How to Drill a Straight Hole Without a Drill Press

If by any chance you’ve been doing woodwork for long, then the need to drill straight holes is not a new phenomenon to you. Undoubtedly, it’s an ‘old hat.’ However, despite being an oldie, it’s also a goodie. Well, unless where you deliberately decide to choose a specific bias, it’s always overly vital to ensure all the drill holes are kept perpendicular to the surface. Evidently, this is very easy to accomplish with a drill press, however, there are plenty of occasions where you may be called upon to drill straight without a drill press.

A large percentage of holes we drill are intended to be done straight, perfectly perpendicular to the surface. Makers may lack one thus requiring a specific set up to make their project a success. Though important, absence of a drill press shouldn’t render your project impossible. Yes, DIY freaks can still drill straight holes without a drill press, wondering how? It’s understood, read on. The following hacks may prove handy.

How to Drill a Straight Hole Without a Drill Press – Step by Step Guide

1. Use of the CD method

Undoubtedly, we all have some CD lying in our drawers. What many don’t know is that they can prove handy when it comes to drilling straight without a drill press. Memories of simpler times, right? Those CDs can be put into good use. You simply need to get an old CD, a pencil and a hand drill motor with a drill bit. Are you already armed with those? Well, follow these simple instructions and thank us later.

Drilling Procedure

  1. Use the pencil to mark a point where you intend to make the hole. Exert reasonable force onto the pencil and ensure the mark is dark and nice so that it doesn’t get erased later on.
  2. Place the CD in a manner that the CD’s center hole is over the marked point.
  3. Ensure the drill beat is properly aligned through the CD hole and press it firmly marked location.
  4. The small hole on the CD ensures your drill beat doesn’t move around as you drill through.

2. Use of Battery-Powered Cordless Drill Driver

These devices can also be used to drill straight holes in wood.

3. Use of the Set-square method

Do you remember that high school geometry lesson when your teacher told you that in life you can’t do without mathematics? Now is the time those words come into play, ‘it’s called the power of the tongue.’
Well, in this method, you simply need a set square, a pencil, and a hand drill motor with a drill beat.

Having this, simply follow the following simple instructions:

  1. Just like the first procedure, boldly and nicely mark the point where you wish to drill.
  2. Hold the set square in a manner that the marked point lies at the intersection of the vertical and horizontal edges of the set square, on the inner side.
  3. If you’re ascertained of all that, go ahead and drill through.

4. The Reusable Jig

Come up with a jig by nailing a number of 1×4 or 1×2 scrap pieces to develop a right angle. Place it sideways, drill through with the bit pressed tight against the inside corner.

5. The L-Wood Method

This method demands more of your sweat.

Basically, you’ll need two wooden blocks measuring 200mm x 50mm x 25mm, some glue, a pencil and a hand drill motor with a drill beat.


  1. Arrange the wooden blocks in a perfect L-shape.
  2. Nicely mark out the point where you want to have the hole.
  3. Arrange the L-blocks in a way that the hole is at the inner intersection of the vertical and horizontal edges.
  4. After being satisfied that that is done, drill through. The edges of the L-block will be restricting the movement of the hand drill motor.

Bottom Line

As evidenced by the above, the secret behind drilling a straight hole without using a drill press lies in trying to restrict the movement from all other directions. Several hacks can be used to solve this purpose, simply use your imagination and think of something that’s lying around the house that could prove handy.

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