What are Rock Drilling Tools?

Table of Contents

Humans have long struggled with rock in their need to extract more resources to improve their living environment. It will involve rock drilling and blasting engineering. Rock drilling blasting directly affects the speed, quality, safety, and cost of engineering construction. It can be said that the development of rock drilling machinery and rock drilling tools has become indispensable content in the construction of modern society.

Because of the different rock drilling machines used, the supporting rock drilling tools are also not the same. Rock drilling tools can be classified into pneumatic rock drilling tools, hydraulic rock drilling tools, down-the-hole drilling tools, roller cone drilling tools, diamond drilling tools, drilling tools for coal drilling rigs, drilling tools for geotechnical engineering drilling rigs, and drilling tools for soft rock drilling rigs, drilling tools for geological exploration drilling rigs, picks for coal mining machines and municipal engineering milling machines, picks for impact air picks and hydraulic hammers, drilling tools for drilling rigs for various large diameter foundation pile construction, various supports, anchoring drilling tools for drilling rigs, etc. So what exactly is a rock drilling tool?

The meaning of rock drilling tools

Rock drilling tools are working tools for rock drilling, that is, tools for drilling rocks made of brazing steel and other materials (such as cemented carbide). It mainly includes four categories: drill rod, drill bit, coupling sleeve, and shank adapter.

Since rock drilling tools are indispensable tools in rock drilling and blasting and must be continuously developed, according to the previous content, we can also see that rock drilling tools are a series of products with various varieties, shapes, and uses. Therefore, we will introduce the six types of rock drilling tools according to the types of rock drilling machines used in geotechnical drilling engineering and the supporting rock drilling tools.

Classification of rock drilling tools

The six types of rock drilling tools include top hammer drilling tools, down-the-hole drilling tools, roller cone drilling tools, (reverse) raise drilling tools, drilling tools for geological exploration, and Mechanical cutting drilling tools.

Although there are many types of rock drilling tools, they are mainly matched around the type of rock drilling machinery. In the previous content, we also outlined the four main categories of rock drilling tools, so let’s learn more about them.

Top hammer rock drilling tools

top hammer rock drilling tools

The top hammer impact rock drilling is that the rock drilling machine is located at the top of the drill tool, and the rock drill piston directly hits the rear end of the drill tool, and the impact energy generated is in the form of stress wave through the rod body to reach the drill bit to do work on the rock. The rock drilling machine uses compressed gas or hydraulic oil as the power source, and the impact power can be designed according to the requirements of the equipment, so it has a higher rock drilling rate. It can be mainly divided into drill tools for light rock drills, drill tools for underground mining, drill tools for rock drilling and excavation, and drill tools for full hydraulic open-pit rock drilling rigs.

Down-the-hole rock drilling tools

DTH drilling tools

Different from the top hammer type rock drilling tool, the down-the-hole type rock drilling tool is a medium and large-diameter rock drilling machine that uses compressed air as the power source to enter the power part into the rock hole for rock drilling. The application of external rock drilling engineering is very extensive. Down-the-hole percussion rock drilling tools are usually composed of three parts: a drill bit, an impactor and a drill pipe, which are equipped on a drilling rig (drill stand) and equipped with an air compressor to form a rock drilling unit. According to the pressure of the compressed air used by DTH percussion drilling tools, it is usually divided into low-pressure DTH drilling tools (pressure 0.6-0.8MPa), medium and high pressure DTH drilling tools (pressure 1.0-2.0MPa), high pressure DTH drilling tools (pressure 1.0-2.0MPa).

Mining roller cone drill tools

Tricone Bit

Mining roller cone drilling tools are mainly used for vertical perforation operations in large-scale open-pit mines, earth-rock excavation, water wells and geothermal wells. During the drilling process, the roller cone drill drives the roller cone bit to rotate through the drill rod, and at the same time applies downward thrust to penetrate the hole. Under the rotational force, the roller cone drill drives three roller cones with carbide teeth or steel teeth to rotate around their respective claw journals, and at the same time, under the action of axial thrust, the alloy teeth or steel teeth It is embedded in the rock surface, and the rock is broken by the combined force of extrusion and shearing, so as to achieve the purpose of perforation.

(Reverse) Raise drilling tools

The rock drilling bit of the raise drilling tool is composed of a rolling scraping bit and a bracket inlaid with cemented carbide teeth, and the drilled hole diameter ranges from φ500 mm to 6000 mm.

Drilling tools for geological exploration

Geological exploration drilling tools are a type of rock drilling tools. Some well-known rock drilling tool manufacturers have their own complete production systems for geological exploration drilling tools.

Mechanical cutting drilling tools

The mechanical cutting and drilling process is a non-drilling and blasting construction technology that uses the power generated by the drilling machine to drive the drilling tools to cut the rock and soil to complete the drilling and excavation construction. Mainly divided into trenchless engineering drilling tools, shearer picks, pavement cold milling machine picks, tunnel excavation shield machine tools, slotting machine picks and road grader picks.

The above is mainly classified according to the type of rock drilling machinery used in geotechnical drilling and excavation engineering. Since top hammer rock drilling tools are used more, we will mainly introduce the composition of the top hammer rock drilling tools to you.

Composition of top hammer rock drilling tools

Rock drill bit

rock drill bits

Rock drill bit is the part that directly breaks the rock mass. It is used to break the rock into various solid rocks by the impact rotation of the edge and teeth to form rock holes of different diameters, which is an essential rock drilling tool in the field of drilling.

Drill rod

MF rod

Drill rod is a structural part that supports the rock drill bit to transmit the impact stress and torque of the rock drill and is also an indispensable part of the rock drill. Drill rods are classified according to the connection form, including threaded extension rods and tapered drill rods.

