Core Drill Bits for Concrete: What You Need to Know

Core Drill Bits for Concrete: What You Need to Know

Picking out drill bits for concrete work will look different from those used with softer materials like wood. With concrete work, you need a durable drill bit that won’t dull or break during the application.

This article will discuss what types of drill bits are best for concrete work and provide the tools and tips to help you during the selection process.

What Are Core Drill Bits?

Core drill bit drilling into concrete wall

Core drill bits are designed to cut out holes in masonry work with heavy-duty, hard materials such as concrete and brick. These bits are made from durable material and create hollow holes, removing the excess material while drilling.

Using another drill bit for this job won’t be nearly as effective. Because of the strength of concrete and other variables, other options won't hold up.

A core drill bits can tackle the obstacles that typically get in the way when drilling through concrete, such as:

  • Excess dust
  • Embedded stones
  • Thick, hard materials

If you are ever tasked with the challenge of cutting into concrete, you will quickly notice why the core drill bits specifically designed for this material are so important.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Core Drill Bit

Before choosing a drill bit and jumping into the task, quickly examine these various factors.

Material of the Core Drill Bit

(196) Diamond Core Drill Bits vs Carbide Core Drill Bits - Concrete Drilling - YouTube

Core bits come in various materials, each able to drill through the workpiece at hand most effectively and efficiently as possible.

When it comes to drilling concrete, there aren’t very many materials that can handle the task. In fact, most core drill bits for concrete are created from tiny metal pieces and industrial diamond particles.

Types of Drill Bits

Different types of drill bits can also be used for concrete work. You can use drill bits for masonry, rotary hammer bits, double flues, and saw drill bits.

  • Masonry drill bits: These come in a few different forms, but all of them have carbide tips designed to penetrate the hard stone, including concrete. Some sport crown-shaped tips, while others have tips that look more spear-shaped.
  • Rotary hammer bits: These drill bits work with a rotary hammer drill, penetrating tough materials and stone through an impact motion.
  • Double flute: A double flute bit drills through masonry and concrete two times faster than other bits. These bits have spiral grooves around the bit for fast drilling, increasing the material removed as the tool moves through the workpiece.
  • Saw drill bits: These bits are used to drill holes into all types of material. These bits require a special diamond coating to cut through cement and other types of masonry with a clean finish.

Drilling Conditions: Wet vs. Dry Drilling

You can purchase drill bits made for drilling into concrete that has been wetted down. This is typically done to help elevate some free-floating dust particles that can become potentially harmful when inhaled.

Wetting concrete while drilling can also keep your tools from overheating. This will save you time and money and is usually the most preferred option for concrete drilling. Dry bits are typically only used when wetting the project isn’t possible (i.e., near electrical wiring).

Type of Drill You Are Using

Before doing anything, you should ensure the bit you choose is designed for your drill. Drill bits for standard drills will not work with hammer drills and vice versa.

Nothing is more frustrating than getting ready to tackle a DIY home project only to find out you bought the wrong bit.

Standard Concrete Core Bit sizes

Core bits for drilling concrete come in various sizes, with the standard sizes ranging from 1 to 20 inches. You can also go bigger or smaller if needed with specialized ordering.

You can purchase core bits separately or in a kit. We recommend getting the entire set, especially if you often do this type of work. This will give you a variety of size options and will save you money from getting each size separately at different times.

Tips and Tricks for Drilling Concrete

Core drill bits stacked in a pyramid

Having the best bit is only half the battle when drilling concrete. Here are a few great tips and tricks to help ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible the next time you are working on this type of job.

  • Clear debris periodically. Stopping to clear debris from your workpiece is important. This will keep the drill bit from slowing and decrease the chances of your drill binding up.
  • Drill a smaller hole first. Use a smaller drill bit to create a starting hole for your larger jobs. This will help keep your bit from slipping out of place.
  • Think about depth. The deeper you go, the more bit length you will need. This means getting an extender to make it through every job.
  • Stay safe. Drilling into any material can be dangerous; this includes concrete. Always use safety gear and equipment while working on any job.
  • Consider your motor type. If you are working in an area without electricity, a drill with an electric motor will not do you any good. In this case, you want a hydraulic one.


What is the best material for core drill bits when drilling concrete?

You should always purchase core drill bits made with industrial diamond particles and bits of small metal pieces.

Should you drill concrete wet?

Core drilling concrete is typically easier and safer when wet. However, it should only be done safely in applications that allow this option.

What is the standard size core drill bit for concrete?

The standard sizes for core drill bits are between 1 to 20 inches in diameter.


Although it seems like there is much to consider when choosing the best core drill bit when working with concrete, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Use the article above to help you pick the perfect bit for your concrete work and the tips and tricks to assist in making the process easier.

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