The 6 Best Drill Bits for Glass in 2020 – Buying Guide and Reviews

Man drilling into a pane of glass with a glass drill bit

Whether you’re an artist creating a new art piece or a handyman trying to get a job done, drilling through glass is tricky. If you’re not careful, you’ll either crack the material or shatter it entirely. 

For this task, you need the best drill bits for glass, and lucky you, I’m reviewing six suitable options today. I’ll also share a comprehensive buyer’s guide with everything you need to know to help you in your search. 

Here’s a quick look at my picks for the best drill bits for glass:

My Top Picks for the Best Arrowhead Drill Bits for Glass

Below are my top picks for the best arrowhead drill bits for glass; these are quite versatile and excellent if you need to make small holes. Let’s take a closer look:

Top Pick — QWORK 5 Pcs Set Multi-Material Drill Bit Set for Glass

When I started my search, I wanted to find an option that could do nearly everything, and the QWork drill bit set fit the description. 

In this set, you’ll receive five drill bits suitable for various applications, including glass, wood, tiles and bricks. The bits range in sizes from 1/4-inch, 5/16-inch, 3/8-inch, to 1/2-inch. 

I like the spear-pointed design and durable tungsten carbide tips; it enables the bits to drill effortlessly through different materials without causing damage. 

Another remarkable detail is the U-groove design on all the bits; this allows them to remove dust as you drill. However, QWork still recommends using water for lubrication when boring hard materials, like glass and porcelain.

The drill bits are heavy-duty. They come with anti-skid triangular shank handles and are compatible with three-jaw drill chucks. 

Although the bits are compatible with all materials, they do require a lot of lubrication when drilling through glass and tile. A good tip is to keep a spray bottle close and then apply as you drill. 

Pros

  • Varying sizes.
  • Tungsten carbide tips.
  • U-groove design, removing dust.
  • Anti-skid shaft.

Cons

  • Require a lot of lubrication when drilling hard materials

The QWork five-piece drill bits are perfect for homeowners who need a set of bits that can go through anything. The heavy-duty set is ideal for various materials and suitable for most drills. For more information, follow the link.

Check Price on Amazon

Owl Tools 10 Piece Masonry Drill Bit Set for Glass

After working my way through a few drill bits, it began to put a dent in my budget. So, I went on a search for affordable drill bits that would give me more bang for my buck. And the set from Owl Tools was pleasantly surprising. 

In this set, you’ll receive 10 heavy-duty drill bits, all in varying sizes and lengths. The bits are suitable for different applications—you can use them for drilling in ceramic tiles, cinder blocks, cement, mirrors, and glass. 

These masonry drill bits come with industrial-grade carbide tips, suggesting they’re durable and will stay sharper for longer. Additionally, Owl Tools provide you with a convenient storage case, keeping the bits organized and safe. 

Furthermore, Owl Tools includes a lifetime guarantee. However, the longevity of these drill bits is questionable—it depends on what material you’re trying to drill. 

With hard surfaces, like ceramic, they may not last long. Try to lubricate with water as you drill.

Pros

  • Ten-piece set.
  • Varying sizes and lengths.
  • Carbide tips.
  • Includes a storage case.
  • Lifetime guarantee included.

Cons

  • Not as long-lasting as hoped.
  • Wears quickly on masonry.

If you’re looking for a complete set of drill bits in different sizes, I recommend this option from Owl Tools. Although not as durable as others, with the right technique, you should be able to get lots of use out of them. For a closer look, follow the link. 

Check Price on Amazon

Bosch GT2000 4-Piece Carbide Tipped Drill Bit Set

Are you tired of glass shatters caused by bit walking? In the hopes of preventing this, I wanted to find a set with very sharp tips that were able to bore cleanly through the material. 

One of the drill bits that ticked this box was the Bosch GT2000 bundle. Like everything else from Bosch, these bits exhibit quality and functionality

For starters, Bosch made them for precision drilling, featuring an innovative design, consisting of high-precision carbide tips. They’re ultra-sharp and feature diamond ground cutting edges, which helps to prevent bit walking and cracking.

This also makes the bits versatile. You can use them on various materials, like ceramic tiles and glass. The sharp tips quickly penetrate without much fuss.

