How to Drill Plexiglass Without Cracking It

Quick Tip: To successfully drill plexiglass without damage, choose the right drill bit, secure the material firmly, mark drilling points, apply masking tape for added protection, start with a pilot hole, use gentle pressure, and follow step-by-step instructions to gradually enlarge the holes while clearing away debris periodically.


Plexiglass, also known as acrylic, is a versatile material widely used in various applications, Drilling holes in plexiglass can be a delicate process, as the material is prone to cracking and tearing. In this article we will provide you with valuable tips and step-by-step instructions to help you successfully drill plexiglass without damaging it. 

Tips for Drilling Plexiglass 

  • Choose the Right Drill Bit: Selecting the appropriate drill bit is crucial when it comes to drilling plexiglass. Use a drill bit specifically designed for acrylic or plastic materials. A sharp, high-speed steel drill bit or a brad point drill is recommended. Avoid using standard twist drill bits, as they have a tendency to catch and crack the material. 
  • Secure the Plexiglass: Before drilling, ensure that the plexiglass is securely mounted or clamped down to prevent any movement during the
    drilling process. This will minimize the risk of the material cracking or tearing. 
  • Mark the Drilling Points: Use a marker or pencil to mark the exact points where you want to drill the holes. 
  • Apply Masking Tape: Apply the masking tape over the marked area to create a barrier and enhance resistance during the drilling process. This step adds an extra layer of protection and prevents the drill bit from tearing at the material. 
  • Start with a Pilot Hole: To reduce the risk of cracking, start by creating a small pilot hole. This hole should be slightly smaller than the diameter of the final hole you want to achieve. This initial hole will act as a guide for the larger drill bit. 
  • Use a Gentle Pressure: During the drilling process, apply consistent and gentle pressure. Avoid excessive force, as this may cause the plexiglass to crack or tear.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Gather the necessary tools and materials. 

Step 2: Securely clamp the plexiglass to a work surface, ensuring that it is stable and won't move during drilling. 

Step 3: Mark the drilling points on the plexiglass using a marker or pencil. 

Step 4: Attach the appropriate drill bit to your drill. Remember to choose a drill bit designed for acrylic.

Step 5: Place the tip of the drill bit on one of the marked drilling points.  Apply very gentle pressure and start drilling slowly. Begin with a small pilot hole. 

Step 6: Once the pilot hole is created, gradually increase the drill speed and enlarge the hole to your desired size. Take your time and maintain a steady drilling speed. 

Step 7: Periodically stop drilling to clear away any plastic debris that may accumulate around the hole. This will prevent overheating and ensure a clean, precise hole. 

Step 8: Repeat the drilling process for each marked point. 


Drilling plexiglass requires patience, precision, and the right tools. By following these tips and step-by-step instructions, you can successfully drill plexiglass without causing any cracks or tears. 



Sources and Contributors

1. Lizl Kruger 

2. (2024).

3. The Plastic People. (2021, July 26). Drilling Acrylic: Tips and Techniques. The Plastic People. Retrieved March 20, 2024, from