How to Screw Into Concrete Without a Hammer Drill? Is It Possible?

How To Screw Into Concrete Without A Hammer Drill

Last Updated on November 17, 2022

You plan to hang some shelves in your garage, which requires you to drill into exposed concrete walls. However, you are not sure if your regular drill is capable of the task at hand. Don’t worry! This guide will show you how to screw into concrete without a hammer drill using the standard power drill.

What Do You Need to Drill Into Concrete Without a Hammer Drill?

It is possible to screw or drill into concrete without a hammer drill. However, it would be best if you had the right tools. Also, you need to understand how to drill correctly. Otherwise, you could risk damaging your tools and the concrete.

The following are the main components you need for drilling into concrete.

A Regular Drill With Adjustable Speed and Torque Settings

First, you need a drill. A regular rotary drill from manufacturers like Bosch, DeWalt, Black+Decker, and Makita is fine. However, it is preferable if the drill has the following:

  • A head that allows for changeable drill bits
  • Variable speed settings
  • Variable torque settings

A head that allows the use of different drill bits is essential. Almost all drills have this feature. It gives greater flexibility while tackling other jobs like drilling brick, mortar, wood, and metal. For drilling into concrete without a hammer drill, a changeable head is vital because you cannot use a standard drill bit.

Next, if you must use a regular drill, it should have variable speed and torque settings. When using concrete drill bits, you may need to adjust the speed and torque. For example, you will need to complete the task at a lower speed rate to avoid damaging the drill bit in most instances. Also, having variable speed and torque settings gives you greater control in drilling the hole.

A Selection of Different Size Masonry Drill Bits

To tackle your drilling project effectively, it also advises having a set of masonry drill bits. If you use regular drill bits, you could overheat the drill or wear down and break the drill bits without actually creating a hole in the concrete! Standard drill bits are generally not strong enough or dense enough to tackle more rigid and hard materials like concrete.

It is why a masonry drill bit set is essential. Masonry drill bits have two benefits compared to standard drill bits.

  • The bit’s tip is much thicker, allowing it to withstand more significant pressure and make holes in stricter materials.
  • Masonry drill bits are from heavy-duty materials like tungsten carbide. They are less brittle and have a much lower chance of breaking and wearing down when boring into concrete.

The Best Way to Screw Into Concrete Without a Hammer Drill

How to Screw Into Concrete Without a Hammer Drill

Once you have your drill and masonry drill bits, you can start drilling your hole. However, you should understand some simple steps and tips to drill effectively and make the hole easily without damaging the drill or the concrete.

1. Use a Small Masonry Drill Bit First.

People often make the mistake of using their most significant diameter drill bit first. They believe that using a considerable diameter masonry drill bit will power through the material quickly. It is not the case, and it is not the best practice.

First, use your tiniest masonry drill bit to weaken the concrete and create a smaller pilot hole. Remember, your regular drill does not have as much power as a hammer drill.

2. Once You Have Drilled a Hole, Change to a More Significant Drill Bit.

With a smaller pilot hole created, you have now broken the concrete’s surface and removed much of the materials and debris.

The second time you drill, the hole should be easier to insert.

Depending on the hole’s size, the depth, and the drill bits you have, you may have to repeat this process two or three times to get the job done and the correct-sized hole.

 3. If You Find Any Blockages, Use a Hammer and Nail

Sometimes, when drilling into concrete, you can hit blockages. You may be drilling but find that you simply aren’t penetrating through the mortar, bricks, or concrete any further. Don’t worry since you can fix this.

  • Use a hammer and nail to break through the wall and blockages.
  • Place a long pin into the hole so that it is protruding.
  • Hit the nail with your hammer to break up the blockage. It should loosen debris and allow you to start using your drill again.
  • Make sure not to use too much power when hammering. Otherwise, you could distort the shape of the holes.

4. Whilst Concrete Drilling, Apply Water to the Drill Bit and Hole.

When working on concrete without a hammer drill, your regular drill could overheat. It does not have the same motion as hammer drills, and it requires more power.

The best way to reduce the chance of overheating is to pour water over the drill bit and holes whilst drilling. Adding a little water over the drill bit will reduce the temperature and friction. It will improve the efficiency of the drill bit and ensure you can keep going through the wall.

Pro-Tip: Consider having a second person with you. This person can hold a vacuum close to the holes to clear any excess dust and debris from the drilling. It can help keep the area clean and make sure you are not breathing in concrete dust.

