How to Make a Hole in a Coin Without Using a Drill

Coins can hold great sentimental value, whether it’s a special coin you’ve inherited, a lucky charm, or a token from a memorable trip. Sometimes, you may want to make a hole in a coin to turn it into a pendant, a keychain, or a piece of jewelry. While drilling a hole is a common method, not everyone has access to a drill. Fortunately, there are other ways to make a hole in a coin without using a drill.

One method involves using a hammer and nail: Start by gathering the necessary materials, including the coin, a nail, a hammer, and a sturdy surface. Place the coin on the surface and position the nail where you want the hole to be. Hold the nail firmly and carefully hit it with the hammer. Repeat this process until the nail creates a hole through the coin. Make sure to hold the coin securely so that it doesn’t slip away or get damaged during this process.

Another method employs the use of a heated needle: For this method, you will need a coin, a needle, and a source of heat. Heat the tip of the needle until it becomes red hot. Be cautious while handling the needle as it will be extremely hot. Once the needle is hot, carefully position it on the coin where you want the hole. Apply a firm and even pressure to allow the heated needle to pierce through the coin. Keep in mind that this method should be done in a well-ventilated area and with caution to avoid accidents or burns.

It’s important to mention that altering or damaging currency is illegal in some countries, so it’s essential to be aware of the regulations in your area before attempting these methods. Additionally, it’s only recommended to perform these techniques on coins with no significant monetary or historical value, as altering valuable coins can greatly diminish their worth. Always exercise caution and use the appropriate safety measures when working with sharp objects or heat sources.

Why Make a Hole in a Coin?

There are several reasons why someone might want to make a hole in a coin without using a drill. Here are a few possible motivations:

  • Decoration: Making a hole in a coin allows you to create unique jewelry pieces or crafts. By stringing coins together, you can make bracelets, necklaces, or even small wind chimes. Coins with holes can also be used as decorative elements in keychains or as charms.
  • Identification: Many people choose to put a hole in their coins for identification purposes. For example, if you have a collection of coins, you might want to mark the ones that are of special significance to you by adding a hole.
  • Educational Purposes: Teachers or educational institutions might use coins with holes to explain concepts such as currency, coin history, or monetary systems in different countries. By physically modifying the coins, it becomes easier for students to understand and engage with the subject matter.
  • Tradition: In some cultures, there is a tradition of wearing coins with holes as a symbol of good luck or protection against evil spirits. By making a hole in a coin, you can participate in and honor these traditions.

Before making a hole in a coin, it’s important to consider the legal implications in your country. In some places, defacing or damaging currency is illegal, so be sure to check the laws and regulations before proceeding.

Materials Needed

Materials Needed

  • A coin (preferably made of soft metal such as copper or silver)
  • A thin nail or needle
  • A hammer
  • A sturdy surface or workbench
  • Safety goggles or glasses
  • Gloves (optional)

Method 1: Using Heat

Method 1: Using Heat

To make a hole in a coin without using a drill, you can try the method that involves using heat. This method requires caution and should only be done in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling toxic fumes.

See also  How to Screw into Metal Using Tools You Already Have

Materials Needed:

  • Coins
  • Nail or awl
  • Heat source (e.g., gas stove, blowtorch, candle)
  • Protective gloves
  • Protective eyewear
  • Heat-resistant surface (e.g., ceramic tile, metal plate)


  1. Put on your protective gloves and eyewear to ensure safety.
  2. Choose a heat-resistant surface to work on.
  3. Place the coin on the heat-resistant surface.
  4. Hold the nail or awl with a pair of pliers to provide a safe distance from the heat source.
  5. Heat the nail or awl using a heat source, such as a gas stove, blowtorch, or candle flame. Make sure to only heat the very tip of the nail or awl.
  6. Once the nail or awl is hot enough, press it against the coin where you want to make the hole. Apply firm and steady pressure, allowing the heat to melt through the metal.
  7. Remove the nail or awl from the coin and let it cool down.
  8. Inspect the hole to ensure it is the desired size. If necessary, repeat the process and make the hole bigger.

