Also known as a drilling machine, the drill press is a device used to bore holes in a range of hard materials. It’s usually fitted with an attachment widely regarded as the drill bit or driver bit. A chuck holds the attachment to one end of the drill bit in place. The attachment is then rotated while the drill bit is pressed against the material—which is usually wood or metal.


The drill bit is a staple in a range of operations that include drilling, reaming, boring, counterboring, countersinking and tapping applications. It has also been used in space missions as well as medicine, granted with specially designed drills attached.


A common question for most users is how to slow down a drill press. Speed is typically referred to as revolutions per minute or RPM of the spindle. For drilling, you can usually set the speed right when you pick out meant to be drilled. Certain materials respond best to specific specific speeds, though. So when you figure out the cutting speed of a material, it’s a simple enough matter to follow a formula that can be used to determine the recommended RPM of the drill. In most cases, recommended speeds can also be adjusted lower or higher, so long as conditions allow for it. Metalwork required the slowest of speeds, and some drills can’t go slow enough. There are companies that offer kits to slow down drill presses below their original operation range for these applications.

Safety Precautions

Like any other machine in your tool shed, drill machines are dangerous, maybe even more than most. It’s important that you follow safety precautions whenever you have to use this device. That will ensure that not only will you be safe, you’ll be able to finish the work faster and save on material costs. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Never support the workplaces with your hand. Instead, get a holding device to keep it in place.

    • Never adjust the speed or material being drilled while the machine is still operating (unless you have a continuously variable speed machine with a crank that is meant to be adjusted while running). Turn it off if you need to adjust something.


    • Never clear the debris from the chips with your hands. These are sharp and would likely cause wounds. Use a brush instead.


    • Keep loose clothing a good distance away from the machines. If these get caught in the drill bits while the machine is operating, it could likely end up in an accident or worse.


    • Always check the attachment tool to make sure it’s running straight. Do that before every operation.


  • A drill press is an incredibly handy tool to have. Learn how to use it safely to keep accidents from happening.