Tapcons are an ideal substitute for expansion plugs, anchors, and lag shields in masonry. They are often used in block, concrete, and brick applications because of their unparalleled performance. Tapcons can survive the most extreme climates thanks to a blue rust-resistant coating.
A conventional masonry drill can install a tapcon screw. Though a hammer drill is generally used to drill the pilot hole into which the tapcon fits, a standard twist drill and a decent bit will also perform if there are few precautions that are taken.
In this article, we’ll discuss how tapcon screws can be installed without a hammer drill and what should be kept in mind while doing that.
Installing Tapcons Without a Hammer Drill
The tapcon screw has nothing to do with the drill.
Since tapcon screws require a pilot hole, whether you use a hammer drill or not is merely a matter of how well you want to drill holes in masonry.
When drilling into concrete to install tapcon screws, you should always use the correct tool for the job; while a hammer drill is best, a standard or masonry drill will suffice if you have the right bit.
While it might not work as well, a regular drill with various masonry drill bits might be precisely what you’re searching for.
Steps To Install a Tapcon Screw With a Masonry Drill
Here are the steps to install a Tapcon screw with a masonry drill:
- Drill a pilot hole of an appropriate diameter. Match it with the diameter of the tapcon screw that’s placed with a masonry drill and a carbide-tipped masonry bit. Make sure that the hole is at least ½ inch (1.27 cm) deeper than the Tapcon screw will go through.
- Make sure you don’t overheat the motor or the bit’s tip. This can create problems with the drill.
- Dust off the hole using a wire brush. You can also use a vacuum or compressed air to remove any dust that accumulated with the drilling process
- Match up the fixture’s hole with the hole in the masonry. At this point, ensure that the hole is deep enough for the tapcon screw.
- Insert the tapcon screw into the hole in the fixture. It should fit comfortably without too much wiggle room.
- Drive the screw steadily into the hole using a rotation drill. There’s hardly any pressure necessary at this point.
- Over-torquing the tapcon may lead it to rotate in the hole. This may result in the loss of the holding value. Turn the tapcon screw by hand for the last few rotations to avoid this predicament.
- Ensure that the anchor is firm against the surface during installation. Ensure that the screw has enough room to get all the way inside the hole.
Guidelines for Installing Tapcons With Masonry Drill
Here’s a guide for installing Tapsons with Masonry drill:
- Because there’s no pounding motion with a regular/ masonry drill, it takes more time. The user’s downward pressure mixed with a rotation creates the hole.
- To drill into concrete to install tapcons, you’ll need a carbide-tipped masonry bit as they’re highly durable; they can also be sharpened and reused. Drill bits coated with titanium or cobalt won’t work for concrete.
- Make sure to have a minimum of a couple of different sizes of masonry bits handy before you start. This is important as you might have to start with smaller holes and work your way up to larger ones using various bits.
- The age of concrete is essential. It’s more likely that older concrete was built with denser elements. When working with older concrete, the emphasis on density may necessitate a hammer drill.
- Furthermore, even with a standard drill, damaged or deteriorated concrete may just come apart. In that case, you need a specialist with masonry and concrete experience to check the material beforehand.
- It would help if you drilled slowly. There’ll be a strong desire to move as quickly as possible, but you must resist this urge. Masonry is a strong material, yet it may be fragile in some areas. You don’t want to break the masonry or concrete that you’re drilling through.
- You also don’t want to burn out your drill’s motor. Remember that a regular drill isn’t the same as a hammer drill. So, to succeed, you’ll drill gently and concentrate on efficiency. After you’ve drilled a smaller hole, switch to a larger bit and drill again till you’ve reached the desired size.
- Using water to cool down bits is a good idea. This is because a conventional drill isn’t meant to punch holes in the masonry or concrete quickly, and it might overheat the bit’s tip.
- Masonry bits are important. Always use masonry pieces from well-known manufacturers such as the SNUG Fasteners Carbide Tip Masonry Drill Bits (available on Amazon.com) have high-quality carbide which lasts very long.
The key takeaway here is when a hammer drill isn’t available, a standard drill might be used instead to install a tapcon screw.
However, working with a standard drill into a concrete surface or other rigid surfaces may be more challenging.
Still, by utilizing a range of masonry drill bits and paying attention to your drill’s motor, you may succeed.
Cheers, tools owners!