How to Make a Hole Without a Drill

How to Make a Hole Without a Drill

Drills are an important category of tools that enable you to carry out difficult jobs with ease. One of the biggest benefits of a drill is that it simplifies the task of making holes in hard surfaces. However, not every home owns an electric drill. Also, in some cases drilling can be unsuitable for soft surfaces like ordinary wood or plastic, which is likely to strip off under the pressure of standard drill bits. So if you’ve found yourself in one of these situations, we’ve got some instructions on how to make a hole without a drill.

How to Drill Hole Without a Drill | 4 Methods

Like most things in life, there are a few different ways to make a hole without a drill. Below you’ll find four different ways to go about it:

Hammer a Nail
How to make a hold without a drill

If you don’t have any power tools nearby, the best way to make a hole without a drill is using a nail. Simply pick a nail that is close to the size of the hole you’d like to make and hammer it into the material. Then simply pull it out and you’ll have a hole. This method is ideal for soft surfaces like sheetrock walls.

For example, if you want to make a small hole in a piece of wood, use a small nail. If you want to make a bigger hole, use a bigger nail.

Screw Driver

If the material is lightweight, like a thin sheet of metal, a screwdriver can be used to drill the hole. Just place the sharp edge of the screwdriver where you’d like to place the hole and tap the other end gently with a hammer. This is a great method if you’re trying to make smaller holes or a pilot hole but probably won’t do the trick for larger holes.

Further, if you happen to have an electric screwdriver it will work in the same way as a power drill or a hand drill. What you need to do is to mark the point, choose the best drill bit, pull the trigger, and let the driver make the pilot hole for you.


If you’re trying to make a larger hole in wood without a drill, using a chisel is your best route. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Place the tip of the chisel against the wood and strike it with a hammer, keeping it perpendicular to the surface.
  • Strike 2 to 3 times creating a circular impression in the wood.
  • Now tip the chisel at an angle of 30 degrees and continue the process until you’ve made a hole.

Bow Drill

A bow drill is a simple rotational hand-operated tool that can be easily prepared in the home. This tool has been used for centuries for making precise tiny holes without a drill.

  • Use two wooden sticks and connect a strong piece of string on both ends. One will serve as the bow while the other must have a pointed end on one side and a handhold on the other.
  • Wrap the bow around the stick.
  • Locate the pointed end of the stick on the point where the hole has to be made.
  • Drill into the wood by pushing hard on the handhold and moving the bow. The pressure of the stick will force its way through the wood thus creating a hole.

It’s a bit primitive, but it works!

Can You Drill a Hole Without a Drill?

As you have seen, you can definitely drill a hole without a drill. While having a cordless drill with the right drill bit for use around the house would probably be a good idea to drill a straight hole, it’s not a necessity. Just be careful, because making a hole without a drill can be tricky. For example, drilling holes without an impact driver or a push drill probably won’t make for perfect woodworking projects, or if you’re making a hole in wood without a drill, it’s easy to split it.

At the end of the day, we’d suggest picking up a cheap drill if you foresee yourself needing to make a hole. But if you’re a strong-willed individual, there are different methods to complete your home improvement jobs in less time with better results. But if you’re feeling confident in trying it without the best tools, it’ll only take a couple of minutes to try. Good luck!