There is a common problem that every DIYer or woodworker faces: drilling multiple holes to the same depth. While it seems simple, it can quickly become frustrating when you find yourself with uneven holes.

Using masking tape on the drill bit is a popular solution to act as a depth guide. People place the tape around the drill bit and use the end of the tape as a flag to indicate when they reach their desired depth. It sounds simple, but after drilling several holes, the tape can rip or slide up, causing the holes to become deeper and deeper.

Here’s the Simple Solution to your drill depth problems — a Sharpie!


The Sharpie hack is simple and straightforward resulting in perfectly even holes. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

How to Use the Sharpie Technique

Here’s how to make drilling holes even every time:

The Sharpie hack is straightforward yet effective for achieving consistent drilling depth. First, take a Sharpie and mark a line on the drill bit at your desired depth. Ensure you make a clear and visible line while ensuring it is straight. To do so, align it with the tip of the drill.

Once you mark the drill bit, insert it into your drill. When you begin drilling, you can see the black line, indicating that you’ve reached your desired depth. This technique works for both twist bits and spade bits.

With this Sharpie hack, you can achieve precise and consistent drilling depth every time, making your DIY projects or woodworking so much easier and more efficient!


The Sharpie hack is more effective and efficient than the masking tape hack because the line will not move. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

The Advantages to the Sharpie Hack

There are several advantages to using the Sharpie hack over masking tape as a depth guide. One of the most significant advantages is the permanence of the line. With the tape, the line is constantly changing, causing the depth to be inaccurate. The Sharpie line, however, will never move.

Another advantage of the Sharpie hack is how easy it is to use. Marking the drill bit takes only a few seconds and requires minimal effort. There is no need to struggle with cutting and placing strips of tape perfectly or worrying about the tape getting in the way during drilling.

Finally, the Sharpie hack allows for precision and accuracy during drilling. The black line is very easy to see, making it easy to know precisely when you’ve reached your desired depth. This precision saves time and prevents mistakes and mishaps.
These things make for a more efficient and successful project!


Tips and tricks make for a problem-free drilling process. (3 Echoes Content Studio)

Tips and Tricks for Optimal Results

While the Sharpie hack is very simple, a few additional tips can help you get the best results possible.

One tip is to use a clamp to secure the workpiece in place before beginning to drill. This is to prevent any movement or slipping during drilling. Movement from the workpiece can result in the inaccuracy of depth.

Another tip is to check the alignment of the drill bit before drilling. This is to ensure that it is straight and centered. This will prevent any drifting or wandering of the drill bit.

By following these additional tips, you can achieve optimal results with the Sharpie hack. These will ensure that your drilling depth turns out perfectly every time.


To Sum It Up

The Sharpie hack is a simple but effective technique for achieving consistent drilling depth in your projects. By marking a line on your drill bit, you can easily see when you’ve reached the desired depth while avoiding the inaccuracy and frustrations of masking tape.

Additionally, the permanence of the line allows for the exact depth every time. And following additional tips and tricks will result in perfectly drilled holes.

Try the Sharpie hack in your next project and see how much easier it can make your drilling experience!


Further Reading

Editorial Contributors
Joe Truini

Joe Truini

Radio Show Co-Host

Joe Truini is a contractor, author, and the host of “Simple Solutions” on Today’s Homeowner TV and the weekly Today’s Homeowner radio show. He has worked on both large commercial projects and residential remodeling, and has written for national publications such as This Old House and Popular Mechanics. He has also written eight books, including three best-selling shed-building books. Joe lives in Connecticut with his family and enjoys hiking, traveling, and baseball in his spare time.

Learn More