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Unread 10-12-2020, 09:48 PM   #1
wannaBelkhuntin
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Drilling Porcelain tile

What is the best bit for drilling porcelain tile. I have been using the Bosch Carbide bits but on the porcelain tile I used on my last shower I was only getting 1 hole per bit and I need to install a grab bar still. Thank you Dave
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Unread 10-12-2020, 10:23 PM   #2
Tool Guy - Kg
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Welcome to the forum, David.

Generally speaking, you need to up the ante to diamond bits/holesaws. The less expensive bits are ‘electroplated’ and the extremely durable are ‘sintered’. You can purchase electroplated holesaws in the 3/16”, 1/4”, 5/16”, & 3/8” sizes at many box stores. The sintered variety are more of a specialty item you generally have to order from an importer or manufacturer.

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Unread 10-12-2020, 10:47 PM   #3
wannaBelkhuntin
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Thanks toolguy I have been looking for diamond bits because the Granite installers said that is what they use but haven't found any yet. I will check with my tile store and see what they have or can get for me. Thx again Dave
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Unread 10-12-2020, 11:02 PM   #4
Tool Guy - Kg
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Sounds good. Otherwise you can tell us which box stores or hardware stores you have around you and we might be able to make a more specific recommendation.

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Unread 10-13-2020, 02:21 PM   #5
tilemanct
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I have been using Ramondi Diamond bits. They work great.
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Unread 10-13-2020, 07:17 PM   #6
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Depending on the bit, most will last longer and cut better if you keep the working end wet. Some will work reliably dry, but those tend to cost more and not last as long. On a horizontal surface, you can use some putty to make a circular dam and fill it with water. On a vertical surface, have a wet sponge rubbing against it, or a spray bottle. Keep in mind that you're more grinding a hole rather that what you typically think of when cutting wood or metal. The trick to starting one without a center bit is to hold the drill at about a 45-degree angle and cut a divot with the edge, then gradually run it up to vertical until you're cutting a full circle. Or, you can drill a through hole in say a piece of ply or maybe clear plexi so you can see where you want to make the hole and hold that to use as a guide for the bit so that it doesn't walk. Otherwise, unless the hole is big enough to support a center bit, it will walk, messing up the surface.
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Unread 10-13-2020, 09:15 PM   #7
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I usually start out with a smaller but than what I'll finish with. These bits are good to get a small hole started.

Regardless of the type of bit, I always keep water on it while drilling. I use a spray bottle and continuously spray, keeping a medium speed and pressure on the bit. If you try to rush it, you'll shorten the life of the bit, and possibly break the bit or tile.
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Unread 10-13-2020, 09:29 PM   #8
Tool Guy - Kg
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Jim has added some really valuable info, Dave. Follow that advice. I, too, have used the Ramondi electroplated bits from Midwest Trade Tools to good effect. I’ve personally seen them (Folks at Midwest) use these to drill 60-100 holes before running dull. Though, they are cutting under ideal conditions with the tile submersed in a shallow tub of water.

And I see a Kevin added more info while I was typing.

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Unread 10-14-2020, 06:20 AM   #9
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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07198TFYM...asp_dp_primary
Diamond core bits for angle grinder, I use them on my variable speed. Last long and are of decent quality for the price point. They sell smaller sets and sizes. Can also get an adapter for your drill with a 5/8” arbor and chuck, more controlled if the grinder scares ya.
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Unread 10-14-2020, 08:57 AM   #10
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I used Milwaukee "Diamond Plus" bits from my local Home Depot. They come in various sizes. Probably not the longest lasting bits but did the job for me, were readily available, and pretty inexpensive.
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Unread 10-19-2020, 07:50 PM   #11
wannaBelkhuntin
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I picked up some of the Milwaukee bits at Home Depot the other day. Hopefully they will get the job done for me. I just need 3/8" holes to mount a grab bar. I will give it a shot in the next few days, thanks guys....
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Unread 10-19-2020, 11:16 PM   #12
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I’ve used the same Milwaukee bits and they will work fine. Remember that heat is the enemy with this type of bit. So keep the speed to something you might call medium (perhaps 500 rpm) and keep water on them (absent a spray bottle, dunk them in water after every 5 seconds of drilling). Doing these will keep the bits from overheating.

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Unread 10-20-2020, 08:17 PM   #13
Raymond S
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Heat is definitely the enemy, but vibration can ruin your day as well, particularly if drilling a hole in outside corner pieces with a “skinny leg”. To help minimize vibration and also heat, you can place the tile in a Tupperware or similar container on top of a scrap piece of carpet, or a piece of watersoaked sheetrock.
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