Using diamond-edged hole cutters

Discussion in 'Tilers' Talk' started by diymostthings, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. diymostthings

    diymostthings Well-Known Member

    Hi. I have got to the point in my shower room tiling where I need to make two holes at 150mm centres for the 15mm copper pipes projecting from the wall which will connect to the bar shower valve.

    I have bought a set of these tools which look like minature core bits with the cutting edge encrusted in diamonds.

    However unlike core bits they do not have a central spigot to accomodate a centering pilot drill.

    Has anyone used these and can tell me how to start the holes off and drill accurately (I will be using an 18mm cutter to give me a bit of wriggle room over the pipes)?

    Will I need to lubricate the surface of the tile (ceramic) with water/cutting oil etc?

    Kind regards

    diymostthinngs
     
  2. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Well-Known Member

    Start cutting at an angle and bring it slowly to the perpendicular.
    Never push harder than the weight of the drill. Too much force will cause overheating and blunten the cutter prematurely.
    Drill at full speed.
    Don't wet it or lubricate it as it will turn the dust into a slurry. Better to suck the dust away with a vacuum cleaner.
    Try on a scrap tile before doing the real thing.
     
  3. diymostthings

    diymostthings Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that rogerk101. Good advice. I may go straight for the actual tile (rather than practice) as I don't want to blunt the tool prematurely.
     
  4. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Well-Known Member

    It'll go through ceramic tile like butter. By contrast you'd be lucky to get ten holes out of one bit when cutting some of the really hard porcelain tiles they're making these days.
     
    blarblarblarblar likes this.
  5. Jord86

    Jord86 Well-Known Member



    The only tool Erbauer have made that I actually recommend is this. Very good for your situation.

    https://www.screwfix.com/p/erbauer-diamond-tile-drill-guide/84524
     
  6. LEH

    LEH Active Member

    I would also recommend using a guide. I made one from a bit of timber and a 15mm flat drill bit. And as said above, you don't need much force, just let it do its thing.
     
    Heat likes this.
  7. Isitreally

    Isitreally Well-Known Member

    I bought this for my bathroom refit, had to cut 8 x 15mm holes and a 40mm for sink waste as it was a one off i thought for the money id give them ago.

    They were/are excellent and the 15mm flew through the tiles even on the 8th go, and they have a pilot drill fitted.

    https://www.aldi.co.uk/hole-saw-set-carbide/p/093008037541601
     
  8. Heat

    Heat Well-Known Member

    Use a template, as LEH advises.
    I did same when drilling floor tiles and used a large offcut tile to drill first. Then just clamp it on top of tile you are going to drill, or put your boot on top of lot to hold it before drilling.

    Not sure about your hole cutters, but mine were best used with water.
    I just let a garden hose run water over the tile as I drilled it. Use cordless drill for safety though
     
  9. diymostthings

    diymostthings Well-Known Member

    Thanks again. Well it is a standard ceramic tile so I assume of the "softer" variety.
     
  10. diymostthings

    diymostthings Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that Jord86 - well as a DIYer, on average I drill one of these holes every 35 years so although I have always said "get the right tool for the job" so i will either try to make a tempprary guide or start off at an angle as previously suggested...Thanks for the link though - i did take a look.
     
  11. diymostthings

    diymostthings Well-Known Member

    Thanks LEH - I think I may well take your advice and make up a guide with a piece of timber. Did you find the 15mm size gave you enough clearance for 15mm pipes?
     
  12. diymostthings

    diymostthings Well-Known Member

    OK heat thanks. Well the secret seems to be to use a high drill speed and don't force the tool. I'll certainly make up a temporary guide though...
     
    Heat likes this.
  13. Astramax

    Astramax Well-Known Member

    I do the exact opposite of rogerk101, drill not too fast as you won't want it to snatch as you break through, lubricate with soapy water which keeps the dust in check and the cutting edge cool. Everyone to their own. ;)
     
  14. LEH

    LEH Active Member

    Looking back at my orders, I had a 20 mm holesaw, sorry for the confusion there. So it would have been a 20mm flat bit for the template. Gives you some wiggle room and space for sealant.
     
  15. LEH

    LEH Active Member

  16. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Well-Known Member

    similar to LEH, I use the cutter through a piece of plywood first, then clamp the ply to the tile, fill the hole with water and drill straight through. Fancy jigs might be good if you're doing loads, but ply works for me.

    The start at an angle then lift the drill perpendicular works well for small cutters. I usually use the drill side handle resting on the tile to give me a fulcrum to start - helps stop it skidding all over
     
  17. diymostthings

    diymostthings Well-Known Member

    Hmmm... looks like I was justified in asking the question. There must surely be a right and a wrong way - perhaps the "slow/dry" method is just as right as the fast/wet method?
     
  18. diymostthings

    diymostthings Well-Known Member

    Good point. With 20mm youve got a gap 2.5mm all round. Perfect for sealant...
     
  19. diymostthings

    diymostthings Well-Known Member

    Thanks Mr. Rusty - do you use a fast drilling speed? What would you say is a "small cutter" for starting off at an angle - 20mm?
     
  20. Mr Rusty

    Mr Rusty Well-Known Member

    Y I usually just drill them through wet not particularly slow as long as they don't overheat. By small I mean e.g. 6mm for screw holes. For small holes buy a decent cutter - £10-£15. The cheap small ones are carp - don't last long on hard tiles.
     

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