Efficiently Drilling Holes in Clay Pots

Clay pots are used for a lot of purposes, commonly for planting flowers, and plants. The pot itself is an ideal container for plants due to its porous surface and the ability to retain solids. Clay pots or drainage pots, however, need holes in the bottom to drain. Drilling a hole in a clay pot can be very easy if you have the right tools.

how to drill hole in a clay pot

How to Drill a Hole in a Clay Pot

Identifying the Material

Most clay pots are made of red clay baked over low heat that is easy to drill. Some pots are made of much harder clays. Identify what type of material you want to drill so you can understand how much pressure and force you will need. If the pot has a shiny surface, it is varnished and will require a special bit.


Mud pots and stoneware can be drilled using a masonry bit. If the pot is varnished, you will need a drill bit that can go through glass. Using a sharp new drill makes the job much easier and will allow you to make sure you create a clean hole.

Drilling in Baked Clay

Place the pot faced down and mark the place of the hole. Place the bit in the center of the mark. Start drilling, using a low speed in the drill. Make sure the bit is working, creating a mark on the pot. Remove the bit and blow the dust, continue this process until you have created a hole in the pot. You will need more time to drill harder clay. Use a regular drill instead of a drill hammer as these will pierce the pot with its hammering action.

Drilling in Raw Clay

The easiest way to drill a hole in a clay pot is to do it before it is baked. This only works if you are molding the pot yourself. Drilling a raw pot is similar to the method used to drill the baked ones. However, drilling in raw clay does not require a masonry bit. When the clay is in the leather hardness stage in the drying process, flip the pot so that its bottom faces up. Using a drill bit of the required size, drill the pot.

Drilling Holes in Ceramic Pot

Some planting pots are made of ceramics. If holes in the pots are required, drilling must be performed without any problems.

Drilling Drainage Holes in Ceramic Pots

Ceramics are a hard material and are particularly used for tiles. To drill holes successfully, the different degrees of hardness of the material must be observed. These differ in soft, medium-hard, and very hard.

As a rule, tiles are made of earthenware and have a medium-hard quality. If the ceramic is very hard, it is porcelain stoneware. The hardness level is stronger than that of a diamond.

Can I drill a hole in a ceramic pot?

To drill holes in ceramics, the drilling tool must be adapted to the degree of hardness. Diamond drills and diamond hollow drills are recommended for a hard material. These are also used as glass drills.

If ceramics are porcelain stoneware, these tools are no longer sufficient. But for soft to medium-hard tile quality, there are special ceramic drills that can be bought from your local hardware store.

Pre-drill the ceramic properly

With a simple ceramic quality without glaze, drilling holes is less complex. The situation is different if the surface is glazed. Then there is a risk that the drill will slip on the smooth surface when used, causing large damage. In addition, the hole may not become evenly round and the material may even break.

Therefore, the prerequisite for an optimal result is good preparatory work. This begins with the graining of the drilling area. For this purpose, a small recess into the ceramic is slowly and carefully worked with the smallest drill diameter.

How to put a hole in a ceramic pot?

For the actual drill, the selected drill is safely applied to the grit. The use of adhesive tape is a good trick to prevent the emergence of cracks and scratches on the glaze. A piece of the tape is glued over and into the deepening of the grain. Then, with a slow speed and little pressure, drill the hole into the ceramic.

Drill Bits for Ceramic Pots

The proper drill bit must be selected if you aim to drill ceramic pots. Soft terracotta clays are widely used in common ceramic pots for plants. These ceramic pots come in both their natural state and glazed. Although both types can be drilled, the easiest to work with is still in its natural state. The drill bits that are suitable for ceramic pots are:

Unglazed terracotta ceramics and pottery – Masonry drill bits

Glazed, harder surfaces – Tile and Glass drill bits

Get Masonry Drill Bits on Amazon:

Get Tile and Glass drill bits on Amazon:

How to Make a Hole in a Ceramic Pot Without a Drill

Many people have been looking for ways to make a hole in ceramic pots without using a drill. Unfortunately, that is not quite possible at the moment. If you have not used a drill before, or find it challenging to drill a ceramic pot, hopefully this article is able to guide you in taking that plunge.

If you don’t have a drill already, we recommend this cordless drill on Amazon:

How to Put a Hole in Glass Without Breaking It

It may be necessary for several reasons to drill glass: craft a lamp from a bottle, install a light in a mirror or window, build an aquarium, etc. And piercing glass is a tricky process where no errors are allowed!

Before you start, reconfirm the type of glass you want to work with. It can be thin or thick, but it should not be tempered glass or safety glass. Recommended glasses are between 3 and 8 mm thick.

Once your measurement has been painted with a marker pen, just follow our step-by-step guide for drilling glass!

Tools for Drilling Glass

First, let us compile the tools needed:

  • a drilling machine with speed controller.
  • a tungsten carbide glass drill.
  • a flat surface, such as pressboard or plywood, on which the glass is placed during drilling.
  • a cork or rubber for sliding between the glass and flat surface to be drilled.
  • a water sprayer for cooling drills and glass.
  • a custom stick and, of course, a marker pen!

Most glass drills are designed for drilling ceramics and tiles.

Drilling Glass for Ventilation

If you want to drill through glass, you need a glass rotary cutter with suction cup. Then the drilling can be made easier, as there would be a mark over the diamond disc of the glass cutter.

Steps to Drill Glass Without Breaking It

To drill through thick or thin glass without breaking it, it is necessary to proceed step by step and with great care.

  1. Place your glass on an even surface and let it rest on material which is made of rubber – make sure it is a flat glass.
  2. Measure and draw your measurement on the glass with a marker pen.
  3. Moisten your glass with a spray to cool the drill and glass.
  4. If it involves a large diameter hole, first drill with a drill with a diameter of 3- or 4-mm.
  5. Drill at reduced speed at the marked markings – slowly and constantly – under constant pressure, all the while ensuring to moisturize the glass while drilling.
  6. Before piercing the glass, flip it and resume drilling. This drilling method can prevent the glass from cracking.

Helpful Tips

If you want to drill larger holes, repeat the process to the ideal diameter.

The water can be substituted by oil; it is advisable to use a small amount of oil.

And if you want to drill frosted glass, sea glass, or bottle glass, the same drilling procedure applies. For uneven surfaces, such as drilling a glass bottle, it is necessary to hold them firmly, e.g. in a wooden vice, to drill them safely. By filling sand into the bottle, the vibrations can be partially reduced.

For holes with larger diameters and on thick glass, a diamond drill bit is recommended.

Drilling Holes in Plastic Planters

All pots should have a hole in the bottom to allow the water to drain. This prevents excess water from accumulating around the roots, restricting their access to air, and causing root rot. Apart from coastal plants, few plants can thrive in a container without holes. While there are commercial pots with holes included, margarine jars and other plastic pots are suitable for planting after holes have been drilled at the bottom.


  • Turn the plastic container upside down and mark where you want the holes to be. A hole in the center is great for small pots. Larger pots may need two to four other holes near the edge of the base.
  • Attempt to cut holes with sharp scissors. If the plastic is too thick or durable, treat the pot with a nail and a drill hammer, or gently drill the holes.
  • Place the pot on a plate to collect excess water so it does not flow over your floor, furniture, or windowsill. Now it is ready for your plant.