Drilling into concrete can be a
messy business. If you’re not careful, it can also be one
that’s hazardous to your health and safety. Here’s how we
safely make holes in concrete projects!
What Safety Equipment Do You Need To Drill Into Concrete?
Like all other forms of
concrete work, drilling requires the right safety equipment
before you start. Make sure to set yourself up properly before
drilling because it can be a loud, dusty, exhausting process! It
also can expose you to silica dust from the rock and sand used to
mix concrete; this is very harmful to the lungs.
Make sure to have the following equipment on-hand:
- Masonry drill bits in various sizes
- Water to apply to the bit if it overheats
- Shop vacuum with a bag and HEPA filter for
cleaning the surface
- Eye protection
- Dust mask (luckily, you probably have a few
floating around these days!)
- Work gloves
Safely drilling into solid
concrete means you will need a drill bit thatâs wider and more
heavy-duty than the regular versions. The extra width of a masonry
bit can create an opening wide enough for a proper hole in the
concrete. Once the tip drills your opening, the rest of the shaft
of the drill bit can slide in with no problems.
The kind of drill you use can impact the work â a
hammer drill is very effective â but you can drill into
concrete with a standard, run-of-the-mill drill. As the name
suggests, a hammer drill hammers as it spins into the
concrete, whereas a regular model only spins the bit into the
material. Donât worry about making a costly upgrade if you only
have one project â if you start your tool at its lowest speed,
you will have better control.
How Do We Safely Drill Into Concrete?
Once you have the proper equipment, drilling into concrete can
be a very safe job. If youâre doing it at home, follow these
steps to make sure the entire task is free of hazards:
- Mark the spot on the wall
or another surface where youâd like to place the hole.
- Start by making a guide hole. Drill forward,
using a light, steady pressure. Do not force the bit into the
concrete, and if the drill resists, ease up and stop drilling.
Never rush the process!
- Drill a guide hole about â
- to Â¼-inch
- If the bit overheats, apply water (especially if
you donât have a masonry bit).
- If there are blockages, either break it up with
a hammer and nail or choose a new spot.
- Stop the drill and sweep or blow away the
concrete dust that has accumulated around the bit. Keeping the area
clean makes it much safer.
- Pull out the drill. If youâre as deep as you
need, change to a slightly larger drill bit by 1/8 of an inch at a
- Drill the hole again until youâve reached the
right width and depth for your project.
While a hammer drill is a superior option, itâs not a tool in
everyoneâs workshop. A regular drill can take its place, and
while it can be harder to use, taking it slow, having a variety of
masonry drill bit sizes on hand, and paying attention to the heat
of the drill can make for a