How to Drill Straight Holes Without a Drill Press

Is it possible to drill straight holes without a drill press? There is no doubt that this tool makes it easy to create perfectly accurate straight holes. Most people doing DIY jobs around the house don’t have a drill press, however. This means using a regular cordless drill instead. A big challenge is keeping the drill and bit steady and square in every direction - especially when you start drilling and using force to create your holes. 

Luckily, there are a few ways that you can get straight, square holes without the risk of bits wandering. Using a drill block is the simplest and most effective way to drill straight holes without a drill press. Whether you purchase a commercial block or make your own, we’ve put together some tips on how to use drill blocks that make sure that your holes are vertical. 

Drilling Straight Holes Without a Drill Press

Before you get started, make a small starting divot using an awl so that your drill bit has a spot to land. You will need to focus on creating the right 90-degree angle. If you a starting divot, your placement will be set from the start, which allows you to focus on the drilling. 

Once you’re ready to get started, here’s how to use drill blocks to drill straight holes without a drill press.

Option 1: Commercial drill block

Commercial drill bits will save you a great deal of time and effort. These accessories have a selection of holes in various sizes to suit the diameter of your drill bit. They are very easy to use. Position the drill block over the hole you have marked on your workpiece then use a clamp (or your hand, if you can keep it steady) to secure the drill block. From there, all you need to do is start drilling. 

Option 2: Homemade drill block

If you don’t have a drill block, you can make one using a few basic materials. You may also choose to make a custom block if the diameter of your hole is bigger than the holes on a commercial drill block or holes in a different increment. To make your own drill block, start by getting a piece of wood scrap of around 1 1/2″ wide and 10″ long, then cut off 2″ from one end. Make sure that your cut is square. Add some wood glue to the bit you have cut off, then carefully place it onto the longer piece of wood, about 1” from the end. Use a square to ensure that the wood pieces are aligned properly. Clamp the pieces and allow the glue to fully dry. You can then use the block by lining up your bit with the inside corner of the L shaped block you have created. Secure the block and start drilling. 

For even more accuracy, you can make metal jigs using pipes that have the same inside diameter as your drill bits. Take your drill bit with you when getting piping so that you can be sure it’s the right size. Once you’ve got the piping, hot glue it to the side of your drill block then carefully insert your drill bit and start drilling. 

Whichever option you use, you’ll find a wide range of drill bits at Ruwag for all of your DIY needs. Browse our range now and find the right bits for drilling holes without a drill press.

Ruwag | How to Drill Straight Holes Without a Drill Press