A Guide to Diamond Drill Bits: 12 Keys to Solving Your Frequent Problems


Diamond drill bits are powerful and versatile, but only if you can use their full potential. If you are a beginner, you might need guidance on using this tool.

Our experts gathered the essential problems that users might encounter while operating a diamond drill bit. We offer quick and efficient solutions that both beginners and advanced users will appreciate.

If you want to become an expert on using diamond drill bits, you’ve come to the right place. Start reading right away to discover your problems and how to resolve them!

Table of Contents

1. What Can a Diamond Drill Bit Do?

You use a diamond drill bit to open and enlarge a hole through hard and delicate materials. These tools are suitable for both beginners and advanced tool operators. That means DIY experts can use them for projects around the home, but it is also ideal for professionals who need to complete challenging projects.

1.1 The Application of Diamond Drill Bits

You can use diamond-cutting tools for the following applications:

1. Different stone types including rock, gemstones, minerals, pebbles, etc.

2. Various glass types – that provide for sheet, fused, beach, sea glass, etc.

3. Hardwood materials

4. Fossil, bone, antler, and shell

5. Ceramic and similar materials could include tiles, porcelain, glazed pottery, etc.

1.2 Types and Sizes of the Diamond Drill Bits

You will find these tools in various types and sizes. However, the primary difference is between core drill bits and those with blunt noses. Bluntnose drills will usually feature diamonds only on the top part of the unit. Unlike that, the core drills are hollow at the top.

The standard drill bit diameters could go anywhere from 0.05mm (0.002 inches) to 38mm (1.49 inches). Selecting a suitable drill bit will depend on the material you are cutting. The general rule is that the bit should be no more than 1/64″ bigger or smaller than the desired hole you want to make.

2. What Can the Diamond Drill Bits Cut?

They are incredibly versatile and capable of cutting through almost anything. That is because diamonds are the most challenging material, so these cutting tools can miss virtually anything else. However, it would be best to focus on operating with hard and strong materials because these tools can drill holes in them.

2.1 Why Use Diamond Drill Bits?

Here are some benefits of using diamond-cutting tools:

Capable of drilling hard materials – you can use diamond drill bits for stone, concrete, ceramic, tiles, and other challenging applications. Not all bits can handle these materials, which makes this the main advantage of these tools.

Drill the desired hole quickly – thanks to their strength and reliability, the risk of cracks and damage to the material is minimal.
Durability – diamond drill bits can be very durable, especially if you maintain them correctly.

3. How to Use Diamond Drill Bits

Drill bits – how to use them
Caption: Drill bits – how to use them

Here are the simple steps to follow when using diamond tip drill bits for your next project.

1. Mount the drill bit to the operating tool. Make sure that everything is connected correctly.

2. Place the material in the desired position.

3. Determine where you plan to drill the hole.

4. Angle your drill bit and start drilling an initial hole. Operate at a low speed, and only increase it if you feel confident.

5. Consider switching drill bits if you need to enlarge the hole after making the initial cut.

4. How Long Do the Diamond Drill Bits Last?

It is hard to tell how long a diamond drill bit last because that depends on many factors. It will vary depending on the drill’s speed, the coolant pressure, and the applications you are cutting.

The critical thing to know is that these drill bits are durable and should be long-term investments. You will drill at least 15 holes with a single bit for the most challenging materials. But if you use it on thinner materials, you might be able to hit hundreds of holes.

5. What Is the Difference Between Sintered Diamond Drill Bits and Electroplated Drill Bits?

Here is a brief explanation of both bit types:

Sintered – at high temperatures, the manufacturers bond the diamond to the matrix. Thanks to that, they feature multiple diamond layers. That extends durability because you can remove a single layer to release a new one whenever necessary.
Electroplated – the manufacturers use nickel to bond the diamonds to the bit. These feature a more affordable alternative, but they are not that durable.

6. How to Drill a Hole in Glass/Stone?

The first step is to get your cutting tools ready. If there is a need, sharpen diamond drill bits because you need them in the project’s best possible shape.

