I’d like to drill through a piece of porcelain floor tile using one of the drill presses, but it’s not clear to me which one would be best. Does anybody have any experience or advice on which one to use?
Depends on the size hole… But drill press? hand held drill is better. Small hole, best to use a “glass drill” that is carbide or a masonry bit for slightly larger hole. Carbide grit hole saws are appropriate for larger holes like for plumbing. Amazon. I got a set recently. They have a pilot hole to stabilize the hole saw. Hammer drills (tool not bit) might also be used when appropriate with masonry drill bits to go faster. Regular tool drill (hand held) can work with masonry bits.
I would shy away from a drill press for this too. My first thought hearing “porcelain tile” and “drill” is water. Cutting tile kicks up incredibly fine dust that is not good to breathe so you pretty much always want to have water involved when cutting tile. This specialty bit is designed for tile cutting and the video on it gives some great tips about how to use it and manage the water aspect (the clay dam is pretty clever!) - https://www.homedepot.com/p/Montana-Brand-3-16-in-High-Speed-Steel-Diamond-Tile-Drill-Bit-MB-65200/309099474
Okay cool, I’ve been using a handheld drill with a diamond bit and a little water moat using plumber’s putty. I figured a drill press would be faster and more precise (I’m trying to drill a lot of holes), but sounds like that is not a good idea. Maybe just a more powerful handheld would be ideal.
water is needed for several reasons- first being holding down the silica dust as valerie says. That can also wash chips out of the cut so the cutter can keep going, and provides a form of lubrication.
But, also, the water is also coolant. Grinding tile creates a lot of heat, and the diamond grit particles on the tip actually can’t tolerate high heat. The tip will dull quickly without water to cool it