Disclaimer. Using rotary tools near water has never been, to the best of our knowledge, endorsed by any of the rotary tool manufacturers. If you do choose to drill near water or with attachments under water connected to your drill then you do so at your own risk. Please be aware that mixing electricity and water can be very dangerous.

How to Drill Through Glass Infographic

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Diamond Drill Bits or Diamond Core Drills?

We often get asked which diamond drill bits are better to use on glass. The two options are the solid ended diamond drill bits and the diamond core drill bits.

With glass, we can't always be sure what material it has been made with especially sea glass that has been tumbling around the sea for thousands of years. With this in mind, it is better to use a small diamond core drill to drill through glass if you think your glass is quite dense and tough.

The core drills allow the water to flow up inside the drill bit to avoid overheating. With particularly hard glass the core drill bits better ensure that the glass won't crack and that you get the best life span out of the drill bit as possible.

The solid ended diamond drill bits have the advantage of a bigger surface area than the core drills and are also ideal for drilling through glass. Often it comes down to personal preference with jewellers and craftspeople as to which diamond drill bit they prefer to use. 

Keeping a variety of the solid-ended and the core drills at your workbench is ideal, that way if you get a stubborn bit of glass that feels like it's been made to withstand drilling you can use a core drill and overcome its unwillingness!

How Many Holes Should I Expect to Get From One Diamond Drill Bit?

This is a 'How-Long-Is-A-Piece-of-String' question. You may get 25, 10 or 3 holes drilled with one diamond drill bit. As we mentioned before, we can't always be sure what material has gone into making the glass and the components of the glass will make all the difference when it comes to how long that drill bit will last. So long as your technique is correct you'll get the best use out of your tools.

Will Your Drill Bits Fit My Drill?

So long as you have an adjustable chuck or collet that will hold the small shafts of these drill bits you'll be able to use them.

We have a couple of accessories for Dremel drills which you'll need if you don't have one already. These are the Dremel Multi Chuck which allows you to change drill bits with different shafts without changing collets

Alternatively, the Dremel Collet Nut Kit is the same in principle except that the collets need to be changed each time you change to a different sized drill bit. This one is handy if you tend to only use one sized drill bit each time you work, but we advise going straight for the Multi Chuck.

You may be interested in this kit which includes a variety of 4 x solid diamond tipped drill bits and diamond core drills along with the Dremel Multi Chuck: Diamond Drill Bits Set for your Dremel.

How Do I Enlarge the Hole I've Drilled?

Diamond Twist drills are great for this job. They're designed with a fluted diamond surface coated vertically up the shank of the drill so as you insert the twist drill into the hole it will grind away at the sides of your work removing material as it goes.

How do I smooth the edges of the Hole I've drilled?

If for instance you're working on a piece of fused glass for a hanging mobile, or glass to be used for a pendant, you want to give your work a professional finish by removing any sharp edges. 

To bevel the edges of the hole you've just drilled use a 600 grit diamond file to remove these snags and smooth away the unwanted material.