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Facts About the Drill Press

Eric Tilden
Table of Contents

The drill press is a machine that raises and lowers a spinning drill bit toward a table. This tool’s purpose is to lessen the manual energy needed to drill holes through objects by removing the need for the operator to hold the device.

It uses an on/off button to turn the motor on and off versus a trigger system, like that in the hand-held drill.


A drill press is a stationary machine with a drill mounted vertically that automatically or manually lowers to drill holes in an object.


Drill presses have common parts that set them apart from hand-held drills. They have a base that sits on the floor and attaches to a column, a large-piece work surface for large pieces and a worktable, which locks to the column that supports the drill. They may have a feed handle, which lowers the drill onto the drilling surface, and two buttons, on and off, versus the trigger-like on switch of hand-held drills.


Using a drill press versus a hand-held drill allows a larger degree of accuracy for drilling precisely placed holes and for drilling repetitive, identical holes. It also requires less manual energy to operate than hand-held drills.


A drill press works by using a motor to turn a belt, which turns the drill bit at a high rate of speed. This drill bit, when lowered into a piece of metal or wood, scrapes away the material until there is no more material to scrape away. The size of the hole depends on the size of the drill bit.

Changing Drill Bits

A cylinder called a spindle secures another cylinder called a chuck, which holds the drill bit in place while it spins at a high rate of speed. This chuck tightens to the drill bit using a screwdriver like tool that opens and closes the chuck.