How to Drill a straight hole without a Drill Press

A drill press can help you drill precise holes in a number of materials in the easiest way. But there are plenty of occasions, like drilling into a wall or cabinet door, where you can’t apply a drill press and the project still demands a straight hole. DIYers should learn how to drill a straight hole without a drill press to conquer such a situation.

A drill press is quite expensive and isn’t commonly available in every DIY enthusiast’s collection. Also, these are fairly heavier, so you can’t carry them to any remote place effortlessly. Conversely, knowing an alternative way can help you continue the project by conveniently offering an exact 90-degree hole.

Step by step to drill a straight hole without a drill press

Today we will explain an effective and straightforward way, step by step, so you can drill a straight hole in any space. The process requires some simple tools and skills and offers a straight hole, especially without using a drill press.

Other Tools you’ll need:

  • Marker pen or pencil
  • Drill guide
  • Cordless drill
  • Helical drill bit
  • Measurement tape
  • Protective gears 

Tools are required to drill a straight hole

Applying a bubble level to a small space for having a square hole can be trickier. You can’t use this tool in an older home with an uneven wall. So, How to drill straight into the wall? Some drill guide can help you drill a straight hole without considering the space or surface. 

Portable Drill

You can buy a portable drill guide or make one yourself. Simply take two blocks of wood, place them at a 90-degree angle and connect them using glue. Finally, hold them in place with clamps so they can dry. Using this tool, you can drill long straight holes in wood. 

Reusable Jig

A reusable jig can be a great alternative to having multiple small-sized holes in the same tight space. Buy brass rod segments matching the width of your drill bit. Then fix it to the drill guide with glue. Before gluing to the guide, make sure the section of the rod is short enough so you can drill to the required depth.

Approximate Time: 15 minutes

Create a Marker before you start

Likewise, other hand drill projects, creating a mark on the target space will give the drill bit a specific spot to bite into. Use an awl to make a small divot where a drill bit can hook into.

Set the drill

You can drill a straight 90° hole using a cordless drill. This tool will allow you to maintain balance on the tip of a drill bit. Besides, you can prevent slant the square in every single way with a cordless drill while applying pressure behind it. Then check the drill instruction to set the appropriate torque setting based on the targeted surface. In most cases, high speed is ideal for drilling. At starting point, gently squeeze the trigger to set the right speed.

Pick the right bit

The drill bit can make huge differences in any drilling project and you should use the right drill bit for a certain task. You can depend on a helical bit to drill a straight hole even without a drill press. Make sure you choose the right thickness of a drill bit so you can fix the fastener into the hole appropriately.

Place Your Straight Square

Take your square tool and place it on the surface where you desire to drill a straight hole. Set the drill bit at the middle of the mark that you have created using an awl. Now hold the square against the drill and make it level on the surface. Make sure you hold the square firmly so it can’t shift while you start drilling.

Start Drilling Slowly

Starting drilling slowly helps keep the drill bit in place and prevents it from slipping. Gradually increasing speed can offer dust and savings-free smooth holes. Besides, back off and insert the drill bit at a regular interval to prevent the drill bit from heating up and clean the dust and debris.

Control the Depth

To prevent the drill bit from sinking too deep, you can mark the depth on your drill bit. Take a painter’s tape and measure the depth of the drill bit, then wrap the tape on the top side of the drill bit. The tape will keep you from drilling too deeply and indicate the desired depth once you fully concentrate on drilling a straight hole.

Other helpful tools that can help drill straight holes without a drill press

Despite the above-mentioned guide, the following tools are also useful for getting straight holes drilled.

Drill Bit Guide

A drill bit guide is a safe and user-friendly option that doesn’t cause any damage to the drill bit during the process. It is also easier to use. Simply place the drill bit guide over the drilled surface and hold it firmly in place. They hold the drill with their other hand and start drilling a straight hole conveniently.

Drill Block

If you need to drill a straight hole in different shapes and sizes, you will find this drill block more beneficial. It allows drilling both small and large straight holes at different angles.

Mistakes to avoid while drilling a straight hole without a drill press

It is important to mark the drill spot before starting drilling. The mark will help you drill into the exact spot and place the guide properly against the drill bit. Stable the targeted wood and metal using a clamp so they can’t move and mess up the straight line. Clamping also ensures extra safety for the operator as it keeps the drill from slipping.

Don’t start at a high speed as it can encourage the wood to slip. Instead, start at a slower speed and gradually increase the speed. It will help to keep the drilling line at an exact 90 degrees. More importantly, don’t force the drill if it refuses to drill through metal. Better stop drilling and reset the drill and try again. Otherwise, forcing the drill can cause a split in the drill and break the drill bit.

Use lubricant more often if you are drilling into harder material. Doing so will make the drilling process much better. Using cutting fluid helps minimise friction. Another important thing, you do not have to but the best drill extensively and cool it down frequently by using water in the hole. Periodically pull the drill out of the hole and cool down the motor before turning it on again. It’s a crucial tip to follow if you are drilling into a tough or dense material.

FAQs on How to Drill a straight hole

Can I turn my drill into a drill press?

Not every drill, but there are some specially designed power drills available that can be turned into a drill press. A Hand Held Drill Press can be used as both a drill and a drill press, making drilling into metal easier and safer.

How to drill perfectly vertical holes without a drill press?

You can use an L-shape block to drill a vertical hole without the help of a drill press. You can create your own by attaching two scraps of hardwood with glue or buy them from a hardwood shop. Then place it over the desired surface and you will be able to drill vertical holes easily. Using the tools, you can drill holes in a straight line properly.

Do I really need a drill press?

You can use those above-mentioned trips to temporarily overcome any drilling project, but if you need to drill an accurate hole in a range of material within a short time, there is no alternative to a drill press.

Hope you don’t need Drill Press to make a straight holes

A drill press is an appropriate device to drill an accurate hole in multiple materials quickly, making it suitable for large projects. But it can be an expensive investment for a small project and where its need to drill a straight hole in different spaces. Plus, drill presses aren’t readily available. So, learning how to drill a straight hole without a drill press can help you continue any drilling project in a remote area. The process we have mentioned above is straightforward and allow to drill straight holes on any surface efficiently. Hope you have got all the information helpful and are ready to apply on your next project.

Share on:

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.

Leave a Comment