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Drilling Hex Holes: An Easy Guide to Mastering the Basics with Your Drill

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Written By John Gibbs




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Drilling hex holes can be a tricky task, but with a few simple steps, you can learn how to drill hex holes with precision and accuracy. In this guide, we’ll cover the basics of how to drill hex holes, from choosing the right drill bit to creating the perfect hole. We’ll also explain the benefits of drilling hex holes and provide tips for success. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a better understanding of how to drill hex holes and be ready to tackle any project.

Tools and Materials Required

Tools And Materials Required

To drill Hexagonal Holes, you need the following tools and materials:

  • Electric drill
  • Drill bits
  • Hexagonal screwdriver bit
  • Metal file
  • Measuring tape
  • Protective glasses
  • Work gloves

Safety Considerations

  • Wear Safety Goggles: Always wear safety goggles to protect eyes from flying debris when drilling.
  • Use Protective Gloves: Wear thick work gloves to protect hands from sharp edges.
  • Use Safety Mask: Wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling dust particles from the material being drilled.
  • Work in Well-ventilated Area: Work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling hazardous fumes generated by the drilling process.
  • Secure the Workpiece: Secure the workpiece to a workbench or a vise to avoid any accidents.
  • Avoid Overheating: Avoid overheating the drill bit by providing ample lubrication to the drill bit and by regularly removing the swarf.
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Step-by-Step Guide

Step-By-Step Guide

Measure and Mark the Hole

Before drilling, measure the hole to ensure that the hex shank drill bit is the correct size. Mark the exact center of the hole with a marker.

Attach the Hex Shank Drill Bit

Attach the hex shank drill bit to the drill. Make sure that the size of the bit matches the size of the hole that needs to be drilled.

Adjust the Speed

Adjust the speed of the drill to match the size of the hex shank drill bit. A higher speed is needed for larger bits, while a lower speed is needed for smaller bits.

Drill the Hex Hole

Position the drill over the marked area and slowly activate the drill. Make sure to keep the drill level and straight to ensure that the hole is drilled correctly.

Clean Up the Hole

Once the hole has been drilled, use a brush to clean up any debris from the hole. This will ensure that the hole is free from any obstructions.


  • Clamp the material: Always use a clamp to hold the material in place when drilling.
  • Drill bit: Use the correct size drill bit for the size of hex head being used.
  • Drill speed: Use a slower drill speed for better accuracy and control.
  • Center the bit: Make sure to center the bit on the area where the hex head will be placed.
  • Mark the depth: Use a depth gauge to ensure the hole is drilled to the right depth.
  • Coolant: Use a drill coolant when drilling through metal to reduce heat buildup.
  • Safety: Wear safety glasses and other protective gear to avoid injury.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of drill bit should I use to drill hex holes?

Drilling hex holes requires the use of a specific drill bit. The drill bit must be sharp and the correct size to ensure a clean cut. Here are the types of drill bits that can be used to drill hex holes:

  • Wood Drill Bit – These are designed to cut through wood and other soft materials. The tip of the bit is usually pointed and has a spiral groove that helps to remove debris.
  • Metal Drill Bit – These are designed to cut through metal and other hard materials. They are usually made of carbide or cobalt and have a sharp cutting edge.
  • Hex Drill Bit – These are specifically designed to drill hex holes. They have a hexagonal shape in the center of the bit, which helps to create a clean, precise cut.

It is important to choose the right size drill bit for your project. If the bit is too small, it will not cut through the material properly. If the bit is too large, it will create an oversized hole.

What is the Best Way to Ensure a Clean Cut When Drilling a Hex Hole?

  • Choose the Right Drill Bit – Select a drill bit that’s specifically designed for hex holes. These bits are usually coated with titanium nitride or similar coating for greater durability.
  • Use Lubricant or Cooling Agent – This will help reduce friction, which in turn produces a cleaner cut. Consider using cutting fluid, oil, or water.
  • Secure the Workpiece – Make sure that your workpiece is securely clamped down to a stable surface. This will prevent the drill bit from slipping while drilling.
  • Set the Speed Appropriately – Make sure to set the speed of your drill bit to the right RPM. This will help to avoid over-drilling and produce a cleaner cut.
  • Drill at the Right Angle – To ensure a clean cut, drill at a 90-degree angle. A drill press is the best tool for this job, but a hand drill can be used as well.
  • Use a Center Punch – Using a center punch is a great way to make sure that your drill bit is centered on the hex hole. This will help to make sure that the hole is drilled at the correct angle.

How Deep Should a Hex Hole Be Drilled?

Before drilling the hole, it is important to determine the desired depth of the hole. The depth will be dependent on the application of the hex hole.

  • For basic applications such as tightening screws, a shallow hole is sufficient.
  • For mounting components, a slightly deeper hole is recommended.
  • For more complex applications such as welding, a deeper hole is necessary.

When drilling a hex hole, it is important to consider the size of the drill bit being used and the material it is being used on. For instance, a larger drill bit will require a deeper hole. Additionally, a harder material will require a deeper hole.

To ensure precision, use a depth gauge or a ruler to measure the desired depth of the hole. This ensures that the hole is drilled to the correct depth and will help to ensure a successful result.

Safety is of utmost importance when drilling hex holes. Wear safety glasses and ensure that the drill is securely mounted to a work surface. Additionally, ensure that the drill bit is properly secured in the drill before drilling.

Is it Possible to Drill a Hex Hole Without a Drill Press?

Yes. It is possible to drill a hex hole without a drill press by using a few simple tools and techniques. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  • Choose a drill bit that is slightly larger than the desired size of the hole.
  • Mark six evenly spaced lines on the surface of the material that you are drilling.
  • Clamp the material in a vise.
  • Use a center punch to make a small indentation on each of the six lines.
  • Place the drill bit into the center of the indentations.
  • Apply pressure to the drill bit and slowly begin to drill into the material.
  • Continue drilling until the desired depth is achieved.
  • Remove the drill bit and you should have a hex hole.

It is important to remember to drill slowly and steadily in order to achieve the best results. If your drill bit is not sharp enough, it will not be able to cut through the material properly and the hole will not be even. Additionally, if the drill bit is too large, the hole will be too big and will not be a true hex shape.

What safety precautions should I take when using a drill to make hex holes?

  • Wear eye protection: Wear safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes from debris and flying sparks while drilling.
  • Wear hearing protection: Wear earplugs or earmuffs to protect your ears from damage caused by the loud noise of the drill.
  • Wear proper clothing: Wear long-sleeved clothing and closed-toe shoes to protect your skin from potential sparks or debris.
  • Secure your workpiece: Secure your workpiece using clamps or a vise to hold it in place while you are drilling.
  • Check the drill bit: Before using the drill bit, check it for wear and tear, and replace it if necessary.
  • Use the correct speed: Make sure to set the speed of the drill to the correct setting for the material you are drilling.
  • Keep your hands away from the bit: Keep your hands away from the drill bit while it is in use to avoid injury.
  • Clean the hole: After drilling the hole, use a brush to remove debris from the hole.
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Drilling hex holes is a simple task that can be completed with the right tools and knowledge. It is important to use the correct drill bit, take safety precautions and make sure the surface is level. With the right tools and preparation, anyone can successfully drill a hex hole.



About John Gibbs

Hello everyone! My name is John Gibbs. I am 60 years old and have been in the family construction business all my adult life. Construction is not only my profession but also my passion. I know everything about building and repair materials, tools, advanced methods, techniques, and approaches. I will share the same knowledge with you in my articles.

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