Feb 10, 2023
30 Min Read Time

Concrete Core Drilling

When your cabling project involves concrete core drilling in retro fits and remodels, concrete core drilling is a skill most smaller structured cabling installation companies fail to understand and successfully carry out.

Concrete Core Drilling

Concrete core drilling is as much a skill as art form.

When it comes to core drilling, the pinnacle is diamond, but many prefer rotary hammer coring because of ease of use and accessibility.

Here at CableFi we want to help dispel the myths around diamond core drilling. We have many staff members that have worked in the field installing cable throughout the years.based on our experience we want to give you the most up to date methods on diamond core drilling

Our favorite piece of core drilling equipment is the Husqvarna DM540i

The DM540i is the most robust and highest performing core drill we have used in the low voltage installation environment. When core drilling for low voltage most of the time you will be dealing with sensitive and cramped spaces. the 540 offers built-in dust and water control. It comes standard with a 1 1/4" 7 UNC spindle outer diameter and a G1/2 inner spindle thread. we have easily gotten 6 holes per charge (material thickens dependent) with two batteries you can core drill all day long. Now with the fan boying aside, is the 540 the best option? well, that depends on you use case. for tight spaces, portability and holes 4" or less, it has no match.

We love all the Husky mountable drill motors, you cant go wrong with them if yo're coring large diameter holes.

What about bits?

Very few know of the ultimate diamond core bit, its made by Diteq and its a beast.

The professions will say, "wet/dry diamond don't exist for reinforced concrete"

But we beg to differ, Diteq from our experience is the only company to offer a wet/dry core bit made specifically for reinforced concrete. its their Arix G3 Pro

it is our go to and only bit we buy, it's that good!!! Now, proper usage is required, but not stated in official documentation. We believe dust extraction is a must if you are running dry in reinforce concrete. Dust extraction provides extra cooling to extend your bits life.

In most IT environments, water is a no go.

So if dust extraction is a must, what do we use?

We prefer portability! and use the M18 FUEL 3-in-1 Backpack Vacuum, coupled with 12.0Ah batteries you can wear it on your back well you drill and have plenty of power and runtime to get through the toughest holes.

Can it handle concrete dust?

YES! it is built with replaceable HEPA filters that are in compliance with OSHA dust management for specific applications and duration to meet Occupational Health & Safety involving respirable crystalline silica dust..

We know not everyone has the budget for fancy diamond core drills, so whats the next best alternative?

There is only one other way to make holes in concrete and that is with a rotary hammer.

Rotary hammers can be easy and also frustrating. our go to is the Milwaukee M18 FUEL™ 1" SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Its capacity is 1" solid bit sds plus, but will easily core up to 2.5" hollow body core bit.

Many dont know you can run a diamond core bit in an sds plus drill. this thing runs at 1300 rpm's and has plenty of power to run diamond up to 2.5" you just need an sds plus to 1-1/4-7 or 5/8-11 adapter

Now you can drill inexpensively with an sds hammer drill and in reinforced concrete.

But what if you don't want to mess with diamond?

There is only one more option but its not going to be much cheaper. You can use carbide hollow core bodies and then when you reach rebar, you switch out to a rebar cutter. We know of the best brand in the business and they are Relton

Core Bodies

Rebar cutters

Relton makes the best remanufacturable carbide coring bits in the industry! If the carbide breaks or is worn down, send it into their depot and they will make it new again

Now we have one more hollow core body that is second best and its built by Builders Depot These things last forever and they are super inexpensive

What about dust extraction using an SDS hammer drills?

Well you will need what is called a dust swivel, but they are usually pretty expensive but well worth the investment

You will need an sds to 1/4-7 or 5/8-11 adapter for your hammer drill and then screw your dust swivel on that, and then screw your diamond core bit on to the dust swivel, its a great setup.

The only other option is a vacuum whisker biscuit, they are way cheaper than a dust swivel but can be more of a pain to use.

If you have made it this far you now know things it has taken us years of research and trial and error

We have only one more super hard to find piece of kit that has a very specific use case, and is really only needed in a SHTF scenario.

Its the SDS Plus Male to SD MAX female adapter and there is only one company that makes them in Germany only available through ebay.

We hope this has been an informative article on slick tools and gear to help you determine what you should buy that best fits your requirements and budget.

In the future we will go over proper use and procedure to achieve the best results!

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