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What is a Diamond Drill Bit?

Christian Petersen
Christian Petersen

A diamond drill bit is any one of a variety of tools used with drills, rotary tools and routers that has tiny particles of industrial diamond embedded into the material of the bit, which is usually made of a very hard type of steel, like carbide steel. These diamond particles are almost always man-made but may sometimes come from the waste produced during the processing of cut diamonds for other uses.

Adding diamond particles to a drill bit increases the cutting power of any bit and can help reduce the incidence of splintering, cracking and flaking around a cut. A diamond drill bit can produce a very clean cut or hole where a softer bit may leave an imperfect result. Diamond cutting wheels, grinding wheels and engravers can do work on materials too hard for other types of tools and bits.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

Almost any type of drill bit can be improved with the addition of embedded diamond particles. Drill bits for engraving, carving and grinding as well as more traditional bits for drilling holes are common types of diamond bits. Diamond router bits, also called diamond profiling bits, are very similar to drill bits and are good for shaping edges and for removing sections of very hard materials.

Many newer floor and wall tiles are made of extremely hard ceramic or other materials that are too hard for common drill bits and cutting tools. Many metals are also much too hard for standard drill bits. A diamond drill bit is often the only type of bit that will give the desired result. Other types of material, such as glass, ceramic, precious stones and concrete are easily worked with diamond bits.

Diamond core bits, also called diamond hole saws, are another type of diamond drill bit. They are cylinder shaped, hollow and open on the end that contacts the work subject. They are designed for cutting large holes in very hard materials by removing a disc of the subject material, leaving a smooth-edged, perfectly circular hole. These bits are most often used for drilling holes in ceramic tiles and masonry, but can be used on almost any material that is too hard for conventional hole saws.

Diamond drill bits can be somewhat expensive. They are almost certain to cost more than a similar, non-diamond bit. In some cases, they may cost several times more than a similar, standard tool. They are well worth the expense, however, as they will perform tasks no other tool can handle. The are much more durable, reducing the risk of breakage and giving increased service life.

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      Man with a drill