Red Ten Core Drill Kit from DART Tool Group Cut to the Core

Core drills, by definition, have a hard working life, and over the years I have heard so many complaints, stories and comments from tradesmen about them that I am always keen to have a closer look – not just to satisfy myself that they work, but also to explore all the different variations that core drills come in these days.

The Red Ten Core Drill Kit comes in a very well made aluminium and plastic case with decent lockable latches and a comfortable carry handle. The case gives the message that the contents are valuable and need to be cared for. And indeed they are. All the components of the kit are snugly fitted into their own slots in the dense foam case inserts. 

Altogether, there are ten pieces in the case – five core drills ranging in size from 127mm down to 38mm plus the other important adaptors that make the kit versatile, are also included. A 250mm extension that is able to take either the drill hex adaptor or the SDS adaptor, a 10mm tapered shank TCT masonry drill and drift key complete the kit. So, in fact you do have a lot of kit for your money.

Quality is taken care of by the fact that the drills are ISO 9002, BS and EN 13236 safety standards compliant and come with a no-quibble guarantee. Tradesman can confidently buy a kit that will perform well and have a decent service life. 

Other important virtues are that the spiral apertures on the core bodies allow easy dust extraction and that the rated Hand Arm Vibration on the kit is very low. Good news for workers who use core drills a lot. 

But the best bit for many of the tradesman I speak to, is that the retail price of the entire kit is only £160. After I had dug out my biggest and most powerful corded drill out of the back of the workshop I had the chance to start exploring the variations that the kit offers the user.As I mounted the adaptors to the cores I was able to closely examine the cores themselves. The screw threads where the adaptors are mounted are substantially long so they should be strong enough to resist the strong torque pressures that they will be subjected to. Each core is 150mm long and the barrels are coated with a red finish inside and out. The barrels also have a number of spaced rings around them and two sets of three slots cut radially into them to aid the removal of the inevitably large amounts of dust associated with core drilling. They also give a rough idea of how deeply the drilling has proceeded.  

The adaptors are made from lathe turned steel bar and are heavy – as again they should be to absorb the torque loads they will be subjected to. Spanner flats on both cores and adaptors allow the items to be separated easily and the holes for the drift needed to push out the SDS guide drill are accurately cut and beveled. 

Quality-wise, the kit certainly looks the business, but as usual, it is in the using, especially the long term using, that customers might make up their minds.

I started big. I mounted the biggest 127mm core on the hex shank adaptor and applied it to a section of standard house face brick wall. It soon became clear to me that starting the hole accurately, courtesy of the TCT bit, was actually very easy, and there was minimal inaccuracy once the diamond cutters on the periphery of the core started to do their work. However, after only a few minutes work as cutting was proceeding well, I became very aware that the corded drill I was using was simply not powerful enough for the job I was trying to do. It was clear that the chuck on my drill, despite all the tightening I gave it, was slowly loosening.

Time for plan B since I don’t actually have access to a more powerful drill at the moment – builders’ holidays are a nightmare! – so I changed the 127mm core for the 52 mm diameter core and started again.

This core was even easier to start and within several minutes I had managed to cut about 20mm deep into the face brick surface and was proceeding happily. Noise from the core was minimal, the only huffing and puffing to be heard was from me and the drill. Dust and spoil from the cutting edges flowed out quite freely, but not in a dispersed airborne cloud, more as a steady stream of dust from the bottom of the core. Clearly, the spiral dust removal system was doing its job. 

On closer examination of the diamond-faced cutting teeth on the cores after use, showed that they had worked hard in the right places, with the cutting teeth creating a hole just a little bit larger than the body to minimize friction in the cut. By its very nature, core drilling is a chore and it takes time and patience, but I thought that these cores performed well to the use I gave them. 

I can’t go round the M25 these days without passing vans from specialist diamond drilling contractors, which shows that there is a flourishing industry in specialized masonry cutting – but for the many independent plumbers, builders or other tradesman, who rely on tools like the Red Ten Core Drills, there will continue to be a need for this product that delivers in many general applications. To find a kit like this with its range of most commonly used diameters and adaptors at an incredibly competitive price, which comes in an excellent storage case, and with a no-quibble guarantee, it seems to me that the Red Ten Core Kit is a definite goer. 

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Peter Brett Reviews Red Ten Core Drill Kit Drills Accessories
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