How to Drill Into Brick Without a Hammer Drill

Brick is a porous material with an uneven surface, making drilling into it very difficult without using a hammer drill. This article will outline how to drill into brick without a hammer drill, hand tools, and other equipment to drill holes in brick so you can install shelving or mount hooks for coats or artwork. 

How to Drill Into Brick Without a Hammer Drill

The first thing you’ll need to do is identify where your hole should go. Make sure it’s not too close to any pipes, electrical wires, or other running utilities because the drilling process may damage these objects. You also want to make sure that any furniture or walls are out of the way; otherwise, they could get damaged too! Next, take measurements and mark off each side of your hole with chalk lines on the brick. Read on to know more!

How to Drill Into Brick Without a Hammer Drill and Get Great Results

1. Marking the Centre of the Holes

The first step is to mark the center of each hole you will be drilling. You can do this by using a hammer and nail to make a small indentation in the brick. Be sure to make the indentations at least 1″ in from the edge of the brick.

2. Drilling Pilot Holes

Next, you will need to get a special drill bit known as masonry. These bits are made out of carbide steel and can be purchased at any hardware store. Finally, drill a pilot hole into each of the indentations you made in the brick. The pilot holes should be about 1/4″ in diameter.

3. Drilling the Actual Holes

Once the pilot holes are drilled, switch to your drill bit that is the same size as the one you used to drill the pilot holes. Then, drill the actual holes into the brick. Make sure to keep the drill bit straight as you are drilling, or you may end up with crooked holes.

4. Fit a Sharp Tungsten Carbide Drill Bit

Fit a Sharp Tungsten Carbide Drill Bit

Once you have drilled the holes, now it is time to fit a sharp tungsten carbide drill bit into your power drill. These bits are available in standard 1/4″ shank or 3/8″ shank sizes. The 1/4″ is the best size to use for drilling into a brick because it allows you to drill more holes per charge on your cordless drill.

5. Drilling Holes Through the Plates

Now that you have drilled the actual holes, you are ready to drill through the steel plates. Even though your tungsten carbide bit is sharp, it will still take a much longer time to drill through the steel than it did to drill through the brick. You should not apply any pressure while preparing, or else you may damage your bit.

6. Tapping the Bit Into Place

Once you have drilled through the plate, it is time to tap the bit into place. This can be done by using a hammer and a punch. The punch should be slightly smaller in diameter than the bit itself. Be careful not to damage the bit while tapping it into place.

7. Drilling Large Holes Into Brick

If you are drilling huge holes into your brick, you will need a hollow drill bit. These bits are available at most hardware stores and cut rectangular or arched shapes into the brick. As with the tungsten carbide bit, this type of drill bit should also be tapped into place with a punch.

8. Drilling a Small Hole into the Back of the Brick

Use High-speed Steel Bit for Small Hole

If you are drilling a small hole, you can use a bit made from high-speed steel. Although these bits will not last as long as either the tungsten carbide or hollow drill bits, they are cheaper to replace and do an excellent job if used properly.

9. Use Water to Keep the Heat Down

When drilling into the brick, it is important to use water to keep the heat down. This can be done by using a garden hose or a spray bottle. You may also want to consider using a wet tile saw to help cool the bit while drilling.

10. Finishing the Hole

Once you have drilled the hole, it is time to finish it using a chisel and hammer. This can be done by tapping the chisel into the side of the hole until it is flush with the brick. Be very careful not to damage the brick while doing this.

Some Tips and Suggestions

1. If you are just starting, it is best to practice some scrap pieces of wood or plastic before moving on to tougher materials like brick. This will help you get the hang of using the drill and also help to prevent any accidental damage from occurring.

2. Make sure that the bit you are using is the correct size for the hole you are trying to drill. The bit can wobble and cause an irregular hole if it is too large. If it is too small, you risk the bit slipping out of the hole or becoming stuck.

3. Apply pressure evenly on the drill as you are drilling. This will help to keep the bit stable and ensure that the hole is being drilled evenly.

Apply Pressure Evenly on the Drill

4. Take your time and go slowly when drilling into brick. This will help to prevent the bit from becoming stuck or breaking.

5. If you encounter any problems while drilling, stop immediately and figure out what went wrong. This can help you avoid any further damage and make it easier for you to drill into a brick in the future.

6. If your drill breaks, do not try to fix it with a hammer or a screwdriver, as this can cause further damage and problems with drilling into brick. It is best to let a professional handle any repairs from this point on.

7. Always wear safety glasses when drilling into any material. Bits of debris can fly out during the drilling process and could cause injury if they hit your eyes.

8. Keep a damp cloth nearby to clean up any dust or debris created due to drilling. This will help to keep your work area clean and safe.

Should You Drill Into Brick or Mortar?

First of all, it’s essential to understand the difference between bricks and mortar. Bricks are hollow inside and made of clay fired in a kiln. Bricks have small gaps between them where air and water can get through, but that mortar binds them together into a wall or structure. Mortar is cement glue that holds bricks together. So whether you’re drilling into brick or mortar, selecting the right drill bit is essential.

If your brick is just a single layer, then you’ll only have the difference between bricks and mortar to worry about. To avoid the mortar, look for bricks laid with their long side across the width of your project. This is usually an indication that you’ll only have to deal with the difference between brick and mortar. However, if your brick isn’t laid that way or if there’s more than one layer of brick, then you need to consider both differences.

Do You Need a Hammer Drill for a Brick?

If you are looking to drill into a brick, you may be wondering if you need a hammer drill. A hammer drill is specifically designed for drilling into masonry, such as brick. That being said, if you are trying to drill through a brick using your average power drill, it is possible; however, the process will take much longer.

Average Power Drill Will Take Much Longer

You’ll want to use a masonry bit with carbide tips and set the torque setting on your drill very low just until the tip of the bit begins to penetrate and then stop. Higher torque settings will prove ineffective, and you’ll just be wearing out your drill.

Keep in mind that a standard power drill is not designed for this type of application, so the product’s life span could be significantly reduced if it is frequently used to penetrate masonry materials. However, if you have a hammer drill, you can attach a masonry bit and set the drill to hammer mode. The hammering action will provide extra force to help penetrate the brick.


Learning how to drill into brick without a hammer drill is an art that will take time and practice. The most important thing you can do when drilling into any material, including bricks, is using the right bit for the job. There are two ways to drill into brick without a hammer drill. One uses an angle grinder with a masonry blade, which you can rent for around $10-15 per day.

The other option is drilling holes in the back of your brick and laying out mortar on the front side before tapping it home with a trowel or similar tool that will not damage the surface. This method takes more time but does not require renting anything. We hope this article has given you some useful tips on how to drill into brick without a hammer drill. If it did, please share this post with your friends and family who may also need these skills!

Jennifer Branett
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