What Size of Drill Bit Do I Use For a 1/4 Tapcon?

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Ever tried to fix something and made it worse? Here’s a tip for those of you diving into DIY projects with Tapcon screws. These handy screws can grip onto different surfaces like blocks, bricks, and even concrete. 

But, here’s the catch: use the wrong drill bit size, especially for the 1/4 Tapcon, and you could harm your foundation. A mistake that’s not fun or cheap to fix! So, let’s save you the headache. Stick around, and I’ll guide you through picking the right drill bit for the job.

What Drill Bit Size Matches a ¼” Tapcon?

When drilling a 1/4″ Tapcon, a 3/16″ bit is needed.

Tapcon Size

Drill Bit Size



Tapcon length is critical since this determines whether or not the hole bored is 1/2 in., shallower than your Tapcon screw. Mistakes in sizing might result in damaged foundations and the inability to finish a job.

The 1/4″ Tapcon is available in four distinct sizes, each with its recommended drilling range. 


Diameter X Length

Drill Depth


3/16” x 3.5”



3/16” x 4-1/2”



3/16” x 5-1/2”



3/16” x 6-1/2”


How to Properly Use a ¼” Tapcon

You need to use a carbide tip that complies with ANSI Standard B212-15-1994 for brickwork. If you’re using Tapcon screws, you need to drill each of the holes in the base using carbide tips.

All hole sizes will be uniform if you use carbide tips brazed on one end and meet ANSI standards. Buying old or lesser-quality carbide tips will result in a material with a low melting point and a brazing process that fails to last. [1]

tapcon concrete anchors

Finding the Tapcon’s flat end is also important for screw placement. Instead of inserting the carbide tip onto the installation tools, you should use the flat end. When inserting it into the toolkit, ensure the flat end faces outward so you can adjust the set screw against it.

Other related pages: 

When Should a ¼” Tapcon Be Utilized?

When using Tapcon drill bits, always pop them into hammer drills. For the best results, set your drill to both spin and hammer at the same time. 

Think of it like this: the hammering gives you powerful cutting while the spinning sweeps away the mess inside. It’s like having a tiny powerhouse in your hands!

It is important to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions and ensure proper drilling and installation techniques to achieve optimal results when using 1/4″ Tapcons.

Other Factors to Take Note of When Using a ¼” Tapcon

There are alternatives to the hammer drill that must comply with ANSI Standard B212-15-1994. They must have the right diameter and length to guarantee accurate drilling.

A straight shank drill bit with a carbide tip is one alternative that you can use in a Jacobs-style chunk. You’ll need the chuck key, which you’ve probably used before, to use these. 

It’s common for these bits to have a flatter profile or a rounder shank so that you may insert them into a chuck. They are available in a wide range of sizes, in terms of width and length.

drill bit size chart

There’s also the spline drive system (SDS), which fits into the quick-disconnect chucks of a hammer drill. The SDS drill’s shank is the equivalent of a thumbnail in size, and it features two slots and groves.

Drilling is facilitated by the slots, which enable chuck movement and correct rotation, facilitating heavier pounding and a more rapid pace. You must take extra care to protect the slots and grooves at all costs.

Hex washer and Phillips countersunk head options are offered for the 1/4-inch diameter. Because the size of the Tapcon being installed is slightly less than the size of the hole drilled into the surface, a 3/16″ drill bit is used.

drilling hole in wall

The 620 shear pounds of holding power attained with a  minimum of 1-inch  embedment should be more than enough to support your load.

What to Do or Prepare Before Utilizing a ¼” Tapcon

Remove any dust from the hole caused by concrete before utilizing the Tapcon or drilling a wall or foundation’s surface. Some use brush wires to ensure that all dust has been removed.

Tapcon screws are commonly used for concrete, so before you begin fastening anything, double-check that you have the proper screws and have thoroughly cleaned the area. 

If you blow the dirt out of the hole, you can be confident that your creation will be robust and that the parts will fit together without any problems.

The nature of the working surface can also affect how challenging or simple an undertaking is. Drilling into well-cured concrete or concrete with inserted aggregate is more difficult.

Another Informative Read: Is it Okay to Use Drywall Anchors on Your Ceiling


What size is the head on a 1/4 Tapcon?

The size of the head on a 1/4 Tapcon is .180 inches in height. If you look at its hex head, you’ll see that the 1/4″ is 5/16″ long. For a 1/4″, the connected washer measures .415″ in diameter.

How strong is a 1/4-inch Tapcon?

A 1/4-inch Tapcon is as strong as 5/14 because a single 1/4-inch Tapcon buried 1-inch into a lightweight block can support 250 pounds in tension or 620 pounds in shear. Four heavy-duty Tapcons can also hold a 100-pound weight in mortar or brick.


Choosing the right drill bit size for a 1/4 Tapcon screw is crucial. Why? Because these screws come in different lengths to fit various material thicknesses. 

Setting up a Tapcon is straightforward, but here’s the catch: you need the perfect combo of hole size, screw, and drill bit. Get it right, and your project will shine; get it wrong, and you might run into trouble. So, let’s make sure you nail it!

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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