Drill holes in slate and what you should pay attention to

There are a few things to keep in mind when drilling a hole in a slate of slate. With the wrong drill or procedure, the slate sheet can break easily. Read here what to look out for.

Slate is not just slate

Slate comes in several degrees of hardness. The hardness of the material is essentially determined by the ratio between quartz and mica. The greater the proportion of quartz, the harder the material is. A distinction is made between the following groups:

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  • very quartz-rich slate
  • quartz-rich slate
  • quartz-accentuated slate
  • Phyllosilicate-rich slate species

Process slate in various designs

The very hard versions require an enormous amount of effort when machining. At the same time, you must be very careful when processing, as the material is extremely brittle and breaks or flakes very easily. Even with the hard versions, increased effort is required to process the material. Only the medium-hard or softer versions can be easily machined and also drilled.

Drill holes in slate

When drilling in natural materials, there are a few tips to keep in mind. The slates of slate should definitely be fixed well so that they do not move, the drill gets misled and the material is damaged. It is essential to wear protective goggles to protect against splinters. Be very careful not to damage the valuable panels as you work. If necessary, it can make sense to soak the slate in pure water for some time before drilling so that it loses its brittleness. Under no circumstances should you use the hammer mechanism of your hammer drill (€ 151.37 on Amazon *), as this can damage the slate very easily. It is best to use an HSS metal drill bit or even a diamond drill bit. You can also use a tile drill. You should use the latter drill bits especially if you have to make several holes.

A few more notes on the drilling process itself

If you want to drill larger holes, it is best to pre-drill with a smaller diameter. Set your drill (€ 48.00 at Amazon *) to a relatively low speed and cool the drill with plenty of water (for example using a small watering can). If you are unsure at the beginning, the best thing to do is to make a test hole in a piece of slate that is no longer needed.