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Notes

Differences Between Concrete Drilling And Diamond Coring

Carbide Cor Bits or Diamond Core Bits?

Concrete is very sturdy, making it one of the most popular materials for foundations, heavy duty walls, and many other applications. One of the biggest challenges that builders and plumbers face is concrete drilling to run conduits, including water and sewer piping. Every plumber has their own preference where core bits are concerned, so that’s where our thoughts take us today; which is better, carbide core bits or diamond core bits, and what do they mean to your plumbing business? Let’s take a look at a few important plumbing concrete tools now.

Price Point

DeWalt SDS-Max Rotary HammerThe price point for plumbing hammer drills ranges from roughly $80 for a basic model to a little over $700 for a hammer drill with all the bells and whistles. This obviously isn’t going to break the bank, so now we take the carbide bits into consideration as well. Carbide core bits also have a wide price range, ranging from $100 to roughly $400 based on the size and type you require for a specific project.

Diamond Products Core RigThe price point for diamond core rigs and diamond core bits is significantly higher than a standard hammer drill with a carbide core bit. A basic diamond core rig will run a little over $1,000 and a rig with all the bells and whistles will run a little more than $2,500. Diamond core bits are roughly in the same price range as carbide core bits and will run anywhere between $90 and the $400 range depending on the size and type you require.

Factors to Consider

Obviously the price point for a standard hammer drill is much lower than a diamond core rig, but don’t let the price be your primary deciding factor. Here are a few more factors to consider when choosing between a hammer drill and a diamond core rig:

  • Hammer Drill: They drill or cut holes using impact and rotation simultaneously. Hammer drills are smaller and more compact than diamond core rigs and are ideal for smaller jobs. Percussion carbide bits are most often used with hammer drills because cheaper bits will not withstand the pressure of the impact created by a hammer drill. Holes up to 6-inches can be drilled with a Hammer Drill.
  • Diamond Core Rig: Diamond core rigs don’t rely on the hammering action that the hammer drill uses. This means that there is no impact applied to the surface being cut or drilled. Diamond core rigs are quite a bit larger than standard hammer drills, and they require a lengthy setup time. The rig is firmly mounted to the surface being drilled. The smooth cutting or drilling action creates a lot of friction and heat, and must be cooled with water for the duration of the cut. Diamond core rigs are equipped with a water hose attachment for this very purpose. Holes up to 80-inches can be drilled with a Diamond core rig.

Husqvarna Construction Products VacuumBoth methods of concrete cutting are messy, so make sure to have someone standing by to assist in cleaning the workspace. A wet-dry vacuum goes a long way in keeping the space clean whether you’re creating dust with the hammer drill or concrete sludge with the coring rig. Always make sure your assistant maintains a safe distance while keeping the area clean.

 

What This Means for Your Plumbing Business

Each of the types of core bits has a place in the plumbing industry. It really boils down to your personal preference and the specific job you’re doing. You may choose a diamond core bit for a project that requires wet cutting or a carbide core bit for dry application. The price point is very similar for each type of core bit, so don’t let the price point be a primary selling point. Always choose the best tool for the job so you are sure to get the results you expect.

23 Comments

  • James Bergman

    November 18, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Thanks for the suggestion of using a wet-dry vacuum when doing any concrete drilling. However, how should I go about using it? Rather, is there a way to attach the vacuum hose to the drill?

    Reply
    • Acme Tools

      November 30, 2016 at 5:04 pm

      Hi James, if you are using water with the diamond core bit the wet vacuum can be used to clean the slurry off the floor so when the bit completes the hole all of the excess water will not migrate to the area under you. This is really helpful when you are drilling in a multi-story building. We have seen some dry bits like the Bosch Speed Clean bits that have a dust collection port built right into them. This will be really important when OSHA finalizes their Silica Dust rulings.

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools

      Reply
  • Cindy Tesler

    December 15, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Thanks for pointing out that a hammer drill drills or cuts holes using impact and rotation simultaneously. You also said that diamond core rigs don’t rely on the hammering action that the hammer drill uses. I think it’s a good idea to choose a core drill bit that is very durable so that you do not have to spend money on replacements.

    Reply
    • Acme Tools

      December 15, 2016 at 3:25 pm

      Hi Cindy, Thank you for your comments. It is important to choose a diamond core bit that matches your needs and one that is designed to cut the material at hand. There are many industrial diamonds available and the types of bond the manufacturer uses will make one bit work better than another. There is usually a trade off between drilling speed and length of life for these bits so if there are ever questions please feel free to contact our Acme Tools Customer Support department for assistance.

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools

      Reply
  • Richard Robertson

    December 24, 2016 at 7:14 am

    Awesome article. For my work, at times I need to drill 20 to 30 12mm holes into concrete. Which drill would be better suited out of these two for power?

    Reply
    • Acme Tools

      December 26, 2016 at 9:09 am

      Hello, Thank you for your comment. Typically 12mm (approx 1/2″) holes are best done with a hammer drill. There are several units that work best for this and the following URL will bring you to our website where you can sort by SDS+ hammer drills.

