How To Drill Through Glass, Wood & Concrete

How To Drill Through Glass, Wood & ConcreteIf you are new to drills, or if you just want to drill into a material you’re unfamiliar with, then you may be a little unsure how to proceed. Some drills are a lot better with certain materials than they are with others, and you will definitely need to take a different approach with glass than you would with concrete.

The type of drill bit you buy will depend on what you are trying to drill into, and of course, different materials can be tougher or require more precision than others. If you want to learn the right way to drill through glass, wood and concrete then read on for our guide!

Drills For Glass

You don’t need to buy a special drill for glass. Most regular power drills will do, so if you already own one of these you can just use that. A hammer drill is probably not the right choice for most types of glass.

When you need to drill through glass you will first have to check what type of glass it is. You can drill holes in almost every type of glass there is, but the exception to this rule is tempered glass. Tempered glass will shatter if you try to drill into it, so you will need to ensure the glass is not tempered before you can proceed.

Drill Bits For Glass

Most regular power drills will work on glass, but you will need a specific glass drill bit in order to do a good job. Glass-specific drill bits are pretty easy to find and you should be able to get some easily online or in your local DIY store.  Carbide bits (bits which have a point shaped like a spade) are a good choice for glass.

Some people also like to use diamond drill bits. It’s a good idea to use a bit which is harder than the glass, so diamonds are a good choice for harder glass types.

You can buy small drill bits which come in sizes ranging from 0.75mm. If you want to create larger holes you may want to consider buying a hole saw instead.

How To Drill Through Glass: Precautions

If the piece of glass you want to drill through is fairly small, consider putting it in a container to protect against the possibility of drilling through your table or other surfaces.

Safety is important, so when you are drilling make sure you avoid water and you stay away from easily damaged surfaces.

You may want to use tape or small pieces of cardboard to help keep the bit stable as you drill.

It is a good idea to mark the areas of glass that you want to drill your holes into so that you can do a clean and precise job. Also, consider lubricating the area of glass with a bit of water or oil to prevent burning and to clear leftover debris.

When you are drilling through glass, it’s important that you don’t use too much power. Glass is fragile, and drilling which is too fast and powerful is likely to damage the glass. Ensure you drill your holes slowly and carefully. You will also have to make sure you don’t press too hard on the glass.

How To Drill Through Glass: Procedure

When you first start drilling, select a smaller bit and start drilling slowly to create a small dent in the glass. When you are ready you can drill a little more quickly (around 400rpm), but ensure you’t drill to fast to avoid damaging the glass and/or creating burn marks. If necessary you can also swap your smaller bit for a larger bit before increasing the drill speed. You should keep to a slow/medium drilling speed at all times when working with glass.

When you are close to breaking through the glass, you should slow down your drilling speed even more. This may sound strange, but at this stage, the glass is at its most vulnerable and you don’t want to break it at the last moment.

If you prefer you can also turn the glass upside down and drill on the other side until you create a finished hole.

It’s important to keep both the glass and the drill bit cool to stop the glass overheating and cracking. You may want to lubricate both the hole and the bit with a bit of water.

Bits Which Are Good For Wood

  • The ideal bit will depend on what kind of wood you want to drill into. Bits that are made out of steel are good for softwood, but not ideal for hardwood.
  • The type of point that your bit has will determine what sort of material the bit is suitable for. If the point is fairly flat (i.e. around 135-degree angles) then it is better for harder material, whereas steeper points (i.e. 118-degree angles) are a better choice for softer materials.
  • HSS (High-Speed Steel) bits are a good choice because they are more resistant to heat and they can stay sharper for longer. These bits are a good choice for wood, and they can also be used for softer metals and fibreglass.
  • Black oxide-coated HSS are an even more durable choice than regular HSS bits, and they are a good choice for both soft and hard wood.
  • You may also want to look at titanium coated HSS bits as they also stay sharper for longer and can be used on both wood and metal.
  • Twist bits are pretty common for home DIY use, and they can be used on wood as well as plastic and lighter forms of metal.
  • Auger bits have a screw tip and they are a good choice for removing the debris which are going to accumulate as you drill your hole.
  • Brad-Point bit. These bits are specially designed for wood, and they have been designed for precise drilling and the ability to remove chips and dust.
  • Installer bits are twist bits which are designed for installing wiring and are popular with security systems. These bits can be used on wood, but they are also a good choice for masonry.
  • Spade bits are a good choice for creating larger holes in wood.
  • Countersink bits are speciality bits which are designed for drilling wood.

How To Drill Through Wood

Drilling through wood is a lot easier than drilling through concrete or metal, but there are still some guidelines you’ll need to follow.

It is important that you select the right speed when drilling through wood. If the speed is too high then you can risk overheating, but if the speed is too low the hole will be less precise.

Make sure the wood is held in place when you drill. Consider buying some clamps or using something else to hold it down to avoid the wood slipping around during the drilling process.

Use some painters tape to mark the position of your desired hole to ensure that you don’t drill into the wrong place.

You may want to measure how thick the wood is, drill halfway through on one side, then turn the wood over and complete the hole on the other side.

It’s also important to protect the surface you are drilling on (if relevant) so you don’t end up drilling a hole through your table or work station. It may be an idea to position the wood over the edge, or place a specific screen under the wood.

How To Drill Into Concrete

Concrete is a tougher material which you may be a little worried about. It is, however, perfectly possible to drill into concrete as long as you follow some guidelines.

Concrete is made up of various materials like stone, sand and gravel which are all stuck together by cement. Concrete is a pretty tough material, more so than brick, cement and mortar, but in order to drill through it all you really need is a good drill and the right bit.

When we say a ‘good drill’, we mean a high-end drill which should ideally have a hammer function, excellent grip, powerful settings and various speed options.

It is possible to drill through concrete with a regular drill, but it is going to be harder. If you have to use a regular drill, make sure you stop drilling at regular intervals so you can water the bit regularly to stop it overheating and clear the hole of debris.

The Bit

When it comes to concrete, you are going to need a masonry bit. These tough bits are specially designed to deal with tougher materials, whilst other bits are likely to prove inadequate.


Make sure you know what size hole you want and how deep you want the hole to be before you start drilling so you can plan accordingly.

Mark the spot that you want to drill with a cross. You can use a pen or a bit of tape to ensure you make a hole in the exact location.

When you start drilling, start off at a low speed. Once the space you are drilling starts to resemble a hole, turn up the speed and let the drill do its job until the hole has reached its required depth.


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