Tapcon screw tips?

echobellyJune 4, 2014

I've just bought a block and stucco house and need to install shelving, etc. I've had little experience with drilling in concrete, I'm used to wood studs. I looked into buying one of those guns that shoot nails into concrete, but the salesman at the big box store said I'd be happier just using the Tapcon screws. It took me a while to figure out the hole has to be drilled deeper than the length of the screw, and those drill bits only last a couple of holes (went through $12 in bits putting up one shelf). Any tips to using these would be helpful. Small projects turn into hours of frustration!

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Are you using a hammer drill? The Tapcon drill bits should be good for 10's if not hundreds of holes, especially in block.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 9:03AM
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There is a big difference between Vermont American and Bosch bits.
Also drill speed.
The smaller the bit and high speed is a recipe for burnout.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 9:40AM
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The bit that comes in a box of Tapcon screws will last for over 100 holes---IF you use a hammer drill. I have several that I've had for 12 years.

In fact, I used them not long ago to mount storage in my basement shop---concrete walls poured in 1965.

If you do not---might last two holes. There simply is no substitute in this case.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2014 at 12:46PM
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As Handymac stated.

If you bought a full box, There should have been a drill bit in the box.

Our local hardware store removes them (keep them from being stolen) and will give you the correct size bit for the screw when you buy a full box.

A bit should last you for years before wearing out if used correctly in a hammer drill. A dual purpose drill that has a "hammer" setting will have a hammer on the adjustment collar (looks like a T in the photo). The hammer setting is the one that is needed when using a concrete drill bit.

Drill your holes 1 1/2 times deeper than the screw is long. Example 1" screws = 1 1/2" deep hole. Then clean the hole out with air. Homeowners doing DIY projects can use canned compressed air like used for cleaning computers and such.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2014 at 12:26AM
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