3 Important Things to Consider When Looking For a Drill Press

This article will help you be aware of some important issues before you spend that money. The first two points are concerned with choosing the main specs of the drill presses. The last point is to guide you through some of the smaller features you should look for in your purchase.

know about drilling process

1. Job Material Vs. Motor

The first thing you need to know is the amount of horsepower (hp) that you need. One hp is overkill for most beginners and amateurs. If you are looking at remodeling furniture and mainly working with wood, 1/3 hp will work just fine. If you are looking to work with heavier materials like steel but medium-sized workpieces, 2/3 hp will be more than enough.

However, if you are consistently going to be drilling 2″ holes in thick steel pieces, then maybe one hp will not be a bad investment.

The size of your workpieces is also an important point to consider. Suppose you are looking to work with furniture, cabinetry, treehouses, and similar jobs. In that case, honestly, you might even be okay with a minimal 3.5″ travel. But still, I would recommend getting at least 5.5″ travel to remain flexible.

Speaking from personal experience, if you are working on unique prototypes of any kind or love to experiment, don’t go below 5.5″ travel.

2. Work Frequency Vs. Motor

The other important consideration is the amount of work and daily use you expect from the drill press. The power of the motor is also a good indicator of its longevity. If you are looking to work on one or two small projects, a $75 small drill press with 1/3 hp is fine.

Maybe you are looking to buy a drill press that is going to get a lot of use. Maybe you want to train youngsters on it, or you expect to use it in a busy workshop indefinitely, that motor will not last long enough. It is all about the number of hours of work you expect in the day. In this situation, even if you will be specifically working with wood, go for a higher horsepower like 2/3 hp.

3. Quality of Life Features

Quality of life features go beyond the main specifications of specs. What quality of life features might you want? Let me explain.

Dealing with Play

Drill presses develop play and wobble after some use. Once the play gets too much, you will have to manage it. Older drill presses usually have split quill castings. They allow you to manage any play easily and in a few minutes. You will be able to control any wobble without too much hassle. Try to find a split quill casting for your specs, but it won’t be easy, so you might have to compromise on this one.

Depth Stop

Depth stop mechanisms are good for training purposes and also unique and complex workpieces. If you are looking at working with simple workpieces, then it is not necessary, and you can pass it. But if you imagine a scenario where you will be making many shallow holes, make sure you have a good depth stop mechanism. Otherwise, you will have to make a depth stop yourself.

Variable Speed

Most drill presses you will find will have variable speed settings. The question is, how often will you need to change speeds? If you are working in a professional setting where time is really important and the jobs are unique, you want a drill press. This continuously variable speed system uses buttons or wheels to control it.

For most beginners, you will only work with similar-sized and similar material workpieces and drill sizes. Most amateurs don’t have to change speed settings for weeks or months on end. If you identify with that, don’t splurge on continuous variable speed and automatic control.

Pulley Material

Beginner drill presses often save costs by installing aluminum pulleys for the speed system. Don’t do that. Spend $10 more and get a drill press with steel pulleys. For minimal use, aluminum pulleys might work for you, but if the drill press has used aluminum pulleys to cut costs, who knows what other expense they skimped out on.

Sound Reducer

To know a good drill press, look for ways to reduce the machine’s noise and vibration. Open the top box with the pulleys and inspect if there are rubber pieces installed. If you don’t see those rubbers, you should know the manufacturers did not pay attention to reducing noise.

If you are working in your home, you need to look into how the manufacturer minimized the machine’s noise and buy the drill press that cares about that.

important steps for drilling

Final Thoughts

Most likely, no store-bought drill press is going to be perfect for you. Everyone has their preferences, styles, and needs. Buy the drill press that gets you the closest to your goals, and then create modifications to make your drill press the perfect machine.

