Last updated: August 6, 2021

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Anyone who has ever wanted to install something in the bathroom and had to drill a hole for it has quickly noticed that the tiles can be damaged very quickly with conventional drill bits. The solution to this problem is a diamond drill bit. The diamond coating is perfect for drilling through hard materials such as porcelain stoneware without causing damage.

Since there are some points to consider when buying a diamond drill bit, we have put together this article for you. Here you will find a compact summary of all the important information, criteria and questions that you will need when making your purchase. This way you are perfectly prepared before your next handicraft project and nothing can go wrong.




Summary

  • With a diamond drill bit you can drill cleanly through almost all hard and sensitive materials.
  • There are two types of drill, the wet and dry drill. Which one to use depends on your material and your diamond drill bit.
  • To prevent the substrate and the diamond drill bit from heating up, you should buy a drill bit with an integrated cooling system.

The Best Diamond Drill: Our Choices

To make your buying decision easier, we have compiled our favourites with the perfect price-performance ratios after a lot of research.

Buying and Evaluation Criteria for Diamond Drills

Before buying a diamond drill, it is advantageous if you have already informed yourself about a few criteria:

We have explained the above criteria in more detail below so that you can get a better overview:

Use

Diamond drills are used in various fields. For example, you can find drills with a diamond head in dentistry. More often, however, diamond drills are used for handicrafts when it comes to working on hard materials.

But be careful, which machine can be used for the attachment depends on the material and the drill bit. Depending on the material to be processed, there are different drill bits. Even the speed must be adapted to the material.

In most cases, the drill head is placed at a 30° angle to the material and drilled. As soon as an indentation has been made, the diamond drill continues to drill upright. This method makes drilling possible without a drilling aid.

Quality of the core bit

The quality of the drill bit is very important, because it determines the longevity of the bit. With diamond drills, a distinction is made between two coatings of the crown.

  • The first variant is the sintered drill bit, they are among the somewhat expensive attachments. In this process, the diamonds are bonded to the blank in several layers.
  • The second and cheaper variant is the galvanic coating. Here, the diamonds are bonded to the attachment in only one layer. This means that as soon as this layer is used up, the drill bit is no longer usable.

To preserve the quality of the drill bit, it should be cleaned after use to remove any residue.

Diameter of the drill bit

The diameter of the drill bit varies depending on the project. The smallest diameter starts at 0.5 mm and is used in jewellery making, for example, to drill through precious stones.

On the other hand, a large diameter of 500 mm is used for road construction work. For the do-it-yourselfer, sizes between 5 mm and 20 mm are normally sufficient.

If you use diamond drills often and for different things, it is advantageous to buy a set with different sizes. You can find such sets with 3 different sizes.

Cooling

During the drilling process the bit generates heat and to prevent it from overheating and to ensure that it can be used for a long time, cooling is very important. Some diamond drills have an integrated cooling system, which usually consists of a cooling wax in the drill bit.

The diamond bits without integrated cooling must be cooled down, and you can always put a little water into the hole during the drilling process.

For deeper holes, you should take breaks from drilling, regardless of whether your drill has a cooling system. Immerse the attachment in a glass of water and cool the drilled hole with water. If you only have small holes to drill, it is sufficient to buy attachments without cooling systems.

Guide: Frequently asked Questions about Diamond Drills answered in Detail

To give you a deeper insight into the topic, we have collected and answered all relevant questions about diamond drills in the following section.

What is a diamond drill?

Diamonds are considered "indestructible" and are therefore ideally suited for drilling through the hardest materials. A diamond drill bit is a drilling attachment that you can use as an attachment for various machines such as cordless drills, drill presses or angle grinders.

Diamantbohrer

Diamond drill bits are available for all types of machines to drill through particularly demanding materials. Even for domestic use, you can save yourself some despair with the help of a diamond drill. (Image source: Unsplash/ nd3000)

The drill bit is not made of real diamonds, but of synthetically produced ones. They enable you to drill precisely. In the process, the diamond coating is coated either once or several times on the shank. Due to the cutting speed, the diamond bit re-sharpens itself and makes its use more durable.

What types of diamond drills are there?

With diamond drills, a distinction is made between wet and dry drilling. This means that water is applied to the hole during the drilling process in wet drilling.

The disadvantage of this is that the addition of water creates mud instead of dust. If you drill near sockets or electrical cables, you have to be careful that no water gets to the cable. A rule of thumb is that softer surfaces can be drilled dry and harder ones wet.

If you often work on different material hardnesses, you can also buy a diamond drill bit that can be used for both types. You should note that a drill bit with an integrated cooling system may also require the addition of water for wet drilling.

What does a diamond drill bit cost?

The price of diamond drills is made up of various aspects. The quality, the type and the scope of the set play a major role. The table below gives you an overview of the price segments:

Price range Available products
Low-priced (9 - 24 €) Mostly single attachment, mainly for dry drilling
Medium-priced (25 - 40 €) Single drill bits with cooling system, sets for dry drilling
High-priced (from 40 €) Sets with cooling system, drill heads for dry and wet drilling, sets with drilling aids

Sets from the high-price segment are worthwhile for frequent use. If you only need a diamond drill bit from time to time, we would recommend a drill head from the mid-price segment. These usually have integrated cooling systems and make your work easier.

What materials can I work on with a diamond drill bit?

Since diamond is the hardest material, you can drill through very hard materials with a diamond drill bit, for example:

  • Glass
  • Stone, precious stones
  • Ceramics, porcelain, tiles
  • Concrete
  • Shell, antler, bone, fossil
  • Very hard wood

It is important that you consider whether your material needs to be drilled dry or wet and that you have the right attachment for your material. If you want to work on different surfaces, you can make sure to buy an attachment that can be used on several materials.

For substrates such as metal, softwood, plastic or plaster, you should not use a diamond drill bit, as its pores will be blocked by the soft material.

Conclusion

When buying a diamond drill, you should think about what you want to drill through beforehand. If you need the drill more often, the drill head with only one coating will be sufficient. However, if you plan to use the diamond drill more often, it would be worth investing more money in the quality of the diamond drill.

You should also consider whether and how you want to cool the drill head and whether you need a dry or wet drill. If you need a diamond drill bit more often, it makes sense to buy a set of different sizes.

(Cover picture: Mailson Pignata/ Pixabay)

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