Drilling holes with pulsed Nd:YAG lasers is well researched and state-of-the-art within a variety of industrial applications. Surgical needles in the medical field, turbine blades for the aviation industry, and gas filter for the automotive industry are just some examples that come to mind. Similar to other industrial developments over the last century this market asks for higher throughput, smaller diameter, higher aspect ratios, and of course within a minimum of tolerances. New laser sources and specially developed processes are entering the market to move the mere drilling to the next level of micro drilling. It is crucial to understand the application and the influence of the process parameters to develop a suitable, stable, and repeatable work process. Commonly used pulses within the microsecond-regime show a significant thermal side effect which is unacceptable if used e.g. in combustion nozzles. Reducing the thermal load by shortening the pulse length into the nanosecond-regime could be a compromise to bridge the gap between quality and production speed in high precision laser drilling. However, depending on the relation between pulse energy, pulse repetition rate, and "helical speed" a reduced, but existent, thermal effect is inevitable. The scope of this paper is to show the influences of the process parameters in helical drilling with a new developed nanosecond pulsed Nd:YAG laser at its fundamental wavelength of 1064 nm. A variation of drilling-optic principles in different materials are studied and the advantages as much as the disadvantages are discussed.