Top 17 Tools To Make Holes In Wood [Hand & Power Tools]

Building holes in wood is one of the most performed operations by a woodworker, and it has been here for ages. It might be the most straightforward task for a professional but the toughest one for a newbie or DIYer woodworker. 

We have always tried making woodcraft operations easier for our readers; therefore, this time, we have come up with a long list of tools to make holes in wood.

Newbies often find it challenging to decide which tool they should use for a specific hole-making operation, whether they should go for a power tool or a hand tool.  

We recommend starting with a simple nail and hammer impression first to get more command on the hole-making operation and then proceed towards power tools.

Without much ado, we will let you know that we have listed various hand and power tools and their applications to guide you in your maiden hole making operation.

Hand Tools to Make Holes in Wood

Making holes without a drill may seem exhausting, but it will undoubtedly grow you as a woodworking pro. 

Tools To Make Holes In Wood

Few tools which can be used without power are mentioned below:

1. Brace and bit 

A brace is a powerless tool for boring holes in wood. It is a simple device through which you can easily make a see-through hole in your lumber. Various diameters of bits can fit into the brace. It works on the simple formula by moving an arm in a continuous circular motion and pushing the top surface of the brace. This lets the bit gradually pierce into the wood, ultimately building a hole.

Moreover, you can also use braces to enlarge a pre-drilled hole as it supports bits that can fit into multi-sized diameters.


If you are taking suggestions, Stanley 5044 Bit basic_replenishmentace 10In 1-02-715 is a good option with a three ways ratchet for use in closed spaces. Its chrome-plated metal parts keep the tool protected from any corrosion. For this, it can be used in humid places too. 

Also, it is a quality tool with a full swing of about 12 inches, along with a removable chuck. Hence, it is great for DIYers who face serious power outage issues.

As it is sturdy, you can go on with this same tool for years.

2. Push drill 

A push drill is another simple mechanical device to make holes in wood. It is used in a manner that you push the drill into the wood and let it travel back up, then you push it again downwards, and it reverts again. By repeating this process, a fine hole is built up in the wood. It is used to make small and fine holes for screws and nails.

A push drill is easy as you can hold the workpiece with one hand and the push drill with the other. This way, the hole is built precisely at the desired point, and the workpiece does not fall apart.


NEIKO 02638A 5-Inch Automatic Center Hole Punch, Adjustable Impact Spring-Loaded Puncher Tool is a sweet option if you are looking for recommendations for a good quality push drill. As this 5 inches automatic push drill has a fantastic grip, easy to use, consists of a compact steel tip, and deals well with the impact.

Moreover, it is built of heavy-duty metal to give it extra durable, long-lasting, and anti-corrosion features.

The knurled handle gives an excellent grip in holding. Also, it keeps the dirt away from the tool. 

The best thing is its spring-loaded adjustability, through which you can alter the depth of punches it will create by just turning the cap clockwise or anticlockwise.

3. Hand drill 

Most of the hand drills work in similar ways. This type of hand tool has a chuck, a handle, and a bit attached to it. You have to rotate the chuck so the bit slides into the wood, ultimately building a hole.

It is easy to use specifically for newbies as the woodman can control the speed of going into the wood.


Fiskars Crafts DIY Precision Hand Drill, Grey is a suitable option for hand drill as it offers an ergonomic and quick design for drilling through soft and hardwoods.

Its sturdy construction offers controlled power and accurate drilling, while the chuck allows for easy bit changeovers.

The packaging includes four standard drill bits used for various operations like wall hangings, furniture making, and much more. Also, the soft grip enhances the product handling feature and compact storage.

4. Self-centering punch 

Self-centering punch is one of the most common tools for making holes in wood. With its hardened tapered tip, it is put inside the hinge’s hole, where it automatically centers itself and flushes back and forth to make repeated and identifiable holes in stock.

It is generally used to make pilot holes in a bracket, hinge, hanger, catches, drawer handle, and hasps. Moreover, the standard size of ⅜ x 3 1/16″ is best for drawing holes for wall hangings and shelves.


Starrett 18A Automatic Center Punch with Hardened Steel Metal, Universal Tool for Machinists and Carpenters with Adjustable Knurled Cap to Control Blow Force, No. 4 Graduation is the most suggested option for a self-centering punch due to its steel construction that gives it stability, sturdiness, and longevity.