Important Tips and Warnings:

Important Tips and Warnings:

  • Wear protective gloves and eyewear to avoid burns and injuries.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling toxic fumes.
  • Use caution when working with heat sources to prevent fires and burns.
  • Be careful when handling hot objects and ensure they have cooled down before touching them.
  • If you are unsure or uncomfortable working with heat, consider using an alternative method such as using a drill or seeking assistance from a professional.

Method 2: Using Acid

Method 2: Using Acid

Another method to make a hole in a coin without using a drill is by using acid. This method involves using a strong acid to dissolve the metal around the area where you want the hole. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Gather the materials: For this method, you will need the following materials:
    • A coin
    • A strong acid (such as sulfuric acid or hydrochloric acid)
    • Gloves
    • Protective eyewear
    • A plastic container
    • A brush or cotton swab
    • Water
  2. Prepare the work area: Find a well-ventilated area to work in, preferably outdoors. Make sure to protect the surface you are working on by placing a plastic sheet or a tray underneath.
  3. Put on protective gear: Before handling the acid, put on a pair of gloves and protective eyewear. Acids can cause severe burns and eye damage.
  4. Submerge the coin: Fill the plastic container with enough acid to completely submerge the coin. Make sure to use a plastic container that is resistant to the acid you are using.
  5. Place the coin in the acid: Carefully place the coin into the acid solution, making sure it is fully submerged. Leave it in the acid for a few minutes, or until the metal around the desired hole area begins to dissolve.
  6. Remove the coin: Using a pair of tongs or gloves, carefully remove the coin from the acid solution.
  7. Rinse the coin: Rinse the coin thoroughly with water to remove any remaining acid. Make sure to handle the coin with gloves to avoid direct contact with your skin.
  8. Create the hole: Once the coin is rinsed and dry, use a brush or cotton swab to gently remove any remaining metal residue around the hole area. The acid should have dissolved enough metal to create a hole in the coin.

Remember to exercise extreme caution when working with acids, as they can be highly corrosive and dangerous. It is also important to dispose of the acid properly according to local regulations.

See also  Best drill bit to drill out a lock

Note: This method can alter the appearance and value of the coin, so it is not recommended for valuable or collectible coins.

Method 3: Using a Hammer and Nail

If you don’t have access to a drill, you can still make a hole in a coin using a hammer and nail. This method requires a little more time and effort, but it can be done with household tools.


  • A coin
  • A hammer
  • A nail
  • A block of wood or a hard surface
  • Safety glasses



  1. Put on your safety glasses to protect your eyes from any flying debris.
  2. Place the coin on top of a block of wood or a hard surface. This will help stabilize the coin and prevent it from moving while you work.
  3. Position the nail on the spot where you want to make the hole. Make sure it is centered and aligned properly.
  4. Hold the nail firmly with one hand, making sure it is perpendicular to the coin’s surface.
  5. With the other hand, carefully and slowly tap the nail with the hammer. Start with light taps to create a small pilot hole.
  6. Increase the force gradually as you continue tapping the nail. Be patient and take your time to prevent the coin from bending or cracking.
  7. Continue tapping until the nail goes all the way through the coin, creating a hole.
  8. Remove the nail from the coin and inspect the hole. If it’s not big enough, you can use a larger nail and repeat the process.
  9. Once you have achieved the desired hole size, use sandpaper or a file to smooth the edges of the hole.

It’s important to note that this method may damage the surface or design of the coin. If you are working with a valuable or collectible coin, it is best to consult with a professional before attempting to make a hole.

Method 4: Using a Metal File

Method 4: Using a Metal File

Another method that can be used to make a hole in a coin without using a drill is by using a metal file. This method requires a bit of patience and precision, but it can be effective if done correctly.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Gather your materials: To use this method, you will need a metal file, a coin, and some sandpaper.

  2. Choose a suitable file: Select a metal file that has a fine grit. This will help to avoid damaging the coin while drilling the hole.

  3. Secure the coin: Hold the coin securely in one hand while using the other hand to wield the file.

  4. File the coin: Begin filing the coin at the desired spot where you want the hole to be. Apply firm, even pressure and make sure to file in a straight line.

