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The 7 Best Glass Drill Bits for 2023

Jun 07, 2023Jun 07, 2023

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Create perfect holes without cracking or shattering your workpiece.

Creating a hole in a piece of glass might seem difficult, but with a power drill and glass drill bit, it's actually pretty easy to accomplish. Unlike typical drill bits that can easily crack or shatter your workpiece, glass drill bits are designed with extremely hard tips. They're made with either tungsten carbide or a diamond coating to create uniform holes in glass, as well as in other brittle materials like ceramic, stone, or tile. Glass drill bits require a little more finesse to use than wood or masonry drill bits (having a good cordless drill helps) but with a little practice you’ll be prepared to tackle a wide variety of craft and home DIY projects.

The first thing to consider when choosing a glass drill bit is the size of the hole you’re making. Pro tip: In addition to the correct size bit, buy one that's slightly smaller to drill a pilot hole. As a rule of thumb, 1/8-inch is a good pilot hole size for smaller tasks. If you’re planning on drilling especially large holes, you might need to use a hole saw. These are tube-shaped saws that actually remove a circular section of glass, instead of drilling it away.

You should also think about what type of glass drill bit is best for you and your project. There are standard tungsten carbide glass drill bits with spear-shaped tips and diamond-coated glass drill bits are more durable, but typically more expensive. If you plan on doing a lot of glass drilling and don't want to worry about wearing out your bit, go with a diamond option.

We’ve used several types of glass drill bits for stained glass projects and to create outlet holes in glass work desks, and have come to understand what makes them so valuable. Our experience and comprehensive knowledge of drill bits in general informed our selection. We did our best to choose brands that we have come to know and trust over the years, like Milwaukee and Bosch, and exclude any that we have had quality control issues with in the past. We also made sure to include a good variety of types, sizes, and prices, so hopefully you’ll be able to find the one that best suits your needs.

For more great drilling tools, check out our top picks for the best masonry drill bits, cordless drills, and impact drivers.

These carbide Bosch bits and their self-centering tips are the perfect choice for those looking for an effective bit set that's relatively inexpensive. Their tips reduce the chance of any frustrating "walking" on your project, which is especially useful when working with decorative or stained glass.

We’re also big fans of the large, clear size markings on the sides of the bits that make it easy to find the one you want.

This six-piece bit set is designed for tackling a wide range of small drilling tasks — and costs less than $10. The spear-pointed design allows for use on range of materials in addition to glass, and reduces the chance of breakout on the rear of the workpiece. The bits are available in five- and eight-piece versions, as well.

Although not technically "bits," these Milwaukee hole saws are still great for drilling or working with glass. Thanks to large slug ejection slots it's easy to clear them out after each hole, and the 1/4-inch quick-change hex shank is super convenient. They’re also heat-resistant so they’re designed to last, even when cutting extra-hard materials.

This 10-piece hole saw set offers an impressive range of bit sizes for a lower price than similar diamond sets. They’re easy to use as well, thanks to the included foam guide. It helps to keep your saw from moving around while you work and contains water being used as lubricant.

A convenient zippered storage case keeps all your bits organized and easy to find when you need them. The only caveat is that they aren't designed for small holes.

This 3/8-inch bit is a great all-around choice for glasswork — and bonus, it's also designed for use with tile and natural stone. Unlike more delicate options, this bit can be used in hammer mode when working with stone, making it even more functional (just don't use hammer mode with glass).

It lacks the "exact start tip" that some other Milwaukee glass bits use, so it may not be ideal for first-time users.

For those who use a Dremel to work on glass crafting projects—like sea glass or beads—these extra-small drill bits and included collet will have you covered. With 20 identical 2mm bits, this set is perfect for busy craft or jewelry makers who don't want to worry about replacing worn-down bits. Keep in mind that these bits must be used with water as a lubricant and are not for dry drilling.

The spear-shaped tip of this Kobalt bit allows it to power through glass safely and effectively, and the 1/4-inch size is a good all-around for a variety of household projects. The hex shank is convenient for most drills and quick-change adapters, too.

Kobalt's 1-year warranty against manufacturing defects is a definite plus. Be sure to lubricate with water to extend the bit's lifespan — and ensure the best results.

Alex Rennie is a freelance writer who specializes in the Home Improvement, DIY, and Tool space. As a former residential and commercial carpenter, Alex uses his hands-on experience to write practical buying guides, how-to articles, and product reviews. His work has also appeared in Business Insider's Insider Picks, and before his writing career, he was a full-time carpenter living in New York City. There, he worked as part of a team designing, building, and installing large furniture pieces, as well as performing a variety of home repair and maintenance projects. Alex currently lives in Los Angeles, CA, and spends his free time exploring the beaches and mountains with his fiancé and their dog Louie.

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For more great drilling tools, check out our top picks for the best masonry drill bits, cordless drills, and impact drivers.