How to Drill Through Plastic

Last Updated on February 25, 2021 by Kimberly Crawford

To drill a hole through plastic, you need to understand the brittle nature of the material. However, not an easy task. You need to understand the technique to save you from unnecessary headaches.

Plastics seem to be everywhere, which may explain why it is an environmental disaster in some parts of the world. For a DIY enthusiast who would want to drill a hole through plastics should look at the website for advice on how to go about it.

The next thing you may be wondering about should be the type of drill bit to handle the brittle surface.

You have probably thought of using other means to get a hole through plastic materials.

Can You Possibly Drill a Hole Through Plastic?

Plastics are indeed drillable, but there are strict rules that you must follow to get a clean and even hole when doing so. Plastic has a soft texture giving the wrong impression of how easy it is to drill a hole through it. Failure to be cautious means you will cause the plastic to splinter or break into pieces.

Is a Wood Drill an Alternative to Drill a Hole Through Plastic?

drill through plastic

Any power drill can make a hole through the plastic. However, your choice of drilling gear will determine your success in drilling a hole through plastic materials. Using a wood drill will end up chipping or breaking the material. The possibility of getting irregular holes with uneven edges is a possibility. The idea is to gather the right tools for your particular plastic materials and finish the job.

Expert Tip: apply raw dishwashing liquid by applying it on the drill bit tip, use low setting speed, and the smallest drill bit until you get the size you want. Increments of 2mm are the recommended size when dealing with acrylic or perplex plastics. Remember to reverse the drill before changing to the next bit.

To ensure that your holes are evenly cut, and clean follow the following guidelines

What you need

  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • A drill varying speeds
  • A twist bit of an appropriate size
  • Sandpaper
  • Clamp

Step 1: Measure and mark

Mark the areas that you will drill using a ruler. Use precise measurements and markings because drilling plastic due to an error. There is no way of going back.

Step 2: Setup the twist bit

Place the twist bit into the drill and secure it tightly in place. This is the best time to confirm if you are using the right bit size. Switch the drill into a forward position.

Step 3: Clamping the plastic

Put the plastic in position on a bench set aside for drilling. The action reduces the chances of any resistance affecting the drill.

Step 4: Set the lowest drill speed

Use the lowest drill speed setting. In case you are using a drill with no adjusting knob, ensure the bit depresses the plastic lightly and try to control the speed by drilling slowly through the workpiece.

Step 5: Drill carefully

Observe when drilling and stop drilling to allow the area to cool when plastics chipping away and gumming up.

Step 6: Set the drill in reverse motion

Change the drill to reverse motion or setting and pull the drill bit from the completed hole.

Step 7: Sand the area

Use the sandpaper to create a smooth area surrounding the hole. Try not to scruff off the area as you check for cracks and scruff or splinters. Any crack will compromise the quality of the cut when put to use.

Plastic Drilling Tip:

Use a small bit and expand the hole to the size you want with an appropriate drill bit size.

Caution: always have your protective gear on you when handling power tools. Ensure that your working environment is always safe.

Final Word

Now you have an idea on how to drill a hole through the plastic. From the instructions, it is quite possible but with so much caution in place. One factor is to get the right drilling gear and know the kind of plastic material you are dealing with. Drilling plastic needs more preparation.