How can I save money on drill bits? That’s one of the questions that we get almost every week.
This week, we got the following email:"Hi,
I make jewelry and I’m trying to get the “most bang for my buck” Any suggestions on how to save money on drill bits. Either how to make them last longer, or which bits last the longest or which bits that will get me the most holes. (Summarized)
Sherri, thank you for your e-mail. That is a great question.
It can be a tough one to answer but a great question. Bit life depends on so many things: what you are drilling, how thick it is, drill speed, drill pressure, lubrication, etc. For example: jewelers drilling sea shells are going to get a lot more holes drilled (with each bit) than someone drilling quartz crystals. Quartz crystals a lot harder and a lot thicker.
Most people are interested in getting the most holes drilled for the least amount of money, especially anyone making and selling jewelry as a business. You want the “lowest cost per hole”.
The most popular bit for drilling sea glass and making jewelry is the 1/16” Diamond Drill Bit for Glass & Tile
. This seems to be a good size for beading wire, jump rings, earring findings, etc. It’s a very versatile bit. It will fit in a Dremel tool, rotary tool, drill or drill press.
Because of its size it is easy to use. It is a great bit for beginners. However, it is not the most cost effective bit for drilling sea glass, sea shells and making jewelry.
We have a small jewelers bit that will drill the same size hole and is substantially less expensive. It is a 1/16" (1.6mm) bit on a 1/16" shank, the 1/16” Jewelry Drill Bit - Ball
. This bit will fit in an air tool, Dremel tool, rotary tool, drill or drill press. It’s less expensive because it’s smaller, not because of quality. The quality is the same if not better.
Because of its small size (only 3/4" in length) it’s a little harder to use until you get used to it. There is a learning curve. Not a long one but there is a curve. This bit won’t work for drilling thick glass, beads or crystals. After you put it in the tool, only 3/8” sticks out to be used for drilling. But, it’s great for most sea glass, shells, etc.
This smaller bit is easiest to use in an air tool or used on a Flex Shaft attached to a Dremel tool or rotary tool. It can also be used in a drill press. It can be difficult to use in a Dremel tool without a Flexshaft or in a portable hand drill.
Bought in bags of 20, they’re only $2.50 each. That’s about 1/3 the price of the more popular (and longer) 1/16" bit. A lot of our commercial customers use this smaller bit. We have a couple of commercial customers that buy them in lots of 500.
If you go to our section on drill bits for “Drilling Sea Glass” and scroll down the page you will see that we have several other sizes available beside 1/16". The link to that page is Drill Sea Glass
I hope this helps.
For more information about drilling glass please download your FREE Drilling Guide “How To Drill Glass”, click here How To Drill Glass
If you have any questions or comments please send me an e-mail
What do you do to save money on glass drill bits?