While installing new speakers in your car or replacing old factory speakers, you need to drill holes.
Most car speakers use screws for installation, however sometimes old speakers are installed using clips with no holes. In this case, we need to drill holes to mount the speakers, but how to drill holes for car speakers correctly? Let’s find out.
To cut holes for car speakers, you first need to mark the dimensions of the hole. Next, use a drill to make a pivot hole and then use the correct tool to cut the hole at the outline. You can use a jigsaw, handsaw, router, etc., depending upon the material. To make the edges smooth, always use sandpaper.
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Tip – Measure twice cut once. Remember to double check the measurements before cutting the piece with any tool. Otherwise, if you cut wrong, then it will lead to wastage of time and resources.
My favorite tool to make holes in any shape and size is the cordless Black & Decker. I like it because of the angled handle that allows for better precision in driving it when compared to other tools with a standard flat top handle.
Cutting holes for car speakers is a simple process, but you should avoid mistakes.
In this article, I will give in-depth information regarding the holes for different sizes of speakers, tools required and show you how to make holes in various materials for car speakers.
What Size Hole Do I Need for 6.5″ Speakers?
Generally, for the 6.5-inch speakers, the standard hole size is 5- 5/8 inches. But to get the correct answer for the specific speakers, you should look at the hole size in the speaker specification sheet. Many speakers come with a template that you can use for markings.
The size of the hole determines whether your speaker is installed correctly or not. Unfortunately, the hole size for the 6.5-inch speaker can be slightly different for different models, depending on their design and exact shape.
To correctly measure the hole size for your speaker, follow these steps:
- Flip the speaker upside down so that the speaker’s wider part is facing down.
- Now measure the widest part of the cone attached to the frame as shown in the diagram below.
- Use a ruler or measuring tape to measure the diameter correctly. Note down the number, and the radius of the hole will be half of the reading.
- You can also use a compass to draw a circle with the same radius at installing surface or at cardboard to make a template.
- Ensure the hole you cut should be smaller or the same dia as the widest part of the cone.
What Are the Best Tools for Cutting Speaker Holes?
To cut the correctly sized hole you need good tools and also know how to use them effectively.
There are many tools available in the market, but below I list ones that work the best for me for cutting clean holes. If you do not have them, I added the links to Amazon so you can check their latest price.
Thanks to their narrow blade, jigsaw machines are best to cut speaker holes in wood, metals, and car dashboards.
It doesn’t matter whether the surface is uneven or round, this powerful tool is preferred by every professional. This machine has a narrow blade attached to its body by a spring-loaded clamp.
The blades’ teeth are measured in TPI (teeth per inch), and you activate their up and down movement by pressing a trigger.
The speed of the jigsaw’s blade depends on the pressure on the trigger, and actually for that reason, I choose a small Black & Decker that runs really smoothly at the exact speed I want.
A router is another portable hand tool that you can use to cut holes. It consists of an electric motor, two handle knobs, a bit for cutting, and a base.
With a router, you can cut clean edges if the speakers are not circular, and to be honest, it makes the best surface quality from all tools I tried.
When you are looking for a reasonably priced but great router at the same time, I use the cordless SKIL 14, and it performs really well.
Jesper model 200 circle is designed to help in routing perfect and smooth circle cutouts. This simple model of the Jasper circle guide has 256 sizes you can choose from.
Together with the router, it is the most expensive option of all I recommend, but it makes excellent holes or other shapes with smooth surfaces. It is especially valuable when you often use it for different projects.
Adjustable hole cutters are great tools for cutting quicker and cleaner holes that you can also use in drywall, ceiling, etc.
These cutters are the more affordable option than a jigsaw or the router, but also, finishing quality for the precise dimension may not be perfect. Another downtime is that they will be able to cut only holes of a circle shape.
I use a simple Qwork twin-blade adjustable hole saw cutter. This tool helps me cut all the hole sizes I need (manufacturer says that it can do anything between 1-5/8″ and 11-13/16″ (40-300mm)), and it works with a 3/8 inch drill.
I bought it only because it is useful to do other wooden work around the house, but would I buy it just for car enclosures? No.
Other tools needed for making speaker holes are a drill, sandpaper, tape, measuring tape, and a pencil.
How to use the Jasper Circle guide?
The scale printed on the circle guide is critical to cut precise circular holes. When you first look at the Jasper Circle Guide, you may feel a little bit confused.
Let’s understand how they work. Each of these holes is the center point for your cutout.
So, for example, if I want to cut a 6.5″ hole, find the 6 written at the bottom of the scale. After this, go all the way up along the circular line to find ½. So this is my center point for your cutout.
How Do You Cut 6.5” Speaker Holes?
Car speakers of size 6.5 inches are most common and usually installed in the front doors.
As I already mentioned, the best results I get with a router with a jasper circle guide for cutting holes, but you can use a Jigsaw, or even a hand saw.
Follow these steps, and you will get perfectly sized holes for your speakers.
- The first thing is finding a surface to fit speakers with space behind them because you don’t want to cut other things. Especially while fitting speakers in cars, we make sure that we are not harming any other component while cutting holes.
