One of the best things about DIY home decorating projects is that you can find new and creative ways to make your living space more beautiful. One way this takes place, for example, is by cutting holes in the glass without having access to drills or other specialized tools.

You can apply the traditional methods used before the invention of the drills or apply expensive conventional methods which could be thrilling to DIY enthusiasts. Read on to learn how to make a hole in the glass without a drill.

How to Make a Hole in a Glass Without a Drill?

Use a Glass Cutter

A glass cutter is a tool that was used before the invention of the drills and you can resort to this method to make a hole in your glass. The glass cutter looks like a pencil attached to a sharp cutting blade made of tungsten carbide.

The cutter works well on flat glass panels and cuts holes perfectly on the surface. Although it may be tricky to cut a perfect circle using the glass cutter, you can achieve perfection with repeated trial and error.

You will need a glass cutter, duct tape, gloves, a compass or round bottle cap, and a permanent marker to easily determine how to cut a circle on a glass. First, wear safety gloves as glass particles may fly off and can pierce unexpectedly.

Use the geometry compass or circular cap to draw a circle on the glass using the permanent marker. Then cover the circle with duct tape and start cutting the hole on the circle. The duct tape will guide the glass cutter and prevent crack development on the glass.

You should hold the glass cutter like a pencil and scratch following the permanent marker circle. Finally, after making a complete cut on the circle, you can jerk off the part using your thumb, and a wooden hammer could also do the work. The circle will have an irregular edge, and it would be better to polish the edge using fine-grade sandpaper.

Use a Soldering Iron to Cut a Hole in a Glass Bottle

A soldering iron can make a large hole in a mini hanging terrarium and you will need a glass bottle, soldering iron, and bottle scoring jig. Begin by choosing a curvy part of the glass you would like to cut, as it would be easy to place the bottle cutting jig. It would be easier to start cutting a hole on the curvy bottle side than a plane edge.

Begin making the hole using the soldering iron tip, and shift it until the split begins, and continue cutting with the soldering tip. Continue pushing the soldering iron in the same direction you would like to make a hole in the bottle.

Focus on the right skills to make a tight angle and create different designs on the glass surface. You can complete the cut when you find both cracks end, try to separate the glass pieces to form a hole and the desired patterns.

The glass cutter is a cost-effective alternative to the glass drill as the tool is created for glass-cutting purposes. However, it requires a little effort and patience to successfully cut a hole in the glass pane. However, sanding the surface might reduce the hole’s sturdiness over time.

Use an Iron Nail and Flame Torch

The nail and torch flame method works best for bottle glass but would work fine with the flat glass as long as you have the right skills. Heating the glass leads to the expansion of the particles and is easy to puncture.

You will need a hammer, torch or lighter, water, iron nail, and duct tape. You cover the circle on the glass surface with duct tape and light the lighter to start heating the spot under the duct tape. You can heat the spot for about 5 minutes while avoiding heat distribution to the glass parts.

If you place the bottle immediately in cold water when the spot is super hot, it will crack forming a perfect circle. Then smoothen the circle edges with sandpaper to create a smooth edge and prevent accidents.

Alternatively, you can heat the duct tape circle on the glass surface until it is super-hot. Then using a hammer hit the nail over the circle.

Since the glass under the duct tape is hot, its particles expand more than those in the cold areas thus is easy to break. Thus with the hammer’s force, you can form a circle on the glass.

Use a String Dipped In Kerosene Oil

The string in the kerosene method uses old-school science to cut holes in a glass and is best applied when cutting bottles in half. But could also cut a circle on a flat glass surface. You will need a cotton string, a lighter, and kerosene oil to cut a hole in the glass.

Draw a perfect circle on the glass surface, and soak the string in the kerosene oil. Then light the kerosene-soaked string and allow it to heat the glass circle until it is hot, and apply pressure with a sudden hand jerk over the hot circle.

The glass will cut into a perfect circle, and you can use the string to cut the bottle by placing the string around the bottle and setting it on fire. Once the string has heated the glass adequately, you can dip it in cold water which cuts the glass bottle into two.

The method offers the cleanest cuts which result in a professional look. However, the string might light up so fast and you should ensure it lies within the designated area. You should be careful when handling the kerosene as it leads to accidental fires which can burn your arms.

Use a Tapered File

The tapered file is known as the three-square file which is an iron bar with parallel groves and can be applied to knife sharpening and polishing surfaces. Using the tapered file to cut a hole in a glass is effective but might be time-consuming, but it can be used on almost all glass surfaces.

You will need a tapered file, lubricant, safety gloves as the glass might crack leading to accidents.

The hole-cutting procedure requires patience and you should start by wearing safety gloves and lubricating the file tip. Then identify and mark the area you would love to create the hole, marking the area will help you remain focused on the job.

