How To Drill Reinforcement In Concrete With A Hammer Drill

How to drill a concrete wall. A possible way out of the situation It is rather difficult to drill holes in concrete due to its high strength and heterogeneity. In addition, the construction of concrete walls includes crushed stone, which makes work too difficult, as well as metal reinforcement. But often holes in concrete are simply necessary, but how to make them ndash; everyone chooses for himself.

How to drill a concrete wall. A possible way out of the situation

Sooner or later, most people living in houses with concrete walls need to hang a cabinet, lamp, shelf or painting. At this point, the pressing question arises of how to drill a concrete wall. It is no secret that every home craftsman at least once in his life has encountered this problem, but not everyone knows how to solve it. Many courageously torture the drill and their own strength, but without achieving the desired result, throw everything until the next attempt to make a hole in the wall. But the drill eventually breaks, and the shelves remain standing somewhere in the corner of the room or gathering dust in the closet. But there are still options. You just need to know and be able to use them.

What will help a home craftsman?

In domestic conditions, when it is necessary to make 2-3 holes in concrete, you can do with an ordinary drill, without the impact function. To do this, it is necessary, as the victorious drill is immersed in the body of the wall, from time to time to break the concrete with a strong metal pin (punch) that matches the size of the hole diameter. It is used when the drill starts to “get stuck” in the wall. At this moment, a steel punch is inserted into the hole and they begin to hit it with a hammer or a sledgehammer, trying to crush too dense areas and punch the hole deeper. In this case, the pin is slightly turned. Then the hammerless drill can again come into operation.

All of the above steps are repeated one after another until the hole increases to the required depth. This method is quite laborious and tedious, but quite acceptable for a pair of holes.

how to drill reinforcement in concrete with a hammer drill

Alternatively, when drilling a hole in concrete, you can use universal diamond-coated drills. They are highly effective when working with metal, gravel and concrete. They can be installed only on a conventional electric drill, or on a tool with the vibration function disabled.

How to decide on a tool?

For a larger volume of work, a hammer or drill with an impact function and drills with victorious tips are needed. An impact drill combines a rotary motion with a reciprocating motion, which helps it perfectly copes with light concrete, and when asked how to drill a concrete wall, which is a load-bearing one, there is a simple answer. A perforator will be the best assistant, the main purpose of which is to punch concrete fences. There is one more difference:

  • Hammer drill is designed for drilling holes no more than 12 mm in diameter;
  • The hammer drill is capable of drilling large holes.

The reinforcement caught in the body of the concrete wall should be drilled with metal drills.

How to drill a concrete wall. A possible way out of the situation

Sooner or later, most people living in houses with concrete walls need to hang a cabinet, lamp, shelf or painting. At this point, the pressing question arises of how to drill a concrete wall. It is no secret that every home craftsman at least once in his life has encountered this problem, but not everyone knows how to solve it. Many courageously torture the drill and their own strength, but without achieving the desired result, throw everything until the next attempt to make a hole in the wall. But the drill eventually breaks, and the shelves remain standing somewhere in the corner of the room or gathering dust in the closet. But there are still options. You just need to know and be able to use them.

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What do the professionals advise?

Concrete structures are strong enough and difficult to drill. In addition, drills quite often come across crushed stone, which is part of the concrete mixture, from which wall and ceiling slabs are formed.

Holes in concrete have to be made quite often, especially in the process:

  • Finishing works;
  • Furniture installation;
  • Air conditioner suspension;
  • Additional electrical wiring device;
  • Installation of plumbing.

There are two ways to solve the problem of holes in a concrete wall:

  • An impact drill, or better with a perforator, with a victorious drill;
  • Diamond drilling.

Power tool selection

To create small-diameter holes in small quantities, a percussion drill, a perforator with a power of 350 W. Professionals engaged in the distribution of communications in panel houses, brick cottages on a concrete foundation, use professional punchers or diamond machines.

When passing through reinforcement, granite crushed stone, the clamping force will not be enough, the tool is guaranteed to start scrolling in the chuck, wearing out the shank and cams.

Therefore, for large holes, an SDS chuck with a diameter of 10-18 mm is required. Slotting when creating holes with a crown is completely excluded, the punch must have such a function.

DIY technology for making holes in concrete

Diagram of a perforator device for drilling concrete.

