How Core Drilling Works

Core drilling is the process of removing cylindrical blocks of cement. Specialised equipment is used to do this, as regular tools are unable to make clean, precise cuts. It has a variety of applications across different industries.

Core Drilling


When it comes to cylindrical cutting, it all comes down to the equipment. Regular jackhammers and cutters are unable to create perfectly round shapes. Most professionals use diamond drills to do the job. It’s usually powered by electricity or hydraulics. It’s made up of different parts, including:

  • Steel Tube – This is where the concrete sample goes after being removed. It comes in a variety of sizes.
  • Diamond Cutting End – This comprises the drill bit, and is the main tool used for cutting. It’s attached to the end of the steel tube.
  • Anchor – The rig needs to be stable whilst it cuts through the concrete slab. The entire machine can be anchored using bolts or vacuum seals. This stabilises the equipment whilst in use.

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How It Works

Before the process starts, professionals will visit the area to ensure the surface is safe to cut. In some cases, there might be electrical wires or existing pipework beneath the concrete slab. Without a thorough assessment, the technician could end up damaging these systems. Worse, it could put the worker at risk.

Once the professional deems the surface safe to cut through, measurements begin. This is done to ensure that the hole is big enough to work with (install plumbing, wiring or any other pipework) without damaging the surrounding areas. The proper steel tube size is selected.

On location, operators set up the machine. Apart from anchoring the equipment in a stable location, they remove any delicate items inside the room. Some will even turn off all electricity in the area to prevent accidents.

The cutting starts when everything is set up. Water is constantly poured over the drills to reduce the amount of friction between the concrete and metal. This is a necessary step to prevent fires and to reduce dust in the area. Afterwards, the operator can remove the cylindrical slug from the tube, and the job is done.