How to Drill a Hole in Mortar

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Things You'll Need

  • Marker

  • Hammer drill

  • Drill bit

  • Battery (optional)

  • Goggles


Use a hammer drill with a clutch that disengages if the bit gets stuck. Otherwise the drill could spin out of your hands, potentially breaking your wrist.

Drilling into mortar must be done carefully.

If you are hanging something on a brick wall, you will likely have to drill a hole first in order to insert an anchor. Drilling into the mortar between bricks is much smarter than drilling into a brick itself. Bricks can shatter when they are drilled, and a hole in mortar will be much easier to seamlessly patch in the future than a hole in a brick. Drilling a hole in mortar is not difficult, but it can be hazardous if done incorrectly.


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Step 1

Mark the position of your hole onto the mortar with a marker.

Step 2

Insert a sharp bit into a hammer drill's chuck, located at the tip of the drill. If the mortar is relatively fresh, a standard masonry bit will suffice. If the mortar is older and has had time to fully cure, use a percussion bit.

Step 3

Plug the drill in, or insert a fully charged battery into a cordless model.

Step 4

Put on a pair of goggles to protect your eyes.


Step 5

Hold the drill against the mortar at the dot.

Step 6

Squeeze the drill's trigger gently to establish the hole. This will help to prevent the drill from skipping, which could happen if you pull the trigger all the way at the start.

Step 7

Increase the pressure on the trigger until you are drilling at a pace that you are comfortable with. Hammer drills combine a standard drilling action with the pounding action of a jackhammer, and it may take some time to get used to.


Step 8

Stop drilling when you have reached the desired depth. Some hammer drills have a depth gauge that you can set before you start drilling, making it easy to tell when you reach the depth you want.



Alex Smith

Alex Smith began writing in 2006 and brings a combination of education and humor to various websites. He holds a Master of Arts in theater and works as a professional makeup and special-effects artist.