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How to drill a hole in tempered glass

Updated July 19, 2017

Drilling into tempered glass requires special diamond drill bits in order to cut through the dense glass. The procedure can be long depending on the thickness of the glass, and the drill bit needs constant lubrication in order to make it through the glass. Certain glass and drill bits require different drill speeds in the drilling technique.

Loosen the grip on the drill for the diamond bit installation. Insert the diamond bit into the opening. Tighten the grip on the diamond bit. Adjust the speed on the drill: 800 rpm if the bit is 1.3 cm long, 500 rpm if the bit is 2.6 cm long, 250 rpm if the bit is 5.2 cm long, 160 rpm if the bit is 7.6 cm long and 125 rpm if the bit is 10 cm long.

Clamp the glass down with the C-clamps. Buffer the area between the glass and the clamp with the rubber. Position the glass under the drill or position the drill on the glass where you want to drill. Double check the speed of the drill.

Make a thick border of clay about 2.5 cm away from, and completely surrounding, the drill area. Begin drilling. Keep the area you are drilling moist at all times with water to lubricate the drilling. Spray water with a squirt bottle into the dammed-in area; if you keep the bit well lubricated you prevent fracturing the glass or reducing the life of the bit.

Tip

Always drill 2.5 cm away from the sides of the glass.

Ease off the pressure when you are almost through the glass.

Warning

Wear eye protection and a face mask while drilling.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass
  • Diamond drill bit
  • Non-impact drill
  • Squirt bottle
  • C-clamps
  • 1.2 cm sheets of rubber
  • Clay
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About the Author

Heath Wright has been writing since 2000. He was first published in the eighth grade for his poetry. Since then, he has written journalism for his high school. He was also a contributing writer and editorial assistant for "The Quill," the newsletter of the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. He has a Bachelor of Arts in theater and a minor in marketing.