11 Diamond Drilling Mistakes to Avoid

September 8, 2022

What is diamond drilling?

Diamond drilling is an incredibly precise way of cutting accurate holes into tough materials such as brick, concrete, asphalt and glass. This meticulous cutting method involves using a diamond bit on a rotary drill to create measured holes through the hard materials used in construction. 

Aside from being used for jewellery, diamonds are actually the hardest natural resource available, meaning that they can break through a variety of different surfaces. 

Why use diamonds?

The extreme strength and versatility of these precious gemstones make them a very popular choice for construction jobs that require cutting through tough materials such as concrete. 

Here at DP Diamond Drilling, we have over 50 years of experience using these specialist tools on a variety of different materials for projects nationwide. Some of these services include concrete grinding and sealing, floor sawing, wall sawing, core drilling and chimney breast and flue drilling. 

How do we use diamond drilling?

Whilst drilling and cutting jobs such as these might sound large-scale, we offer services both commercial and domestic for projects of all different sizes. The domestic diamond drilling services that we offer include wall hole drilling, floor hole drilling and chimney breast and flue drilling. 

The domestic wall hole drilling projects that we have completed are typically for the installation of new extractor fans, piping, plumbing, cables and extensions. Similarly, our domestic floor hole drilling work is often for the installation of fire pits, spaces for new plumbing to fit washing machines and dishwashers or areas for new cables and wires. 

Before starting each project we take the time to assess the best tools and sizes of drill bits to use to ensure complete accuracy is achieved, leaving our clients satisfied with the outcome. 

Although it may sound like some of these smaller jobs can be achieved relatively simply, we would always recommend following safety procedures correctly and properly assessing the properties of the area you’re working in to get the best possible results from your work. 

That’s why we’re sharing the eleven mistakes we’d try to avoid when diamond drilling…

#1 Failing to follow safety procedures when drilling

First and foremost, ensuring the safety of yourself and your team is key. Regardless of the level of experience, you might have, working with powerful, potentially dangerous machinery is no joke. 

To stay safe whilst diamond drilling we’d recommend wearing protective gear such as a hard hat, high visibility clothing, protective goggles, a respirator, hearing protection, steel toe boots and protective gloves. To avoid getting caught in the fast-moving machinery it’s also important to wear fitted clothing and remove any jewellery.

Once you’re wearing the correct protective clothing, we’d then make sure that the drilling equipment you’re using is up to scratch. This means checking for any visible damage to the drill such as missing parts, breaks or general wear and tear - as well as any faults with the wires or plug. 

#2 Improper drill site preparation

When you’ve got all of your safety gear on, it’s tempting to jump right into your drilling job and assume that it’s safe. However, it’s also important to ensure that the area you’re drilling into is clear of any electrical wires or essential plumbing pipes. 

Something that should also be considered, especially when drilling into walls, is whether your work could impact the structural integrity of the building, causing it to collapse. 

All of these issues can pose serious safety threats, so it’s important to properly understand the layout of the structure that you’re drilling into before starting and take the time to map it out for yourself and everyone else that will be involved in the job. 

#3 Drilling into incorrect materials

Diamond drilling uses the hardest available resource to cut through a variety of tough materials such as asphalt, marble, brick, concrete and some glass. However, due to their tough molecular structure, diamond-tipped drill bits aren’t suitable for drilling through just any material. These tools aren’t designed to cut through softer materials such as wood and metal and trying it can clog up your drill bit which could result in it no longer working. 

Other materials to avoid include toughened or tempered glass - these surfaces will not be able to withstand the strength of the diamond and will crack. Due to the high-speed operation of diamond drilling tools, this will likely cause a large shatter that then poses a safety issue for yourself, your team and your site. 

Be careful not to use the wrong diamond drill bit when drilling at home

#4 Using the wrong type of drill bit 

Diamond drill bits come in a wide variety of different sizes, all intended for different uses. Some of the smallest drill bits can be used for things as dainty as jewellery, whilst larger, core drills can create the vast, deep holes required for big-scale construction and renovation jobs. In order to achieve the desired hole size and depth for your job, we’d recommend taking the time to choose the correct size and style of drill bit. 

#5 Marking the area to be drilled

Before undertaking a large drilling job, knowing where you want to drill into is absolutely key. This is to ensure that the correct area is drilled, and make sure that you successfully achieve the precise, clean cut that diamond drill bits are known for. 

Whether it’s space for a small pipe, or something larger such as a chimney flue or a space for the installation of a new staircase, you’ll need to ensure that the area is clearly marked to get the desired results. 

One of the ways you can mark the area is by using chalk - however, something to be aware of is that this can then be at risk of getting washed away when drilling if too much water is used. This can be avoided by using a heavy duty gloss to protect the chalk markings, or alternatively using a different method to mark the area.

Another way to precisely plan the area in which you plan to drill is through initial pilot drilling. Creating these smaller, shallower holes is particularly useful on a larger job to prevent over-cutting which could interfere with the structural integrity of the building. 

#6 Failing to lubricate the area, or using the wrong lubricant

Diamond drill bits are extremely hard tools that operate at high-speed cutting into other dense materials such as concrete and brick. So, without the proper precautions, it’s likely that immense amounts of friction will be produced during the process and damage your tools. 

The usage of water throughout the drilling process will not only reduce the amount of friction produced, but also means that less dust will be released into the air. 

#7 Allowing your drilling tools to overheat

The importance of water during the diamond drilling process should never be underestimated. Aside from acting as a lubricant and reducing dust, water can prevent your tools from overheating. Overheated tools pose a serious safety risk to the operator of the drill and anyone else in the area, so it’s important to use water to keep your drill cool. 

#8 Covering ventilation holes during drilling

When drilling, it’s absolutely essential to make sure that the ventilation holes on your drill are not covered. This is because the reduced amount of ventilation can cause the machinery to overheat, which can damage your tools and put the operator and any other surrounding people at risk.

#9 Having your drill on the wrong speed setting 

Whilst you might assume that drilling into a hard surface would require high speeds, it’s also important to not go too fast. Having your speed settings too high can result in glazing which can prevent your drill bit cutting through the material.

Before starting out, we’d recommend reading your drill’s specific safety instructions and any other guides that have come with the equipment. This is to ensure that you’re using the correct drilling speed for your project, the material you’re drilling into, and the drill bit you’re using. 

#10 Applying too much or too little pressure

Similar to the speed settings, it’s also key to ensure that you use the right amount of pressure to suit your drill bit. For example, when using a tilted drill bit, too much pressure can cause damage and sometimes even breakage. Furthermore, it’s 

#11 Failing to clean down properly

Finally, we’d always recommend taking the time to clean your tools and the area you’ve drilled in. Ensuring that your drill is cleaned when you’re finished working with it will maintain its strength and quality for future usage. 

To do so, empty any excess shavings that might be stuck inside the head of the drill, always let the drill cool properly and store it away from any moisture to avoid wear and tear. 

We’d also recommend cleaning the area you’ve drilled in to avoid excessive amounts of harmful dust being left behind. Any industrial level vacuum cleaner will be suitable for clearing the dust in the area, then we’d advise that you take the time to do a final clean down with water. 

Need some help with your diamond drilling project? ?

Whilst we hope that our tips have been useful to you, we understand that diamond drilling isn’t for everyone. If you’ve got a project in mind, but aren’t sure about doing it yourself, why not get in touch with us to arrange your free quote and site visit?