I’m trying to drill holes for 3/16 screws in the walls of my room, but the drill is unable to penetrate through some parts of the wall. At first I thought I hit a nail, so I tried making another hole and got the same result, and repeat. I know it isn’t mechanical failure because I successfully went through one point in the wall. See the picture before for the one successful attempt at drilling a hole and two unsuccessful ones enter image description here

Fwiw I’m drilling about one foot from the ceiling. I’ve tried this at multiple points in my room, and the drill still won’t go through. What could be behind the paint and plaster?

Edit: these are the drill bits I’m using: enter image description here https://www.target.com/p/blue-ridge-tools-8pc-hex-shank-drill-bit-set/-/A-78262232


1 Answer 1


A likely possibility you have to be aware of before you up the drilling stakes - you are hitting a steel protective plate that is specifically intended to warn you off of drilling a hole right there, because there are wires or pipes too close to the edge of the stud which you might drill or screw through, causing a larger problem.

Other possibilities depend on what your walls are made of (the above assumes typical wooden studs.) If it's plaster over brick, you might have hit a mortar joint on the "successful" hole. What came out when you drilled the hole? Masonry dust, or wood shavings?

  • 1
    Masonry Dust, I think. Definitely didn’t look like wood.
    – LRitter
    Commented May 2, 2021 at 16:54
  • If the walls are masonry, you'll need different drill bits, and you'll dull the ones you have trying to drill masonry with them.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented May 2, 2021 at 17:10
  • 2
    The drill bit that was stopped in dull/ruined. A good bit will go through sheet steel so .as commented , likely it is masonry . A friend once found out the hard way that a bit will go through steel electric conduit tubing . As @Ecnerwal notes ; the steel plates are WARNINGS , they do not prevent drilling holes.. Commented May 2, 2021 at 17:36

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