5 Easy Steps: How to Drill Holes into Plastic

To drill holes into plastic, use a drill bit designed for plastic and keep the speed low. For a successful drilling experience, follow the steps below.

Drilling holes into plastic can be somewhat challenging, as this material isn’t as forgiving as wood or metal. However, with the right tools and techniques, it’s still possible to achieve a clean and precise result. Whether you’re drilling holes in a plastic sheet to create a custom protective cover, or you’re modifying a plastic container to fit your needs, the success of the project depends on proper preparation, careful drilling, and post-drilling maintenance.

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of drilling holes into plastic, providing tips and tricks to avoid common mistakes and achieve great results.

Step 1: Choose The Right Drill Bit

Explanation Of How To Choose The Right Drill Bit For Plastic

Drilling holes into plastic may seem like a simple task, but it can easily turn frustrating if you do not have the right tools. When it comes to drilling holes into plastics, it is important to pick the right drill bit for the job.

Follow these guidelines to help you choose the appropriate drill bit for the type of plastic you’re working with:

Discussion Of The Types Of Drill Bits That Work With Plastic

There are different types of drill bits available, and they are all designed for specific tasks. It is crucial to know which type of drill bit to use for a particular material to achieve optimum results. Here are some types of drill bits that work with plastic:

  • Twist bits: These are the most common type of drill bits and are perfect for drilling holes through soft plastic materials. They are easy to use and widely available.
  • Spur point bits: These bits are also known as wood bits and are ideal for drilling small and precise holes in hard plastic materials. They have a central point with two spurs that help to keep them centered.
  • Step bits: They are perfect for drilling larger diameter holes in plastic materials. They work by gradually increasing the hole’s size using multiple cutting edges.

Highlighting The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Each Type

Every type of drill bit has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It’s essential to know these to help you choose the right one for the job. Here are the pros and cons of using each type of drill bit for plastic:

  • Twist bits:
  • Pros: Easy to use, widely available, and affordable
  • Cons: Not suitable for drilling large holes; can melt the plastic if the speed is too high
  • Spur point bits:
  • Pros: Suitable for drilling small and precise holes; can penetrate hard plastic materials easily
  • Cons: Not suitable for drilling large holes; requires a lot of pressure to be applied, which can cause the plastic to crack
  • Step bits:
  • Pros: Used to drill large diameter holes in plastic; work quickly and efficiently
  • Cons: Expensive compared to other drill bits; not suitable for drilling small holes; can cause a lot of heat, which can melt the plastic if the speed is too high.

Now that you know about the different types of drill bits available for plastic materials and their pros and cons, you can choose the right one that best suits your specific needs.

Step 2: Mark The Spot Where The Hole Will Be Drilled

Explanation Of Why Marking The Spot Is Important

Before you drill a hole into plastic, it’s essential to mark the spot first. Marking the spot provides you with a visual guide that helps ensure a precise and accurate hole placement. It also prevents you from making unnecessary errors that may result in permanent damage to the object.

Related Post:  Move Your Refrigerator Safely on Vinyl Flooring: Step-by-Step Guide

By marking the spot, you can avoid any guesswork and achieve a clean and polished finish.

Discussion Of How To Mark The Spot, Including Using A Marker Or Tape

Now that you understand the importance of marking the spot let’s look at the various ways to get the job done:

  • Using a marker: Position the tip of the marker at the center of where you need your hole. Slowly rotate the marker to form a small circle to create a target for your drill.
  • Using tape: Place a piece of tape over the spot where you need the hole. Once in position, use a marker to draw a target on the tape. The tape acts as an additional guide for your drill and also helps to prevent the drill bit from slipping.

Highlighting Tips For Ensuring The Accuracy Of The Spot Marking

Here are some tips to help you mark the spot accurately for an optimal outcome:

  • Secure the plastic: If possible, clamp the plastic to a steady surface so that it remains in position as you mark your spot.
  • Measure and double-check: Using a ruler, measure the distance of your hole from the edge of your plastic material. After marking the spot, double-check the measurements to eliminate any errors.
  • Test the hole placement: Before you drill, have a mock drill by gently placing the drill bit onto your marked spot to ascertain its accuracy.
  • Use a center punch: Using a center punch, make an indentation on the spot before drilling to prevent the drill bit from slipping and ensure a secure grip during the drilling process.

By taking these tips into consideration and carefully marking the spot, you’ll have a successful drilling experience with precise and accurate hole placement on your plastic material.

Step 3: Secure The Plastic

Explanation Of Why Securing The Plastic Is Important

Before drilling holes into plastic, it’s crucial to ensure that it’s properly secured. Here’s why:

  • Unsecured plastic can shift or move around while drilling, leading to inaccurate holes or even breakage.
  • Plastic can be slippery, and without proper securing, it can be challenging to hold in place without slipping or turning.
  • Accidents can happen when drilling improperly secured plastic, including damage to the plastic or even personal injury or property damage.

Discussion Of How To Secure The Plastic, Including Using Clamps Or A Vice

There are several ways to secure plastic when drilling. The specific method you choose can depend on the size, shape, and thickness of the plastic, as well as the tools you have on hand. Here are some ways to consider:


  • Use clamps to secure the plastic to a stable surface, like a workbench.
  • Ensure the clamps are tightly secured to prevent any movement of the plastic during drilling.
  • Place the clamps on the plastic in a way that will not interfere with the drill bit or the location of the holes.


  • A vice can also be used to hold the plastic firmly in place.
  • Make sure the vice is tightened sufficiently before drilling.
  • Check the plastic regularly during the drilling process to make sure it has not slipped in the vice.

