Most core drilling is performed with a ‘wet’ core drill bit using water, however, it can also be done dry!
With the use of a specially designed core barrel (dry core drilling bit) you can drill dry. These core drills are often not as long as common wet core drills and are also available to use a pilot drill. The segments are made from a different material and usually have far less segments than a wet core drill.
Dry core drilling is mostly for applications where you cannot or it is not practical to use water. Such an application might be drilling through a wall into an office / house where it is furnished. A lot of electrical contractors and air conditioning installers use these.
Drilling dry will result in dust but a vacuum can aid in the bulk removal of waste while drilling.
In comparison with wet drilling it has been noted that it takes longer dry core drilling than it does for wet drilling. The core drill bit does not last as long as the wet core drills either.
Another noticeable difference is that most dry core drills have a 1/2″ Gas fitting where as the wet core drills have a 1 1/4″UNC fitting. Adapters are available to screw the dry core bits onto core drilling machines with a 1 1/4″UNC thread. Other adapters are available to run these on other types of drills.
You can view the full range of dry core drilling bits here: