Can a Cordless Drill Go Through Concrete?

It’s indeed true that handling a home DIY project that involves concrete can be quite daunting. Although concrete is an ideal building material, its strength can be quite challenging when doing a home project. And as such, one of the primary questions frequently asked is, “Can a cordless drill go through concrete?”

Yes.  A cordless drill can effectively go through concrete as long as the user has applied the right power (depended on the battery power). Concrete is generally a strong material, and handling simple tasks like putting in a mailbox may become difficult. Although it’s very much possible, it’s more likely to consume time. Truthfully, most cordless drills can effortlessly handle concrete, cement, brick, or mortar. They are pretty close to being at par with their corded equivalents as they are equipped with powerful Lithium-Ion batteries.

There are various cordless drill models you can find in the market today, however, one unit that stands out that you can use on any material type is BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill. You can buy this unit on Amazon to help you with your drilling jobs.

Key Features

  • Lithium Ion Technology & 20V MAX
  • 11 Position Clutch that ensures precise control for drilling into wood, metal, plastic and concrete
  • Variable Speed trigger that allows countersinking without damaging material
  • Compact design and Lightweight that reduces fatigue and allows users to drill for an extended period

Buy On Amazon

 

 

Ideally, most buyers are undoubtedly new to buying drills. We aim to give more clarity on cordless drills and how they should be used. Although a cordless drill may not be effective in drilling through concrete, it can certainly get the job done. Its drilling features and battery power will determine its ability to go through the concrete more effectively

Understanding Battery Power, Hammer action, and Torque

When it comes to completing a tough task like making your way through concrete, understanding the above three things is what really matters. 

Battery power

The battery power is an essential aspect that must be looked at when handling any heavy drilling type. Most cordless drills tend to have decent battery life when used for driving functions or regular drilling. Heavy-duty jobs like drilling into a brick wall, if possible, should be handled using a corded drill. However, if you don’t own one, a cordless drill might handle the job, but it will be hard on the battery life. 

You’re probably aware that these cordless drills are purchased with different sized batteries. In the ideal world, getting through concrete will require a bigger battery that will offer more power. If you don’t want your battery to run out, you may consider having two batteries; that is, if one runs out, you’ll always have a second option. You can as well opt for a cordless drill with a fast charge battery charger to get your project done. 

Tip: A good quality cordless drill should have at least 18 or more volt battery or a fast-charging battery to go through a concrete more conveniently.   

Hammer action

In most cases, corded or cordless drills have a normal drilling action commonly known as the “hammer” action. As the name suggests, it’s all about making the masonry drill bit behave like a tiny hammer. Hammering action is particularly essential when drilling through hard materials and is often measured in bumps per second. 

It generally makes the drill vibrate and spin much quickly, making it a lot easier for the drill to get through concrete or any other tough material. 

Tip: To speed up your drilling process, go for a cordless drill with a hammer action. 

Torque

To make an excellent purchase, understanding a drill’s torque settings and how they should be used is entirely vital. Just like with the best 20v cordless drills, most people assume that the higher the torque rating is, the faster the drill will go. However, this isn’t always the case. Torque basically is all about the drilling power and not the speed. 

 Most cordless drills have different torque settings. If you plan to drill through a soft surface, a low torque setting can perfectly handle the job. For concrete drilling, a high torque setting is much preferable. Before making a purchasing decision, ensure you go for a cordless drill with a wide range of torque settings. 

How a cordless drill goes through concrete

Major advancements in technology have made the use of cordless tools a lot easier than ever before. Now, cordless drills can effectively drill through hard materials like stone, cement, concrete, or brick. To effectively drill through concrete, here are a few steps you may consider, 

Step 1

You can start by marking the desired position of the holes in pencil on the concrete surface. Double-check each location before proceeding. You can then consider the drilling depth necessary for each hole by checking on the drill manufacturer’s specifications. If your drill lacks a stop bar, you can wrap a piece of masking tape around the drill bit to help show you where to stop. 