In the process of construction, finishing of buildings, there is a need to manufacture blind or through holes of different diameters. Blind holes are created for fasteners, their diameter is limited to 2-16 mm. In this case, compliance with the declared diameter is an important factor. Otherwise, plastic dowels for self-tapping screws and nails in the broken holes will loosen over time, reducing the strength of fixing wall cabinets, curtains, pipelines, decorative elements.

For drilling blind holes of large diameter or through penetration of reinforced concrete walls, crowns are used to enter communications. They represent a cylinder, one side of which is attached with a shank to the chuck of a drill, perforator, the second has victory or diamond bits welded to it. A victory drill is installed in the middle of the structure to provide direction.

Drilling with a drill or drill leads to the destruction of the entire volume of concrete at the point of contact of the tool with the structural material. If there is reinforcement inside the reinforced concrete structure, it is impossible to pass it with a drill, the hole is moved to the side.

Drilling holes in concrete with a crown differs from the previous method:

  • Concrete collapses only along the perimeter of the hole;
  • A concrete cylinder remains inside the crown.

Table of minimum depths for dowel insertion.

Therefore, after reaching the required depth of the blind hole, the inner concrete cylinder remains connected to the wall by the rear end. To remove it from the hole, destructive methods are used: a chisel with a hammer or a perforator. During through drilling, concrete cylinders are removed from the tool by light blows of a mallet on the body

Drilling holes in concrete is done with the following tools:

  • Spiral impact drill. often used for blind holes, the diameter of the carbide tip inserts is always larger than the spiral body of the tool, the shank is round, not intended for working in concrete with a perforator with SDS chucks;
  • Spiral drill. Instead of a pobedit, a zirconium or tungsten tip is used (spraying), a shank with grooves is suitable only for SDS cartridges (Max, modifications), dust-free, low-noise drilling is provided
  • The diamond core bit is a large diameter tool exclusively for high speed rotary drilling.

Impact drill bits are marked with the caliber, not the diameter. This is the distance between the protruding edges of the solder / insert. Holes are drilled with this tool in the following modes:

  • 800-1200 turns for diameters within 4 mm;
  • 300-500 turns for diameters 5-13 mm.

Even the presence of a red marking on the tip of this instrument does not guarantee that the tip material will match the metal declared by the manufacturer. Cheap substandard at the first use adds up to an incomprehensible configuration, becomes unsuitable for work.

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Zirconium, tungsten burs are suitable for the following operating modes:

  • 60-100 revolutions with a diameter of 42-76 mm;
  • 150-400 turns for diameters 4-60 mm.

The length of the drill can reach 1 m, a small amount of dust when working with this tool allows you not to take furniture out of the room. The concrete to be destroyed “flows” from the hole in a trickle along spiral channels, collects on a lined film or paper.

Drill diagram.

Professionals make blind holes for large-diameter socket boxes in a few seconds. A home craftsman who does not have regular practice of working with such a tool most often runs the risk of damaging the crown at the slightest distortion. Operating modes when using crowns are 2,000-3,000 revolutions for any diameter. The advantage of the crown is the high-quality cutting of reinforcement of any diameter, granite, basalt crushed stone inside the concrete at high cutting speeds.

The following modifications belong to the category of professional, highly specialized instrument:

  • Segmented tubular drill. Difficult to operate, used by specialists in areas with a high probability of the presence of thick reinforcement;
  • A crown drill with a centralizer. A carbide modification, inside which a drill is located in the center, which facilitates the setting of the direction, reduces the sensitivity to pressure, distortions of the working body; these options are not suitable for cutting reinforcement.

The latest modifications of the crowns are operated at 600-1200 revolutions; when in contact with the reinforcement, the teeth crumble instantly. Therefore, before drilling, the walls are carefully examined with a special tool for the presence of an armored belt.

Safety precautions for making holes in concrete

The structural frame of a building made of reinforced concrete is a durable heterogeneous material. Inside it is metal reinforcement, gravel or crushed stone of various fractions. Therefore, drilling a hole without observing safety standards means exposing yourself and those around you to the risk of injury. Experts recommend compliance with the following requirements when drilling / drilling reinforced concrete structures:

  • Use of protective equipment. Workwear in combination with goggles / mask, petal respirator, helmet;
  • Installation of fences: during through drilling, when the worker does not see the opposite side of the wall, there may be a risk of pieces collapsing on passers-by or his colleagues;
  • The use of reliable scaffolding: without them, work at a height of more than one and a half meters is prohibited, since the stability of the operator is not ensured, when using ladders, it is necessary to strengthen them with stops.

