Drilling Holes in Glass Bottles

Especially during the holiday seasons, we receive question about drilling holes in glass bottles for various decoration projects.

One of the best uses of diamond drill bits is with glass.

Some of the older instructions on the internet talk about using regular drill bits or carbide drill bits for glass but they were probably written before the new technology diamond drill bits were available to DIY people.

We have had many previous clients post images of their projects and they are mostly first time drillers.

If you practice safety and patience, this can be a project for novice users.

 

 

Here are some of our safety points when drilling holes in glass bottles:

  • Practice on some junk bottles before doing your actual projects.
  • Wear Safety googles and protective thick gloves.
  • Do NOT push the drill bit too hard, let it grind and to the work.
  • Once again, be patient and go slow.
  • Use water as coolant – be extra careful with water if you are using an electric drill.

We recommend drilling on the side of the bottle instead of the bottom. Bottoms are extra thick for drilling.

Tools and Materials

  • You can use a hand drill (electric or cordless) or you can use a drill press.
  • You need some kind of a cushion like a thick table cloth or folded towel between the bottle and work surface.
  • Some type of protective gloves, like leather or such.
  • Water for cooling.
  • Drilax diamond drill bits

There are two areas of focus here:

  1. Keeping the drill bit cool: Electroplated diamond coating will wear off if the tool gets too hot. Never let your drill bit run dry. Here is how you could use water to keep the tool cool:
    a- You can build a mini water dam around the hole with plumbers putty.
    b- You can choose to spray water on the drill bit.
    c- Or you can use running water to cool the drill bit.
  2. Keeping the drill bit in position

If you are using a drill press positioning is not much of a challenge. But if you are using a hand drill, it could be more difficult.

With hand drills we recommend using a piece of thick cardboard or plastic with a hole as your guide.