How to Drill Into a Metal Door

When it comes to home security, having a solid door is key. But what happens if you need to drill into that door for some reason? Whether you’re adding a new lock or just trying to repair it, here’s how to do it without damaging the door.

How to Drill Into a Metal Door

If you need to drill through a metal door, there are a few things you need to know first. Steel and other metals are much harder than wood, so using the wrong drills or bits can easily damage them. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps necessary how to drill into a metal door safely and effectively. Let’s get started!

What is a Metal Door?

A metal door is a type of door that is made from steel or other metals. They are commonly used in homes and businesses for added security and durability. Unlike wood doors, metal doors offer more resistance to impact and force, making them an excellent choice for exterior entrances.

You will typically see metal doors in industrial buildings, storage facilities, and even residential homes nowadays. They are a popular choice for homeowners because they require minimal maintenance and have a longer lifespan compared to traditional wooden doors.

Advantages and Disadvantages:

Advantages of Metal Doors:

Increased Security:

Due to the strength and durability of metal doors, they offer better protection against break-ins and burglaries.

Fire Resistant:

Metal doors are more fire-resistant compared to traditional wooden doors, making them a safer choice for homes and businesses.


Since metal is a sturdy material, metal doors have a longer lifespan compared to other types of doors, making them a cost-effective choice.

Low Maintenance:

Metal doors are relatively low maintenance and can withstand harsh weather conditions without deteriorating.

Disadvantages of Metal Doors:


Metal doors can be more expensive than traditional wooden doors.

Difficult to Cut or Modify:

Metal doors are harder to cut and modify compared to wood, which can make installation and repairs more challenging.

Susceptible to Rust:

If not properly maintained, metal doors can rust over time, compromising their strength and functionality.

Tools Required

Cordless Drill or Power Drill:

A cordless drill or power drill is an essential tool for drilling into a metal door. It’s important to choose a drill with enough power and speed to effectively drill through the metal.

Metal Drill Bits:

Using the right drill bits is crucial when it comes to drilling into metal. Make sure to use high-speed steel (HSS) or cobalt bits specifically designed for metal drilling.

Protective Gear:

When working with metal, it’s important to protect yourself from any flying debris or metal shavings. Wear safety glasses and gloves to prevent injuries.

10 Effective Ways How to Drill Into a Metal Door:

1. Choose the Right Drill Bit:

The first step is to make sure you’re using the right drill bit. You’ll need a bit specifically designed for drilling through metal for metal doors. Using the wrong bit can quickly wear down your drill and damage the door. High-speed steel (HSS) and cobalt bits are recommended for metal drilling. You can also look for bits with a titanium coating for added durability. You’ll also need to make sure the bit is the correct size for the hole you want to drill.

2. Drill in a Straight Line:

When drilling into metal, it’s important to drill in a straight line. If you go off course, you may dive into something you didn’t mean to. To ensure your drill stays on track, use a level to ensure that your drill is perpendicular to the door. You can also mark your drill spot with a marker or tape to help guide you. It’s also a good idea to start with a smaller pilot hole before moving to a larger one. But be careful not to make the pilot hole too large, as it can affect the accuracy of your final hole.

Use a Level

3. Apply Pressure As You Drill:

Drilling into the metal can be difficult, especially if the door is thick. To make it easier, apply pressure as you drill. This will help the bit dig into the metal and make drilling easier. However, be careful not to apply too much pressure as this can cause the drill bit to break. You should also periodically release the trigger to allow the drill bit to cool down. It’s also recommended to use a lower drill speed when drilling into metal.

4. Use a Drill Bit That Is the Right Size:

Choosing the right drill bit is important when drilling into metal. If you use a bit too small, it won’t be easy to drill through the metal. If you use a bit that is too large, it can damage the door. Choose a bit that is the right size for the job. For example, if you’re drilling a hole for a lock, make sure the bit is slightly larger than the lock itself. You can also use a measuring tape or caliper to determine the exact size of the hole you need.

5. Use a Cutting Oil:

If you are drilling into metal, using a cutting oil can help make the job easier. The oil will help lubricate the bit and make it less likely to overheat. You can buy cutting oil at most hardware stores. If you don’t have cutting oil, you can also use motor oil or even vegetable oil as a substitute. But be sure to clean off the excess oil after drilling. You don’t want to leave any oily residue on your metal door.

6. Drill at a Slow Speed:

When drilling into metal, it’s important to drill at a slow speed. This will help prevent the drill bit from breaking and keep the heat down. If the drill bit gets too hot, it can start to create sparks, which can cause a fire. It can also damage the drill bit and make it less effective. A lower speed will also help you maintain control over your drilling and ensure accuracy. It may take longer, but it’s worth it for a clean and precise hole. The type of metal you’re drilling into will also determine the speed at which you should drill.

Drill at a Slow Speed

7. Apply Pressure When Drilling:

When you are drilling into a metal door, you need to apply pressure to the drill bit to create a hole. You can do this by using your other hand to help push the drill bit into the door. This will help ensure that the drill bit goes through the metal easily. It’s important to use steady and consistent pressure rather than jerky movements. This will help you maintain control and prevent the drill bit from breaking. You can also use a vice to hold the door in place while you drill. But be careful not to over-tighten the vice and damage the door.

8. Drill in a Circular Motion:

When you drill into a metal door, start in the center of the area that you want to drill and move in a circular pattern. This will help to ensure that the drill bit is properly centered and that the hole is evenly drilled. It’s important to be gentle and not force the drill through the metal. If you encounter any resistance, stop and check if your drill bit needs to be sharpened or replaced. It’s better to take your time and drill accurately than to rush and end up with an uneven or damaged hole. You can also use a center punch to mark the center spot for drilling, which will help guide your drill bit.

