What kind of drill bits do I need for brick or concrete?

By: HowStuffWorks.com Contributors  | 

Drill bits that can drill through concrete are called masonry bits. They are also good for drilling through brick and stone. Drill bits with a tungsten carbide tip are the strongest; when it comes to solid concrete, the sharper the better. Masonry bits cut holes through concrete in two steps. The tip of the drill bit is larger in diameter than the shaft below so that when the shaft reaches the hole, it fits right in. Drilling at a lower speed is more efficient for drilling through concrete, and it prevents the bit from overheating. Drill bits come in a range of standard lengths and wall plug sizes.

Masonry bits with a carbide or durium tip specifically intended for hammer drills are more efficient and penetrate hard surfaces better and faster. Any type of drill can be used with standard drill bits for masonry work, but regular drills may not be the best choice for particularly tough jobs.

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Originally Published: May 18, 2011

Concrete Drill Bit FAQ

What drill bit is okay for concrete?
Masonry drill bits are good for concrete as they are made from tungsten carbide material, which is designed to drill into tough, hard materials like concrete, block or stone.
Can you use a regular drill to drill into concrete?
Regular drills can be used for drilling into concrete. However, this may not be an efficient way and you’ll likely end up breaking a drill bit or two. Instead, opt for a hammer drill to save time and energy.
Is it good to drill concrete at a slower speed?
Yes, drilling into concrete at a slower speed is recommended as it prevents the drill bit from overheating. Usually, you start slow and gradually increase pressure. The optimum speed for drilling concrete is between 350 to 750 rpm.
What is the most common drill bit size?
The most common drill bit chuck size for at-home projects is 3/8 of an inch. Heavy work drills have chuck sizes between 1/2 and 5/8 of an inch.
Are concrete and masonry drill bits the same?
No. The major difference between concrete and masonry drills is their drilling heads. The cutting head of a concrete drill is relatively hard and made of Widia plate, while the cutting head of a masonry drill is made with a hardened metal material.

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