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It’s hard enough core drilling through rebar,  concrete or other materials, but when you happen to hit rebar, it’s entirely possible that your drilling operation will come to a complete halt. Standard masonry bits are not capable of getting through steel rebar.  Current solutions include: Rebar Eater Bits  and B+BTec HI Speed Wet Core Bits, but sharp-edged drill bits are generally much more effective, and they’re certainly a whole lot faster.

The drawback to this is that standard masonry drill bits will quickly lose their edge when cutting through rebar, and they may even be damaged somewhat. At the very least, you can expect a considerably shortened life cycle if you attempt to routinely cut through rebar with anything less than a carbide core drill pit or a diamond-tipped drill bit. By knowing the right kinds of drill bits to use for various applications, you’ll be able to cut through rebar, whether it’s embedded in cement, steel or any other kind of material.

Using masonry bits on rebar

The Abrasive Carbide Tip Masonry Bits are equipped with are definitely capable of cutting through concrete, and even of rebar. Ordinary wood bits or metal bits have sharp tips which would be completely useless in trying to cut through brick or concrete, but the Abrasive Carbide Tip Masonry Bits on masonry bits can quickly cut through substances which are hard as rock. Unfortunately, they will lose much of their effectiveness when drilling through metal or wood.

Using metal bits on rebar

Most metal bits are of a type which veterans of the industry refer to as ‘twist bits’, which are bits that have a tapered tip and a shank which is lined with sharp-edged grooves. Manufacturers who make these types of twist bits use hardened steel, and then coat the exposed surfaces of the bits with metals that are powerfully resistant to overheating.

Obviously, overheating can become a major issue if a drill is in operation for any length of time, and there is strong resistance from the substance being drilled. The grooves in metal twist bits are not only fully capable of boring through metal, but they also have the capability of pushing waste material to the very top of an entry hole, so it doesn’t get in the way of further drilling.

core drilling concrete

Drilling through rebar

When core drilling through rebar, you have to use specialized equipment which is capable of drilling through the concrete itself, as well as the reinforcement material. The problem with this is that builders don’t really leave any markers about the precise location of where rebar is in the concrete, and that means your concrete drill bit might easily come in contact with the extremely hard rebar surface.

Once you detect the presence of rebar, you should stop your drilling and replace the concrete bit with a metal bit that is better adapted to cut through the rebar material. After having cleared the metal part of the rebar, you can stop and switch back to your concrete drill bit, so you can continue drilling through the concrete. An experienced drilling operator will learn to sense the presence of rebar, so as to avoid wearing out the drill bits on drilling machinery.

The introduction of concrete scanning equipment to detect rebar is very common.  There are companies dedicated to offering this service.  Depending on the sophistication of the equipment, rebar can be located in concrete depths up to 18”.

One of the strongest indications of the presence of rebar is an increased resistance encountered by the drill bit. Especially if you’re manually operating the drill, you’ll recognize a suddenly increased resistance to the drilling, and you’ll also notice that less progress is being made. When you encounter this situation, it’s very likely that you’ve just hit rebar, and that you should switch to a metal drill bit. Another marker for the presence of rebar is a sudden change in the sound that you hear from the drilling operation, and this is another indication that you should stop drilling immediately and switch to a metal drill bit.

Contact us

If your company is in need of any of the drilling products commonly used to cut through concrete or rebar, please contact us at MJC Sales & Marketing, where we have a full range of products specially manufactured for that purpose. We offer only the highest quality drilling products, so you can expect a longer life from your drill bits, as well as any of the drilling rigs you use to operate them. Contact us today with any questions you have about our product lines, or about some of the other services and products we offer.

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