I have a set of drill bits but no drill. I need to make a hole in a thin surface prone to splitting and don't have a hand drill or a power drill on hand ; what could I use to make that hole?

  • a pair of pliers and a something to push against the but end... Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 21:39
  • 1
    Nail and hammer
    – Steven
    Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 22:05
  • 6
    Most of us here would use that as a reason (aka excuse) to buy the required tool...
    – gregmac
    Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 22:14
  • 1
    A drill is really an amazing tool. You will find all sorts of uses for it after you get one. I think most people on this site agree. diy.stackexchange.com/questions/53/… Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 22:39
  • A bullet. Or maybe a laser!
    – DA01
    Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 23:07

2 Answers 2


Knife with a sharp point. Dimple the surface with the point and gently twist your wrist. Turn the knife 180 degrees and continue till you've pierced the material. Do the same from the other side till the hole is the size you need. You have to be really gentle but it's a field technique I've used on up to 3/8" thick materials. Then go out and buy yourself a cordless drill so those bits become useful.

And for those who object. When the stuff hits the fan and you're 20 miles from home on your motorcycle, nothing's so useless as the drill motor and case of bits sitting on the workbench. Improvised field repair techniques aren't just for McGyver.


If the material is plastic hold the drill bit with pliers. Heat the drill bit on the stove. Push the drill bit thru the plastic with the pliers to form the hole. Throw the drill bit away after it has cooled because you have rendered it useless for drilling anything.

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