The best drills for ceramic tiles in 2021-Bob Vila's selection

2021-11-13 05:47:27 By : Ms. Felicia Yang

Bob Beecham | posted on November 12, 2021 at 8:10 AM

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Drilling tiles is something many people try to avoid. Always worry that the tiles will break. Even if there are spare tiles, replacing a single tile can be an awkward task. If not, you must purchase a full box. If it is a patterned tile, then finding a match can be a real challenge.

Fortunately, with the right drill bit, the job is as easy as drilling wood or masonry. There are many options, and most bit sets are very affordable. However, tiles are made of many materials, so it is important to choose the right drill bit for the task. The following article explains these differences in detail and recommends some of the best tile drill bits.

Many drill bits may seem similar at first glance, but the best tile drill bits are very different from the best wood or steel drill bits. When choosing the best drill bit for ceramic tiles, there are multiple materials that need to be considered.

Whether drilling wood, metal, masonry or ceramic tiles, almost all drill bits are made of high-speed steel (HSS), which is wear-resistant and relatively cheap. However, when drilling hard materials such as tiles, it will quickly lose its sharpness, so the tip of the drill bit is coated with various materials.

The most common tip coating is tungsten carbide (often abbreviated as carbide), which is a combination of tungsten and carbon. Very hard and heat resistant, these tops stay sharp for longer. Less common is the use of powdered (often called dust) industrial diamonds, which are fused to the drill bit under tremendous heat and pressure. They are rarely used for standard twist drills, but are mainly used for hole saws.

The type of material of the tiles will affect the choice of drill bit. Unglazed terracotta tiles are very popular in country decoration and are relatively soft. They can be effectively drilled with standard HSS masonry bits, but carbide bits have a longer service life.

Ceramic tiles are probably the most common type in kitchens and bathrooms. Similarly, carbide drill bits are a good choice. Porcelain is hard, so diamond drill bits are recommended. The same is true for stone and glass tiles.

There are exceptions. Some manufacturers have developed more efficient drill bit designs, especially spear tips. For example, cemented carbide drill bits can be used for glass.

If only one or two holes are needed for a particular job, purchasing a single drill bit is usually an economical option. However, this does depend on the type of drill bit, because it is not uncommon for a few dollars per drill bit. If drilling ceramic tiles may be an ongoing task, then buying a drill set is certainly worth considering.

The smallest tile drill bit is usually about 1/8 inch. The largest twist drill types rarely exceed 1/2 inch, but other designs may be larger. When drilling holes in tiles, it is difficult to control a large drill on the bright glazed surface, so the usual method is to first drill a small "guide" hole, and then follow up according to the required finished size.

For holes larger than 1/2 inch in diameter, a hole saw (or hollow drill) is usually recommended. These are HSS circular rings, usually with diamond-coated edges. For example, a hole saw can be large enough to allow installation of pipes. However, some products have limited depth, so it is very important to check the size before ordering.

Now is the time to put the above information into practice. The following top picks represent many of the best tile drill bits on the market. They have been categorized, so you can quickly find the type you need.

Due to the variety of different tile materials to be processed, it is difficult to choose the best drill bit set for the job. In addition to being easy to use, the 10-piece set of Owl Tools also provides excellent versatility. They are one of the best tile drill bits and an important addition to any DIY kit.

The handle is standard high-speed steel with a tungsten carbide tip. A big advantage of the spear tip is that it provides a fine point that is less prone to drift than standard masonry bits. The disadvantage is that thinner metals wear out faster. When used for hard ceramic tiles, this is very common in cemented carbide drills, and even diamond drills wear relatively quickly. Nevertheless, the Owl Tool Set is excellent value for money.

At first glance, FNEKER's masonry drill bits look very similar to many other affordable drill bit sets. However, they do have some advantages over standard masonry competitors.

One of the common problems with tile drilling is overheating, and it is usually recommended to spray the area with water. The double spiral groove design of these bits can quickly remove waste, thereby minimizing friction (and heat). In addition, the triangular shank provides a flat clamping surface for the drill chuck, so the drill does not slip.

FNEKER bits are metric sizes, so although imperial equivalents are cited, they are not accurate. When drilling tiles, high accuracy is rarely an issue, but if it is, a different setting is required.

Diamond drill bits are the best ceramic tile drill bits. This set of drill bits from Neiko offers a variety of sizes at a moderate cost. They can also cut ceramics, glass and granite, making them a versatile choice.

Cheap drill bits like this are made of diamond powder bonded to a steel core. They are very strong, but porcelain is a tough material, so the diamond layer wears down quite quickly.

It's best to treat these as disposable items that can solve one or two tasks. Usually this is what people need, and these drill bits are a cost-effective solution for many DIY tile drilling tasks.