Other options:

  • Double-sided tape or a non-slip mat are alternative options if clamps or a vice are not available.
  • Consider using a jig to help keep the plastic in place, especially for larger or more intricate drilling jobs.
Related Post:  How to Safely Move a Wood Stove: Expert Tips

Highlighting Tips For Ensuring The Plastic Stays In Place During Drilling

Securing the plastic is just the first step; you also need to make sure it stays in place while drilling. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Use a sharp drill bit to prevent slipping and ensure a clean hole.
  • Start with a smaller drill bit to create a pilot hole, which will help guide the larger bit and prevent slipping.
  • Apply a light amount of pressure to the drill to avoid cracking or breaking the plastic.
  • Keep the drill at a perpendicular angle to the plastic surface to ensure accurate drilling.
  • Avoid drilling too quickly, which can cause melting or material buildup on the drill bit.
  • If drilling a thicker piece of plastic, consider drilling from both sides to prevent breaking or chipping.

By following these tips and securing your plastic, you’ll be able to drill precisely and efficiently, without any slip-ups or accidents.

Step 4: Start Drilling

Explanation Of How To Start Drilling The Hole, Including Setting The Drill Speed And Angle

To start drilling into plastic, you should first choose a drill bit suitable for plastic materials. Then, follow these steps:

  • Mark the drilling point with a marker or pencil.
  • Clamp the plastic securely on the work surface to prevent it from slipping or moving.
  • Set the drill to a low speed to avoid melting the plastic.
  • Hold the drill perpendicular to the plastic surface, making sure to stabilize it before starting to drill.

Discussion Of Common Mistakes To Avoid When Drilling Plastic

Drilling plastic can be tricky sometimes. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Using too much force when drilling. This can cause the material to crack or break.
  • Not using enough lubricant or coolant while drilling. This can generate heat, leading to melting of the plastic.
  • Using a high-speed drill. This can melt the plastic, making it harder to achieve the desired hole size.
  • Drilling too close to the edge of the material, as this can cause the plastic to crack.

Highlighting Tips For Reducing The Risk Of Cracking Or Melting The Plastic

With the following tips, you can reduce the chance of melting or cracking the plastic while drilling:

  • Use a drill designed for plastic materials.
  • Use a lubricant or coolant to reduce heat generated as you drill.
  • Use a low drill speed to avoid generating too much heat.
  • If the plastic starts to melt, stop drilling immediately, wait for it to cool down, and then continue again.
  • Hold the drill straight at a 90-degree angle and do not apply excessive force when drilling. Keep the drill bit cool by frequently withdrawing it from the hole while drilling.

Step 5: Finish And Clean Up

Explanation Of What To Do Once The Hole Is Drilled, Including Removing Any Burrs Or Debris.

Once you have drilled the hole into the plastic, it is essential to remove any burrs or debris that may have accumulated. This process will ensure that your plastic piece looks neat and clean, and that the hole you have drilled is free from rough edges that may scratch or damage the objects to be inserted into the hole.

Some of the things you should do include:

  • Run your finger over the hole: This can help you identify any burrs or debris. If you feel any rough edges, use a sandpaper to remove them.
  • Use a deburring tool: For larger holes, especially those with uneven edges a deburring tool will come in handy in removing the rough edges.
  • Clean the area around the hole: After removing all the burrs and debris, use a clean cloth or a brush to clean the surrounding area.
Related Post:  Revamp Your Flooring: Installing Engineered Hardwood Over Existing Hardwood

Discussion Of How To Clean Up The Area Around The Drilled Hole.

Cleaning the area around the drilled hole is essential as it ensures that the area around the hole is neat and tidy, and that all the plastic material that could have remained is removed. You can do this by:

  • Brush the area near the hole: You can use a brush to clean the area. Ensure that you use a brush that has soft bristles to avoid causing any damage to the plastic.
  • Use a vacuum cleaner: This can help you get rid of the debris that may have fallen to the ground. Ensure that the vacuum cleaner’s suction setting is not too high to avoid removing any other small items on the surface.
  • Wipe the surface: After cleaning with a brush or a vacuum cleaner, use a clean cloth to wipe the area around the drilled hole. This ensures that the surface is dust-free, which is essential in ensuring that any adhesive applied to the surface bonds properly.

Highlighting Tips For Ensuring The Drilled Hole Is Clean And Ready For Use.

Ensuring that the drilled hole is clean is critical, especially if you are planning to use the hole to fix or to join different objects. Here are some tips that can help you achieve this:

  • Don’t use excess force when drilling: Using too much force when drilling may lead to plastic debris that might be challenging to remove.
  • Use a drill bit with the right size: Ensure that the diameter of the drill bit matches the size of the hole you want to drill. This way, it will be less likely to create rough edges.
  • Keep the drill bit well lubricated: Using a lubricant such as soap or cooking oil on your drill bit can help to prevent the build-up of heat, and protect your drill bit from getting damaged. It also makes it easy to clean the area around the drilled hole.
  • Avoid using a dull drill bit: Using an old and dull drill bit may cause the cut plastic edges to be ragged. It is important that you use sharp drill bits.
  • Inspect the hole: After you have removed all the debris from the drilled hole, look through it ensure that it is clean and ready for use.


With the proper tools and techniques, drilling holes into plastic can be a straightforward task. By following the steps outlined in this blog post, you can confidently approach your next DIY project with the knowledge needed to successfully drill plastic.

Always start by selecting the appropriate drill bit and adjusting the speed of your drill as needed. Then, take your time with the drilling process, applying slight pressure and using a steady hand. Remember to clear away plastic shavings as you go to prevent jams and keep your workspace clean.

With these tips in mind, you can successfully create precise holes in plastic for a variety of applications. So next time you need to add holes to plastic, whether for a home improvement project or a craft, don’t hesitate to try it out yourself.

Similar Posts