Whether you are an engineer or a woodworker, chances are you are going to need a drill press. But, why would you need a drill press while you have the option of using a hand drill? Simple–power.
However, you can’t just walk into a tool store and order the first drill press you find. Choosing the right drill press means focusing on a few features. You need to know exactly what to look for, which should be a tool that is going to help you make your work a lot easier.
What Is A Drill Press And How Does It Work?
A drill press works through a single rotating arm to either raise or lower the drill. This allows you to easily choose the depth of the hole you need to make. Moreover, drill presses come with varying degrees of speed and horsepower. The best drill press is able to make holes in tougher materials, such as thick wood and metal.
Here are some pros and cons of using a drill press:
- More powerful.
- More accurate
- Faster and more efficient
- Heavy and less portable
- Harder to drill holes at an angle
- Size of the projects depends on the size of the drill press
Note that while it is hard to make angled holes with a drill press, it is not impossible. You can get around this by making an angled jig.
Things To Consider When Choosing The Best Drill Press
Now, here are several features you need to consider when shopping for a drill press:
- Model Type
Drill presses come in two main model types, which are the following:
- Benchtop Drill Press: This is ideal when you have a smaller workshop and you need to save on space. Furthermore, it is a good choice when you are dealing with small- to medium-sized projects.
- Floor Drill Press: This one’s best for larger projects and if you have space on your side.
- Depth Stop
This feature ensures that you are able to make holes at a consistent depth. It is also useful when you are working on a project that requires you to make multiple holes.
For instance, you may need to drill two 1½-inch holes. With a depth stop, all you need to do is to set the required depth and start drilling.
As mentioned above, different drill presses have different horsepowers. Horsepower is an important factor when working with tougher materials, such as steel or iron.
With more horsepower however, you can comfortably drill through such tough materials.
- Drilling Table
You need a flexible drilling table with your drill press. It should be simple to rotate a whole 360 degrees, and its height should also be easily adjustable. Height adjustability is especially important if you are tall. It prevents you from having to bend too much and causing strain on your back.
Furthermore, the drill press needs to come with a drilling table that is high quality, sturdy. and durable.
The main force acting on a drill press is centrifugal. This is the force that causes the drill to rotate. One of the main downsides of the centrifugal force is that it causes a lot of vibrations. And, the higher the speeds, the more the vibration.
This is where the weight comes in. You want to go for a heavy drill press. A lighter drill press is more likely to move than a heavier drill press. A heavy drill press absorbs all the vibrations, resulting in smoother function.
You need to consider the type of projects you will use the drill press for as this will guide you on the type of accessories that should come with your drill press. For instance, a clamp will help hold the material as you drill through it.
You might also need planner heads to help you square off the edges of the material that you are working with. Moreover, you can make tenon joints and mortise joints with mortising attachments.
- Speed Adjustability
A higher quality drill press features speed adjustability. This is something to consider when you plan on working with different types of materials.
It is advisable to go for a drill press that is between 500RPM and 4000RPMs. This allows you to adjust the speed depending on the material that you are working on. For wood projects, you will need faster speeds, but for metal projects, you will need slower speeds.
A complex design makes it harder to self-service your drill press. The best drill press should be easy to maintain.
Having said that, it’s of the essence to check the availability of service parts. This is because some manufacturers will not sell service parts, and will prefer that a company employee does the maintenance and service for you. The downside of this is that you end up spending more money.
Always go for a drill press that not only helps you perform your tasks, but is also easy to maintain. The easier it is to care for the drill press, the more durable it becomes. What’s more, you can save a lot of money and time that you would have otherwise spent on company maintenance.
The size of the drill press is also of paramount importance. After all, to make an eight-inch hole, you are going to need a 16-inch drill press.
In order to pick the right size of drill press, consider the type of projects that you will be working on. For instance, while you may buy your coffee table, you can also decide to build your own. Larger projects will require a larger drill press, and vice versa.
Above all else, a drill press should make your work easier, and this should be the primary consideration you have to make when shopping for one. Start off by knowing and understanding the types of projects that you need to work on, then you may proceed to choosing a drill press that could help you perform your tasks efficiently.