Threaded extension rod is a hollow round or hollow hexagonal rod with connection threads at both ends or one end of the rod, and it is the main part of the threaded extension drilling tools. The main thread forms are R-thread and T-thread. Threaded extension rod also includes extension rod, light drill rod, flat road drill rod, MF rod, and other structural threaded extension rods.

Tapered drill rod is a hexagonal hollow rod with a shank structure, the shank is connected to the rock drilling equipment, and the head of the rod is a cone structure, which can be connected with the tapered bit. Its main types are the B19mm drill rod, B22mm drill rod, B25mm drill rod, and B28mm drill rod.

Coupling sleeve

coupling sleeve

Coupling sleeve is located at the joint of the supporting rock drilling tool during the drilling and bears the corrosion effects of stresses such as axial tension and compression, bending and twisting, contact, and friction. In a brief overview, the coupling sleeve is used to connect the drill rod and the drill rod, and connect the drill rod and shank adapter, and has a sleeve with internal thread.

According to the geometric structure, the coupling sleeves include full bridge coupling sleeves, middle-stop-type coupling sleeves, and reducing coupling sleeves.

Shank adapter

shank adapter

Shank adapter is a part that is connected to the rock drill at one end and connected to the drill rod at the other end. It mainly includes shank adapter for pneumatic rock drill and hydraulic rock drill shank adapter.

Rock drilling can be applied to many fields and can be produced in many ways. Rock drilling tools are the core products that everyone pays attention to in the industry. What are their specific applications in the field of rock drilling?

The application of rock drilling tools in the field of rock drilling

Hand-held rock drilling

Hand-held rock drilling is rock drilling performed with a hand-held light rock drill. It is mainly used in small construction sites or environments where larger equipment cannot be used in limited space.

Mechanical rock drilling

In mechanical rock drilling, operators often monitor two or three rock drills. Rock drills are mounted on thrusters or glide arms. Equipment that carries pushers or sliding arms for mechanized rock drilling is called a drilling rig.

Terrace rock drilling

Terrace rock drilling is a mining method in which blasting holes are drilled on terraces for terrace blasting. It is a relatively simple way of rock drilling.

Rock drilling for level road excavation

Rock drilling is a rock drilling operation method for blasting rock holes in tunnels or air-raid shelters.

Production of rock drilling (medium and deep holes)

Production rock drilling refers to the drilling of blasting rock holes in an ore body, or the extraction of production rock in a quarry. Therefore, this rock drilling method is suitable for open pit mines, quarries and underground mines. Usually for deep hole drilling or terrace mining.

Support rock drilling

Support rock drilling is used to prevent roadway and rock from slumping. First, a rock hole is drilled in the rock, and then the expansion bolt or grouting bolt is installed. The bolt reinforces the surrounding rock that may loosen and fall off.

Lifting and drilling rock

Vertical phase channels are often required in wells or other underground shelters. The vertical channel can now be drilled over the entire face using the lift-drilling method.

Overload rock drilling

When drilling foundation pile holes, anchor holes or water well holes (sometimes also used for blasting work holes), it may be more advantageous to use the overload rock drilling method.

The vital role and application advantages of rock drilling tools in different engineering fields

As tools specifically designed for drilling holes in rocks, rock drilling tools play a crucial role in various engineering fields. Whether it’s mining, geological exploration, tunnel excavation, or water well drilling, rock drilling tools are indispensable and have showcased their unique application advantages.


In mining, rock drilling tools are critical tools for ore mining. By drilling efficiently with rock drilling tools, engineers can swiftly and accurately extract the required ore, ensuring the smooth progression of the mining process. Compared to traditional mining methods, rock drilling tools offer higher drilling speeds and more precise drilling positions, significantly enhancing mining efficiency.

Geological exploration

By drilling with rock drilling tools, scientists can obtain underground rock samples and analyze information such as geological structures and mineral resources. Rock drilling tools’ efficient drilling and precise sampling capabilities can provide robust support for geological exploration work.


In tunneling, rock drilling tools quickly break up rock into the shape and size required for the tunnel.

Water well drilling

With rock drilling tools, engineers can drill high-quality water wells deep underground. The accuracy and efficiency of rock drilling tools make water well drilling faster and more accurate, meeting people’s demand for clean water sources.

In addition, rock drilling tools also have the following application advantages:

  • Strong adaptability: rock drilling tools can adapt to different types of rocks and geological conditions. Efficient drilling can be achieved by adjusting drilling parameters and replacing different types of drill bits and drill rods.
  • Fast drilling speed: the rock drilling tool adopts high-strength materials and advanced design, has a high drilling speed, and can quickly complete rock drilling work.
  • High drilling accuracy: the drilling accuracy of rock drilling tools is high, which can achieve precise drilling positions and sizes to meet engineering needs.
  • Long service life: rock drill tools are carefully designed and manufactured with high wear resistance and durability and can be used for a long time under a harsh working environment.

Choose and use

Choosing the right rock drilling tool is crucial to the smooth progress of the project. When selecting one, we should consider factors such as rock type, drilling depth, and speed. At the same time, when using rock drilling tools, you also should pay attention to maintenance and replacement cycles to ensure they can continue to work efficiently.


With the advancement of science and technology, rock drilling tool technology is also constantly developing. The application of new materials and the integration of intelligent technology make rock drilling tools more efficient and durable. In the future, we can look forward to the emergence of more advanced rock drilling tools, which will bring greater convenience and benefits to rock drilling projects.


As an essential tool in rock drilling engineering, rock drilling tools play an indispensable role. Through the introduction of this article, I believe you have a deeper understanding of rock drilling tools. I hope that in actual work, you can make full use of the advantages of rock drilling tools and improve work efficiency and quality.

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