Introduction: Handheld PCB Drill and Cutter

About: I am an 18 years old hobbyist who finds a great drive in tinkering with electronic circuits. The reason I love electronics is that it empowers me to solve real-life issues with ease. I also enjoy making gadget…

So, just like usual, you are surfing on the internet for some new electronic projects and find yourself helpless every time in the end because you lack a PCB drill and most of the projects are too complicated to be made on prototype boards because they are highly susceptible to wiring errors. However, don't give up yet, because after finishing your instructable, you will have your own mini, handheld PCB drill. The drill I have made consists of a motor which gives off around 4000RPM @ 12V. The other parts are also easily and cheaply available online so you won't have to break a sweat while gathering the necessary stuff. With this being said, let us begin making our PCB drill.


I tweaked this drill up a bit enable it to cut PCBs as well using mini rotary blades.

Step 1: Gather Around Some Stuff

The requirements for this project are as stated below.

Primary Requirements:

1. A High Torque DC Motor with sufficient RPM.

I'll be using a 4000RPM motor which gives surprisingly great results.

2. A Drill Bit Holder.

I had bought this from AliExpress. You can buy it from this link.

3. A DC Power Jack.

4. A 6-Pin Switch.

5. A Drill Bit

It's width depends on your choice. I use a 1mm drill bit. I had bought it from AliExpress as well. This is the link.

6. A short piece of wire.

7. An AC-DC Adapter.

I'm using a 12V adapter for my motor performs best at this voltage.

Secondary Requirements:

1. A Hot Glue Gun.

2. A Soldering Iron.

After you have gathered all this stuff, proceed to the next step.

Update(March, 2018):

A few requirements need to be changed if you want to build a PCB cutter from this motor as well. Refer to Step 7 and use the links placed there instead of the ones posted here.

Step 2: Wiring the Motor

Pick up your motor and solder both the ends of the wire to the respective terminals of the motor. Now, trim the wire at each terminal according to your wish. I have posted a picture regarding this step.

Now its time to add the switch and the female power jack.

For this, wire one terminal of the motor to the power jack. Then wire the other terminal of the power jack to one of the switch pins. The remaining pin of the switch will be wired to the other motor terminal.

I have posted the picture of wiring the pin. Refer to it for wiring it efficiently.

That's it for this step.

Step 3: Checking the Motor's Rotation

After finishing all the wiring, we have to check the rotation of the motor. The motor should be wired in such a way that there should be "anti-clockwise rotation". If you want to be more sure, pick up your drill bit and start rotating it in such a way that the ridges on it seem to move upwards. The rotation in which the drill bit's ridges will seem to be moving upwards will be your motor's ideal rotation. In my case, it was anticlockwise, that is why I have wired my motor to rotate anticlockwise.

The embedded video is for helping you in finding the ideal rotation of your drill bit. The motor rotation should be the ideal rotation of the drill bit, that is if the ideal rotation of drill bit is anticlockwise, then the motor shaft should rotate anticlockwise as well.

If your motor is not rotating in the correct rotation, reverse the wiring of the terminals.

Step 4: Inserting the Drill Bit Holder

This is the most crucial part of this project for even a slightest error in this step will affect the drill's performance in a huge manner.

To do this, first unwind the drill bit holder and insert your drill bit in it. Wind the holder back tightly and insert it on the motor's shaft. Unluckily, my motor's shaft was way to thick to fit inside the holder, therefore I had to widen the holder's hole by rubbing the rotating shaft of the motor against it. Because my hole got too loose, that is why I'm using hot glue to hold it in place.

However, considering you might not be as unlucky as me, all that you'll have to do to insert the holder onto the shaft is to remove the screw on its side, insert the holder on the shaft, and re-insert the screw on the holder tightly such that the holder "doesn't budge an inch". If you were successful in doing this, ignore the rest details contained in this step and proceed further.

For those who were unsuccessful, you may try my method. It's as follows:

  • Remove the side screw.
  • Pour hot glue inside the holder through the shaft's hole and the screw's hole.
  • Insert the shaft in the holder.
  • Judging by your own instincts, align the holder in such a position in which the drill bit will suffer least deviation.
  • After aligning it, pour some hot glue on the outside of the holder-shaft junction as well. I have posted the picture.
  • Let the glue cool down.

After doing all this, power up your motor through any power source and correct the alignment through repeated attempts.

If you want more stability, you may even try joining both of them using superglue. However, be careful not to let any drop move inside the motor for it may join the shaft with the brushes and hence your motor will be wasted.

Later on, I had tried the superglue method for cleanliness' sake. Its picture is also posted.

That's all for this step.

Step 5: Gluing the Switch and Power Jack

After finishing all the previous steps, now it's time to glue the power jack and switch onto the back of the motor. This step is very simple. All you have to do is to think of a way to place both the components onto the motor and simply glue them onto the place. If you wish, you may also pour hot glue on the terminals to prevent the cutting off of wires.

I have done this because my wires were cutting off very easily.

Step 6: Update(March,2018)

It's been quite some time since the day I had posted this instructable. And in those days I had made some slight modifications to this drill. This step will outline them.


  • I switched to a newer, better drill bit holder which supports a wide range of drill bits, 0.5mm to 3.5mm. This is the link to it on AliExpress.
  • Since this drill bit holder is more compatible, therefore I can also use the mini rotary blades with it to cut PCBs. This is the link to it on AliExpress.
  • I switched to a better power adapter, one that produces 19V to improve the drilling and cutting time.
  • I tidied up the top of the motor and removed the untidy excess hot glue. I then stuck everything using superglue and wired the components using thin enamelled wires.

That's just about it. I've posted the pictures of these modifications above.

Step 7: Congratulations!

Congratulations! Now you have your own Handheld Drill which you may use for advancing in electronic projects. To use it simply plug in the DC Adapter in the Power Jack. Good luck with your further projects as well.

If you have found this instructable helpful, please support me by reopening the shortened download links twice or thrice.
That's all for this instructable!

If you have any doubt, feel free to comment. I'd also appreciate it if you support me on Patreon.

Project By:

Utkarsh Verma

Thanks to Ashish Choudhary for lending his camera and his assistance as well.