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Diamond drill bits have come a long way. Thanks to improvements in technology and manufacturing techniques, a good diamond bit can cut easily and cleanly through everything from concrete and stone to glass blocks and panes. But the bit won’t do the job alone. Proper drilling techniques are essential for good-quality results. Those include drilling with the right speed, pressure, and lubrication. Each bit manufacturer has specific recommendations for their different types and sizes of bits, so follow them closely.

Here are some basics to consider:

Drill Speed

Drill speed will vary depending on the material being cut and the size of the bit. Generally, diamond bits should be used at slow speeds, with the speed decreasing as the hardness and abrasiveness of the material increases. Bit size is also a factor since the outer cutting edges of bits turn faster than the center as the diameter increases.

Drill Pressure

The hardness and abrasiveness of materials diamond drills are designed to cut calls for a light touch. Pushing a bit too hard into masonry and glass doesn’t make it cut noticeably quicker, but it does greatly increase friction, causing the bit to overheat. That not only burns up the bit, but it heats up the material being cut, risking fractures and breakage. Diamond bits are carefully designed by experts, so read the instructions and let the drill bit do the work, not the driller.


Good lubrication of diamond bits is crucial. It not only prolongs bit life by reducing heat buildup, it also protects the material being drilled from scorching, melting, or fracturing. Water is the best lubricant; oil-based lubricants aren’t recommended for diamond bits. The amount needed and how it’s delivered will depend on the material and the drill type. Water delivery can range from a simple spray bottle to “wet” drills with water delivery systems to completely immersing the object, depending on hardness and drill manufacturer specs. A simple guideline to follow is if the drill bit is more than warm to the touch, you need more lubrication. If it becomes hot, that’s an indication of inadequate lubrication, too fast a drill speed or too much pressure for the material being drilled.

Improper drill speed, pressure or lubrication will not only give poor results, but can be unsafe and will certainly reduce the bit’s usable life. On the other hand, proper speed, pressure and lubrication will minimize risk of damage and extend drill bit life considerably. If in doubt, start slow with a light touch and plenty of lubrication.

Using the right techniques and tools ensures a professional job and results you’ll be proud to show off. Whatever your concrete cutting, coring, and finishing requirements may be, equipment and tools from Ace Cutting Equipment are your choice for top-quality results.