Are you searching for the best drill for concrete? All too often people under estimate concrete but the fact is concrete is a very unforgiving building material that takes a little brute force and proper technique to get any job done. This article should prove to be very helpful to you especially if this is the first time you are tackling a job like this. We hope to not only help you choose the right drill for concrete but also give you the confidence and know how that you need to tackle this job successfully.

Drilling Concrete With A Regular Drill

One of the biggest reasons that people have a hard time when they are trying to drill concrete is because they simply do not have the right tool for the job. Often times people try to use a regular drill which will usually result in burned out bits and a few choice words that I will not mention here in order to keep this site G Rated

This is not to say that you absolutely cannot use a regular drill for concrete. If you only need to drill a handful of holes and find yourself a good masonry bit then go ahead and try this option. Keep in mind not all concrete is created equal so it may or may not work depending on your concrete.

Here are a few things to know before trying to drill concrete with a regular drill:

  • If you are drilling larger holes then start with a small bit and work your way up
  • Use water to keep the bit cool and prevent it from burning it out
  • Pull the bit out periodically in order to pull all of the concrete dust out of the hole
  • If you are drilling and come to a stop you probably hit aggregate, try using a nail or punch and hammer to break it and carry on.

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Drilling Concrete With A Hammer Drill

A hammer drill is the second best option for drilling concrete. This is a better option than a regular drill by far because the hammer action will chisel away the concrete while the spinning action drills. It can still prove to be a very tedious task if you are drilling lots of holes and/or holes bigger than 1/2″.

Here are a few things to know before drilling concrete with a hammer drill:

  • Do not push hard on the drill while drilling, let the hammer action do the work
  • If you are drilling larger holes then start with a small bit and work your way up
  • Use water to keep the bit cool and prevent it from burning it out
  • Pull the bit out periodically in order to pull all of the concrete dust out of the hole
  • If you are drilling and come to a stop you probably hit aggregate, try using a nail or punch and hammer to break it and carry on.
  • Start off drilling slowly, creating a shallow hole that will act as a guide when drilling the rest of the hole

The video below by ElmoIsBold demonstrates the difference between a hammer drill and a rotary hammer drill. This should help you decide whether a hammer drill will work for you.

 

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The Best Drill For Concrete

A rotary hammer drill is by far the best drill for concrete. A rotary hammer drill is specifically designed to smash holes through concrete with ease, in fact most rotary hammers are engineered for the optimal timing of the hammer action to take place. If you plan to drill big holes, many holes or both then I would not go without one.

How much does a rotary hammer drill cost?

The cost of a rotary hammer drill for concrete can range anywhere from around $100 to $3000. For the average Do It Yourselfer or contractor not looking to drill holes bigger than 3/4 ” we recommend the Bosch 11255VSR Bulldog Extreme which sells for around $170.

If you only plan to use a rotary hammer to drill concrete once or even a couple of times then there is no shame in either renting one from a hardware store or borrowing one from a friend. Also poke around on online classified sites because often times you can find great deals that will save you some money.

How big of a rotary hammer will you need?

When you are looking for the right rotary hammer it is very important to ensure that you are picking up a rotary hammer that is going to be big enough for the hole that you plan to drill in the concrete. Most rotary hammers utilize one of three systems SDS Plus, SDS Max or Spline and each of these systems are designed for drilling different size holes. Keep in mind that these are just guidelines and you can drill a little bigger than recommended but do not make a habit of it.  Like any other tool or machinery, constantly pushing a rotary hammer to its max will eventually lead to failure. The recommended hole size capacity for each system are as follows…

What is the best brand of rotary hammer for concrete?

This is kind of a loaded question and can even cause a little controversy. If you have a brand that you are particular to, then by all means you can purchase your rotary hammer based on that brand. Personally though I must say that I love my Bosch Rotary Hammers, on a power to weight ratio I find them far superior. In fact I had a friend with a $800 Hilti Rotary Hammer that was big and bulky and my much smaller, cheaper $200 Bosch out performed his time and time again.

Check Out Our Rotary Hammer Reviews Here

Compare The Best Rotary Hammer Drills For Concrete

Hopefully that helps you in finding the best drill for concrete. Now let’s have a look at a side by side slider to compare our top choices for rotary hammer drills. We will have three different charts SDS Plus, SDS Max and Spline so you can compare based on your specific concrete drilling needs. In these comparison charts we will look at the following:

  • Price
  • Amperage
  • Voltage
  • Power Source
  • BPM (Blows Per Minute)
  • RPM (Revs Per Minute)
  • Impact Energy
  • Max Capacity
  • Weight
  • Length
  • Warranty
  • Avg User Rating

