I want to mount a cornice for curtains on a concrete ceiling. So I believe I need some kind of hammer drill. I would like to know, how powerful should it be for this kind of work?

  • FYI there are cordless vacuums designed specifically for use with rotary hammers which can make overhead drilling much more pleasant if you're doing a lot of it.
    – Brad Mace
    Apr 13, 2013 at 5:45
  • yeah i'm trying to drill using a regular drill with special bits for concrete and it is a real pain. It more depends on the concrete material and whether you hit a good or bad spot. Ceilings are an extra pain. Sometimes it might help to start with a smaller bit first, then make the hole bigger with wider bits.
    – user14253
    Jul 30, 2013 at 5:07

2 Answers 2


You can drill through concrete even without a hammer drill, really it's just a function of time and energy. How many holes do you have to drill? How big and how deep? For two small holes, I wouldn't really worry about it (so what if they take 5min each?), but if I had to drill 20 large holes, I'd want something like a rotary drill.

Good bits will make quick work of the job too, and low end bits in the best drill will be slow and tedious.

For small holes (say 1/2" or less diameter, regardless of depth), I'd say use a standard hammer drill. Anything larger, rent or buy a rotary drill. For really big holes (several inches in diameter), you need a core drill.

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    I think the bit is more important than the drill. You can drill through steel with a cordless drill if you have the right bit.
    – Hank
    Mar 13, 2013 at 16:47
  • I agree, the bit is more important. I have found Hilti makes the best for large holes. If you are making small holes for screw anchors, then Bosch makes some pretty decent bits that likely won't cost as much as Hilti. Mar 13, 2013 at 17:04
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    Thank you very much for your comment about bits. I didn't know that they're so important. I mean, I thought it's only important for them to not fall apart.
    – dhblah
    Mar 13, 2013 at 17:12
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    I'm not sure, but I need only about 4 holes, I don't think that they should be large in diameter, but they should be at least one inch deep. It's just that once I was mounting swing on a rope and had to make two holes half-inch in diameter and about two inches long and I spent a whole day on that using an ordinary drill. Also there may appear small stones in concrete and it's really hard to hole them with an ordinary drill. Thought, maybe wrong bits was the problem and maybe with right ones, I'll easily hole stones or even armature if it happen to be in a concrete in that place.
    – dhblah
    Mar 13, 2013 at 17:21
  • The size and composition of the stone aggregate can make a big difference in the rate of progress, especially with the smaller driving tools. If you hit rebar and you are not yet deep enough, it's often easiest to decide the current hole was not in the right place anyway.
    – bcworkz
    Mar 13, 2013 at 23:16

I live in a region where most of people live in apartment buildings most of which are build of reinforced concrete.

Long time ago I used a 600-watts impact drill for drilling concrete and most of the time it was usable but really depressing - the noise is horrible, the stress on the hands is significant, the progress is slow. The real problem is if your drill bit happens to meet a stone inside concrete (like a piece of granite) - you may have a really hard time drilling through that. Later I used a 550-watts impact drill - that still was depressing, but I can't say it was more depressing that with a 600-watts drill. I've heard a lot of similar experience descriptions from people who have various other impact drills.

My latest experience is using a 550 watts pneumatic hammer (a thing with an SDS-plus chuck) - that one drills through concrete no problem. A pneumatic hammer compares to an impact drill like... well, they don't compare, a pneumatic hammer is the tool for drilling through concrete.

The bottom line is no matter how powerful an impact drill is drilling concrete is a pain. So if you only have an impact drill - bear with it. Impact drills usually start at 550 watts - that one will work - and more powerful ones will work too, but it'll be a bit of pain anyway. If you have a choice to use a pneumatic hammer - definitely go for that, no matter how "low" its power is, it will provide a much better experience. You will often hear that "that 700-watts" hammer is "a serious tool" an "this 550 watts model is "a toy", but it's mostly irrelevant for domestic use - a hammer with any power will drill through concrete no problem.

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