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How Much Weight Is Lost When Drilling a Bowling Ball?

how much weight is lost when drilling a bowling ball

Drilling holes in a bowling ball will take away a significant amount of material. This means that the weight of the bowling ball is going to be reduced by a rather substantial amount.

On average, you can expect that drilling a bowling ball will shave off between 4oz and 5oz of weight. Although, some may see a little bit more than this, while others may see a little bit less. How much weight that is lost will be dependent on several different factors including:

  • How many holes are being drilled on the bowling ball
  • The depth of these drilled holes
  • The diameter of the holes
  • The material that your bowling ball is made of.

Of course, you will need to have some holes in your bowling ball. This means that your bowling ball will always end up being lighter than when you purchased it. This is something that you will have to bear in mind when you are trying to hunt down a bowling ball that is the right weight for you. Always remember that it will end up being a little bit lighter. 

A lot of people will have extra holes drilled into their bowling ball too. This helps to balance out the ball a little bit better. A single additional hole may shave off 1oz in weight (depending on various factors), but these balancing holes will have to be strategically placed in order to ensure that you get the maximum amount of benefit from them. This is where a professional bowling ball driller is going to come into play.

How Much Does It Cost to Drill Holes in a Bowling Ball?

A lot of this will be dependent on where you go.

Drilling will likely set you back somewhere between $30 and $50. Generally speaking, if you buy a bowling ball from a company, then they will probably charge you a lower price for their drilling services as a bit of an incentive. If you take an undrilled bowling ball to a random store where you didn’t make your purchase, then they will probably charge you a little bit closer to the upper end of this range. 

You may think that this price is a lot, but it really isn’t. You have to remember that drilling holes in bowling balls is something that requires a lot of skill and equipment. The price that some of these companies are charging is a bargain if anything. 

This price will often include ‘ball insurance’ too. Although, this is something that tends to only apply if you take an already purchased ball directly to somebody to do the drilling. If you are using the company that you purchased the bowling ball from, then this will likely be something included as ‘standard’.

This means that if the ball ends up cracking while the professional is drilling it, they will completely replace the ball for you. It is actually important to have this sort of ‘insurance’ in place. As we said, drilling bowling balls is difficult, and even professionals can get it wrong at times.

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Can You Drill Your Own Holes in a Bowling Ball?

You can. However, it isn’t recommended.

There are some people that will drill their own holes in bowling balls. However, these people have experience in actually drilling bowling balls. If you don’t have the experience, there is a lot that can go wrong with the process.

Contrary to popular belief, drilling a bowling ball is so much more than just measuring fingers and pulling out a drill bit. A great deal of thought also needs to go into the placement of the holes. The drill bit also has to be incredibly sharp. Even professionals can get it wrong sometimes due to how complex the process is.

If somebody has never done this sort of thing before, then we see no way that they will be able to get it right. No YouTube tutorial or Instructable guide is going to tell somebody everything that they need to drill bowling balls. It is a skill that takes a lot of time to develop. 

If holes are drilled incorrectly, then the bowling ball will crack. If your bowling ball has cracked due to the drilling, then it will need to be replaced. A replacement bowling ball will probably end up costing more than you would have paid to go to a professional in the first place. This is before you even factor in the pieces of equipment that you had to likely buy to carry out your drilling. 

How Many Times Can You Re-Drill a Bowling Ball?

This is going to be completely dependent on the reasons why you are drilling the bowling ball in the first place.

If you are happy with the hole layout on your bowling ball, and you simply want to plug the holes and redrill them with a different fit, then you could do this dozens and dozens of times. It probably will make the material a little bit weaker with each redrill, but it isn’t going to be so weak that the quality of the bowling ball is compromised.

On the other hand, if you are not happy with the hole layout on your bowling ball and want to shake things up a little bit, then your options are going to be a bit more limited.

Final Thoughts

Each time you drill a hole on the bowling ball, you are compromising the integrity of the ball’s core. This means that each new hole is bringing that core one step closer to giving up. Long story short, you are going to end up with a useless bowling ball.

In this situation, most people recommend that you never change the layout of a bowling ball more than three times. However, even after the second redrill, you are really pushing that core to the absolute breaking point. 

Remember, no matter the reasons why your bowling ball is being re-drilled, make sure that you use a professional for the job. At least that way you know that the job is going to be done properly!

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