Drilling through stone, brick, granite, and even marble is possible, but it takes a tough drill bit made of hard metal to do it. Masonry drill bits are specifically designed to tackle stone and can bore through these hard surfaces with ease. Often featuring tungsten carbide tips that can endure drilling through hard stone surfaces, masonry drill bits have wide flutes that allow them to pull away large amounts of material as they drill to prevent debris from jamming the bit. Some bits even use diamond-encrusted blades to cut through this material. They come in a wide range of sizes to suit different needs.
This guide will cover what factors to consider when shopping for the best masonry drill bits and review some of the best bits for drilling through concrete.
- BEST OVERALL: Bosch HCK005 5-Piece S4L SDS-plus Drill Bit Set
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Owl Tools 10 Piece Masonry Drill Bits Set
- UPGRADE PICK: Makita 5 Piece – SDS-Plus Drill Bit Set For SDS+
- BEST MULTIPURPOSE: EZARC 5PC Carbide Tip Multi-Purpose Drill Bit Set
- BEST CARBIDE: QWORK 5 Pcs Set Multi-Material Drill Bit Set
- BEST DOUBLE FLUTE: WORKPRO 8-Piece SDS-plus Drill Bit Set, Carbide Tip
- BEST ROTARY PERCUSSION: BOSCH 7 Piece Carbide-Tipped SDS-plus Drill Bit Set
- BEST SAW: SHDIATOOL Diamond Core Drill Bits
Features to Look for in the Best Drill Bits for Concrete
For projects that require drilling through concrete or other stone surfaces, it’s important to use a drill bit that’s strong and sharp enough to bore through especially hard, dense material. Read on to learn about materials, bit type, drill compatibility, and other crucial factors to consider when choosing a masonry drill bit.
Masonry drill bits need to be hard enough to endure the rigors of drilling through concrete. With that in mind, most masonry drill bits have steel shafts with a cutting tip made of tungsten carbide, which is much harder than steel and can grind through stone without dulling quickly. Some drill bits use diamond particles, which are welded to the cutting edge to chew through hard surfaces such as marble and granite.
- Masonry drill bits come in several variations, including rotary percussion, double flute, and saw drill bits. All bit types use large carbide tips that can penetrate stone. Some bits have spear-shaped tips that allow for precision drilling, while others feature a crown-shaped tip that can efficiently grind through masonry.
- Double Flute: A double flute drill bit has wide grooves that spiral around the bit to maximize the removal of material as it bores through masonry. The double flute design can drill through concrete and other masonry twice as fast as standard drill bits. Double flute bits come in shanks that fit standard drills or rotary hammer drills.
- Rotary Percussion: A rotary percussion drill bit works with a rotary hammer drill that penetrates the material by creating an impact motion with the drill bit and rotating it. A rotary percussion bit has a harder tip that can withstand the impact. These bits feature a shank that will only fit a rotary hammer drill.
- Saw Drill Bit: A hole saw bit is for drilling large holes through wood, metal, plastic, tile, and even glass. A saw drill bit has a cup shape with a saw blade that runs around the rim of the bit. The blade attaches to a mandrel or arbor that, in turn, connects to the drill. Saw drill bits intended to cut through masonry have a diamond coating instead of a blade, which grinds cleanly through tile, brick, and other masonry.
Some drill bits have coatings to improve their performance. Black oxide coatings are more durable than high-speed steel, as they resist rust and corrosion. Tungsten carbide coatings enhance the drill bit’s strength, enabling it to bore through stone and concrete.
Compatibility With Power Drill
When buying any type of drill bit, it’s crucial to consider its compatibility with the drill. Not all drill bits fit all drills. A ½-inch size drill will fit drill bits with a shank up to ½-inch in diameter, while a ⅜-inch size drill will only fit drill bits with shanks up to ⅜ inch in diameter. Masonry bits also come in SDS+ and hex shank styles. Hex shank bits will fit into a standard cordless or corded drill chuck, while SDS+ bits will only fit rotary hammer drill chucks.
Masonry drill bits come in a variety of sizes to suit a broad range of needs. The smallest masonry bits are around 3/16 inch in diameter, with larger bits topping out at the ½-inch size. Hole saw bits have sizes that go up to 4 inches or more.
Tips for Buying and Using the Best Drill Bits for Concrete
When purchasing and using a drill bit for masonry, there are several important guidelines to follow to ensure a successful outcome.
- Only buy bits with tungsten carbide tips. Tungsten carbide is the only material hard enough to endure grinding away through stone. Masonry bits, except for hole saws, should have tungsten carbide tips. For drilling larger holes, go with a hole saw with a diamond coating.
- Check compatibility. Make sure you purchase a bit with a shank that will fit the machine you’re using to drill. Hex bits will only work with standard drill chucks, and SDS+ bits will only fit rotational hammer drills.
- Go with a set versus individual bits. Buying a set of four or five or more masonry bits is much more economical than purchasing individual bits and also provides a wider variety of sizes to choose from when drilling a hole.
- Drill a pilot hole first. When using a ½-inch masonry bit, use a smaller bit first to drill a shallow pilot hole. This will prevent the large bit from slipping on the surface of the workpiece.
- Stop periodically to clear debris. When drilling a hole, it’s crucial to remove the debris, which could bind up the drill and slow the drill bit. Stop periodically and blow the dust out of the hole.
Our Top Picks
The products below take into account the above considerations to select some of the top masonry drill bits by class. These bits come from some of the best-known tool manufacturers in the business.
