Asphalt is a mixture of gravel, sand, crushed stone, and bitumen, a black, sticky petroleum byproduct. You’ll see this composite material on roads, railway tracks, parking areas, sports areas, airport runways, and many other applications. Discover what you need to know when drilling through asphalt to save time and achieve quality results.
Use a Rotary Hammer Drill
Rotary hammer drills are power tools that can drill and chisel hard materials. A rotary hammer drill pounds the drill bit in a hammering motion while spinning it.
Most rotary hammer drills have these three settings:
- Drill Only
- Drill and Hammer
- Hammer Only
Rotary hammers are like hammer drills but have a stronger pounding force because they use a piston mechanism. The hammering breaks up the asphalt, making it easier for the flutes to evacuate the material from the hole.
Use a Compatible Masonry Drill Bit
Select a masonry drill bit that is compatible with your rotary hammer drill. The size and shape of the bit’s shank will determine whether it fits your tool.
Asphalt drill bits have four types of shanks:
- Straight shank
- Spline—the shank has teeth that fit into the rotary hammer drill’s spline drive
- SDS Plus—the shank has a diameter of 10 mm
- SDS Max—the shank has a diameter of 18 mm
The drill bit’s material and geometry help it cut asphalt effectively. Tungsten carbide asphalt drill bits have exceptional strength and durability, performing well when boring through abrasive asphalt aggregate.
Apply Light Pressure When Drilling
Mark your drill location with chalk. Then, fit the bit securely into the hammer drill. Adjust your protective equipment, such as eye goggles and hearing protection, before drilling.
Set your rotary hammer into drill and hammer mode. Hold the drill securely and center it over the spot you want to drill.
Hold the trigger down and keep the bit perpendicular to the material. One important thing to know when drilling through asphalt is that you don’t need to apply heavy pressure. Instead, let the drill bit do most of the work.
Tip: Clean the Bit Every Few Inches
If you’re cutting several inches into the asphalt, pull the bit out every now and then to clear the debris out of the flutes. Then, reinsert the bit and continue cutting.
Using a rotary hammer drill, selecting a compatible masonry drill bit, and applying minimal pressure are all key to successfully drilling through asphalt. Shop for high-quality straight, spline, SDS Plus, and SDS Max asphalt drill bits at Drill Bit Warehouse today to complete your asphalt drilling projects.