How to Use Hammer Drill on Concrete – A Complete Step by step process

If you are not a professional then drilling holes into concrete will definitely be a daunting task for you. Most of the people will prefer to call the professional help and get the job done. If you find it difficult to work with concrete and other such hard materials then, this article can be really helpful. With correct set of tools and proper guidance, this process can be made much simple and easy.

It doesn’t matter if you need to drill holes for installing lights, hangers, setting a new shelf or any other kind of renovation work a hammer drill will be your best companion for the job.

What do you need to begin with?

Let’s keep the list to a minimum and select the tools that are utmost importance. Going by my choice you need only two below-mentioned things to get the holes drilled.

1. A Hammer drill:

This is the most important tool that will get your job done, without this there is nothing you can do. You should try to get the best hammer drill for concrete, at least something above average. This is because you don’t want your drill to get damaged in the middle of drilling. The features of a high-quality drill are mentioned below.

  • A smooth hammer function
  • Variable speed mode, for precise drilling
  • Easy depth settings feature, to decide bore depth
  • Good ergonomic design with a side handle for better grip and strength
  • Most importantly, power

2. A Quality masonry drill bit:

Selection of the right drill bit is the one thing that would decide the success or failure of your job. If you want to successfully drill through hard surfaces such as concrete, cement blocks or reinforced concrete, then you need the special masonry bits. These bits are different than regular metal bits and feature a special carbide tip, this enables them to last much longer than regular bits. For better quality and smooth operation you can select SDS Plus Drill Bits or SDS MAX Drill Bits, they are specially designed for a hammer drill.

Keep the following points in mind while drilling

  • Choose the proper size bit:

one thing you need to care about before starting the drilling is that what size of a hole do you need. You may be drilling through concrete to pass cables wires through or installing anchors, select the bit size accordingly. There is no need of drilling a larger hole and filling it up with a wall anchor. This will cost you more in terms of everything, from money to work.

  • Setting the depth:

You need to know that what depth of the hole do you need. There is no need of boring a hole of 3 inches when your need is only 1.5 inches. Most of the hammer drills come with a depth stop mechanism, you can find about it in the user manual of the drill. If no, then we need to create a mark that will help us identify that we have reached the limit. It’s quite simple, measure the hole depth that you need and wrap a piece of black tape around the drill bit on the same length. Stop drilling when the tape mark reaches the hole.

  • Hold the drill correctly:

Proper positioning of the drill is quite important if you hold the drill properly half of your work is done before even starting. If your drill is not properly balanced then it leads to a hole with much wider diameter than a requirement. Get your proper balance, stand with a shoulder width gap between your legs. Grip the drill firmly and in such a way that you can lean on the surface being drilled. Hold the drill like a gun, with the finger on the on-off switch, and with other hand hold the handle to level the drill. This will give you required balance and strength for the job.

  • Starting the drill:

If your drill has a variable speed option then starts with the minimum speed. This way we can first get a mark or groove on which we would continue. Starting at slow speed will not let the drill slip away and creating unwanted patches. Now that we have a groove we can increase the speed of drill to the maximum level. At higher speed more power is generated and the drilling finishes quickly.

  • Applying the pressure:

Now that you have started drilling, keep applying continuous pressure against the drill. Be careful will applying pressure as too much pressure can damage the drill bits and the motor of the drill. As the regular hammer drills are not designed to take such huge overload.

  • Controlling the heat and dust:

Drilling into concrete, tiles or other such materials generates a lot of heat. This heat is not good for your drill bit, so to keep your bits cool, you can apply small amounts of water into the bore at frequent intervals. This will not only keep the drill bit cool but also won’t generate the dust clouds. Also, while drilling deep holes you can move the drill in & out a few times. This will keep the drill bit flutes clear.

  • Preventing the jamming:

It’s common to find a hard spot every now and then while drilling in concrete. This obstacle is sometimes too good for the best masonry drill bits. And still, you try to push your way through the spot either your drill motor will give up or the drill bit. To avoid such a situation you need to break the object causing the jam, it can be done by using a concrete nail and hammer. The other way is to try to new spot somewhere nearby.

Follow the additional safety tips to keep yourself safe

There are few additional things that I would like to tell all our viewers. Whether you are professional or a newbie always follow these safety procedures to keep yourself safe.

  • Unplug the drill while changing drill bits

This is not just for the hammer drill but any other power tool. While you are changing the bits or attachments in another case always disconnect it from the power source. As most of them work with a trigger switch an accident press can cause serious damage to your hands or body.

  • Wear protective equipment

When working with the hammer drills and during the process of drilling you should always wear proper eye protection and gloves. The safety glass will not let any generated dust to get into your eyes and the gloves will protect your hands from any kind of debris coming out from the surface being drilled.

Wrap Up…

If you keep all the points in mind while drilling your next hole in the concrete, you will be done in few minutes. After reading this article drilling holes in concrete will no more be a daunting task, rather it will be a walk in the park.