      SDS+ Hammer Drills

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools

      Reply
  • Robert Floyd

    January 15, 2017 at 10:18 am

    You mentioned wet-drilling when using a diamond coring bit, and dry hammer-drilling when using a carbide coring bit. What about using a wet technique with a [4-inch] carbide coring bit? I’ve found that a little water can greatly reduce or completely eliminate the concrete dust, but is this a bad idea for any reason?

    Reply
    • Acme Tools

      January 16, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Hi Robert, you are 100% correct that using water will help control some if not all the airborne dust created by drilling dry. Every case is special and if water can be used where it will not cause damage to the area being drilled and you are properly protecting yourself from using an electric tool in a wet environments it can be done.

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools

      Reply
  • Tyler Meredith

    February 24, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    It’s interesting to read about why some people prefer a diamond core rig over a hammer-style drill. It makes sense that the noise is a big factor due to the hammer’s extremely loud operation sound. I’ll have to keep it in mind when looking at different contractors because I’m sure the neighbors would appreciate the operation to be quieter.

    Reply
  • Shazin Shoukath

    March 6, 2017 at 5:18 am

    Hi, very good reference article. Would appreciate if you could differentiate between “coring” and “rebaring” technology used to insert steel rod on the wall inorder to build extended concretes (example, sunshade).

    I also would like to know whether is there any disadvantages/side-effects because of the adhesive used in rebaring (Hilti HIT re 500). It would be really good if you can differentiate these two methods in terms of productivity, cost, durability, advantages and disadvantages.

    Thank you very much

    Reply
    • Acme Tools

      March 6, 2017 at 9:27 am

      Hello, Thank you for your comment. Coring is a way to drill a hole into concrete and your term of rebaring is an action of placing rebar into that hole. Depending on the epoxy you are going to be using to secure the rebar into the hole you may not be able to use a core drill. The manufacturer of the epoxy will give you those specs and will let you know the size of the hole needed for the size of rebar to be used. In specific reference to the Hilti HIT RE-500 please consult Hilti directly.

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools

      Reply
  • Clarissa Cargile

    March 20, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Hi there, You’ve done a great job. I will certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I’m sure they will be benefited from this website.

    Reply
  • Pam Lassila

    March 22, 2017 at 8:33 am

    It’s nice that concrete is so sturdy because that means your things can be built on a firm foundation! When it comes to drilling in it though, you want to make sure that you have a nice drill that will satisfy your needs. Don’t get a super fancy and expensive one if you just need it for the basic use and apply that for the other way around as well!

    Reply
    • Acme Tools

      March 22, 2017 at 9:01 am

      Hi Pam, Thank you for your comment and advise. We agree that you should evaluate your needs and then purchase the tool that best fits those needs and your budget. If you are interested in reading more about how to choose a hammer drill we have a great post that highlights Makita but you could use the information on all brands.

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools
      #DoYourBestWork

      Reply
    • Acme Tools

      June 20, 2017 at 9:35 am

      Hello,
      Thank you for your comment. 50mm (approx 2In) holes are in a grey area and the answer depends on your situation and what is needed with the hole after it is drilled. If you are going to use an epoxy to anchor in a piece of rod you will need to check with the epoxy manufacturer to see if it can be used in a cored hole or if you will have to drill it with a hammer drill. If the hole is going to pass through a piece of concrete you will need to determine if the looks of the hole will come into play. A cored hole will give a cleaner entry and exit point than a hammer drill. Each person’s situation is different and must be evaluated to determine the best tool for the job.

      Thanks,
      Acme Tools

      Reply
    • Acme Tools

      July 19, 2017 at 10:02 am

      Hello, Thank you for your comment. A Hammer Drill and Rotary Hammer both will drill holes in concrete with the right bit. A Hammer Drill will have a keyed or keyless chuck like a standard drill and typically is good for holes 1/4″ and smaller. A Rotary Hammer will have a dedicated connection end like SDS+, SDS-Max, or Spline and can handle solid bits well over 2″ and core bits between 5-6″. When choosing which one is right for you 2 questions need to be asked. 1- What size holes do I need to make? and 2- How many holes do I drill at a time? These 2 questions will lead you to the right selection.

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools

      Reply
  • James Hobusch

    July 26, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    I like that you talk about how important the bits are for things like concrete drilling. It makes sense that a cheap bit on a quality wouldn’t do as good of a job as a nice carbide bit would. This is something to remember for any sort of drilling or cutting because buying nice bits and blades could really pay off in the long run.

    Reply
    • Acme Tools

      July 27, 2017 at 7:42 am

      Hello, Thank you for your comment. The quality of the bit and blade is very important to consider. Even though you may spend more for a higher quality bit or blade the life span will make up the difference thus making it a more economical choice.

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools

      Reply
    • Acme Tools

      September 15, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      Hi Derek, Thank you for your comment. I do apologize but there are so many variables involved in bit life that we cannot answer your question. You will need to take the type of bit you are using, if you are using it wet or dry, the exact material you are cutting, and the rpm you are cutting at into consideration. Another important factor is the operator, are they forcing the bit into the concrete or are they letting it do the work.

      Thank you,
      Acme Tools

      Reply

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