What are the best masonry drill bits? Is it normal for the bits to slip on the drill chuck? How can it be avoided? What are the advantages of multi-material bits? These are all some of the issues that I will cover in this article.
Masonry bits that are used to drill in walls, ceilings, and pavements of brick, plaster of cement, concrete, stone, tiles, porcelain, etc.
Generally, wall bits differ from metal or wood bits in that their body is made of one material and the tip of another. If we look closely at the tip of a masonry drill bit we will see that it has two or more welded plates of a material known as vidia. But what is the vidia?
The word vidia comes from the German Widia which, in turn, comes from Wie Diamant, which means ‘hard as a diamond’. This is another name by which a very hard metal is known: tungsten carbide.
Precisely, it is the tungsten carbide plates, also called tungsten carbide, that allow drilling materials as hard as reinforced concrete, granite stone or porcelain tiles.
Conversely, although some metal drills also have carbide inserts welded, it is unusual. And neither is it in the wooden bits, whose shank and tip are made of the same material.
Therefore, this characteristic of vidia bits means that we are talking about bits that are not sharpened. Once the vidia insert has worn out, the bit will not be useful. In comparison, the metal drill bit can be sharpened until it becomes unusable because it is too short.
In the following image, you can see the vidia plates of an SDS bit for a hammer. Later I will tell you about the SDS shanks and the advantages of hammer hammers.
In what the wall drills are similar to those of metal and wood is in its spiral form. The helix-shaped channels serve the same purpose: to remove the torn material, which in this case are not shavings (metal or wood), but dust from brick, cement, or stone.
When drilling masonry, it is recommended to repeatedly remove the bit to remove the dust generated and facilitate drilling, especially on pavement and wall. On the roof, gravity plays in our favor and it is less important to do so.
The best drill bits for drilling in masonry
First of all, multi-construction bits or multi-material bits have the advantage that they serve to drill on any material, that is, wood, metal, and construction materials.
This does not mean that it is a good idea to buy these bits and use them for everything, since the specific bits for wood and metal have a much higher performance. However, for mounting metal or wooden parts on a wall with a through-hole, that is, when we simultaneously drill the part and the wall (or ceiling/pavement), multi-material bits are very useful, since they save you from having to change bits.
Perhaps the best multi-material bits in terms of quality/price ratio are the Makita 7 Piece – Complete concrete drill bit set for hammer drills:
Makita 7 Piece – Complete Concrete Drill Bit Set For Hammer Drills
These Makita bits are good for hammer or hammer drilling in light materials. They are suitable for soft concrete, plastic, wood, aluminum, brick, and cement.
Diameter: 5, 6, 8, 10, 12 mm
Bosch HCBG700 7-Piece Blue Granite Hammer Drill Masonry Bit Set
Bosch HCBG700 bits have two vidia plates, that is, two cutting edges. The four dust evacuation spirals reduce wear when drilling into concrete.
With this drill bit you can drill in: soft concrete, hollow brick partitions, solid and semi-solid brick load-bearing walls, cement plasters, concrete block walls, ceramics and tiles, wood, plastic and thin metal (thin sheets of steel or aluminum).
Indicated to drill practically all kinds of materials or multilayer materials for interior finishing, eg. eg, concrete, masonry, brick, eternity, lightweight building materials, ceramics and tiles, wood, plastic, thin sheet metal, and aluminum
Optimal results with or without percussion
Centering tip; active centering tip for drilling concrete
Very fine grain carbide; long service life and maximum resistance capacity
DEWALT Masonry Drill Bit Set, Percussion, 7-Piece (DW5207)
The DEWALT masonry drill Bit Set is suitable for drilling in concrete surfaces and concrete blocks.
These bits are cylindrical shank, however, to prevent the bit from slipping on the mandrel, they have reduced the section of their shank in larger sizes. For example, bits 11-13 mm have a 10 mm diameter shank, and bits larger than 14 mm have an 11 mm shank.