Additionally, they include a three-sided flat shank design, offering a superior grip for your machine. Included in the bundle are four sizes: 1/8-inch, 3/16-inch, 1/4-inch, and 5/16-inch. Bosch also provides you with a label for each size, indicating what they’re best for.

With that said, they aren’t suitable for professional use. Although durable, they probably won’t be able to withstand the abuse of everyday use. 

Pros

  • Innovative tips that prevent cracking and bit walking.
  • High-precision.
  • Suitable for different materials.
  • Bundle includes four common sizes.
  • Three-sided flat shank.

Cons

  • Drills aren’t suitable for every day, rugged use.

If you’re looking for high-precision drill bits, this bundle from Bosch is worth a look. With sharp tips and diamond cutting edges, they’re excellent for glass. For a closer look, follow the link.

Check Price on Amazon

My Top Picks for the Best Diamond Grit Hole Saw Bits for Glass

If you want drill bits explicitly for drilling through hard surfaces like glass and porcelain, diamond grit bits are for you. These are incredibly durable, and here’s my top three:

Top Pick — Neiko Diamond Grit Hole Saw Drill Bit Set

For my top pick, I wanted to find an option that ticked all the boxes in terms of durability, functionality and variety. And the set from Neiko seems like the perfect candidate. 

This is a five-piece set, providing you with different sizes, including one 5/32-inch, one 1/4-inch, one 5/16-inch, 3/8-inch, and one 1/2-inch. They have a cutting depth of 3/4-inch and a shank of 1/4-inch.

These diamond drill bits are fantastic if you want high-precision holes. The tips include a diamond coating that maximizes their performance while retaining sharpness for longer than traditional carbide. This ensures they’ll be sharp and ready to cut next time you need them.

Underneath all this, they have a nickel coating, increasing durability, and protecting the tips from corrosion and rust. 

A great feature is the shank length. It’s suitable for almost all drill machines, which is excellent for home DIYer’s. 

Another notable detail is the side hole in each bit; this makes slug removal easier after drilling, saving time and a whole load of faffing around. 

However, the tips get quite hot while drilling, especially through surfaces like glass and porcelain. To prevent, or minimize this, use water—get a friend or do it yourself, and spray the tip as you drill.

Pros

  • Common sizes included.
  • Compatible with almost all drills.
  • Nickel coating.
  • Diamond-coated tip.
  • Hole for slug removal

Cons

  • The tips get hot rather quickly.

The diamond drill bits from Neiko are fantastic for a home DIY job; they offer high-precision and durability. If you want a closer look, follow the link. 

Check Price on Amazon

BLENDX Diamond Drill Bits – Hollow Core Drill Bits Glass and Tile

Just last week, I accidentally cracked the glass plate on a dinner table as I tried to drill a few holes for an upcycle project I was working on. 

So, this got me looking for a new set of hollow core drill bits, and a new piece of glass, of course. 

I stumbled across the diamond drill bits from Blendx, and these fit my needs perfectly. 

For starters, these are exceptionally durable, if you use them right, but more on that in a second. The bits consist of good old high-strength carbon steel, finished with a diamond coating around the tip. 

The bits are fantastic for creating precision holes in a variety of materials. However, they aren’t recommended for concrete. 

In the bundle, you’ll receive 10 pieces, all of varying sizes, perfect for a range of DIY projects. They each measure 2.19 inches in length and are suitable for most drills. 

When you drill, Blendx stresses that you place the bit at an angle to penetrate. Once you’ve cut the surface, align the drill to make a clean cut through. Also, always use water as lubrication and cooling to prevent damage and overheating.

Sadly, it seems that the diamond coating doesn’t last long when used for certain materials, like ceramic tiles. However, for the price, it’s well worth it. 

Pros

  • Durable, carbon steel construction.
  • Excellent precision drilling.
  • Ten pieces included in the bundle.
  • Compatible with most drills.

Cons

  • Requires a lot of lubricating.
  • Wears quickly on ceramics.

The hollow core bits from Blendx are fantastic for precision holes, whether it’s to create art pieces or for wire routing. With 10 different sizes, you’ll have a bit suitable for each job. For more information, click on the link. 

