How to make a hole in metal without a drill

Welcome to my blog! Today, I’m going to show you how to make a hole in metal without a drill. This is a handy skill to have if you need to Hang something on the wall or make a new door knob. So let’s get started!

There are times when you need to make a hole in metal, but you don’t have a drill. What do you do? Well, you could always try the old-fashioned way – with a hammer and nail.

make a hole in metal without a drill

Metalworking projects often require creating precise holes in various metals. While drills are commonly used for this purpose, there are situations where a drill is unavailable or impractical. In this article, we will explore alternative methods of making holes in metal without a drill, providing you with practical solutions for your projects.

When faced with the challenge of making a hole in metal without a drill, it’s essential to consider alternative techniques that can deliver similar results. Whether you lack access to a drill or need a different approach, there are several effective methods available. By understanding these techniques and taking necessary safety precautions, you can achieve precise and professional-looking holes in metal.

Methods of Making Holes

1. Using a Punch

A punch is a simple yet effective tool for creating holes in metal. Start by marking the desired location of the hole using a center punch. Position the punch on the mark and strike it firmly with a hammer to create an indentation. Next, flip the metal piece over and continue striking the indentation with the punch until the hole is formed.

2. Using a Nail and Hammer

If you don’t have a punch available, a nail and hammer can serve as a makeshift alternative. Again, start by marking the hole’s location and place the tip of the nail on the mark. Use the hammer to strike the nail gently, creating a small indentation. Gradually increase the force of the hammer blows until the hole is formed.

3. Using a Plasma Cutter

A plasma cutter is a more advanced method for making holes in metal. This tool utilizes ionized gas to melt through the metal, creating precise and clean holes. Ensure you have the necessary safety equipment and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using a plasma cutter.

4. Using an Angle Grinder

An angle grinder equipped with a cutting disc can also be used to make holes in metal. Start by marking the hole’s location and firmly secure the metal piece. With caution, carefully guide the angle grinder’s cutting disc along the marked line, gradually increasing the depth until the hole is formed.

5. Using a Dremel Tool

A Dremel tool, with its versatile attachments, can be an excellent choice for creating small holes in metal. Select a suitable cutting bit or grinding wheel, mark the hole’s location, and carefully maneuver the Dremel tool to create the desired hole size.

Precautions and Safety Measures

Regardless of the method chosen, safety should always be a top priority. Here are some general precautions to follow:

  • Wear safety goggles and gloves to protect your eyes and hands.
  • Use appropriate respiratory protection when necessary, such as a mask or respirator.
  • Secure the metal piece firmly to prevent it from moving during the hole-making process.
  • Keep bystanders at a safe distance and ensure a clear workspace.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines for any tools or equipment used.

Alternatives to Drilling

If you need to make larger or more complex holes, consider these alternatives to drilling:

1. Using a Hole Saw

A hole saw is a specialized tool designed for creating larger holes in metal. Attach the hole saw to a power drill or rotary tool and carefully guide it along the marked location. Apply steady pressure and ensure proper lubrication to achieve smooth and clean cuts.

2. Using a Rotary Tool

A rotary tool, such as a Dremel, equipped with cutting or grinding attachments, can be used for more intricate hole-making tasks. Mark the location, select the appropriate attachment, and slowly create the hole by moving the rotary tool in a controlled manner.

3. Using a Jigsaw

For larger holes or irregular shapes, a jigsaw with a metal-cutting blade can be a valuable tool. Secure the metal piece, align the jigsaw blade with the marked line, and steadily guide it through the metal, adjusting the speed as needed.


While a drill is the most common tool for making holes in metal, there are various effective alternatives available. By utilizing methods such as using a punch, nail and hammer, plasma cutter, angle grinder, or Dremel tool, you can successfully create holes in metal without a drill. Remember to prioritize safety and take necessary precautions throughout the process.


Q1. Can I use a regular hammer instead of a punch?

Yes, you can use a regular hammer if a punch is not available. However, a punch provides better control and precision.

Q2. How do I choose the right cutting disc for an angle grinder?

Select a cutting disc specifically designed for metal cutting and ensure it is compatible with your angle grinder model.

Q3. Are there any alternative methods for making holes in thick metal sheets?

For thick metal sheets, plasma cutters or specialized hole saws are often the most efficient options.

Q4. Can I make holes in metal using a hand drill?

Yes, a hand drill can be used for small holes in thin metal sheets, but it may require more effort and time compared to power drills.

Q5. What safety precautions should I take when using a plasma cutter?

Ensure you wear appropriate protective gear, work in a well-ventilated area, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines for operating the plasma cutter.

Sharing Is Caring:

The Howtowise team has helped thousands of homemakers fix their household problems with step-by-step tutorials. Howtowise has been featured in The New York Times, Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, Lifehacker, and more.