How To Drill Through Glass? 9 Steps to Avoid Breaking It

Glass is a versatile material that is in use with a range of household, decorative, and many other uses. When comes to cutting and drilling into glass, it is a difficult material to work with.

Glass is hard and strong but also brittle which can shatter easily when applied too much pressure or force. So, it is important to understand the properties of glass.

As a result, drilling through glass requires special tools and techniques, as well as patience and care. We will discuss how to drill through glass and the best methods for achieving the desired result.

We will also discuss the precautions that must be taken to keep the glass intact and prevent injury. Finally, we will discuss the different types of drills available for glass, and some tips and tricks for getting the best results.

So, let’s get started…

Safety Precautions To Follow When Drilling Through Glass

When drilling through glass, it is important to practice safety precautions to avoid injury or damage to the glass.

1. Always Wear Protective Glasses

Before drilling a hole in glass, protect your eyes from flying particles by wearing protective eyewear. When drilling through glass, small particles from glass can be hazardous to the eyes.

These glass particles can be so tiny and can easily become lodged in the eye causing irritation and even physical harm.

The best way to protect your eyes is to wear protective glasses so that your eyes remain safe when working with tools from any potential dangers of glass drilling.

2. Use The Correct Drill Bit

When drilling a hole in a glass surface, it is important to use the correct drill bit size and material for the job in order to avoid any cracking.

The wrong bit size could cause too much stress on the glass and cause it to crack, so be sure to measure the required size of the hole before beginning the project.

Additionally, make sure to use a drill bit made of high-quality material such as diamond or carbide in order to minimize the chances of causing any damage to the glass.

It’s also important to reduce the drill speed and use lubrication when drilling glass, such as water or oil, in order to reduce the friction and heat generated during the process.

3. Use A Sharp Drill Bit

When trying to drill hole in glass, ensure that the drill bit is sharp before you start drilling. If it is not, you should take the necessary steps to sharpen it before moving forward.

Sharp drill bits create cleaner holes, less debris, and better control when drilling. Using a sharp drill bit will also increase the life of the drill bit, reducing the need for frequent replacement.

To sharpen a drill bit, you can use a file, a bench grinder, or a specialized drill bit sharpening jig depending on the type of drill bit and the material you are working with.

Taking the time to sharpen your drill bit before use can save you time, money, and frustration in the long run.

4. Use Slow And Steady Motion

When drilling glass, use a slow and steady motion to avoid putting too much pressure on the glass such that the dill bit doesn’t slip out of the glass and that the glass doesn’t break or crack.

Never try to be in a hurry and keep the area surrounding the glass clear of any obstructions that could potentially cause the drill bit to slip or break the glass.

Additionally, use a lubricant to reduce friction and heat around the drill bit, which can help prevent cracking or breakage.

5. Use A Drill Stand Or A Vise

To ensure that a glass piece is held securely when drilling or cutting, it is recommended to use a drill stand or a vise.

The drill stand or vise should be secured firmly to a sturdy surface, such as a workbench. By securing the glass in a drill stand or vise, you can reduce the risk of the glass slipping or shifting, which can cause the drill bit to slip and result in injury.

Make sure to select the correct size of the drill stand or vise for the piece of glass you are working with, as this will help keep your glass piece secure and prevent slippage or injury.

Different Types Of Drills Available For Glass

There are a variety of different drills available for drilling glass depending on the task you are trying to accomplish.

However, here are some of the most commonly preferred drills for glass drilling.

1. Diamond Core Drills

Diamond core drills are the most popular drill for glass because of their superior durability and ability to quickly and accurately drill holes.

These drills are constructed from industrial-grade diamond particles that are formed into a cutting core and brazed onto a shank.

Due to the material composition, diamond core drills are able to penetrate the toughest materials quickly, accurately, and without damaging the material.

Additionally, the diamond core drill bit can be easily sharpened and reused multiple times. This makes diamond core drills the most cost-effective option for glass drilling.

2. Carbide-Tipped Drill Bits

Carbide-tipped drill bits are one of the best tools for working with glass, due to their superior strength and durability.

These drill bits are harder and more brittle than regular steel bits allowing you to cut through hard materials like glass with minimal effort.

In addition, carbide-tipped drill bits require less torque and force providing a smooth finish, and are less prone to chipping or cracking the glass.

3. Diamond-Tipped Drill Bits

Diamond tip drill bits are drill bits that have a diamond tip at the end designed for drilling through hard materials such as ceramic, porcelain, glass, stone, marble, and granite.

The diamonds in the tip create an extremely hard, sharp surface that can cut through glass without danger of shattering, cracking, or breaking.

The diamonds also ensure that the drill bit won’t dull during usage and limit the amount of heat generated while drilling, which helps to prevent shattering and cracking while drilling.

The diamond coating also reduces friction, resulting in fewer jamming episodes. Finally, diamond drill bits are incredibly accurate and precise, allowing for more exact and successful drilling into glass.

4. Diamond-Coated Drill Bits

Diamond-coated drill bits are specialized tools made up of electroplated or coated diamonds that are bonded to the drill bit using nickel in a single layer.

Diamond-coated drill bits are extremely effective for drilling into glass providing superior drilling performance and are more precise than traditional drill bits, as they are able to create more consistent and accurate holes.

The diamond coating also provides more lubrication, reducing friction and heat, which can cause the glass to break.