Most standard drill bits used for ceramic tiles do not exceed 1/2 inch in diameter. Hole saws are usually used for larger diameters. The challenge with hole saws is that they do not have a center point, so it is difficult to keep them in one position; they "walk" on the surface of the tile. The larger the hole, the more difficult it is to control.

This high-quality drill from Bosch provides another option. It has fine tips and precision ground edges, and a reinforced head that provides excellent durability. The tool holder has three planes, so it will not rotate in the drill chuck.

The Bosch GT1000 is designed to drill holes in ceramics and glass, but not in porcelain. It is relatively expensive, but inexperienced users will appreciate how easy it is to maintain accuracy.

Anyone who uses tile drill bits on a regular basis will love this durable 10-piece set from Drilax. In addition to being some of the best hard tile drill bits, they can also handle ceramics, granite, glass, quartz and marble with excellent versatility.

The main body is high-speed steel with rust-proof nickel plating. The body of the drill bit is taller than many competitors, so deeper holes can be drilled if necessary. The high-density foam insert that holds the drill bit in the housing also doubles as a valuable drill guide, helping to prevent walking. It also provides a useful "well" for the water to keep the drill bit cool, thereby reducing cutting capacity and extending its working life.

Many kitchen and bathroom fixtures are now available in metric sizes, so it is very important to have an accurate metric drill bit for ceramic tiles. The imperial equivalent is close, but sometimes not close enough.

This eight-piece set from QWORK is a very affordable solution. Unlike some drill bits that contain repetitive bits, each of these bits has a different size and has good versatility. The fine point provides good position control, and the tungsten carbide tip can also cut tiles and the bricks or masonry walls behind them.

QWORK drill bits can also be used on wood or soft metals such as aluminum and brass. The shank on the larger drill bit has a flat surface to provide extra grip for the drill chuck and prevent the bit from slipping.

In addition to the bright, rust-resistant nickel finish, the most striking aspect of this BLENDX hole saw kit may be the surprisingly low price. The set includes 10 "diamond" drill bits of different sizes. Although the metric diameter may not be suitable for everyone, it is a comprehensive series.

Close inspection revealed that the cutting edge is actually not diamond, but silicon carbide (silicon carbide). It is still a very hard material that can cut porcelain as long as it is well lubricated, but these bits lack the durability of many real diamond competitors.

Nevertheless, BLENDX drill bit sets do have their uses. For those who only need tile drill bits to complete one-time tasks, such as remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, they are really worth the money.

Owl Tools drill bits are suitable for all kinds of ceramic tile materials and are a great choice for DIY enthusiasts. However, they do struggle with porcelain, just like the drill bits in FNEKER's budget, otherwise they are very valuable. Diamond-coated Neiko drill bits are a low-cost solution, but their durability is limited.

As a keen DIYer who completely renovated two houses, I have a lot of practice drilling tiles. This experience, combined with a lot of product research, provides a basis for our choice.

Although we often establish a set of fixed selection criteria in these articles, in this case, it is important to choose high-quality solutions for various drilling challenges.

Brand reputation is not as useful here as power tools and the like, because many top drill bit manufacturers are not household names. However, quality and durability are key components, and feedback from actual users played a role in our decision-making. As always, value for money was also considered.

The above section discusses how to construct the best drill bit for ceramic tiles and provides the best examples of currently available drill bits. When researching this article, some questions often arise. If you still have unresolved questions about choosing the best drill bit for ceramic tiles, please continue reading.

Using the correct drill bit is the key. Standard drills will not cut through the surface, which can cause excessive pressure to be applied, which can break the tiles. Use masking tape to mark the location of the hole. This will also provide initial grip for the drill. Hold the drill firmly and apply pressure slowly and steadily. If you still need to drill holes in the masonry or concrete behind the tiles, don't use the hammer action before going through the tiles.

It is recommended to use diamond drills on porcelain. The drill bit can become very hot, so occasionally immersing it in water or spraying the area while working will keep it cool and help it cut more efficiently.

This technique is described in the above question on how to drill holes without cracking the tiles. It is usually recommended to use carbide drills, although diamond drills can also work well.

You can, but the grout is a relatively soft surface and the drill bit can easily drift. If you need accuracy, drilling through tiles is usually the first choice.

The texture of porcelain is more delicate, but if the tiles are already attached to the wall, it is difficult to distinguish. The tiles usually have a glazed top layer that is different from the core color, which may show up on the edges. Porcelain is usually the same color.

Whether you want to drill, you should wear suitable goggles. If you wear glasses often, please wear goggles. A lightweight dust mask is also a good idea.

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