Have you ever tried to drill a straight hole with a cordless drill? Have you ever tried to drill several holes to the same depth with a corded drill? If you have unlimited time and plenty of patience, it can be done. Otherwise, there is a better way to complete your woodworking projects—a drill press.
What is a drill press?
With a regular hand drill, you bring the drill to the wood. With a drill press, the wood comes to you. A drill press (aka pedestal drill, pillar drill, bench drill) is a stationary woodworking (and metalworking) tool mounted on a stand or bolted to the floor. Handles are used to bring the chuck and drill bit down into the correct position for drilling through the wood. Holes can be made to different sizes, depths, and angles.
Hand-held drill or drill press for woodworking?
Both hand-held drills and drill presses are woodworking tools that have a place in your workshop. Hand-held drills are useful when the job is too big or too immobile to be brought to a drill press. They are also nice for when your holes require more “distance” than the drill press allows (because of the column supporting the drill press, there is a maximum distance between the column and the chuck/hole). Handheld drills are also less expensive than drill presses, which is important to the budget-conscious beginner woodworker.
On the other hand, a drill press provides several advantages over its hand-held counterpart. The perks of using a drill press for woodworking are that it takes less effort to drill holes quickly and accurately, boards can be secured to the drill press table for added safety, and variable speed changes can be made consistently. Many drill presses also allow for variable angles when drilling. In addition, sanding drums, honing wheels, and other woodworking accessories can be installed in the chuck for greater flexibility.
To see useful tips on what to look for and where to buy a drill press, click here.
How to operate a drill press
This is a quick video on how to operate a drill press, but it really is this simple! If you want more in-depth information, the U.S. Department of Energy offers a drill press operation study guide. Trust me, it’s one of the easiest woodworking tools to use and love.
Your Next Steps
To get the most out of your drill press, I recommend investing in the following:
Click to buy now
In 101 pages, you will learn:
- How to choose a drill press, cordless drill, or corded drill
- Required and optional accessories for your drill press
- Basic drill press techniques
- Drill press safety tips
- How to maximize tool performance
- How to perform maintenance and repairs
- And you even get some simple drill press projects for practice