How to Drill Holes

Drilling holes in various materials is something you probably haven’t given a whole lot of thought to during your do-it-yourself career. But it’s something that can bring your project to a screeching halt if you don’t have the right tools or knowhow. In this video we’ll explore how to drill different types of holes in different materials.

Tools

Steps

  1. How to Drill Holes - Step 1

    Get a standard drill bit set. This will help you through most projects. Know the size of your drill before buying a drill bit.

  2. How to Drill Holes - Step 2

    Pilot hole: very simple and standard hole used with a pilot drill bit.

  3. How to Drill Holes - Step 3

    Choose a drill bit that’s a slightly smaller circumference than the screw you’ll be using.

  4. How to Drill Holes - Step 4

    Spade bits are measured by the size of the hole they make.

  5. How to Drill Holes - Step 5

    Speed bore bits are similar to spade bits but have an auger to help remove waste.

  6. How to Drill Holes - Step 6

    For drilling more precise holes with flat bottoms, you probably want to use this Forstner bit, which is great for countersunk cabinet hinges or concealing the hole with a plug.

  7. How to Drill Holes - Step 7

    Another option for drilling larger holes in wood is this hole saw, which is commonly used for drilling through doors where the lockset will be installed. Or an access hole for a birdhouse.

  8. How to Drill Holes - Step 8

    For drilling through brick or cement, get a masonary bit. Be patient as the drill cuts through the material.

  9. How to Drill Holes - Step 9

    For drilling through tile, use a tile bit.


Read Video Transcript

Drilling holes in various materials is something you probably haven’t given a whole lot of thought to during your do-it-yourself career. But it’s something that can bring your project to a screeching halt if you don’t have the right tools or knowhow. Different materials require different drill bits. Even the types of holes you need to make will dictate the type of drill bit you need.

Today we’re going to learn about the different types of drill bits you’ll need to have in your arsenal to drill a variety of holes in different types of materials. We’ll look at how to make a basic small pilot hole in a piece of wood, as well as larger holes for different applications. Then we’ll drill holes in different substances such as metal, brick and tile. So let’s get started.

Standard drill bits come is a variety of sizes to fit different drill chuck sizes, such as ½” and 3/8″. Make sure you know size of your drill chuck before buying a bit. They also come in a variety of lengths for drilling through thicker materials, such as these posts.

Drilling holes in wood is where we’ll begin our discussion because it’s probably the most common type of material that you’ll be drilling into.

Let’s begin by making a standard small hole in a piece of hardwood where we will be inserting a screw. Without a pilot hole, wood can split. This is called a pilot hole, and we’re going to use a pilot hole drill bit to plow out the waste so our screw won’t split the wood. We’ve selected a drill bit where the shank of the bit is slightly smaller than the size of the screw. The tip of the drill bit has what’s called a pilot point, which means you can place the bit exactly where you want it to go. Now, make sure your drill is set on drilling speed, hold the drill perpendicular to the piece of wood, and start drilling.

If you’re not drilling all the way through the wood, you may want to put a piece of tape on the bit to show you the depth where you need stop drilling. These pilot point bits are also the same bits we’ll use to drill holes in thin metal, such as this heating duct. Just make sure the bit can be used on metal, which is usually denoted on the packaging or drill bit case.

This next group of drill bits is designed to make larger holes in wood. This is called a spade bit and the size of the hole is determined by the width of the cutting portion of the bit, which determines the diameter of the hole. Here is a variation on this same concept. This is called a speed bore bit, and it has an auger that helps remove waste.

Another option for drilling larger holes in wood is this hole saw, which is commonly used for drilling through doors where the lockset will be installed. Or an access hole for a birdhouse.

There are a variety of wood bits to choose from, so be sure to ask your local independent home improvement retailer for suggestions on the best bit for your specific application.

What about drilling through materials like brick and cement block? For this you’ll need what’s called a masonry bit, which has more of a flat and hardened tip designed to cut through this material. Here you see a standard drill bit next to it on the left. The thing to remember here is to take your time and let the bit cut through the material without applying excessive force.

For drilling holes in substances like this tile, we’ll use a tile bit. Again, it has a special design and tip to cut through this hard, dense material. Just give it time and be patient, and let the bit do its job.

Well there you have it. Now you can drill through most of the common substances you’ll be working with in your home improvement endeavors. And all it took was a little lesson in the basics of drilling holes.

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9 responses to “How to Drill Holes”

  1. Sad says:

    I need to drill a hole in my microwave stand in order for the cord can fit through, which bit should i use?

  2. Jared Dunham says:

    I would like to know how best postures for holding cordless drills so that I drill straight holes without using drill guides.

  3. linda bilal says:

    need to make a hole the size of the blow dryer to use after I finish blow drying my hair

  4. Jayaram says:

    How to draw centre in a circle to drill

  5. oscar says:

    hi I’m from Philadelphia , I wonder if u know anybody make draw hole in old glass bottles, please send , address. or phone number of someone thank u very much

  6. Wayne says:

    I need to drill a 3/8 hole in a larhe number of cedar 1x4s. Using a drill press I put the cedar 1×4 in a small vice and slant the 1×4 in a 35 to 40 degree angle down on the drill press table. What type of drill bit drills the cleanest hole using this application please? It’s important that the holes are clean without splinters or chips on the outside edge of the holes.
    Thanks

  7. Wayne S says:

    I need to drill a 3/8 hole in a large number of cedar 1x4s. Using a drill press I put the cedar 1×4 in a small vice and slant the 1×4 in a 35 to 40 degree angle down on the drill press table. What type of drill bit drills the cleanest hole using this application please? It’s important that the holes are clean without splinters or chips on the outside edge of the holes.
    Thanks

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