Drill It with a Dremel: How to Drill through Just about Any Natural or Recycled Material Using a High-Speed Rotary Tool

drilling a seashell with a Dremel

Use a regular drill bit to drill through the following materials:

  • drilling through fused plastic beads with a Dremelwood, including salvaged wood, reclaimed wood, and driftwood
  • books and game boards
  • some seashells (other seashells are too hard to use with a regular drill bit–test one to see)
  • most types of plastic, including fused plastics and plastic toys and game pieces
  • thin metals, including aluminum cans and bottle caps
  • vinyl, such as record albums
This drill bit won’t cut through glass, ceramics, rock, or most metals.

It requires no extra effort to use a regular drill bit with a Dremel–drill just the way that you would with a typical power drill. You can alter the speed at which the drill bit rotates, however; some harder objects, such as bottle caps, will require a very fast speed of rotation to drill through, while the softer materials, such as paper and wood, will begin to burn if you make the speed of rotation too high, and the plastic will begin to melt.

 Use a glass drilling bit to cut through the following materials:

  • drilling through Fiestaware and rocks with a Dremelglass, including wine bottles, Mason jars, microscope slides, window glass, and sea glass
  • ceramics, such as pottery and plates
  •  rocks
This bit must be lubricated with the oil that comes with the bit; without lubrication, the bit will cause too much friction against a brittle object and shatter it. Lack of lubrication will also quickly wear down the bit, which you don’t want, because it’s pricey!

So now that I’ve exposed how I spent my weekend thinking up weird things to drill through, it’s confession time for YOU–what’s the weirdest object that you’ve ever drilled through for a project?

Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life; my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties; and my for links to articles about poverty, educational politics, and this famous cat who lives in my neighborhood.


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    • If you have a Dremel, a sewing machine, or a camera, your loved ones are set for all future gift-giving occasions–my family knows that for birthdays and Christmas, what I REALLY want are specialty bits for my Dremel, specialty feet for my sewing machine, and weird lenses for my camera… and, of course, power tools.

      This Christmas, I’m asking Santa for a wood chipper and a bench grinder.

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