How to Drill a Hole in Tempered Glass

Drilling a hole in glass requires precision and skill. An inexperienced person should only attempt this task with the assistance of an experienced professional. If done correctly, it can be a rewarding and satisfying experience. However, if done incorrectly, it can result in disastrous consequences for the glass and anyone in the vicinity. Therefore, before attempting to drill a hole, you must know how to drill a hole in the glass with the right skills and tools.  

But, if we talk about tempered glass, is it possible to drill a hole in it? In this blog post, we will go over the answer and, if possible, the step-by-step process of drilling a hole in your tempered glass. However, you should always hire a professional for this job.

What Is Tempered Glass?

Tempered glass, a safety glass, can be approximately four times stronger than untreated glass due to its heated treatment. The molecular structure of glass changes when it is heated, resulting in shrinkage. If the glass is dropped with this kinetic energy restored, it will break apart.

When glass shatters, it produces smaller shards that pose less risk to humans. Shower doors made from tempered glass are designed to shatter into tiny fragments rather than massive shards if they break.

The benefits of tempered glass go beyond being more robust than annealed glass. Furthermore, it can perform a wide range of tasks. Acrylic is used in many things, including phone screen protectors, diving masks, and windshields. There are also laminated glass, hardened glass, heat-strengthened glass, and annealed glass.

Is It Possible To Drill a Hole In A Tempered Glass?

Drilling through hardened, tempered glass is not possible. The drill would splinter the glass as soon as it came into contact with it. It is impossible to drill a hole into tempered glass after the tempering process has begun.

Is It Possible To Drill a Hole In A Tempered Glass

Heat and chemicals are used to strengthen glass to make tempered glass or safety glass. When the glass breaks, it shatters into small pieces. Due to its durability and safety, tempered glass has gained a reputation for being extremely reliable.

Industrial lasers can cut toughened glass, including smartphone screen covers, into thin sheets. As tempered glass is significantly thicker and larger, it must be drilled and cut as part of the tempering process. To continue with this glass-cutting process, industrial/professional facilities are required.

Can You Cut Through Tempered Glass?

It is impossible to slice tempered glass. When tempered glass is hit, it is designed to shatter. You can only cut Tempered glass by undoing its tempering process.  Reaching a temperature of 700 degrees Celsius is necessary for the annealing process, and the glass must be cooled gradually.

The strength of tempered glass is reduced when it is annealed. The glass may weaken enough for you to cut it. It is not possible to anneal glass at home, a specialist glass-cutting shop is required if anyone wants to continue with the task.

How To Drill A Hole In Tempered Glass?

can you make a hole in tempered glass

However, the above information makes it impossible to drill a hole into tempered glass.

We have an article that claims and describes how to drill a hole in tempered glass. Here, we will discuss the respective information briefly for your convenience.

Due to its extreme hardness, tempered glass requires special diamond drill bits.  It is essential to ensure that the drill bit is lubricated throughout the process to ensure optimal results. 


To install the diamond bit, loosen the grip on the drill. Insert the diamond bit into the opening and then tighten the grip. Adjust the speed on the drill accordingly; 800 rpm for a bit that is half an inch long and 500 rpm for a bit that is an inch long. 250 rpm for a bit that is two inches long, and 160 rpm for a bit that is longer than two inches.


Secure the glass using C-clamps and place a rubber buffer between the glass and clamps. Position the glass beneath the drill or the drill above the glass, depending on the desired drilling location. Ensure the speed of the drill is double-checked before proceeding.


Create a one-inch thick frame of clay around the drilling area. Then initiate drilling, ensuring that the area being drilled into is kept moist with water to facilitate the drilling process. To ensure the bit is well lubricated, mist the contained area with a spray bottle of water.

Safety Measures While Drilling A Glass

Choose the Right Drill Bit: When drilling into a glass, tile, or other hard surfaces, it is recommended to use drill bits with spear-shaped carbide or diamond tips. You should apply the correct drill to get the proper result. These drill bits are available in various sizes, with the smallest being ⅛ -3/32-inch for starting the holes. 

Use Correct Speed:  To avoid overheating the drill bit, ensure that the speed of the drill is set within the recommended range. You should test the speed to estimate the speed of the drill based on how the motor sounds and the sensation when you hold it.

It is important to periodically remove the drill bit from the workpiece to allow the heat to dissipate. This will help to extend the life of the drill bit, as well as help to prevent any damage to the workpiece.

Use Safety Gear: Wear safety glasses and gloves to protect your hands and eyes. To ensure the glass does not move around, place a pane on a level, cushioned surface or rubber pad. Clamps are effective for securing bottles to workbenches. 

Use Lubricant: To reduce the accumulation of heat and dust during drilling, professionals suggest utilizing a few drops of lubricating oil on the glass. You can use any oil to ensure safety. 

Wrapping Up

Most of the research shows it is not feasible to drill through tempered glass because of the applications of tempered glass and the steps of its manufacturing process. Tempered glass has high compression levels, resulting in the glass shattering on impact. The manufacturing process is tightly regulated, and drilling through tempered glass is impossible.

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Sam Morgan is a professional interior designer and part-time content writer of Drill Villa. He has done hundreds of major projects and sharing his experience with you. He is a tools lover like drill, drill press, drivers, wrench etc. He used and tested thousands of tools and knows which perform better.

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