Hammer Drills are recommended for drilling into concrete, but you can find yourself with an ordinary drill too often. A hammer drill only makes the task easy, but you can still screw or drill into concrete without a hammer drill.
All you have to do is be patient, as it will take longer and more effort. The best way to do it is to replicate the hammering feature with your hands. Keep pushing and pulling your drill in & out, just like a hammer drill will do it itself. Start drilling with smaller masonry drills and then move on to a larger one. Use water to keep your drill bits cold and effective.
Drilling into concrete with-out a hammer drill is highly dependant on the age of the concrete. Things can be widely different for different users. Let’s discuss in detail how you can drill without a hammer drill.
Hammer drill vs. Regular drill
Let’s start with an overview of the differences between a hammer drill and a regular drill.
Hammer Drills have an additional feature in which the drill moves to and fro with a very high frequency and keeps hitting the material being drilled. This makes the drilling process very efficient and helps drill in hard materials like concrete, tiles, marble, bricks, etc.
This function can be turned off with a select switch, and the hammer drill works like a regular drill without a too and fro motion.
A regular drill does not come with a hammering feature explained above. That’s it. Other than that, they both are purely identical. So in theory, you can still drill into concrete with an ordinary drill, but the process will be slow and inefficient.
Do I need a special drill for concrete?
Special drills like a one with hammering features will make the job easy. An ordinary drill, if powerful enough, can also drill into concrete without any issues. However, the process will not be efficient and will consume a lot of time and effort.
There are also a few other factors involved. Like how old is the concrete? What is the required diameter of the hole? And how deep do you need to drill?
According to research, the concrete hardness increase with age, and it won’t be easy to drill into a block of old concrete using an ordinary drill. Similarly, drilling a larger diameter hole will be quite difficult than a small hole using an ordinary drill.
Type of Drill Bits required to drill into concrete
If you are drilling into concrete, you must get a hold of the right type of drill bits as a non-compatible one will break easily. For concrete, the type of bits used is known as masonry bits. These bits come with a tungsten carbide tip and are strong enough to drill into bricks and stone as well.
Sharper drills are always recommended for all types of drilling jobs. Below are a few drill sets you should have in your toolbox, which will be enough most of the time.
- DEWALT Titanium Drill Bit Set, Pilot Point, 21-Piece (DW1361)
- DEWALT Masonry Drill Bit Set, Percussion, 7-Piece (DW5207)
- Bosch 9-Piece Impact Tough Titanium Drill Bit Set, TI9IM
The Details: How to drill into concrete without a hammer drill
Let’s dive into detail about how you can screw or drill into concrete without a hammer drill. I am going to write it in a few steps that will be easy to follow. This same process can be used to drill into brick, stone, or any hard material that needs a hammer drill.
- Get hold of the right drill bits. Getting hold of masonry drill bits with titanium carbide tip is essential regardless of whatever drill you are using. Regular drill bits will easily break, and they can get stuck in concrete resulting in another issue.
- Start with smaller bits. Smaller bits can do the trick. It’s far easy to drill thinner holes as the torque at the tip of the drill bit is quite high for small bits. It’s simple physics. Once you make your way, move on to larger bits, and eventually, you will have a perfect hole to screw in.
- Keep your drill bits cold. You can pour some water into the holes to help keep your drill bits cold. That will make them effective and will help you avoid breaking them.
- Replicate the hammering feature. You can also replicate the hammering feature with your hands by moving the drill to and fro. Just avoid putting too much pressure so that the drill bit does not break.
- Keep it slow. Drilling in concrete is more effective at slow speeds. I do not mean dead slow from slow, but faster speeds won’t help and can result in a broken bit.
- Give it a try with whatever you have. Sometimes, the tool we have are good enough to do the job, and we assume that they will underperform. Give it a try unless you don’t want to ruin something and want to be dead sure about the outcomes for the actions you make.
So, in summary, a hammer drill is not a must. It is always helpful and more efficient, but you are not out of options if you don’t have one. I am sure you will have some success using the techniques we have discussed. Just keep going.
How to convert regular drill into hammer drill?
Well, there is another trick as well. You can convert a regular drill into a hammer drill using an adapter. This can help you with spending money to buy a brand new tool.
This adapter will easily convert the existing drill to a hammer drill, which will make it easier to drill into concrete, brick, stone, and masonry.
Your existing drill should have a 3/8″ chuck or larger and 12V or higher. When the adaptor is on the drill, it will work as a regular chuck – hold the unit to activate the hammer action.
Best Drill for Concrete:
The answer for the best drill for concrete is not straight forward. An item that might be good for one purpose won’t be good for another one. Generally, all hammer drills are good to drill into concrete, but you need to check for what applications you need. If you are a homeowner, we recommend select one from this list or check our drills recommendation page.
So, in the end, I will say again that hammer drills are good but not compulsory. Just keep using your ordinary drill unless it is getting tough to drill into concrete or the concrete is very old. You don’t even need a drill to drill a hole in soft materials like wood or plastic. I have written a guide on using hand tools to drill a hole in wood or other soft material. Peace.