With a design that bores quickly through masonry and a carbide-tipped head that endures the rigors of an impact drill, this set of masonry drill bits from Bosch are some of the best on the market. A wide four-flute design allows these bits to quickly remove material as they bore, preventing the bit from getting hemmed in by debris.
A pointed tip sets the bit in the masonry, allowing for more precise drilling. With its carbide tip, this bit will endure the hammering impact of these powerful drills. This set comes with five pieces, including 3/16-inch, ⅜-inch, and ½-inch bits, and two 2¼-inch bits of different lengths. A rugged case keeps the bits organized until needed. This bit set is compatible with rotary hammer drills.
This set from Owl Tools includes multiple drill bits at a budget cost. The bits include a pointed end that helps start the blade in hard masonry while ensuring accurate placement of the hole. Carbide-coated tips add durability while aggressive fluting on the shaft allows for fast drilling through concrete cinder block, tile, and cement.
With its broad range of sizes, this set can handle most masonry drilling needs; bit sizes range from ⅛-inch to ½-inch in diameter. A handy carrying case keeps the bits organized for storage or transport. The bits have hexagonal shank ends, making them compatible with most standard cordless and corded drills.
Drilling through stone puts drill bits to the test, often wearing them down quickly. While these drill bits from Makita are more expensive than other masonry drill bit sets, they feature a thick tungsten carbide tip that won’t wear quickly, giving them a longer life than most.
Each bit includes a wide spiral flute that bores evenly and quickly through stone, concrete, and brick. It comes with five bits, ranging in size from 3/16-inch to ½-inch. The bit shanks work with rotary hammer drills that have at least a ⅞-inch chuck size. An included plastic bit case provides convenient storage.
Spending money on specialty masonry bits that see infrequent use may not be the most economical way of expanding one’s collection of drill bits. This set offers an excellent alternative, as the bits’ shapes and carbide tips make them suitable for drilling not only through concrete and stone but also metal, wood, and even tile, ensuring they won’t gather dust waiting for the next masonry job.
Each bit in this set boasts a tungsten carbide head that’s tough enough to take on hard materials. In addition, they have multigrind sharp edges and a large U-shaped flute, which make them faster than standard bits. A hex shank adds versatility, making them compatible with standard drills and impact drivers. The kits include five bits: 5/32-inch, 3/16-inch, ¼-inch, 5/16-inch, and ⅜-inch
With their carbide coating and aggressive design, these drill bits are a worthy option for boring through concrete, brick, and even glass. The spear-like tip easily penetrates masonry, allowing for precise hole drilling in concrete, tile, marble, and even granite. The carbide coating adds durability, ensuring these drill bits will hold up to repeated use.
A wide U-shaped groove around the shaft removes dust quickly, preventing clogging around the bit and enabling faster drilling. This set includes five different size drill bits, including ¼-inch, 5/16-inch, ⅜-inch, and ½-inch bits as well as a convenient plastic storage case. The bits’ triangular-shaped shank is compatible with standard cordless and corded drill shanks.
With their extra-wide flutes, these drill bits from Workpro will rapidly eject debris while they work, allowing for super-fast drilling. A crown-shaped end allows for more stability and better accuracy when drilling, while a carbide tip gives this set a longer life.
Smaller grooves on the shank help prevent slipping when drilling at high torque levels. This kit includes eight bit sizes, running from ¼-inch to ½-inch. A durable hard plastic carrying case keeps the bits organized and easy to transport to the work site. The shank has SDS Plus grooves, making it compatible with SDS+ rotary hammer drills.
With hard carbide tips, this seven-piece drill bit set can hold up to the rigors of a rotary hammer drill. This set features Bosch’s four-flute design, which quickly ejects dirt and debris while drilling, making for a faster process. Pointed tips allow for easy centering of the drill bit while creating smoother holes.
Wear marks on the tips let the user know when the drill bit is worn out. The seven bits in this set range in size, from 3/16-inch to ½-inch sizes. The SDS+ shanks will fit most rotary hammer drills. A durable, hard plastic storage case keeps the bits organized and protected when in a tool box or on the workbench.
Cutting through hard surfaces such as granite, marble, and other dense stone requires the hardness of diamonds. Diamond bits are welded to the tip of this core drill bit, allowing it to grind through some of the hardest materials. The body consists of durable steel that will hold up to many uses.
These drill bits are available in a range of sizes, from just under ¾ inch to 4 inches in diameter. They should be used with an angle grinder (or an adapter if using a standard drill). To extend the bit’s lifespan and prevent overheating, spray the surface of the masonry with water before and during using this bit.
FAQs About Drill Bits for Concrete
If you have questions regarding how to drill through concrete successfully, then read on for answers to some of the most common concerns.
Q: How do you drill into hard concrete?
Start by drilling a guide hole by positioning the tip on the desired spot and starting the drill at a low-speed setting. Once you’ve established a ⅛-inch hole, remove the drill, blow the dust out of the hole, and resume drilling at medium speed while applying steady pressure on the drill until it reaches the desired depth.
Q: Can you use a regular drill to drill into concrete?
You can use a regular drill to drill through concrete, although it will be slower than using a rotary hammer drill.
Q: How do you sharpen masonry drill bits?
Sharpening drill bits manually with a file or bench grinder is a complicated process. To sharpen a drill bit yourself, you need a machine specially designed for drill bit sharpening.