Figured it was worth a shot to see if you guys have ideas. We will be drilling around 3000 small holes in 1" poly pipe for drip irrigation purposes. This won't be a CNC operation, but looking for a way to make this go faster. But beyond speed right now, I am trying to select tooling that will do this and make a nice, clean hole. I am just not convinced a twist drill is the answer. The pipe is thin wall so drill pressure is an issue, but we are talking about a .125"-ish hole.
Basically a small barbed fitting goes in each hole and I am trying to minimize leaks, though I realize this won't be, or even need to be perfect. I ran testing on a sample, one hole drilled with a straight flute step bit, another was simply pierced. The drilled hole was leak free at 60psi, but the pierced hole had a small leak. Piercing was also problematic in that it deformed the pipe, even with support, just due to the force needed.
I also attempted to melt a hole in but I think that would take very precise heat control and did not make a nice hole regardless.
I know PE pipe will make some serious stringy chips, which is not really a problem, other than I would like to minimize burrs inside/outside the pipe.