10 Things You Should Know about Diamond Drill Bits

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Diamond drill bits are expensive and sometimes fragile. If you don’t know how to operate drill machine with them, you might end up breaking them.

Most of the drill bits you buy from the market do not come with any instruction manual. That’s why we stepped in.

This article contains 10 most common queries regarding diamond drill bits. Hope you’ll get what you are looking for.

1. On what materials you can use drill bits?

Diamond drill bits work best on a very hard surface like gemstone, glass, ceramic, sea glass, bone, shell, porcelain, pebbles, stone, antler, fossil, fused glass, beach glass, and hardwood.

For jewelry and other precious objects, use a smaller diamond bit (0.75 mm) that has a solid and flat tip.

For making holes in fused glass, plates, hard and dense sea glass, small diamond (1 mm) core drill is recommended. But don’t use it on softwood or metal. They are too soft. Therefore they’ll cause the bits to clog up.

Diamond is a very hard material. So, almost every hard object can be drilled with it. But if you want to drill through sapphire, you’ll need a lot of patience.

2. What is Diamond core drill?

Diamond drill bits need water or any other lubricant as coolant. Diamond core drill bits are hollow that’s why the lubricant flows inside the inner core.

It keeps the drill bit cool and removes debris from inside. The flowing water also helps to prolong the life of the bit and prevents the material from shattering.

3.Difference between electroplated or coated diamond and sintered diamond bits & burrs

Electroplated or coated drill bit is a cheaper alternative for sintered. Though electroplated bits are bonded to drill bits with single layer nickel, they cannot last very long.

Sintered diamond bits are bonded to the Matrix using very high temperature. It has several layers of diamond which were cleaned by aluminum oxide stone.

It will extend the lifetime, and each time you’ll find a new layer of diamond.

Electroplated diamond drills are coated with a single layer onto steel shank. If the layer wears off, they can be replaced. That’s why they are very economical.

4.How long will Diamond drill bits last?

Diamond drill bit’s lifetime depends on pressure, lubricant, speed, and density of the material you are using the drill on.

If you are drilling through sea glass, a diamond bit may give you 250 holes in average. But the same diamond bit can give you about 15 holes if you are using the drill bit on China Plate. The moral is, the number of holes you can make varies upon the components on the surface.

5.Attaching diamond drill bits to the drill

If the diamond bits are as small as 0.75mm to 3mm, most probably it won’t fit your DIY drill or rotary drill without a Collet.

But using a collet, any size of diamond bit can be attached to a drill. About half of the bit shank should be in the drill.

6.Overheating, Pressure, Speed and Diamond coming away

You will smell burning if you apply too much pressure or the speed is too high. Start drilling with the lowest speed. Besides, using low speed will prolong the bit’s lifetime.

If the speed is too high, temperature will increase drastically.Eventually, overheat could break your drill bits. Another reason that decreases the lifetime of a drill bit is applying extreme pressure. It is not a good idea to give more pressure than necessary.

If you are not sure about the pressure you should give, try it with broken pieces of material in which you’ll be making the hole. You can use coolant to resist over heat.

7. Using water near the drill

Be careful while using water beside your drilling machine. Use goggles & protective wear while operating the drill.

Water is sometimes necessary to make holes in different substance. In that case, water can be supplied through pump or tap to immerse your material.

Use a sponge to wet the tiles while drilling in a tile. Sometimes other oil lubricants can also be used as coolant.

8. How to start drilling a hole in stone, glass, Ceramic

If you are using a bench press or drill press, it won't be applicable as you cannot angle the drill.

But you can hold your materials in place using a vice. If you're using a handheld drill, pendant drill, flex shaft or rotary tool then read on...

If you face any problem with your drill bit skittering all across the surface of the material, angle the drill to start drilling.

Once the primary hole has been made, you can drill the rest from a vertical or perpendicular position. It only applies to drill holes through any kind of glass and stone or pebbles.

9. Opening Up and Enlarging Holes

Diamond twists are used to open or enlarge a hole rather than create a new one. Bead artists use them to increase the size of the holes in beads.

Diamond Ball Burrsusually work for shaping, carving, engraving and grinding. Many videos available showing people how to use ball burrs to make holes but they aren’t intended for the purpose, and they aren’t nearly as effective as the small diamond drilling bits we mentioned at the beginning of the article.

10. Can I get a Core Rather than Drilling a hole?

No, you cannot. Despite their name, diamond core drills are intended to drill a hole, not for obtaining a core.

However, scientists and many artists use these to extract a core fossil maybe for DNA testing, and they are satisfied using them.

Here’s a video on making a hole with a drill bit. You can check it for better understanding.

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