drilled hole

How to Make a Hole Without a Drill?

There is no doubt that the drill is the best tool to make a hole, no matter what hole diameter or depth you need. If you need larger holes, the drill's got you covered. Need a small hole for a single nail? The drill's got you covered there too!

If you try looking up drills, you will come across battery and electric drills. While they are very effective and quick at drilling holes, they are unsuitable for all situations. The battery drill will eventually run out of battery. Similarly, you might not have an electric socket to plug the electric drill in, which would make it unusable.

There is no better option in such situations than looking into the best ways to drill holes without using a drill. You can use a screwdriver, hammer, hole saw attachment, hole puncher, hot hail or screws, etc. There is no shortage of options, which I will aim to prove in today's guide.

If you want to learn how to make a hole without a drill, read this guide. I will point out the easiest and most convenient methods you can try to drill holes into wood or metal without a drill. So, let's go into the guide and explore the topic in greater detail.

Method 1: Using a Screwdriver and Hammer

Screwdriver and Hammer

The first method I will discuss includes using a screwdriver and a hammer as replacement tools for the drill. While you can make holes with these tools on various materials, they will be most effective for making holes in wood.

So, the first thing you should do is select your screwdriver. It should be the length and width of your desired hole. If you only have longer screwdrivers, you can always mark the bit with tape to know when you achieve the desired depth.

After gathering the tools, here is what you should do:

Step 1

The first thing is to make a pilot hole. Pilot holes will help you make precise holes, even without a drill. You will need a marker, a needle or smaller nail, and a hammer for the pilot hole. Mark the spot where you want to make the hole, set the needle or nail at a 90-degree angle, and put it right through the material using the hammer.

Step 2

You should remove the needle or nail after making the pilot hole. Now, set the screwdriver with the pointy end at the hole, ensuring it is at a 90-degree angle. Using controller pressure, start hammering the screwdriver into the material.

Step 3

Once the screwdriver enters the material, you can hammer to reach the precise depth. You can rotate the screwdriver clockwise to get it into the hole more easily. When you reach the correct depth, remove the screwdriver with your hands or turn it counterclockwise.

This is quite a self-explanatory drill method. If you do not have a screwdriver that is the right size or length, you can also try using a self-driving screw or a regular screw. The process would be the same, but you must be more careful to avoid damaging the material or getting the screw stuck into it.

Method 2: Using a Hole Saw Attachment on a Drill Bit

Hole Saw Attachment

You will often see people using drills with a hole saw blade. These are very helpful when you need to drill larger holes. The sharp edge of the saw blade goes into the material without any problem, making as large of a hole as you need.

Even if you do not have a drill, you can pair the hole saw attachment with a drill bit to cut larger round holes into wood. Here is how the process works:

Step 1

Select the appropriate diameter hole saw attachment to make your desired hole. As I said, this attachment can make a new hole or a smaller existing hole bigger as its diameter is usually quite large.

Step 2

You will notice a hole in the middle of the saw attachment. You would use this hole to put in a center or drill bit. The drill bit will make the hole more precise and allow you to cut into the wood without a drill. So, at this step, you must select the proper drill bit and attach it to the hole saw attachment.

Step 3

Make a pilot hole to ensure the drill bit does not slip around. But this is not mandatory, as you will be creating a bigger hole with the saw attachment. If you choose to make the pilot hole, follow the instructions in Step 1 of Method 1 of this guide.

Step 4

Mark the spot where you will put the drill bit or use the pilot hole as guidance. Place the drill bit and start hammering it into the wood. You can also try turning it with a pair of pliers, but that will be more time-consuming and will quickly tire your arms. At this point, you will be pushing in the drill bit only.

Step 5

As soon as you get to the hole saw attachment, you will need more pressure to make it cut the wood without damaging it. After pushing the saw into the wood, you will get a large clean hole to use for whatever you need.

This method will not work well on materials aside from wood or a thin metal sheet. But people still use it because it can give them a decent size hole in wood sticks or planks, something you cannot get from other tools or methods.

Method 3: Using a Hole Punch

A hole punch is a tool used to make a small hole in various materials. There are hole punchers used only for paper, but they are not strong enough to be used on other materials. To make a smaller hole on a thin sheet of metal or similar material, you will need a specialty hole puncher to get the job done.

There are powerful hole punchers on the market, some of which come with multiple attachments and durable and sturdy construction from heavy-duty metal. If you are still looking for a hole punch, get one of those power tools you can use in various situations.

Once you get the hole punch and you decide on the material you want to use it on, here is what you need to do:

Step 1

Mark the material for where you want to make the hole. Remember that this tool is unsuitable for making a larger hole, so you can use it only to make a hole the size of the attachment it comes with.

Step 2

This is an optional step you can leave out if you do not think you need it. For more precise holes on metal, experts recommend using a hammer to make an indent into the sheet. That is supposed to help you with the hole puncher positioning.

Step 3

Place the punching part on the side of the material that will be outward. It would be best if you punched inward. Once you position yourself properly, push down on the puncher and make the hole.

Step 4

After removing the puncher, you will notice that the edges might be a bit rough on the inside of the material. This is why I recommended that you go inward with the punching. To make the material safer, file the edges and remove all remaining material from the area.

The hole punch method is one of the easiest to make small holes. You can use it for multiple holes without needing to plug or charge it. So, it definitely beats the electronic tools!

Method 4: Using a Hot Nail or Screw

Nail and Screw

Another method you can try is the hot nail or screw method. This one is quite different as it uses heat to get the nail or screw through the material. The heated screw serves as a replacement for the power tool.

For this method, the first thing to do is decide on the type of nail or screw you want to use. Any nail or screw can easily go through wood or metal, but they do not pair well with other hard surfaces. Ensure that your screws or nails have a pointy end to go through the material easily.

You will also need a manual screwdriver if you go with screws instead of nails. I recommend using self-drilling screws, as they are the most convenient. There are various sizes of self-driving screws, so you should be able to find some that fit your needs.

After selecting the self-driving screws, find your heat source - it could be anything from a candle to a gas torch. When you have everything you need, you can start making holes:

Step 1

Mark the spot where you want to insert the screw or nail. You can make a pilot hole using the instructions in Method 1 of this guide. This will help you be more precise when making the holes.

Step 2

Now, use your heat source to heat the screw or nail. Ensure you wear heat-resistant gloves, so you do not burn your hands. It should take a few minutes for the screws to become hot enough to make a hole.

Step 3

Take the hot screw and push it through the material as hard as possible, which will be achieved easily if you have the pilot hole. Try moving the screw around to make the hole. If needed, use a screwdriver on the screw head to get it to go inside the material.

Step 4

If you have difficulties making the hole, try reheating the screw and starting over again. When pushing the screw into the material, spin it around to help it get through easily. You can reheat the screw as many times as needed to achieve the perfect hole.

Alternative Methods

If you try looking online for ways to make holes without a drill, you will come across different methods and instructions that I have not included in this guide. Some recommend using a bow drill, whereas others recommend an egg beater hand drill. Some use a chisel to make larger holes, whereas others consider the awl an excellent tool for smaller holes.

Your chosen method depends on your needs, preferences, and the tools you have at your disposal. So, think about all these methods and pick wisely!


Thank you for reading this guide. I hope you learned valuable information on how to make any hole without a drill. You can try many methods, such as the screwdriver, hammer, hole saw, hole punch, and heated screw methods mentioned in this guide. Depending on your situation, you can choose the one you consider best for creating the needed holes.

If you know of other methods for making a smaller or larger hole without a drill, mention them in the comments below. I cannot wait to read all the tips and tricks you share!

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