5. Concentrate on Efficiency, Not Speed

Finally, to drill into the concrete using a regular drill, you must be patient. It is not a quick job in comparison to using a hammer drill. If you try to use too much power and speed, you will wear the drill bit down. Also, you could overheat the drill and risk burning the motor out completely!

As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race! Set the drill at a medium speed and torque, and apply gentle pressure. Let the drill and motor do their job. The task may take longer to complete, but you won’t damage your tool!

Regardless, a Hammer Drill Is the Best Option for Drilling Into Concrete

A handheld tool for drilling concrete

Whilst it is perfectly possible to drill into the concrete using concrete drill bits and a standard drill, it is still better to invest in a hammer drill. A hammer drill is a fantastic tool that you can use for many different jobs. Another great thing about this drill type is you can use it as a standard drill too!

A hammer drill creates holes via a hammer action. The drill bit attached to the head still rotates, but just like a standard hammer, it also has a backward and forward movement. This process is speedy, and the bit will move backwards and forward hundreds of times per minute. As a result, you can quickly drill through more challenging surfaces like mortar, brick, and concrete!

Uses of a Hammer Drill

This type of drill is incredibly versatile. It can essentially do anything a standard drill can, plus drill through more complex surfaces! You can use a hammer drill for the following materials:

  • Concrete
  • Mortar
  • Brick
  • Wood
  • Metal
  • Tiles
  • Stone
  • Masonry

The list goes on! It is one of the most versatile types of drill available and can make holes in virtually anything. You can easily tackle any project you may have at home if you have a hammer drill. Do you need help with how to use it? Our easy manual instruction on how to use a hammer drill can help you out.

What Are the Advantages of Using a Hammer Drill?

So why invest in a hammer drill? These tools are excellent for larger jobs and tackling those rigid exterior surfaces around your home. The following are the main advantages of using this type of device:

  • Drilling into hard materials like bricks, metal, and concrete
  • Easier to use for hard materials than a regular drill
  • Can complete the drilling process quicker
  • Used for standard drilling jobs
  • More versatile than a standard drill

The main benefit is the versatility this tool offers. Regardless of the DIY project you have, a hammer drill can get it done quickly and efficiently. As mentioned in this post, you can still complete the job even if you use a standard drill. However, it will take more time, and you will need special accessories like masonry drill bits.

Also, you won’t need a regular drill with your hammer drill. A hammer drill is also a substitute for a standard drill. Generally, most hammer drills have a dual setting – used in hammer mode or a normal rotary mode. It means you can still use them for smaller jobs like drilling screws into drywall and plasterboard.

What You Need to Know

Can the Process of Drilling Into Concrete Cause Cracks?

Occasionally, drilling can cause cracks. However, this depends on the concrete’s quality and the tools and techniques used. You must take a careful approach and make sure not to apply too much pressure.

Can a Hammer Drill Be Used as a Regular Drill?

For softer surfaces like wood, use a hammer drill for standard drilling. These drills have a hammer setting and a traditional rotary drill setting.

Do You Need to Wear Protective Gear When Using a Drill?

Safety gear is a must, but it is still entirely up to you. As a minimum, wear a dust mask, a pair of goggles, and a pair of safety gloves to reduce the chance of an injury.

A Useful Life Hack

It is possible to screw into the concrete while only using a regular drill. However, you will be going to need special tools, and the process may be a bit longer and more complicated. No worries, though. If you caught yourself again asking the question, “How to screw into concrete without a hammer drill?” This article will surely be a lifesaver. Go back to this post, and you are good to go!

Remember, a regular drill may work but is still not as effective as a hammer drill. You will never know when you are going to do more significant projects! Investing in a hammer drill is a brilliant idea as it serves multiple functions and is ideal for a range of DIY projects!

What do you think of this guide? Do you have questions or some suggestions based on experience? Let us know in the comment section below!

Additional Resources

1 thought on “How to Screw Into Concrete Without a Hammer Drill? Is It Possible?”

  1. Very useful detailed advice and recommendations. All the more useful for people like myself who have to fit a shower on a damaged wall (no other possible location!). The volume of cement needed to fill the hole prior to installing the shower is relatively small and drilling holes in it for the fixation of the shower unit can end up in cracks!.
    Thank you very much!
    Yannick Ruiz (

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