Concrete drill bit.

To drill a hole in concrete, it is necessary to change the speed of the drill, hammer drill, special diamond machine smoothly, use only a two-handed tool. The presence of plaster dramatically increases the risk of destruction of internal communications. Therefore, before you drill a hole in the supporting structure of a building, you must make sure that they are not present.

Drilling with a hammer drill in percussion mode is allowed only when a drill or drill is used as a working body. If a crown is immersed in the concrete, a non-impact rotation is applied. The tool is able to drill a hole, qualitatively cut internal reinforcement, stones.

Unlike a conventional drill, which destroys crushed stone inclusions by impact, it is not able to drill through reinforcement. To drill a solid wall, you need to study the location of the seams. It is in them that the internal wiring of the power cable, gas, sewer pipes is often hidden.


The process of drilling concrete is not particularly difficult and consists only in the ability to work with the tool. When working with drills, you should combine the hammer mode with drilling.

If you are using crown bits, the impact mode must be turned off. The only potential problem during this process will be the reinforcement cage reinforcement, which can get in the way of the drill.

Before drilling reinforcement in concrete, change the concrete tip to a conventional metal drill and drill through the barrier. It is important not to forget to turn off the chipper mode before drilling the reinforcement in the concrete.

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In addition to the above, there are also a number of useful tips to help you achieve a quality result.

  • Non-professional construction tools are not designed for long-term stress, which should be taken into account when working with them. Overheating of the case must not be allowed. On average, the period of continuous operation of the equipment is no more than 15 minutes, after which the mechanism requires cooling. These 15 minutes of inactivity will be enough;
  • When drilling, the drill gets very hot and when the critical temperature is reached, the victorious tip begins to deform. To cool the drill, simply immerse the tip in water. The more often you perform this operation, the less the consumable will wear out;

Concrete drill

  • If the drill is stuck, in no case should you try to turn it by increasing the speed. At best, you will break the drill, and at worst, render the tool itself unusable. It is necessary to pull the tip out of the socket, charge a similar one and drill a hole next to it. Only after that you can try to “free” the drill from the captivity;

Drilling concrete


  • Prepare your existing tools before drilling concrete. First of all, the fixing cartridge is inspected for the presence of sand or other foreign elements. If any, they must be removed without fail. For this purpose, you can use a clean, dry cloth;
  • The drill should go into the groove freely so that you can feel that it has entered all the way. This is a prerequisite, failure to comply with which may render the tip unusable. If we are talking about a perforated drill, then it is necessary to clamp the drill as tightly as possible, in perforators the clamp is carried out automatically;
  • Before drilling a concrete ceiling, you must protect your face with a respirator or a plastic visor. When working with walls, the use of personal protective equipment is also desirable, although not so critical;

When drilling, you hit the reinforcement

Armature. It is an iron bar that runs inside the concrete and makes the wall structure much stronger. If during the drilling process you feel that the drill does not go further, but instead of the usual sound you hear a metallic clang, then you have rested against the reinforcement. There is no need to try to drill the reinforcement with the same drill. You will not succeed, but you will break the drill for concrete. 2 options are possible here:

Danger of damaging hidden electrical wiring

Very often, when drilling holes in concrete is required, we cannot start doing this in any way, because we are afraid to damage the internal hidden electrical wiring of the apartment. This fear is not in vain, and it is very good that you think about it.

The only way to determine if an electrical wire is passing underneath the concrete is to use a special non-contact electrical probe, which looks like this:

The main feature of this probe is that you do not need to touch the bare wires with it, as we did in the Live Wires article, but simply bring it to the concrete wall, and if the indicator on the probe lights up, then a wire passes nearby and you need to drill very carefully.

Watch the on working with such a probe, it is also called “Concealed wiring detector”:

Difficulty drilling holes in concrete

In the lesson of the article What is a dowel, you and I learned how to install dowels in a concrete wall, and at the same time drill it. However, there are situations that cause you difficulties when starting and during wall drilling work. In this article, I would like to talk about such situations, and what to do in these cases.