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The low down on drill bits for concrete

Mar 23, 2016

No matter if you are a professional or a home handy person, at some point you are going to want to drill a hole through concrete or masonry. Perhaps you need to put up a shelf or hang your latest art work and the wall is concrete. At that point you will need a concrete or masonry drill bit. If you are not sure what a masonry drill bit is, take a look here [link to what is a masonry bit.]

Just like wood drill bits or high speed bits, concrete bits come in a variety of sizes and shapes to suit different situations so it is important to select the the right bit for the job.

However, unless you are attempting a highly specialised job it is very likely that the standard “multi purpose concrete bits [like the set that came with your drill~] will serve you well.

A brick is not concrete

The term masonry or concrete drill bit tends to create the impression that all these substances are equal and that any old masonry or concrete bit will do. This is far from the truth. Masonry can be thought of as bricks, mortar or cement, and whilst presenting more of a challenge than drilling though wood, they are, compared to concrete, much easier.
For this reason don't be tempted to buy a cheap end bit, the savings will surely be short term as well as an increased risk of accidents.

Treat your bit with love and respect

All drill bits are made from steel, concrete bits differ in that the tip [cutting part] will be made from tungsten carbide to give the bit a strong, hard cutting edge. However, no tool can perform to its best if it is not used or treated correctly. So apart from making sure you have the right bit for the job, do not put too much pressure on the bit forcing it to work too hard or engage in prolonged drilling. This will simply result in heat build up, and heat is the arch enemy of all drill bits.
Don't forget the drill.

It is also important to make sure your drill is up to the task so if you are buying [or renting] a drill make sure you do some research first. A good link to electric power drills suitable for drilling concrete or masonry can be found here. [[link to electric drills].

Generally speaking, you need a bit of power to drill holes in concrete so a rechargeable or light weight drill might not be able to handle the job. At best, it will take more of your time and more of YOUR energy, at worse the electric motor may burn out. Ideally you will select a drill with a hammer action, this simply means that the drill alternates between drilling and err.

hammering. This hammer action bumps or knocks the head of the bit against the concrete helping to loosen or break it a little. This makes the drilling action easier.

If you don't have a hammer drill, then be prepared to take the bit out every so often, let it cool and use a small concrete chisel or hammer and nail in the hole to try to loosen the way.

Faint heart ne'er won....anything~

For many novice handy people the very thought of drilling through concrete can be off putting. However with a good drill, the right concrete drill bit and a bit of practice before hand you will soon have that shelf or cupboard on the wall.

Prev: Do not hesitate to buy the best drill bit for steel

Next: Choose a steel drill bit set for home usage

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