How to Drill a hole in a Mirror without Cracking

Learning how to drill a hole in a mirror can expand the crafting and home repair tasks interestingly. But it’s a trickier task which needs some specific skills and caution as the mirror is a brittle material. That’s why we come to lead you on the right track.

Whether it is attaching drawer knobs into the mirror, hanging the mirror on the wall or a mirror with holes for lights, drilling holes is essential. Besides, glass works with beautiful holes attract everyone and boost the home design.

But applying the wrong method or tools can waste effort, drill bits, material, and time. For this reason, some enthusiastic handymen avoid projects that need to drill a hole in a mirror. However, you can drill a hole in a mirror by following proper skills with appropriate tools and patience.

In this article, we will offer a step-by-step guide so you can safely drill a hole in a glass without breaking it. Besides, you will learn how to drill a hole in a glass insulator and some essential tips.

Step by step Guides to drill a hole in a mirror

Though drilling a hole into the mirror is a risky task, it can be rewarding if you have patience. The key is drilling gradually. The thickness of the mirror also affects the result. Usually, thicker glass is less prone to cracking than thin glass, making it easier to drill. Besides, a regular drill bit isn’t suitable for drilling a hole in a mirror. So you must use the best drill bit for glass. Despite this, some other tools that are required are:

  • Mirror
  • Plywood
  • Marker
  • Tape
  • Thick, transparent plastic
  • Face mask
  • Diamond drill bit
  • Adjustable drill
  • Water
  • Wet 

Once collecting these right tools follow the step-by-step process to drill a hole in the mirror. Even if you want to learn how to drill a hole in the glass window, still follow the same process.

Prepare the glass

Firstly, place plywood on a flat surface and make sure you have taken a slightly larger piece than the glass. Then place the glass on the plywood. Use a rubber pad or other cushioning material to line the plywood.

Now mark the spot where you want to drill a hole. But don’t mark it within 3/4 of an inch of any edge if you want to drill a hole in the glass without breaking it. It is better if you use masking tape to mark a large X on the drill point as it will help prevent slipping and offer traction.

Prepare the drill

Use a drill with a variable speed trigger and attach a 1/8-inch or 3/32-inch carbide-tipped glass-cutting drill bit. Before turning on the drill, wear safety goggles, face masks, and cut-resistant gloves.

Drill a pilot hole

Again, if you want to drill a hole in the glass without breaking it, you must drill a pilot hole marking point. Set the drill bit point at the center of the marking point. At this time, pour some lubricating oil around the drill tip and mirror. Start with medium pressure at low speed to drill a pilot hole into the mirror.

Drill the desired hole into the mirror

Once making the starter hole, you can put off the masking tape. Continue drilling at a low speed of about 400 RPM. Stop drilling periodically and take your time resting and cleaning the glass. Gently clean the glass using compressed air and add some lubricating oil if your drill point gets hot.

After some time, stop drilling and replace the drill bit with a larger size carbide-tipped bit. In this way, you can cut a large hole in a mirror. Increase the pressure between each bit change and repeat the process until you drill a hole with the desired diameter.

After drilling about 34 of the glass thickness, reverse the side and repeat the whole process of making the starter hole.

Smooth the edge

Use a round file to smooth out the edges of the hole. Besides, you take a small strip of sandpaper as an alternative and wrap it on the edge to smooth out. Carefully use a 600-grit file to smooth the rough edges in the hole.

Clean up the mirror

After completing the whole process, wipe away every dust from the glass using a wet rag. At this time, clean the existing mark on the glass. Now your mirror is ready for further use.

How to Drill a Glass Insulator

Glass insulators are mostly used for sun catchers, light shades, salt and pepper shakers, and other arts and crafts where you need to drill a hole more often. Though the following specialized process will take some time, it will help you drill a hole successfully in glass insulators.

Tools you will require:

  • Glass insulator
  • Drill press
  • Diamond-tipped drill bit
  • Turpentine
  • Putty
  • Protective equipment like goggles and gloves

Make a circle of putty: Make a 1/4-inch deep circle around the drilling spot using putty. Besides, Make sure the circle is watertight.

Fill in the putty dam: Use turpentine to fill the putty dam as it will keep the bit cool and reduce the chance of chipping.

Prepare the drill: Attach the Glass Drill Bit with the drill. It is better if you start with a small bit and then gradually enlarge the size. It will help create a bigger hole without breaking the glass.

Start drilling: Begin with low speed and constant pressure to drill a hole in glass insulators. Don’t put too much force as it can break the insulator.

Clean the area: Once completing the process, clean off the turpentine and putty. Then smooth out the edge of the hole using a fine file.

FAQs on How to Drill a hole in a Mirror

How Can I Drill A Hole In Glass Without Breaking It?

Choose a diamond or carbide drill bit to drill a hole in the glass. Use diamond drill bits if you are learning how to drill a hole in tempered glass as it is more preferable. Take accurate measures and cover the glass using cardboard. While drilling through the cardboard, apply water periodically as it will keep the glass from overheating and offer you a hole without breaking it.

Can you drill a hole in the glass with a regular bit?

Regular drill bits are typically designed to drill through wood and other soft material. Besides, glass is a brittle material that can be broken easily using a common drill bit. Thus, a standard drill bit is ideal for drilling into glass. If you need to drill into a thick glass mirror, use a diamond drill bit. It is specially made for drilling into glass and other strong materials.

What is the best drill bit for glass?

Among a range of types, two types of drill bits are suitable for use on glass. One is diamond-tipped drill bits and the other is tungsten carbide spear-tipped drill bits. While diamond-tipped drill bits are best for glass, carbide-tipped drill bits are mostly used for drilling into ceramics, non-tempered glass, and tiles.

Drill a hole in Mirror perfectly and safely

Since now you know how to drill a hole in a mirror, hopefully, you can do it properly. Drilling a hole in the mirror is all about applying the proper method with the right tool and having patience. Besides, don’t forget to wear protective gear and apply lubricating oil periodically to keep the glass from breaking. So best wishes for your next project and keep in touch for more handy tutorials.

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Sam Morgan is a professional interior designer and part time content writer of Machine Handyman. He is a lifelong tools enthusiast and loves accessories of all shapes and sizes! He always research on different types of improvement tools like drill, air compressor, saw, nail gun, screw gun, grinder, cutting tools etc. Sam works hard on his project and try to find out which machine or tool will get him perfect results.

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