The Difference Between Diamond Core Bits & Carbide

The Difference Between Diamond Core Bits & Carbide

17th Jul 2020

Understand the difference between diamond core bits and carbide ones. We cover what each bit can do to remove the risk of buying the wrong one.

A few factors will help you determine if you need a diamond or carbide core bit. Not the least of which is what kind of material you want to cut. To cut and grind hardened, super-dense materials, such as granite and concrete, you’ll want to use diamond. Diamond also works best on most non metallic materials such as fiberglass and composites.

Our guide will help you understand the difference between diamond core bits and carbide in depth so you can find the right tool for your job.

Diamond Core Bits

Superabrasive, diamond plated tools have a major edge over carbide—longevity and cut-rate set diamond tools apart from the rest. Initially, a diamond tool will cost more money, but this investment goes toward the extended life of the bit.

Additionally, diamond tools have a closer cut tolerance than carbide does. When used in a cutting capacity, such as a diamond hole saw, diamond tools sand and erode the work material. The smoothing effect of diamond tools allows for high tolerance cuts that are exact. A higher thermal conductivity is another hallmark of the diamond tool. They stay cooler longer and better dissipate the heat created by friction. This means they won’t burn the workpiece and damage it. You can even use diamond tools without coolant and they still won’t overheat. This is valuable in keeping the workshop clean and free of slipping hazards.

Carbide Core Bits

Carbide drill bits consist of metal—they’re either solid tungsten carbide or have tips covered in a tungsten carbide cement. Professionals can use carbide drill bits in many different industries due to their long life and durability. They are more durable than hardened steel bits, but not as much as diamond. As with any metal drill bit, there will always be wear and tear, dulling, and breakage. The good news is you can sharpen carbide bits to extend their lifespan. However, after performing several sharpening sessions, there won’t be any material left. To work properly, carbide tips need coolant to prevent burning and overheating. It is important to note that coolant mixed with the effluent creates a sludge that is messy and needs constant cleaning.