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How Do I Choose the Best Drill Bit for Brick?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated May 16, 2024
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To aid in your search for the best drill bit for brick, you must consider which type of drill motor you will be using and how many holes you will be drilling. Typically, you will have three major choices when picking a drill bit: carbide or tungsten tipped, diamond tipped, and plain carbon steel. The diamond-tipped bit is top of the line for most drilling needs, but the added cost may not warrant purchasing the bit if it will not be used very often. If you plan to drill several holes in brick, you may wish to consider the tungsten- or carbide-tipped bit.

For the most basic of drilling needs, a plain steel masonry drill bit will suffice if used in a plain drill motor. This type of drill bit may become damaged quickly if it's used in a hammer drill. Unlike a regular drill motor, a hammer drill not only spins the drill bit around, it pounds it into the brick or concrete, effectively chipping the stone away as the bit digs into the materials. This has the tendency to flatten the tip of the plain steel masonry bit and adds heat, which is the enemy of all drill bits.

The tungsten-tipped bit is a very durable drill bit for brick, capable of surviving in a regular or hammer-type drill motor. You may wish to purchase more than one of these bits, however, if you have several holes to drill. You can improve the durability of this type of bit by changing it after each hole. This allows the drill bit to cool and retains the strength of the tungsten or carbide coating. If you are searching for the best drill bit for long use, the best hole finish, and the fastest drilling capability, a diamond-tipped drill bit is typically your best choice.

The diamond-tipped drill bit will not only drill several holes in brick without becoming dull, it will also leave the cleanest and roundest hole when finished. Other drill bits have the tendency to elongate the hole as it becomes deeper. You will also commonly experience less cracking of the brick and masonry when using this type of drill bit for brick. You should, however, be aware that some of the inexpensive diamond-tipped drill bits will not survive long in a hammer drill. This is one area where it is true that typically you get what you pay for.

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Discussion Comments
By Heavanet — On Jul 31, 2014

If you are doing a home improvement project that requires drilling bricks, you should have several brick drill bits on hand. It is common to break or dull drill bits when drilling bricks, and it is very frustrating to stop what you are doing to go to the hardware store to buy more.

By Talentryto — On Jul 30, 2014

Regardless of the type of brick you need to drill, don't waste your money on a regular steel drill bit. Though they are usually not very expensive, you will end up paying more money for this type of drill bit because you will need several of them as they break from drilling the bricks.

Do yourself a favor and invest in some quality tungsten drill bits. This material is very durable and not likely to break, even when you are drilling into the hardest brick.

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