall core bit; ½” steel and ¾” – 1” for wood drilling. No load impact is 0 – 5800 BPM and no load speed is 0 1300 RPM. These specs are more than adequate for most building contractors and I can’t think that a home user would need a larger or more powerful rotary hammer drill.

The Bosch 11255VSR SDS-Plus has all the cool stuff that we’ve come to love about Bosch Bulldog drills. The SDS chuck is superb and can handle hard jobsite punishment. I’ve had too many keyless chucks fitted to cheap drills, that just slip and don’t lock after a short time. This is not something I’ve experienced with Bosch Bulldog drills. Slot your SDS bit into the chuck and it clips automatically into a locked and ready position. It will do this time after time, without fail.

The vario lock for multiple chisel positions makes chiseling in every type of situation as easy as it gets. There’s a nifty little pop-out hanging hook fitted to the D-Shape handle. This is an amazing thing to have when you’re working on a ladder. It’s super easy to securely hang the drill in these difficult situations. This model can be used with a good selection of Bosch PRO+GUARD dust removal systems, for OSHA Table 1 Dust Compliance. Another great safety feature is the integral clutch that has become commonplace on most top rotary hammer drills. It disengages the torque when the bit gets snagged and comes to a sudden stop, preventing all that power from twisting your arm around.

If you’ve never owned a Bosch Bulldog rotary hammer drill, you have no idea what you’ve been missing out on. I know not many people get too passionate about drills, but this one has earned a special place in my heart. All Bulldog drills are great to work with and they can handle the tough conditions that we expect from this type of drill. The really cool thing about the Bosch 1125VSR SDS-Plus is that it is one of the smaller Bulldogs, which means it is also cheaper. But, most of all, it’s easier to use, especially when drilling overhead where a big drill can be both uncomfortable and dangerous. For beginners and home users, this is an ideal rotary hammer drill – it’s easy and safe to use and has all the power you’ll need.


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