Proven Solution: Kennametal C31HD Tools Drill Longer in Tough Conditions

Construction – Foundation Drilling

September 14, 2023

Powerful hydraulic drilling rig on a construction site. Installation of bored piles by drilling. Pile foundations. Drilling in the ground

Kennametal foundation drilling equipment encompasses a diverse range of specialized tools designed to create reliable structures. Our equipment can match specific drilling methods, environmental conditions, and the scale of your project. When it comes to tough conditions and improving the performance of your tools, our Kennametal C31HD X tungsten carbide picks (conicals) will not only meet expectations, but they’ll surpass them. But don’t just take our word for it, check out the results from one of our tests.

The C31HD X Scenario

An OEM who’s been manufacturing highly efficient drilling machines for decades hasn’t been satisfied with the tungsten carbide picks matched with their equipment.  Supply chain issues along with mediocre tool-life performance from the baseline picks they use are causing production challenges.

And that’s where our experts had a chance to prove to the potential client that our Kennametal C31HD X series of tungsten carbide picks offers high-quality and long-lasting results.

The Head-to-Head Test

Our team of experts set out to prove that the Kennametal C31HD X tools exhibit better wear life than the baseline picks the OEM has been using.  In the head-to-head test, our team equipped the auger with 14 tungsten carbide picks. They placed seven C31HD X tungsten carbide picks on one side of the auger and seven of the OEM’s baseline picks on the other. 

 The Conditions:   

  • The tungsten carbide picks were placed on a 36” auger.  
  • The machine used was a CZM D-32 with core barrel and auger attachments. 
  • Material drilled was a mix of clayey sand, cemented conglomerate rock, and flint.   
  • Drilling occurred from approximately 9:00 a.m. to approximately 1:00 p.m.  
  • The weather was mid-60s to 70’s with scattered showers and occasional downpours.  

 Throughout the process, our experts meticulously documented the number of teeth replaced at each interval as well as the distance, depth, width, and duration of each cut. 

Amazing Results 

Kennametal: The C31HD X picks held up significantly compared to the baseline picks used by the OEM. After drilling 267 cubic feet, the Kennametal C31HD X tools retained the carbide on their tips and only replaced one out of the seven pick

The Baseline Picks: During the identical timeframe and depth, the OEM’s tungsten carbide picks reached end-of-life and required a total of nine replacements.

Final Score

The OEM’s baseline picks changed nine times compared to Kennametal’s one while drilling. Kennametal clearly outmatched the baseline in this head-to-head challenge.


The OEM decided to adopt our better-performing Kennametal C31HD X series of tungsten carbide picks. By making this change, the company can expect to improve operational efficiency and overall performance when foundation drilling in challenging environments.

For the most up-to-date information on recent advancements, visit Kennametal’s foundation drilling page and contact an expert. Please also look at our Proven Solutions blog Beginners Guide to Foundation Drilling.

The information contained in this report is intended for comparative purposes only and is based upon a limited test sample. The information has no guarantee of actual future results. The information is provided ‘as is’ without any warranty of any kind whether express or implied.  

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