Diamond Tile Drill Bit–5 Tips for Using the Diamond Tile Drill Bit

The components of both ceramic and Porcelain tile have changed over the years, with manufacturers mixing various materials to improve the hardness and the service life of the tile. While these material mixtures are an advantage from the standpoint of wear, it automatically becomes a disadvantage when you need to drill. For this reason, the traditional spearhead carbide tipped drill bit is no longer the best option for drilling through such tile anymore. Now, most users have the ultimate choice of using a diamond tile drill bit. This article addresses five tips for using the diamond tile drill bit.

Diamond Tile Drill Bit
Figure 1: Diamond Tile Drill Bit

1.Recommended Drill Pressure

Contrary to the use of a typical drill bit, your drill increasing pressure leads to faster drilling and lesser heat build-up. The diamond tile drill bit is very different because an increase in drill pressure will lead to increased friction. This friction will eventually cause a higher heat build-up on the drill bit, which will cause the bit to burn out faster.

More often than not, the pressure when using the diamond tile drill bit is mostly within a light to medium pressure. Forcing the drill pressure to go higher than this will not necessarily lead to a faster cutting. The drill will overheat and burn out faster. Beyond just the drill bit, built-up heat can also spread to the tile you are cutting and cause heat fractures to occur.

Some indicators tell you when the drill pressure is too high. A very popular one is when the bit develops colouration around the tip, which may be yellow, brown, blue, and sometimes black. Sometimes you may not have to drill through a tile completely. At such points, it is essential to reduce the pressure of the drill as you approach the endpoint. Failure to do this can lead to the tile fracturing at the back of the tile.

Man applying pressure on tile cutting
Figure 2: Man applying pressure on tile cutting

2.Using a Pilot Drill

Just in case you don’t know, drilling tiles can be quite tricky due to the tile’s structural composition. Manufacturers in recent times have designed the tile to have a hard and glazed surface. This surface provides a form of protection to the tile from impact damage that may lead to fracture.

More so, because of the purposes of today’s tiles, they are smooth and decorative. This smoothness, however, causes the drill bit to will slip and jump also known popularly among many users as “walking.” This slippage is not suitable for the tile as it will cause scratches that will disfigure the tile. This slipping on the surface has caused manufacturers to come up with the pilot drill for drilling a pilot hole.

However, using the pilot with your diamond tile drill bit has a few drawbacks below:

  • Increased cost because the diamond tile drill bit already comes at a steep price point. The inclusion of the pilot will only cause the price of the drill bit to go higher.
  • Using the pilot bit can sometimes cause you to cut slower.
  • You will always find that the pilot bit wears out faster than the main diamond tile drill bit more often than not.

Using a Pilot Tile Bit
Figure 3: Using a Pilot Tile Bit

3.Drill Bit Lubrication

Lubricating is a crucial aspect of drilling and much more when drilling with a diamond tile drill bit. Well, it will interest you to know that water has proven to be a better option to lubricating than oil over the years.

When drilling tiles, it is essential always to keep the point of contact of the drill and the tile wet. This lubrication is vital because if you find that your drill bit gets warm or even hot, it is a strong indication of little or no lubrication. With a hard material like the tile, you will need a lot of lube, and when you are drilling with a diamond tile bit, you must get enough water to the cutting edge.

It is essential to know that there are different techniques to lubricate your diamond tile drill bit, namely:

Hose Method:

Using this technique, operators use a small hose that runs from storage to the tile surface. The flow is somewhat slow but is continuous on the surface to ensure lubrication.

Clay Dam: 

This technique is somewhat complicated because you will have to create a tunnel-shaped structure around the drill hole. Operators mostly use clay to build this structure, which is very effective in supplying the water flow into the contact point of the bit and tile.

Pan Drilling: 

This type of technique is popular among users of smaller sized tile. They carry out this technique by submerging the tile in the pan filled with water. The water covers the tile surface and the hole on the tip of the diamond tile drill bit.

Spray Bottle: 

If you are looking to drill through a tile vertically placed (on the wall mostly), this technique is the best form of lubrication you can apply. The sprayed water will always keep the drill bit from burning.

Pumping technique:  this is presumably the best method of lubricating diamond tile drills because of its constant or periodic supply of water to the cutting edge of the bit. The pumping technique is useful because it supplies water directly to the cutting tip of the bit. This technique increases the service life of the diamond tile drill bit significantly.

4.Diamond Tile Bit Speed

Bit speed has always been an essential factor to consider in any drill, and the same goes for the diamond tile drill bit. When it comes to cutting materials like ceramic tiles and other harder and more abrasive materials, your drill bit speed must be slower. More so, because you can have a bigger bit diameter, you must compensate for that size with a lower rpm.

In producing drill bits, manufacturers give recommended drill speeds for each material you might want to cut. An overshoot of this recommended drill speed will invariably lead to you burning your diamond tile drill bits faster.

It is also important to note that drill speed is in combination with both lubrication and drill pressure. Just as you imagine, a faster drill speed will give a quicker cut. However, it will also increase the friction and built-up heat. This heat can eventually lead to fracturing the tile or even damaging the drill. Again, you must always keep your drill bit warm, and if you notice any form of colouration on your bit, it is a clear sign of overheating.

Tile Drill Bit a Light Speed
Figure 4: Tile Drill Bit a Light Speed

5.Using the Bit with a Template

Another alternative to reducing the slippage of the diamond tile drill bit is to use a template. A template is a makeshift tool that you can make by drilling a pilot hole in plastic or wood the size of the diamond tile drill bit.

These days you will mostly find ready-made templates of 1/8″ plastic and 1/8″ pressed wood. It is worth noting that if you are looking to carry out repetitive drilling, you should opt for a plastic template. With the major reason being the increased level of lubricity, it will offer since you can add water almost immediately.

Most operators use the template by placing it off the material being drilled and setting the template such that the pilot hole is above the target hole area. The template helps to hold the diamond tile drill bit in place when starting a groove.

Drilling a Cutting Template
Figure 5: Drilling a Cutting Template


The diamond tile drill bit is a cutting tool that is popular among professional, skilled users and unskilled users. Famous for its multiplex of applications in of precise finish and smooth cutting, the diamond tile drill bit is a must-have in your collection. This article outlays the different tips you will find very useful to have a more efficient and faster cutting.

In conclusion, therefore, as you continue to look out for helpful tips to help maximize the use of your diamond tile drill bit, look no further, NCCuttingtools has got you covered. Click for video with up-to-date information about using the diamond tile drill bit.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Contact us for a free sample


Fill in your details and we’ll get back to you in 24 Hours.