This self-centering punch has a fantastic feature, i.e., it strikes with a blow when pressure is applied; therefore, no hammer is needed, and you always have a free hand for holding your workpiece.

Furthermore, with the pre-drilling tool, you can make a mark before starting to drill so that the tool does not slip away from the actual place of the hole.

5. Gimlet

Gimlet is a small tool resembling a screwdriver with threads on the entire structure. It is used for making small see-through holes in wood. The best thing about this hand tool is that once you enter it into lumber, there is no need to exert extra force; instead, you have to rotate the device, and it self-slides into the wood. 

Also, if you are struggling to widen a hole, a gimlet can be used in that case, too, as its spiral-shaped cutting edges can be used to widen.


Suppose you are looking for a complete set of variable diameters. In that case, you can surf the features of this Gimlet Enkay 734-C Gimlet Set, Carded, 4-Piece.

I like the manufacturer’s stance that he wants to provide an economical, stable, and efficient option to customers for fulfilling their craftsmanship needs.

Power Tools to Make Holes in Wood

Power tools are the quickest, easiest, and non-exhaustive ways of making holes into wood or any other material. The tools mentioned below will give you a variety of methods and kinds of holes you can build in just a matter of seconds.

6. Drill bits

Drill bits give you a quick, simple, and economical way of drilling holes into a material (mostly wood). Drill bits enter into the workpiece axially and cut the size of the hole of your tool. They come in various sizes and materials according to the applications.

Cobalt, High-speed steel (HSS), and nickel are the most common types of drill materials used for machining wood, fiberglass, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), etc. 

Other considerable features of drill bits are heat dissipation, the bit’s length, and the hole size it can produce. 

The most common diameter of holes is ½”. But if you need to make a hole for size 3/16″ or above, you must make a pilot hole with a punch first. Then with a gimlet or a reamer, you can enlarge it as standard drill bits for smaller holes cannot do much in this case.

Twist drill bits, Center drill bit, Spot drill bit, Tap drill bit, Auger drill bit, Step drill bit, and Masonry drill bit are a variety of bits available in the market concerning the application and type of the needed hole.


DEWALT Titanium Nitride Coated Drill Bit Set, Pilot Point, 21-Piece (DW1361) is a top-rated tool for making holes in the wood of small and medium sizes. Its titanium nitride-coated drills are impact resistant and five times more durable than the conventional 2-piece drills.

Moreover, the DEWALT drill bit set delivers a quick, simple, burr-free drilling experience. Also, the new Tough case system offers organized storage of all the drill bits, and you can easily see the required bit from the transparent lid.

7. Counterbore drill bits

The counterbore is interchangeably used for the process and the cavity this tool builds up. Generally, during construction procedures, manufacturers hide up the screws used for fastening up two different pieces through the counterbore or countersink.

The counterbore is a method in which the cylindrical cavity is built up along with the space to sit flush in the flat under face of the screw. 

Often the flat bottom screws are used with a washer. Therefore, the counterbore allows the washer also to sit inside the cavity.

This method is used to make the workpiece more appealing and strengthen the joint. 


Snappy tools provide you with the most economical counterbore drill bits. If interested, check out Snappy Tools 1/8 Inch x 3/8 Inch 3-Flute Flat Bottom Counterbore with TiN coated twist drill #32408. Although make it snappy is a small brand, it has been offering reliable tools for over a time.

This counterbore drill bit is made of alloy steel with a drill size of ⅛ inches and a counterbore size of ⅜ inches. 

You can use this for multiple applications.

8. Broaches

A broach is a long tool with multiple teeth on its body specifically designed to produce deeper cuts. It is used in the manufacturing industry where precise and high-speed successive cuts are needed. Broaches can be used horizontally as well as vertically. Moreover, they can endure extreme pressure without breaking or buckling.

There are different types of broaches as per the applications, including Push and pull broaches; Keyway broaches, Shell broaches, Internal broaches, and Surface broaches.

Broaches are widely used in automotive industries and firearm component industries.

It is generally used with CNC lathe machines and sourced with hydraulic pressure.


Blair BLR11091 Large Diameter Rota Broach Cutter Kit (Large Diameter Rotabroach Cutter Kit – Fractional) is the most common among DIYers and hobbyist woodworkers and contains six most popular standard broach sizes.

Moreover, these broaches are ½ inches thick, sturdy, and best for rugged use. Also, they are economical and high-quality tools with compact packing and practical design.