Start by screwing the file clockwise and anti-clockwise motion repeatedly, and ensure you lubricate the surface whenever you start cutting the glass intermittently. The file will puncture the glass slowly with repeated motion.

The tapered file cuts the glass quickly and easily and was the conventional home-drilling method used by many ancient communities. However, it is a tedious process, but if you have time to spare this will be the right procedure.

Use a Carbide Drill Bit

You can cut a hole through a glass with a carbide bit as it can scratch the glass puncturing it creating a hole. The carbide drill bit works best for glass bottles and flat glass to some extent, and you will need duct tape, oil, water, and a carbide bit.

You will use duct tape to cover the flat glass at least five inches to limit the vibrations which can result from the procedure. Then lubricate the tip of the carbide tip with the oil and start grinding it against the flat glass surface.

You should avoid applying too much pressure on the glass as it can lead to cracks. Alternatively, you can immerse the flat glass in water and start cutting as it reduces the vibrations.

The method can be messy as it uses oil as a lubricant thus, you should put on gloves when cutting glass. However, it uses cheaply available materials, but the carbide might not work well on glass material which does not absorb heat like the double pane glasses.

The method produces so much heat and you should be careful not to burn your hands while drilling a hole in the glass.

Use the Water Jet Method

This is a conventional method and if you have a water jet at home you can use it to cut holes in a flat surface glass. A high-pressure water jet behaves like a sharp knife and can cut through glass, and the water jet machines produce about 60,000 PSI pressure, and can easily cut glass.

Start by fixing the glass to a secured surface to prevent it from cracking under the water pressure. You can use water-jet bricks which are secured with a clamp to hold the glass effectively on the surface. Then, mark the hole on the flat surface glass with a permanent marker, and use fine mesh abrasives to provide better water jet parts.

If the water is at high pressure, you can ramp it to the ideal pressure which cuts the glass seamlessly; then, keep the water flow rate at 0.2 kg per minute. Then aim the water flow over the glass and let it cut through it to create a hole, finally smoothen the edge.

The water jet is environmentally friendly and does not produce harmful fumes and wastes. Moreover, it does not create noises compared to other drilling methods, thus would be the appropriate method as it uses green energy.

Unfortunately, the method leads to thermal stress as the water hits the glass under high pressure leading to the creation of heat on the glass surface.

Use Laser to Cut the Glass

If you have a laser cutting machine in your home, it would be perfect for cutting holes in the glass. However, the laser machine might be highly advanced and you should know how to operate it before you start drilling holes in your glass.

The machine uses different gases to create different wavelength emissions which can cut through glass and other materials easily. The machine is bulky and would require some skill to operate but it offers a clean cut.

Cutting your glass with the laser gives more precision than the drill. Thus, you should use the laser for professional glass cutting, but they would be appropriate for DIY projects which require precision. The laser will not damage the glass but it might lead to thermal stress which reduces the glass quality.


How Do You Make a Hole in a Glass Bottle Without Tools?

You can make a hole in a glass without using tools with a string soaked in kerosene. You should mark the part where the hole will be located and soak the string and light it.

The fire on the string will make the glass around the marked areas expand, and when you immerse it in cold water the hole will crack along the expanded glass.

What is the Best Drill Bit for Glass?

You can use carbide bit drills to create holes in the glass such as the QWORK Multi-Material Drill Bit.

Can You Poke a Hole in the Glass?

You should not poke a hole in glass as it can result in cracks leading to an uneven edge. Thus, it would be better to drill the glass with the appropriate tools.

Can You Drill a Hole in the Glass With a Regular Bit?

Drilling a hole in glass can be done with the help of an electric drill if you have one and choose your bit carefully. The key to using this technique is making sure that what we’re going after, much harder than whatever material our drilling instrument actually has been made from.

Otherwise, it’ll just end up breaking apart rather than creating any meaningful result (and who wants something broken?).

How to Make a Hole in a Glass Pipe?

You can use a laser to cut a hole in a glass pipe as it results in precise cuts. However, you should be skilled to handle the bulky and innovative laser tool.

Is It Possible to Make Hole in Toughened Glass?

Tempered glass is much stronger than normal, flat glass but it does not have the same protective properties. If you attempt to install any type of hole, the pane will break apart in pieces and cause more harm than good.

The only way you could get tempered glass with a hole in it would be if that particular feature was built into your design before the tampering process.


Cutting a hole in the glass without a drill is possible and has been done by many generations from ancient societies. First, you can use the glass cutter which looks like a pencil with a sharpened end or use a soldering iron that cuts through the glass.

Alternatively, you can apply the kerosene and string method, use a heat stream, or the water jet method. Finally, you can use laser beams which result in a precise hole in the glass. You should find the glass-cutting method which works for your DIY projects or professional glass cutting.