The Difference Between Half Drilled, Top Drilled And Head Drilled Beads

Beads come in a variety of different shapes and sizes as well as being drilled in a number of different ways! 

Kernowcraft supply all types of drilled beads and so have made this page which outlines the differences between half drilled, top drilled, head drilled and centre drilled beads so that you know which to buy to suit your makes. 

Centre Drilled Beads

This means that the bead has been drilled all the way through the centre.

For example on a round bead this will be drilled through the centre of the bead at the widest point.

This style is perfect for creating many designs, necklaces, bracelets, anklets. Always check the hole diameter on your beads to ensure it will fit with the threading material you wish to us.

Browse our range of beads to see what's new.

Half Drilled Beads

This means that the bead will be drilled to a centre point, this is a common drill hole used on pearls and beads that are to be attached to pegs for earrings etc.

This style of drill hole conceals the fitting making the bead the most prominent feature, it is perfect for making little stud earrings or adding a round bead / pearl feature on to a ring. Attach half drilled beads on to the peg findings with a little glue - we recommend Devcon 5 minute epoxy glue.

Browse our range of half drilled beads here.

Head Drilled Beads

This means that the hole has been drilled horizontally through the top of the bead so that the bead itself hangs lower than the thread.

This style of bead is great for creating simple designs using necklet wire, chain or flexrite wire.  

We recommend our range of briolette beads for a elegant, beach chic look.

Find all of our head drilled beads amongst all our our gemstone beads here.

Top Drilled

This means that the bead has been drilled vertically through the top of the bead, about a quarter of the way down. You can insert a post into it and when suspended form a chain or earring the bead appears as a little droplet.

Pearls, teardrop and more unusual shaped beads are often drilled in this way. These beads need to be glued on to the peg finding of your choice according to your design. You may need to file down the peg a little so that it sit snug to the top of the bead. We recommend you use the Devcon 5 minute epoxy glue to secure the bead onto the peg. 

This style of bead is similar to the half drilled mentioned above, however the drill hole tends to be drilled a little shallower. The beads are often shaped like hearts, stars, or irregular shapes. The top drilled bead make a great focal point on a necklace or pair or earrings.

Browse our range of top drilled beads for inspiration for your next make. 

For information about making bead drill holes bigger, read our 'How to Make You Bead Holes Bigger' page

If you have any further questions, feel free to call our friendly team who will be more than happy to give you some advice through Facebook, Twitter, Email or simply calling us on 01872 573888 8.30am-4.30pm.

Alternatively, for more information and how to's on all areas of jewellery making visit our other Gemstone Setting Advice pages.