What I loved about the Rota broach cutter kit is that it gives you such a clear hole finish that it can easily replace a hole saw. It is the best for thin metals and round holes.

9. Center drills 

The Center drill possesses a pilot drill and countersinks, which create a conical hole at the center of the lumber. The specific manufacturing process referred to here is ‘between centers’ typically associated with lathe machining or cylindrical grinder work. The Center drill provides the center location of the stock about an axis.

Various market center drills available in the market include HSS center drills with tip, Carbide center drills, extended length center drills with a plain tip, center drills with bell tip, center drills with radius tip, etc.


7 Pieces Center Drill Bits Set, M2 High-Speed Steel 60-Degree Angle Center Drill Bits Kit Countersink Tools for Lathe Metalworking Size 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 4.0 5.0 is an excellent option in center drills with a wide range of sizes available. It is made of High-Speed Steel (HSS), thus, suitable for quick machining, and is heat and wear/tear resistant. 

These center drills are compatible with lathe machines and electronic drills ranging in various workpiece materials.

It is efficient and accurate for center holes, countersinks, and pilot holes. Also, the portable storage system encourages you to select the bit at a glance.

10. Hole cutters and hole saws

Hole cutters or hole saws are used to perfectly cut more extensive and deeper holes.

This tool can engrave from 1″ up to 6″ spot without chipping off the beneath surface of wood stock. Hole cutters can be used to build corn-hole board holes.

Moreover, they can be used for any material like plywood or laminates to give you an accurate deep hole.


Milwaukee 21 Piece Bi-Metal All Purpose Hole Saw Kit With Case – MADE IN USA is a handy option for hole saws in case you need a suggestion.

These heavy-duty hole saws come in a well-organized set and metal latches. Its composition includes 6% cobalt, which increases wear resistance and is designed to work great with all types of wood. 

Moreover, the manufacturer gives you a lifespan tooth break warranty. I guess that is what a woodworker asks for.

11. Chamfering and countersinks

Countersink and counterbore drills work alike. Countersinks allow for creating a conical hole with a wide opening at the end where the screw tip can sit flush in. Here the difference between counterbore and countersink is that the counterbore allows sitting of a right-angled screw tip while a countersink, the tip of the screw is at 60°, 90°, 100°, 120°, and others.

Also, countersink drills are used in chamfering for holes widening, deburring, positioning, or grinding holes.


NEIKO 10218A Countersink Drill Bit Set for Wood and Metal, 1/4″ Tri-Flat Shank, 5 Piece Countersink Bits, M2 High-Speed Steel is a good option for good quality countersinks that is built with High-speed steel (HSS) to give effective bit life. Its precise machine tip makes it the most suitable choice for working with all types of woods.

Also, the ¼ inches shank enhances the gripping ability, and the five-flute cutter is designed to produce clean holes and a smooth internal finish.

The NEIKO set comes in all the standard sizes, making it the most suitable option for professional and hobbyist woodworkers.

12. Spade or paddle bits 

Spade bits are used to build precise medium diameter holes. It is a flat, boring bit with two sharp lips that are not only used for drilling holes but also for scooping wood debris out of the hole.

They are best used in plywoods, laminates, and plastics for making quick and accurate holes but work best in softer woods.

Spade bits do their best when worked out with a pilot hole, and they are the quickest, most economical, and versatile formula for drilling large holes in nearly all kinds of woods.


Based on our woodworking experience, we have found the BOSCH DSB5013P 13-Piece Daredevil Spade Bit Set in Pouch, Blue best for a quick and easy-peasy drilling experience.

It is the most worthy set of paddle bits through which you cannot only drill clean holes but also scoop out the wood dust with the help of its contoured shank.

The hex shank is there to reduce slippage, and it gives you durability and longevity. Overall, this set has all the standard sizes used in everyday operations. Also, they work great with high-impact drilling operations.

13. Auger wood bits

Auger wood bits are heavy-duty drill bits with threads running throughout their body. Auger bit allows quick and precision drilling of holes in softwoods with high speed.

They have a solid center and strong flute geometry, so the chip removal rate is higher during operations.

Electricians commonly use them for holes ⅜ to 1″.


Diablo 3 pc Auger Bit Set (3-Piece) is our suggested auger wood bits that come in a pack size for three holes ranging from small to large. 

