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DIY: How to Drill into Glass

DIY: How to Drill into Glass


Whether you're making shelves or assembling a table, you may sooner or later find yourself needing to drill a hole through glass. While this may sound impossible without covering your garage floor with dangerous shards, there are steps you can take to do it right. Don't turn your promising project into a shattered dream, learn how to drill through glass properly to ensure a smooth and successful job.

Tungsten carbide drill bits

Step 1: Get Your Bits

Either diamond-shaped or tungsten carbide drill bits can effectively drill through glass, but you'll need more than one. Make sure to have a few bits ready: one should be the size of the hole while the others should be a size or two smaller.

Step 2: Measure It Out

Use a tape measure to measure the location of the hole and mark your spot with a black marker. Avoid drilling within three-quarters of an inch from the edge of the glass to prevent cracking.

Step 3: Give the Glass Some Give

Set the glass on top of some corkboard or a rubber pad for some extra cushion. Make sure this protective surface is on top of a flat tabletop or stable workbench to prevent slipping or sliding.

Step 4: Just Add Water

Before you begin drilling, make sure the glass is coated with water. Keeping the glass wet throughout the project helps limit stray pieces of drill bits and glass particles from flying up while you're drilling.

Step 5: Safety First

Before you start drilling, put on your safety goggles, work gloves and dust mask. This gear should help keep any stray glass particles away from your eyes, hands or mouth while you drill.

Step 6: Take It Slow

Use one of the small drill bits to start drilling a pilot hole about halfway through the glass. Apply constant pressure and try to maintain a slow and steady drilling speed.

Step 7: Flip It & Finish

Drilling all the way through the glass at once can cause chipping on the backside. Flip the glass over and finish drilling through the other side. Once you've drilled all the way through the glass with a small bit, use the large drill bit to go through again. Make sure to drill at a low and steady speed to finish the hole.