Dremel for enlarging gemstone bead holes?

Hi there! I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction for what products/additional tools I need to enlarge holes in gemstone beads that range from 2mm-7mm beads, with much smaller holes. I did some very elementary research which is how I found this forum-and I read through the few threads about this topic but they were older and didn’t address the specific issue I’m encountering.

I purchased a Dremel 8050 (cordless) in order to drill the holes safely in water. Again, totally completely new to this so I didn’t know about chucks/collets and not being able to accommodate small diamond drill bits. I purchased a couple of drill bits sets 1 and 2 and an additional Chuck (4486 Keyless) and all are not compatible together. I realize I probably bought nothing I should have to do what I need, but hopefully someone with more knowledge might be able to assist? I’d like to keep the Dremel 8050 if that is going to do the job, but the additional components…I’m not sure about!

Thank you in advance, I apologize if I didn’t search enough and something like this has been discussed at length. I’m super happy to have found this community though, I’m relatively new to jewelry making so I’m just discovering what is out there! :slight_smile:

Check out DVD from Michael Boyd. He’ll give you all the right info for the task…great educator. If memory serves me right it is called. “ Stone on Stone“

Hope this helps

A quick search shows a bundle on Amazon that includes the Dremel 8050 with the keyless chuck 4486. It looks like it only accepts a 1/8" mandrel. Have you tried removing the existing chuck/collet and screwing the adjustable chuck into it’s place?


Hi Pam! Yes, I screwed in the Chuck 4486 but the collet opening is still far too large for the diamond drill bits I purchased-they just aren’t a combination that goes together :sweat_smile: or it’s possible I don’t know the terms well enough here :thinking:

This is the Dremel I bought on Amazon (so it’s super barebones) and the exact chuck I purchased:

Dremel Chuck

Thank you for your help!!

Thanks for the tip! I’ll look into that!

Here’s a link to a video that names the components and explains how to adjust the chuck…Dremel How to fix a Jammed Chuck or fit Multichuck upgrade HD - YouTube He explains how to use the keyless chuck at approx 4:50

Hope this helps,

1 Like

That is extremely helpful Pam, thank you! I think I might not have screwed the Chuck 4486 on tight enough because I never saw the silver inside collet come through which he says should allow for micro bits. Having said that if I test it and the bits still don’t go in it seems like I need to find a chuck/collet combo that fits these super micro bits. I’ll try testing this when I’m home later, :crossed_fingers: it works!

It worked! Thank you so much again for posting that video. I definitely need to practice the drilling part, or get better drill bits (still can’t open up the smallest hole on one side of the bead) but at least attaching the drill bit, opening/closing totally worked!

It takes a long time to drill and it usually doesn’t appear to be working. Even when you feel like you are wasting your time, just keep drilling. It’s not experience, and probably not the drill bit …there is nothing you can do that will expedite this job, it requires patience. Walk away from it and work on it later with a fresh attitude …again and again.

Wear eye and breathing protection.

1 Like

That’s really encouraging Betty! I definitely felt like giving up on some beads, even after being able to open up a few. Thank you for the advice :blush:

I drill holes in stones using “Diamond Coated Tipped Solid Bits” in my dremel in a drill press, similar to these, with a water drip. They are available in different diameters. I then use a small diamond ball bur to clean up each side and make the holes a bit concave. I would recommend dulling the bits down a bit by breaking them in with some agate. You can also get really clean holes by half drilling, then flipping over to do the other side. A divider is used to make two marks that are at the same spot on each side.