How to Drill a Hole in Glass Without Breaking It

Successfully drilling a hole in glass can be rather difficult for most individuals, and most of the time the glass ends up breaking. There is a lot of skill and patience involved in the whole process. This tutorial on how to drill a hole in glass without breaking will help you get the best results within a short period of time. I have broken down the process into steps to ensure you are able to understand and follow it without encountering any difficulties.

During the process, it is important to exercise caution and avoid wearing loose clothing, bracelets, and dangling necklaces because they can easily get caught by the power tool. Ensure you wear both gloves and protective goggles too when drilling for your safety and you can check this content drill bits for fiberglass i hope it will be helpful.

Step 1: Determine the glass type

There are so many types of glass that you can drill including mirrors, aquariums, bottles, and glass tiles.  The golden rule is that you never drill a hole in safety or tempered glass. Safety or tempered glass will shatter the moment your drill touches the surface. How exactly do you know if the glass is tempered? You should look at all the corners keenly because the manufacturers are required to etch all the corners.

Step 2: Find a Drill

You can simply use the power drill you have at home or buy a new one at the local home center store should you not have a power drill. There is no specific type of drill used for making holes in glass. The most important aspect is the drill bit. You should also be careful not to use top speed or maximum power when drilling a hole in the glass. Remember that glass is delicate and it can easily shatter when a lot of power is used and this can be dangerous. At the beginning of the tutorial I talked about patience and you will need to exercise it through the entire process.

Step 3: Choose the Correct Drill Bit

There are certain drill bits specifically equipped to make holes in glass. Not just any bit can drill a hole in the glass without breaking it. You can always go to the local store and ask for the right drill bit required and you are bound to get proper assistance.

Carbide bits are the most commonly used in drilling tile and glass. They have a spade shaped edge and can withstand the friction generated when drilling tile and glass. Ensure that you avoid buying cheap drills because they can easily break and they usually get dull after a short period of time. It is important that you ask at the local store to ensure you get the right drill bit required to successfully finish your project and get the desired outcome.

Alternatively, you could use the diamond drill bit for the job. These bits can impressively drill not only all types of glass but also stone and marble. Diamonds are generally harder than glass and the diamond drill bit is considered as perfect for making holes in hard substances. When properly used, diamond bits rarely cause any breakage and you could make several holes that are a quarter of an inch or more when using the rounded end bit. When you want to make smaller holes, then use a flat end diamond drill bit.

Step 4: Place your Glass in a Container

You could easily drill through your table, and this can be easily avoided by placing the glass you want to drill in a container provided it fits. It is also a great idea to put a piece of newspaper at the container’s bottom to void drilling through it.

Should your glass not fit in any kind of container, then ensure you firmly place it on a flat surface and that it is firmly supported. It is also a great idea to put a firm Cushioning material such as a rubber pad underneath it before you start the process.

Step 5: Use dense cardboard or tape

The drill bit can easily slip when drilling and you can avoid this by taping a dense piece of cardboard to the glass. Just the ordinary cereal box cardboard can be used for this step.

You could also use painter’s tape or packaging tape to stop the glass from breaking. Ensure that you tape both the inside and outside for better results. Mark an X pattern over the exact spot that you want to drill the hole to ensure precision and it is vital that you never drill close to the edges.

Step 6: Drill the Hole

Glass is a hard surface and you need to start drilling slowly in order to achieve the desired results. There are online charts that provide the recommended speeds used on the different surface including glass. Start with a small bit and create a dimple to help you ease the process.

You can then remove the cardboard and increase the drill speed to about 400 rpm. Be careful not to drill too fast or your hole could have several burn marks at the tip. After drilling a small hole, you can simple swap to a larger bit and increase the size of the hole. The initial small hole is referred to as a ‘pilot’ and is used as a guide to making larger holes until the desired outcome is achieved.

When you are almost breaking through the glass, ensure that you reduce the drill speed significantly so that the glass does not break. It is also vital that you don’t press too hard or the glass might end up cracking.

Use a coolant like water or oil to ensure the drill bit is not extremely heated up. Use water regularly so that the glass does not get too hot and therefore break before you finish drilling.


There is a lot of patience required to ensure you don’t break glass when drilling a hole through it. In order to master this delicate art, you will need a lot of practice and you will definitely break several glasses.