Tools Q & A: How to Drill a Perfectly Vertical Hole

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How to Drill a Perfectly Vertical Hole

“How to Drill a Perfectly Vertical Hole” is a perennial question for guys in the shop who don’t have a drill press to drill vertical holes. If you work with tools, repairs equipment, builds or repairs furniture, or drills into a wall knows how hard it can be to drill a perfectly vertical hole without a press. You can’t always get that project into the shop and aligned under your press if the project is too big or your shop too small.

Or, most of the time, a drill press is on your “wish list” and you don’t have the budget for one…​

​Take John, for instance. He works on heavy farm equipment and often needs to have his broken parts fixed literally “in the field”. He can’t easily, or timely, take an 80 lb part off a piece of equipment and haul it to the shop, square it up, and press play.

If you don’t have a drill press or your project is cumbersome, there are affordable solutions to drilling a straight hole in wood, metal, stone or other material where the alignment of the hole is true.

 

Tools to Help You Drill a Perfectly Vertical Hole without a Drill Press

 

Works On Dowels
Big Gator Tools MDG1000NP V-Drill Guide
Best Budget Option
Milescraft 1312 Drill Block
Best Drill Press Replacement
wolfcraft 4525404 Muilt-Angle Drill Guide Attachment for 1/4in. and 3/8in. Drills
Big Gator Tools MDG1000NP V-Drill Guide
Milescraft 1312 Drill Block
wolfcraft 4525404 Muilt-Angle Drill Guide Attachment for 1/4in. and 3/8in. Drills
43 Reviews
153 Reviews
708 Reviews
$24.95
$7.99
$25.25
Works On Dowels
Big Gator Tools MDG1000NP V-Drill Guide
Big Gator Tools MDG1000NP V-Drill Guide
43 Reviews
$24.95
Best Budget Option
Milescraft 1312 Drill Block
Milescraft 1312 Drill Block
153 Reviews
$7.99
Best Drill Press Replacement
wolfcraft 4525404 Muilt-Angle Drill Guide Attachment for 1/4in. and 3/8in. Drills
wolfcraft 4525404 Muilt-Angle Drill Guide Attachment for 1/4in. and 3/8in. Drills
708 Reviews
$25.25

Big Gator Drill Guide to Drill Vertical Holes

Learn more about Big Gator Drill Guides

The Big Gator drill guide is a compact and easy to carry vertical hole drill guide that will let you drill straight holes pretty much anywhere – and is one of the best affordable tools for drilling straight holes for dowels.

You can drill in 17 hole sizes from 1/8″ to 3/8″ in 1/64″ increments on flat surfaces, round parts, and in corners.

It’s a durable drill guide that needs a little oil to keep it rust free. Made from nickel alloyed metal and heat-treated for durability, the Big Gator drill guide is a good tool for drilling vertical holes on most surfaces easily.

 

MilesCraft Vertical Hole Drill Guide

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Learn More About MilesCraft Drill Guides

This drill guide is similar to the Big Gator drill guide because it lays flat against the surface and lets you drill a precise hole without using a drill press.

It’s a pretty sweet tool and differs from the Big Gator drill guide because it has fewer drill bit size options overall. Yet, it’s made from a non-slip padding that lets you hold the drill guide in place while preventing both slipping and marring the wooden work surface.

It has a couple of v-grooves that will let you drill on round surfaces and get precise holes in things like dowels.

 

Wolfcraft Drill Guide Attachment to Drill Vertical Holes


Learn more about Wolfcraft Vertical Drill Guide

The Wolfcraft vertical drill guide may be one of the better options if you need a more stable drill guide to drill vertical holes. It works by holding your handheld drill tightly, and this vertical drill guide lets you use your drill to get vertical or straight holes at angles where you need them.

Drill against your shower tile, into a corner at an angle, overhead, or vertically into wood or other materials on your workbench.

This vertical hole drilling tool lets you affordably drill holes with your power drill without the investment of a benchtop drill press. It’s a solid purchase (though not too expensive) for the guy who needs precise holes drilled using your 3/8″ or 1/4″ hand held drill.

You may need to make a few adjustments to get it to work best for you, but the offset is that you can use your drill without having to invest in an expensive drill press that won’t work in tight corners or on fixed surfaces.

This vertical drill guide gives you more options than the hand held drill guides, and it will let you attack more jobs with confidence – especially for the handyman who wants to make let his work speak for itself.

 

Best Selling Drill Guide Attachments & Drill Jigs for Straight Holes

Not sure which drill guide to buy to drill straight holes? Check out what your buddies in the shop are buying via the Amazon API which updates the best selling drill guides periodically. This info is a good general tool to know what people like and what people are buying for their tool box.

