Choosing a Drill Press for Your Home Garage

In choosing a drill press for your home garage, a floor model will offer much more versatility than a table or bench top model. To begin with, a floor model will deliver greater power and provide many more choices for attachments. A bench top drill press will be more compact, but will not be able to handle nearly as much material or do the work of a floor model drill press. With the correct attachments, a floor model drill press can act as a high speed sander, bore multiple sized mortises and pocket holes, and do it all at almost any angle, quickly, accurately and easily.

Major Features

  • One of the major features to think about when looking for a drill press is the maximum horsepower it can deliver. Decide what it will be primarily used for, and then consider horsepower. If you need to bore large holes, more horsepower will be required. A drill press can have a range of from 1/4 to a full 1 horsepower motor.
  • The size of a drill press is measured from the center of the bore (where the drill is attached) to the column which houses the drilling motor. This distance is measured in inches times two. For example, a 14 inch drill press can drill a hole 7 inches from the edge of a board placed across the drill press table.
  • Variable speed is also a very important feature of a drill press, as different materials and operations require different drill speeds. For example, when drilling holes with a plug attachment, the drill speed will have to be adjusted so as not to burn the wood or overheat the plug attachment. For hardwoods, drill speeds have to be adjusted to insure clean cuts without burning the wood. Speeds are easily adjusted by allowing the belt to be moved to a different set of pulleys inside the motor housing.
  • A floor model drill press has the advantage of a movable table, which can be raised or lowered through a hand crank, up or down the entire center column. It also has the flexibility of rotating 360 degrees if necessary. The movable table can be tilted several degrees for side boring into unusual applications.

Featured Accessories

When choosing a drill press for a home garage, be sure to consider which attachments and accessories come with it, and which will have an extra cost. A higher priced drill press will include many of these accessories.

  • A drill fence is an added accessory that, although not often required, is a great addition for aligning wood when needed. Fences also insure extremely accurate bit positioning, especially for repeat operations where all holes must be precisely positioned.
  • Mortising attachments, also maybe not a prime consideration initially, will allow mortise and tendon operations to be made quickly and easily should the need for this joining procedure ever be required.
  • Attaching several sized sanding drums to a high speed drill press will make accurate sanding easy. These sanding drums make short work of producing finely rounded, ornamental shapes and circles.