Sep 2022
Two Primary Drilling Techniques: Percussive Drilling and Rotary Drilling

Drilling is a cutting operation which uses a drill bit to cut a hole of a circular cross-section in a solid material. It is helpful in drilling water wells, oil wells, and natural gas extraction wells. Diamond drilling Kent offers various types of drilling rigs such as for land, mobile equipment mounted on trucks, tracks of trailers, or marine-based structures, useful for multiple applications.

Two significant types of drilling techniques are Percussive Drilling and Rotary Drilling. Both are unique, but the purpose remains to drill the hole, explore the surface, or define the depth.

Read on this blog to learn more about both types of drilling techniques in detail.

Percussive Drilling

Percussion drilling is considered to be one of the oldest drilling methods. It uses a heavy hammering or a cable with a serious cutting bit attached to a rope and is lowered into the open hole. It is repeatedly lifted and dropped; thus, the cutting loses the soil, which gets extracted later by using a bailer.

Percussion drilling is the most common and convenient drilling technique for surface exploration. A temporary casing of steel is used to prevent the hole from collapsing. When the permanent well screen and case are installed, operators remove the temporary casing, allowing it to deepen the boreholes.


The percussion drill is operated by hand; therefore, it requires a lot of strength to get the job done. Several men pull the rope to lift and drop the bit. It takes a few pieces, which can be transported in the trunk of a car or mounted on the bed to reach the drill site. Diamond drilling Kent uses excellent drill parts that made our percussion drilling seamless.


  • Sharpen the teeth of the drilling bit on a regular interval, using an angle grinder.
  • Inspect welding on all the tools regularly.
  • Check if the tools are in good working condition; otherwise, purchase or replace the tools.
  • The valve of the bailer has to function properly for smooth operation.
  • Replace the rope around the rope eye if it is damaged.
  • Keep the tools clean at the end of each day.
  • The cords will have a prolonged life if all the mud is cleaned off and it is hung to dry out.

Types of Percussive Drilling

  1. Down Hole Drills or Rotary Air Blast Drilling
  2. Top Hammer Drilling
  3. Reverse Circulation Drilling

Preferable Conditions for Percussive Drilling

  • Suitable for sand, silt, stiff clays, sandstone, laterite and gravel layers.
  • Analyse the water level before you start drilling.

Advantages of Percussive Drilling

  • It can remove boulders and break more complex formations effectively and quickly through most types of earth.
  • Simple to operate and maintain.
  • Deals with the majority of ground conditions.
  • Fits well with a wide variety of rocks.
  • It can drill up hundreds of feet.
  • Drills through above and below the water table.


  • Percussion drilling is the perfect choice if you need to execute drilling in hard soils. Hard soil has layers of rubble or stones and percussion drilling can effectively drill through it.
  • It is suitable for research on soil pollution, grain size distribution, general soil classification, and profile description.

Rotary Drilling

Rotary drilling is one of the many geotechnical drilling services we offer here at Diamond Drilling Kent. It is the most widely used drilling method for small and large projects. CA Drillers look at the entire process in more detail, which we feel is necessary and worth doing because, in rotary drilling, one size does not fit all types of drilling processes.


Rotary drilling utilises a high rotation and torque, the drill bit rotating rapidly at the end of the drill pipe and boring the rocks. These drill bits are available in two forms – one is roller cone bits, and the other is fixed cutter bits. Both are suitable for high levels of use within the drilling industry. Though there are different fixed cutter bits, they are generally referred to as Polycrystalline Diamond Compact Bits (PDC).

The speed of rotations and their high frequency make rotary drilling an effective means of carving through hard and soft rock formations. This technique uses either air or drilling fluids to clear out the bore hole, cool the drill bit and reduce the friction so that it can be operated optimally.


The concrete can be rigid for any tool. Here are a few points to make your rotary hammer long-lasting

  • Please do not press it too hard. Let the tool do its work.
  • It is advisable to consider the material you are drilling and the hammer size before choosing the drill bit.
  • Clean the drill bit. Wipe off any dirt at the end; otherwise, it will go into the hammer, resulting in tool failure.
  • Grease the bit each time you change bits. It prevents premature wear of the bit holder.
  • Please use the grease recommended by the manufacturer and follow their guidelines.
  • Know your tool’s LED service lights and strictly adhere to the maintenance guidelines when you see any red flags.

Types of Rotary Drilling

  1.  Auger Drill
  2. Calyx Drill
  3. Rotary Drill (uses rock roller bit and tricone bits)
  4. Diamond Drill (uses diamond drill bit)

Preferable Conditions for Rotary Drilling

  • Hard and soft lithology.
  • Primarily made to investigate rocks, but later on also used in soil. However, if the ground has a high level of gavels, it may not be helpful as they rotate beneath the drill and are not broken up.

Advantages of Rotary Drilling

  • Its lightweight and modular design allows greater flexibility and helps rigs to get installed quickly.
  • Faster than conventional drilling techniques and delivers high integrity results.
  • Hydraulic drilling rigs are equipped with computer operating systems.
  • Capable of achieving larger diameter boreholes.
  • Each combination and variation of rotary drilling offers unique advantages concerning the lithology of the site.
  • Better penetration rate with high operational efficiency.
  • Considered eco-friendly due to minimal vibrations, noise, and dust production.


  • Suitable for rapid drilling to enable core recovery with a greater depth.
  • Uses wire-line core barrels with diamond to drill.
  • If you need to get adequate sampling done, it may not be a suitable technique as it is challenging to record strata.


CA drillers offer all types of diamond drilling services, including percussion and rotary techniques. Our team of experts possesses a wide range of experience in both types of drilling. Their knowledge of experiences will help you choose the best technique for your project.

Call us on + 44 808 274 7824 to discuss your needs, or visit our website to learn more about our services.

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