How to Drill a Hole in Plastic without a Drill

Drilling a hole in plastic with a drill can be straightforward but it needs enough skill and the power drill isn’t available everywhere. So naturally, the question arises: How to drill a hole in plastic without a drill? is it possible to drill in plastic with other tools? The answer is YES, and you can do so in numerous ways!

Power drill with specific drill bits can drill holes easily. We covered this article with 5 different ways to drill a hole in a plastic that doesn’t require a drill. These methods require a few common tools and are most easier to apply.

More important, these methods are safe to use and only take a few minutes to offer a hole in plastic material. Lastly, we shared some useful tips so you can drill a hole in plastic properly without breaking it.

5 effective methods to drill a hole in the plastic

You can drill a hole in plastic using a piece of string. This method requires more elbow work and it’s a time-consuming process.

Tools required:

  • A piece of thick string
  • Sewing needle
  • Pliers
  • Knife
  • C-clamps

Secure the Plastic Container: Use the clamps to secure the plastic container so it can move.

Heat the Needle: Place the sewing needle in the teeth of the pliers. After that, light the needle tip so it can get heat.

Punch Holes in the Plastic: Then create multiple holes in the plastic container by pushing the heated needle into the container. While punching the hole, make sure you are maintaining the same line that you desire to cut.

Pass the Thread through the Hole: Pass a twelve-inch-long thread through the first hole from any side. At this time, wrap the thread around your hand several times to position the thread firmly.

Pull the string backward and forward: Now string back and forth in the hole until it cuts one hole to another. Keep stinging until you find a cut line between the entire holes.

How to Drill a Hole in Plastic Using A Jigsaw

C-clamps are a must-have tool for this method to keep the plastic in place securely and tightly. Besides, if you want to learn how to make holes in plastic pots without a drill, this method is for you.

Other tools required:

  • Jigsaw
  • Safety goggles
  • A Marker
  • C-clamps

Secure the plastic and mark the line: Place the plastic in the C-clamp and secure it. Then mark the cut line on the container using a marker.

Apply the Jigsaw: Take a jigsaw with a fresh and sharp blade so it can cut through the plastic easily and smoothly. Now press the trigger found at the bottom of the jigsaw to power it on. Gradually move the jigsaw across the top of the container as desired.

While moving over the plastic, tightly push down the jigsaw so it can cut through easily. Once completing the line, you will have the desired hole in the plastic without using a standard drill.

How to Drill a Hole in Plastic Using a Hacksaw

A hacksaw is also an essential tool to cut a hole in the plastic. It is pretty lightweight and includes sharp teeth, making it great for having a hole in plastic with minimal effort. Plus, if you want to learn how to make holes in plastic containers without a drill, follow the method:

Tools are required:

  • Hacksaw
  • C-clamps

Secure the plastic: Firmly secure the plastic in the C-clamps so it can’t move. Besides, make sure the plastic is placed steadily to prevent movement and breakage during cutting the hole.

Mark the Cut Lines: To make a round hole and cut accordingly, make a cut line on the plastic using the marker.

Apply the Hacksaw: Start cutting the hole from the first line of the plastic. However, it may feel a bit harder the first time, but once finding the rhythm, it will be easier for you.

Use a Circular Saw

If you need to cut a hole in thicker or harder plastic, you will find this circular saw method beneficial. More importantly, this method will help you cut a circular hole in the plastic. An impressive thing about this method is it will let you cut through different materials just by changing the blade.

Tools required:

  • Circular saw
  • C-clamps
  • Marker
  • Gloves
  • Safety goggles
  • Dust mask

Insert the blade: Firstly, place a blade in the circular saw that can cut through the plastic smoothly and effortlessly.

Place the Plastic: Securely place the plastic in the C-clamps and then place both of them on the top of the table. Make sure it is placed tightly.

Mark the Cut Lines: Once securing the plastic, mark a hole in the area where you desire to cut

Apply the Circular Saw: Before powering on the saw, wear your protective gear since the jaw can leave a plastic with jagged edges. Besides, running a circular saw at high speed can produce excessive heat, so better you work in an area that has enough ventilation.