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IRONANT Step Drill Bits, 5PCS HSS Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, 50 Sizes High Speed Steel Step Bits for Metal with Aluminum Case


IRONANT Step Drill Bits, 5PCS HSS Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, 50 Sizes High Speed Steel Step Bits for Metal with Aluminum Case

$21.99 @ Amazon.com

Product Description

HSS Titanium Coating: The step drill has excellent sharpness and durability due to its high speed steel material and titanium coating

118° Split Point Tip & Dual-flute Design: increases cutting speed with self-centering and prevents walking, clears chips faster and allows particles to escape easily

50 Sizes in 5 Pcs: The step drill bit kit includes 5 standard pieces with totally 50 sizes for versatility, enough for your DIY needs

Widely Application: Ideal for drilling holes in plastic, aluminum, iron and many other types of sheet metal (Not recommended for stainless steel & wood)

Equipped with a well-organized case, make it more convenient for using and storing the step drills

Product Details
Brand: IRONANT
Model #: IRT5
Size: 5 PC Set
Price: $21.99
IRONANT Step Drill Bits, 5PCS HSS Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, 50 Sizes High Speed Steel Step Bits for Metal with Aluminum Case

ZELCAN Step Drill Bit Set, 5PCS Four Spiral Flute Step Bits for Metal, 50 Sizes Titanium-Coated HSS Drill Bits with 1/4" Hex Shank for Stainless Steel Aluminum Wood Plastic


ZELCAN Step Drill Bit Set, 5PCS Four Spiral Flute Step Bits for Metal, 50 Sizes Titanium-Coated HSS Drill Bits with 1/4" Hex Shank for Stainless Steel Aluminum Wood Plastic

$45.99 ($9.20 / Count) @ Amazon.com (Save 23%)

Product Description

Handle Drilling Tasks with Ease: With four sharp cutting blades, ZELCAN's step drill bit set ensures swift, smooth drilling, effortlessly cutting through steel, aluminum, copper, and other tough materials like a hot knife through butter!

Titanium-Coated HSS Build: Crafted from robust high-speed steel with a titanium coating, our drill bits ensure superior hardness for faster cutting through harder materials while withstanding high temperatures and cutting forces, ensuring lasting performance.

50 Sizes Comprehensive Drill Bit Set: Our 5-piece step bit set caters to diverse drilling needs, with diameters ranging from 3/16" to 1/2" (6 steps), 1/8" to 1/2" (13 steps), 1/4" to 3/4" (9 steps), 3/16" to 7/8" (12 steps), and 1/4" to 1-3/8" (10 steps).

Quick Release & Tapered Edge Design: The 1/4" hex shank and quick-release slot ensure secure connections and easy changes. The four-spiral flute design effectively evacuates chips from the hole, reducing the likelihood of clogging and improving drilling efficiency.

Easy Organization & Identification: Our step drill bits for metal come with a handy storage case, ensuring effortless organization and portability for all your drilling tasks. Clear size markings on each bit allow for quick identification.

Product Details
Brand: ZELCAN
Dimensions: 4.92 X 1.97 X 6.3 inches (Length X Width X Height)
Price: $45.99 ($9.20 / Count) (Save 23%)
ZELCAN Step Drill Bit Set, 5PCS Four Spiral Flute Step Bits for Metal, 50 Sizes Titanium-Coated HSS Drill Bits with 1/4" Hex Shank for Stainless Steel Aluminum Wood Plastic

THINKWORK Four Spiral Flute Step Drill Bit Set, 5 Pcs HSS Step Drill Bits (1/8"-1-3/8") Unibit Step Drill Bit, 1/4" and 3/8" Shank Step Bits for Aluminum, Wood, Plastic, Metal


THINKWORK Four Spiral Flute Step Drill Bit Set, 5 Pcs HSS Step Drill Bits (1/8"-1-3/8") Unibit Step Drill Bit, 1/4" and 3/8" Shank Step Bits for Aluminum, Wood, Plastic, Metal

$35.98 @ Amazon.com

Product Description

ENHANCED DURABILITY: Our industrial-grade step drill set is meticulously crafted from high-quality alloy steel and undergoes multiple manufacturing processes. Each drill bit is carefully inspected at the factory to ensure superior quality and longevity.

