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How to drill into brick without cracking it

By: Daniel Smith




How to drill into brick without cracking it? not a weird question since brick is very likely to break when drilled into incorrectly.

There are some guides online but they are not really clear at all. Plus they don’t tell you how to prevent cracks from happening. So in this guide, we will show you step by step, the best ways to drill into brick without causing any damage!

How to drill into brick without cracking it

Brick is one of the most common materials for constructing a building. It is made from clay and baked in a kiln at high temperatures. The heat makes the brick hard, durable, and sturdy.

To drill into brick without breaking it, you need a Carbide drill bit that has an abrasive surface to cut through the material. Make sure that you chisel away any mortar or other cementation from both surfaces before drilling in order to have better results.

Here is how to drill into brick without cracking it in 7 easy steps:

  1. Prepare the surface you want to drill

    First of all, you have to clean the brick surface that you want to drill into. This means degreasing it and removing any dust built up

    To prevent the brick from cracking you can make the surface slightly wet. Remember that brick is made from clay and that it will soften up when soaked.

    In order to make the brick soft, you should get a towel or any other cloth and put it on the brick surface. Make sure it makes contact with the brick and leave it there for at least one hour

  2. Get the right tools and bit set

    In order to get the best result, you should use the right drill and bit set. In general, we recommend a hammer drill from DEWALT and their drill bit set for masonry. (see below)

  3. Mark the point where you want to drill

    With a pencil or pen, you should mark the point where you would like the hole to be. Keep in mind that pen marks are hard to remove after you are done drilling. Therefore it might be best to use chalk or a pencil

  4. Level your drill with the brick

    Drilling straight is very important. Therefore we highly recommend you level your drill with the surface.

    You can do this by putting a square piece of wood against the drill bit. When the drill bit is at a 90-degree angle with the surface you know you are level.

    Keep checking if you are level with the wall during the whole drilling process.

  5. Start drilling without too much pressure

    Be sure not to exert too much pressure while drilling because this can cause the bit to get stuck and break your mortar joint if your hold isn’t strong enough.

    If you need to drill into brick, you must do it from the top (never drill from the side), and use a hammer drill. Proceed slowly, and don’t let the drill bit stop or bind

  6. Take your time to check while drilling

    The key is to be patient and take your time. Pushing the drill in too quickly will cause the brick to break.

  7. Remove any leftover dust from the hole

    It is important to remove any leftover dust from the hole you just drilled. When you hammer in a plug or screw you want to build up pressure inside the wall.

    You can remove dust with a vacuum cleaner. Alternatively, you can put the drill in reverse and turn out the dust from the hole.

Find the right drill bit set for brick

The right type of drill bit will help you with this task. The best idea is to do your research before buying so that you get the right size and type of bit. You can also use a masonry bit if your brick surface is too hard.

Our favorite drill bit set is the DEWALT masonry drill bit set. This set is great for drilling into brick and masonry!

DEWALT Masonry Drill Bit Set

DEWALT Masonry Drill Bit Set (DW5207)

our score: 9.3
  • MAX carbide surface
  • Very durable drill bits
  • Great value for money

How to drill into brick without a hammer drill

If you do not own an expensive hammer drill, don’t worry! If you just have to drill one hole an impact driver or regular drill will probably get the job done as well.

Here are the steps for drilling into brick without a hammer drill:

  • Use the right drill bit. We recommend the DEWALT masonry drill bit set
  • Make sure your drill bit is sharp. You can do so by feeling with your finger.
  • Make sure your impact driver or drill is fully charged and put on the highest rpm mode
  • Start by drilling a small hole first and work your way up to the desired diameter
  • A slow RPM to mark the way followed by full speed will get you the best result

How to drill screws into brick

The best way to drill screws into brick is to first fill the hole with a sealant. This will keep your drill from becoming clogged with brick dust and make it easier to pull out.

Use a drill bit that will be just barely wide enough for the screw to fit through, but not so wide that it will come back out of the hole as you are drilling.

Pro-tip: Use a piece of wood for more stability!

Secure a piece of wood against the surface of your work area so that the drill can do its job without slipping or moving around.

When you start drilling, go in at about a 45-degree angle, and then stop periodically to clean out any dust in your home before proceeding further.

Frequently asked questions

It is always best to use plugs when screwing into brick. If a plug isn’t used the screw will not have any grip on the wall and therefore will be rendered useless.

Pre-drilling into brick is always a good idea. The chance of the brick cracking is greatly reduced this way. Another benefit of pre-drilling is that there will be less wear on your drill bits.

The best drill for drilling into brick is the DEWALT 20V MAX XR (DCD996B). You can also find a full guide on our website here.

The Author
Daniel Smith
My passion for power tools and work clothing started when I was a kid. My father and I used to build tree houses together, he taught me all the tricks of the trade! Meanwhile, I'm a 28-year-old with more than 7 years of experience on various job sites.

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