How to Drill Through Rebar in Concrete

Rebar is one reinforcing steel, and it can be used as rods in concrete. In general, concrete sustains a high compression strength. So, crushing it isn’t easy, but how to drill through rebar in concrete?

It isn’t easy to drill through rebar. Under the concrete, steel rods are in grid patterns tied with wire. The surface of the steel is a ridge that binds them tightly with concrete. In this regard, you have to drill through rebar while drilling through concrete. First, you have to locate the rebar with a scanner as it is challenging to align straight to the steel. Most of the rebar cutters even break while drilling concrete with rebar. Therefore, you need to maintain some safety protocols. Following some steps correctly, you can do this work safely.

How to Drill Through Rebar in Concrete : Step-by-Step Guide


Before doing this critical and risky work, you should protect yourself with the necessary equipment from any dangerous incidents. Use a respirator that should be tightly fitted with you. During drilling through rebar, breakage would happen any time. So, metal darts could harm your eyes or face. Use eyeglasses or goggles with side shields to protect against this type of harm. It will be safer if it is a full-face shield.


One of the crucial things is to correct the size and spacing below. It helps you to determine the rebar so that you can drill perfectly.


Selecting a proper drill is an essential step in drilling through rebar. As we know, different types of drills are available, but you can choose handheld drills, rotary drills, or hammer drills. All of them are capable of drilling through rebar. You have to apply some techniques or materials together to work with them.


It will be helpful for you if you can perfectly measure the site and mark where you will drill. Additionally, it is better to mark a bit for the pilot hole. It would be more effective if the pilot hole were small. You can use a masonry bit. But the diamond core bit works better to hit rebar.


Now you are going to start your main task. Yes, drilling through rebar. In this step, you have to be more careful. First, fix the bit tip on the marked space you made before. Now press the bit slowly through the concrete. Start your drilling but at a slower speed.

Here is one safety caution you need to maintain. Sometimes, you may lose control over the drill while the bit’s tip puts pressure through the rebar. If it happens without any confusion, step back by dropping the drill. It is expected that if you drop the drill, your hand will release the trigger, and automatically the drill will stop its spinning.


It would be best to stop the drilling when the drill bit is to the rebar steel in this step. Now remove the hammer drill and use a rebar cutter. Here you have to apply more pressure for drilling the rebar.


After making the hole clean it and check inside with light; if there is no rebar, it means you may drill in the wrong space. Maybe it is an air pocket or a large rock.

But if it is luckily rebar, you need to find out its position. Is it oriented horizontally or vertically? If you see that the ridges are perpendicular to the floor, it will provide horizontal support. But when they are in parallel, you will get vertical help. Remember, this information is essential for you while drilling through rebar.

Additional Important Activities Before Drilling

Before drilling through rebar, you should know and understand some chief undertakings and knowledge.

How to Make Holes

Press the drill steadily and let the bit go through the rebar when you make a hole. After changing the resistance, you can use a masonry bit to finish the hole.

The Setting of Drill Bit

Choose your appropriate accessories for drilling. Either your project will not succeed. Here we suggest five types of drills that can be your perfect aid, and you can try them for your project.

  • Diamond-Core
  • Tungsten Carbide
  • 4-cutter SDS
  • Steel Twist Bits
  • Rebar Cutter

Spacing and Rebar Size

Rebar could be in a horizontal and vertical position under the concrete. They are in a grid pattern. In terms of size, an 18″ grid structure for driveways, but 24″ is standard for patios. A 36″ grid size is recommended to support a concrete wall using rebar. Here, the rebar must be 18″ to extend to the top of the wall.


What is the way to drill without moving the hole?

If you think it is impossible to move the hole and your drill is 4-cutter SDS, you can continue drilling. Because the four carbide-tipped blades can cut steel bars, but if it is any other kind of masonry bit, change the bit.

How much depth should be the hole for debris?

It needs to be ¼ of an inch depth to the hole to set debris. It is better and allows sufficient room to set debris.

How can the rebar be determined?

Using a rebar detection tool to sort out the rebar placement is wise. Stud finders can be used. However, it doesn’t provide an accurate position but can be a helpful guide.

To Wrap Up

Before drilling, you should learn how to drill through rebar in concrete. Sort out which drill bits will be best in concrete. For instance, Bosch bits are significant with Diamond Core Cutters and Carb e e ill bits. It could affect the entire concrete structure and even weaken it when you drill through care.

So, before going through this task, you have to collect the pertinent information. It would be wise if you take the approval from a structural engineer. If you need to change the hole’s location, don’t forget to seal it to prevent rusting because it may cause exposure after getting moisture and make the rebar weak.

At long last, don’t forget to wear a respirator along with eye protection while drilling. Also, you should not remove the respirator until finishing the drilling.

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Sam Morgan is a professional interior designer and part-time content writer of Drill Villa. He has done hundreds of major projects and sharing his experience with you. He is a tools lover like drill, drill press, drivers, wrench etc. He used and tested thousands of tools and knows which perform better.

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