How to Drill a Safe

Are you looking for a way to protect your valuables from harm or theft? Have you ever considered drilling your safe? Drilling your safe is an excellent way to store and watch whatever is precious. It provides a sturdy degree of protection, but learning how to drill a safe can be exciting and rewarding. 

How to Drill a Safe

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the many considerations you should consider before taking on such an undertaking – what kind of tools are necessary, where can one obtain these supplies, and most importantly – what steps one should take while installing the lock. Whether you want to add more security to your home or office space, we have everything here to help you create the perfect secure solution!

Necessary Items

Before you begin drilling your safe, gathering all the necessary items is essential. The following is a list of required tools and materials:

  • Drill (with various sized bits)
  • Pliers
  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Safety goggles
  • Protective gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Marker or pencil

10 Steps on How to Drill a Safe

Now that you have all the necessary items, let’s dive into the steps to drill a safe. Just follow these ten straightforward steps, and you’ll have your very own secure safe in no time!

Step 1: Marking the Spot

First and foremost, you’ll need to locate the ideal spot on your safe for drilling. Choosing a location that will not damage or compromise the structural integrity of your safe. Areas near corners or edges are usually the best spots.

Step 2: Securing the Safe

Before starting any drilling work, securing your safe in place is crucial. You can use clamps or vice grips to hold the safe firmly, ensuring it doesn’t move during drilling. This step is vital for safety purposes and to prevent any damage to the safe.

Step 3: Wearing Protective Gear

Safety should always be a top priority when handling power tools. Before starting, put on your safety goggles, protective gloves, and dust mask to protect yourself from flying debris.

Safety Should Always Be a Top Priority

Step 4: Starting with a Small Drill Bit

Use a tiny drill bit to make an initial hole at the marked spot. This will act as a guide for the more significant drill bits and prevent them from slipping.

Step 5: Gradually Increase Drill Bit Size

As you continue drilling, gradually increase the drill bit size until you reach the desired hole size. This will prevent any damage to the safe and ensure a clean and precise hole.

Step 6: Checking for Studs or Obstructions

It’s essential to periodically check for any studs, obstructions, or other metal pieces inside the safe that could interfere with the drilling process. If you come across any, carefully remove them using pliers before continuing.

Step 7: Creating a Pilot Hole

Once you have reached the desired hole size, use a hammer and chisel to create a pilot hole in the center of the drilled area. This will allow for easy insertion of the lock or bolt.

Step 8: Installing the Lock

Now, it’s time to install the lock. Follow the instructions provided by your chosen locking system and carefully insert it into the pilot hole. Secure it in place using the appropriate screws or bolts.

Step 9: Testing the Lock

Before deeming your safe fully secure, test the lock to ensure it functions correctly. If there are any issues, make necessary adjustments and retest until satisfied with its performance.

Step 10: Cleaning Up

It’s time to clean up once you have successfully drilled and installed the lock. Remove any debris and materials used during the drilling process, and re-secure your safe in its designated spot.

Drilling a safe may seem daunting, but it can be done quickly and effectively with the right tools, materials, and steps. Remember to prioritize safety and take your time to ensure a precise and secure result. Now you can have peace of mind knowing your valuables are safe and sound in your own drilled safe!

8 Things to Avoid When Drilling a Safe

While drilling a safe may seem straightforward, some everyday things people must correct can lead to unsatisfactory results. Here are eight things to avoid when preparing a safe:

1. Rushing the Process

Drilling a safe requires patience and precision. Rushing through the steps can result in an uneven hole or damage to the lock, compromising the overall security of your safe. Take your time and follow the steps carefully for the best results.

2. Using Incorrect Tools

Using the wrong tools can lead to various problems, from damaging the safe to injuring yourself. Make sure to use appropriate tools specifically designed for drilling metal surfaces.

Wrong Tools Can Lead to Various Problems

3. Not Measuring Properly

Proper measurement and marking are crucial to ensure the drilled hole is in the right spot and size. Double-check your measurements before drilling.

4. Not Securing the Safe

As mentioned earlier, securing the safe is crucial for safety and accuracy. Neglecting to do so can lead to personal injury or damage to the safe.

5. Using Too Much Force

Drilling a safe requires a steady and controlled hand. Too much force can result in an uneven hole or, worse, breaking the drill bit inside the safe. Apply gentle pressure and let the drill do the work.

6. Not Checking for Studs or Obstructions

It’s essential to periodically check for any obstructions that may interfere with the drilling process. Please do so to avoid damaged tools and an unfinished hole.

7. Forgetting to Test the Lock

A crucial step in drilling a safe is testing the lock to ensure it functions correctly. Please do so to avoid a faulty lock or unexpected issues.

8. Not Cleaning Up Properly

After successfully drilling and installing the lock, remember to clean up any debris or materials used. Leaving them behind can be a safety hazard and may compromise your safety.

Remember to Clean Up Any Debris

You can ensure a successful and secure drilling experience by avoiding these common mistakes. Remember to take your time, prioritize safety, and follow the steps carefully for the best results. And now that you know how to drill a safe, you can confidently protect your valuable possessions with your custom secure!  So go ahead and get drilling, but always remember to handle power tools with caution and care.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Drill Any Type of Safe?

It is recommended only to drill safes that you can access or own. Preparing a safe without proper authorization is illegal and could result in legal consequences. Additionally, depending on their construction and materials, some safes may not be suitable for drilling. Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines before attempting to drill a safe.

What Should I Do if I Can’t Drill a Safe?

If you cannot drill a safe, it is best to seek professional assistance from a locksmith or safe technician. Attempting to force open a safe or using unconventional methods can damage the safe and potentially cause injury.  

How Long Does It Take to Drill a Safe?

The time it takes to drill a safe can vary depending on its size, thickness, and construction. It can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or more on average. Remember to take your time and follow the steps carefully for the best results.  So be patient and don’t rush the process.

Is Drilling a Safe Dangerous?

Drilling a safe can be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. Always wear appropriate safety gear, secure the safe, and carefully handle tools to avoid injuries. If you feel uncomfortable or unsure about drilling a safe, it is best to seek professional assistance. 

Can I Use a Regular Drill Bit to Drill a Safe?

No, using a regular drill bit when drilling a safe is not recommended. Specialized drill bits designed for metal surfaces should be used to avoid damaging the drill and ensure a clean and precise hole.  So remember, always use the right tools for the job!

How Do I Choose the Right Lock for My Drilled Safe?

Various types of locking systems are available for safes, such as key locks, combination locks, and electronic locks. Consider your needs and preferences when choosing a lock for your safe. It is also recommended to consult with a professional locksmith or safe technician for their expert opinion on the best option for your specific safe. 

Is Drilling a Safe the Only Way to Gain Access?

No, drilling is not the only way to access a safe. Other methods, such as picking, bypassing, or manipulation, may be possible depending on the type of lock and security measures in place. However, these methods require specific skills and knowledge and should only be attempted by professionals.  So, if drilling is not an option, it’s best to seek professional help.

Seek Professional Help


Drilling a safe is a complex process that requires precision, patience, and safety precautions. By following the steps on how to drill a safe outlined in this guide and avoiding common mistakes, you can successfully drill a safe and install a new lock to secure your valuable possessions. 

Remember always to prioritize safety and use appropriate tools for the job. If you encounter any issues, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance. Now that you know, go forth and confidently protect your valuables! And always remember to handle power tools with caution and care!

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