Can you drill into cement?

Can you drill into cement? - Fix It Cape Town

Are you wondering whether it’s possible to drill into cement? Maybe you have a DIY project that requires drilling into a concrete wall or a professional job that involves cement drilling. Whatever the case may be, drilling into cement can be a challenging task if you don’t have the right tools and techniques. In this article, we will explore whether it is indeed possible to drill into cement and discuss the necessary tools and drill bits to accomplish the task effectively.

Is it Possible to Drill into Cement?

Yes, it is possible to drill into cement. Cement is a durable and sturdy material commonly used in construction. However, drilling into cement can be more demanding than drilling into other materials such as wood or metal due to its hard and abrasive nature. To overcome these challenges, it is crucial to use the appropriate tools and techniques.

Necessary Tools for Drilling into Cement

Before starting any drilling project into cement, you will need to gather the following tools:

  1. Drill Machine: Invest in a high-quality hammer drill or rotary hammer drill. These specialized drills are designed to drill into tough materials like concrete and cement effectively. Regular drills may not have enough power or impact to penetrate the cement surface.

  2. Drill Bits: Use masonry drill bits specifically designed for drilling into concrete and cement. These bits have a carbide or diamond tip that can withstand the hardness of the material and provide efficient drilling.

  3. Safety Gear: It is essential to prioritize safety when drilling into cement. Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris, ear protection to minimize noise exposure, and gloves to protect your hands. Additionally, consider wearing a dust mask or respirator to avoid inhaling any fine particles.

  4. Cleaning Tools: Cement drilling produces dust and debris. Have a broom, vacuum cleaner, or brush handy to clean up the area after drilling.

  5. Water Supply: Drilling into cement generates heat and friction, which can damage the drill bits. To cool down the bits and reduce the risk of overheating, use water as a lubricant. Keep a water source nearby to wet the drilling area periodically.

Techniques for Drilling into Cement Effectively

To successfully drill into cement, follow these techniques:

  1. Mark the Drilling Spot: Use a pencil or marker to clearly mark the spot where you intend to drill. Double-check the accuracy of the mark to avoid any mistakes.

  2. Start with a Small Pilot Hole: Before drilling the final hole size, create a pilot hole using a smaller drill bit. This preliminary hole will guide the larger drill bit and minimize the chances of the bit slipping or wandering.

  3. Apply Steady Pressure: Hold the drill with a firm grip and apply steady pressure while drilling into the cement. Avoid excessive force, as it may cause the bit to break or bind. Let the drill and the bit do the work.

  4. Use Proper Speed and Hammer Function: Hammer drills and rotary hammer drills have different speed and hammer settings. Adjust these settings based on the thickness and hardness of the cement you are drilling. Refer to the drill’s manual for the recommended speed and function settings.

  5. Keep the Bits Cool: Drilling into cement generates heat, which can damage the drill bits. To prevent overheating, occasionally dip the drill bit into water or wet the drilling area with water. This will cool down the bit and extend its lifespan.

  6. Go Slow and Take Breaks: Drilling into cement can be a time-consuming process. Take your time and let the drill work at a slower pace. Pushing the drill too quickly can result in overheating or a less precise hole. Take breaks to allow the drill bit to cool down and prevent any damage.

  7. Clear Dust and Debris: As you drill, dust and debris will accumulate in the hole. Regularly clear these materials using a brush or blowing them out with compressed air if available. This will improve the drilling efficiency and prevent clogging.


Q: Can I use a regular drill for drilling into cement?

A: While it is possible to use a regular drill, it is not recommended. Regular drills are not designed for drilling into hard materials like cement and may not provide the necessary power or impact. It is best to invest in a hammer drill or rotary hammer drill for better drilling results.

Q: How do I choose the right drill bit for drilling into cement?

A: Select masonry drill bits with carbide or diamond tips. These bits are specifically designed for drilling into concrete and cement, and they offer superior durability and performance. Consider the thickness of the cement you are drilling and choose the appropriate bit size accordingly.

Q: What are the risks of drilling into cement?

A: Drilling into cement can generate flying debris, produce loud noise, and create fine dust particles. It is essential to wear proper safety gear, including goggles, ear protection, gloves, and a dust mask, to minimize the associated risks.


Drilling into cement is indeed possible with the right tools and techniques. Invest in a hammer drill or rotary hammer drill, and use masonry drill bits with carbide or diamond tips to achieve better drilling results. Remember to prioritize safety by wearing protective gear and use water as a lubricant to keep the drill bits cool. By following these guidelines, you can confidently tackle any drilling project into cement and achieve the desired outcome.

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