How to Drill a Hole in Drywall?

You can use any drill bit to drill a hole in drywall. Soft and forgiving, drywall is typically drilled with wooden drill bits, if at all. Some types of objects such as photo frames require no drilling just nailing. Other heavier objects such as shelves require location wall studs and drilling drywall anchors for screws.

Drilling a hole in drywall is not complicated. However, this is a question too many people ask if they haven’t worked with drills or drywall before. The good news is this is probably the easiest hole you’re going to drill around the house. The bad news is you can damage the drywall if you use too much force.

How to drill a hole in a drywall?

Holes can be drilled in drywall with any type of bits, particularly with wood bits which are softer than steel bits. Mild force is needed when drilling drywall in an effort not to pass through the material too fast and damage the wall behind it or even the drill bit.

You can use a power drill and any drill bit to make a hole in the drywall. Make sure to push it gently forward. Alternatively, you can use a screw and a screwdriver instead of making a hole in the drywall.

Do I need a drill to make a hole in drywall

You don’t necessarily need a drill to make a hole in drywall. But using a drill makes the job easier and faster. Make sure to start with the smallest drill bit first and then move up to larger drill bits if your screws don’t fit.

Plastic screws are on sale for drywall as well. However, many people experience fails with plastic screws which don’t screw all the way in drywall. This is why you should look for metal screws instead and even consider nails where possible as these go through drywall faster.

Best drill bit for drywall

Wood drill bits are best for drywall. If you’re drilling a wall you need to find the stud behind your drywall for the screw to fix it properly. This is why a wooden drill bit is going to be the better choice as it tackles both drywall and the studs behind it.

Drilling a hole in drywall basics

But how do you drill a hole in drywall? You need to find the studs, mark them, and drill slowly to make a hole in your drywall.

Consider finding the studs first

There are endless methods of location studs behind drywall. What happens if you drill anywhere in the drywall? Chances are you’re going to miss the stud and you might even damage your drywall by hanging heavy objects on it without the support of studs.

  • By hammer

The easiest way to find the studs behind drywall is to knock on them with a rubber mallet. You find drywall when the sound is deeper and richer as opposed to hollow. You mark the spot for your hole on the stud. Most homes have studs at 16” difference and you should be able to find another stud 16 inches to the right or 16 inches to the left if needed.

  • By using a stud finder

Stud finders are the modern technique of fining studs behind drywall. You can use it as an electronic signaler for studs.

Mark the studs

You can mark studs and the drilling location with a pencil. All marks made with a pencil on drywall can be erased with a normal eraser, unlike marks made with a marker.

Drill a hole steadily

The drilling itself needs to be of a slower pace than drilling in all other types of materials such as masonry and wood. It shouldn’t take more than a few seconds to drill through the drywall.

Make sure you refrain from pushing too hard until your drill through drywall. You can add force to your drill again when you reach the stud. Otherwise, you risk damaging drywall.

Final words

While you don’t need a drill to run a hole through drywall you might consider wooden drill bits in case you’re drilling through the stud behind drywall. Make sure to locate the studs first, especially if you plan on hanging heavy objects on the wall. Drilling drywall can be done with any type of drill bit. However, the best drill bit for drywall is typically a wood drill bit when drilling through studs.


Why can’t I get this plastic drywall anchor into the hole?

Plastic anchors don’t go through drywall either because you’ve hit a stud or because the hole is too small. Make sure to move the location of the anchor to find an empty cavity for it if you’ve hit the wall or a stud. You should also try making a larger hole in order to prevent your anchor from bending when hitting it with a hammer or when pushing it in.

Wall doesn’t hold a screw – what to do?

A toggle bolt is recommended whenever your standard screw doesn’t hold. Toggle bolts spread out into the wall creating a better anchor for attachment.

Drywall anchor won’t hold – what to do?

Drywall anchors that spread out are the solution for screws that won’t hold. Toggle, Lock, and Twist make anchors that spread out and hold better.