Choosing the Right Drill Press for You

Choosing the Right Drill Press for You

When working with wood, and especially tougher materials like metal, your drill press can make the difference between success and failure. When purchasing a new unit, there are a few features that will help you with your projects, as these features will greatly improve your workflow and efficiency.

A drill press, also known as a pillar drill, is basically a more powerful (and less portable) form of a standard hand drill. A rotating wheel raises and lowers the drill bit, depending on which direction you turn the wheel, which allows you to drill holes into your material at various depths. These machines are available in many different speeds. You might have one of these amazing tools for when you need precise drilling, combined with a lot of power – power that you simply cannot find on a standard hand drill. There are many handy features that help improve your workflow and efficiency – especially when working with larger projects. Here are some of the features you should look at.

Model Type

There are two kinds of drill presses – a floor model and a bench top model. A floor model is typically better for large scale projects, because there are a wider range of accessories available, while bench top models are typically a better buy for small projects or if you need to save space inside a smaller shop.

Depth Stop

A depth stop is a device that ensures that all holes you drill are at consistent depths. A depth stop is highly useful when you are drilling a lot of holes, and you need their depths to be consistent. For example, you might want a depth stop if you need to drill 20 holes, each at exactly 2″ deep into the material with which you’re working. The depth stop helps to make sure that all the holes are of the correct depth.

Horsepower

You need more horsepower in order to drill larger or deeper holes through tougher materials, such as solid metals, especially iron or steel. The more horsepower, the better off you will be, and the tougher the material you can handle.

High quality table

The best drilling tables can be raised and lowered to almost any height you need, as well as rotated 360 degrees, which allows you to work from almost any angle without having to put as much strain on your back if you’re a taller person and get to those hard to reach areas much easier.

Weight

Remember, you are dealing with a mechanical unit that uses centrifugal force to cut into different materials. Centrifugal force is notorious for creating vibration, especially when you have something like a drill bit rotating at high speeds. Therefore, a heavier unit will be a better buy than a lighter unit, because it will take some of the shakiness out of your work, allowing you to work more smoothly, because a heavier unit will not move around as much as a lighter unit will.

Accessories

There are many types of accessories that are designed to improve the usability of your unit. For example, drill press clamps can help to hold your project in place while you work, allowing you to work more efficiently. There are also mortising and sanding attachments available.

Speed Adjustment

Many of the more expensive units provide multiple spindle speeds. Typically, you want a slower speed for metal work, and a faster speed for wood. Most people look for adjustment ranges between 500 and 4000 RPMs.

Serviceability

Usually, you will want to be able to make routine maintenance on your unit as quick and painless as possible. Not all manufacturers have replacement parts readily available for all models, and some manufacturers require that their units be serviced by qualified personnel only – which means you’ll likely be shelling out a lot of money when you need replacement parts.

When selecting a pillar drill, it is extremely important that you choose one that suits your needs. It will save you time, money, and effort. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice, and do some research on your own. Pillar drills can be expensive. Do yourself a favor, and choose one that suits your needs. You will thank yourself later, when you look at your completed project.