What is the Best 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 bits do you need for Plastic?

If you have a need to regularly drill through plastic, then it is worthwhile looking at drill bits, that are made by manufacturers, specifically for that purpose. Some manufacturers highly recommend what are called "Step drill bits." Other manufacturers will recommend using an industrial strength of tile drill bit. Finally some manufacturers recommend dowel drill bits.

The reasons that they recommend these is that they make very clean holes. With a standard drill bit you can be left with a very hard and sharp edge around the hole. By using either a step drill bit or a bit suitable for drilling tiles, you do get a much neater finish and a very clean hole.

Our advice would be that if you are regularly going to be drilling plastic, then certainly have a look at the step drill bits, or tile bits, as they are faster and neater. If you are only drilling the odd hole every now and then, don't spend the extra on these.

Step Drill Bits for Plastic

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This Step Drill bit set is available in the UK and a good affordable choice for drilling through plastic and leaving a very neat finish.

The real beauty of these as that they allow you to drill a very wide range of different sized holes, which is particularly useful for plant pots

They are made of High Speed Steel with a Titanium coating which means they last for a very long time, and they have a Hex shaft so they won't slip in the chuck of the drill.

Tile Drill Bits for Plastic

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These are a little cheaper than the step drill bits and their main purpose is to drill through tiles or glass so they will easily go through plastic.

Many users say these leave really neat holes in plastic and as they are hard wearing last for many years

They are usually made from an alloy steel and should have a carbide tip - this tip is shaped like the head of a spear and that helps prevent breakout

So these also work really well for drilling through any type of plastic.

Dowel Drill Bits for Plastic

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Dowel drill bits are actually used to drill holes in wood which you can then insert a dowel into. When the dowel is glued it then helps make a strong joint in wood

The reason these are good for plastic is that they have double flutes which means they have 2 cutting edges (spurs) and that means faster and more accurate drilling.

These also have depth collars if the depth of the hole is also an important thing for you.

These are made from High Carbon Steel and have a centre point for very accurate drilling.

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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