Simple Solutions

DIY Drill Bit Depth Gauge

By: Joe Truini

An easy way to drill a hole to a set depth is to simply wrap a piece of masking tape around the drill bit and stick the two ends together to form a “flag” on one side of the bit.

Stop drilling when the tape brushes away the shaving, indicating that the desired depth has been reached.

Since the tape will tend to wear out after a few holes, a more permanent solution is to drill a hole lengthwise through a piece of 1” x 1” stock and slide it over the drill bit to act as a stop.

Adjust the bit in the chuck so it protrudes the desired length from the end of the block, then hold the block firmly on the surface and push the drill through it into the wood until the bit bottoms out.

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3 Comments on “DIY Drill Bit Depth Gauge”

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  • Krish Says:
    August 5th, 2017 at 10:24 am

    The video was very helpful – short and precise. I was wondering how deep I should drill by desktop hardwood. I was able to drill a perfect hole using the tape technique. Thank you!


  • Official Comment:


    joe t. Says:
    January 13th, 2010 at 8:46 am

    No problem, Ray, glad you liked the hole-drilling tip. I use the 1×1 wood-block drill guide all the time, especially when boring shelf peg holes in bookshelves. Thanks for writing and good luck!–JT



  • ray manger Says:
    January 13th, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Excellent tips. Thanks.


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DIY Drill Bit Depth Gauge