$7.74Bestseller No. 1
wolfcraft 4525404 Muilt-Angle Drill Guide Attachment for 1/4in. and 3/8in. Drills
708 Reviews
wolfcraft 4525404 Muilt-Angle Drill Guide Attachment for 1/4in. and 3/8in. Drills
  • Drill Guide that can be used in horizontal, vertical or angle positions
  • Guide-bars themselves have springs for a quick return when doing repetitive drilling
  • Drill adapter itself slides up and down on guide-bars
  • Angle positions can go up to 45 degrees, and rubber pads in the base hold the guide in place
  • Fits all 1/4-inch or 3/8-inch drills
$3.50Bestseller No. 2
Milescraft 1318 AccuDrill Mate
93 Reviews
Milescraft 1318 AccuDrill Mate
  • Perfect for straight or angled drilling, drilling on the edge of a board or on round stock
  • Attaches to all 3/8" and 1/2" power drills and it also includes a 3/8" capacity chuck with key
  • Angle cuts of 45 degree to 90 degrees, with a built in angle read out in the all metal base
  • Centering channels built into the bottom of the base, to accommodate drilling any round stock up to 3 inches in diameter
  • Adjustable depth stop and spring action control of the head
Bestseller No. 3
Milescraft 1312 Drill Block
153 Reviews
Milescraft 1312 Drill Block
  • Centerlines ensure accurate alignment when drilling into various surfaces
  • non-slip padding holds the DrillBlock in place while preventing both slipping and marring on wooden work pieces
  • The two product v-grooves allow for usage on corners and even cylindrical surfaces too
Bestseller No. 4
JIG IT Drill Guide
23 Reviews
JIG IT Drill Guide
  • Rockler Woodworking and Hardware
  • Misc.
$12.40Bestseller No. 5
WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press
763 Reviews
WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press
  • Includes a 1/2-inch keyed chuck and onboard key storage
  • Operates at 5 different speeds: 740, 1100, 1530, 2100, 3140 RPM
  • Spindle travels up to 2 inches with easy to read, locking linear depth stops for accurate and repeatable drilling operations
  • Durable 1/3 HP induction motor develops ample torque and power
  • 6-1/2 x 6-1/2" worktable is height adjustable and bevels up to 45 degrees left & right
  • Swing: 8 inch. Motor: 120V, 60Hz. Horsepower: 1/3 HP.
$18.39Bestseller No. 6
General Tools 36/37 Accu Precision Drill Guide
128 Reviews
General Tools 36/37 Accu Precision Drill Guide
  • Precision Drill Guide
  • This product is highly durable
  • This product is manufactured in China
  • Cross slide lock for accurated shaping and carving
  • Positive stop for accurate drill depth control
  • Dual locking knob and handle holds precise angle setting
Bestseller No. 7
Big Gator Tools STD1000DGNP V-Drill Guide
345 Reviews
Big Gator Tools STD1000DGNP V-Drill Guide
  • 17 drill sizes, from 1/8" to 3/8", in 1/64" increments
  • Use on flat surfaces, round parts, and corners
  • Special nickel alloyed steel heat treated for durability
  • Non-plated material with light oil coating to prevent rust
  • Alignment marks on guide to line up on center
$15.64Bestseller No. 8
Dremel 335-01 Plunge Router Attachment
435 Reviews
Dremel 335-01 Plunge Router Attachment
  • Fits model 275, 285, 395, 398; 100, 200, 300 and 400 Series; 3000, 4000, 4200, 8200 and 8220
  • Quickly converts rotary tool to plunge router; plunge lock-in handle; 2 depth stops for rapid depth adjustments
  • Plastic and metal construction
  • Includes plunge router attachment, edge guide, circle cutting guide, mounting wrench, manual
  • 6 by 5-1/2 inches; 1-year warranty
Bestseller No. 9
Lukcase Floor Drill Press Stand Table for Drill Workbench Repair Tool Clamp for Drilling Collet,drill Press Table
8 Reviews
Lukcase Floor Drill Press Stand Table for Drill Workbench Repair Tool Clamp for Drilling Collet,drill Press Table
  • 0-90 Degree rotable to drill slant hole.
  • Original Clamping range:44 mm,and it could be adjusted to be from 27.5 mm to 43.6 mm
  • Working stroke:60 mm, Down stroke:60 mm
  • Copper plug readjustment to confirm the precison and durable.Precise graduation:transparent pointer,spacing fuctuion
$1.64Bestseller No. 10
Milescraft 1097 Tool Stand Drill Press for Rotary Tools
104 Reviews
Milescraft 1097 Tool Stand Drill Press for Rotary Tools
  • Sturdy metal head fits most Dremel style rotary tools
  • Spring loaded metal rack and pinion gearing for smoothe controlled drilling
  • Scale with depth stop allows precised depth control and repeatability
  • The steel 13-1/2″ support column of the ToolStand, fits securely into a 6″ x 6″ formed steel base plate whose surface and mounting platforms have been planed to ensure a level work surface
  • Lock tools in horizontal position for hands free use
$26.56Bestseller No. 11
WEN 4210 Drill Press with Laser, 10-Inch
225 Reviews
WEN 4210 Drill Press with Laser, 10-Inch
  • Includes: Drill Press, Laser, 1/2" Keyed Chuck & Key, Tools for Assembly
  • Adjust between five speeds from 600 to 3100 RPM.
