How to Drill Into a Brick Without a Hammer Drill

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Whether you want to put shelves, hang photo frames, or fix a TV, you need drilling into bricks. The easiest way is to use a hammer drill to cut into the brick wall. But most people are not aware of using the hammer drill appropriately.

Hence, it is wise to look for other alternatives to perform the drilling task on your own. In fact, you can save some bucks by not hiring professionals to do this job. So, let’s check out the other option. 

How To Drill Into a Brick Without A Hammer Drill

The alternative is to use a regular power drill for the purpose! But there are certain considerations that you need to keep in mind while using that. In fact, you need to use harder bits on your power drill to cut through the brick wall.


It takes more time & effort with a regular drill, but it is worth the try as it helps you save money. So, this guide here will help you learn how to drill into brick without a hammer drill.

Step 1: Take Safety Measures & Arrange The Equipment

  1. Get a dust mask that will prevent the brick particles from entering your mouth.
  2. Use some quality safety goggles to protect your eyes.
  3. Using safety gloves is also recommended for protecting hands.

Step 2: Proceed With The Marking

  1. It would be best if you marked the center of the holes.
  2. Use a good pencil or marker for marking the center of holes.
  3. Double-check the position, with the measuring tape, as per your requirements.
  4. Ensure that the centers are accurately marked.


If the marking is wrong, then eventually, the drilling will be incorrect as well. And if you drill over the hard brick wall inaccurately, then it can cause a hassle. So, emphasize this step! Take your time to verify the points before proceeding further.

Step 3: Use Tungsten Carbide Drill Bit Onto The Power Drill

Drilling of the bricks is not possible with the usual drill bit of power drills. If you tend to use it, then be ready to get a replacement, as it will blunt away in a blink. Therefore, you must get the tungsten carbide drill bit for cutting through the brick.

These bits are hard and possess that crushing force to drill through the brick wall.

It would help if you kept in mind to have replacement bits for efficient drilling. It is because, even though these bits are strong, they will still blunt away, and this, in turn, can create obstacles in your work. In addition, these bits will last for a longer drilling duration than the usual HSS bits.

Drill bit set

Though power drills are not as efficient as hammer drills to drill through the brick walls with default bits, they are cheaper. Therefore, stronger bits are used for proper implementation and to carry out the task efficiently.

Step 4: Use The Pilot Drill For Drilling Purpose

  1. A pilot drill will offer great efficiency in drilling through the brick walls.
  2. The cutting face of a pilot drill is small that implements less force for cutting into the brick.
  3. Also, a pilot drill will help prevent the drill bit from moving around during the job.
  4. The hole will be set on the center, more accurately, using a pilot drill.

Step 5: Drilling The Larger Holes (As Per Requirement)

  1. Use diamond core drill bits for drilling large holes.
  2. Such large drill holes are usually preferable for fitting the pipe works.
  3. Consider buying a set of diamond core bits to replace when one gets blunt.

Step 6: Commence With The Drilling Process

  1. Position the bit of your drill on the marked center.
  2. Implement pressure upon the bit that is in contact with the drill and pull the trigger.
  3. Use water to keep the heat in control.
  4. Take breaks in between the drills, as applying pressure might tire your forearms.
  5. Continue drilling until you have got the desirable hole at the appropriate places.
  6. When you are taking breaks between the drilling process, flush out the holes for a more efficient outcome.

Step 7: Drilling At The Tough Brick Sections (Optional)

If you intend to drill over a tough brick section on the wall, you will need a star head drill for the purpose. You can also use a cold chisel to get the same results. Start the drilling process by hitting with a hammer.

Brick fireplace under construction

Place the drill over the hole or the marking, and hit it with the hammer. After hitting it a couple of times, turn the bit 45 degrees around, and hit again.

A video demonstration can enlighten you about these steps more clearly. The tool used in this video is an impact drill. But, you can use any of the drills, such as power or pilot, to carry out the process. Check out this YouTube video here!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use A Drill Bit Sharpener For Fixing The Blunt Bits And Reuse Them?

Yes, if you want to purchase or rent a separate sharpener for the drill bit, you can go ahead with it. But fixing the drill bits will lower the efficiency of drilling outcomes. It does the job, but with a new replacement, the job will complete faster. In addition, you can save time and effort.

Can I Use An Impact Drill For Drilling The Bricks Instead Of Hammer Drills?

Impact drills can be one of the best options for drilling holes over brick walls instead of hammer drills. But, they are a bit expensive when you buy or rent them. Therefore, people prefer to use a pilot or power drill for this purpose.

But, if you have the impact drill, you can surely consider using it. To know more about impact drills, refer to this article which gives an insight into the uses.


It would be best to keep in mind that safety measures are essential to adopt before commencing this job. Furthermore, you do not want to injure yourself in the process of drilling holes for setting up your bookshelf or any other thing for that matter. So, follow the steps mentioned above and go ahead with the drilling process.

An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons.