How to Drill Straight Holes Without a Drill Press

Video how to drill without a drill press

Is it possible to drill straight holes without a drill press? While a drill press is undoubtedly a tool that makes creating perfectly accurate straight holes a breeze, many DIY enthusiasts don’t have access to one. Instead, they rely on regular cordless drills. The challenge then becomes keeping the drill and bit steady and square in every direction, especially when drilling and applying force to create holes.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to achieve straight, square holes without the risk of wandering bits. One effective method is to use a drill block. Whether you purchase a commercial block or make your own, we’ve compiled some tips on how to use drill blocks to ensure your holes are vertical.

How to Drill Straight Holes Without a Drill Press

Drilling Straight Holes Without a Drill Press

Before you begin, start by making a small starting divot using an awl. This provides a spot for your drill bit to land and helps you maintain the right 90-degree angle. With a starting divot, your placement will be set from the beginning, allowing you to focus solely on drilling.

Once you’re ready to start, here’s how you can use drill blocks to drill straight holes without a drill press.

Option 1: Commercial Drill Block

Commercial drill blocks are excellent time and effort savers. These accessories feature a selection of holes in various sizes to accommodate different drill bit diameters. They are incredibly easy to use. Simply position the drill block over the marked hole on your workpiece and secure it with a clamp or your hand (if you can keep it steady). From there, all you need to do is start drilling.

Commercial Drill Block

Option 2: Homemade Drill Block

If you don’t have a drill block, don’t worry. You can easily make one using a few basic materials. Additionally, you may choose to create a custom block if the diameter of your hole is larger than the holes on a commercial drill block or if you require holes in different increments.

To make your own drill block, start with a piece of scrap wood that is approximately 1 1/2″ wide and 10″ long. Cut off 2″ from one end, ensuring that your cut is square. Apply wood glue to the cut end and carefully place it onto the longer piece of wood, roughly 1″ from the end. Use a square to ensure proper alignment. Clamp the pieces together and allow the glue to fully dry. You can now use the block by aligning your bit with the inside corner of the L-shaped block you’ve created. Secure the block and start drilling.

For even greater accuracy, you can make metal jigs using pipes that have the same inside diameter as your drill bits. When purchasing the piping, take your drill bit with you to ensure the correct size. Once you have the piping, hot glue it to the side of your drill block and carefully insert your drill bit. Now, you’re ready to start drilling.

Homemade Drill Block

Whichever option you choose, you’ll find a wide range of drill bits at Ruwag, perfect for all your DIY needs. Browse our selection now and find the right bits for drilling holes without a drill press.


  • Can I use a regular cordless drill to create straight holes without a drill press?
    Yes, by using a drill block, you can achieve straight, square holes with a regular cordless drill.

  • Which option is better, a commercial drill block or a homemade one?
    Both options work well, but the choice depends on your specific needs. A commercial drill block offers convenience and various hole sizes, while a homemade one allows for customization and larger hole diameters.

  • Can I use any type of wood for a homemade drill block?
    You can use any type of wood as long as it is sturdy enough to support your drilling needs.


While a drill press is undoubtedly the tool of choice for drilling straight holes, it’s possible to achieve accurate results with a regular cordless drill. By using drill blocks, whether commercial or homemade, you can ensure your holes are vertical and square. Remember to make a starting divot and follow the instructions for your chosen drill block option. Happy drilling!

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