  • Spindle Travel of 2-1/2" with easy to read, locking linear depth stop for accurate and repeatable drilling operations
  • Durable 3.2 AMP motor provides ample torque and power
  • 7-5/8 x 7-5/8" cast iron worktable features rack & pinion height adjustment and bevels up to 45 Degrees left & right
Bestseller No. 12
ANGLE DRILL GUIDE from 45° to 90° with 5° increments angle settings
11 Reviews
ANGLE DRILL GUIDE from 45° to 90° with 5° increments angle settings
  • Guide your 3/8" or 1/2" drill at any angle from 45° to 90° with total accuracy
  • Capacity: 3" round stock, 4" x 4" square stock, 4" x 7" rectangular stock
  • 3/8" keyless chuck
  • Positive-stop depth control
  • Spring return keeps guide in ready position
$2.55Bestseller No. 13
V-Tap Guide, Standard sizes 0-80 to 5/8'
58 Reviews
V-Tap Guide, Standard sizes 0-80 to 5/8"
  • 90 degree V-groove along the bottom allows perpendicular alignment on round parts or corners.
  • Eliminate tap breakage due to improper alignment.
  • Automatically squares up the tap with the surface.
  • Portable, pocket size
  • A protective plastic storage tube is included.
Bestseller No. 14
Dremel Rotary Multi Tool Cutting Guide HSS Router Drill Bits Set Attachment Kit
  • Color: Black
  • Material: plastic
  • Inner diameter: 22mm
  • Base diameter: 60mm
  • Weight: about 35g
Bestseller No. 15
Wolfcraft 4522 Tec Mobil Drill Stand
13 Reviews
Wolfcraft 4522 Tec Mobil Drill Stand
  • The pivotal 2-column guide with scale for exact vertical, horizontal or inclined drilling (+ / - 45 )
  • And the adjustable depth stop
  • The straight guide for holes in a line
  • The additional handle for precise placement and against skidding when drilling
  • The versatile mobile drill stand transformed in the base plate in a stationary drill
Bestseller No. 16
CoCocina 4pcs Carbon Steel Woodworking Plug Cutter Drill Bits Cutting Tool
  • Material: 45 # carbon steel
  • Shank: 10mm
  • Can get block up to 27mm.
  • Carbon steel is durable.
  • Precision production, smooth surface.
Bestseller No. 17
Promax 79251 Precision Drill Guide Tool for Portable and Electric Drills
20 Reviews
Promax 79251 Precision Drill Guide Tool for Portable and Electric Drills
  • 3/8-Inch chuck, 10-mm, 3/8 by 24 thread
  • Drills perpendicular to surface, oblique angles and round rods
  • Positive stop for accurate drill depth control
  • Dual locking knobs for holding precise angle setting
  • Lock pins hold tool firmly on flat surfaces and center the tool for drilling
Bestseller No. 18
Wolfcraft 4525404 Drill Guide Attachment for 1/4-Inch or 3/8-Inch Drills New
  • Drill Guide that can be used in horizontal, vertical or angle positions
  • Guide-bars themselves have springs for a quick return when doing repetitive drilling
  • Drill adapter itself slides up and down on guide-bars
  • Angle positions can go up to 45 degrees, and rubber pads in the base hold the guide in place
  • Fits all 1/4-inch or 3/8-inch drills
Bestseller No. 19
Drill Guide Dowel Kit Jig with 6 Bushings 3/16”, 1/4”, 5/16”, 3/8”, 7/16' and 1/2”
23 Reviews
Drill Guide Dowel Kit Jig with 6 Bushings 3/16”, 1/4”, 5/16”, 3/8”, 7/16" and 1/2”
  • Drill perpendicular holes on flat edges, spheres, cylinders and corners
  • 3" see-through square base
  • Includes bushing sizes 3/16", 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 7/16 and 1/2"
  • Includes locating/center punch
$4.96Bestseller No. 20
Drill Press Laser Guide
47 Reviews
Drill Press Laser Guide
  • Comes with a 4" and 6" steel ring for mounting
  • Has a alignment device that fits into the chuck of the drill press for alignment & calibration
  • Two red laser beams cross at the exact location the drill bit is going to contact the stock
  • The two lasers are independent and can be adjusted for any size drill press.
  • Requires a 9 volt battery which is included

 

Drilling Vertical Holes

Luckily, like John, you don’t have to make a drill guide out of a block of wood, press it to a wall and hope for the best like todayshomeowner.com recommends to drill perfectly straight holes.

“Cut two pieces of 1×4 scrap lumber the same length and square on each end, so when the drill chuck is held against the block, the drill bit protrudes the desired depth of the hole below the jig. Screw the two blocks of wood together to form a “T” shape. Position the drill bit on the stock, and hold the jig next to it.” – todayshomeowner.com

Nor is a scrap wood square you cut out and place against the equipment always the best option either.

Although it may be a fun way to tinker and do it yourself or find a way to drill a vertical hole on a budget, there are much easier ways to drill a perfectly vertical hole without using a drill press.

If you have the budget and want to add a drill press to your workshop, read our Drill Reviews to find one that’s best voltage for your needs.​

Reprinted with permission from: Get Drill Press

Last update on 2018-02-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API