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The best way to drill a hole in masonry concrete and brick

Updated on January 20, 2015

Bosch Cordless SDS Plus Drill

The proper combination of masonry bits, and hammer drill matter

For many homeowners, re modelers, and Diyers, selecting the best masonry drill and bit combination, is a bit of a challenge. With all the different types of drills and drill bits available to drill holes into concrete blocks, walls, floors, steps, and porches. How are we to know, what masonry drill is the best choice for our home repair projects. As you continue reading this article, discover how using a hammer drill that both spins the drill bit, and provides a hammering action makes a hammer drill the best way to drill holes for any masonry home remodeling project.

Use the best masonry drill for the job

Power drill and masonry drill bit

The type of masonry drill you should use depends on the job you are doing. Drilling small 1/4in diameter holes, no more than an inch deep, the standard corded or cordless electric drill equipped with a 3/8in key less chuck, and masonry drill bit will work OK for a few holes.

Just remember to run the drill on low speed, and most importantly, do not overheat the tungsten carbide drill bit by pushing to hard on the drill.

Stop drilling after a minute or so. Clear the debris from the hole, and cool the tip of the masonry bit by dipping it in a small bole or coffee cup full of cold water.

Failing to do this will render your masonry drill bit useless.

Hammer drill equipped with the right Masonry bit is best

Hammer drill

Basic hammer drills, are easily recognized, similar in appearance to the small electric corded and cordless drills that do not have the hammer drill feature.

However, these types of masonry drills are physically larger, and heavier. Powered by more powerful variable speed corded and cordless electric motors they are capable of performing many drilling and mixing jobs.

With cordless hammer drill models starting with 18v and 24v models and a heavy-duty 1/2in, chuck. The option of selecting the hammer action, many models offer different hammer settings, make them extremely versatile power tools and with the addition of the removable handle makes them easier to control.

Both corded, and cordless hammer drills, set-up with a 1/2in three-jaw chuck tightened with the use of a special chuck key, work better as a masonry drill than the standard 3/8in electric drill. As a basic masonry drill, they do a good job of drilling a few holes in concrete and brick structures; however, they do have their limitations.

When you need to drill a few 3/8in diameter holes in a concrete block wall, and mount a few storage shelves or pre drilling holes before installing several Tapcon screws for a remodeling project, the 1/2in chuck hammer drills will work just fine.

On the other hand, when you are building a new Gazebo on your patio and need to drill several larger holes in the concrete, let us say for the sake of this discussion, 3/4in diameter by 4 inches deep. Your basic hammer drills of this type simply lack the power required, to get the job done in a reasonable amount of time, and let us not forget a home remodeling project of this size will use a bunch of these masonry drill bits.

Heavy duty SDS Masonry drills and bits are best for drilling large holes

SDS drills and SDS drill bits

If you are like me, the first thing you ask yourself, is just what exactly is a SDS hammer drill, and what makes it a better choice anyway. The short answer, is in 1975 Bosch introduced the Special Direct System, or (SDS) for short. SDS hammer drills have a harder hitting hammer action delivered directly to the SDS drill bit. This in turn means the SDS drill bits cut through concrete floors, concrete blocks and bricks as much as 90% faster than normal masonry drills, SDS drill bits hold up better and last longer than the normal masonry drill bits.

The SDS drill is both productive and durable, making it a great masonry drill. Like any power tool on the market today, there are several models from which to choose. The top of the line models offer several labor saving features, Which as we all know, time is money.

There are SDS drills, and SDS Plus drills where the SDS masonry drill bits and SDS Plus drill bits are interchangeable.

The SDS Plus drills are heavier and have more power, that makes them a great choice for the remodeler and contractor. That needs to drill several hundred holes in concrete and brick masonry drilling projects where the additional weight is not a problem.

Drilling overhead, the lighter weight SDS drills are a better choice for the electrician installing boxes and fixtures.

The SDS Max is in a class by its self and the SDS Max drill bits, chisels and core drill bits are not interchangeable with the SDS or SDS plus. The SDS Max is the Mack Daddy of masonry drills.

The SDS Max is capable of powering core bits to cut 2 and a half-inch or 3-inch holes through pored concrete floors and walls, concrete block or brick walls. For the remodeler removing an old ceramic tile floor the SDS Max will easily convert for use as a small electric jackhammer, with the simple flip of a switch on the tool.

Knowledge is power, use the best Masonry drill, and bit combination

Now that we have a better understanding, how a Masonry Drill Makes Home Repair and Remodeling Easy. The next time we need to drill a few or many holes we will know exactly what masonry drill will work best for our needs.

Make your next home repair, improvement, and remodeling project fun and rewarding. teddletonmr

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