What Can You Do Instead Of Drilling?

Many times drilling becomes inconvenient. Especially when you suddenly require making a hole on the wall, finding a drill immediately becomes almost impossible. That is when you think of what you can use instead of a drill. 

The most convenient way to drill instead of drilling is to use a nail and hammer. Besides, you can even use a self-drilling screw. Most of the ways are done and executed manually while a drill is an electronic device. However, there are other ways too to drill without a drill. 

So you can do a lot of other tasks to drill instead of using a drill. 

5 Things To Do Instead Of Drilling:

When you don’t have a drill, you can use alternatives to complete the task. It often happens that even though you have an electric drill, there is no electricity connection. This is when you require an alternative. But how can you drill without a drilling machine? Don’t worry about it as I am here to tell you the solution.

Here are the 5 things to do to make a hole if you don’t have a drill: 

  1. Drill A Hole Using Heated Copper:

If you want a hole in a soft object, here is the right option for you. Soft materials like plastic don’t require much pressure to get holed. You just need a technique to make a hole effectively and here it is. 

Caution! You may think you can directly nail a soft object with nails and a hammer. Don’t do this as it would break or crack the soft object. 

To drill a soft object, you need a sharp-edged copper bar. Even a sharp-edged nail would do the job. Heat the sharp end of the bar or nail. Now, hold the heated end over the soft object on the spot where you need the hole. This heated copper will eventually melt the place where it has been held. 

Now you can see a hole! Can you? 

  1. Drilling With A Brace and Bit:

A brace is an excellent alternative to an electric drill. It features a bit that can drill a hole in hard surfaces like wood. You can keep one brace at home for emergencies. 

You will get to see a bit in the brace that has a twisted bar with a sharp cutting end with the screw. The sharp cutting end is what makes the holes. You will have to use the U-shaped handle to rotate the brace. Only then the sharp end will start drilling. 

Hold the sharp bit on the surface and rotate the handle to drill through. The twisted bit would cut and grind the material to make a hole. As it is not electric, you have to be cautious about keeping your hands steady. A good alternative, isn’t it? 

  1. Use Hammer and Nails:

Though an outdated way of drilling, this alternative can save you in emergencies. It can be life-saving, actually! The biggest benefit is that you are most likely to have this already at home. 

You need a hammer and nails to drill the surface. Just hold the nail on the surface and strike the hammer on it to make holes. However, remember that it is only suitable for drilling through hard surfaces. Don’t try this on soft materials. 

Be careful while striking the hammer. Make sure that the hammer doesn’t miss out on the nail surface and hit your hand. To avoid accidents, strike patiently and go slow. Once the nail is stuck on the wall a bit, you can remove your hands and strike again.

Keep stroking on the nail until it gets fixed on the wall. You can also use it to fix tilted nails. An effective tool, you should keep a hammer and nails at home. 

  1. Get Some Self-Drilling Screws:

Keeping some self-drilling screws can be life-saving sometimes. Using a self-drilling screw is super easy and keeping them can really help you a lot. 

Self-drilling screws have drilling bits attached to them at one end. These bits make holes. These screws have sharp cutting ends to drill through a surface easily. 

Place the sharp cutting end of the screw on a surface. Now, use a screwdriver to rotate the screw and cut the surface. The cutting ends would slowly cut the surface through. Keep rotating the screwdriver until the screw penetrates and gets fixed on the wall. 

  1. Make A Wooden Drill On Your Own:

You can make a wooden drill on your own. It is not at all difficult and can help you a lot to make holes on surfaces. 

Take a one meter long wood and cut one end of it. Now start cutting the end to make a sharp and pointed end. Make the end as sharp as possible and keep polishing. This sharp end is what you need to make holes. 

Now, use a hammer to make a hole. Hold the sharp end of the wooden bar on a surface and strike the bar with a hammer. Strike until it makes a cut. Then keep striking the drill with the hammer until you get a hole big enough to set a nail.  

Though an extremely outdated way, it can help you in emergencies. Using it is very easy making it convenient for you to drill through. You can also ask a  carpenter to make the wooden drill. 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Can You Drill Manually? 

Drilling without an electric drill is possible. Though not suitable for heavy duty activities, you can drill without an electric drill to complete small tasks. 

You can make a handmade wooden drill at home to complete small tasks like nailing in the wall. If you want to work on wooden surfaces, a brace and bit would be excellent to drill through the surface. Using a self-driven screw is also an effective way of drilling through wooden surfaces as well as walls. Another simple yet convenient way of manual drilling is to use a hammer and nails. 

Use any manual drilling method according to the surface being drilled. However, make sure that you can do it safely. Manual drilling requires patience and steadiness. So stay careful while applying any of the manual drilling methods. 

Can Manual Drilling Give The Same Accuracy As Drill? 

Manual drilling is effective during emergencies and also if you are finding an alternative to drill. But you may need to compromise with the accuracy of the result if you are not an expert in drilling. 

While a drill automatically penetrates a surface once placed, manual drilling can’t be done in the same way. You have to do it correctly until the hole is made completely. For instance, if you are using a hammer and nail, you have to keep striking in the correct direction until the nail gets fixed. If you hammer incorrectly, the nail may get tiled. Similarly, other methods are tricky too. 

If you don’t want to compromise with accuracy, you have to be patient and steady. Make sure that you have placed the manual drill correctly and then work on it until the hole is made. 

Can You Use A Screwdriver As A Drill? 

A screwdriver is not only effective for working with screws but can help you in drilling a hole too. But you would also need self-drilling screws if you want to make a hole with the help of a screwdriver. 

Self-drilling screws are extremely useful. They have sharp twisting ends that can penetrate the surface. You simply have to place the self-drilling screw on the surface and then use a screwdriver to rotate it. As you rotate the screwdriver, the screw will slowly cut the surface with its sharp edges. Slowly, the screw will penetrate the surface. 

Though not directly, you can use a screwdriver to drill a surface with the help of a self-drilling screw. 


You have got a number of ways to drill a surface without using a drill. Keep the tools with you so that you can use them according to your need and requirement. 

So which method will you prefer the most? 

Masud Rana

This is Masud Rana. I run this blog. My Tools Guide is a blog where I share product reviews of different tools. Stay tuned to get more helpful articles!

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