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Drilling into concrete walls

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  • Drilling into concrete walls

    I spent a great deal of time researching how to drill into concrete walls in order to hang curtains in my basement. It seems that everybody has their opinions on the best way to do but most of them require a hammer drill. Well I wasn't about to invest that kind of cash for six holes. Even renting one seemed like overkill. Well I'm happy to report that using a new 1/8" masonry bit in my $50 corded DeWalt worked like butter. Unfortunately I do not own an extension cord so I was only able to drill one hole with it. I have a cordless Ridgid compact 18v li ion drill that I was hesitant to use since the owner's manual does not mention using that drill for masonry. Well it definitely took longer and there was a decent amount of vibration in the drill but it sure got the job done. I also allowed the bit a decent amount of time between drilling to cool down which I highly recommend. Safety goggles are a definite necessity as well. Bottom line: don't be nervous drilling into concrete as long as you have a decent masonry bit (multiple of the same size if you don't want the downtime between holes). A hammer drill is not a necessity.

  • #2
    Re: Drilling into concrete walls

    if one does not have a hammer drill and you hit a rock, taking a small punch and putting it in the hole and taping on it with a hammer, (bigger hole bigger tap) and then drill some more, can help a lot, (the hammer drill for small holes is by no means a necessity but is nice, on larger holes it sure is nice, but the masonry bit is necessary.

    yep you can brand your self with a bit coming out of a hole if you touch it, they can get warm,

    and if you have not been, welcome to the Forum,
    Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
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    • #3
      Re: Drilling into concrete walls

      Yes, a regular drill with a new masonry bit will work. Yes, a hammer drill will be nicer. But holy cow, hang onto your tool belt, once you start working in concrete with a rotary hammer, you will never ever go back to anything else. Especially when you're doing holes from 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch in size.
      Cheers,
      Jim Don

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      • #4
        Re: Drilling into concrete walls

        Been there, done that; as they say! I've done a few holes in concrete and in concrete blocks using just a corded 3/8-inch drill with a masonary bit. You're right in that you want a spare or two as they do seem to wear down quickly.

        I had to put a new water service into the house, quite a few years ago and had to drill a one-inch hole in the concrete basement wall for the new pipe. Now, for that I borrowed a big rotary hammer drill from the maintenance dept at work. That worked well indeed and that would have no-doubt overpowered both me and my much smaller drill.

        Years ago when I was in my early teens, I helped my Dad and another fellow open up a new rock quarry. I found it fascinating to watch this old guy drill about a half-dozen holes in sedimentary rock using nothing more than a hand-held "star" drill and a sledge hammer. I don't remember a lot of detail, other than they had to be fairly deep for the dynamite sticks. But doing it by hand, was pretty neat. I imagine that must be pretty much a lost art today.

        CWS

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        • #5
          Re: Drilling into concrete walls

          Originally posted by CWSmith View Post
          Been there, done that; as they say! I've done a few holes in concrete and in concrete blocks using just a corded 3/8-inch drill with a masonary bit. You're right in that you want a spare or two as they do seem to wear down quickly.

          I had to put a new water service into the house, quite a few years ago and had to drill a one-inch hole in the concrete basement wall for the new pipe. Now, for that I borrowed a big rotary hammer drill from the maintenance dept at work. That worked well indeed and that would have no-doubt overpowered both me and my much smaller drill.

          Years ago when I was in my early teens, I helped my Dad and another fellow open up a new rock quarry. I found it fascinating to watch this old guy drill about a half-dozen holes in sedimentary rock using nothing more than a hand-held "star" drill and a sledge hammer. I don't remember a lot of detail, other than they had to be fairly deep for the dynamite sticks. But doing it by hand, was pretty neat. I imagine that must be pretty much a lost art today.

          CWS
          I just read your post here and I have used a star drill, but not for many years. Your forearms really get a work out. I drilled 1/4 to 1/2" hole in masonry for cable hardware. The only trick or advice I can offer is to keep turning that bit, if you hit more than once without turning the bit and drill gets stuck. I don't even know if you can buy them at Home Depot, but for a small job it's a great idea!

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