Diamond Drills (How to Buy the Best Diamond Paintings Part 2)

Any avid diamond painting addict will tell you there is a huge difference in drills quality between a premium kit and a mediocre one. You wouldn’t want to purchase poor quality paint for a paint by numbers project… so don’t make the same mistake with a diamond painting!

Resin vs Acrylic Diamond Drills

1. To Resin or Not to Resin?

Genuine resin drills are much more expensive than their acrylic cousins.  Square resin drills especially will not "pop" out of the canvas (a phenomenon aptly called "popping drills"). If you've ever purchased a cheap square kit from Amazon or Aliexpress and the like, you may have noticed it's quite frustrating to keep the drills on the canvas and in a straight line. If you're about to invest time and money into a kit that will hang on your wall or be sent as a gift, it pays to pay attention to this detail!

Many stores out there will claim they supply “resin drills” when in fact, they are betting that the customers won’t be able to tell the difference (or worse, they themselves don’t know the difference!). It’s difficult to know for certain what type a company is using, but you can simply apply the same sleuthing advice we gave earlier: if the company is selling multiple sizes per design, they’re most likely using the cheaper acrylic drills.

Resin drills are expensive and can only be produced in bulk. It’s much more likely that they’ll be used for designs that have been pain-stakingly hand designed and manufactured with care.

2. Is Acrylic all bad?

Actually, the answer is no – the technology to manufacture drills is actually advancing each year, and top stores who continuously update their stock may be using higher quality acrylic drills that better closely match their resin cousins (much like how synthetic diamonds are becoming more alike real diamonds – imagine that!).

If you find a store that you absolutely trust and have no problems with their drills, acrylic is fine too! Just make sure you aren’t over paying for any false promises.

Square vs Round Diamond Drills

Which to choose? Square base drills or round? There are arguments for both sides and yes, there are avid diamond painting fans who steadfastly prefer one over the other. Many just focus on whether or not they enjoy the design and are happy to do a kit with either shape. So if you're just starting out and don't have a preference yet, which one to choose? We'll cover the differences in detail.

1. Square Drills

Squares are the most popular choice among many diamond painting fans by a majority of about 60 to 40. They are more challenging to place correctly on to the canvas and the time taken to complete a square kit may be much longer compared to round drills. There are no gaps in between a square bead and its surrounding neighbours and so placement is less forgiving. 

However the absence of gaps is actually the reason customers love the squares. The final result when the canvas is completed looks more "complete" because when done correctly, none of the printed base is visible and it's just 100% sparkles. 

Another reason Squares have a big fan base is due to the satisfying "click" our diamond artists feel when placing each square piece. The margin for error is quite narrow, so in order to fit them squarely onto the canvas (haha), some force is required to push a drill into its place on a crowded area. It's definitely an experience worth trying!

2. Round Drills

The humble round based drills may be less popular but in this writer's humble opinion, they are no more or less inferior to their counterpart! Round drills are just perfect for beginners who have no experience in diamond painting. 

Placement on the canvas is much more forgiving and you can finish a kit in faster time than it takes to complete a Square kit. There are no corners and hence much more room to adjust if you make a mistake. Perfect for those of us who are a bit less patient, or whose hands aren't as steady as they used to be ;).

When completing a round kit, the final result may understandably have tiny gaps showing through. However for most designs, especially in larger sizes, these gaps are hardly noticeable especially when viewed at a distance. Since most customers choose to frame their completed artwork on a wall, it ends up not becoming an issue at all!

All in all, it really comes down to preference. Without trying both, we recommend you not come to any conclusions about your own preference just by reading about their differences online. Both are completely viable and guaranteed to result in a great time! Happy diamond painting!

Up next – last but not least on our list of three, we’re rolling out the canvases!

Click here to read more.