drill press wood

What is a drill press used for in woodworking?

A drill press is a tabletop or stationary power instrument that is used to make accurate holes in wood or metal. Drill presses are powered machines that drill holes in wood, metal, or plastic. In this article, we will discuss what is a drill press used for woodworking in detail.

Drill presses, like portable drills, use a variety of bits to create holes of varying sizes. Drill presses, on the other hand, are stationary or bench-top devices, unlike portable drills. A drill press is probably not for you if you simply require a drilling instrument for basic home repairs and the odd woodworking project.

drill press

What is the use of a drill press in woodworking?

Before using a drill press for woodworking, you have to know how it works. A full-sized stationary drill press is large, costly, and takes up a lot of space in your workspace. The drill press, on the other hand, makes up for its lack of mobility with power and precision. Drill presses, unlike handheld drills, which rely on the operator’s arm strength and stability to drill an exact, clean hole, are precise by design.

The descent of a spinning device known as the spindle (the bit is kept in a chuck on the end of this spindle), which can only travel vertically, is controlled by a rotating handle. This makes drilling exact holes a lot simpler. A depth stop is included on all models to ensure constant hole depth.

drill press handle

Drill press basics

You may use a hand-operated power drill or a cordless drill when your woodworking designs ask for holes to be drilled in pieces of stock. However, a drill press should be considered if accuracy is a concern or you have large-diameter holes to drill. The drill press has a far more powerful engine than a hand-held drill, and the quill and chuck are kept in line with the drill press table’s adjustable height, guaranteeing that your holes are drilled vertically.

Cutting mortise

A mortise is a square or rectangular hole that fits a tenon cut from an adjacent piece of wood of the same size. Mortises have been carved with a chisel by hand for generations. A mortiser is the particular machine that is used to carve mortises, and it was invented by modern inventiveness. A mortiser is a tool that consists of a square chisel with a drill bit inside that simultaneously drills the hole and cuts the mortise’s square edges. If you don’t have a mortiser, you may level off the mortise’s edges using a sharp chisel after cutting out the remainder of the stock with your drill press.


Mortising attachment using a drill press

If your woodworking project needs one or two mortise and tenon joints, mortises may easily be made with a power drill and a sharp chisel. If the project necessitates a large number of mortise and tenon joints, a specialized hollow-chisel mortiser, which can produce a large number of clean mortises fast, maybe the best option.

There is another alternative if there isn’t enough space (or money) for another power tool, as long as there is a drill press. A hollow-chisel mortising accessory is available from several floor-standing drill press manufacturers. Hollow-chisel mortising bits in diameters ranging from 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch in width may be used with this drill press accessory.

Spindles to sand

When a task requires a series of curved cuts from a jigsaw or band saw that must be sanded, an oscillating spindle sander provides the quickest and best results. However, if a spindle sander isn’t easily available, a drill press can be used instead.

The work will be completed in no time if a barrel sander attachment that fits into the drill press’s chuck is available. Different modifications to the spindle sanding rates may also be done with the varied speeds of a drill press to fit practically any type of material.

drill press sander


Simple doweling has been used by woodworkers to improve their joints for generations. It works on the following principle: tiny, round, accurately cut pieces of wood called dowels are put into exactly matched holes in matching boards, resulting in a strong, durable carpentry bond when glued in place.

Of course, accurately drilling the holes for the dowels in the neighbouring boards is the most critical responsibility in producing dowel connections. The dowels won’t line properly and the joint won’t hold if the holes aren’t drilled precisely in the right areas. For this task, a drill press is excellent.

Custom jigs for a drill press

Sometimes it can be difficult to prop your wooden creations at the right angle for the perfect drill hole. I’ve struggled when trying to drill pilot holes for my splayed legs desks. That’s where a custom jig can help out. If you have access to a 3D printer or a local 3D printing service you can print a jig for specific angles. If you’re making a lot of the same pieces an angled jig with clamp reassess will be ideal for this job.

You could even 3d print a drill press shield to catch and extract all the shavings and dust from your drilling. These can be easily created and can help you keep your workplace clean and tidy.

drill press shield etsy

Some other uses of a drill press

Do you want to make a coat rack? To bore precise holes for hanging pegs in the backboard, you’ll need a drill press. Do you want to manufacture your wooden toys? In a drill press, the twist bits, spade bits, and hole saws utilized for this job perform significantly better and more correctly. A sanding mop rotating in a drill press performs an excellent job of sanding the edges of those curved wooden toy components.

drill press plastic

Do you need to conceal some screws beneath wooden plugs? The only instrument capable of spinning a specific bit that cuts tapered plugs from any type of wood is a drill press. Do you need to clean metal parts using a wire wheel? Are you constructing a stair railing? Do you want to bore huge holes in your wood for dowel joints? A drill press can help with all of these duties and more. It’s one of those tools that you’ll utilize far more than you expected.


The drill press is must-have equipment in your toolbox. The background, components, and varieties of drill presses have all been thoroughly investigated in this article. This article not only provides what is a drill press used for in woodworking, but it also assists you with the best drill press for your needs. Drill presses are popular among both professional and untrained users because of their versatility.

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