6 Ways on How to Make a Hole in a Glass Bottle Without a Drill (Without Shattering It)


A drill is one of the handy tools that we need for DIY home improvements. However, there are situations where you may need to drill a hole in a glass bottle but the drill is unavailable or you don’t have the required drill bit. When you find yourself in this situation, you must get creative and find a quick solution to the problem.

If you want to make a hole in a glass bottle without a drill, you can use a string and kerosene. You will need an 8-inch string, kerosene, and match. Start by figuring out where you want to drill a hole and tie a string around that spot. Soak the tied string in kerosene for about 3 minutes, and place it on your target area. Immediately, light up a match and let it burn around the circle for a few minutes. You can then use a screwdriver to tap the area inside the burning string to make a hole.

There are several safe methods on how to make a hole in a glass bottle without a drill. These methods are simple, you can get started with locally available materials.

5 Method of Making a Hole in a Glass without a Drill

1. String and kerosene

The string and kerosene method is the easiest method that you can use to cut a hole in a flat glass surface or a glass bottle. You can also use this method when you need to cut a glass bottle in two halves.

You will need these items:

  • Kerosene (about 50 to 100 ml)
  • 8-inch long string
  • Matchbox

Follow these steps to create a hole using this age-old technique:

  • Start by identifying the target area where you want to create a hole on the glass.
  • Use a string to measure the spot, and tie a circle string equivalent to the hole you want to make.
  • Dip the tied string in kerosene and let it soak.
  • Remove the string and place it on the target spot.
  • Strike a match to light up the soaked string while still placed on the glass. Let the string burn for a few minutes to heat the glass surface.
  • Use a screwdriver or other object with a pointed end to flick the glass surface in the string’s middle point. Tap the glass gently while still hot until it creates a hole in the target area.

2. Using Glass Cutter

If you are a DIY person, you most likely have a glass cutter in your tools box. You can buy a glass cutter for less than $20 to help you with such small tasks.

When using a glass cutter to create a hole in glass, you need the following items:

  • Glass cutter
  • Duct tape
  • Marker
  • Bottlecap (equal to the size of the hole required)

Follow these methods to make a hole using a glass cutter:

  • Use a bottle cap to isolate the area you want to cut a hole. Use a marker to circle the target.
  • Cut a duct tape and cover the target area on the glass to guide the glass cutter.
  • Take the glass cutter and cut the target area by following the marked area.
  • Once you have circled the target area, use a screwdriver to tap the middle point until it cracks and falls off.

For added safety, you can wear gloves to avoid injuries when the glass cracks.

3. Tapered file with kerosene

A tapered file is a versatile tool that you can use to drill a hole in a flat surface or other types of glass surface. Using a tapered file can take longer than a glass cutter.

You will need these items:

  • A tapered file (three-cornered)
  • Kerosene
  • Gloves

Here is the procedure you should follow:

  • Start by wearing safety gloves for your safety.
  • Use kerosene to lubricate the tip of the tapered file to make it smooth and avoid friction.
  • Place the tip of the file on the target area of the glass where you want to create a hole.
  • Gradually turn the file while placed on the glass. Do this continuously for several minutes until you discover a hole in the glass.
  • You can rotate the file clockwise and anticlockwise several times until the glass is fully punctured.

You can lubricate the file using kerosene several times when the file tip dries up.

4. Duct tape and lighter

If you had a naughty childhood, there is a chance you tried this in your home garage. This technique is taught in school, especially to 7th-grade kids. It involves heating the target area while keeping the surrounding area cold to avoid cracking.

You will require these items:

  • Duct tape
  • Lighter
  • A glass of cold water
  • Nail
  • Ball peen hammer

Follow these steps to create a hole in a glass bottle or flat glass:

  • Use duct tape to cover both sides of the target area where you want to make a hole. For a glass bottle, cover the bottom with duct tape.
  • Pour cold water on the area surrounding the target area. This helps cool the surrounding areas.
  • Use a lighter to heat the target area where you want to create a circle until it becomes extremely hot.
  • When the target becomes hot, use a nail and a hammer to create a hole in the glass. If it does puncture in the first trial, repeat this process.

5. Carbide masonry bit with oil

You can also use a carbide bit to puncture a glass, but you will need to be gentle not to apply too much pressure on the glass. This method works well with glass bottles, but you can also use it on flat glass.

You will require the following items:

  • Carbide bit
  • Oil
  • Water
  • Duct tape (for flat glass)

Using Carbide Masonry to Drill Glass Bottle

  • Fill the bottle with water to reduce vibrations when creating a hole on the glass surface.
  • Lubricate the carbide bit using oil, and press it gently against the glass to create a hole.

Using Carbide Masonry to Drill Flat Glass

  • Use duct tape to cover the surrounding area of the target area, at least a 5-inch radius from the central point. The tape reduces vibrations in the non-working area to prevent cracking.
  • Oil the bit and press it gently and firmly against the glass to make a hole.

Safety Measures When Drilling a Hole in Glass

You need to take caution when making a hole in a bottle or flat glass since broken glass pieces can cause injuries.

When creating a hole in a glass bottle, you need not to worry since the punctured piece of glass will fall inside the bottle. Add some water to the bottle, and flush out the punctured glass into the garbage.

For flat glass, you should place a piece of cloth beneath the glass you want to drill. The cloth will trap the punctured glass pieces, which you can fold and dispose of into the garbage. If the glass pieces find their way into the floor or walking area, they can cause injuries and even bleeding.

FAQs about Making a Hole in a Glass without a Drill

Can you drill a tempered glass?

No. You cannot drill tempered glass, since it will shatter when the drill gets into contact with its surface. You can only drill and cut tempered glass into the desired sizes before the tempering process. Once it is tempered, it becomes impossible to drill the surface.

Why does glass shatter when making a hole?

Glass may shutter due to vibrations when drilling a hole on the surface. Also, if you are pressing the drill or carbide drill too hard on the surface, it will likely crack and shatter into pieces. Be gentle when drilling. You can use duct tape to cover the surrounding area to reduce the vibration. Also, you should oil the drill bit to lubricate the area, and reduce friction when drilling.

How do I dispose of broken/punctured glass pieces?

After drilling a hole in the glass, you should place the broken glass pieces in a piece of cloth or plastic bag and wrap them in an old newspaper. For large glass pieces, you should wrap them in two layers of plastic bags, and label them as “broken glass” before disposing them of in the garbage cart.

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