How to Drill Tempered Glass?

How to Drill Tempered Glass?

If you’ve ever wanted to set up a project that involves drilling tempered glass, then you’re in the right place. Drilling on tempered glass is something that looks daunting at first, but once you understand the basics of it, it’s not as hard as it seems. This blog post will go through everything there is to know about drilling tempered glass and discuss how the process should be carried out. With the simple tips and tricks given in this blog, you can make sure that your tempered glass drilling project is a success!

What is Tempered Glass? How is Tempered Glass made?

Tempered glass, also known as toughened glass, is a type of safety glass that has been heat treated to increase its strength. It is four to five times stronger than annealed glass, and once broken, it shatters into small pieces instead of sharp shards. Tempered glass is used in a variety of applications including windows, wall partitions, shower doors, and furniture tops.

What is Tempered Glass? How is Tempered Glass made?

The process of making tempered glass involves heating the pre-cut flat glass to 650-700°C (1200-1300°F) in a furnace or tempering oven. The edges are then rapidly cooled with air jets which force cool air onto both faces of the heated sheet and gradually cool down the entire pane of glass quickly. This cooling process is called quenching and it creates a mechanical stress on the glass surface that increases its strength. Tempered glass is produced in both single-strength and double-strength variations, depending on the application. Single-strength tempered glass can be used for windows, partitions, or shower doors where impact resistance is not necessary, while double-strength tempered glass provides greater protection against breakage due to impact or pressure.

Tempered glass can also be made using other methods such as lamination and heat soaking which are sometimes used in combination with tempering to create even stronger safety glass products that have greater thermal stability and improved sound insulation properties. These specialized glasses are typically used for applications such as bulletproof glazing or specialty automotive windshields.

No matter what type of tempered glass is used, it is important to remember that once broken, it cannot be repaired and must be replaced. For this reason, it is always best to use the highest quality products available for any application where the safety or integrity of the glass is a concern [1].

What to Know Before You Begin Drilling Through Glass

Speed and Pressure

When drilling through glass, it is important to use the correct speed and pressure. A slow drill bit will cause chipping and fatigue on the edges of the glass, while a fast drill bit may cause overheating or cracking. In addition, applying too much pressure will also increase the chance of cracking and shattering. It is important to maintain steady pressure for optimal results.

Drill Bits

Using the right type of drill bit is essential when drilling through glass. It is best to use a diamond-tipped drill bit or a carbide-tipped masonry bit with an adjustable clutch setting, as these materials are strong enough to withstand high heat without breaking or chipping. Be sure to keep your drill bits sharp to reduce the risk of cracking or chipping.


Using lubrication can help reduce friction and heat when drilling through glass. A small amount of water, wax, or even oil can help prevent overheating and chipping. Be sure not to use too much lubricant as this can cause slippage or an uneven drill hole.

Safety Precautions

When drilling through glass, it is important to take safety precautions. Wear protective eyewear and gloves to prevent any shards of glass from getting into your eyes or skin. It is also important to keep pets and children away from the area while you are working.

Additionally, make sure that you have an appropriate surface on which to mount your workpieces, such as a piece of wood or metal, and that the surface is free of debris and dust before beginning. Finally, be sure to use a sharp drill bit to reduce the chance of cracking or shattering the glass.


Practice makes perfect when it comes to drilling through glass. Start by drilling a few test holes in a scrap piece of glass before attempting to drill the desired surface. This will help you get used to the speed and pressure needed for success, as well as allow you to evaluate different types of drill bits and lubricants. With enough practice, you should be able to achieve professional-looking results.

What to Know Before You Begin Drilling Through Glass

How to Drill a Hole in Tempered Glass

Drilling a hole in tempered glass requires specialized tools and knowledge. In general, it is not recommended to attempt to drill a hole in tempered glass without the help of an experienced professional. However, if you decide to go forward with this yourself, here are some important steps you should take:

  1. First, choose a diamond-tipped drill bit that has been specifically designed for use on difficult materials such as tempered glass. Make sure the diameter of the bit is equal to or larger than the size of the hole you want to make.
  2. Place tape around where you will be drilling so it won’t crack due to vibration, then secure your workpiece on a sturdy surface like a benchtop vice.
  3. Start at a low speed and gradually increase the RPM (revolutions per minute) as you drill. Apply gentle pressure as you go, and stop frequently to check your progress. If the bit seems too hot, use water or cutting oil to cool it down and prevent breakage.
  4. Finally, when the hole is complete, use a file or sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges before cleaning up the area with glass cleaner or rubbing alcohol.
Remember that drilling tempered glass requires patience and precision, so take all necessary safety precautions before beginning your project! It’s always best to seek out professional help if you’re unsure of how to proceed [2].

How to Prevent Your Glass from Shattering

Use a New Drill Bit

To prevent your glass from shattering, use a new drill bit with sharp edges and an appropriate size for the drill hole. A dull bit will create too much friction and heat while drilling, which can cause the glass to crack. It’s best to purchase high-quality bits that are specifically designed for drilling through glass.

How to Prevent Your Glass from Shattering

Support the Glass While Drilling

Make sure to support the glass while drilling. If the glass is not secure, it can move around or even break while drilling. To protect against this, clamp an object such as a piece of wood or plywood in place of the drill bit while drilling into the glass. This will minimize any vibrations and provide extra strength and stability for the glass.

Avoid the Edges

When drilling through glass, it’s important to avoid the edges. These areas are more delicate and prone to cracking or shattering. Instead, focus on drilling in the center of the glass.

Drill Slowly and Incrementally

When drilling a hole into the glass, it’s best to drill slowly and incrementally. Start with a small pilot hole to get the drill bit in place, then gradually increase the size of the hole until you reach the desired diameter. This slow and steady approach will ensure that the heat created by your drill is evenly dispersed throughout the glass surface.

