What did I do wrong drilling this hole for a cabinet knob?

First of all, I finally got it in okay, so I didn’t ruin the door. But I’m gonna have a lot more of these to do, and I don’t understand what went wrong.

I made a little cardboard template and figured out exactly where I wanted the hole. Taped. Marked. Held my drill level with the little bubble. Drilled a hole using a bit just a bit bigger than my knob screw, thinking a little extra wiggle room would make things easier.

Screw doesn’t go in.

Okay, so I miscalculated? Try with the next bigger drill bit.


Next bigger?


Finally I drill a hole that’s beyond a doubt big enough and it still won’t go in! So I pounded it in with a hammer.

WTF, y’all? The hole didn’t really seem… clear, maybe? Maybe I needed to up the drill speed or something?

Did you drill it all the way through?

Hard to say without seeing it, but maybe you didn’t really drill the hole straight, and since the screw is straight, it sees a smaller effective hole.

Get a piece of wood and find out what size drill bit you really need. It sounds like you are missing just what size hole you need.

What size screws are you using? And what size drill bits.

Pics would help.

You were drilling a hole all the way through? The cabinet door is made from wood I assume? Is the screw in question pointed or blunt ended? Are you saying the screw wouldn’t go through the hole or you couldn’t get it to fasten to the knob?

Yeah, it’s easy to underestimate the drill bit size you need. The threads on the screw make it seem narrower than it is.

I believe the typical cabinet screw is an 8-32.

Yes, I drilled all the way through. (Sheesh, y’all, I’m inexperienced, not stupid.) It’s the kind of retro glass knob where the screw goes all the way through the knob and out the back, and it’s flat ended. It wouldn’t go through the hole.

Try screwing it into the hole. As someone else mentioned, the threads tend to get caught up as you try to push the bolt through. Normally you can tap it in with a hammer or the butt end of the screwdriver, but if you don’t want to do that, try giving it a few turns and see if it starts moving.

Wait, is this the kind of knob where the knob has an externally threaded screw attached to it, or the kind with an internally-threaded, externally smooth shaft attached to it, and the screw is attached to the knob from inside the cabinet?

Does the screw fit in the appropriate slot in the drill bit holder?

with a twist bit, if your drill speed is too fast, it will pull itself through the wood and control is harder. if too slow the hole may not fully clean out.

after the bit has gone fully through take the bit back almost all the way out and back through again, do twice atleast.

if you are using a machine screw (fastens with a machine nut on the inside) you want a diameter larger than the threads. this can be a difficult task visually because the threads aren’t easy to see at their points. use a caliper to measure or a chart to determine bit size.

if you drill the hole slightly small, because of visual determination of bit size, and maybe the hole not being clean and smooth, then it might take four tries.

Well, you’re not giving people much to work with. What size are the screws and what size drill bit did you use? Maybe post a picture of both next to each other if you don’t know the size of the screw.

When comparing the screw to the drill bit – compare against the drill bit shaft, not the fluted part. If it’s meant to be a clear hole (for say a machine screw), match or go up a hair. If it’s a wood screw and it’s suppose go catch the wood, match the drill bit shaft to the “core” of the screw (not the threads).

I hole them next to one another up to the light. IN your case you’d want the bit to hide all the threads.

And practice on a scrap piece of wood before you do this again! Always do the first action on scrap – including your little template. Using a template was a very good idea, by the way.