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What is a Masonry Bit?

A masonry bit is used with a power drill.
Be sure to seat the masonry bit deep in the chuck of the drill, and make sure the chuck is working properly.
Carbide drill bits can be used on steel, masonry and other hard objects.
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  • Written By: Miranda Fine
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2014
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A masonry bit is a carbide-tipped bit that is used with a power drill to bore holes in masonry. Masonry refers to construction of of brick, stone, tile, glass bricks or concrete blocks that are held together by mortar. Mortar is a paste made from sand, cement or lime and water. Anchors are needed to attach anything to a masonry wall, and a masonry bit is used to bore a hole so that the appropriate anchor can be inserted.

The type of masonry bit that is best for the job will depend on the type of tool being used, and the material you will drill into. Power tools such as hammer drills, rotary hammer drills and rotary drills can be used with masonry bits. Each tool requires its own bits, so that a masonry bit that fits a hammer drill will not fit a rotary drill and vice versa.

A masonry bit is not designed for use with wood, metal or other materials. In general a variable speed drill is needed for masonry work. The harder the material, the more pressure needs to be applied. A hammer drill is adequate for the needs of most homeowners.

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Masonry bits are carbide tipped to give them extra cutting power. The carbide used on masonry bits is an abrasive compound of carbon and tungsten. Masonry bits come in different shapes and sizes, depending on what type of material is to be drilled. For example, deep fluted bits are designed for drilling into concrete. The deep flutes help clean out concrete chips and dust from the hole as it is being bored. “Fast spiral” fluted bits are usually used for brick or blocks.

Always be sure to check masonry bits before drilling. A worn bit may drill a larger hole, which will prevent an intended anchor from fitting properly. Be sure to seat the bit deep in the chuck of the drill, and make sure the chuck is working properly. During drilling, frequently stop and remove the bit and clean the flutes to prevent overheating. Be sure to wear eye protection when drilling with masonry bits, as there is always the risk of the material shattering.

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