How to Drill a Hole in Glass With a Dremel

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When it comes to drilling a hole in glass with a dremel, you want to be sure that you follow all of the steps. If not, it can easily break the glass by cracking or chipping it. You wouldn’t want to damage your project!

Safety Equipment

Before you get started, you are going to need some safety equipment. Glass is very sharp when cut and the dremel is a strong tool that spins at very high speeds. As the drill bit cuts through the glass, dust and pieces of glass can launch off.

You will need the following:

Dremel

Safety Precautions

Always be aware of the direction the bit is spinning when cutting glass. If possible, you should have it spinning away from yourself. As you cut through the material, make sure that you remove debris from the workstation.

Having a clean work space helps ensure your safety; you are less likely to breathe in dangerous materials. You should make sure that the glass is fully secured before you start cutting it. If it breaks, you need to wear gloves while cleaning it up.

How to Set Up

You will want to ensure you are using the best bit for the situation. There are dremel bits made to cut through several different materials, such as wood or even plastic. However, using a glass bit is going to give you the advantage.

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To install the bit, insert into the end of your dremel and tighten it. You want to be sure that it is secured. Then, you are ready to go.

Dremel Bits for Glass

Glass is a very fragile material. You want to be sure you are using the proper dremel bits. Any diamond coated bit is going to give you better results than a solid metal bit.

When drilling holes through the glass, you will need a 663DR ¼” . This option does also come in a ⅛” that might suit you better, if you are making a smaller hole.

You can use larger sizes if you want. Although, you will want to make sure that you work slower with them. The larger the dremel bit, the slower you should go. The bigger sizes risk overheating much sooner.

Finally, you always want to use a diamond dremel bit when working with glass. The diamond coating allows the cut to be smooth and quick. Without it, you risk cracking the glass.

How to Drill a Hole in Glass

When using a hole cutting drill bit, you can follow many of the same steps to drill holes in other types of materials. However, you need to make sure you don’t overheat the bit and take your time. That way, the glass doesn’t shatter.

What You Need

You’ll want to opt for a highly reviewed dremel with a good amount of power.

1. Tape and Mark the Glass

You can not draw on glass without the mark rubbing off right away. Stick the piece of tape to the bottle where you plan on drilling. Make sure to measure accurately, then write on the masking tape with your marker.

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Masking tape doesn’t leave behind sticky marks. Plus, masking tape is great for writing on, making it a good choice. You need to use a permanent marker for the next step.

2. Run the Glass Through Water

Put the glass under a slow stream of running water. Then, you can start making your hole. The water prevents glass dust from getting into the air and also helps the dremel to stay at a good temperature.

Make sure that you keep the cord on your dremel out of the stream.

3. Make the Cut

Now, gently push the dremel bit through the marks you made on the masking tape. Depending on the thickness of the glass, you may need to pause so the bit doesn’t overheat. Drilling the hole through the glass should go smoothly at this point. It will be like drilling into other materials.

4. File the Glass

Next, you will need to deal with the rough edges on your glass piece. These areas are very sharp, so make sure to wear thick worker’s gloves! You will need a diamond file with 80-grit to remove the burs completely.

As you sand, make sure you use a light touch. If you work too hard, the glass can break. After putting all that hard work into making the cuts, you don’t want to crack the material this far in!

Learn how to drill into plexiglass in our guide.

Broken glass

Avoiding Breaking the Glass

Not breaking the glass is the hardest part. You will need to use a gentle touch as you work. Even the vibrations from the tool can crack the glass. You will want to clamp it down and add masking tape to the surface.

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To avoid shattering, you also need to manage the temperature of the material. The water you run over the glass should be a little warm, as the glass is easier to break when it is colder.

Overall, take your time and go slow. You want to avoid pressing too hard to keep your material perfectly intact.

To avoid breaking the glass, make sure to consider the following:

  • Drill Speed: The larger the bit is, the slower you should start. You can turn it up as you make it deeper into the glass.
  • Pressure: Use a very light amount of pressure. You don’t want to crack the glass, so make sure to let the drill work through its own speed.
  • Lubrication: Make sure you use some water or lubricant on the glass. It reduces the heat buildup, which helps you make complete cuts without breaking the glass.
  • Lifespan: Consider how long your drill bit will last. You don’t want to use a dull tool on glass. They can last between 50 and 100 holes on soft materials; you get less use on harder materials.

You can cut glass with a dremel easily, as long as you take your time and don’t force the dremel through the piece.

There are many ways that you can reduce the risk of cracking the glass. Finding a good balance among the above aspects and using water and masking tape will also help you through drilling.

What Tools Work for Cutting Glass?

You can use a variety of tools to cut through glass. Some options are:

  • Grinding wheels
  • String
  • Drill bits
  • Dremel bits
  • Hand tools

When it comes to cutting glass, we would have to say that the best tool is going to be the diamond dremel bits. You will want to watch for signs of dulling and overheating as you cut.

Carving Glass

Dremels are a unique tool; they can also be used to carve glass. You can use fiber bits with small tips to shape the glass. When you are finished, you will want to sand it. Then polish it up for the best appearance.

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Summary

If you want to drill a hole in your glass without breaking it, you will need to use a dremel with a diamond coated bit. You should run the glass under warm water as you drill into the glass to prevent overheating.

While it might seem like many steps now, the process is very simple and only takes a few minutes. Make sure you use all the proper safety equipment and you will have no trouble cutting a hole into your glass material.

An expert at home repair, remodel, and DIY projects for nearly 40 years. His first experience came in completely restoring an antique home. Completely redone from the inside out, and restored to its original form, the home is a featured design by renowned Southern California Architect Cliff May, considered to be the father of the California Ranch Home. Now Dennis spends his time on fine woodworking projects and tool comparisons.