To keep a drill bit from wandering when drilling in metal, put the point of a center punch or nail set on the spot you want the hole, then tap it with a hammer to make a small dent in the metal.

Chuck the drill bit in the drill, place the bit on the dent, and drill the hole. Watch this video to find out more.

NOTE: Always wear eye protection when drilling into metal.

Further Information


A common problem in drilling metal is getting the drill bit to start exactly at a spot that you want it to. The problem is that the bit has a tendency to wander on the hard surface. So, until they come up with a wonder product that can prevent that, you can solve it with nothing more than a hammer and a center punch.

What I’m gonna do is mark a little depression right where you want to drill the hole. Then, clamp it in place. Now, this works not only for flat stock, but also it’s a really great tip for drilling round pipe or any curved metal surface. Now, because of that depression, the drill bit will start cutting exactly where you want it.

There you go. Got the hole right exactly where I need it. Now, if you don’t happen to have a center punch, you can also use a nail set and get the same result. Either way, this is a simple solution that works.

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.

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