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How To Drill Holes In Plexiglass

Plexiglass, also known as acrylic, is a popular material for a variety of DIY projects. It’s lightweight, durable, and easy to work with. However, drilling holes in plexiglass can be a bit tricky if you’re not familiar with the material.

To drill holes in plexiglass, use a high-speed drill bit with a sharp point. Clamp the plexiglass firmly to prevent cracking and wear eye protection.

Drill slowly and steadily, applying constant pressure, and lubricate the bit with water to prevent melting.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of drilling holes in plexiglass and provide some tips and techniques to ensure a successful outcome.

Why Is Drilling Holes In Plexiglass Different?

Plexiglass is a type of plastic that is more brittle than other materials, such as wood or metal. This means that it can crack or shatter easily if not drilled properly.

Plexiglass is prone to melting when exposed to high heat, which can cause the drill bit to bind and create rough edges around the hole.

The Importance of a Drilling Guide

One of the key differences when drilling holes in plexiglass is the need for a drilling guide. This is a piece of scrap wood or plastic that is placed on top of the plexiglass to provide a stable surface for the drill bit to enter.

Without a drilling guide, the drill bit can easily slip or wander, resulting in an uneven or damaged hole.

Tools and Materials You’ll Need

Drill Holes In Plexiglass
Source: Acrylite

Before you begin drilling, make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials on hand. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Plexiglass sheet
  • Drilling guide (scrap wood or plastic)
  • Drill
  • Drill bits (specifically designed for plexiglass)
  • Masking tape
  • Clamps (optional)
  • Safety glasses
  • Dust mask

Step-by-Step Guide to Drill Holes in Plexiglass

Now that you have all your tools and materials, it’s time to start drilling. Follow these steps for a successful outcome:

Step 1: Measure and Mark the Hole Placement

Using a ruler or measuring tape, determine the exact location of the hole you want to drill. Mark the spot with a pencil or a piece of masking tape. If you’re drilling multiple holes, make sure to measure and mark each one individually.

Step 2: Secure the Plexiglass and Drilling Guide

Place the plexiglass sheet on a flat surface, with the marked spot facing up. Place the drilling guide on top of the plexiglass, making sure it covers the marked spot.

If you’re using clamps, secure the plexiglass and drilling guide to the surface to prevent them from moving during drilling.

Step 3: Choose the Right Drill Bit

When drilling plexiglass, it’s important to use a drill bit specifically designed for the material. These bits have a sharper point and a more gradual cutting edge, which helps prevent cracking and melting. You can find these bits at most hardware stores or online.

Step 4: Prepare the Drill Bit

Before you start drilling, it’s important to prepare the drill bit to prevent melting and binding. You can do this by dipping the tip of the bit in a small amount of cutting oil or by rubbing a bar of soap on the tip. This will help lubricate the bit and prevent it from overheating.

Step 5: Start Drilling

With the drill bit prepared, it’s time to start drilling. Place the tip of the bit on the marked spot and apply gentle pressure.

It’s important to start drilling at a slow speed to prevent the bit from slipping or wandering. Once the bit has created a small indentation, you can increase the speed and continue drilling.

Step 6: Use a Backing Board

If you’re drilling a larger hole, it’s a good idea to use a backing board to prevent the plexiglass from cracking or shattering.

This can be a piece of scrap wood or plastic that is placed on the opposite side of the plexiglass from where you’re drilling. The backing board will help support the plexiglass and prevent it from flexing or breaking.

Step 7: Remove the Masking Tape

Once the hole is drilled, remove the masking tape from the plexiglass. This will help prevent any rough edges from forming around the hole.

Tips and Techniques for Drilling Holes in Plexiglass

Drill Holes In Plexiglass
Source: Kitronik

Here are some additional tips and techniques to help you achieve the best results when drilling holes in plexiglass:

Use a Slow Speed

As mentioned earlier, it’s important to start drilling at a slow speed to prevent the bit from slipping or wandering.

Even as you increase the speed, it’s best to keep it at a slow to medium pace to avoid overheating and melting the plexiglass.

Use a Steady Hand

When drilling, it’s important to keep a steady hand and apply even pressure. This will help prevent the bit from slipping or creating an uneven hole.

Use a Sharp Drill Bit

Using a dull drill bit can cause the plexiglass to crack or shatter. Make sure to use a sharp bit specifically designed for plexiglass to achieve the best results.

Practice on Scrap Pieces

If you’re new to drilling plexiglass, it’s a good idea to practice on scrap pieces before attempting to drill on your project. This will help you get a feel for the material and the drilling process.


Drilling holes in plexiglass may seem intimidating, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be a simple and successful process.

Remember to use a drilling guide, choose the right drill bit, and start at a slow speed to prevent cracking and melting.

With these tips and techniques, you’ll be able to confidently tackle any plexiglass project that requires drilling.


Should you Drill Holes In Plexiglass fast or slow?

  • It is recommended to drill holes in plexiglass slowly.

What kind of drill bit do you use for plexiglass?

  • Use a drill bit specifically designed for use with plexiglass, such as a carbide-tipped or a brad-point drill bit.

How do you Drill Holes In Plexiglass without cracking it?

  • To avoid cracking plexiglass, use a sharp, high-quality drill bit, apply masking tape over the drilling area, and drill slowly at a low speed with firm but gentle pressure.

Can I use a wood drill bit on plexiglass?

  • It’s not recommended to use a wood drill bit on plexiglass as it can cause cracking or damage to the material. It’s better to use a drill bit specifically designed for plexiglass to ensure a clean and smooth hole without damaging the material.

Also Read

How To Drill Holes Into Plastic | 5 Easy Steps

How To Drill Granite – Easy Steps | Ultimate Guide

How To Drill Through Hardened Steel | Easy Steps

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