There was a little confusion in a recent post about Bosch drill and drive bit sets. In the post, I mentioned how the new Bosch drill and screwdriver bit assortments come with rotary masonry drill bits, and how this was an indication that the accessories might not be not up to full Bosch Tool quality levels.
You can’t find “rotary masonry drill bits” in Bosch’s catalog or on their website, or at least I couldn’t.
There are several types of masonry drill bits, but “rotary” masonry drill bits are perhaps the most uncommon. Maybe 7 or 8 years ago, I searched for them high and low, before finally giving up and purchasing a hammer drill.
Stuart, I’m kind of missing the point on why you’re emphasizing “rotary masonry drill bits.” I’m not sure what you’re distinguishing that term from. There are really two categories of masonry bits. Those that will go in a regular drill (either with smooth shank or possibly hex “quick change”) or those that will go in a rotary drill that can slide (SDS, spline, etc.) I know you know this, so I’m just missing what you’re getting at…
These are rotary masonry bits. They look like hammer drill bits, but they can only be used in drills with a rotary-only action.
There are 3 types of masonry drill bits, 2 of which are more common, at least when we’re talking about 1/8″ thru 1/2″ or so in diameter.
1) Hammer drill bits, designed for vibratory impacting and rotary drilling action.
2) SDS-style and similar bits designed for use in rotary hammers.
3) Rotary masonry bits, which are designed for use in non-hammer drills.
Rotary masonry drill bits resemble hammer drill bits, but have slightly different tip shapes (at least from the few examples I’ve seen), and are typically shorter.
Most people are only familiar with hammer drill bits and SDS-style rotary hammer drill bits. Because of this, the “rotary” distinction of rotary masonry bits might go unnoticed.
Hammer drill bits will work in a regular drill, but not very good. Rotary masonry drill bits will work in a regular drill and aren’t designed for use in a hammer drill. I suppose they could be used in a hammer drill, but only in rotary-only mode. Rotary masonry bits often come with warnings that they should only be used in drills with rotary-only operation.
Rotary masonry bits look the part of other masonry drill bits, but in my experience they are a lot slower to use. I don’t like ’em. I bought the above-shown Black & Decker Firestorm bits after buying my hammer drill, just in case. I still haven’t used them yet. My pre-hammer drill experiences were with a couple of individual rotary masonry bits I received in packs of masonry wall anchors.
Before buying my hammer drill, I couldn’t find rotary masonry drill bits at Home Depot, Lowes, or Sears, only hammer drill and rotary hammer bits, and so it wasn’t long before I changed what I was looking to buy.
But, if you don’t have a hammer drill or rotary hammer, and don’t want to buy one, rotary masonry drills are pretty much your only option for drilling into masonry materials.
The only hex-shank masonry bits I’ve seen are these new impact-rated ones and Bosch’s impact-rated multi-construction bits. I suppose that those too would be considered rotary masonry drill bits. Correction: Dewalt makes a 3pc set of hex-shank rotary masonry drill bits ($15 via Amazon). Most of the rotary masonry drill bits you’ll find have smooth round shanks.
After doing some more searching online, it turns out that there are actually more brands and styles of rotary masonry drill bits than I was aware of. For instance, I could only find hammer drill bits and SDS-type rotary hammer drill bits on Bosch’s website, but it looks like there’s at least one Bosch rotary masonry drill bit set on Amazon.
A Couple of Current Options
- Black & Decker Bullet masonry drill bit 5pc set ($14 via Amazon)
- Bosch Fast Spiral masonry bit 14pc set ($15 via Amazon)
- Skil rotary drill bit 14pc set ($19 via Amazon)
There are other options, but these were the only ones I could find from known brands. It looks to me like the Bosch and Skil sets are identical, except maybe in how they’re packaged.
The Bosch and Black & Decker sets seem to have positive reviews on Amazon, so perhaps my experiences were with particularly bad quality bits.
I don’t like to be so discouraging, but if you have to drill holes into masonry materials once, there’s a good chance you’ll have to do it again. Rotary masonry drill bits should be okay in a pinch. After that, start budgeting for a corded hammer drill that’ll give you years of service.
Do you have any experience with rotary masonry drill bits?
Did you already know that such non-hammer and non-rotary hammer masonry drill bits existed?