Has figuring out how to drill a hole into brick got your head spinning faster than your drill bit? Then make sure you check out this article for easy drilling tips!

Here are 8 tips for easy drilling:

  1. Put on protective gear
  2. Pick the right location
  3. Use the right tools
  4. Consider the weight of the object
  5. Think about the depth of the hole (don’t drill too deep!)
  6. Choose the right drill
  7. Choose the right drill bit
  8. Drill in short bursts or at a slow speed

So these are some of the most important tips for hassle-free drilling. Read on and let’s cover these in more detail.

Easy Tips to Drill Into Brick Easier

Drilling into brick. It sounds hard, but while the bricks may be tough, the job doesn’t have to be! Coming up is a list of 8 tips that will make the task a walk in the park.

Drilling into brick with a drill
Before you start any drilling ensure you have the the correct protection gear!

1.   Protective Gear

Safety first! Drilling into brick is not the riskiest job out there. But it is still better to be safe than to be sorry. After all, when drilling into the brick you could come up against flying shrapnel and dust.

To kit yourself out ready for this job, make sure you have put on the following protective gear:

Once you’re all suited and booted ready, you can jump to the next tip for drilling into bricks.

NOTE: If you are inside doing this job, make sure you keep the area as well ventilated as possible. Try leaving the windows open for an hour after you’ve completed the job or until the dust clears.

2.   The Right Location

Picking the right location for drilling goes beyond aesthetics. Here’s what you should consider before you begin to drill.

  1. The age of the brick. Choose a brick that doesn’t show signs of aging. Signs of aging include spalling and flaws like cracks.
  2. The integrity of the brick. Opt for bricks that feel firm and sturdy.
  3. The absence of pipes and cables. You must avoid drilling into bricks that cover over pipes and cables. If you’re not sure what’s behind the bricks, you can use a cable locator to find out.

So what can you do if the bricks are fragile in the area that you want to drill the hole? In this case, you can consider drilling into the masonry.

NOTE: Drilling into the masonry only works if you hang light objects.

3.   The Right Tools

Using the right tools will help you get the best results when drilling through bricks. But which tools are those? Earlier on, we listed the kit you will need for your own personal protection. What you will now see is a list of tools that will help you get the job done.

  • A tape measure. Accurately measure where you need to drill holes.
  • A pencil. Before you get started, mark the spots you need to drill with a pencil.
  • A hammer drill. You could also use an impact drill or an SDS drill.
  • Masonry drill bits. If you have an SDS drill, you will need SDS drill bits.
  • Masking tape. If you don’t have a low-speed drill, this could come in handy to mark your drill bit.
  • Canned compressed air. This is ideal for removing dust and debris from inside the drilled hole.
  • A wall anchor. Are you hanging a large, weighty object? If so, then you should consider using heavy-duty wall anchors.
  • Dustpan, broom, mop, vacuum cleaner. Drilling a hole in brick is messy work. These tools will help you get the house back in order.
  • Putty. Once you’ve finished drilling, seal any openings around the hole with putty. This will help strengthen the hold of the object on the brick wall.

4.   The Weight of the Object

What are you planning to hang from your hole in the bricks? It could be anything from a couple of dainty picture frames to a whopping 75-inch flat-screen TV. Whatever it is, you need to make sure your bricks are up to the strain.

If you’re drilling a hole in a brick for a heavy object, make sure you do the following.

  1. Check the age and the integrity of the brick. The last thing you want is for the brick to fall out of the wall…and your brand new flat screen with it.
  2. Check there aren’t any pipes or cables running behind the brick. If you’re not sure what’s behind your bricks, use a cable locator to find out.
  3. Use the right drills. You may need to drill a smaller hole first with a regular-sized drill bit. You can then use a hammer drill to make a bigger hole.
  4. Don’t drill into the masonry. Masonry is not strong enough to withstand the weight of a large object.

5.   The Depth of the Hole

When you are drilling, you mustn’t make holes that are too deep. What can happen if you do? If the hole is too deep you risk…

  • Affecting the anchor if you are mounting a heavy object
  • Weakening the integrity of the screw
  • Creating problems filling the hole if you make a mistake or wish to remove the hanging object in the future.

So what can you do to best control the depth of the hole you’re creating? Here are 2 tips.

  1. Mark your drill bit with tape. Once you know how deep the hole needs to be, mark a bit of tape around the bit so you know when to stop drilling. This works well on normal drills.
  2. Set the depth gauge. The nice thing about a hammer drill is that it comes with a depth gauge. Simply set the gauge and the drill will stop once you’ve reached your desired depth.

6.   The Right Drill

I get it, a drill is a drill. But there is a right drill to use and a wrong drill when it comes to making holes in bricks. A standard drill for example may not be strong enough for making a hole in tough brick or masonry.

Which drills and features work best? Take a look below.

  1. Hammer drills. These drills are awesome at burrowing into bricks and masonry.
  2. Impact drills. These are also known as percussion drills. Impact drills differ from hammer drills because they have a bonus reverse screwdriver function.
  3. SDS drills. These have the same features as hammer drills. The SDS (slotted drive system) helps the drill bit slide through the toughest materials like a knife through butter.
  4. Low-speed drills. Look for a drill with adjustable or low RPM (revolutions per minute). These are ideal for making large diameter holes in masonry.
Man holding hammer drill
Hammer drills are good for tough bricks and masonry.

7.   The Right Drill Bit

Working with the right drill is just as important as working with the right drill bit. But there are so many drill bits to choose from. Searching for the right one in your toolbox might feel like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack.

To help you narrow down the search, here are the names of some drill bits that are ideal for drilling through brick.

  • Masonry drill bits. As the name conveys, these drill bits are awesome at burrowing through masonry. But that’s not all, they can also drill through the following materials.
    • Brick
    • Concrete
    • Cement
    • Plaster
    • Stone
    • Ceramic tiles
  • SDS drill bits. Are you working with an SDS drill? Then you will need the matching drill bit for it to work. This drill bit is specially designed for the job.

8.   Drilling Speed

You must use the right drill speed when drilling into bricks. What happens if you drill too fast? Here is a list of the all-too-frustrating consequences.

  • Cracking the brick
  • Damaging the surface of the wall
  • Breaking or bending the drill bit
  • Overheating the drill bit
  • Getting the drill bit stuck

So what can you do to avoid drilling too fast? Here are some practical tips.

  1. Use a low-speed drill. Drills with low RPM (revolutions per minute) are ideal for bricks and masonry.
  2. Use a drill with an adjustable RPM. These drills are great for working with a variety of materials.
  3. Remove the bit from the hole periodically. Drilling in short bursts will allow you to clear debris from the hole. It will also give the drill a bit of time to cool down.

Conclusion

Drilling into brick isn’t easy. You have to choose the best tools, inspect the area and go at it with the right speed and control. I’m sure the tips in this article have guided you to complete the job successfully.

If this article has helped you, then why not check out some of our other articles and free guides? You could even sign up to our email list!

Have a great day!

-Craig