Drilling through wood… no problem. Metal? With the right bit, easy! How about concrete? If you have the right tools, it’s a lot easier than you may have imagined (or may have experienced.)
Wood is made up of fibers, and your spinning drill bit slices its way through. The harder and sharper the better, of course, and using even harder material makes metal a snap, too. But try using even a titanium metal bit on concrete, and it will dull in minutes.
Concrete is a mix of sand and gravel cemented together, and quite simply, you can’t cut it. But you can hammer at it. Try using a hard chisel, and you’ll see.
Of course, a chisel’s a lot of work, and it’s not that precise. So it’s time to turn to other tools.
Masonry drill bits will do a good job — if the job is small. The wedge-shaped tips of these bits are made of carbide, which is nearly as indestructible as diamond. It does the breaking up of the concrete, and the shaft’s spiral clears out the debris. These bits fit in your regular drill, and they’ll do a fine — albeit slow — job if you just need to drill a small hole for an anchor. But if the job is bigger, it’s time to look at the drill itself.
A hammer drill not only spins the bit, but “hammers” it in and out, pounding at the concrete and breaking it up. You’ll see a huge difference in the time it takes to drill compared to using a masonry bit in an ordinary drill. And as an added bonus, you can turn off the hammer action to drill in wood or metal.