How to Choose Masonry Drill Bits

Masonry chisel
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-500

Choosing the right masonry drill bits can be confusing, since there are different types of drills used in masonry and various types of bits involved. Masonry drill bits are designed specifically to drill into concrete, stone, and brick.

A hammer drill is the best way to drill into masonry, although it can present problems, since it doesn’t pull the debris from the hole, meaning you may have to stop and clear it regularly.

It’s worth knowing that masonry drill bits become very hot when used and shouldn’t be touched until they’ve had the chance to cool down.

In most instances, you’ll be using masonry drill bits in a range of sizes between five to eight mm, which match the most common wall plug sizes, although you can buy them up to 16 mm in size.

Step 1 - What Type of Job?

drill bits

The type of masonry drill bit you’ll choose depends largely on the type of job you’re undertaking. With small holes, you can use a regular hand drill (although a brace and bit isn’t recommended unless you want a lot of work).

Choose a drill bit with a tungsten carbide tip since this will be stronger, although you can also select a durium tipped bit if necessary. These are made of a very strong silicon bronze alloy.

Select the appropriate length of masonry drill bit for your job. There are standard lengths available, but if you need something longer, there are bits up to 400 mm in length that can drill all the way through masonry walls.

Masonry drill bits work at their best when sharp, but you can also use them blunt, unless you’re drilling into hard concrete.

Tungsten carbide tips can be sharpened, but you’ll need special equipment to do it. It is usually easier and cheaper just to replace them when they’re dull.

Step 2 - Standard Drill Bits

nail in a masonry wall

Standard masonry drill bits can be used in any type of drill. You should note, however, if you’re using a standard drill bit in a hammer or SDS drill, you’ll need to use a normal drill chuck.

This usually means you can’t use the hammer action of the drill, so it’s not the ideal choice. Instead, use only in a standard drill on low power, rotating the bit slowly.

Step 3 - Multi-Material Bits

A relatively recent innovation, multi-material bits are designed to be used in all types of drills, including hammer and standard, at full capacity.

Although not specifically made for masonry, you can use them for small jobs, as well as on other materials. For tougher masonry jobs, use a drill bit that’s specifically made for masonry.

Step 4 - Hammer Drill Bits

drilling into a masonry wall

Hammer drills, also known as SDS drills, are made to be used on masonry and SDS drill bits, and will only work in SDS drills. These are the best choice for working on any type of masonry.

A good carbide or durium-tipped masonry drill bit will do exactly the job you need and can carry out tasks much faster than using a standard drill.

They’ll also last longer than similar tips with a standard drill when used on masonry, which also makes them a more economical choice for anyone doing a large amount of masonry drilling.