How to Drill Cabinet Handles

Are you looking to add handles to your cabinets? Drilling cabinet handles is a simple process that can make all the difference when it comes to the look and feel of your cabinets. Here’s what you need to do.

How to Drill Cabinet Handles

Whether you’re just sprucing up your existing cabinets, in the process of a full-on kitchen remodel, or looking for an effective way to cover a more mundane item with something eye-catching, cabinet handles can be the perfect answer.

Not only do they add personality and character to any room, but since they’re so easy to install, this DIY project can save you money in the area of hardware installation costs.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to drill cabinet handles and help make sure that your finished product is secure and looks its best!

What Will You Need?

Gather together the following items before you begin:

  1. Drill and drill bits
  2. Handle template – or a level, pencil, and measuring tape
  3. Cabinet handles
  4. Screws of the correct size
  5. Masking tape or painter’s tape
  6. Safety glasses (optional)
  7. Pencil or marker
  8. Hammer (optional)

Once you have all of your supplies, you’re ready to begin.

10 Easy Steps on How to Drill Cabinet Handles

Step 1: Measure and Mark the Position

Before you start drilling your holes, you need to ensure they are in the right spot. To do this, use a handle template or measure it out with a level, pencil, and measuring tape. If using the template, place it over the area where the handle will be placed and carefully trace its shape onto the cabinet. This will give you an indication of where your screws should go.

Use a Handle Template or Measure

Step 2: Secure Your Handle

Place masking tape over the area where you plan to drill to avoid splintering or chipping material when drilling into wood cabinets. Once taped, place your chosen handle onto the cabinet where you plan to mount it and use a pencil or marker to mark the screw holes.

Step 3: Drill Pilot Holes

Using a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the screws provided with your handles, carefully drill two pilot holes in each of the marked screw locations. This will make sure that there’s enough space for the screws to fit securely into the material.

Step 4: Hammer Screws into Place (optional)

If necessary, tap each of the screws in until they are flush against the surface of your cabinet using a hammer. Make sure that none of them are sticking out too far – if any do, use a larger drill bit to widen their holes slightly.

Step 5: Secure Handles with Screws

Attach the handles to the cabinet using the screws provided and ensure they are securely fastened. Be careful not to over-tighten the screws, otherwise, you may end up with a stripped hole. As an extra measure of security, you can use a drop of glue in each hole prior to screwing the handle on.

Attach the Handles to the Cabinet

Step 6: Test for Security

Once all your handles are attached, test each one to ensure it’s secure. You can do this by tugging firmly on them to make sure that they don’t come loose. Another way to test for security is to close and open any doors or drawers with handles attached – if they remain securely in place, you’re good to go!

Step 7: Clean Up Any Mess

After you’ve secured your cabinet handles, be sure to clean up any excess sawdust or debris from around them. This will help ensure that your cabinets look their best! Ensure that any screws or drill bits are stored safely away from children, pets, and other hazards.

Step 8: Stand Back and Admire Your Handiwork

You’ve now successfully drilled cabinet handles! All that’s left to do is stand back and admire your hard work. Be careful not to tug too hard on your new handles, as this may cause them to come loose.

Step 9. Maintain Regularly

Be sure to check your cabinet handles regularly to make sure that they remain secure. If the screws become loose over time, simply remove them and replace them with a new set. Remember to use masking or painter’s tape when drilling into wood cabinets.

Step 10: Enjoy Your New Look

Now it’s time to enjoy your newly updated kitchen! You can be proud of your work and rest easy knowing that your cabinets are ready for whatever life throws their way. Remember, if you ever feel overwhelmed or uncertain while drilling cabinet handles, consult an expert.

By following these simple steps, you’ll soon have beautiful, securely mounted handles on your cabinets – without hiring a professional or breaking the bank! So don’t wait any longer – start drilling today!

5 Additional Tips and Tricks

  1. Always wear safety glasses when drilling into any material. The flying debris can easily injure your eyes.
  2. Use a center punch to make it easier to start the drill bit in the exact spot you want.
  3. Make sure your drill and bits are securely held so they don’t slip or wobble during operation.
  4. Drill slowly at first to avoid damaging the material.
  5. When drilling through metal cabinet handles, use a lubricant such as machine oil to reduce heat caused by friction. This will also enable the drill bit to cut more efficiently and last longer.
Use a Center Punch to Make It Easier

Once you’ve finished drilling, clean off any residue left behind with a cloth or brush. Following these tips will help ensure your cabinet handle installation is done correctly and safely!

6 Things You Should Avoid

  1. Don’t ever use a power drill without the proper safety equipment.
  2. Never force the drill bit through the material, as this could cause it to break or damage the material you are drilling into.
  3. Don’t attempt to drill a hole that is too large for your drill bit—it will cause it to wobble and create an uneven hole.
  4. Avoid using dull bits or bits that are not designed for the specific task at hand, as this can lead to reduced accuracy and efficiency.
  5. Never operate a drill in an enclosed area without proper ventilation—the dust created from drilling can be harmful if inhaled in large quantities.
  6. Lastly, don’t use a drill with the wrong size bit or an incompatible chuck. Doing so could cause it to malfunction and lead to serious injury.
Avoid Using Dull Bits

Drilling cabinet handles can be intimidating, but by following these helpful tips and avoiding the mistakes listed here, you should have no trouble getting the job done right!

What Kind of Drill Do You Use for Cabinets?

The type of drill you use for cabinets will depend on the material of your cabinets. A corded or cordless electric drill with variable speed control is recommended if you are drilling into wood. An impact driver is recommended for metal cabinetry as they provide more torque and can easily penetrate harder materials. Be sure to use the proper bit size and compatible chuck for your drill to ensure accuracy and reduce any risk of injury.

No matter what type of cabinet material you’re dealing with, be sure to use the appropriate safety gear and take necessary precautions when using a power tool such as a drill. 

With the right equipment and by following these tips, you’ll soon have securely mounted handles on your cabinets – without hiring a professional or breaking the bank!

What Drill Bits Won’t Splinter Wood?

When drilling into wood cabinets, it’s important that you use the right type of drill bit to ensure a clean and even hole. Since wood is softer, regular twist bits or brad point bits may splinter or tear the wood fibers as they are pushed through.

To prevent this, opt for spade bits, Forstner bits, or self-centering pilot point bits, which have sharp cutting edges designed to cut through the hardest woods without leaving any messy chips or splinters.

Additionally, be sure to use low speeds when drilling into wood and always apply painter’s tape or masking tape along the edge of where you plan to drill —this will help keep your hole neat and minimize any risk of splitting.

Overall, the right type of drill and bit can help you avoid splintering or damaging your cabinets when drilling. With a little patience and the proper tools, you can drill cabinet handles quickly and safely!


Drilling cabinet handles are the perfect way to show off your handiwork and transform those mundane drawers into something special. Whether you’re doing it for yourself or for a larger project, it can be rewarding and satisfying to do it yourself.

Knowing how to drill correctly with the right tools, supplies, and techniques makes all the difference between success and failure. Careful attention must be paid so as not to damage either the piece of furniture or the drill bit.

Always remember to practice basic safety by wearing protective eyewear, gloves, a face mask, and rubber-soled shoes when drilling holes!

Hopefully, the article on how to drill cabinet handles has helped you gain the confidence and knowledge to tackle this project like a pro. Thanks for reading!

Photo of author

Adrian Green

Adrian is a woodworking hobbyist and has loved Woodworking since he was 10 years old. Back then in childhood, his father used to have a furniture shop. He used to help his dad and learned a lot from him about how to fix woodworking furniture, basic carpentry knowledge and also about how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others.

Leave a Comment