Tested! 5 Easy Ways to Drill a Hole Without a Drill

Video how to drill a hole without a drill

So, you don’t have a drill. Or maybe your drill stopped working in the middle of a project. What do you do? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll explore five easy methods to drill a hole without a drill.

Tested! 5 Easy Ways to Drill a Hole Without a Drill

Method 1: Use an Awl

Grab an awl and place it where you want your hole to be. Then, take a hammer and gently hammer the awl through the material. This method works best on materials like drywall or softwood.


Method 2: Use a Nail

Similar to the awl method, you can use a nail to drill a hole. Choose a nail size that matches the desired hole size. Hammer the nail into the material, and if it breaks through the other side, you can simply remove it. If not, use the claw side of the hammer to extract the nail.


Method 3: Self-Driving Screws

If you have self-driving screws, you can use them to make a hole. These screws have a notch on the threads that allows them to drill into the material. Place the screw at the desired location and use a screwdriver to drive it in. Once the screw goes through the material, back it out. If the screw doesn’t go all the way through, use an awl and hammer to complete the hole.

Self-Driving Screws

Method 4: Metal and Heat

For this method, you’ll need a heated metal object, such as a wire or the end of needle-nose pliers. Heat the metal using a candle or another heat source. Then, place the heated end into the material and let it burn through. Be cautious while using this method and avoid using it on drywall or flammable materials.

Metal and Heat

Method 5: Chisel

If you need a larger hole, you can use a chisel. Sketch a circle on the material to guide you and then place the chisel perpendicularly on the circle. Hammer down to create a dent in the material, and repeat around the circle. Finally, chisel out the center until you’ve completed the hole. This method may take some practice to achieve a neat hole.


Bonus: The Method I Didn’t Try

In the past, people used a tool called a “bow drill” to make holes. If you have a hacksaw, you can create a makeshift bow drill by replacing the blade with string and attaching an awl or similar pointy object. However, this method can be complicated and time-consuming, so we didn’t include it in our tests.

Power Tool Methods

If you have other power tools available, you can use them to drill holes as well. Here are a couple of options:


If you own a Dremel or a similar tool, you can use it to drill holes by attaching a suitable drill bit. The size of the hole will depend on the size of the drill bit compatible with your Dremel. Hold the tool perpendicular to the material and start drilling.

Plunge Router

A plunge router can be transformed into a mini drill press to drill holes. However, keep in mind that the depth of the hole you can achieve is limited by the length of the router bit.


While a jigsaw cannot drill a hole on its own, it can be used to enlarge small holes made by other methods. Insert the jigsaw blade into the existing hole and cut out the desired hole shape. This method is particularly useful when you need larger holes than those created by the previous methods.


Q: Can I use these methods on different types of materials?
A: Yes, these methods can be used on various materials, but the ease and effectiveness may vary. Drywall and softwood are easier to drill through compared to hardwood or masonry.

Q: Are there any safety precautions I should take while using these methods?
A: Always prioritize safety. Wear appropriate protective gear, such as goggles, gloves, and a mask, depending on the material and method you are using. Be cautious when using heat or sharp tools.

Q: Can I achieve precise and clean holes with these methods?
A: While these methods can create functional holes, achieving precision and cleanliness may require practice and skill, especially with the chisel method.


When you find yourself without a drill, these alternative methods can help you get the job done. From using an awl or a nail to employing power tools like a Dremel or a jigsaw, there are options for various needs. Remember to use these methods wisely and prioritize safety. Happy drilling!

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