It has a deeper flute helps create cleaner holes through its fast chip removal characteristics. It is a long-lasting set of bits that encourages impact drilling and quicker and cleaner cuts. Also, their pulling ability is excellent.

14. Forstner bits

Forstner bits are best to cut flat-bottomed holes with precision. They can cut from ½” to 2″ clean holes with flat bottoms. However, they are guided by the outside rim, contrary to the other drill bits guided by their tips.

They are using Forstner bits at a relatively lower speed, and nearly all kinds of wood ranging from more complex to softer are recommended. Typically these bits are used for making holes for hinges.


Numerous Forstner bits are available in the market. Still, the BOSCH FB700 7-Piece Wood Forstner Bit Set is a complete set that has bits of various sizes and shapes. Also, it comes in a pretty reasonable amount with good packaging.

These drill bits are fabricated from chrome steel alloy, giving them maximum tolerance for higher temperatures.

They are designed to guarantee smooth, flat-bottomed, and splinter-free holes. They encourage easy center-positioning and are highly suitable for portable and stationary machines.

15. Corn hole drill bit 

The 6-inch hole saw, also known as a corn-hole drill bit, is typically used for making large corn hole boards. 

If you need a large and smooth 6 inches hole without splinters, you can work out this corn-hole drill bit.


As far as we have experienced corn bits for drilling larger holes, we have found GoSports 6″ Hole Saw – Heavy Duty Steel Design – Great for Making Cornhole Boards the best.

Its carbon steel alloy fabrication builds cleaner holes of a diameter of 6 inches. Moreover, it can give burr-free and smoother cuts up to the workpiece depth of 7/8 inches.

It is suitable for working on almost all types of woods, drilling large holes for air ducts, speakers, ceiling lights, and boards.

Furthermore, its safe working procedure has made it best for the DIYers or newbie woodworkers who have got their home project either from Pinterest or google images.

Its heavy-duty steel design gives the GoSports Cornhole drill durability and longevity a professional would need.

16. Drill press

A drill press is the best tool to make holes in the wood when you need recurring holes in a harder stock. 

They are highly adjustable in speed, depth, and size. The most beneficial point is that the workpiece is clamped on the drill press and self-dependently makes as many holes as you want.

Moreover, unlike cordless drills, a drill press is independent of the steadiness or effort with which the operator holds the workpiece. 

It has adjustable speed, and more significant drill bits up to ½” can easily fit into the drill press.

The most common type used in nearly all manufacturing processes is the bench-mounted drill press.


IF you are struggling to find an accurate drill press, you must surf this option JET JWDP-12, 12-Inch Benchtop Drill Press, 1/2HP, 115V 1PH (716000).

These heavy machines look for safety, and this drill press, with its easy shut-off and lockout protection, gives you as it is.

Its compact design ensures that the workpiece aligns quickly, keeps the footprints less, and provides extra support with the roller extension.

The consistent drilling feature ensures that you complete your work target by the end of the day. Also, the LED light brightens your work area for complex jobs.

17. CNC milling machine

CNC milling machines are used when repeatable holes are needed in shorter times. It is a tool used primarily by professional woodworkers who need to meet a specific target by the end of the day.

A CNC milling machine can drill deeper, intricate holes with accuracy and precision in less time than any other drilling tool. 

Moreover, it can work in a wide range of wood types and produce high-quality customized workpieces.


Suppose you are searching for a reliable and economical CNC machine that will give you clean holes and be there with you for years to come. In that case, VEVOR CNC 3018 PRO Router Machine is the best option.

This CNC router is built of aluminum and bakelite, giving it the required strength. Its working area is sufficient for various lengths and widths of workpieces.

It is a 3-axis CNC machine with a GRBL and offline controller, encouraging you to use it without connecting to the computer. Also, you can adjust the spindle manually for different engraving positions. Moreover, it is highly compatible with almost all the operating systems, and you can import various image formats and just head on to work on them.

Also Read: 9 Best Jack Planes For Woodworking 2022 – Unbiased Reviews

Wrap up

And just like that, we gave you various choices for hand tools and power tools to work with. Remember that hand tools can never supersede power tools as the power drills can give you cleaner holes effortlessly and quickly, but practicing on a hand tool first would make you a pro in hole-making.

As you have already seen, we have listed several tools concerning their applications. However, if you are still confused about which tool to use for your desired project, you can drop a text, and we will help you.

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