What Drill Bits Are Needed to Drill Plastic?

Using the right drill bits to drill through plastic is essential if you want clean, smooth holes. You can use any type of drill for your project. You will need to choose bits that won’t crack or chip the material you are drilling, however. Rough edges can ruin the quality of your work, even months after the project is finished. 

In this guide, we take a look at the best drill bits for plastic and share some tips on how to get the cleanest, smoothest holes when drilling this material. 

Which Drill Bits to Use on Plastic

Unlike very hard materials such as masonry or metal, plastic varies in hardness. Softer plastics are easier to drill but even acrylics can be drilled if you use the right bit and drill carefully. While you will need specialised, extra-strong bits for other materials, you can use multi-purpose bits for drilling plastic. Always make sure that you choose high-quality bits, however. Cheap, poor quality twist bits will damage the edges of your holes. You can also use standard HSS bits, which also deliver smoother, more precise results. 

Multi-purpose bits

A set of multi-purpose bits in various sizes will always come in handy. For plastics, these bits are versatile and easy to use. When choosing your bits, look for precision ground bits. These bits are tough, making them ideal for a variety of materials, including softer plastics and acrylic. 

Standard HSS bits

Another versatile bit that can be used for a variety of projects is the Standard HSS bit. HSS or High-Speed Steel bits are tough, affordable and easy to use. They are ideal for home DIY and light drilling. Look for bits for a good performance rating to ensure that they will last. 

How to Drill Through Plastic

Once you’ve chosen your drill bits, it’s time to get to work. Generally speaking, plastic is not very hard to drill. There are a few things to note if you want to get smooth, clean holes. 

The larger the hole you are drilling, the slower you will need to drill. If you drill too fast, the plastic will melt. You will need to go especially slowly as the bit exits the plastic. It is a good idea to clamp the plastic to a hard surface before you start. You can do this by adding a piece of plywood below the plastic. This will prevent the plastic from being chipped as you reach the bottom of the surface. 

It’s also important to keep the bit lubricated as you work - especially when drilling deeper holes. This will remove any debris and prevent overheating. As plastic expands and contracts when temperatures change, make sure to drill a slightly bigger hole to make room for any screw movement without the risk of putting stress on the plastic.  

Ruwag offers high-quality multi-purpose and Standard HSS bits in a selection of sizes. Find the perfect drill bit for plastic and you’re sure to get the best results for your project.

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