Drill Press

How to Drill Straight Without a Drill Press


I bet all the hot shots reading this, agree to the title! Well, I wouldn’t agree any less. Old school drill presses are time-consuming, heavy to lunge around, and yeah, not at all sexy! Haven’t we all spent a well earned Saturday afternoon correcting those messed up drill holes? Aren’t we all, a little bit too proud, to use help from the professional guy?! If you have answers in affirmative to the above questions, stay put, and read on! Standard procedure dictates, to use a drill press every time you need to drill straight and to the exact required depth. But, we all know, even the smallest of these machines need a table to be set on, cost a fortune, and need regular maintenance. Well, you cannot just put it in the garage and forget about it, can you? Are there any more excuses you can think of to not use a drill press? I bet there are a million, yet to summarize, let’s jot down the elephants!

1. They come at a cost. ( Not free, are they?)

2. They have to be maintained. ( Who’ll remember that!)

3. They need a lot of macho strength. ( Unless you want a workout, now!)

4. They are not portable.

5. You are in a fix every time you have to drill a hole in the corner, on the wall, or behind that pesky closet! So now that we gave ourselves enough reasons we need alternatives.

Work cannot stop! There are several methods that can be used to drill a straight hole through materials, without wasting your resources. To name a few, there’s the CD method, the set-square method, and the L- wood method (Naha!) Don’t worry if you haven’t heard these fancy words before. I just made them up! I will elaborate on each of these methods and give out specific instructions on how to use them.

The CD method

Well, we all have a CD or two lying in our drawers. Memories of simpler times! Lets put them to good use. Things you’ll need: A Pencil, an old CD, a hand drill motor with a drill beat.


  • Mark out the point where you need the hole with a pencil. Be sure to make it nice and dark, so that you don’t lose it later on.
  • Hold your CD in such a way that the center hole of the CD is directly above the marked out point.
  • Align your drill beat through this CD hole and hold it firmly over the marked out point.
  • Drill through! The small restricted hole in the CD prevents you drill beat from moving around.

The Set-square method

Do you remember this simple yet useful tool from your high school geometry class? Now is the time to put it to good use.

What you’ll need: A set square ( Bigger, the better. They are available right from 2 to 36 inches), a pencil, a hand drill motor with a drill beat.


  • Again, as we learned in the procedure above, mark out a nice point where you want to drill.
  • Hold the set square in a way that the marked point is at the intersection of the horizontal and vertical edges of the set square, on the inner side.
  • Drill through!

The L-wood Method

This one requires some work!

What you’ll need: Two wooden blocks ( 200mm x 50mm x 25mm), some glue to hold them together, a pencil, a hand drill motor with a drill beat.


  • Stick the wooden blocks together to form a perfect L shape.
  • Now, again mark out a point where you want the hole to be.
  • Align, the L Block in such a way that the hole is at the inner intersection of the horizontal and vertical edges.
  • Drill through! The edges of the L block will restrict the movement of your drill machine!

Well, as you read above the key to drilling a perfectly straight hole with your hand drill is to try to restrict the movement of the drill beat from all other directions. The above method does just that. Several props can be used that solve this purpose, just use your imagination and think of what all you have lying around the house.

Few more instructions for your safety

  • Use protective gear for your eyes while using power tools.
  • Be careful with your hands and fingers. Use gloves for added protection.
  • Use proper power sources for powering our machines. Well, with this, you are all set, drill on!

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