What is the best drill for masonry?

by Sam Wood | Last Updated: 01/07/2021

When it comes to drilling into masonry you need the right tool for the job, and not every drill will be up to it. There are a few different types of drills that can drill through masonry, mainly a combi drill with a hammer mode, an SDS drill, and a professional level demolition hammer (although maybe that’s not strictly drilling!).

So let’s work our way through the different options and I will give you my favourite tool in each category.

The Best Combi Drill For Masonry

A combi drill is exactly what it sounds like, a combination drill with multiple modes. They have a screw driving mode, regular drilling mode and hammer drilling mode. It is the hammer mode that you need for drilling into masonry. Be aware that not all drills do include a hammer mode, so ensure whatever drill you buy is in fact a combi drill!

My DeWALT Pick
DEWALT DCD796Combi Drill (2 x 2.0Ah Batteries)
£164.98
  • Comes with 2 x 2.0Ah batteries
  • Charger and carry case included
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09/23/2021 04:36 pm GMT

This drill from DeWALT is my choice when it comes to the best combi drill for masonry. It is a good price, especially for a drill from one of the big boys.

You get 2 x batteries, a charger and a carry case included with your purchase. This is an exceptional cordless drill, particularly at this price point. To start with it has a brushless motor, pretty much unheard of at this price.

The Full Kit Included

The Full Kit Included

So what’s so good about a brushless motor? A brushless motor is more efficient, more powerful and lasts longer than a brushed motor. A brush motor uses carbon brushes to generate movement whereas a brushless motor uses magnets. The brushes on a brushed motor wear out over time and need replacing, they also create a lot more heat than a brushless motor. They are however cheaper to manufacture, which is why cheaper tools, even by the big names, often have brushed motors. That the DeWALT DCD796 comes with a brushless motor is a real advantage over lots of similarly priced tools.

You can learn more about this DeWALT Drill here.

The Best SDS Drill For Masonry

An SDS drill is purpose-made for drilling masonry, these tough drills pack a real punch and can chew through thick concrete with ease. SDS stands for slotted drive shaft.

An SDS Drill Bit

An SDS Drill Bit

Here you can see the slots in the drill bit. These fit onto bearings on the drill. They are then powered forward and backward when the drill is in operation, giving an extremely powerful hammering mechanism.

When it comes to SDS drills I myself use a Makita, and honestly, that is the drill I would recommend. This drill has been a real workhorse for me, sitting in the van for years and being brought out every time I need to punch a hole through some masonry and it has never let me down.

My Personal Choice!
Makita Body Only SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill
£99.00
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09/23/2021 04:37 pm GMT

This is a bare tool, so if you don’t have a Makita battery and charger already then be aware you will need to get them. Full kits with this same drill are available on Amazon so just have a quick look around and you will find one.

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Wood by name, wood by nature. I am a fully qualified, time-served, award-winning joiner with an NVQ Level 3 in Carpentry and Joinery as well as an HNC in Construction. Beyond my joinery qualifications, I have also earned a degree in building surveying. I believe these qualifications make me perfectly positioned to provide expert advice on many different areas of DIY as well as share all of the tips I have picked up in over a decade working on building sites!