What Is Drilling Protection on a Bowling Ball & Importance?

As an avid bowler, you will be familiar with drilling a bowling ball and how it’s essential to optimize it for comfortable and secure grasping.

 However, drilling a bowling ball can be challenging, and hidden risks or hazards that can impact efficiency and longevity. Here comes the drilling protection that provides the solution to typical challenges during the drilling of a bowling ball.

In this article, we will dive into the understanding of what is drilling protection on a bowling ball, technologies and tools used during the process, common hurdles faced, and how to tackle them smoothly.

Let’s jump into the article.

Understanding Bowling Ball Drilling

drilling protection adjustment

Drilling a bowling ball creates a hole for the thumbs and fingers to modify the bowling ball according to bowler grips. In order to customize the ball based on measurements, various equipment, such as drill presses and other bits, are used. 

The purpose of customizing the bowling ball holes is to make the bowling ball comfortable to throw, improving accuracy and overall performance.

A bowling ball’s drilling greatly affects its motion, such as its hook potential and backend action. A bowler can choose the drill layout that best fits their playing style and the lane conditions based on the type of drilling they do.

Professional bowlers often consider advanced drilling to improve the motion of their bowling balls. Using dual-angle drilling, the bowling ball is drilled at specific angles corresponding to the fingers and thumb holes in order to fine-tune the motion. In the balance hole drilling technique, additional holes are drilled to alter the ball’s weight distribution. Drilling of this type requires high skill and knowledge of the dynamics of bowling balls.

Challenges of Drilling in Bowling Balls

drilling process

Drilling is a crucial process that may lead to damage and cracks in bowling balls. Core, weight, and coverstock can be damaged if equipment, such as drills and drill bits, is not used correctly.

Drilling a bowling ball made of different coverstocks such as plastic, urethane, and reactive resin and drilling can weaken their structure. If the bowling ball is drilled improperly there would be some cracks and chips with time especially when high-rev bowlers throw the ball at full power.

Poorly drilled bowling balls may cause inaccurate shots, uncomfortable grips, and poor control due to large or small holes. 

What Is Drilling Protection On A Bowling Ball And Its Importance?

Drilling protection refers to the use of techniques and measurements during bowling ball drilling to minimize the risk of damage. It’s actually the insurance of a bowling ball and safeguarding the process from unwanted chips, and cracks while creating the finger and thumb holes for healthy coverstock.

The drilling protection is preferred when you spend a handsome budget on a bowling ball and want surety of a safe bowling ball. Following are a few important of drilling protection.

  • Getting rid of unwanted cracks and chips. Avoid damaging the coverstock, core, or weight blocks.
  • Bowling balls with drilling protection maintain their original layout and rolling characteristics.
  • By minimizing stress points, a bowling ball will last longer.

These are some of the significant importance of drilling protection.

Cost For The Drilling Protection:

A bowling ball is a vital investment in your bowling ball career and it may cost you from 50$ to 300$. In order to save the bowling ball during drilling, there is no equipment that can be used whereas drilling protection comes to play a role or serves as insurance. 

The drilling protection comes as a complimentary extra included however some bowling ball companies or pro shops charge a fee for this service which can be $10 or less.

Read More: Cost to Drill a bowling ball

Common Protection Drilling Tools and Materials:

The process of bowling ball drilling protection consists of different methods and specific materials used to drill holes in bowling balls for fitting grip and safety purposes.

The following are tools and materials used during the process:

  • Bowling ball clamp: A bowling ball clamp is basically used to hold the bowling ball securely without harming the surface in the place of the drilling process.
  • Drilling templates: it is used to point or draw the drilling location on a bowling ball and ensure the consistent and correct placement of holes. Drilling templates made of plastic or metal can be used in any layout that bowlers want for bowling balls.
  • Cutting oil or lubricant: To avoid heat due to fractions or any debris during the drilling process that may cause damage, cutting oil or lubricant is used on bowling balls.
  • Drilling bits: A high-quality drilling bit made of carbide or other material can drill precise and clean holes.
  • Dust collection tool: To keep the environment clean and healthy, there is dust collection and vacuum cleaners are used to prevent the dirt that is spread in the air.
  • Personal protection equipment: These are the equipment such as goggles, gloves, and mask that protects your face and hand from dust and debris.

These are some of the tools and materials that are used by following industry standards and proper drilling techniques.

Popular Drilling Protection Technologies

drill a bowling ball

Bowling ball manufacturers and various companies allow you to avail the drilling protection technologies of the bowling ball during the process. These technologies prevent damage and ensure the protection of coverstock and core.

  • Interchangeable thumb slugs: To avoid redrilling, interchangeable thumb slugs allow you to switch between the different sizes and styles of a bowling ball. These are removable and made from plastic or urethane to provide a snug and secure fit for customizable thumb holes and provide versatility and convenience to the bowling ball.
  • Finger Inserts: Just like interchangeable thumb slugs, finger inserts are also used as removable plugs on finger holes that are made of either silicon, rubber, or urethane to provide a convenient and comfortable grip to fingers.
  • Thumb molds: Thumb molds are used as pre-made inserts for thumbs made from silicon or molded plastic. It’s a guide for drilling bits that are put in the thumb hole before drilling to ensure precise and consistent results for customizable thumb holes according to bowler thumb size and shape.

There are various drilling protection technologies available in the market and users should consider preferences, customization of bowling balls, and budget. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Drilling Protection

Protection drilling is essential for healthy bowlers however sometimes there are some common mistakes unintentionally made by bowlers during drilling. These mistakes may lead to damage to the bowling ball.

Common mistakes such as poor use of tapes or sleeves, use of temples or jigs not properly and wrong drill bits, and ignoring the stress point of the bowling ball.

The consequences of these mistakes brought your bowling ball to be low in performance or not customized according to your preferences. Inadequate use of tapes and sleeves may cause cracks or scratches due to the direct connection of drill bits with the bowling ball surface. The improper use of temples or jigs may result in the holes incorrectly leading to poor layout and performance. The excessive amount of fractions or heads using the incorrect type of drill bits and ignoring the stress points may create cracks in the bowling ball.

It’s important to avoid these mistakes and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and proper technologies and methods to perform the process of drilling.


Drilling protection plays a vital role while drilling a bowling ball and maintaining the potential performance and appearance. Using several technologies including interchangeable thumb slugs, thumbs molds, and finger inserts ensures the performance and grip of a bowling ball.

Investing in drilling protection will help and keep save your bowling ball from probable harmful consequences. If you’re a beginner or professional bowler, you can take great benefit from this service. 

Finally, we hope the article helps to understand the importance and understanding of what is drilling protection on a bowling ball and how it will help you play a great game.

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