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How Long does It Take To Drill A Bowling Ball

Bowling is a trendy sport that people of all ages and skill levels enjoy. While many bowlers use house balls provided by the bowling alley, serious enthusiasts often invest in personalized bowling balls.

How Long Does It Take To Drill A Bowling Ball? Drilling a bowling ball typically takes around 30 to 45 minutes. The actual duration can vary depending on factors such as the skill level and experience of the person performing the drilling.

One crucial step when purchasing a bowling ball is drilling holes to match the bowler’s hand size and grip style.

In this blog, we will explore the process of drilling a bowling ball and discuss the factors determining how long it takes to complete this crucial customization.

Understanding the Drilling Process

Understanding the Drilling Process

Drilling a bowling ball involves creating finger and thumb holes that suit the bowler’s hand shape and grip preferences.

It is essential for a comfortable and secure grip, allowing for optimal control and accuracy during gameplay.

The process typically requires specialized equipment, such as a drilling jig, drill bits, and measuring tools.

Bowling ball drilling is commonly performed by professional ball drillers with the expertise and knowledge to execute the job precisely.

Selection of Equipment

A professional ball driller will gather the necessary equipment for drilling, including a drilling jig, drill bits of different sizes, measuring tools (such as calipers or tape measures), and protective gear (such as safety glasses).

Marking the Ball

The ball driller will start by marking the ball to determine the positioning of the finger and thumb holes.

This step involves taking measurements based on the bowler’s hand size and style, considering factors like span, pitches (the angle of the finger or thumb holes), and hole sizes.

Securing the Ball

The ball driller will secure the bowling ball in the drilling jig, which holds it in place during drilling. The jig provides stability and ensures accurate hole placement.

Initial Drilling

Using an appropriate drill bit, the ball driller will make the initial holes for the finger and thumb placements.

The size and depth of these holes depend on the bowler’s hand measurements and the desired grip.

Measuring and Adjusting

Throughout the drilling process, the ball driller will frequently measure the hole dimensions, check the fit, and make necessary adjustments.

This step ensures that the finger and thumb holes are precise and comfortable for the bowler’s hand.


After the initial drilling, the ball driller may refine the holes to achieve the desired ball reaction and balance.

This can include altering the hole sizes, adjusting the pitches, or adding inserts (removable devices that fine-tune the grip).

Smoothing And Polishing

Once the drilling is complete, the ball driller may smooth the edges of the holes and polish the ball’s surface to enhance its aesthetics and overall performance.

Testing And Final Adjustments

After drilling, the bowler will typically test the ball on the lane to evaluate its performance and feel.

Any adjustments, such as changing pitches or hole sizes, may be made based on the bowler’s feedback.

The drilling process is crucial in customizing a bowling ball to fit the individual bowler’s needs, allowing optimal control, accuracy, and comfort during gameplay.

It requires the expertise of a professional ball driller who understands the nuances of hole placement, hand measurements, and ball dynamics.

Cost Factors Of Drilling Bowling Ball

Cost Factors Of Drilling Bowling Ball

The cost to drill a bowling ball typically ranges from $50 to $70 on average. However, prices can vary based on several factors:

Pro Shop Charges

The pro shop charges encompass the expertise and labor involved in drilling the bowling ball.

This fee reflects the skill of the professionals who ensure precision in aligning the holes according to your hand measurements and bowling style.

It also includes the equipment costs and the maintenance of specialized machinery required for accurate drilling.

Additional Services

Beyond the primary drilling process, additional services such as fitting finger inserts or thumb slugs incur extra costs.

These services are tailored to enhance your comfort and grip, providing a more customized feel for your bowling ball.

Complexity Of Drilling

The complexity of drilling refers to the intricacy of the drilling pattern or techniques used.

Customized drilling patterns, specific layouts, or adjustments tailored to your individual preferences can increase the overall cost due to the specialized expertise and time required.

Location And Expertise

Prices for drilling a bowling ball can vary based on the geographical location and the level of expertise of the pro shop personnel.

Urban areas or regions with higher living costs may reflect slightly higher prices.

Additionally, shops with highly skilled professionals or those with a strong reputation in the bowling community may charge premium rates for their specialized services and expertise.

Always inquire about the specific pricing and services offered by your local pro shop before getting your bowling ball drilled.

Factors Affecting the Time Required

Factors Affecting the Time Required

Several factors contribute to the duration of drilling a bowling ball. While it is difficult to provide an exact timeframe, the following factors play a significant role in determining how long the process will take:

Expertise of the Ball Driller

The experience and skill level of the ball driller play a crucial role in the speed and accuracy of the drilling process.

An experienced professional can efficiently handle the drilling process, potentially reducing the overall time.

They possess the knowledge and expertise to quickly assess hand measurements, select appropriate drilling patterns, and execute precise hole placements.

Complexity of the Drilling Pattern

The drilling pattern chosen by the bowler affects the time required. Different drilling patterns, such as conventional, fingertip, or semi-fingertip grips, have varying hole placements and sizes.

More complex drilling patterns may require additional measurements, calculations, and drilling steps, which can extend the overall time.

Customization Requirements

Each bowler has unique hand specifications and preferences; customization requirements can impact the drilling time.

Some bowlers may require adjustments, such as balance holes or weight modifications, to fine-tune the ball’s performance. These extra steps can add to the overall drilling time.

Equipment and Tools

The availability and quality of drilling equipment can impact the duration of the process.

Modern drilling jigs and high-quality drill bits enable faster and more accurate drilling, potentially reducing the time needed.

Having a well-maintained and adequately calibrated drilling machine ensures efficient execution.

Workload and Prior Appointments

Bowlers may need to book an appointment in advance or consider the ball driller’s availability, which can influence the overall time.


The time to drill a ball in bowling can vary, like a colorful rainbow with different shades. It’s not just about the clock but also about the bowler’s needs and the expert’s skills.

Skillful ball drillers can speed things up, like a skilled chef making a delicious meal in no time. The design you choose for your ball, whether a simple pattern or a complex one, affects the clock, too.

Customizations might take a bit longer, like adding secret ingredients to a recipe. The tools in the workshop, like high-tech gadgets, can make drilling faster.

And remember, sometimes you must wait your turn in the bowling alley. So, be patient, like waiting for a sweet dessert.

No matter the time, a well-drilled ball is your magic wand on the bowling lane, helping you strike those pins down.


How long does it take to make a bowling ball?

The time to make a bowling ball typically ranges from 2 to 4 hours, considering various factors such as the type of customization, material, and the specific manufacturing process.

What is the best way to drill a bowling ball?

The best way to drill a bowling ball is to consult with a professional who can tailor the drilling to your specific style and preferences.

A customized drilling pattern enhances your performance and comfort on the lanes.

How do you know if your bowling ball is drilled correctly?

You can tell if your bowling ball is drilled correctly by assessing your grip comfort and the ball’s reaction on the lane.

A well-drilled ball feels comfortable in your hand, allows for a consistent release, and delivers the desired reaction based on your playing style.

If you experience discomfort or inconsistency, it’s advisable to consult with a pro shop for adjustments.

Also Read

Drill Through A Stud

What Size Drill Bit For 3/16 Rivet

How To Drill Pocket Holes

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