How do you drill into brick?

How do you drill into brick? - Fix It Cape Town

Brick is one of the most commonly used building materials due to its durability and aesthetic appeal. Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or a professional Contractor, knowing how to drill into brick is a crucial skill. From selecting the right drill and drill bit to dealing with potential challenges, this article will guide you through the process of drilling into brick and ensure clean and precise holes.

Choosing the Right Drill and Drill Bit

Before you start drilling into brick, it is essential to select the right drill and drill bit for the job. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Rotary Hammer Drill: For drilling into brick, a rotary hammer drill is highly recommended. These drills provide the necessary power and impact to penetrate brick effectively.

  2. Corded or Cordless: While both corded and cordless drills can be used for drilling into brick, corded drills are generally more powerful and suitable for larger projects. Cordless drills, on the other hand, offer greater portability and convenience.

  3. Drill Bit Type: When it comes to drilling into brick, masonry drill bits are the most suitable option. These bits are designed with a carbide tip that can easily cut through the hard surface of brick.

  4. Drill Bit Size: The size of the drill bit will depend on the diameter of the hole you need to create. Common sizes for drilling into brick include 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, and 1/2-inch drill bits.

Techniques for Drilling into Brick

Now that you have the right tools for the job, it’s time to start drilling into brick. Follow these steps to ensure clean and precise holes:

  1. Mark the Spot: Begin by marking the exact spot where you want to drill the hole. Use a pencil or a marker to make a clear and visible mark.

  2. Safety Precautions: Put on safety goggles and dust mask to protect your eyes and lungs from debris and dust that may be generated during the drilling process.

  3. Start Slowly: Start drilling at a slow speed to create a pilot hole. This helps prevent the drill bit from slipping on the brick surface.

  4. Apply Steady Pressure: Apply steady and even pressure on the drill while maintaining a perpendicular angle to the brick. Avoid excessive force, as it may cause the drill bit to overheat or break.

  5. Keep the Drill Cool: To prevent the drill bit from overheating, periodically lift it out of the hole to allow cool air to flow around it. You can also use a small amount of water or a lubricant to keep the bit cool.

  6. Depth Control: Use a depth stop or a piece of tape wrapped around the drill bit to control the depth of the hole. This ensures consistency and precision in your drilling.

  7. Clean the Hole: Once you have drilled the hole, clean out any loose debris using a brush or compressed air. This will ensure a secure fit when inserting screws or anchors.

Dealing with Potential Challenges

Drilling into brick can present some challenges that require extra attention. Here are a few common issues and how to tackle them:

1. Cracks in the Brick

Solution: If you encounter cracks while drilling into brick, stop immediately and evaluate the situation. It is crucial to assess the stability of the structure before proceeding. If the crack appears to be significant, consult a professional before continuing.

2. Hitting Mortar Joints

Solution: Accidentally drilling into mortar joints instead of the brick can weaken the structure. To avoid this, use a masonry bit and apply slow and controlled pressure. You can also use a stud finder to locate the bricks behind the mortar.

3. Overheating Drill Bit

Solution: To prevent the drill bit from overheating, ensure you use a suitable drill bit designed for masonry. Take frequent breaks to allow the bit to cool down and use a lubricant or small amounts of water to keep it cool.

4. Dust and Debris

Solution: Drilling into brick generates a significant amount of dust and debris. To minimize the mess, consider using a dust extraction system or work near a shop vacuum to suck up the debris as you drill.


Q: Can I use a regular drill to drill into brick?

A: While it is technically possible to use a regular drill, it is not recommended. Regular drills lack the power and impact necessary to penetrate brick effectively. Using a rotary hammer drill ensures better results.

Q: What type of drill bit should I use for drilling into brick?

A: It is best to use a masonry drill bit with a carbide tip for drilling into brick. These bits are specifically designed to cut through hard materials like brick and provide clean and precise holes.

Q: How do I choose the right size drill bit for the job?

A: The size of the drill bit will depend on the diameter of the hole you need to create. Consider the requirements of your project, such as the size of screws or anchors you plan to use, and choose the appropriate drill bit size accordingly.


Drilling into brick requires careful selection of the right tools and techniques to achieve clean and precise holes. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can ensure successful drilling into brick, whether you are undertaking a DIY project or working as a professional contractor. Remember to prioritize safety, take necessary precautions, and address any potential challenges that may arise. With practice and the right equipment, you’ll be able to master the art of drilling into brick and complete your projects with confidence.

Handyman Cape Town

Open chat
Contact us now
Scan the code
Hello 👋
Can we help you get a free quote?