Special for concrete and concrete blocks
High-quality carbide construction with 130º TCT tip
Use with percussion
IVY Classic 10332 1/2 x 12-Inch Premium Carbide Masonry Drill Bit
The bits of vidia of the German brand S&R also have a good quality/price ratio:
IVY Concrete Drill Bits are perfect for darling in hard surface.
Drills with an angle of 135 degrees for round and precise players
For light 3-core chuck hammers
Diameter: 4×85, 5×85, 6×100, 6×150,8×120, 10×120,12×150 mm
How do Masonry bits work?
How does a masonry bit cut through the wall? The action of a drill bit for metal is sharp, that is, it removes the material by scratching it and removing chips, as the tip of the drill bit is harder than the workpiece. However, brick, cement, and especially concrete are so hard that they require extra help: percussion.
Drilling a solid brick or concrete wall, or a porcelain tile, can be an ordeal if we do not do it with a hammer drill. Wall drills work by cutting and tapping but what exactly does percussion do?
Building materials can be very hard, but they are generally brittle. This means that they are difficult to scratch and cut, but easy to break. For example, a porcelain tile is extremely hard and almost impossible to scratch, however, if we support it on a curb and hit it in the hole that is formed, we will easily break it. The same goes for concrete and brick.
On a job site, a bricklayer can cut a solid brick with a wet ceramic cutter or radial cutter. But if you don’t have these tools you can also just use a masonry trowel.
To cut a brick by hand, simply tap around the perimeter of the brick, just at the point of cut. The blows weaken the brick structure and form small cracks inside it. Then, with a dry blow, the brick will break at the desired point, and with enough precision.
Bottom line: A masonry bit effectively drills a wall by combining the rotary cutting motion and hammer blows. However, some special bits for porcelain materials do not support percussion. In these cases, the bits are usually cooled with water and drilled at low revolutions. In any case, what are the best masonry bits and why?
Whether a wall drill is better or worse depends fundamentally on the quality and quantity of vine that it has on its tip.
For example, the best masonry bits for hammer drills do not have two plates, but four. In other words, they have four cutting edges instead of two. In addition, it is very common for the vidia head of this type of drill to be solid. These types of bits are designed to drill into concrete with hammer hammers.
SDS shanks of special hammer drill bits
The hammer differs from a drill in that it rotates slower but its hammer is much more powerful. The hammer is also known as a rotary hammer and has another difference from the drill: the SDS drill chuck. The SDS chuck was invented by Bosch and Hilti with one clear objective: to prevent the bit from slipping.
SDS bits are not clamped on the hammer chuck by pressing the jaws on the cylindrical shank. Instead, these bits have grooves into which a small ball (bearing) fits. In this simplified diagram you can see how the bit is retained by the SDS head:
By pulling on the SDS chuck ring, a retractable bushing that is held to the front by a spring (spring) releases the ball from the groove, allowing the bit to be removed from the chuck.
It is not the purpose of this article to do an in-depth analysis of SDS bits, so let’s go back to the conventional hammer drill bits, i.e. drills that have a three-jaw chuck or jaw chuck.
The problem of cylindrical shanks in a three-jaw chuck
In a conventional drill, the bit is held only by the pressure of the three claws. Whether it is a key or automatic, if the drill chuck is of quality, the bit will be secure, but only with relatively small diameters.
It is normal, to a certain extent, that large diameter drills slip and we have to retighten the chuck several times when drilling hard materials (concrete and stone). This is something that happens even with the best automatic chuck but I repeat, only up to a point.
How to prevent the bit from slipping?
The risk of slipping can be avoided by purchasing masonry bits with a hexagonal or triangular shank (not really a triangular shank, but a cylindrical shank with three recesses every 120º).
In conclusion: the quality of a wall drill depends on:
The quantity and quality of your vidia plates
The quality of the metal used for the helical body
The shank type (best wall drill bits will have hexagonal or cylindrical shanks from a certain diameter)
And now that we are clear about how wall drill bits work, let’s move on to talking about models and brands.