How to Drill a Hole in Plastic: The Ultimate Guide
How to Drill a Hole in Plastic is a question that many people have. It can be tricky, but with the right tools and techniques it can be done relatively easily. In this article, we will discuss the best way for drilling a hole in plastic and answer some of the questions about the process. We’ll also provide some useful tips to make the job go as smoothly as possible. So if you’re ready to learn, keep reading!
Can You Drill a Hole Through Plastic?
Yes, you can! In fact, drilling holes in plastic is pretty easy – as long as you have the right tools and know-how.
We’ll also answer some common questions about drilling through plastic, and share some useful tips to make the job even easier.
So let’s get started!
Things You’ll Need
To drill a hole in plastic, you’ll need:
- A power drill
- A sharp bit – we recommend using a spade bit or Forstner bit
- A piece of scrap wood
- Tape measure
- Safety goggles
Now that you have all of your materials, it’s time to get started! 
How to drill plastic
People often ask us what type of drill bit they should use. The answer depends on the type of plastic you’re working with. For example, if you’re drilling into soft plastic, like PVC, you can use a standard twist drill bit. However, if you’re drilling into hard plastic, like acrylic, you’ll need to use a specifically designed acrylic drill bit. These bits have a sharp, angular tip that helps to reduce cracking and chipping.
Another common question is: how do I prevent the drill bit from slipping? The answer is actually quite simple – all you need to do is use a piece of tape to secure the drill bit in place. Just wrap the tape around the shank of the drill bit (the part that goes into the chuck) and make sure it’s tight. This will help to grip the plastic and stop the drill bit from slipping.
Finally, one last question we often get asked is: how do I know when I’ve drilled through the plastic? The answer to this one is also quite simple – just keep an eye on your drill bit. If you see it start to come out the other side of the plastic, then you know you’re done.
Support the plastic on a flat surface that you can drill into
If the plastic is too thick to be held in place, you can clamp it down.
Use a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the screw or dowel you’re employing.
For instance, if you are using #12 screws, use a Drill bit size of just under ¼ inch or 0.225 inches (just over six millimeters).
Start by drilling a small pilot hole into the center of your mark.
Pilot holes prevent the drill bit from slipping, and they also make it easier to drive in screws or dowels.
Once you have drilled the pilot hole, slowly increase the size of the drill bit until it is wide enough for your screw or dowel.
You can also use a hand saw to cut a hole that is slightly larger than the diameter of your screw or dowel.
Use a file to smooth any rough edges around the hole.
Now you are ready to insert your screw or dowel into the plastic.
When using power tools, remember to wear safety glasses.
If you are drilling through thick plastic, it is best to drill slowly and use plenty of lubrication (such as WD-40) to prevent the drill bit from overheating.
Do not force the drill bit; let it do the work for you.
Use clamps to hold the plastic down
Another tip is to use a smaller drill bit than you think you need. It’s better to start small and then work your way up to the desired size, rather than starting with a big bit and risking making a hole that’s too big.
Finally, make sure to keep the drill bit well-lubricated with coolant or cutting oil. This will help reduce friction and heat, both of which can cause damage to the plastic.
Use masking tape and a pen to mark the center of the hole
Use a small drill bit to start drilling at a low speed. If the bit catches on the plastic, increase the speed slightly until it starts cutting again. To prevent damaging or cracking the material, keep the bit as perpendicular to the surface as feasible while drilling through the plastic. Remove the drill bit and clean up any burrs around the hole with a file or knife. You can now insert your screw or bolt into the hole.
If you’re working with a thicker piece of plastic, you may need to use a larger drill bit or even a power drill. Start by drilling slowly at a lower speed, then increase the speed if needed. Remember to keep the drill bit as perpendicular to the surface as possible.
Use a HSS drill which has been used before and therefore slightly dull
Use a slow speed on your electric drill and push down firmly as you work. Again, going too fast will cause the drill to melt the plastic.
If your plastic is thick, you may need to use a step bit which will allow you to gradually increase the size of the hole you’re drilling.
Remember to wear safety goggles while doing this as bits of hot plastic can fly up into your face.
You can use a piece of scrap wood underneath your workpiece to prevent it from slipping or moving around while you’re drilling.
Hold the drill perpendicular to the plastic
To avoid this, make sure to keep your wrist firm as you drill and keep the drill as level as possible. You might even want to use a clamp to help stabilize your hand if you’re having trouble keeping the drill steady.
Another thing to keep in mind is that plastic is a soft material, so it’s easy to overdrill. If you find that the bit is starting to slip, slow down and apply less pressure. It’s better to make a smaller hole than to ruin the plastic piece entirely.
When you’re ready to begin drilling, start at a slow speed and gradually increase the rate as you go for preventing the bit from slipping and ensure that you get a clean, even hole. Once you’ve drilled through the plastic, remove the drill bit and clean up any burrs around the edges of the hole.
Set the drill to a medium speed
Start by drilling a pilot hole. It’s also a good idea to use a smaller drill bit. Once you’ve made the pilot hole, you can then move on to using the larger drill bit.
