How to Make Holes in Wood by Drilling

If you want to make large holes in wood, you will probably need some kind of saw. For making small holes, you need a drill (or a brace) and a bit. You can buy many different sizes and shapes of bit some designed for hand drills, some for braces and some for electric drills. All cutting bits are driven in a rotary motion.

Hand drill This has a small, hand- or key-tightened, three-jaw chuck (usually about 6.5mm capacity) driven by hand at fairly low speed through a simple bevel gear. Most have a side handle and a top (or pressure) handle so that you can keep the drill steady while you turn the driving handle. The chuck is designed to take bits which have straight round shanks. Hand drills are used mainly for making holes in wood, glass and soft masonry. They are much slower to use than a power drill but can be easier to control and can be used when a supply of electricity is unavailable. When choosing a hand drill, make sure that its gear teeth are evenly spaced and have an involute profile a tooth on one wheel should always be in contact with a tooth on the other wheel when you turn the handle and the load should be transferred smoothly from one tooth to the next.

Make Holes Wood  Drilling

Breast drill

This is basically a larger ver­sion of a hand drill and is usually used horizontally. It has a curved metal piece at the top end of the pressure handle against which you push with your chest to increase the load on the drill. Most breast drills have two different gearings to provide different speed ranges. The chuck is usually tightened by hand and has a larger capacity than a hand drill up to 13mm. A breast drill takes much the same cutting bits as a hand drill.


This has a two-jaw chuck specially designed for gripping the tapered square section ends of specialised bits but it will also take straight shanks. The chuck is turned by sweeping a cranked handle round and round. This means that it has a fairly slow rotational speed, but can provide a relatively high torque. It is used principally for drilling holes in wood up to about 50mm in diameter. Screwdriver bits are also available.

Make Holes Wood  Drilling

Electric drill

This has a chuck driven by an electric motor. It can be used with twist drills, flat bits and some auger bits. For drilling holes accurately, you may need to use a drill stand.

Filed Under: Home & Maintenance


About the Author: Jason Prickett loves to write about home maintenance and stuff you can do yourself instead of hiring any professional. His step by step guides will assist you in completing your home maintenance tasks.

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