What Is a Diamond Bur & Drill Bit?


To get the most out of your drill, it helps to know about the different types of bits and attachments that are available. Diamond drill bits and burs are among the most durable heads you can put on any rotary tool or drill. You can use them to perform a wide range of tasks.

The Many Heads of a Drill

  • The part of the drill that spins---where the drill bit is normally inserted---is called the chuck. You can also put specialized bits or tools in the chuck. While common drill bits bore holes in wood and metal, more specialized attachments for the chuck, called heads, can perform a wide range of tasks, such as polishing, cutting and routing. Some heads, such as burs, can be used to make precise alterations to metal and delicate materials.

Drill Bits

  • Drill bits are the most common attachment for the chuck. They bore a smooth hole into wood, metal, or any other material that is soft enough for them to cut though. Some drill bits have pointed ends; these are used for boring fresh holes. Others are flat tipped and are used to enlarge existing holes.


  • Burs are specialized chuck attachments for delicate cutting, carving and cleaning. Typically a bur is a ball-shaped point, threaded like a drill bit, on the end of a small metal axle. Because of its shape, only a very small part of the cutting surface touches the material you are cutting. This makes a bur perfect when you need to make a delicate cut and absolutely cannot cut off too much.

Burs in Dentistry

  • Burs are common as attachments for dentists' drills. Because of the peculiar properties of its ball-shaped cutting surfaces, a bur will easily cut through or grind tooth enamel, but it will not damage the more delicate tissues of the mouth if it should accidentally make contact.

Diamond Drill Bits and Burs

  • Diamond is the hardest substance available to tool manufacturers. It is bonded to tungsten through a special metallurgical process. The resulting substance, polycrystalline diamond, is used to make the cutting edges and tips of certain chuck attachments. Diamond burs and drill bits have superior durability when used on dense materials, such as stone and metal.

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  • Photo Credit drilling a hole studio isolated over white image by dinostock from Fotolia.com drill image by Vladislav Gajic from Fotolia.com gold drill bits image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com sewing machine image by styf from Fotolia.com tooth image by saied shahinkiya from Fotolia.com diamond image by sumos from Fotolia.com
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