What Size of Drill Bit Should Be Used For a 3/16 Tapcon?

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Don’t get stuck in the middle of your project wondering which drill bit to use for a 3/16 Tapcon. Picking the wrong one might not only delay your work but could also hurt your wallet with damaged materials. 

Keep things smooth: just match the drill bit to your screw size, and you’re good to go! But what size of drill bit should you use for a 3/16 tapcon? Find out below! 

What Drill Bit Size Corresponds to a 3/16” Tapcon?

A drill bit with a diameter of 5/32 inches is necessary to install a 3/16 inch Tapcon. Depending on the hole depth, a 3.5″, 4.5″, or 5.5″ drill bit may also be required.

Tapcon Size

Drill Bit Size

3/16”

5/32”

There are three distinct sizes for a 3/16″ Tapcon. I’ve included a handy depth chart below to help you select the appropriate drill bit for your project.

Tapcon

Diameter X Length

Drill Depth

3/16”

5/32” x 3-½”

2”

3/16”

5/32” x 4-½”

3”

3/16”

5/32” x 5-½”

4”

How Do You Use a 3/16” Tapcon Correctly?

Whether or if a 3/16″ Tapcon serves your DIY purposes is up to you. Find the proper screws, as Tapcons are typically used in masonry. 

It’s always wise to re-check that the screw’s length is correct. Make sure the carbide is the correct size (5/32″) by measuring it. After the dimensions have been verified, there are still a few items to check.

Additionally, applying consistent and steady pressure while drilling with the Tapcon drill bit can help ensure a clean and precise hole in the masonry material, facilitating secure and effective installation of the Tapcon screw.

3-16 Tapcon close up

Check to see if the bit complies with ANSI requirements so that you’ll be sure that it may hold the drilled holes to the required tolerances. Put the screw in place once you’ve double-checked everything else, and you’ll be good to go.

When to Utilize a 3/16” Tapcon

For masonry work, a 3/16″ Tapcon is ideal, and it doesn’t matter if it’s blocks, brick, or concrete. A hammer drill is essential when dealing with 3/16″ Tapcon drills, especially when trying to bore a hole through tougher substances. 

drilling hole in wall
  1. After a hole has been bored to the right depth, it must be readied for the Tapcon screw. Make sure that there is no dirt or dust anywhere by thoroughly cleaning.
  2.  Scrub the hole’s interior with a wire brush. You must ensure that the brush is the same size as the hole you made. Clean the hole with a vacuum using a twisting and turning technique.
  3. Repeat the steps as necessary. Compressed air is an option,[1] but it may degrade the quality of air in your neighborhood. Using a vacuum throughout this preparation phase will yield the best results.
  4. To use, simply drill a pilot hole and insert the Tapcon into it once it has been cleaned. You may gently screw it in using a rotating drill. In this case, a gentle touch should suffice.

Other Things to Know When Using a 3/16” Tapcon

It’s also worth remembering that several types of drill bits exist for tougher materials. 

drill bit size chart

SDS and straight shank bits are among them. Jacobs-style chucks require straight-shank bits. These have round or flat edges, making them ideal for use with a chuck.

Hammer drills that feature a quick-disconnect chuck are compatible with SDS and spline drive systems. This bit will serve you well when you need to pound more forcefully with your drill.

What to Prepare Before Utilizing a 3/16” Tapcon

To get the most out of your 3/16″ Tapcon, you need to have a well-thought-out strategy for the work you intend to undertake. You should also have a hammer drill, wire brush with the same diameter as the drill hole,  and vacuum on hand.

The drill bit you use will also depend on your operating surface. An SDS bit, which can endure significant force, is the superior choice for any potentially difficult project.

FAQ

How much weight can a 3/16 Tapcon screw hold?

A 3/16 Tapcon screw can hold 400 pounds of shear strength, providing it has a minimum embedment of 1 inch. However, long screws of up to 1-3/4 inches embedment, are recommended for ultimate strength for other less dense or softer materials.

Conclusion

If you’re using a 3/16 Tapcon, it’s crucial to pick the right drill bit size. Familiarizing yourself with the lengths and checking if they meet ANSI standards can be a game changer. Always remember: a project that’s well-prepared is halfway to success!

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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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