When you're looking for a contractor to handle drilling work for you, understanding the most common types of drilling can familiarize you with what services and expertise you should be looking for.

When deciding whether rotary drilling services will handle your geotechnical drilling needs, consider the goals of your project and any geologic and groundwater formations that need to be dealt with during drilling.

Rotary drilling is a technique that you'll definitely come across in your research. Understanding when this technique is appropriate and how it works will help you find the best contractor for your job:

How rotary drilling works

During the air rotary or mud rotary drilling process, a borehole is formed through impact energy. Both rotation and ground impact hammering are used to drill using these techniques.

When mud rotary drilling is used, an additive such as bentonite is added into the mix to stabilize the area being drilled. Cuttings taken away during drilling are blown out of the borehole and channeled to a cutting settling pit. 


Air rotary and mud rotary drilling are typically used in geotechnical oil and mining projects. They are ideal for handling sampling and downhole testing.

Air rotary drilling can form deep boreholes in a wide variety of different geologic formation types. However, mud rotary is often chosen over air rotary due to the instability of the terrain that's being drilled into. Mud rotary allows for oil and mine drilling in situations involving unconsolidated formations and weak soil.  


A huge advantage of both air rotary and mud rotary drilling is that they can be used to form boreholes in any rock type. They are effective at drilling into igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rock. Rotary drilling is a way to form pilot boreholes that can later be expanded with larger shaft borings. 

Mud rotary drilling is advantageous in allowing for drilling in weaker, unstable geologic formations where other methods such as sonic drilling might not be safe. 


Usually, sonic drilling is the main alternative to rotary drilling when it comes to borehole formation. One advantage of sonic drilling over rotary drilling is that it produces less drilling waste, and this makes it easier to handle cuttings during drilling. Rotary drilling is known for producing large volumes of waste including waste water.

Sonic drilling may be a better option when drilling conditions involve the presence of boulders, landfills, or similar obstacles. Rotary drilling techniques are often not sufficient when these types of obstacle are present. However, it's important to note that sonic drilling is known for being significantly more expensive than rotary drilling. 

For more information, contact a company like Haz-Tech Drilling Inc.