9. Use a Hammer:

If you don’t have a power drill, you can use a hammer to drill into a metal door. Place the nail at the top of the door where you want to make the hole and hit it with the hammer. This will create a small indent in the door that you can then drill into. Be careful not to hit your hand when hitting the nail with the hammer. This method may take longer and require more effort, but it can still be effective in creating a hole. It’s important to use a sharp and sturdy nail for this method.

10. Monitor the Drilling Progress: 

Keep an eye on the drill bit as it progresses through the metal door. If it starts to slow down or becomes more difficult to push through the material, this is a sign that you’re drilling too deep and need to back off a little. If you encounter any sparks while drilling, immediately stop and check the drill bit. It may need to be replaced or sharpened. You should also periodically remove the drill bit from the hole and clean off any metal shavings that have accumulated. This will help keep your drill bit sharp and effective throughout the entire project.

Keep an eye on the drill

11. Safety Precautions:

Drilling into metal can be dangerous, so it’s important to take proper safety precautions. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from any flying debris or sparks. Also, make sure your work area is clear of any clutter or flammable materials. It may also be helpful to have a fire extinguisher nearby, just in case. Always make sure the drill is turned off and unplugged when changing drill bits or taking breaks. You should also avoid wearing loose clothing or long hair that could get caught in the drill.

12. Clean Up:

After you have successfully drilled the hole in your metal door, make sure to clean up any debris or shavings. Use a vacuum or brush to remove any particles from the area. If you use cutting oil, be sure to wipe down the door and surrounding area with a clean cloth to remove any excess oil. This will help prevent slips or falls and keep your work area tidy. You can also dispose of the drill bit properly or save it for future use. Remember to always clean and maintain your tools to ensure their longevity and effectiveness. It’s also a good idea to take a step back and admire your handiwork. You successfully drilled a hole in metal – great job!

Following these tips and techniques on how to drill into a metal door will help you easily drill into metal without damaging your door or hurting yourself. Remember to choose the right drill bit, use cutting oil, drill at a slow speed, apply pressure when drilling, move in a circular motion, consider alternative methods like using a hammer if needed, monitor the progress and take safety precautions.

Some Helpful Tips When Drilling Into a Metal Door:

1. Make sure you are using the correct drill bit size. You don’t want the drill bit to be too large or too small for the hole you are drilling.

2. If possible, use a drill guide to help keep the drill bit in line. This will help ensure that the hole is drilled straight.

3. Drill slowly and steadily to avoid burring or chipping the metal.

4. Apply pressure evenly to the drill bit to avoid wobbling.

5. If drilling into a door with a lock, avoid drilling into the lock itself.

6. If drilling into a door with a window, avoid drilling into the window.

7. Wear safety goggles and gloves to protect your eyes and hands.

8. Always drill in a well-ventilated area. Metal dust can be harmful to your lungs.

How Long Does it Take to Drill Into a Metal Door?

It usually takes people around 15 minutes to drill through a metal door. The amount of time it takes to drill through the door depends on the size and type of drill bit used, as well as the thickness of the door. A small, standard drill bit can typically get through a metal door in about 10 minutes, while a larger drill bit can take 20 minutes.

It is important to note that the time it takes to drill through a metal door can vary depending on the metal that the door is made out of. For example, drilling through a steel door will take less time than drilling through an aluminum door. To make the process go faster, it is a good idea to use a drill bit that is specifically designed for drilling through metal.

What Kind of Drill Bit Do I Need to Drill Through a Metal Door?

The type of Drill Bit you will need to drill through a metal door depends on the thickness of the door. You can use a standard drill bit for doors that are less than 1/8 inch thick, but for doors that are thicker than 1/8 inch, you will need a special drill bit called a spade bit. A spade bit has a flat blade shaped like a shovel, and it is specially designed to drill through metal.

Hold the Drill Bit Against the Door

To drill through a metal door, start by positioning the drill bit at the point where you want to make the hole. Then, hold the drill bit against the door and apply pressure while you slowly turn the drill handle. Keep applying pressure as the drill bit drills through the door. Once the drill bit has passed through the door, release the pressure and pull the drill bit out of the hole.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Can I Use a Regular Drill to Drill Into Metal?

A: Yes, you can use a regular drill to drill into metal, but it’s important to choose the correct drill bit and go slowly to avoid damaging the metal or injuring yourself. You may also need to use additional methods, such as cutting oil or a hammer, to drill through the metal successfully. It’s also important to take proper safety precautions.

Q: Is Drilling Into Metal Dangerous?

A: There are potential dangers to drilling into metal, such as sparks, flying debris, and the risk of injuring yourself. However, by following proper safety precautions and techniques, you can minimize these risks and safely drill into metal. If you encounter any issues while drilling, such as sparks or difficulty in pushing the drill bit through, stop and reassess the situation to avoid any potential accidents.

Q: Can I Drill Through Any Type of Metal?

A: The type of metal you can drill through depends on the strength and sharpness of your drill bit. Some metals, such as steel, may be more difficult to drill through than others. It’s important to choose a strong enough drill bit that is specifically designed for drilling through metal to ensure success. Additionally, be mindful of the thickness of the metal you are drilling into, as this can also affect the ease of drilling.


Drilling into a metal door is not as difficult as it seems. With the right tools and some practice, you can easily drill through a metal door without any trouble. However, when drilling into a metal door, it is important to use the right drill bit and apply pressure evenly. Nevertheless, you can successfully drill through a metal door without any problems by following these tips.

Be sure to follow the safety precautions listed in this article to avoid injuring yourself or damaging your property. Now that you know how to drill into a metal door, give it a try! We hope this blog post has been helpful. If you have any questions or want to know more, then feel free to comment below!

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Jennifer Branett
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