Our Top SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Picks For Concrete

*Simply Slide Left & Right To Compare*

Avg. Price:
$180
Amps:
7.5
Voltage:
120V
Power Source:
Electric
BPM (Blows Per Min):
0-5800
RPM (Revs Per Min):
0-1300
Impact Energy:
2.2 Ft. Lbs.
Chuck Type:
SDS Plus
Max Capacity:
1 Inch
Weight:
6.7 Lbs.
Overall Length :
17.25 Inch
Warranty:
1 Yr.
Avg. Rating:
4.7 Star Rating
Avg. Price:
$200
Amps:
N/A
Voltage:
12V
Power Source:
Cordless Lith. Ion
BPM (Blows Per Min):
0-6200
RPM (Revs Per Min):
0-900
Impact Energy:
.9 Ft. Lbs
Chuck Type:
SDS Plus
Max Capacity:
5/8 Inch
Weight:
3.9 Lbs.
Overall Length :
10 Inch
Warranty:
5 Yr.
Avg. Rating:
5 Star Rating
Avg. Price:
$240
Amps:
8
Voltage:
120V
Power Source:
Electric
BPM (Blows Per Min):
0-5460
RPM (Revs Per Min):
0-1230
Impact Energy:
2.4 Ft. Lbs.
Chuck Type:
SDS Plus
Max Capacity:
1 1/8 Inch
Weight:
6.9 Lbs.
Overall Length :
17.4 Inch
Warranty:
1 Yr.
Avg. Rating:
4.8 Star Rating
Avg. Price:
$250
Amps:
8
Voltage:
120V
Power Source:
Electric
BPM (Blows Per Min):
0-4300
RPM (Revs Per Min):
0-1100
Impact Energy:
2.5 Ft Lbs.
Chuck Type:
SDS Plus
Max Capacity:
1 Inch
Weight:
6.8 Lbs.
Overall Length :
11.5 Inch
Warranty:
3 Yr.
Avg. Rating:
4.5 Star Rating

Our Top SDS Max Rotary Hammer Picks For Concrete

Avg. Price:
$290
Amps:
10
Voltage:
120V
Power Source:
Electric
BPM (Blows Per Min):
0-2500
RPM (Revs Per Min):
0-680
Impact Energy:
4.6 Ft. Lbs.
Chuck Type:
SDS Max
Max Capacity:
1 9/16 Inch
Weight:
14.6 Lbs.
Overall Length :
18 Inch
Warranty:
1 Yr.
Avg. Rating:
4.8 Star Rating
Avg. Price:
$400
Amps:
12
Voltage:
120V
Power Source:
Electric
BPM (Blows Per Min):
0-3300
RPM (Revs Per Min):
0-490
Impact Energy:
8 Ft. Lbs.
Chuck Type:
SDS Max
Max Capacity:
1 9/16 Inch
Weight:
13.55 Lbs.
Overall Length :
18.6 Inch
Warranty:
3 Yr.
Avg. Rating:
4.7 Star Rating
Avg. Price:
$400
Amps:
12
Voltage:
120V
Power Source:
Electric
BPM (Blows Per Min):
1200-2750
RPM (Revs Per Min):
170-340
Impact Energy:
6.1 Ft. Lbs.
Chuck Type:
SDS Max
Max Capacity:
1 9/16 Inch
Weight:
14.2 Lbs.
Overall Length :
19 Inch
Warranty:
1 Yr.
Avg. Rating:
4.7 Star Rating
Bosch RH540M

Our Top Spline Rotary Hammer Picks For Concrete

Avg. Price:
$510
Amps:
13
Voltage:
120V
Power Source:
Electric
BPM (Blows Per Min):
1700-2900
RPM (Revs Per Min):
170-340
Impact Energy:
6.5 Ft. Lbs.
Chuck Type:
Spline
Max Capacity:
1 5/8 Inch
Weight:
15.1 Lbs.
Overall Length :
19.25 Inch
Warranty:
1 Yr.
Avg. Rating:
5 Star Rating
Avg. Price:
$390
Amps:
12
Voltage:
120V
Power Source:
Electric
BPM (Blows Per Min):
3300
RPM (Revs Per Min):
490
Impact Energy:
5.9 Ft. Lbs.
Chuck Type:
Spline
Max Capacity:
1 9/16 Inch
Weight:
13.55 Lbs.
Overall Length :
18.6 Inch
Warranty:
3 Yr.
Avg. Rating:
4.5 Star Rating
Avg. Price:
$340
Amps:
8
Voltage:
120V
Power Source:
Electric
BPM (Blows Per Min):
2800
RPM (Revs Per Min):
380
Impact Energy:
5.2 Ft. Lbs.
Chuck Type:
Spline
Max Capacity:
1 1/2 Inch
Weight:
17 Lbs.
Overall Length :
18 Inch
Warranty:
1 Yr.
Avg. Rating:
4.5 Star Rating

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