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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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  • Mark J Carroll on

    I need to drill an 1 1/4" hole thru brick but I also neeed to drill a hole thru and electric box. Can I use this for both holes.

  • bill cockerham on

    How do I need to wet the bit down. I’m using a dry HITI drill, and can only run water on the bit with a hose.

  • Mike on

    What’s the difference between a rotary hammer drill and a hammer drill?

  • RR on

    What coring drill would you use to drill into cast solid lead : I need to core out an old bolt that is ~1" diameter and 24" long and stuck in a lead keel. water cooling is possible

  • Frank Lampard on

    Awesome article review post about right core drilling. Last few working day i looking this kind of informative article. Seriously i don’t know about core drilling. But when i read your article i just clear my all confusion.

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