Driving a hammer drill into concrete can feel like the kind of task you need to call an expert in to do – but it’s not. As long as you follow a few simple precautions, you can drill into concrete by yourself, even if you’ve never held a drill before.
It doesn’t matter what you’re trying to do; whether you’re looking to run a wire through the wall or set up a shelf, you’re going to be able to handle the task. All you need is the best hammer drills, some good concrete drill bits, and our handy guide.
Getting A Good Hammer Drill
With all the different hammer drills on the market, it can be a little overwhelming trying to pick the right one for your job. There’s one tried-and-tested valid rule, though, that’ll ensure you get something worthwhile: go with the name brands. You will want to spend wisely on hammer drill tools with a great warranty, performs well, and will endure long hours of work. “There are a lot of brands and models out there, and since a hammer drill can be quite expensive, you’ll need to be sure you’re spending your money in the right place.”, as reported by tool expert Bill Allen of OccupyThefarm.
Sure, you can save a bit of money by buying no-name hammer drills, but there’s a reason the name brands are well-known. When you buy from a company like DeWalt or Bosch, you’re getting hammer drills that you know are powerful and won’t fall apart on you.
If you’re going to be using concrete drill bits, though, make sure you get a drill with variable speed, a hammering function, a depth setting, a lot of power, and a good grip.
2. Picking The Right Concrete Drill Bits
If you’re going to be drilling through cement, masonry, or cinder blocks, you’re going to need the right concrete drill bits. Find a carbide drill bit that’s designed to handle the power of a hammer drill.
Before you start drilling, make sure you know how big the hole needs to be. If you’re planning on putting a plastic anchor into the wall or sliding wire through it, you’re going to want to make sure you know how big that hole needs to be – and you’ll need to pick the best concrete drill bit that fit.
Whatever you do, don’t cheap out and use regular drill bits. If they aren’t actual concrete drill bits, they’re probably not going to survive the job.
3. Setting The Depth Gauge
Set the depth of your drill before you start. If your hammer drill has a depth gauge (and we highly recommend getting one that does), make sure you tell it when to stop.
If it doesn’t have a gauge, though, there are workarounds. Measure how far you need to drill, then wrap the tape around your concrete drill bits where you need to stop drilling. When you see the drill reach the tape, make sure you stop.
4. Holding Hammer Drills Correctly
Be careful about holding your hammer drill. Stand firm, with your feet parallel to your shoulders, and hold the drill tightly. Make sure you’re at the right angle, too, so that you can lean into it while you drill into the wall.
The consequences of a clumsy grip can be devastating. If you let yourself fall off track while drilling, your hole is going to end up getting a lot wider than you want it to be, and that could completely ruin the job.
5. Starting Drilling
When you start drilling, make sure that you’re hitting the right place. Keep your drill bit directly on the mark and stay perpendicular to the surface.
Start slow. Just make a precise hole so that your concrete drill bits won’t slip when you go in. Then, once you have a right hole, speed up the drill and go at full speed. Don’t rush it; let the drill the work. If you push in too hard, the bit could break.
When you get to your depth, make sure you stop. With most decent hammer drills, a 2” hole in concrete should be finished in less than a minute.
If you start seeing the hole fill up with concrete dust, pull it out and blow it off and your drill will start running a lot more smoothly. Or, for an even faster solution, you can have a friend hold a vacuum cleaner hose just below the hole and suck it all out.
If the drill bit seems to be overheating and looks like it might get damaged, considered running a little bit of water over the area you’re working on. That’ll bring the heat and the friction down so that you don’t end up breaking your concrete drill bits.
Congratulations! You just drilled a hole straight into the concrete. And you just saved yourself a ton of money that could have been wasted hiring a professional.