I need to drill some 1/2 inch holes in a 4 to 5 inch slab. A typical hammer drill is going to give us 90-92DB. I'd like to knock that back maybe 8-10DB to around 82-84DB. is that possible? Are there certain types of [hammer] drills or methods to drill that can help here?

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    – BMitch
    May 28, 2022 at 14:31

1 Answer 1


Two options:

  • SDS rotary hammer. That'll make a lot of noise, but it will be short.

  • Diamond core drill:

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This doesn't use impact, it abrades and grinds the material. So it's pretty silent, and it works very well to make holes in brittle material like tile without cracking it. It will go through your concrete. That will take a while. You need to pour water down the hole and use a steady speed on the drill. Unlike a SDS drill, it won't make an exit crater on the other side, in case that matters. It will also grind through rebar, with water and a bit of patience. It doesn't make any dust, instead it makes mud.

You need a drill with a gearbox, and then use first gear. That way the motor can run fast and not overheat because the fan turns fast, while the drill turns slow and doesn't overheat the tool.

The core drill is hollow, so unlike a SDS drill, it doesn't have to grind away the material at the center. So this is usually the best choice for large holes (like 2" and above).

I usually take a piece of wood and drill a hole in it with a hole saw, to use as a guide. Then fasten that to the surface you want to drill (or just stand on it) and the hole in the wood will hold the diamond drill against the material. Otherwise, it will try to slip away when turning.

  • I do have those types of drill bits, will try it out May 27, 2022 at 15:44
  • The question got downvoted. I'm v experienced on StackExchange: 52K with over 1K questions on SOF, 3 to 4K on couple other sites, and meaningful activity on a number of others. This site has the most critical (and sometimes surprising ) downvoting anywhere I've been. May 27, 2022 at 16:06
  • Yeah I don't understand the downvote. It's a legit question.
    – bobflux
    May 27, 2022 at 16:09
  • thx for the 'help' here. i'm going to be trying out that bit tomorrow May 27, 2022 at 16:09
  • There are a few folks running around the site who DV (non-blatanly bad questions/answers) without saying why. I try to ignore them = hecklers. I assume they don't give reasons to remain anonymous hecklers. Have some upvotes on me. Another bit of the local culture which I've been quietly trying to offset is that you'll have a a question that's good enough to get answers with 25 or 30 upvotes, but the question gets like 3-5...
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