How to Drill Masonry Properly - a Toolstop Guide

In this short guide we'll explain the most efficient way to drill into masonry.


We'll cover:

Before reading our guide, it's worth taking a bit of time to review how to stay save when you drill masonry, protecting yourself from the harmful dust you'll be creating. Click to learn more.

The Drill

It's imperative that you use a drill designed for making holes in stone, concrete or brick. Obviously. That means you'll need a drill with a hammer mode.

When in hammer mode, your drill will rotate the bit but will provide short, rapid hammer thursts to pulverise the substance you're drilling into. This actions breaks the masonry as you drill, allowing the drill bit to bore into the hard workpiece.


A combi-drill features hammer mode, so this is an ideal workhorse for around the jobsite, allowing you to drill bigger holes into wood, or even into steel. And because of the hammer mode, you'll be equipped to make holes in masonry too.

Click here for our drill buying guide to get a sample of the drill we recommend you consider.

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The speed

Obviously a lot of friction is caused when drilling into concrete, brick or masonry. Therefore it's important to keep the RPM of the drill bit as low as possible while to drill to prevent the bit over-heating.


A good quality drill will have features that will help prevent the motor from over-heating or burning out, but it's up to the drill operator - ie. you - to make sure the drill bit doesn't over-heat or bind up.

Select your drill's lowest speed. And be sure to clear the dust as you drill by easing off on the trigger, withdrawing the bit a few times before recommencing drilling.

The grunt

By grunt we mean not just the power capabilities of your drill, which should be suffienct according to the manufacturer's spec, to handling drilling into mansory.

We also mean whatyouput into the drilling action!


The temptation may be put your own (perhaps considerable) frame and bulk into it as you drill.

However, our recommendation is to use some caution.

Instead, let the drill do the work. Use the side-handle if your drill is supplied with one. Do lean into the drill as it works, but without forcing it, remembering the above step about clearing the dust.

Safety is paramount, so we recommend you watch this short guide to staying safe with hammer drills on Toolstop TV.

The bit


As discussed already, using the best drill for the job is vital, but equally using the correct drill bit for the job is essential.

Click here for our article examining this important aspect of drilling.

What's your tips for drilling and driving efficiently and safely? Share them with us in the comments below.

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