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DIY: How to Drill into Concrete or Brick

DIY: How to Drill into Concrete or Brick


So you've mastered drilling into wood, plastic and other softer materials in the workshop and now you're ready to move on to working with denser materials around the house. If you've got projects on your to-do list that require drilling through concrete or brick, you're going to need specialized tools and some new skills. We've put together a list of supplies and some pointers that will help prepare you for drilling through masonry materials indoors and out.


Man drilling into brick

Step 1: Wear Proper Gear

Before this project, put on safety goggles and a dust mask to protect you from debris. Earplugs are also essential to block out loud noises while drilling.

Step 2: Mark the Drill Bit & Concrete

An advanced drill might have a depth gauge to determine how far to drill. If your hammer drill doesn't have a gauge, wrap a piece of masking tape around the masonry bit to mark how deep you'll need to drill. Next, use chalk or a pencil to mark the spot you're drilling to ensure a clean and accurate hole through the brick or concrete facade.

Step 3: Drill Slowly

Line up the tip of the bit with the mark, but don’t put all your weight on the rotary hammer or hammer drill. Make sure to drill in small bursts or at a low drilling speed so the bit doesn't bind up and slow down the process. Allow the device to do the work while keeping a firm grip.

Step 4: Cool the Drill Down

Back the rotary hammer or hammer drill out frequently while boring the hole so it cools off. Stop drilling once you've reached the desired depth.

Step 5: Break Up Any Blockage

If you stall at any point while drilling, a chunk of aggregate rock could be in the way. Remove the drill and hammer in a masonry nail to break up the blockage. Avoid driving the masonry nail too deep to prevent it from becoming stuck or lost in the opening.

Step 6: Remove Excess Concrete Dust

When you're done drilling, use an air compressor to clean out any debris and concrete dust from the hole. Once the hole is clean, it should be ready for a screw or anchor.