Keep the drill steady as you work and be careful not to apply too much pressure. Allow the drill to do the work and don’t try to force it. If the drill begins to slip, cease and readjust your grip.
Let the drill sink through the material do not apply too much pressure
This is probably the most important tip when learning how to drill a hole in the plastic. It can be tempting to apply pressure to the drill in order to get through the material faster, but this will only make the process more difficult.
Instead, let the drill do the work and sink into the material at its own pace. You may have to go slowly at first, but eventually, you’ll get through. Be patient and don’t try to force it.
Take care when breaking through, allow the drill to run into the support below
When you’re getting close to breaking through the material, be extra careful. The last thing you want is for the drill to slip and cause an accident.
To avoid this, make sure that the drill is running into support below. This could be a piece of wood or another sturdy material. Once the drill has made contact with the support, you can then proceed to break through the material.
Let the drill run whilst removing from the workpiece
Once you’ve broken through the material, it’s important to let the drill run for a few seconds before removing it from the workpiece for preventing any accidents and will make sure that the hole is clean.
When you’re finished drilling, remove any debris from the hole with a brush or other tool. You can then proceed to the next step. 
Now that you know how to drill a hole in the plastic, you can put this knowledge to good use. Whether you’re working on a DIY project or just need to make a quick repair, this guide will come in handy. Just remember to take your time and be careful.
How do you drill through plastic without it cracking?
If you’re using a hand drill, the best way to avoid cracking is to go slowly and use a sharp bit. If you’re using a power drill, be sure to use a lower speed setting and keep the drill bit perpendicular to the surface of the plastic. You can also put some masking tape over the area where you’ll be drilling to help prevent cracking.
Another thing to keep in mind is that different types of plastic will have different levels of hardness. Softer plastics like polyethylene are easier to drill through than harder plastics like polycarbonate. If you’re having trouble getting started, try heating up the area with a heat gun or hair dryer before drilling. This will soften the plastic and make it easier to drill through.
If you’re having trouble getting your drill bit started, try using a smaller bit to make a pilot hole first. Then you can switch to the larger bit and finish drilling the hole. Be sure to use plenty of lubrication when drilling through the plastic for keeping the drill bit from overheating and will make it easier to get through the material. You can use WD-40, vegetable oil, or even soap as a lubricant. Just be sure to clean off any excess before drilling.
Now that you know how to drill through plastic without cracking it, here are some tips on how to get the best results:
- Use a sharp drill bit for cleaner holes and less chance of cracking.
- Use a lower speed setting on your drill and keep the bit perpendicular to the surface.
- Put some masking tape over the area you’re going to drill to help prevent cracking.
- If you’re having trouble getting started, try heating up the area with a heat gun or hair dryer.
- Use plenty of lubrication when drilling through the plastic. This will help keep the drill bit from overheating and will make it easier to get through the material.
How do you drill a hole through plastic?
You’ll need a sharp drill bit and a good amount of patience. The first thing you want to do is make a small pilot hole in the plastic. This will help the drill bit from slipping and will also give you a better idea of where your final hole will be. Once you have your pilot hole, slowly start drilling into the plastic. It’s important to go slowly at first, as you don’t want to crack or break the plastic. If your drill bit starts to get hot, take a break and let it cool down before continuing. With some patience, you should be able to successfully drill through the plastic! 
If you’re looking for an alternative method, there are speciality bits that are designed specifically for drilling through the plastic. These bits have a spiral flute that helps to clear away any debris, making the drilling process go a bit smoother. However, these bits can be more expensive than your standard drill bit, so it’s up to you whether or not it’s worth the investment.
Can you use a metal drill bit on plastic?
If you’re using a hand drill, the answer is no. You’ll just end up stripping the hole and making it larger. Instead, use a plastic-specific drill bit. These have a shallower angle on the tip, which helps to prevent them from slipping.
There are two main types of plastic-specific drill bits: spade bits and paddle bits. Spade bits have a pointy tip that’s good for drilling through thinner materials. Paddle bits have a wider, flatter tip that’s better for thicker plastics. 
You can also use an impact driver to drill through plastic. Impact drivers are powerful tools that can make quick work of even the toughest materials. Just be sure to use an impact-rated drill bit. These are designed to withstand the high speeds and torque of an impact driver.
What do I need to drill a hole in plastic?
You will need a few things before you start drilling into plastic. First, you will need a drill bit that is made for drilling into plastic. Second, you will need a drill. Third, you will need some sort of lubricant to help the drill bit move smoothly through the plastic. Finally, you will need a piece of scrap wood or something similar to clamp the plastic down while you are drilling. 
Useful Video: How To Drill Acrylic And Other Brittle Plastics
Now that you know all about how to drill a hole in the plastic, the next time you need to hang a picture or mount a shelf, you can do it with ease! Just remember to use the appropriate drill bit and take your time. With a little practice, you’ll be an expert in no time. Thanks for reading!