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How To Drill A Square Hole In The Wood? (Read This Fast)

How To Drill A Square Hole In The Wood

After spending all that years in the workshop, who would have thought a simple task of drilling holes can cause such a headache.

Yes, that’s right, it’s moments like this that can make your day in the workshop a total nightmare. After all, you are used to drilling circular holes and when the need arises to drill square ones, even professionals can go blank.

This article features an in-depth discussion on how to drill a square hole in the wood. So whether you are stuck midway through your project or just looking to sharpen your woodworking skills, have a good glance at it.

A Brief Intro Into Drilling

Drilling has always been a key skill for any project that involves wood. Whether you are a professional or a DIY person, there is always a need for drilling. Many beginners take drilling as a one-dimensional task. Well, it’s not if you are creative enough. With little practice, you too will be able to pull out wonders with your regular drilling tools.

All that being said, not all drilling methods are the same. You may need to drill different shapes and make use of various tools. This is because certain types of drills will offer you a better fit and aesthetics depending on the project you are working on. 

Drilling square holes is one of the essential techniques you must keep in your arsenal. Though the trick might be a bit tricky to pull off with regular drilling tools, it’s not impossible. So let’s have a look at the ins and outs of drilling a perfectly square hole in wood.

Safety Precautions To Lookout For:

Before heading into an in-depth discussion about the perfect square hole, here are a few of the safety precautions you need to follow.

  • Put on a set of goggles to protect your eyes from drill bits.
  • Work in a well-ventilated space or work outdoors.
  • Make use of protective gloves to keep your hands safe.
  • Put on mask for dust and wear closed shoes for added safety.
  • Go through the instruction and safety manual of the power tools in case you are using one.
  • Keep the blades of the cutting tools sharp for precise output.

Few Common Methods And Tools To Drill Square Holes In Wood

Now that you are all geared up, below is a list and know-hows of the most conventional methods of drilling square holes in wood.

Square Hole Punch

Let’s start with the newest technique out in the market which is the square hole punch. If you are looking for an inexpensive yet simple tool for making your next square drill, this is the one.

The only downside here is that the tool limits you to drill round holes of about ½ inch depth. This is ideal for working with wooden sheet and wood of similar thickness.

Other than that you are sure to have a fun time at your workshop with the square hole punch at your side.

Tools Required:

  1. Square hole punch drill bit set
  2. Drill Bits
  3. Cordless Drill
  4. Frame Guard
Square Hole Punch

Working Procedure

  • First, you need to draw the square at the desired drilling location using a framing guard.
  • Then you need to pick a square punch of the desired size.
  • After that, you have to select a drill bit. Make sure that the drill bit is a bit smaller compared to the punch.
  • It’s time to make a drill at the middle of the square.Then you have to position the punch on the square and start hammering it.
  • After all, that, remove the dust and loose wood obtained and you are good to go.


This is a tool that needs no introduction. The square chisel is one of the most traditional tools used in any carpentry work and the usage of this simple and cheap tool is limitless. There are many scenarios where you are looking for a quick fix for your project and only need to drill a few squares. Thus you can make use of the chisel and save some cash on expensive tools as well.

Tools Required:

  1. Chisel
  2. Sledgehammer
  3. Framing Square
  4. Sandpaper

Working Procedure

  • The first step is drawing the required square using a frame square.
  • Then you need to place the chisel tip precisely on any of the ends of the square.
  • Make use of the sledgehammer like you usually do to hit the chisel.
  • You need to hit gently until you move towards the bottom of your workpiece.
  • The same procedure needs to be repeated for all corners.
  • After that carefully separate the square from the workpiece.
  • Make use of the sandpaper for smoothing and to put on final touches.

Drill Along With Chisel Process

Now, this process is similar to the last one. Except here you get the freedom to work with thick pieces of wood. This is possible due to the usage of the cordless drill along with the chisel.

Let’s have a look at the tools and drilling procedure.

Tools Required:

  1. Chisel
  2. Cordless Drill
  3. Drill Bit
  4. Frame Square

Working Procedure

  • Here also you need to draw the square beforehand with the help of a frame square.
  • Then you need to choose the largest drill bit.
  • Make sure that the drill bit is small compared to the square.
  • After that, you have to drill a hole in the middle of the square. This should drill out most of the wood.
  • Make a few more drills if required.
  • Remove the leftover wood pieces using a chisel.
  • The finishing touches can be put using sandpaper. This includes smoothing and minimizing the edges.

Drill Along With Saw Process

There are plenty of ways to drill a square on wood and sawing is one of them. The procedure requires a drill to be used along with the saw. This method too allows you to work with different thicknesses of wood with ease.

Tools Required:

  1. Cordless Circular Saw
  2. Cordless Drill
  3. Frame Guard
  4. Sandpaper

Working Procedure

  • Draw the square using the framing guard according to required square dimensions.
  • Pick the right drill bit and attach it to the cordless drill.
  • Place the drill bit on any corner.
  • Drill similarly for all corners.
  • Use any drilling point as the starting point and start sawing.
  • Follow the square drawn before as a reference.
  • The same needs to be done for all sides.
  • Pull out the square carefully.
  • Use sandpaper for the finishing.

Mortiser Machine

If you are someone not willing to compromise on quality, a Moriser Machine is the one for you. The machine is catered towards professionals and thus will offer you more accurate square holes for less effort.

The mortiser machines work with the combination of an auger drill bit closed by a chisel. This lets you drill holes of any size effortless by placing the workpiece under the machine. All the said, the machine is quite expensive but the results make up for the cost.

Tools Required:

  1. Mortise Machine
  2. Mortising Chisel Pack

Working Procedure

  • Draw the square first just like before.
  • Then you need to set up the machine by installing the chisel along with the drill bit. The auger bit tip should lead the chisel.
  • Activate hold down feature to place the wood firmly in place
  • Now you can start drilling with the machine. One drill might be enough for smaller squares and more than one for larger ones.
  • The trick here is to leave excess wood on all four sides or minimum of two ends of the chisel. Any combination other than that may cause you a bit of trouble.
Mortiser Machine for making square hole

Drilling Square Hole Drill In Metal

What if you are done with the soft life and looking for something hardcore. Picking up metal instead of wood might be a good start. In that case, you can be looking to drill square holes in metals as well.

Below are the steps you can follow to drill holes in metals:

  • One way of drilling square holes in metals is to drill round hole along the square perimeter. Then you can carefully take out the metal piece. After filing its edges for smoothness, the first step is completed.
  • For thin metals sheets, you can try out hole punches available catering to different shapes.
  • Saw blades can also be used after the square corners have been drilled.
  • You can also opt for a Dremel having circular cutting disc and later on file the edges for finishing.
  • A milling machine will be the ideal option if you are looking to drill holes for professional purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of drill bit makes a square hole?

Answer: You can use the round drill bits to make a square hole if the proper methods are followed.

What is a mortise drill?

Answer: These are special kinds of woodworking machines that you can use to cut square or rectangular holes in wood.

What tool is used to make holes?

Answer: You can drill or bore to make a hole and the tools used are awls, gimlets, augers, and many more.

Final Thoughts

This brings us to the end of today’s discussion. It’s fair to say the procedures mention here are not the only ones you can adopt for drilling square holes in wood. Woodworking is a creative task and there can always be better and efficient ways to do it. Whichever technique you choose, make sure you have got your safety covered. Please check our articles on how to make a hole in glass without drilling.

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