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Wet vs Dry - Choose the Right Core Drilling Tool

Choosing the right kind of core bits may not be obvious for everyone. Let us help.

Dry core bits, like the name suggests, can be used without water; while wet bits require water-cooling to operate. Using dry bits is convenient and more friendly to DIY users, but it is often not powerful enough to match the drilling power of wet core bits. Here we have put together a quick guideline to help you determine which bit to use depending on the target material, and equipment.


  • If you have no experience with diamond bit drilling, talk to a professional first
  • Make sure you are using appropriate protective gear, including eye and ear protection

Target Material:

Materials Dry Core Bits Wet Core Bits
Brick Soft Brick Recommended Recommended
Hard Brick Usable with water Recommended
Building Block (Concrete Block) Recommended Recommended
Concrete Not Recommended Recommended
Reinforced Concrete Not Recommended Recommended


Equipment Dry Core Bits Wet Core Bits
Angle Grinder Usable Not Recommended
Hammer Drill Usable (turn off hammering) Usable (turn off hammering)
Rotary Hammer Drill Recommended (turn off hammering) Usable (turn off hammering)
Hand Held Core Drill Recommended Recommended
Core Drill Rig Recommended Recommended


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  • dumb ass on

    After the first 3 or 4 comments when you realize no-one is answering… WHY THE HELL ARE PEOPLE STILL POSTING QUESTIONS. Seriously… this is embarrassing. You are NOT qualified to use a core drill if you can’t even realize this is NOT a Q&A forum.

  • Jose M Vega on

    Can I use a Wet Core Drill Bit for Concrete and Hard Masonry to drill a 4.5" hole through an asphalt (black top) curb that is about 5 or 6 inches thick? Do I need anything else beside the drill bit?

  • Paul on

    I have to build handrails for my wife who suffered a stroke. The concrete here is old and very hard. I have a hammer drill and have been burning up bits that the hardware store sold me. How can I drill into the walkway to attach the rails? My wife will kill me soon if she has to be helped getting from the house to the truck.

  • Robert Guest on

    WE have to drill 2" diameter holes through an approx 12" thick concrete floor in a museum with a carpeted floor so wet drilling is impossible. Is a dry bit even possible or is it out of the question?

  • rob sabolyk on

    have a project to cut 88 cores 3 inch x 6 inch installed sewer pipe
    may not have flush water available
    need cores for testing

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