Full Drill vs. Partial Drill: What's the Difference?


September 19, 2020

Time reading

2 minutes
Abstract diamond painting

Whether you’re a newbie to the world of diamond painting or you’ve already got a few masterpieces hanging around your home, sometimes the terminology of this craft can get confusing—even for those who have been practicing for a while. One aspect of diamond painting that most people get caught up in is the difference between a full drill vs. a partial drill painting. Don’t worry! We’re here to help straighten things out so that you can purchase the right style design for every project. 

What Is a Diamond Drill?

Most people who are new to diamond painting assume that the “drill” is some sort of tool used during the application of the diamond beads to the canvas. This is a fair assumption because we usually associate the word “drill” with a tool. However, this isn’t the case when it comes to diamond painting. Drills simply refer to the diamond beads that you use to create your image. If you get confused, just replace the word “drill” with “bead” or “diamond.” Your drills may be the most important part of your diamond art kit, so be careful not to lose them. Most diamond painters save any extra drills that they have in case they need to make use of them on a different canvas in the future. 

Square vs. Round Drills

In diamond painting, there are two different types of drills: square and round. Some people like to alternate doing projects with square drills and round, while others have a preference. Square drills create more of a mosaic piece because the edges are able to fit perfectly together, leaving no white space between beads whatsoever. Round drills, on the other hand, are circular, so they are never able to fully cover the canvas. For some people, this can be bothersome as they prefer the completed look of the square drill canvases. But round drills are great because they give the appearance of cross stitching and many claim that they are easier for beginners and projects of smaller sizes.

close up diamond art

If you’ve never tried either type of diamond painting before, give them both a go and see which you prefer. You can invest in diamond art kits with smaller canvas, so you don’t have to commit to a large project on your first try. Crafting is an excellent hobby to help unleash your creativity and improve mental health by reducing feelings of stress and anxiety. 

Full Drill vs. Partial Drill

Now that you have a solid understanding of the different types of drills available, we’ll talk more about full drill vs. partial drill canvases. You can have full drill and partial drill with either square or round drills. Full drill canvases are those in which the entire canvas is covered by diamonds. Partial drills, on the other hand, are canvases only partially covered by diamonds. Full drills give the diamond painting that mosaic look, especially if you’re using a full drill diamond painting with square drills, while partial drills are used to emphasize part of an image. For example, if you had a partial canvas with a front porch scene and a cat in the foreground, you would want to “paint” the cat with drills to create a focus on this part of the image.

Our Favorite Partial Drill Diamond Paintings


  • LlamiCorn: Equal parts quirky and cute, the LlamiCorn diamond painting inspires you to embrace your true self. Add playful and colorful artwork to your home with this fun kit.
  • White Tiger: With its piercing blue eyes, the White Tiger diamond painting is a majestic partial drill canvas. If you’re looking for artwork that is both powerful and beautiful, this kit is for you. 
  • The Mascheraris Muse: This partial drill diamond painting combines color and mystery for a stunning canvas. The bright florals and mask are emphasized against the black background.

Our Favorite Full Drill Diamond Paintings

Milky Way Galaxy
  • Milky Way Galaxy: This depiction of the galaxy visible in the night sky over an iconic natural arch in Utah’s Arches National Park is a more challenging painting that creates a gorgeous mosaic, thanks to the full square drills.
  • Treasures of the Great Outdoors: A popular Chuck Pinson art piece, this diamond painting features a calming scene of a cabin hidden in the woods. The Treasures of the Great Outdoors kit is perfect for nature lovers.
  • Wonderland: Fall down the rabbit hole with this unique, full drill diamond painting. Wonderland is a best-selling kit created by the popular artist Mandie Manzano.

Choose the Style that Suits You

Diamond painting is a personal activity that helps to focus your mind, ease stress and get your creative juices flowing. When it comes to full drill vs. partial drill, there’s no right way to diamond paint, so it’s important to select a diamond art kit that speaks to you. Check out some of our latest Diamond Art Club kits with fun new designs and seasonal canvases!