You may have heard of a drill press before, but if you have not, you are about to find out a about these tools. They are convenient, they are powerful, they can perform a number of jobs, and they can work with a variety of materials. Any DIYer, carpenter, metal worker, or anyone in between will usually have a drill press in their arsenal. Let’s find out a drill press is all about.
What is a Drill Press?
A drill press is really just a big stationary drill, one that is more versatile and useful than a handheld drill, at least in many circumstances. It features a small work table, one that can usually be adjusted for height, where the work piece sits. It then has a chuck that can be opened up, and usually allows for different drill bit sizes to be inserted. There is also a depth gauge so you can set exact drilling depths, as well as a rotating lever to move the bit as it spins. It’s quite a simple tool, but one that works for many different purposes and materials.
What Is It Used For?
The drill press is a great tool to have in your arsenal, and they are really quite simple to use. Yes, drilling holes is the main function of this tool, but it can do a few other things as well. So, let’s talk about the main uses of a drill press.
Yes, drill presses are used to drill fresh, crisp, and new holes. To be clear, drill presses can be used to drill holes in plastic, metal, wood, and other materials. It really depends on the speed at which the bit is moving at, the type of bit, and the size of the bit you have in the chuck. Drilling holes is one thing, but the strength of most drill presses is the ability to drill repeated holes, the exact same hole, time and time again.
You can adjust the rotating speed and set a maximum depth, so you can move a piece of wood or metal around and simply lower and raise the drill bit to create identical holes. It’s a great tool if you need to mass produce holes that are all the same.
Sometimes you might need to cut threads into a hole, mainly so you can then insert a screw into it and make sure that the screw is secure. This is something else that a drill press can do. Drill presses are usually considered to be one of the best tools for this task as you need a precision and accuracy for that thread if you expect the screw to fit in properly afterwards.
De-burring a hole
Many times, after you drill a hole, it will have burrs in it. In other words, there will be little chucks of wood or metal that have not been removed or smoothed out. This usually does not bode well for any kind of finished product. Therefore, simply insert a deburring bit into the chuck of your drill press, the same size as the drill with that was used, and use it to smooth things out. It’s one of the easiest and quickest things that can be done with a drill press.
Generally speaking, drill presses are very accurate and precise. However, sometimes you might need the hole that has been drilled to be precise to within a fraction of a millimeter. In this case, you can use a drill press in combination with a reaming bit. You should use the drill press to drill the hole just a little bit smaller than it needs to be in the end, then you can use the reamer to make the final adjustments to achieve a super specific hole size.
The other thing that you can do with a drill press is sanding down pieces of wood. Most drill presses allow you to connect a compatible sanding bit so you can convert it into a large sander. It might not be the most common use for the drill press, but it is a capability none the less.
Why the Drill Press?
Drill presses are very powerful and versatile tools to have. Besides the fact that they can easily complete a number of jobs, as well as work with a wide variety of materials, there are a few other reasons why a drill press might be your go to tool.
Drill presses are highly regarded for their high level of drilling accuracy. Because you can adjust the speed of drilling, the size of the bit, and set specific depth stops, you can drill holes to within a fraction of a millimeter in accuracy. Sure, a handheld drill is fine, but you will never be able to duplicate exact hole sizes as you can with a drill press.
Simply put, big stationary drill presses have much stronger motors and bits than your average handheld drill. The motors are big and powerful, thus allowing you to drill holes of larger sizes, and into materials that a simple handheld drill just cannot deal with.
Related to power, drill presses can move much faster in terms of RPM than a handheld drill. Simply put, some materials require the drill bit to be moving super-fast for accurate holes to be drilled. This is a big advantage that you get with a drill press.