Additionally, depending on the type of diamond coating, it can protect the drill bit from wear and tear increasing its lifespan and creating more consistent and accurate holes.

Tools You Need To Drill Through Glass

To drill into glass, you’ll need different tools depending on the type of glass. Here are the following tools that you’ll need.

  • Safety Goggles
  • Dust Mask
  • Protective Gloves
  • Variable Speed Drill
  • Drill Bits
  • Masking Tape
  • Permanent Marker
  • Lubricating Oil
  • Fine-Grit Sandpaper Or File

How To Drill Through Glass

Drilling through glass can be a tricky task, but it’s necessary for many DIY projects such as creating a terrarium, making a custom aquarium, or building a unique piece of furniture.

Glass is a delicate material and can crack or shatter if not drilled properly.

1. Select The Right Type Of Drill Bit

The type of drill bit you use is crucial when it comes to drilling through glass. A diamond-tipped drill bit is the most effective option, as it’s specifically designed to drill through hard and brittle materials.

You can purchase diamond-tipped drill bits at your local hardware store or online. It’s important to select a drill bit that’s the appropriate size for the hole you want to make.

2. Choose The Right Drilling Speed

When drilling through glass, you want to ensure that you’re using the right drilling speed. If you drill too fast, the glass can crack or shatter.

A slow drilling speed is recommended for drilling through glass. Set your drill to a low speed and take your time while drilling.

3. Secure The Glass

Securing the glass object you plan to drill is an essential step when it comes to drilling through glass. The main reason for securing the glass is to prevent it from moving or shifting while you’re drilling.

If the glass shifts or moves during the drilling process, it can lead to a cracked or shattered piece of glass, which can be dangerous and costly to replace.

You can choose to use a clamp, a workbench, duct tape, or bracing at your convenience.

4. Mark The Spot For Hole

Measuring and marking the spot for the hole on the tape is a crucial step when drilling through glass. It helps to create accurate and precise holes in the glass, while also preventing the glass from cracking or shattering.

You will need a tape measure, a piece of masking tape, and a permanent marker. Stay at least ¾-inch from the edge of the pane to prevent the glass from cracking.

Place the masking tape on the glass over the area where you plan to drill the hole. Use a tape measure to find out the center and mark using a permanent marker.

5. Add A Drop Of Lubricant

Using a lubricant such as water or oil can help to reduce friction and heat while drilling through glass.

This will prevent the glass from cracking or shattering due to heat generated from the drilling process. Apply the lubricant to the glass before you start drilling.

6. Drill A Pilot Hole

This step helps you to create a starting point for the drill bit and prevents the bit from slipping or skidding across the surface of the glass.

Use a small bit that’s between 1/8-inch and 3/32-inch in size. Start the drill and continue applying the slightest pressure until the drill bit pierces the glass.

7. Switch The Drill Bit

After the pilot hole is drilled, remove the masking tape and switch to a larger drill bit to create the final hole.

Place the tip of the new drill bit onto the center of the pilot hole. Hold the drill bit steady and begin drilling slowly and carefully, applying minimal pressure.

Continue to drill at a low speed, about 400 rpm, maintaining a light pressure. Periodically stop to clean away the dust and add oil as needed.

8. Turn The Glass Over

To create a neat and tidy hole on both sides of the glass, it’s a good idea to flip the glass over and drill through the other side once you’re about 75% of the way through.

Carefully flip the glass over so that the hole you’ve already drilled is facing downwards. Apply a small amount of lubricant and reposition the drill bit.

By flipping the glass and drilling from the other side, you can create a neat and tidy hole on both sides of the glass without any unsightly chipping or splintering giving you a professional finish.

9. Use Sandpaper For Smooth Surface

After drilling a hole in the glass, it’s common for the edges of the hole to be rough and sharp which can be dangerous and can damage the surrounding materials.

So it’s important to smooth them out to create a safe and polished finish. You’ll need fine-grit sandpaper or a file, depending on the size of the hole.

Hold the sandpaper or file against the edges of the hole and sand them gently in a circular motion. Continue sanding until the edges are smooth and free from sharp or jagged areas.


Drilling through glass can be a daunting task, but with the right tools, preparation, and technique, it’s a manageable DIY project.

In this article, we have discussed everything about drill bits and the 9-step procedure on how to drill a hole through glass.

By following these steps, you can safely and accurately drill a hole through glass for your DIY project. Remember to take your time, be patient, and use caution to avoid cracking or shattering the glass.

With a little practice and care, you can achieve a polished and professional finish on your glass project.

If you have any queries, let me know in the comments below.

FAQ: How To Drill Through Glass

A lot of people do not know the correct way to drill into drill and therefore end up breaking them and that is why they ask a lot of questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked queries and we have provided appropriate answers to them.

1. Can You Drill Through Glass Using A Normal Drill Bit?

Ans: No, it is not recommended to use a normal drill bit to drill through the glass. Glass is a fragile material and requires the use of a diamond-tipped or tungsten carbide bit to drill through it without breaking or cracking it.

2. What Type Of Lubricants Can Be Used When Drilling Glass?

Ans: When drilling through glass, it’s important to use a lubricant to reduce friction and heat, which can cause the glass to crack or break. Water, Oil, and Wax are common lubricants.

3. Can I Drill A Hole In Toughened Glass?

Ans: Drilling a hole in toughened glass can be challenging because the glass is designed to be resistant to breakage and can be prone to shattering if not handled properly.

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