Let’s see what happens if you use a handheld drill or rotary tool. First, you might notice that the bit skitters are everywhere on the material. The solution lies in angling your drill before you begin operating. Once you drill the initial hole, returning the tool to its original position shouldn’t be a problem.

It can be convenient to place a masking tape since that will prevent the bit from moving. That will make it easier to use diamond drill bits for glass because it might be slippery.

Those equipped with a bench or drill press might not have the option of angling the tool. However, you can always use a vice to hold the workpiece in position.

7. When to Use the Diamond Drill Bit or a Core Drill Bit?

How to choose the right diamond drill bit
Caption: How to choose the right diamond drill bit

Check out some guidance to help you when choosing the right tool:

Diamond drill bits – you will find these to be larger than the core drills regarding the surface area. These drill bits are healthy so you can use them on hard shells, gemstones, precious stones, and other vital materials. The downside is that they might not be as fast as the core drill bits.

Core drill bits – these units are faster and suitable for sea glass, ceramic, slate, stone, pebbles, and plates. You will find these bits versatile and appropriate for professionals and DIY experts. Core drill bits are better at making holes in various materials than obtaining a core.

7.1 What to Do If You Only Want to Have a Core of Material?

We suggest using thin-wall units if you are wondering about the diamond drill coring bits. It would be best if you had a tool that can deliver a precise hole, which is where these bits come into play. You can obtain a precision core on thin stone, optical and beach glass, and similar materials.

8. How to Install the Diamond Bit to the drill?

You first want to ensure that the diamond-cutting tools you use are compatible. For example, you might need a chuck or collet to hold a small bit piece that is up to 3mm thick.

Now, figure out where you should insert the bit into the tool. That will usually be at the top of the device. While inserting the drill bit, ensure that about 50% of it is inside. It ensures you have plenty of tools to work with while maintaining stability.

9. Does the drill need Water or Lubricant When Working?

Do you plan on drilling hard materials? If the answer is yes, it would be advisable to use water to simplify the process and prevent problems from happening.

For example, using diamond drill bits for concrete requires using water. It must fall onto the material so that it keeps it cool. You can use a drip feed, tap, or pump. The only thing to ensure is that the water dripping doesn’t compromise your sight view. It would be best to see what you are drilling clearly to do the job correctly.

10. How to Use Diamond Twist Drills to Open and Enlarge Holes?

The main reason why you need diamond twist bits is that they simplify the process of enlarging holes. These tools will be useful if you focus on small items like pearls or beads.

All you should do is put them on the tool and start drilling. Make sure that the bit size is no bigger than 3mm and smaller than 0.5mm.

The experts suggest that you can open and enlarge a hole in a window if you have condensation problems.

11. What to Pay Attention to When the Drill Is Working?

A closeup in metal drilling
Caption: A closeup in metal drilling

While operating, pay attention to anything that seems out of the ordinary. That could include the following:

It seems impossible to drill through the material –

it might be that the bit tip is blunt and requires sharpening. Perhaps you need a more suitable bit for that material.

The speed doesn’t seem appropriate –

The experts recommend starting with the lowest rate and increasing it if necessary. Overheating might appear in case of high speeds, and your bit might become blunt sooner.

A smell of burning –

if it feels like something is burning, stop operating immediately! You might need to lower the pressure or change the bit. Either way, the drill bit shouldn’t be hot once you touch it. Using a coolant can help to counteract this.

Always keep in mind that top-quality diamond tip drill bits are the way to minimize the risk of these problems.

12. Where Can You Purchase Better Diamond Drill Bits?

The easiest way of buying diamond drill bits is online. You will find numerous shops and manufacturers offering their products on the internet. It only takes a couple of clicks to place an order, and you don’t have to move from home. Alternatively, you can buy the bits at a local shop.

To learn more about these tools, read our article about the diamond drill bits’ operation.


Diamond drill bits are durable, versatile, and capable of many tasks. That makes them an excellent value for money and a smart long-term investment.

NCCuttingTools has been in the business of producing top-quality tools for over 20 years. The company gathers skillful engineers and experts ready to deliver tools for even the most challenging projects. Don’t hesitate to give us a call today to get a quote on your diamond drill bit requirements!

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