- Draw the outline of the speaker with a template and mark its center.
- The Jasper circle guide comes pre-drilled to fit the router and also includes the hardware kit of screws. In addition, each guide comes with a centering disc that you use to center the base plate on your router, and it contains a quarter-inch steel centering pin to center the base plate.
- Loosely mount the screws until the base plate is centered, and then you tighten the screws down.
- You can use spacer blocks if you don’t want to drill holes in the installation surface. Otherwise, drill a pivot hole at the circle’s center and place the circle guide correctly on the pivot point. Now start the router, and your 6.5-inch hole is ready.
Jesper circle Guides with router make speaker holes easy, accurate, and quick.
How Do You Cut 6×9 Speaker Holes?
6×9 speakers are being used in cars often because of their brilliant performance at all frequency spectrums.
Most of these speakers come with inbuilt tweeters that further improves the quality of sound.
We need a jigsaw, drill, and speaker template. To cut out holes for 6×9 speaker holes, follow these steps:
- First, place the speaker template and mark the outline of the speaker.
- Then use the drill to drill holes inside the outline and use the jigsaw to cut the surface. If you are not comfortable with a jigsaw, then use a wooden block for support.
- You can also use a hand saw to cut the surface.
- Use sandpaper to make the edges smooth.
How to Cut a Speaker’s Hole in the Door Panel?
Many automobiles come with already installed speakers in the door panel, but you may need to cut new holes or widen the existing ones when you upgrade your system with bigger speakers.
Here are the steps you need to follow to make a speaker enclosure in the door panel:
- First, take out the old speakers and determine the location where you want to cut holes. Usually, we make holes at the lower half of the door panel.
- Remove the door panel by opening screws using the appropriate screwdriver and unplug all the wires attached to the panel.
- Now your door panel has speaker holes. Use a grinder to level the surface.
- Take out the speaker template, trace it onto the door panel, or make a microfiber sheet template.
- Now use a Dremel tool to cut the hole bigger carefully. Use sandpaper or a round file to smoothen the edges. If you want to make new holes, then use a hole saw to cut small holes and then increase their size.
How to Cut Speaker Holes in Metal?
To cut speaker holes in metal, you need a template of speaker holes, a drill machine, tape, marker, and a tool to cut metal.
I prefer to cut speaker holes in metal with tin snips. You can also use a hole saw, reciprocating saw, jigsaw, Dremel tool, or any other tool of your choice.
To cut holes in metal, follow these steps:
- Position your template where you want to cut the hole and fix it with tape.
- Now outline the template with a sketch on the metal sheet.
- Remove the template and drill holes inside the speaker outline. Make a small pilot hole first, and then gradually drill until you get the hole widened enough so that you fit the tin snip. You can also use a step drill bit for this purpose.
- Now, carefully cut the hole at the outline using tin strips. Use a circular file to make the edges smooth such that your speaker fits in properly.
How Do You Cut a Perfect Hole in Wood?
Sometimes we have to make wooden box frames and cut holes into them to fit speakers, subwoofers, etc.
To cut a perfect hole of any size in the wood, I use a router with a jasper circle guide, or a hole saw. However, if your cutting skills are good, you can use a jigsaw, handsaw, or other cutting tools.
When it comes to cutting a hole in wood, steps are identical to these I already highlighted above when explaining the process for the 6.5″ holes.
Another brilliant tool you can use to cut holes in wood is by using a hole saw. Hole saws are available in a variety of sizes, from 0.5 inches to 6 inches.
You can also use adjustable hole saws if you want to make smaller holes in between larger ones.
Here are the steps to cut perfect holes in wood using a hole saw:
- Mark the correct dimensions of the hole on the wooden piece.
- Make a pivot hole at the center of the circle using a drill, and now use a hole saw to cut the surface from one side. Don’t cut the whole piece from one side. Especially for the deep cuts, you should work in stages.
- Rotate the piece and again start drilling at the same mark until you cut the piece.
- Use a hand saw if you want to cut along the straight line.
Cutting holes in woods requires some experience and skills that are slightly different than cutting holes in metal.
There is also a risk of getting hurt while using cutting tools. So be careful!
How to Cut Speaker Holes in Fiberglass?
To cut holes in fiberglass, you need only two tools:
- Sharp, fine-tooth blade jigsaw or hole saw.
Other things you need are cutting templates and a marker. Be careful while making holes, as fiberglass repair is costly.
Follow these steps to cut holes in fiberglass:
- Use templates to mark the outline of the speaker hole. You can also make your own plywood template.
- Now comes the drilling part, but before directly drilling on the cutting surface, use the drill on some spare surface to ensure that it stays firm.
- Now use a hole saw to cut the holes if they are small. Always cut the hole in stages with the stool.
- If holes are large, use a jigsaw with the support of a wooden block template and cut the fiberglass sheet.
- To cut square holes, drill at the four corners and use a jigsaw to connect the dots.
Cutting holes for car speakers or making custom speaker enclosures requires good tools and skillset.
If you don’t have experience in using these tools, then take the help of a professional to do this job. The sound quality of your stereo depends on the mounting of speakers, subwoofers, and other audio components.