Now turn on the saw and gradually move toward the plastic. Make sure you are following the exact line while moving the saw to have a perfect hole.

Pin or nail method

If you need to drill a tiny hole about 12 inches, this method will be perfect for you.

The tools required:

  • Pin or nail
  • Lighter
  • Bench

Heat the pin or nail: Collect a pin or nail and set it over a stove. Then heat the pin or nail using a lighter for some time. Remove the nail or pain from the stove using a cloth.

Place the plastic: Place the plastic on a bench and push the tip of the nail into the plastic carefully. At this time, twist the pin or nail so it can stick to the plastic.

Create a hole: Push the pin completely into the plastic and take it out from the other side and you will have a tiny hole. If the nail cools down before entering completely, then heat the nail again and repeat the process. Besides, make sure you have full attention to the project. Otherwise, a little distraction can burn your figure and damage the plastic.

How to smooth the edges of a plastic hole?

Once creating the hole in the plastic, you may have a sharp edge that is risky to touch. Luckily, you can follow some procedures to smooth out the edge and prevent any finger injury. Several tools can smooth out the plastic edge, including fine-grit sandpaper, varnish, electric buffer, and a metal file. So choose any of them that suit you most and apply it to the sharp edge. After a while, you will have a smooth hole in the plastic.

How to Drill Through Plastic without Cutting It?

Though it is quite easy to damage a plastic while trying to cut a hole in it, how to drill a hole in plastic without cracking it? The following are some procedures you can prevent cracking of plastic while drilling a hole:

Ensure sufficient Support for the Plastic: Plastic may bend often while cutting holes if it does not properly get enough support. So you can place a stiff board under the plastic to reduce the plastic flexing. Place a piece of scrap wood under the plastic if you want to prevent chipping while starting cutting the plastic with a hacksaw or jigsaw.

Use Quality C-Clamps: Place quality C-clamps over the plastic areas as much as you if you want to reduce the stress on the plastic’s surface and enjoy the best result. But don’t secure the clamps too tightly as they can creak the plastic once it starts cutting. Moreover, using rubber strips over the plastic can help prevent dancing scratches during cutting it with a saw. Cardboard is also an effective tool, however, don’t put too much force on one spot.

 FAQs on How to Drill a Hole in Plastic

Can you use a soldering iron to make holes in the plastic?

You can use a soldering iron on plastic, but ensure you are working in a well-ventilated area. Once making the area well ventilated, turn on the soldering iron to heat up. Then press the tip of the iron with light pressure on the desired area and you will have a nice neat hole in the plastic.

Can you drill into PVC?

Usually, PVC is a soft plastic where you can apply both metal and wood drill bits to make a hole. Besides, a spade bit will offer you a larger hole on PVC. But before starting drilling, make a small divot in the PVC with a hammer and nail. It will help prevent slipping while drilling a hole.

Can you drill through hard plastic?

Though you can drill through hard plastic, a typical drill bit won’t help you. Since plastic is a brittle material and tends to crack, a twist bit will be perfect for drilling a hole, especially in hard plastic.

Drill Hole in Plastic Safely

Hopefully, now you have a better idea of how to drill a hole in plastic without a drill. More importantly, we have discussed five alternative ways so you can drill a hole in plastic following the most desired way. Whatever the method, you choose the cut hole but pay attention and make it carefully since you are working on a brittle material. Moreover, though you won’t have to use a drill, the tools you will apply instead are also enough risky. So don’t forget about your safety tools.

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Sam Morgan is a general contractor based in Charlotte, North Carolina. He does home renovations, extensions, landscaping maintenance, and general handyman jobs for homeowners. He is also the part-time content writer at Machine Handyman and a lifelong tools enthusiast. Sam loves hand tools, power tools, machinery, and DIY gadgets of all shapes and sizes! He is always researching the different types of home improvement tools that will get the best results. This site will cover products like power drills, air compressors, saws, nail guns, screw guns, grinders, cutting tools, and many more.

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