How to Drill Holes in Plexiglass without Cracking

How to Drill Holes in Plexiglass without Cracking

Plexiglass is a brand name for acrylic, which is the most practical alternative to glass. However, this replacement in the craft has made a significant place of its own. It is being used for numerous purposes, including DIY projects.

With that aside, plexiglass requires careful handling while making a hole in it to address its wide application.

So in order to learn how to drill holes in plexiglass without cracking, you need to check the right type of drill bit along with steady drill speed. Be it a plastic drill bit or a modified one, make sure that it is perfectly equipped to handle the job.

But this can be challenging!

Well, here’s the interesting thing: We will walk you through the process of drilling holes in plexiglass without scraping its sides. So read it till the end and learn hacks for drilling plexiglass:

Tips for Drilling through Plexiglass

While drilling a hole in plexiglass, you need to keep in mind some tips and tricks to get the job done without any inconvenience. In fact, you can have a smooth experience of drilling.

So read this and get things under control:

Get the Appropriate Equipment in Hand:

Picking up all the essentials required in drilling holes in plexiglass is the foremost thing to be done.

That said, the following are the pieces of equipment that you need to get in hand before starting the procedure:

Things You’ll Need:

  • A drilling machine.
  • Drill stand.
  • Wood piece or any other thing to be used as underlay.
  • Plexiglass.
  • Appropriate drill bits.

That aside, for more convenience during the procedure, you have to ensure some other handy material, such as:

  • Cotton fabric.
  • Clamping strip and screw clamps.
  • A ruler and a permanent marker.
  • Water or any other lubricant squeeze bottle.

So these were all the tools and materials that you needed to drill the plexiglass sheet.

Now moving on, we’ll discuss the right way to use all of this stuff.

Keep the Process Simple yet Systematic:

You might be wondering, what is the point of having the extra accessories while drilling the plexiglass sheet? Well, in order to get the job done, you have to leave no loopholes in the procedure that might end up cracking the plexiglass.

So with that said, you better first set the apparatus according to your convenience; as in:

Step#1: Place the plexiglass on the wood piece or the underlay after adjusting the drill stand properly.

Step#2: Use the clamps to avoid extra movement or displacement of the sheet.

Step#3: Use the permanent marker or grease pencil to mark the spot on the sheet where you’d exactly put the drill. Prior to that, mark the most accurate position with the help of the ruler.

Step#4: Switch the drilling machine on, and start drilling right on the spot you marked. Don’t forget to keep the surface cold by adding water or any other thing. This will resist the effect of overheating and eventually protect the sheet from cracking.

Step #5: Lastly, all that is left is finishing. Use a countersink drill bit for deburring the edges of the hole. Afterward, take that cotton fabric and wipe all the remnants from the sheet.

And guess what? You are done drilling a hole in the plexiglass, that even without cracking!

Drill Bits for Drilling through Plexiglass

Without having the appropriate drill bit by the side, you can end up cracking the plexiglass while drilling holes in it. So to avoid such mishaps, it is better to choose the most suitable drill bit before executing the operation.

On that note, let’s have a look at the topmost functional types of drill bits available on the market:

  1. Plastics Drill Bits:

The first and foremost type that can be used for effective plexiglass drilling is the plastics drill bit. These are considered to be excellent pieces of equipment that can help you through the process of drilling holes in plexiglass without cracking them.

Having said that, the process it follows to do so is quite unique, as it removes layers of the acrylic sheet down the line. Adding to this, these plastic bits are preferable by most of the experts as they are easily available at all the hardware or online stores.

2. Modified Drill Bits:

Second on the list is the different types of drill bits, which are no other than a conventional one. The difference only lies in the modification. If you modify the cutting edges of the bit to make it appropriate for plexiglass drilling, then it would be a better option to use.

3. Wood Drill Bits:

Wood drill bits are also used for making holes in the plexiglass sheet. However, these are not considered to be quite that appropriate for the purpose. The reason is its overheating issue, which might lead to the cracking of the glass.

And we are done!

This was all about the major types of drill bits that you can use to draw holes in plexiglass.

Challenges You Could Face while Drilling through Plexiglass

Before we wrap up the discussion, let’s give insight into some of the hurdles that you would have to come across while drilling through plexiglass.

Firstly, you are going to find it difficult to drill without having all the safety equipment checked. For instance, if you’re not wearing safety gloves, then there is a chance of any irregular jerk while drilling.

Also, safety goggles are important in this regard as they prevent the flying-off particles of the plexiglass from entering the eye. So in case you don’t have them, you’re going to face some problems.

Another challenging thing you could face is that the surface of the plexiglass might get affected while drilling. So to avoid this difficulty, it is advised not to remove the protective film over the plexiglass sheet.

Summing Things Up

Drilling through plexiglass is quite common as this transparent thermoplastic has a wide range of usage.

So to do this task without any hassle, you can follow the instructions mentioned above in this article.

With that aside, you can take help from this YT tutorial as well to get things done easily:

Let us know if we were able to address all your concerns about how you drill a hole in plexiglass without cracking it and how well you were able to drill holes in plexiglass in the comment box mentioned below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a special drill bit for plexiglass?

You won’t find any drill bit particularly designed for plexiglass. However, you can use the regular or conventional drill bits by slightly modifying them to meet the needs of a plexiglass-safe drill.

What blade should be used to cut plexiglass?

Without a shade of a doubt, the best blade to drill plexiglass is a plastic cutting-saw blade. In addition to that, the preferable size of this blade among experts is considered to be 10 inches or so.

Can you cut plexiglass with a Hacksaw?

Plexiglass can easily be cut into pieces with the aid of a hacksaw. In fact, it can be used to cut the plexiglass in different ways for multiple applications.

Bahram Shahab
Bahram here! A certified Electrical Engineer who knows his way around using power tools like a professional. My journey of using these robust tools started back when I graduated. Since then, I have finished almost a dozen DIY woodworking jobs. Apart from that, I have developed this habit of jotting down my personal experience about using a specific tool. So, I write on them to help the community in the best possible way.