pilot hole

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pilot hole (plural pilot holes)

  1. A narrow hole drilled or punched into a surface, to facilitate the insertion of a wider screw, nail, drill bit, or other boring tool.
    • 1908, W. McKay, "The Boultham Well at Lincoln," Transactions of the Manchester Geological and Mining Society, vol. 30, p. 29,
      During the sinking of the last 150 feet, a pilot-hole was kept in advance, so as to prevent any unforeseen inrush of water.
    • 1970, Andy Lang, "Right Nail Hits the Spot," St Petersburg Times, 25 Oct., p. 5-G (retrieved 7 Dec. 2008),
      Nothing prevents splitting the wood as much as first driving a pilot hole, especially for hard wood.