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Tools

Are there drill bits specifically for brick

UPDATED JUNE 2022

Drill bits used specifically for bricks are called masonry drill bits. These have an arrow head shaped tip designed to quickly drill all types of masonry. They must be used along with a drill that has a hammer function.

Bricks are hard to drill through and you will only be able to do that with a masonry bit. No other drill bit will work and you will end up ruining that type of bit.

What does a masonry drill bit look like?

masonry drill bit for brick

If you are going into a shop to buy a masonry drill bit, then this is exactly what it looks like. The most distinct difference is the shape of the tip, which looks like the head of an arrow.

The flutes are also set a steep angle and it is this angle that helps to remove the brick dust when you are drilling. Most other drill bits have a pointed tip so it is quite easy to tell the difference.

Best Masonry Drill Bit Set for Brick

These are the best selling masonry drill bit set that is currently available on the UK market.

There are 5 drill bits with sizes of 4,5,6, 8 and 10 mm

These can be used to quickly drill brick for jobs such as making holes for plastic plugs, drilling anchors, pipework clearance holes, holes for cables etc.

These have a carbide tip so they last for a very long time and they come in a handy little holder.

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You can buy masonry drill bits as a set like this and there are plenty to choose from. The reason people buy sets is that they are always better value for money than buying single drill bits.

Different sets will come in different sizes so really depends on what reason you are drilling your holes, and what size you need. The most popular sizes are 6, 8 and 10mm for most home use.

Best Long Masonry Drill Bit Set for Brick

Sometimes you need to drill the whole way through brick - these are for jobs like pushing through a satellite or aerial cable

There may be a brick wall, then a cavity and then another brick or block type wall to get through.

For that type of brick drilling you will need extra long masonry drill bits

The set of three shown to the left come in 8, 10 and 12 mm sizes and are 400 mm long.

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You can buy masonry drill bits as a set like this and there are plenty to choose from. The reason people buy sets is that they are always better value for money than buying single drill bits.

More commonly these longer masonry drill bits are just bought as a single as they are usually only being used for one purpose.

Best Hex Shank Masonry Drill Bit Set for Brick

The shank of the drill bit is the part that is held by the chuck of the drill

Most drill bits have a round shank but sometimes these can slip

Hex shanks have six flat sides so they give a better grip and some people prefer to use those.

The set of five shown to the left come in 3,4,5,6 and 8mm sizes and have a really hard tungsten carbide tip for long wear

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Brick Screws - No Drilling

Not everyone knows about masonry screws which can be driven straight into brick without the need for drilling any holes

You will need a drill/driver to power these in

The screws shown to the right come with a T30 sized Torx driver bit to fit the screw head

This is a pack of 20 screws and they  come in a wide variety of lengths - 40,50,60,70,80,90,100,110,120,150,180 and 200 mm 

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How to drill into brick without cracking it?

In real life most brick will not crack unless you are using some type of heavy duty drill. That said that although brick is hard to drill through, it is also brittle.

One method to avoid cracking the brick is when starting to drill the hole use a drill only option. In other words turn the hammer feature off just to get the hole started.

Once you have made an impression, then turn the hammer feature back on and drill until the job is finished. That will stop any damage to the face of the brick.

What are bricks made from?

The main ingredient used in making bricks is clay, and the type of clay actually determines the colour of the brick. Other materials are added to the clay and include iron oxide, magnesia, lime, sand and water.

These materials then go through one of three forming process depending on which process the manufacturer uses. The three processes are extruding, moulding or pressing. We won't bore you with those.

After that they are dried to remove any moisture. Finally they are fired in a kiln and it is this final process that makes them hard.

In most homes in the UK, the bricks have an orange/red colour. They are joined together using mortar which is just a mix of cement and sand.

Best Drill for Brick - Hammer Feature

The masonry drill bit is just half of what you need. These are usually affordable as you can see. However, that is only one half of the equation. You will also need to buy, own or borrow a drill with a hammer feature.

This can be a drill/driver, a hammer drill or an SDS drill. Most people will own some type of cordless drill/driver these days. You will need to check if it has a hammer feature.

Cordless drill/drivers can be used to both drill and drive screws in to wood. Not all of them have a hammer feature though. You can usually tell quite quickly by looking at the chuck area.

From the above always check that you can see a hammer icon. If that isn't there then the drill/driver can not be used for masonry or brick drilling.

Can you drill brick with a regular drill?

Yes you can drill brick with a regular drill. A standard drill has a turning action usually measured as revolutions per minute (RPM). If you put a masonry bit into the chuck then you can drill brick.

However, it will be a very long process. If your regular drill has a hammer feature then you should activate that. That feature adds a bumping action as well as the turning action and that is measure in bumps/blows per minute.

It is this bumping or hammering action that really speeds up drilling through bricks.

Can a Cordless Drill go through brick?

Yes you can use a cordless drill to drill through brick. As long as you use a sharp masonry drill bit and your cordless drill has a hammer function then a cordless drill can easily get through brick.

We would also recommend making sure you have a fully charged battery.

Why is drilling into brick so hard?

Brick is a strange material. On one hand it is brittle. Drop a brick on the ground and the chances are it will break or at least crack. However pack them one on top of each other and you have a wall that will last for years.

When brick is being processed the materials get packed together very tightly. They are then baked and this is what makes them so hard to drill through.

Should you drill into brick or mortar?

You should always drill into brick. Mortar is very soft and has no strength to hold anything of weight. If you are simply drilling a hole for a screw or hook to hold up something light such as a watering can, then drilling mortar is ok.

If you are hanging up anything heavy or for putting up shelves always drill through the brick.

In summary the drill bits specifically for brick are called masonry drill bits. You can recognise these drill bits by looking at the point and seeing if they have an arrow shaped head. This tip is usually made from carbide to harden the tip and make it last longer.

Most masonry drill bits have a round shank and that will fit most drills or drill/drivers. As we have shown there are also Hex shank drill bits that don't slip as much.

Finally, some people just prefer to use masonry screws that will screw directly into brick and save you the trouble of drilling at all.

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