Learning to Drill Concrete Like a Professional Contractor

While most construction workers and contractors are familiar with concrete drilling procedures, it is a great skill to learn for crafty do-it-yourselfers or those who have a few repairs to complete around the house. From concrete walls to driveways, the most common need for concrete drilling is to create a channel for pipes or wires or to install an anchor or concrete fastener, so if either of these sound like your eventual goal, read on to determine the tools you will need and precautions to take.

What are the best tools for the job?

There is no doubt that concrete drilling presents a few more challenges than wood or plastic, but with the right equipment, it is easy to master. Make sure to have the following on hand:

  • hammer or rotary hammer drill (Your average drill won't have enough power or drilling action to penetrate the concrete.)
  • drill bit (While drill bits come in many shapes and sizes, the spline hammer, SDS drill and generic hammer bit are the easiest to use.)
  • safety goggles
  • dust mask
  • ear plugs

When selecting your hammer drill, it is also important to consider options like speed settings, grip quality and depth potential.

What precautions should be taken during the drilling process?

Safety equipment always comes first, so before even picking up your drill, make sure you have on your goggles, mask and earplugs. After inserting your drill bit of choice, set the depth gauge to ensure you don't go too far through the concrete. You can also do this manually on the bit itself using a marker or tape.

To actually begin drilling, apply a slight pressure to prevent the drill from moving off your desired mark, but aside from that, let the drill do the work. Too much or too little applied force can negatively affect your hole, so make sure to find a balance.

As the drill proceeds farther into the concrete, you can increase the speed setting to hasten the pace. If too much dust is produced in this process, you should also periodically take the drill out and either rinse or brush off the piece of concrete. Not only can dust infiltrate the inner workings of your expensive drill, but it can also force the motor to work harder and overheat the appliance. To prevent either of these two problems from occurring, just use your common sentence and pay close attention to your equipment. This will make the process easy, and you will have good results.