The Pros and Cons of the Drill Press
In this article are some of the key reasons why you would want to consider choosing a drill press over a standard handheld drill.
Drill presses are specially designed to handle a wide range of different tasks. But as useful as it may be, considering the example tasks outlined above, one may be left wondering:
Can't I as well just tackle all those tasks with a powerful enough handheld drill?
While the answer to this is obviously yes, you might want to read on to discover why a handheld drill might not be your best option.
The following are some of the key reasons why you would want to consider choosing a drill press over a standard handheld drill:
Advantages of a Drill Press
- Drill presses are more precise.
Drilling holes to the exact depth, width, and angle required is much easier with a drill press thanks to useful features like bevelling and height-adjustable tables as well as variable depth-stops and that come with most modern drill presses. It is even possible to purchase a variable speed drill press.
- Drill presses can be faster and more efficient
The ability to pre-set elements such as the drill press table's angle or depth-stop allows you to work more quickly while at the same time minimizing the chances of making errors. Handheld drills just can't match up in these aspects.
- Drill presses are more powerful.
Drill presses generally come with more
powerful motors. And while these motors might be
heavier, weight isn't much of an issue thanks to
their mounted design, for instance, on a stand
The benefits of having powerful motors become more apparent when utilizing bigger bits to drill wider diameter holes and when drilling much tougher materials.
- Drill presses are much safer
Given the sturdy frame and fixed nature of a
drill press, you have much greater control of
the machine compared to a handheld drill.
With a drill press, you significantly reduce your risk of injury when drilling tougher materials since the tool's sturdy structure takes up all the strain instead of your wrist, as is the case with a handheld drill.
Everything seems great so far, but just like all things, the drill press isn't perfect.
Thus, before you spend your hard-earned cash, here are some downsides that you might want to consider before disposing of your handy handheld drill.
Disadvantages of a Drill Press
- Less portability
Drill presses are understandably less
portable than handheld drills due to their
weight and size.
While you might go for a smaller model to mitigate this, you will end up compromising on the size of materials that you can practically work with.
- Drilling angled holes can be more time-intensive
Even though you could opt for a model with a
tilting table or radial head, it is hard to
overlook the fact it takes significantly more
time and effort to set up a drill press to
accommodate an angled hole than it is with a
If you plan on frequently drilling angled holes, a drill press may not be worth the hassle unless precision is absolutely required.
- Drill presses have a limited drilling capacity
Ideally, you can work on materials of any
size with a standard drill.
However, this isn't possible with a drill press given constraints like the distance between the table and the chuck and factors such as the stroke distance and the swing distance of the model you are using that can restrict the capacity.
While you may choose a bigger version, such as the floor-mounted model, the fact still remains, you will still be more limited in terms of capacity than a standard drill.