  5. Check your progress: Periodically stop filing and check the depth of the hole. Use sandpaper to smooth the edges if desired.

  6. Continue filing: Repeat the filing process until the hole is the desired size and depth. Take regular breaks to avoid overheating the file or damaging the coin.

  7. Finishing touches: Once the hole is complete, use sandpaper to smooth any rough edges and give the coin a polished look.

It’s important to note that using a metal file can be more time-consuming and labor-intensive than using a drill. However, it can be a viable option if you don’t have access to a drill or prefer a more hands-on approach.

Tips and Precautions

Tips and Precautions

  • Work in a well-ventilated area: When making a hole in a coin, it is important to work in a well-ventilated area to prevent inhaling fumes or dust. This can be achieved by working outdoors or in a well-ventilated workshop.
  • Wear appropriate safety gear: It is crucial to protect your eyes, hands, and lungs while working with coins. Make sure to wear safety goggles, gloves, and a dust mask to prevent any potential harm or injury.
  • Choose the right coin: Not all coins are suitable for drilling or punching holes. It is important to select a coin made of a soft metal such as copper or silver, as they are easier to work with. Avoid using coins made of harder metals like nickel or steel, as they may damage your tools or be difficult to drill.
  • Start with a smaller hole: If you are not experienced in coin drilling, it is advisable to start with a smaller hole and gradually increase the size. This will allow you to practice your technique and avoid any mistakes or accidents.
  • Use proper drilling techniques: When drilling a hole in a coin, it is important to use the correct drilling techniques to minimize damage to the coin and ensure a clean hole. Apply steady pressure, use a low speed, and periodically withdraw the drill to clear away any metal shavings.
  • Protect the coin’s design: If you want to preserve the design on the coin, it is recommended to use masking tape to cover the area you are drilling. This will prevent any accidental scratching or damage to the design.
  • Consider using alternative methods: If you are not comfortable using a drill, there are alternative methods for making a hole in a coin. These include using a metal punch, a jeweler’s saw, or even a hammer and nail. Research and choose the method that works best for you.
  • Research local laws and regulations: Before altering any coin, it is important to research and comply with local laws and regulations regarding coin defacement. Some countries may have strict laws against modifying coins, and it is essential to ensure you are in compliance.
See also  Best drill bit for solid concrete


Can I make a hole in a coin without using a drill?

Yes, you can make a hole in a coin without using a drill. There are several alternative methods you can try.

What are some alternative methods I can use to make a hole in a coin?

Some alternative methods to make a hole in a coin without using a drill include using a hammer and nail, a screwdriver, or a heated needle.

Is it safe to make a hole in a coin without a drill?

While it is generally safe to make a hole in a coin without a drill, you should always exercise caution and take necessary safety measures. Be mindful of your fingers and ensure that you are working in a well-ventilated area if you are using a heated needle.

What kind of coins can I make a hole in without a drill?

You can make a hole in various types of coins, such as pennies, quarters, dimes, and nickels, without using a drill.

as of May 13, 2024 12:34 pm

What can I use the hole in a coin for?

The hole in a coin can be used for various purposes, such as creating jewelry, keychains, or other crafts. It can also be used as a decorative element or as a way to string multiple coins together.

Are there any specific tools I need to make a hole in a coin without a drill?

While you don’t necessarily need any specific tools to make a hole in a coin without a drill, it is recommended to have a hammer, needle or screwdriver, and a vise or clamp to hold the coin steady during the process.


Harrison Clayton

Harrison Clayton

Meet Harrison Clayton, a distinguished author and home remodeling enthusiast whose expertise in the realm of renovation is second to none. With a passion for transforming houses into inviting homes, Harrison's writing at brings a breath of fresh inspiration to the world of home improvement. Whether you're looking to revamp a small corner of your abode or embark on a complete home transformation, Harrison's articles provide the essential expertise and creative flair to turn your visions into reality. So, dive into the captivating world of home remodeling with Harrison Clayton and unlock the full potential of your living space with every word he writes.

The Huts Eastbourne