What is the Best Drill Bit for Plastic

drill bit for plastic

Thanks for taking your time to read our information on the best drill bit for plastic. Drilling plastic is actually pretty easy, but the major risk is that thinner plastic materials have a tendency to crack quite easily.

That is the one thing you need to avoid. The key to achieving that, is the amount of pressure that you put on the drill, the speed of the drill and of course to use the correct drill bit.

We will look at each of those things in turn so as you have a really good general understanding of all the knowledge to make a successful job of drilling through all types of plastic.

The best drill bit for drilling through plastic should have a 90 to 118 degree drill point angle along with a 9 to 15 degree lip angle. Most importantly the rear side of plastic must be supported to prevent cracking during the drilling process.

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These drill bits shown to the left have a 118 degree split point and that design helps a great deal with self-centering the bit.

That means you don't have to push as hard on your drill and that of course greatly reduces the risk of cracking.

It does of course also greatly improve the accuracy of drilling the holes.

These come in a pack of 10 so work out at roughly £1.50 per bit.

It is also important to point out that almost any drill bit will be able to go through plastic. So if you already own some drill bits, the chances are that you can use those. However if you need to have neat accurate holes, then it is always wise to buy the proper drill bits for the job.

When may you need to drill Plastic?

You may need to drill plastic for quite a few jobs. These include drilling corrugated roofing, plastic number plates, plastic sheet, plastic plant pots and plastic electrical junction boxes.

What Type of Drill do you need for Plastic?

The good news is that almost any type of drill or drill/driver can be used to drill through plastic. It does not have to have any fancy features.

The only type of drill that you shouldn't use is a hammer drill as that is used for drilling through concrete or masonry. If you own a drill or drill/driver with variable speed, then that feature will give you a great deal more control over the actual drilling process.

Top Tips for Drilling Plastic

Below we have included our top tips for drilling plastic.

  • Always make sure that you have some type of support under the plastic - a block of wood is ideal
  • Make sure your drill bit is sharp
  • Never push down hard on the drill as that will cause the plastic to crack - let the drill and the drill bit do the work
  • Start slowly by gently squeezing the trigger at a slow speed and let the drill do all of the work
  • Once the hole has been drilled, switch the drill to the reverse function to easily remove the drill bit from the plastic

Different Types of Plastic

Not all plastic material is the same. There are quite a number of different types of plastic such as polyurethane, PVC, polystyrene, polymers, nylons, polycarbonate, PFTE etc. All plastics are however made from natural materials such as salt, coal, crude oil, natural gas and cellulose.

These natural materials then go through a polymerisation or polycondensation process to deliver the end result. These will then be in one of two groups known as thermoplastics or thermosets.

  1. Thermoplastics - this is the most common and these soften on heating and then harden again on cooling and include plastics like polyethylene, PVC, polypropylene and polystyrene
  2. Thermosets - once moulded they never soften and remain hard and include epoxide and polyurethane

For drilling purposes, you don't have to be too concerned which type of plastic you are drilling through. The same drilling principles apply to both types.

About the author cordy

I am a retired construction worker and I also happen to love power tools. I have used hundreds over the years and offer my opinions on them here.

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