Drilling into concrete
Fastening something to concrete, brick or stone might be intimidating if you haven’t done it before. But the toughest part is drilling the hole. After that, it’s just like fastening to any other material. So don’t be intimidated! With these tips, you’ll be able to attach just about anything to concrete.
Caution: Silica dust can damage your lungs. Always wear a respirator when you’re drilling or cutting concrete or masonry.
Hammer drills often come as a combination driver with a drill, drive and hammer setting. In the hammer setting, a pair of grooved discs rotate, making the chuck slam forward and back as the chuck rotates. This hammering force makes the drill bit chip into the concrete as it spins.
More pressure, more progress
When you’re using a hammer drill, more force equals faster progress. But watch out, these bits can break — ease up if it starts to bend!
Dial in the RPM
With a hammer drill, I find that slower RPM (revolutions per minute) means slower drilling, while higher RPM doesn’t mean faster drilling. The sweet spot is medium-high RPM. My hammer drill has two speed settings, so I use the high setting and nudge the speed up until I find that sweet spot where the bit proceeds at a steady pace.
Rotary hammers are the hammer drill’s big brother. The motor rotates the bit and moves a piston back and forth, which gives the tool more pounding power. Many rotary hammers are multifunctional, adding drill and hammer to the basic rotary hammer function, making them far more useful.
If you have lots of drilling to do, a rotary hammer will cut your labour considerably. You can buy a rotary hammer starting at about $100.
Let the tool do the work
Unlike with a hammer drill, you don’t need to put your weight behind a rotary hammer. Too much force reduces the effectiveness of the piston motion. Apply just enough pressure to make steady progress.