Metalworking, building, and woodworking applications often call for drilling instruments. You can drill holes with these multipurpose tools by adjusting their capacity and power according to your intended use.

Drilling instruments date back to the beginning of time. Homo sapiens realized the significance of rotating tools more than 30,000 years ago. Early man used a flint tip affixed to a smooth stick to make the requisite holes. Humans evolved from using flat sticks with stone ends to antlers, shells, and bones for their work in the late Paleolithic period.

Here is a valuable insight into the history and evolution of drilling instruments:


Before the arrival of the blasting technique, early mining in Hungary and Germany is where the history of drilling begins. The German and Hungarian miners used enormous striker bars, called chisels, to hammer holes into the rock.

In 1683, Henning Huthmann suggested a novel drill technique that employed gravity to bore holes, the first revolutionary drilling technology. Drilling began with the drill steel driven into the rock in a vertical hole. This became popular as the drop drill technique.

Hammer drilling in the concrete floor

A decade after the Germans invented the chisel bit in 1749, Hungarian miners adopted wedge bits that improved efficiency, but they didn’t solve the issue of drill cuttings entirely.

The invention of rotary drilling in 1840 marked the beginning of a new era in drilling technology. Drill steel turned by hand aimed to carve out a passage through the rock carefully.

As early as 1844, Brunton created the world’s first motorized percussive drill that utilized compressed air for striking the drill. Due to the continued work of Nasmyth in the later years, miners could easily use compressed air percussive drills to make horizontal holes in the rock.


The evolution of drilling instruments underwent three different phases, marked by unique drilling methods. The top hammer drill is the most popular method. This percussion system works by striking the top of the drill steel with a percussive, striking blow. Rapid drilling through rapid strikes and fast steel-spinning resembles the ancient drop-drill systems powered by the exact mechanisms.

Down-the-hole (DTH) hammer drilling is another technology that employs a percussive drilling style but places the striking action directly above the drill bit. It enables borehole drilling to more than 300 feet below the surface.

Rotary drills, which were popular by the end of the 19th century and early 20th century, are currently the third system on the market. A heavy and substantial descending pressure on the working edge keeps the drill bit in touch with the rock mass and slowly claws away at the rock mass, resulting in boreholes with massive diameters. Since this system involves rock drilling with connected hefty steels, these drills have low borehole deviation.

Are you fascinated by the history and evolution of drilling instruments? Contact Instruments is one of the finest OEM drilling instrumentation manufacturers. We also take pride in providing excellent drilling rig services and custom cables to our valued customers.

Contact us to procure top-quality pressure gauges and load cells.