How to drill through concrete?

This article aims to answer the question How to drill through concrete? It will also highlight what kind of material you should work with in your core-drilling project. 

This article will also help you in determining the tools, techniques and precautions you will need to drill concrete.

How to drill through concrete?

  • To begin the drilling process, establish a Drilling Point in the ground. Smooth concrete makes it harder to start a hole since the bit is prone to slipping. 
  • Using a hammer, tap a center punch or nail set into the concrete to make a small indentation. Place the Depth Stop in its proper location. 
  • Using the drill’s depth stop, set the drill to the desired depth. Alternatively, you can use a tape measure to determine the exact depth of the drill bit hole. 
  • When you’ve reached the end of the bit, use a piece of tape to mark the spot where you’ll finish drilling.
  • To use a drill bit, insert it into the drill bit holder. The bit of a hammer drill is frequently secured using a chuck-key method. 
  • You first need to loosen chuck jaws by turning the chuck key counterclockwise, then inserting the bit.
  • Gradually begin drilling. Slowly turn the bit by gently squeezing the trigger. Perform not using too much force at this point, and allow the drill to do most of the work.

What tools do I need to drill through concrete?

  • Hammer drill
  • Rotary drill
  • Nail Set
  • Hammer
  • Shop vacuum with a HEPA filter and bag
  • Gloves
  • Goggles

How long does it take to drill through concrete?

The diameter of the hole and the thickness of the concrete are two factors that come into play here. Using a decent percussion masonry bit in a hammer drill, a 4′′ concrete slab could be drilled through in less than 60 seconds for hoes 1 1/2′′ and under. 

It is necessary to utilize a core drill in order to drill holes with a larger diameter. The drilling through concrete is the procedure of extracting core from a concrete slab or a concrete wall for strength testing.

Core drilling or concrete cutting should be done by a competent concrete drilling or sawing business. You may try your hand at core drilling on your own, but here are a few pointers to assist you in getting the best results and assure the success of your project.

Cutting a massive hole in concrete using a core saw or concrete coring is called core cutting.

In the case of concrete walls, floors, or slabs that need to be drilled, you may use this to produce precisely sized holes. To begin with, most concrete-cutting businesses have diamond-tipped core cutters to do this kind of work.

There must be round perforations in the concrete to pass through ducts, wires, and other utilities. Telephone lines, water supply lines, and electrical wiring will all be installed using these tools. Ducts for temperature control and other purposes also need openings.

Without sacrificing the integrity of the building, these spaces may be created. On any hard surface (not only concrete), but drilling may also be done to any desired depth. 

Core drilling may create holes ranging in diameter from three-quarters of an inch to six feet. Sixty-foot depths are possible. A solid core is removed when a hole is drilled. 

There is no pulverization of the concrete, and the hole is produced cleanly as a result. As a result, engineers have also employed the undisturbed concrete core of any concrete building to verify the material’s structural integrity.

Steel with carbide or diamond tips on the circular edges of hollow or tubular drill bits is what makes up these cutters. There are a variety of drill bits to choose from, depending on the size of the hole you need to drill.

It takes a lot of power to run a core drilling machine, and most of the equipment is powered by electricity, hydraulics, or air. A machine with changeable speeds is the most adaptable and makes the task more accessible and efficient.

Drills may be placed on stands, and vacuums can hold them in place on the floor. Drilling through walls necessitates appropriate anchors that can withstand the weight of the drilling equipment and vibrations.

To avoid damaging rebars or conduits in the concrete, you must designate the location where the opening is needed.

Allow the drill to follow the direction you want it to go by starting softly without putting any effort into it. It’s possible to raise the pressure and speed of drilling if this has been calculated appropriately.

To ensure the alignment is proper, you should verify it at several points along the process. To drill through concrete, the core will be ejected together with the drill. To remove the drill bit’s core, you may need a hammer or other tool.

Is choosing the right drill machine important to drill through concrete?

Yes, choosing the right drill machine is very important drill through concrete. Drill machines for concrete work come in many varieties. You may either rent them or buy them outright. 

It is possible to drill holes with a diameter of up to 3 inches using core handheld drills. To conduct effective spring testing of concrete, you must drill a hole at least 3.7 inches wide. 

Because of this, you’ll require rig-mounted or drill stand equipment. Those thinking about buying such devices should go for models with many functions. You’ll get the most out of your money this way. Drilling dowel holes or electrical/plumbing holes may be made using these.

What are the applications of core drilling of concrete?

Core drilling is the best option for a perfectly round hole in a horizontal or vertical concrete item. Any concrete surface may be core drilled with the use of core drills. 

If you want the same thing done on a building site, you need to understand how it might benefit you. The drilling may be done using a variety of techniques and instruments. 

Drilling through challenging concrete demands a lot of force. Cutting flawless holes in the surface, on the other hand, is more complicated, even if you use the correct procedure. This is where core drilling may be of assistance.

It is possible to remove the concrete from a wall after it has been drilled to make the holes perfect. Drilling many holes into the surface first removes significant volumes of concrete, then the concrete may be removed. 

It is possible to employ core drilling for a variety of purposes. Setting up heating facilities, plumbing, electricity, and a host of other things requires drilling. The varied holes may be made in the concrete walls of structures using the core drilling procedures. 

It may also be used for a wide range of underground projects. Core drilling is necessary to install phone lines, water pipelines, and drain lines. To acquire correct results from core drilling, construction personnel need only the most advanced instruments and equipment.

Workers employ various methods for core drilling, depending on the kind of project and the desired outcome. Most typically, rotary core drilling is employed. Perfect holes in rocks and concrete need the use of this tool. 

Dry and wet drilling techniques may be utilized depending on the surface being excavated. Hydraulic and electric core drilling technologies are widely utilized in the construction industry. 

The hydraulic approach is utilized when big and deep holes are required in a concrete surface. It is used mainly for installing electric lines, plumbing, and gas lines, among other things.

Both mounted and handheld, Drills are the most common core drilling instruments. Mini electric drills and massive electric drills are other tool kinds. With ease, you may use the little handheld core drilling equipment to install the cable inside your home or workplace. 

However, mounted drills are utilized for bigger holes. A broad range of drilling requirements may be met with custom solutions for a competent core drilling service.

What is the method for concrete core drilling?

Almost all concrete constructions will need to be drilled at some time.

Core drilling is essential for various reasons, from testing concrete to installing maintenance holes and electrical and plumbing connections.

Professional concrete cutters are the only ones qualified to execute core drilling. Such professionals are capable of providing safe and high-quality work.

Those in the concrete-cutting business provide a unique service: concrete drilling. A concrete drill is used to extract a cylinder or core of concrete.

When core drilling concrete, diamond core drills are the best option. The installation of standard utilities, such as:

A tiny threaded anchor will attach the drill post to the wall or concrete slab by the concrete cutting specialist. Next, he will attach the drill post, which serves as a guide for core drilling.

Drilling will strike its target accurately and produce a smooth and uniform core. The technician will next attach the drill bit to the drill post.

The specifications provided by the customer determine the size of the drill bit. The drill is switched on once the drill bit is attached. The crankshaft will be subjected to pressure when water is coolant.

Using a hand crank, a core drill may be brought up to the surface and cut through concrete. Upon piercing the surface, the bit and core will be expelled together.

If the core is located in a slab, you may remove it by hand.

What are the types of core drill?

Impact and non-impact core exercises are two forms of core drills. Hammer drills and rotating hammers are two subtypes of impact drills.

A hammer drill is a tiny instrument that uses a bit to penetrate the concrete. A ratchet mechanism with high-speed vibrations or rattles is found in the Hammer Drill.

Using regular drill bits with hammer drills is terrible since they are quickly broken when subjected to repetitive contact.

Rotary drills are more efficient than hammer drills, despite their resemblance. A rotary drill can drill holes up to 100 mm in diameter. Compared to a rotary drill, the maximum drilling depth for a hammer drill is just 12 millimeters.

A non-impact drill is required for drilling holes greater than 250 millimeters as a rule of thumb. Diamond teeth are found on a non-impact drill.

When using a non-impacting drill, the drill bit must be very durable. Using a diamond-encrusted drill is a difficult task.

The heat generated by frictional grinding may be relatively high. Because of this, you’ll require a concrete cutting service to handle these kinds of jobs.

What safety measurements do I need to drill through concrete?

  • The drills may be dangerous if misused!
  • If damage is suspected, do not use any tools.
  • Make sure the operator is protected from the sun’s harmful rays.
  • Be prepared in the event of a fire or medical emergency.
  • When cutting, choose a barrel compatible with your machine and the material you are cutting.
  • Before cutting dry, make sure the material is suitable and take additional measures due to the dust.
  • Before fitting, inspect the barrel for any damage.
  • Before beginning any cutting operations, make sure the equipment is in working order.
  • Make sure the drill’s shaft is securely fastened to the chuck.
  • Regularly inspect the barrel’s condition.
  • Keep an eye out for any water-damaged electrical wires and plugs.
  • Always be cautious of the risk of inhaling the dust while drilling dry. Dust extraction must be utilized with an appropriate filter. A half-face respirator or a PAPR may be used (Powered air-purifying respirator).
  • It is essential to dispose of slurry following local standards while drilling wet since it might dry out and represent a risk to other users.


Concrete is difficult to drill because of its density, hardness, and inclusion of aggregate stones, all of which can act as stumbling blocks for the drill bit. Drilling quickly wears down drill bits. 

Whenever the bit comes into contact with aggregate, the drag on the bit increases significantly. A hammer drill is the tool of choice for drilling through concrete.

Frequently asked questions (FAQS): How to drill through concrete?

How to drill through concrete?

To begin the drilling process, establish a Drilling Point in the ground. Smooth concrete makes it harder to start a hole since the bit is prone to slipping. 

Using a hammer, tap a center punch or nail set into the concrete to make a small indentation. Place the Depth Stop in its proper location. 

Using the drill’s depth stop, set the drill to the desired depth. Alternatively, you can use a tape measure to determine the exact depth of the drill bit hole. 

How deep can you drill through concrete?

Electrical or hydraulic core drills are capable of using concrete drill bits ranging in size from less than an inch to an usual maximum of 60 inches. 

Drilling depths range from zero to as deep as necessary to accomplish the project.

Is there a specific drill that is used for core drilling?

When it comes to core drilling, carbide core drills are the most affordable alternative. Bits with carbide teeth are common, and they may be found all around the drill’s perimeter. 

When the teeth begin to rotate, they bite into the surface you’re working on and cut their way through, producing the hole you need.

Can a core drill pass through rebar?

Yes, a core drill can pass through rebar. Using a core drill, holes may be drilled wherever they are most appropriate. Up to 60-inch holes can be made for plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems with ease.


Heyen, W., & Halsey, L. (2019). Effect of moisture condition on concrete core strengths

Bonifazi, G., Palmieri, R., & Serranti, S. (2017). Concrete drill core characterization finalized to optimal dismantling and aggregates recovery. Waste Management, 60, 301-310.

Sitorus, T., & Jaya, I. (2020, May). Evaluation of compressive strength investigation on job mix test object and core drill test object. In IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering (Vol. 801, No. 1, p. 012002). IOP Publishing.