How to Drill a Straight Hole without a Drill Press

Except for some special cases, most of the holes we drill are projected in the perpendicular direction. The best machine which can provide you with this service is no doubt a drill press. However, it is not what every worker can have. In addition, it is not what you can use everywhere like drilling walls or cabinets.

A drill press is a specialized machine that comes with a fixed table and can not be carried every where. Despite the precision it provides, its handling can be tiresome. Only a skilled worker can handle a powerful machine like that.

Without a drill press, you are left with the choice of a cordless hand drill or some other interesting options. But the problem arises when you start the drill. The machine starts moving in every possible direction and you end up getting slanted holes.

The question of interest is: What to do if I don’t have a drill press? Or Can I get perfect holes with a drill press? In this article, we will be discussing some possible methods through which perfect holes can be drilled wherever you want.

Why not a Drill Press?

A drill press is a machine used to drill straight holes on hard material. It is fixed on a table and whatever you want to drill should be taken to that stand. In addition to this, it is a powerful machine which requires great practice for running.

Furthermore, the machine acquires more space. If your workshop is not spacious you cannot manage to make room for one.

Other than that, the cost of the Drill Press is also high. Choosing it as an option is only beneficial if you want to do a variety of drilling jobs on a large scale. Only if you are a professional, you can opt for a drill press.

Alternative Methods to Drill Straight

On the contrary, there are several portable options you can go for. The precision can be ensured by these alternatives as well.

Moreover, there is no need to bring the work piece to your drill machine. The machine can be easily taken to wherever you want.

1. Use a Hand Drill

A hand drill gets clumsy at times. Once you start to drill, the machine starts swinging all around. To get it under control and making the perfect drilled holes, here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Make a Jig

Take two scrap pieces of hardwood. Glue them out in a perpendicular direction. Place this glued L-shape jig against the walls of a perfect square. For further strength, you can use some clamps as well. In addition to strength, this will bring the wooden pieces to the exact right angle.

Wait until the glue dries and both the pieces are strongly attached. You can also use screws to align the two pieces together.

Step 2: Start Drilling

One done, hold the jig by your hand or fix by a clamp. You can also drill a hole at one end of the jig. Pass a string through it and tie it with strong support. It will give your jig support while drilling.

Now, align the drill bit tightly in the corner of the jig. Start the machine and continue boring the on-spot holes as much as you want.

Alternative Jig

The wooden jig, however, wears out with time. For a long-term jig, buy an aluminium or brass rod from a hardware shop. Make sure the diameter of the rod fits in the drill bit.

Stick this rod with some melted glue in the corner of the jig. Place the drill bit inside that rod and start drilling. You will get the same consistent holes every time you drill. In addition, this jig is long-lasting.

2. Use an Old CD

CD players might get old but the efficiency a CD can provide is worth sharing. This might sound weird but you can actually bore down a hole by the help of an old CD.

Step 1: Mark the Centre

Take a CD and check whether the drill bit is passing through the disk’s hole. If it is, place the CD on the work piece. Move its centre to the point where you want to bore down a hole.

Encircle that position with a pencil, marking the centre point. Similarly, you can mark several points and can start drilling all of them at once.

Step 2: Align the Drill Bit and Start Drilling

Place the CD to the outlined position on board, hold the drill perpendicular to the CD. Along with it, you can verify the right angle by the reflection produced on the CD surface.

Consequently, with all things perfectly aligned, start the drill machine and enjoy utilizing your scrap CDs in a productive way.

3. Use a Guide Attachment

A guide attachment is what lends you with all you can get from a drill press. Along with it, unlike drill press, it can be taken anywhere in your tool bag.

Step 1: Set the Depth and Angle

Just like a drill press, you can adjust the angle and depth to which the bit goes by your choice. Place the hand drill above guide stand. Decide the angle and depth and fix it.

Step 2: Start Drilling

Once everything is set, you will feel like you are running a drill press. Start the machine and drill through the wood at your desired angle.

Although, the drill press is a workers utmost choice for drilling, with little effort he/she can get the same precision through other available options as well. Besides, if you drill occasionally,  these alternatives are a far better option than spending on a drill press.


Not drilling out the perfect holes in your work piece makes your task tiring yet frustrating. Also, a drill press is not a portable machine to carry everywhere. These hacks can work out for you as the best possible alternatives.

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