Most of our speleothem samples are microsampled using NewWave Research micromilling devices equipped with 0.3 mm stainless steel drill bits (Brasseler), i.e. we mill increments along the extension axis of a stalagmite. The advantages over drilling are twofold, higher spatial resolution and continuous sampling. The sample powder is transferred into autosampler vials using a small scalpel.
A comparison of micromill, drilling and laser-ablation techniques is given in Spötl & Mattey (2006).