Known for its efficiency and accuracy, the drill press is a pretty useful tool for any woodworker. This is because a drill press simplifies your work and offers you better control. Every woodworker’s best friend, this machine is an important part of every toolbox. But this doesn’t mean you buy any drill press available in the market. We’ve got you covered; this guide discusses the many factors that you need to keep in mind before you purchase a drill press. Check them out-
What type of drill press do you want?
There are two main types of drill presses-
- The bench type drill press
- The floor type drill press
Both have their own benefits and uses, it depends on your requirement. The points below will help you get a better picture. The bench type drill press is fixed on a bench and is useful for drilling small holes, and while these machines are not as powerful they are portable and easy to manage in terms of storage. The floor type, on the other hand, is designed for heavy and complicated drilling. It stands on the floor and can drill deeper and larger holes.
The size and construction
A drill press can be divided into four main parts namely
- The base
- And head
The table is the workstation and the head has the main drill, while the base and column support the entire machine. Ensure that the table and base are firmly fixed and have slots and clamps for better safety. The column length determines the type of drill press. Go for a solid and durable drill press that offers flexibility and convenience.
Check the power
Most drill press machines have motors that run on electricity, and the power levels are calculated in terms of horsepower. It is obvious that you’d want a drill press that is powerful enough to ensure faster and easier drilling. Go for a drill that has high power ratings; a powerful motor ensures durability and toughness of the drill machine. A powerful motor makes your job very easy as it can drill large chunks of wood and metal very easily.
Consider the speed
Not every hole can be drilled with the same speed and power; you need to adjust it accordingly. This means buying a high speed drill hole is not enough, it should be flexible enough to customise to your needs. The spin rate of the drill is an important factor and it is measured in revolutions per minute or rpm. You can choose from among the 16 different rpm levelling frim 250rpm to 3000rpm available in the market.
The drill press must wide enough to hold the plank of wood that you want to drill holes into. The area between the drill bit attached to the spindle and the drill press post that holds the head determines the throat depth. The machine with a wider throat depth determines the maximum size of the wood. Therefore the more the throat depth the larger chunk of wood can be used.
Check the angle and inclination
Most drill presses come with a table that can be adjusted at a particular angle or inclination. And woodwork requires drilling holes on curved surfaces as well. A table that is flexible enough to tilt at a greater angle is always preferable. Also check if the clamps on either side of the table are tight and can hold the wooden board firmly to prevent accidents
A drill press can serve many other purposes other than drilling holes. You can use it as a sander, a mortise machine etc. by attaching it to other tools. You’ll find a wide range of spare drill bits and parts that come in a number of shapes and sizes and can be fitted to other machines.
Some other points to consider
Ensure that your drill machine has these following points covered as well-
- Solid framework with top quality parts and clamps
- The base must be absolutely flat to ensure better accuracy
- An iron made head is always preferable as it supports and shields the drill bit
- The chuck attached to the drill press must be properly tightened by a key
- It must have a stopper to prevent you from drilling too deep.