Check Price on Amazon

DRILLPRO Diamond Hole Saw For Glass

When drilling through hard materials, like glass, a drill bit doesn’t last long. And if you’re anything like me and don’t have spare cash to spend on new bits every week, you’ll appreciate my next recommendation. 

The DrillPro Diamond hole saw drill bits for glass are a high-quality, yet affordable option. The bits are nickel plated with a natural diamond sand coating, providing superb performance and strength.

What’s more, the bits offer a minimal incision resistance as well as a fast drill speed. While drilling, the bits’ design works to remove chips and debris, improving your overall experience.

However, what drove me to this bundle was that you receive 15 different sizes—these range from the smallest 1/5-inch to the bigger 19/10-inch. The bits are suitable for use on various materials besides glass, including ceramic. Just remember to use water as a lubricant. 

With that said, you have to be careful not to apply too much pressure when drilling. Doing so can damage the bits. 

Pros

  • 15 drill bit set
  • Durable diamond-coated nickel.
  • Optimal chip evacuation.
  • Designed for minimal incision resistance.

Cons

  • Bits are sensitive to excessive pressure.
  • The bits are prone to overheating.

If you’re working with a budget, I recommend the set from DrillPro. With 15 sizes, you have plenty of options to complete more than a few projects. They’re also quite durable considering the price. For more information, please follow the link.

Check Price on Amazon

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Drill Bits for Glass Drilling

Now that we’ve had a look at the top six best drill bits for glass, it’s time for some things to consider when choosing the best ones. Why do you need a special drill bit for drilling glass and how are they different to bits for drilling metal or wood? I’ve outlined it all below:

Types of Drill Bits for Glass

When drilling through a fragile material like glass, not any drill bit will do. Generally, you have two types to choose from: arrowhead or hole saw bits.

Arrowhead Drill Bits

Arrowhead drill bits are suitable for materials that can easily dull or fracture the drill; this includes concrete, stone, plaster, brick and glass. 

This type of drill bit consists of an enlarged tip, coated with tungsten carbide and includes a steel shank. If you’re looking to drill small holes for mounting plugs or running cables, arrowhead bits are perfect. They usually don’t come larger than 3/8-inch to 1/2-inch

However, they require a steady hand and slow speed as they quickly overheat. It’s imperative to use water as a lubricant and to remove dust and debris as you drill holes.

Hole Saw Drill Bits

Hole saw drill bits are a little different. Instead of creating small openings, these are larger and will create more uniform round-precision holes

They consist of two parts: a mandrel and a blade. The mandrel is the shaft where the edge sits attached. You insert the mandrel into the chuck on your drill, and then the blade is the hollow cylinder that penetrates the material. 

Best Materials for Glass Drill Bits

When drilling through glass, or any other hard  ceramic materials, drills can wear out pretty quickly. To prevent this, the drill bits should be of certain, really hard, materials.  

The best drill bit materials to look for are tungsten carbide or diamond dust. 

  • Tungsten carbide is a type of chemical compound, which is a fine gray powder in its basic form. It can be applied as a coating to produce a super hard layer. 
  • Diamond dust creates a hard, sharp tip capable of boring through almost any material with high accuracy. Diamond is the hardest materials know to man, making it ideal for cutting hard ceramic materials. Drill bits usually have diamond dust or sand coating on the tip.

Consider the Durability

Despite being made of supposedly sturdy materials, not all drill bits are durable. For instance, diamond coated drill bits usually don’t last very long, mainly if you use them for tough materials. 

While the diamond material itself is extremely hard, the bonding that holds it to the surface of the drill bit won’t last forever. As you use the drill bit the coating will wear away. 

Still, some last longer than others. A great way of getting an idea about their longevity is by checking user reviews. Many will give you an idea of how long the drill bits lasted. 

Drilling Holes in Glass

Drilling holes in glass isn’t a straightforward process. Even with the best drill bits, there are still precautions to take. 

To help you get started, I’ve included a small guide below with some of my top tips based on my own experience.

1. Safety First

Remember that it’s safety first. Glass is dangerous if it shatters and becomes airborne—it can get in your eyes and cut your skin. Because of this, you must wear gloves and safety glasses. 

It can also get quite noisey, if you’re going to be cutting a number of successive holes it would be a good idea to wear some ear protection. 

