What Can You Do with a Drill Press?


Your drill press most likely was purchased with a purpose in mind. Or maybe you’re considering a drill press but you want to make sure that it’s going to be worth the money and you will actually get some use out of it.

We get it.

The drill press was designed for a purpose but it can be versatile and might be useful for a lot of different things. The drill press design was meant for boring holes into materials like wood or metal. It’s almost like a drill but it’s a standing unit that can make different holes and it can make a lot of them quickly.

benefits of a radial drill press
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Of course, there are other things you can do besides just make holes. You can also countersink, counter bore, and more.

In this guide, we are going to share with you several things you can do with your drill press. It’s a really handy tool!

A Brief Drill Press Explanation

Let’s talk really quickly about how a drill press works. If you know how to make the most of your drill press, you will find it can do a lot for you.

A drill press is a large standing machine designed to drill or bore. It’s basically an oversized drill that works automatically for you rather than you having to individually use the drill and bit. You can use a drill press to get clean and accurate drilling handled and to do it quickly.

These tools are powerful and effective but they also take up quite a bit of space in a shop.

There are different types of drill presses out there. On the same note, there are also different sizes and different power options. All drill presses are made with similar functions and design but they also have unique characteristics.

Related: What is a Radial Drill Press?

Awesome Ways to Use Your Drill Press

Now, let’s get down to business and talk about some really awesome options for using your drill press. Some of these will seem obvious to you if you are at all familiar with a drill press but some of them might just be a surprise.

While a drill press was made to replicate a drill but in a much larger fashion, it really can do a lot when you know how to make it work for you.

1.   Not So Boring Speeds

Boring, or drilling holes, is perhaps one of the most common uses for a drill press. The drill press can really be helpful here when you are drilling multiple holes or when you are working with a material that is hard to get through.

The drill press can handle these boring needs with ease (no pun intended).

You can use your drill press for soft woods, hard woods, metal, and more. That’s one of the best things about this tool. It can do so much and it has the speed and power to do it quickly, even on the most challenging projects.

We Think You’ll Like: Best Drill Press for Metal in 2022 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

You will need to get your machine set and prepared for the boring that you need to do. This includes determining the best speed, getting the size set up, and then positioning the drill piece and moving from one to the next quickly.

Once you get down making adjustments and setting your sizes, speeds, and positioning, you will find that the drill press handles these with all of the ease you could possibly need.

2.   Countersinking

Countersinking is another common use for a drill press and some people actually purchase a drill press just for this use.

Countersinking is very basic and so easy to do. This process is used mostly for removing burrs and even smoothing out burred areas. There are several different steps to a countersinking process mostly because you are removing burrs but then also smoothing and drilling as well.

You start with your cone-shaped bit to “clean it out” and get it started but then you might gradually increase until you reach the desired size and outcome.

Countersinking allows you to get the best fit or enlarge and clear out a space to enable more space and insert your bolt or screw to be flush with the piece it accommodates.

3.   Counter boring

Counter boring is yet another popular use for the drill press. Counter boring is similar to countersinking but the general point is that the hole is already there and you just need to make it larger.

You’re not starting from the beginning or working with just a burr and then creating your own hole.

You’re taking an existing hole and making it into a hole that measures to the size that you want or need it to be.

With counter boring, the hole can be enlarged either vertically or horizontally, and sometimes both.

This is a great way to practice your skills and also improve them so professionals use this technique often.

4.   Reaming

You can use a drill press for reaming purposes. Reaming on the drill press brings you speed and accuracy, which makes it a desirable tool for this use. The thing with reaming is that the drill press allows you to have accuracy and move quickly.

So you can hit one hole or one item after the next and just keep going and going and going.

While this is precise and fast, it still might take you a little bit of time to get the speed down. You will need to give yourself time to adjust to getting the angle right on each hole but once you get your motions down, you won’t have any problems with it and you will move quickly!

5.   Screw In, Screw Out

That’s right, you can use your drill press for screwing and unscrewing. It works really great on bolts and things that are hard to screw or unscrew as well.

You just need a point that works with whatever you are unscrewing or screwing and you need to use a slower speed so you don’t strip anything or damage your materials either.

You can use a drill for this too but the drill press just does it quickly and effectively, especially if you’re working with a large bit or a material that is more challenging to deal with.

6.   Sanding

Did you know that you can even use your drill press for sanding?

This will require a sandpaper attachment but you better believe sanding using the drill press is an absolute dream! It’s quick and it’s so easy. It works best for smaller sanding pieces as you won’t have a lot of room to maneuver.

You can make your own sanding attachment or you might even be able to purchase a sanding attachment. The drill press is very effective for this use.

We Think You’ll Like: Best Drill Press in 2022 – Reviews & Buyers Guide


If you’re wondering whether or not a drill press is really worth it, the answers are right here. These are just 6 of the best ways that you can put your drill press to use but this certainly is not an all-inclusive list. There are several other things that you might be able to do on a drill press as well.

You can find all sorts of creative uses for a drill press, and that’s going above and beyond the typical things that a drill press might be used for.

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