The drill press is a very accurate power tool for drilling when woodworking or metalworking, it is commonly found in manufacturing factories and woodworking and metal fabrication workshops.
Also referred to as the pillar drill by many.
It is also used by a large number of people who like to work with metal and wood on their home and engineering projects also have them in their home workshops.
The drill press comes in 3 main designs
1, benchtop drill press
This is the most common of the 3 types of designs because it can be mounted on any workbench or even solid table easily with just a few screws or bolts to secure it to the surface, there is a great artcile on Tool Inspector best drill press reviews that goes into more detail and is very good to use as a buyers guide if you are looking to get one for your drilling tasks.
This is the design with the most selection to choose from when you are looking to buy a pillar drill with many manufacturers selling them.
2, Freestanding drill press
This is the most expensive of the 3 designs because it comes as an all in one unit with a frame and freestanding design.
This is the type that you will find in many professional woodworking and metal fabrication workshops, this model comes in all grades from hobby use to industrial use.
3, Portable drill press
The portable model is built for convenience so it can be taken out on jobs no matter where they may be, this is very handy for contractors who have to go out on-site or to people’s homes to carry out building and renovation work.
It comes with clamps to fix it to a solid work surface so you still need a good quality table or a workbench to operate it. This model also comes at a slightly higher price than a standard model.
The 5 main advantages of installing a drill press in a home workshop or garage
1, Accuracy: You just can’t beat the accuracy of a pillar, sure a standard type drill can be accurate but it relies on the user, the environment you are working in and a tiny bit of luck to be accurate whereas the drill press relies only on the user set it up right and once that is done correctly your drill holes will be bang on the money time after time.
The machine operator can also line up the drill bit with the mark on the workpiece and be sure it won’t move at all.
2, Repetitive drilling: If you are working on a project that requires you to drill repeated holes at the same depth then the pillar drill can be set to a fixed depth making it a doddle to keep your holes uniform and exactly the same.
This really saves a lot of time and takes some of the work off your hands when you have this type of work.
3, Power: If you are working with tough materials like thick metal or hardwood then you can find it a struggle to get through with a standard power drill.
With the pillar drill, you can use the spindle to lower the drill bit at a healthy rate where you are letting the drill bit do the work, many times with a normal drill you will see users pushing their full weight onto the drill to try to force it to get through tough materials quicker but this doesn’t help and only damages the drill and makes the drill bit dull and ineffective.
Another added advantage is you can add cutting oils easily whilst operating it and that can make all the difference when you are up against thick or hard materials.
4, Comfort whilst working: The stress on the body is reduced because it is set at a good height for the user to work at. This is a big advantage if you are constantly drilling or if you have any problems with your health that limit you. The most common injury is back problems and this will help reduce the stress on your body whilst working.
Drill presses very rarely have the problem off the drill bit locking in the hole whilst drilling.
5, Improved work rate: Making it easier to drill holes in large numbers it also increases the amount of drilling work you can get done which in a professional setting means it will pay for itself many times over in saved work hours. This is obviously good news for the hobby user as it will also save them a good amount of time.
Drill v drill press
Both tools have their own advantages and cannot really be compared on many levels because they really have their own jobs to do.
The pillar drill is better for repetitive drilling and to improve your working conditions and the standard power drill is
much better in limited spaces or mobile work.
Drill press safety
Always take your safety seriously when working with a pillar drill because they are powerful machines that are unforgiving on fingers and body parts when there is an accident.
Always wear a dust mask as the small metal and wood particles are thrown into the air are very bad for your health and your lungs in particular.
Same for goggles, always protect your eyes because one particle projected into your eye can ruin your eyesight.
Always use the safety guard that comes with the machine this is another layer of safety for you the user so take advantage and use it.
Always make sure there is a safety cut off button within reach so if you ever get tangled you can quickly reach out and shut it off.
It is certainly going to be a good addition to your home or garage workshop. You don’t need to spend a small fortune as you can get them in all budgets to suit your needs, from as low as $100 for a hobby-grade model but expect to pay more for a freestanding or commercial grade machine.