Tips For Using A Drill Press

By Robert Robillard on Workshop tips

Delta Drill Press

Using A Drill Press

Tips for using a drill press include matching the speed of the drill to the bit being used and matching the drill bit to the material being drilled.

  • Drill press speed depend on lots of things:
  • the type of material being drilled and its hardness
  • the hole size
  • the type
  • hardness of the drill bit
  • its sharpness
  • whether or not a cutting or cooling fluid is used
  • the rigidity of the drill and clamp

Tips For Using A Drill Press:

1. Use oil when drilling metal to help cool the bit and lubricate.
2. Clamp the piece securely down.
3. Change speeds for different drill bits and drill to the right depth.

Tips For Using A Drill Press

Guide for drill press speeds:

  • Wood: 3000 for thinner bits and down to 750 for larger bits
  • Steel: spindle speed between 700-1000 rpms.
  • Aluminum: above 2000 rpms.

Below is a picture of my drill press. The speeds are changed by moving the belt on the pulleys. A chart affixed to the drill motor indicates the speeds of each pulley.

Delta 18-900L drill press review

See WOOD magazines drill speed chart.

Bottom line: “Going slower usually doesn’t hurt, and will prolong tool life. “

See Smoke? Slow down

If the chips are smoking, turning brown, or the outer edge of the drill bit is chipping, go slower or add some cutting oil / coolant.

In general, a slower-than-recommended spindle speed won’t hurt anything except in the case of extremely small drill bits, say smaller than 1/16″. With small bits, it’s hard to feel resistance from the metal, and therefore, very easy to push down faster than they can remove metal.


If you enjoyed this post, please consider commenting or subscribing to receive my future posts via email

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

All posts by Robert »

Not what you're looking for?

Search for more articles here. Enter keywords like roof leak, bookcase, deck, etc to find your topic.

© Copyright 2019 A Concord Carpenter · All Rights Reserved