Nanopores fabricated from synthetic materials (solid-state nanopores), platforms for characterizing biological molecules, have been widely studied among researchers. Compared with biological nanopores, solid-state nanopores are mechanically robust and durable with a tunable pore size and geometry. Solid-state nanopores with sizes as small as 1.3 nm have been fabricated in various films using engraving techniques, such as focused ion beam (FIB) and focused electron beam (FEB) drilling methods. With the demand of massively parallel sensing, many scalable fabrication strategies have been proposed. In this review, typical fabrication technologies for solid-state nanopores reported to date are summarized, with the advantages and limitations of each technology discussed in detail. Advanced shrinking strategies to prepare nanopores with desired shapes and sizes down to sub-1 nm are concluded. Finally, applications of solid-state nanopores in DNA sequencing, single molecule detection, ion-selective transport, and nanopatterning are outlined.