Related to this question, The blinds project has gone pretty smooth up until this point. It seems that some walls have plaster or masonry behind them. Probably not a big deal, but I've snapped a couple of quality drill bits in the process.

Thus, I ask: What should I do to fasten the rest of these to the wall? I have seen some suggestions online about using molly anchors, but I'm not sure if that's the right approach, or even which molly anchor is appropriate.

  • 2
    Plaster generally won't snap drill bits. It's too soft. Masonry, however, will. Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 17:00
  • You know, I thought it might be masonry, but I wasn't sure. Considering these are exterior walls, +1. I'll update the question.
    – MDMoore313
    Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 17:02

3 Answers 3



Hammer Drill

The job will be much easier with a hammer drill, or a drill with a hammer option. Though it can be done using a regular drill, given enough time and patience.

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Masonry Bit

You'll also want to put a masonry bit in that hammer drill. A carbide bit is the choice of champions.

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Squeeze, Push, and Wait

  • Put the tip of the bit where you want the hole.
  • Squeeze the trigger on the drill motor.
  • Push against the back of the drill motor, or grab the other handle if the drill has an optional side grip.
  • Wait. Hold that position until you've created a hole the proper depth.

Pull Out

Similar to the Squeeze, Push, and Wait. Except that you pull the bit out of the hole from time to time, to clear any dust and debris from the hole.

  • Worked like a charm. I went with the DeWalt corded hammer drill, as the corded one was cheaper, and a drill bit similar to the one you pictured. I also used masonry anchors as The Evil Greebo suggested, for future readers.
    – MDMoore313
    Commented Dec 28, 2013 at 12:39

Assuming that you have masonry walls, you need masonry drill bits and masonry anchors, which are somewhat different than the molly anchors you find for use with hanging on plaster.

Any masonry anchor style should do - as long as you size it appropriately for the item to be hung.

  • When reading up on this, some articles mentioned I need an impact drill, is this a requirement, or is a regular drill fine? I have an 18v B&D btw, it get's the job done.
    – MDMoore313
    Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 17:29
  • 3
    For a small job like you're doing you can probably get by with a regular drill. The impact drill does tend to work a little more easily with stone/masonry because stone is more brittle than wood. Commented Nov 5, 2013 at 17:32

You don't have to have a hammer drill to drill masonry. The hammering process helps the bit not get stuck as readily, but they do make masonry bits for regular drills as well. Note the double-flute of this one, compared to the one Tester posted. I think Vermont American might be the only brand to make these (I've not seen any other brand for standard rotary)

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Still, hammer drills are best for this. I have a really basic hammer drill from Harbor Freight (the cheap non-branded one) and it suffices for the small projects I do here and there. If you don't do this often, Harbor Freight can be your friend for light duty niche tools like that. The main advantage is that most masonry bits are meant for hammer drills, so you can easily find them. The big boxes tend to sell the rotary ones as well, but smaller stores don't.

I would highly recommend the Tapcon brand for regular mounting. They have a special screw for masonry that requires no anchors.

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They also have specific sizes matched to the masonry bits they sell, so there's no guesswork in what size bit you'll need. I've been able to mount a wide variety of things to my brick siding using these and nothing else.

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