Cool Down The Glass After Drilling

After drilling through the glass, make sure to cool down the glass as quickly as possible. Run cold water over or around it for several minutes to reduce any residual heat caused by friction during drilling. This will help prevent the cracking or shattering of your glass.

Use Lubricants

Using lubricants when making holes in glass can help reduce friction and heat. Apply a thin layer of cutting oil or water-based lubricant along the surface of the area where you’ll be drilling before beginning work. This will also help keep the drill bit cool and increase its lifespan.

Avoid High Temperatures

High temperatures can cause the glass to expand and contract, potentially leading to cracking or shattering. If you’re working with a drill press, make sure to keep it at a low speed as high speeds produce more heat. Additionally, always wear protective gear such as safety glasses while drilling.

How to Prevent Your Glass from Shattering

Safety Tips for Drilling a Hole in Tempered Glass

Wear Safety Equipment!

When drilling a hole in tempered glass, it is essential to wear safety glasses and gloves. This will help protect your eyes from any flying particles and debris that can be created from the drill bit. Additionally, you may want to consider wearing ear protection if there is potential for the drill bit to create a lot of noise or vibration.

Use The Proper Drill Bit!

Using the wrong type of drill bit could cause the glass to shatter unexpectedly and thus cause injury. When drilling into tempered glass, use a carbide-tipped masonry bit as it offers the best results and does not have diamond particles which are too hard for tempered glass surfaces. Be sure to select a bit with an appropriate size relative to the diameter of hole you need to drill.

Secure The Glass In Place!

Make sure to secure the tempered glass in place so it does not move while drilling. If needed, use clamps or tape around the perimeter of the glass to ensure it is stable and secure before beginning work. This will prevent any accidents that can be caused by an unstable surface when drilling a hole in tempered glass.

Go Slow And Steady!

When going through tempered glass, start slow and steady to create a precise hole. This will help ensure that the glass does not crack or shatter from high-speed drilling. Additionally, it is best to periodically stop the drill bit and let it cool off when working with tempered glass for an extended period.

Start with a Small Hole!

If needed, starting with a small hole makes it easier to gradually increase the size of the hole without risking any potential breakage. Once the desired diameter has been achieved, use a file or sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges around the hole.

Clean Up After Drilling!

Once you are finished drilling your hole in tempered glass, make sure to clean up and dispose of all materials properly. This will help prevent any potential accidents that could occur from sharp objects or debris left behind after drilling. Additionally, check for cracks or chips in the glass as these can weaken its structural integrity.

Safety Tips for Drilling a Hole in Tempered Glass


What kind of drill bit is for tempered glass?

For tempered glass, you should use a diamond-tipped drill bit. These are specially designed to be used on hard materials like tempered glass. They are also capable of creating smooth holes with minimal chipping or shattering of the material being drilled. While more expensive than other types of drill bits, they are well worth the extra cost when working with tempered glass.

For safety reasons, it is important to wear protective gloves and eye protection while using these diamond-tipped drill bits. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the hole being drilled is slightly smaller than the diameter of the screw or object you plan on inserting into the hole afterward. This helps prevent any cracking or splintering of the tempered glass surface that could occur if the hole size is too large.

Can I drill glass with a regular drill bit?

No, regular drill bits are not suitable for drilling glass. These bits are made from softer metals and will easily become damaged or worn down when used on hard surfaces such as tempered glass. Additionally, the high amount of friction created between a regular drill bit and glass can cause the glass to shatter unexpectedly. It is best to avoid using regular drill bits when working with any type of glass.

What safety precautions should I take while drilling?

When using any type of power tool, you should always take proper safety precautions to ensure your own protection. This applies especially when it comes to working with harder materials like tempered glass. Protective eyewear is essential since small fragments of material could fly off during the drilling process. Gloves are also recommended to avoid any cuts or burns from the heat generated by the drill. Additionally, it is important to ensure that you are using the appropriate tool for the job and that your workspace is properly set up with enough room to work comfortably and safely. Finally, always make sure that you are following all of the instructions provided by the manufacturer closely when using any type of power tool. This will help minimize any potential risks associated with drilling into glass surfaces.

Can you drill tempered shower glass?

Yes, you can drill tempered shower glass. However, as with any type of hard material, it is important to use the proper tools and safety equipment when working with tempered glass. Diamond-tipped drill bits are recommended for this type of job since they are specially designed to handle tough materials like glass without becoming worn out quickly. Additionally, following all of the instructions provided by the manufacturer closely will help minimize any potential risks associated with drilling into tempered shower glass. Finally, always make sure that you have adequate eye protection and gloves on while drilling to protect yourself from any flying particles or heat generated by the drill bit itself.

Are there any additional tips for drilling tempered glass?

Yes! It is essential to make sure that the drill bit is properly lubricated while drilling to reduce any chipping of the tempered glass surface. Additionally, it is important to ensure that you are using a drill bit that has been specifically designed for use with hard materials like tempered glass. Finally, always make sure that you are drilling at a slow and steady speed to prevent any cracking or shattering of the material. Following these simple tips will help ensure a successful and safe experience when drilling into tempered glass surfaces.

Useful Video: TUTORIAL – How to Drill Glass


Drilling tempered glass is quite a difficult task, but not impossible. With the right tools and technique, you can successfully drill through tempered glass without breaking it. It is important to remember that special diamond or carbide-tipped bits need to be used to properly drill through the glass without cracking or shattering it. Additionally, drilling should be done slowly and with consistent pressure to achieve the best results. If done correctly, you can create unique pieces of art or fabricate complex fixtures using drilled tempered glass. With this method, you can add beauty and sophistication to any space.