How to drill a straight hole

Updated March 23, 2017

Drilling is a useful skill for most individuals, whether it is needed to drill a hole to mount a flat-screen TV or for a wood working project. Most projects not only require a hole, but also a straight hole because if the hole is crooked, the screw does not screw in properly when you try to fix it. Fortunately, methods of keeping the drill straight while making a hole are available.

Put on safety goggles and gloves. Always take safety precautions before you start drilling to prevent injuries.

Mark the location you want to drill. You can mark it with a circle, an x or any other preferred mark to determine where to put the hole for your particular project.

Press the drill guide against the object you are drilling into so that you will face the drill perpendicular to the ground, or facing the ground. A drill guide is a piece of steel that has drill holes of various sizes in it. It is designed to keep the drill straight while making a hole when at a 90 degree angle. Adjust the drill guide so the marked spot shows through the hole in the guide. The drill guide will stay in place so you can drill a straight hole by putting the drill through the appropriately sized hole.

Drill a small pilot hole if you cannot drill in a downward direction, such as drilling on a wall rather than part of a wood product or a piece of metal. Use a smaller drill attachment to make a pilot hole first and then put the drill with the appropriately sized attachment directly against the wall. Level it to a 90 degree angle according to the spirit level, or the little green or yellow liquid with a small bubble inside, on the drill. The bubble will centre between the two lines when the drill is at 90 degrees. Press the drill so it starts drilling slowly into the wall. Press slowly and drill into the wall using the appropriate drill bit.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety goggles and gloves
  • Drill with appropriate sized drill bit
  • Pencil
  • Drill guide
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