Important Basic Tips To Know About Drill Press

Important Basic Tips To Know About Drill Press


The drill press comes in a variety of models. Special purpose drill presses like an electromagnetic drill press and radial drill press offer the distinct feature. Thus, one can observe variations in the structure of drill press. We will review some of the salient constructional features and important terms related to the best drill press.

Important Basic Tips To Know About Drill Press

General Characteristic of Drill Press

  • The drill press is worked to drill holes into metal, wood and other materials.
  • The drill press uses a drilling tool that features cutting edges at the end to perform the drilling task.
  • A chuck or Morse taper holds the cutting tool in the drill press.
  • The rotating cutting tool is then fed into the work to perform the drilling operation.
  • This drill’s speed of rotation can be varied to perform different types of drilling.
  • Different materials require different speeds to drill successfully.

In short, following are the factors that can be taken into account while determining the size of a drill press

  • The largest piece of that can be center drilled.
  • Biggest hole drilled by the machine
  • The distance between the spindle and the column.
  • The distance between the spindle and the worktable.

Throat Depth

Many people consider the size of the drilling press by reviewing the distance between the chuck and the column. This distance is often referred to as throat depth. The size of the drill press is two time the throat depth.

This type of measurement is known as Swing.

Few Things to consider

  • Bench top models have a lower swing of 10 to 12 inches.
  • Floor standing models feature swing between 15 to 17 inches


The capacity of the drill press can be expressed as a measure of the deepness of cut. Stroke determines the extent of depth to which one can cut using the drill press. It is the depth of cut that can be achieved by the drill press.

  • Bench top models feature moderate stroke.
  • Floor standing drill press can drill through thicker materials as it has longer strokes compared to bench top drill press models.

Characteristic Constructional Features of Drill Press

Constructional Features Common to All Types of Drill Press Machines

The drilling machines have evolved over the years. The drilling press, in particular, has seen new additions in the form of technical advancements and more, better features compared to earlier models. It has introduced a wide variety of drill press models in the market.

Each consists of features that is unique to that model. However, by the whole, all the drilling press has certain constructional features in common.

common features that can be observed in any drill press

Following are the standard features that can be observed in any drill press


The spindle is a part of the drill press that rotates when we perform the drilling operation using a drill press. It is a shaft to which drilling bits can be attached. Spindle holds drill or cutting tools.

Often, a spindle is the part that gets damaged when it is subject to too much pressure when the drilling is going on.


The spindle is a constructional feature that is often used in the determination of the drill press size. We have discussed these methods earlier. One of the important terms associated with the spindle is “Spindle Travel.”

“Spindle travel” is a measure of the depth of holes that can be achieved due to rotation of the spindle. For example, a spindle travel of 2 inch means that one can drill a hole of 2 inches. Many tricks can be used to drill deeper holes.

Thus, a spindle is an essential part of the drill press. It is sensitive to wear and tear over the period. It can be repaired when it gets damaged. One can replace the spindle of the drill itself. It can save a lot of money, considering that one does not need to buy the entire drill press for a damaged spindle.

One can change the relative position of the spindle and the work table. It can facilitate drilling of deeper holes. Using longer drill bits is also an alternative solution.

Sleeve or Quill

A sleeve of a drill press often called as Quill, is a cylindrical housing that keeps the spindle secure as it rotates. The sleeve does not rotate. It moves up and down in the case of a vertically mounted drill press. It has bearings which help transfer the drive from motor to concentrically mounted spindle.

The sleeve can be lowered or moved upward as per requirement. This makes it convenient to use cutting tools as they can be easily moved upward and downward. Thus one can control when the cutting tool is fed into the work or withdrawn from the work.

Essentially, a sleeve is a hollow shaft made of steel that is designed to adapt the drill press spindle.


Every type of drill press has a key constructional feature known as a column. Column often decides the height of the drill press. It is the backbone of the drill press.

The column of the drill press is one of the most rugged parts of the drill press. It is solid and built cylindrical.

  • The main purpose of the column is to promote the work table.
  • The column also supports the head and the sleeve assembly.
  • The column is supported by a base of the drill press.


The head of a drill press consists of the sleeve, the spindle, electric motor and feed mechanism. It is the most important part of the drill press as the electric motor is located here. The power delivered by the motor drives the spindle. This enables the drill press to drill different metals. Many times, larger power delivery is required to drill into different materials or when one requires performing heavy duty drilling work.

  • Head designates the entire working mechanism of the drill press that is attached to the upper part of the column
  • The spindle is the essential part of the head.
  • A feed lever provides rack and pinion gearing for the sleeve that allows it to move upward and downward.

The Worktable

Every drill press features a worktable. This is the place where you put your work piece and start drilling. The worktable is made up of steel. Custom made worktables are also available. The worktable is attached to the column. Clamps are provided that facilitate moving of the worktable at the different height between the head and base. However, some models do not allow moving of the worktable. Thus, in those models, the worktable can only be used in fixed position.

The work table also features slots to allow clamping and holding fixtures from the work piece. Some models provide plywood or particleboard with the worktable.

Key Chuck

A typical drill press features a geared chuck of the capacity of the ½ inch that comes with a key. This key chuck allows better grip at the work piece.

Key Chuck

Though this is not a necessary constructional feature as most models do not come with it, it is still desirable to have one. Many accessories of the drill press fit directly into the geared chuck.


The drill press comes with a robust construction. Floor press models are more robust than the bench top mop models. There are many types of drill press models available in the market. Each of them offers distinct features. However, each drill press has basic constructional features that are common to all of them. These include the base, spindle, sleeve, the column, and the head. However, depending on the model each of these can have additional features. It is important to select a model that offers all the useful features that you need.

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