The Pros and Cons of Rotary Drilling Services

by | May 17, 2022

Our expert drilling team offer many services, one of which is rotary drilling. This commonly used method suits a variety of drilling projects, both small and large. Borehole Solutions decided to investigate the method further considering that it dates back over 3,000 years ago! We want to examine when rotary drilling services are implemented and the different types of rotary available. As you will soon find out, although frequently used, it may not be a good idea!

How does Rotary Drilling Work?

There is a drill bit at the end of the drill pipe that bores through the rock formation. This drill bit can come in two forms: fixed cutter bits or roller cone bits. Both types are extensively used within the drilling industry, with no specific preference to one over the other. Fixed cutter bits are frequently known as PDC bits (polycrystalline diamond compact bits). There are other fixed cutter bits available, but PDC bits are one of the most prevalent.

The rotary drilling rig utilises high levels of torque and rotation to operate at between 50 and 120 rpm! This high speed and frequency of rotations ensure an easy drilling that can smoothly carve through both hard and soft rock formations. In order to ensure optimal performance, the rig clears the borehole using either air or drilling fluid. This reduces friction on the drill bit as well as cools it down, meaning that the rig can perform more effectively.

When is it best to Use Rotary Drilling Services?

Rotary drilling services can be used on a broad range of geological formations. If you are drilling a deep borehole, rotary drilling that utilises air is the preferred option. However, mud tends to be more unstable with formations consisting of sand and gravel, meaning that air would not be appropriate. In this situation, drilling fluid should be used as a mixed additive to coat the sides of the borehole and help provide support. This method is often used in mining and quarry settings, considering that it allows for drilling a hole to depths of thousands of metres! Rotary drilling can be configured to the job in question to ensure a top-quality core recovery for optimal analysis.


As you can expect, with any type of drilling, rotary drilling has its positives and negatives. Some of the benefits include:

  • Speed: rotary drilling is a fast method. In fact, it is significantly quicker than numerous other conventional drilling techniques. Importantly, it also delivers high-integrity results and does not compromise on quality.
  • Reliable: the rigs are highly dependable. Rotary drilling is a method that has been used for millennia so it has been refined over time. Companies, such as Borehole Solutions, have been honing their skills for years, hence we know exactly how to give you the best results!
  • Flexibility: rotary drilling rigs are so simple to operate. Their ease of set-up, dismount and ability to be transported, means they are well-known as every geotechnical company’s dream to work with.


It is of no surprise, but no one form of rotary drilling service is perfect. As we have already discussed, there are several methods to choose from; but there are other options, such as reverse circulation and dual rotary. If one type of rotary drilling is not suitable for your job, there is a chance that another form would fit the bill. For instance, if cross-contamination is a concern, then air rotary offers the best solution. Likewise, if you want to preserve the integrity of a borehole, mud rotary is the ideal method to use.

Undoubtably, rotary drilling is one of the most versatile and effective drilling methods. If you would like to find out more about our various drilling services, get in touch today! Contact Borehole Solutions on 01733 200 501 to speak to a member of our professional team.