Those who are familiar with woodworking may already understand the process of drilling holes, but the process is actually different when it comes to drilling concrete and other extremely hard materials. Craftsmen need entirely different tools, such as special masonry drill bits , to drill into masonry. Learning how to do this type of drilling gives users the ability to complete many DIY projects, including hanging shelves and working with stone veneer.
Reasons to Use Masonry Drill Bits
Certain materials such as concrete and stone are too hard and dense for regular drill bits to penetrate. Masonry drill bits usually have tungsten carbide tips that give them the strength and sharpness they need to drill into hard surfaces. Depending on the material, a standard drill may not be powerful enough either. In that case, a hammer drill is necessary to use a pounding motion to drive the bit into the surface of the material.
Types of Masonry Drill Bits
Two types of masonry drill bits are available. Multi-purpose bits work in conjunction with standard drills, while SDS, SDS-MAX, and spline-shank drills bits work with rotary hammer drills. If the material is soft enough for a standard drill, then users can stick with multi-purpose bits, but hammer drills are much more powerful and may be necessary for surfaces such as concrete floors.
Start with Small Bits
Users should always start with small diameter bits to drill out the initial holes. In order to make sure the bit does not go too deep, users should mark the desired depth with masking tape as a reference. With the masonry bit on the drill, users then put the clutch on the fastest setting, hold the drill perpendicular to the surface, and start pushing the masonry bits into the material. They should not push too hard, and it is best to pull the bit out of the hole and blow out the dust every 10 seconds. When working with concrete, it is more efficient to drill at slower speeds because the bits can overheat. It helps to run cool water over the bits and the holes to reduce the temperatures when working.
Switch to Larger Bits
Once the pilot hole is ready, users can switch to larger diameter bits if larger holes are necessary. Most large bits have depth gauges, but users can use masking tape again to mark depth if they do not. Users should go slow with the larger bits to smoothly drill away the material. After finishing, compressed air works great to blow the debris out of new holes. Drilling a 2-inch hole into a hard surface generally takes about a minute.