2. Keep a Steady Speed

When boring holes into glass, you don’t want to hammer the accelerator. Instead, it’s crucial that you gradually build up speed.

As with drilling most types of hole it’s normally a good idea to drill a pilot hole. Generally a smaller drill bit will have a sharper tip and this will help you kept the hole bang on the center mark.

When you place the drill bit onto the glass, gently press the trigger—you want to go slow at first to penetrate the surface. Once you’re through, you can ramp up to a steady speeds.

As a rule the larger the hole you’re drilling the slower you’re going to want to run the drill. This is because with a larger hole there’s a lot more material to remove. The heat that builds up as a result of friction can be reduced by running the drill slower.

A rough guide I follow when choosing the drill speed when drilling glass:

Drill SizeRPM
1/8" 750
3/16"600
1/4" 500
5/16" 400
3/8" 350
1/2" 200

3. Begin at an Angle

If you’re drilling with hole saw bits, you should always begin boring with the drill bit placed at an angle, never straight on. When you start at an angle, it makes it easier for you to penetrate the glass without the drill bit wondering. 

As you dent the surface, align the drill bit so that it’s straight on. Then proceed at a steady speed until through. 

4. Mind the Pressure

It may be stating the obvious, but you don’t want to place all your body weight onto the drill when you bore through glass; this is a sure way of shattering the material and overheating the drill bit.

However, you also don’t want to apply too little pressure.

It’s essential to put a little weight on the drill; this is to prevent it from slipping, keeping you on target. 

A good tip is to apply only slight pressure as you begin drilling; then, once you’ve outlined the glass, gradually increase the load. 

Another tip would be to test out how much pressure to use on an extra piece of glass that you don’t need; this may prevent you from damaging the main component of glass you’re trying to drill. 

5. Always Lubricate

Lubricating the drill bit and glass surface is imperative—otherwise, there’s a much higher chance of it cracking or your drill bit overheating. 

To lubricate, you can use either water or a specific lubricant. A good tip is to keep a spray bottle at hand while you drill. Then wet the surface as you go on, taking a break once in a while to prevent overheating. If the glass is harder or thicker, use more lubrication

With that said, you may hear some recommendations that you should submerge the glass into water while drilling; this isn’t a good idea as it can present an electrocution hazard, primarily if you use a corded drill. 

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re hungry for more info, I’ve answered a few common questions below:

Can You Drill Glass With a Normal Drill Bit?

Using a normal drill bit to bore through glass might be possible with the right technique, but it isn’t recommended. Drill bits for glass consist of harder materials, suitable to cut through this hard surface without burning out the drill bit too quickly. 

On top of this, a standard drill bit has a higher chance of cracking and shattering the, which could be dangerous for you. 

The angles of the drill tip that make up the cutting edge are different for different materials. Metal drilling bits for instance, has a much shallower angle, if you’re able to cut at all the drill bit is likely to snag and initiate a crack.   

How Do You Use a Diamond Drill Bit in Glass?

Begin at an angle, and then align it as you penetrate. Then use lubrication to prevent cracking and take frequent breaks to avoid overheating. 

Can You Drill a Hole in Tempered Glass?

You can drill through tempered glass. However, you’ll need a diamond drill bit, made specifically for glass. Then use lots of lubrication—you may have to purchase a special product for the procedure. 

Then be patient – It is hard and thick, so boring a hole takes time. 

How Can You Tell If Glass Is Tempered?

If you’re unsure whether the glass you’re working with is tempered or not, there’s a quick way of finding out. 

Look at the edges—if they’re smooth and even, it’s tempered glass. It’s sandblasted, meaning that all rough edges are eliminated. 

The Takeaway

Drilling in glass requires special drill bits; this material is both hard and brittle at the same time, making it a tricky surface to bore through. 

Fortunately, with the right tools and techniques, it’s possible. 

We just looked at six picks for the best drill bits for glass, but my winner is the QWORK 5 Pcs Set Multi-Material Drill Bit Set for Glass. This arrowhead, masonry drill bit set offers spear-sharp tips and deep-groove design, minimizing the time spent drilling. 

The bundle includes five bits, all in different sizes. However, always remember to lubricate the surface and keep it at a steady speed while drilling. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *