How many holes can I drill with each diamond drill bit?
The most common question that I get is: “How many holes can I drill with each drill bit?” It's also the toughest question to answer. I wish there was one answer for everybody, but there isn’t.
A lot of my customers are using diamond bits for the first time. The sea glass hobbyist, the bathroom remodeler and everybody else all ask. What they’re asking is “Do I need one drill bit….or five?”
The answer depends on how they're going to be used, what's being drilled and under what conditions. In other words, how hard is the material you're drilling, how thick it is, what pressure are you using and what lubricant are you using.
For example; seashells are thin and most of them are relatively soft. Quartz crystals are a lot harder and a lot thicker. Two jewelers using the exact same drill bit will not get the same number of holes with each bit. Another example would be someone using a diamond core bit to drill drainage holes in the bottom of a ceramic pot or planter (which is fairly soft material) compared to someone drilling hardened porcelain floor tiles. Both are drilling ceramics but it’s not the same.
An example from my own work is drilling holes in dinner plates. Drilling a dinner plate usually takes about 30 to 60 seconds. However, the other day I was drilling ironware plates that were extremely tough. It took almost five minutes to drill each hole and the bit was worn out after only eight holes.
We can't give everybody the same answer all we can do is give an average. In other words, if you're drilling something that’s softer and thinner then you can probably add to the average. If you’re drilling something harder and/or thicker then you should subtract from the average.
Most people drilling sea glass, wine bottles and glass block (those are some more common things that our customers drill) are probably going to drill 30 to 40 holes with each diamond drill bit before it’s worn out.
Three customers come to mind. One is in Michigan, one in Arizona and another in North Carolina. All are drilling glass block and they each drill over 200 glass block with each drill bit. I've asked each one of them what they do differently. They all said the same thing. They drill very slowly. They use very light pressure and they use plenty of soapy water.
Every drilling job is different. I’ve even had sea glass artists tell me that red glass is harder to drill than any other color. Maybe the additives for the red color harden the glass? I don’t know.
In the end, all you can do is be careful, follow the suggestions and you’ll know that you drilled as many holes as were possible in your situation.
Each of our drill bits is covered by a 100% satisfaction money back guarantee if you're unhappy with the results you get, please let me know. I’ll replace the drill bits or refund your money.
Remember, you can download a free copy of “How to Drill Glass, Tile and Stone”, "Click here for your FREE copy."