Tips for drilling acrylic

Acrylic is a plastic with excellent strength, stiffness and clarity. It also has outstanding weather resistance compared with other transparent or clear plastics.

Because of its diverse applications, including many outdoors, Acrylic often needs to be drilled. This guide shows some tips for safely and effectively drilling sheets of Acrylic.

  • Always drill the hole 1-2 mm larger than the fastening (i.e. screw or bolt) to allow for thermal expansion and contraction.
  • Use a blunt metal drill or back off the rake angle. Spade drill bits can also be used with satisfactory results.
  • Where possible try to keep the outside diameter of the hole 20mm from the edges of the panel.
  • Drill the panel with a piece of solid material (i.e. timber) beneath the Acrylic for support.
  • Try to keep firm downward pressure (hands or clamps) on the panel whilst drilling through to avoid the Acrylic lifting or pulling up the drill bit suddenly.
  • Turn off any hammer setting on the drill.
  • Drill all holes slowly. Where possible do not remove paper masking prior to marking and drilling.
  • Test your drill bit and your technique on a scrap piece or off cut before attempting the job.

Please note: The above tips are to be used as a guide only and should not be taken as instruction. Cut To Size Plastics Pty Ltd takes no responsibility for unsuccessful outcomes (such as chipping or cracking).