How to Make a Hole in Metal without a Drill

Drilling a hole into a metal can be a straightforward task using a power drill. But learning an alternative way can help you continue drilling into metal if the drill gets damage or loss. Even learning how to make a hole in metal without a drill can save your money and time while complete the job efficiently. Following the guide, you will learn two different methods to make a hole in metal that doesn’t require much tools and skill while maintaining accuracy. Both the drilling process is safer and suitable to apply on a different type of metal including steel metal.

The method we will discuss doesn’t require much tools and skill and offer an accurate hole in metal quickly. Both the method are safer to apply and suitable for any metal including steel metal. So let’s learn!

Easiest way to make a Hole in Metal without a Drill

If you are a beginner and don’t have enough budget to buy the best drill press for metal, don’t worry! Still, there is plenty of cheaper and easier option. Among them, we will discuss two different ways that will let you punch a hole in metal without the assist of the drill.

Punch holes in sheet metal with hole punch pliers

Hole punch pliers are a handy and powerful tool that can successfully punch a hole in metal accurately and efficiently. Whether you need to make a hole in metal for putting a jump ring through or for decorative purposes this tool will help you do so. 

It’s a user friendly device that features a pin at the end of the pliers’ jaws. Applying a force on the tool, offer a clean hole in sheet metal. If you need to drill a 1-inch hole in metal, still you can follow this method.

Accessories require:

  • Marker pen
  • A hammer
  • A center punch
  • Hole punch pliers
  • Gloves

Mark up the metal

Firstly wear your safety gloves. Use a black marker to mark the sheet to get the most possible accurate hole. If you need multiple holes in single metal, this mark will help you measure the proper spacing between each hole. 

Create a small dent

To ensure accuracy during punching the metal hole, create a small indication on the marking spot. You don’t need a hammer drill. Just use a hammer and a centre punch to leave a small dent on the metal so you can position the hole punch correctly. 

Create a small dent to Make a Hole in Metal

Make a hole facing outwards

Now place the hole punch pliers on the metal and make sure that its punch pin is in the centre of the marking spot. It is better to create the hole on the side of the metal that facing outwards. Doing so will hide the sharp edges on creating the hole and offer a smooth-looking hole. hole punch pliers are pretty accurate and once punching into the handles you will have a precise hole. you should still file the sharp edge so it doesn’t cause any finger injury.

Pro tips

If you can’t escape from the tiny burrs of the hole, simply use a forward and twisting motion. Once removing the tool file the internal edge of the hole with a round needle file. If you want to make a small hole in metal, it’s an effective method.

Make a hole in metal with a jewellers’ saw

Jeweller saw is another effective tool that helps create a hole in metal. Even if you want to learn How to drill large holes in metal, still it is an appropriate method to follow. Especially it’s a superb method to create an intricate cut-out pattern in the metal. 

In the beginning, you may feel it complicated to make a hole in metal using a jewellers’ saw. But once getting the basics of piercing and sawing you will have endless possibilities. Conversely, if you need to cut a round hole in sheet metal, this method won’t be a suitable option for you. Instead, use a hole puncher or pendant drill for better results.

Accessories require:

  • Cut out design paper
  • Double-sided sticky tape
  • Steel block
  • Hammer
  • Center punch
  • Jeweller’s saw
  • Sharp blade

Fix the pattern

Did you choose the cut-out pattern for the metal? If you have, now decide between the marker and design paper. You can both lay a design paper on the metal and mark a design manually. But for the accurate result, it is recommended to start with a design paper. Now lay the design paper on the sheet and fix it with double-sided sticky tape.

Create an indentation

Take your hammer, centre punch, and steel block. Now place the metal on the sheet block and set the centre punch at the middle of the cutout design. Punch the hammer to make a dent on the metal so you can find something for targeting. Considering the tools you have, you will have to punch a hole in the dent so you can make an accurate hole into metal.

Set the jeweller’s saw

Prepare the jeweller’s saw by placing the blade into the end of the saw frame and fixing it securely. Now feed the other end of the blade into the hole that you have created moments ago. Make sure you have fixed the saw blade to the structure with the correct direction of the blade teeth. After that, suspiciously run the finger along the saw blade. The intention is to check whether it is running downward or upwards. You have to make it running downward.

Finish the job

Once preparing the saw, now slowly run the blade in an upward motion. It will provide you a nice starting point to make a hole in metal. While cutting through the metal, make sure the saw frame is parallel to the workbench so you can get a precise hole.

FAQs on How to Make a Hole in Metal

What is the easiest way to drill through metal?

Drilling at a low speed is the easiest and safest way to drill through metal. If you are working on a harder metal like steel with a larger drill bit slower the speed is as much as possible. With a small twist bit, it is better to run the drill at 3,000 RPM on most metal.

How do you punch a hole in metal without a drill?

Hole punch pliers are the most effective and easier way to punch a hole in metal if the drill isn’t available. A hole punch pliers features a pin at the end of the pliers’ jaws which can punch a clean hole successfully on a metal sheet. It includes an ergonomic grip that helps apply the force conveniently.

Which drill bit is ideal for metal?

Cobalt drill bits are suitable for drilling any hard metal and even steel. These drill bits dissipate heat quickly and design with abrasions resistance. Thus Cobalt drill bits ensure convenient drilling into metal comparing titanium-coated drill bits and black oxide drill bits.

Final words

Making a hole in a metal can be effortless only appropriately using the right tools. Throughout the article, we have taught how to make a hole in metal without a drill in two different ways.

Hope you have now ready for applying that method practically in your next metal drilling process. Both the methods are easier and don’t require much tools and time. You also can make hole in wood or plastic. However, you may need some skill for applying the jeweller’s saw method but the hole punch pliers method is quite user-friendly.

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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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