Step 2

Put on the goggles, and then insert the appropriate tungsten carbide masonry drill bit in the desired hole. Firmly get into position by planting your feet on the ground with your shoulder-width apart. Next, hold the drill securely with both hands so it doesn’t slip away once you start working. Once you lean in to bore the hole, ensure the drill bit is perpendicular to the concrete. There’ll be some recoil from the drill’s hammer action, so be prepared. 

Step 3

You can then make a guide hole. Since most hammer drills offer only two speeds, ensure you turn the drill on at a much slower sleep. This way, you’ll have the best control while making the guide hole. If your drill supposedly has just one speed, you can work in controlled bursts of few seconds until a hole is established. The guide hole should be 1/8 to ¼ inch deep.

Step 4

After setting up the guide hole, the drill should now be easier for you to control. However, continue operating the drill with firm touch while forcing it in. If you’re confident enough, you can as well turn the speed to full but firmly grip it with both hands until the hole is complete.

Step 5

If supposedly you hit obstructions, don’t force the drill further into the concrete as it can potentially damage the drill or perhaps cause you to lose control and mess up the hole. This means that tough spots will require you to use the masonry nail and hammer. Once you’re done with the too-tough-to-crack spot, you can continue drilling the concrete at a slower speed until you’re confident you’ve passed the tough spot.

Step 6

Here, you’ll need to periodically pull the drill out to brush away the concrete dust.

 Step 7

Now that you’ve drilled the hole to your desired depth, blow out the concrete dust with a can of compressed air and vacuum up any mess on the ground. Don’t remove your goggles while doing this; you don’t want to end up scratching your eyes.

Step 8

Repeat the above steps in case you need more holes. Always double-check to ensure no step is missed.

Importance of learning how to drill into concrete

The ability to learn how to drill into concrete in its essence is useful. Upon learning and understanding this useful skill, you’ll be able to handle other vital tasks. For instance, you’ll be able to confidently hang paintings on your walls or put up shelves in your bedroom or kitchen. 

As mentioned above, the steps are super easy and much safer. Once you follow the above safe steps, you’ll be able to handle the job perfectly without incurring other additional costs like calling someone for help. The process is pretty straightforward and will save you a whole lot of precious time and, more importantly, money. 

Types of cordless drills on the market

There’re multiple types of cordless drills on the market. Here are a few top choices you can get in any hardware store.

Hammer drill

This type of cordless drill is equipped with a hammer setting, which allows it to drill into harder surfaces like concrete.

Drill/Driver 

A drill/driver is mainly used when drilling a driving screw or hole into soft materials like plastic, metal, or wood. 

Impact drivers

An impact driver is mainly used for loosening bolts or preferably to drive screws.

Rotary hammers

This unit, on the other hand, is a heavy-duty or professional-grade version of a hammer drill. 

Frequently asked questions

Is it possible to drill into a cinder block with a regular drill?

Well, the physical properties that make these blocks a lot more durable may, in one way or the other make them quite challenging to drill. Using a standard drill may not handle the job. However, you can start by selecting a drilling spot on the block but also keep in mind that only the center or the end portion of the block is solid. 

Can a metal drill bit be used for concrete?

Generally, multiple materials are used to make the types of drill bits used for concrete. Undoubtedly, almost all drill bits are made of metal, which is the most practical choice for every surface. So yes, it can. 

Which type of drill can go through concrete?

The most commonly known drill that can go through concrete is Masonry bits, which is also perfect for drilling through cement, brick, and stone.

Does the number of volts matter when drilling into concrete?

Sure, a bigger battery is much preferable when drilling through concrete. You can always opt for an 18 or more volt battery. 

The video below helps illustrate how to use a a cordless drill to drill through a concrete material

Wrap up

A cordless drill can handle multiple tasks, including going through concrete. We’ve highlighted various aspects that we find resourceful in helping you make an informed decision. We’ve also strongly advised that you go for a cordless drill with hammer action, especially if you prefer an excellent all-round drill style. At all times, ensure you follow all safety precaution measures!