9 Ways How to Make a Hole in Wood Without a Drill?

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Have you ever sat on your couch on a lazy weekend and decided to finish up some indoor projects? Surely you can finish them up as quickly as possible when you have the perfect machinery to do so, but what if you really need to make a wooden hole?

Naturally, you look for the drill machine! But what if you do not own one and do not want to take the hassle of purchasing one right now. What then? Do not worry, we have got your back! We’ll tell you how to make a hole in wood without a drill. So let’s get to it.

Easy Hacks to Make a Hole in the Wood without a Drill

Here, we will guide you through all the tips and tricks that you can use to test your craftsmanship skills without the fancy tools. At your home or any place where you are planning to hang some wall decors or make holes for any sort of purpose, these methods will certainly help you get the task done neatly and smoothly.

1. Old School “Bow Drill” Technique:

Back in the days when advanced machinery or tools were not that popular, people used to make bow drills to make holes. You only need two pieces of wood sticks-one of them with a sharpened end and a handle and one other normal wooden stick.

Tie the two sticks tightly with a string. Use the wooden stick with the sharpened edge to make the hole and scrape the target hole area out with your own bow drill and, there you have a hole!

2. Classic Nail Method

Hammer it up! Take a nail and put it on the surface of the wood you want to make a hole in. This is one of the most common ways of making holes in woods, and other materials as well.

However, it is wise to use different-sized nails depending on how small or big you want the hole to be. Very small nail sometimes gets hammered into the wood and might cause hassle. It is recommended to use nails with bigger heads for spacious holes.

3. Similar to Nail, the Awl Method

Even though awls are comparatively smaller than nails, you will still be able to hammer it through any type of wood. Unlike nails, awls do not come in too many sizes but hey, this only means that awls are meant for more intricate woodworks!

If it gets into and through the wood, you can always use the hammer claw to take it out. In case you are unable to do it, grab the hammer again and overlap the hole with a new set of awls!

4. Another ‘back in the days’ Trick, the Burning Wood Method!

A very common method mostly used on bamboos, the burning wood technique is one of the most convenient ways to make holes in wood. It is as simple as it gets.

Grab a metal road and heat its edge as much as you can, depending on the type of wood you are planning to make a hole in. Place it on the wood surface and rotate it through the wood if you want to make a deeper hole.

Keep rotating and scraping out other wood remnants if you wish to make a wider hole. It might be a little time-consuming, but it is known to work the best in plastic.

5. Bow Drill Method Again, But with a Twist!

As we read earlier, it is possible to make your own makeshift bow drill in order to make holes in wood, however, there is another way you can do it.

Instead of using two wooden sticks, use one wooden stick for the bow, and rather than sharpening another wooden stick, just use a stainless-steel drill bit to tie with the string!

The results might not be the best, you might end up with a rough finishing, but there certainly will be a hole!

6. The All-time Favorite- Self-Driving Screws!

You are much likely to find these self-drilling threaded screws in any store or if you are lucky enough, you might even end up finding some of these screws lying somewhere around your house.

Grab your screwdriver and start screwing the self-drilling screws into the intended wooden surface. After you make the hole, screw reverse, and get the screw out, it will leave a neat hole.

Some people also turn regular screws into self-drilling screws by wrapping files around them and following the same method, the accuracy of the finished work differs though. These holes are tinies than the holes that nails or awls make.

7. The Chisel Method

It might get a little messy or complex to carry if you do not hold the best handyman skills, but it still is an easy way to make holes. Take a pencil at first, draw a circle according to the hole you plan to make. Grab the chisel, put it on the drawing, and hammer it down while you rotate the chisel around the sketch.

Finally, scrape out the wood scrapes out with the chisel and there you have a hole. It would not be the perfect hole, but the convenience with chisels is that it comes in different shapes and sizes, thus you can always use a semi-circular edged chisel to carry this process out neatly.

8. Using a Simple Power Tool, the Dremel

Similar to an electronics angle drill, the machine has to be put in a perpendicular position when in use. Dremels are only limited to the sizes of drill bits that fit in them. A twist bit should also be attached to the tool before drilling a hole in the wood.

9. The SAW Method

Not necessarily to create circular holes, but jigsaws can be used to enlarge smaller holes. The method to apply here is the chisel method. Just draw out a bigger circle/other shapes around the already existing smaller hole and then cut through and around the wood with the jigsaw.

Final Words

That was pretty much everything on how to make a hole in wood without a drill. We have summed up nine of the best methods, starting from makeshift bows to using saws in order to make holes in wood, so, what are you waiting for?

Get up, grab your toolbox and finish all the tasks or projects that are pending. Remember to always be safe when using tools. Make sure you wear safety goggles and always maintain a clean work area when testing your craftsmanship skills.


Now, let’s take a look at some common FAQs and see if it answers any questions you might have.

How to make a pilot hole without a drill to hang a photo frame?

It is simple. Just grab a nail that suits your screw size and nail it into the wall.

What is the easiest way to cut perfect circles in wood?

Hole saws are known to be the easiest tool to use for cutting circles.

How to create bigger holes?

As long as you have a smaller hole, grab any object with a sharp edge and keep scraping out the wood, you might get a larger hole.

What type of bits are best for drilling wood holes?

Commonly used in wire systems, spade drill bits are a good suggestion for drilling wood holes.

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