Small diamond drill bits are, simply put, a solid stainless steel rod with a fuzzy looking coat of fine diamond embedded at the business end. The best techniques for drilling small objects of shell, glass or stone are as follows ...

   The object must be completely immersed in water or have a steady stream of water flowing into the bore.
The water is to flush the grindings out of the hole, and at the same time to keep the bit cool.
A Dremel tool  set at a medium high speed works well. Employing a drill press makes the job even easier.
Dremel's adjustable chuck upgrade or the appropriate collet will be needed to hold these various sized bit shafts.
The technique is to use a gentle tapping action with the bit while keeping bit's shaft as straight as possible.
The GENTLE tapping method helps to keep the bit cool and flushed out.
One must understand these bits do not cut like a regular twist drill, they instead GRIND a hole.
Bearing down while drilling will quickly ruin the bit.

You can tell if the bit is doing it's job by the swirls of waste coming from the bore as you tap.
A shallow metal pie tin or tuna fish can are ideal baths that can be used to immerse your work.
A thin piece of wood like a paint can stir stick can be used as a drill pad under the work, or a mound of
modeling clay can be used to cradle the object.

Note: Small steel twist drills can, at times, be used successfully to drill soft shell and pearls.
Drilling by hand with a pin vise using bees wax as a lube is a good solution to eliminate bit breakage.

See our Hand Tools page for hand drills, pin vises and steel twist drills and visit our
Beader's Tools page for pearl drilling jigs and holding tweezers.

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