IMPROVED STABILITY: Unlike ordinary step drills that often suffer from deflection during cutting, our four-flute step drill bit provides exceptional stability. This feature enhances accuracy and cutting speed, making it perfect for stainless steel drilling. In fact, it offers a significantly longer service life compared to regular step drills.

5PCS NITRIDING STEP BIT KIT: Our 5-piece nitriding step bits set includes a range of sizes to cater to various drilling needs. The set comprises step bits with diameters of 3/16"-1/2" (6 steps), 1/8"-1/2" (13 steps), 1/4"-3/4" (9 steps), 3/16"-7/8" (12 steps), and 3/16"-1-3/8" (19 steps). All these bits come in a sturdy blow molded case for easy storage and transport.

VERSATILE DRILLING CAPABILITY: With its powerful drilling capability, our step drill is suitable for piercing holes in various materials, including thin metal, copper, aluminum, iron, carbon steel, wood, and plastic. It's an essential addition to any DIY enthusiast's toolbox and can be utilized for a wide range of household projects.

USER-FRIENDLY DESIGN: Our step drill bits feature laser-engraved step sizes, ensuring clear visibility and eliminating concerns about wear and tear during use. This design element enhances convenience and accuracy, making the drilling process easier and more efficient.

DEDICATED CUSTOMER SERVICE: While our products undergo stringent quality inspections, unforeseen issues caused by accidental factors may occur. In such cases, we are committed to providing professional customer service. If you encounter any quality problems, please contact us via Amazon, and we will promptly replace the defective item with a new one.

Product Details
Brand: THINKWORK
Size: 5 Piece
Dimensions: 6 X 1.5 X 4 inches (Length X Width X Height)
Price: $35.98
THINKWORK Four Spiral Flute Step Drill Bit Set, 5 Pcs HSS Step Drill Bits (1/8"-1-3/8") Unibit Step Drill Bit, 1/4" and 3/8" Shank Step Bits for Aluminum, Wood, Plastic, Metal

Irwin Tools IRWIN Step Drill Bit, 1/8-Inch to 1/2-Inch Step, 1/4-Inch Shank (10231) Silver|Silver metallic


Irwin Tools IRWIN Step Drill Bit, 1/8-Inch to 1/2-Inch Step, 1/4-Inch Shank (10231) Silver|Silver metallic

$18.11 @ Amazon.com (Save 47%)

Product Description

Save time because you don't need to change drills for different-sized round holes in thin materials. Each drill acts as a pilot for the next size.

Patented single-flute cutting edge gives greater control through steps and a true round hole every time.

Ideal for drilling holes into thin materials such as stainless steel, copper, brass, aluminum, plastic and laminates.

SpeedPoint tip penetrates faster than previous Unibits and prevents walking. 3-faltted hex shank prevents slipping in drill chuck.

Drill diameters etched in flute for easy identification.

Product Details
Brand: IRWIN
Model #: 10231
Warranty: Limited lifetime
Size: 1/2 inches
Color: Silver|silver Metallic
Dimensions: 5.99999999388 X 2.8740157451 X 0.7480314953 inches (Length X Width X Height)
Price: $18.11 (Save 47%)
Irwin Tools IRWIN Step Drill Bit, 1/8-Inch to 1/2-Inch Step, 1/4-Inch Shank (10231) Silver|Silver metallic

NEIKO 10172A Step Drill Bits with 4-Flute Spiral-Grooved Design Step Bit &1/4-Inch Hex Shanks, Step Drill Bit Set for Metal, Quick-Change Step Up Drill Bit for Metal, Unibit Step Drill Bit Metal


NEIKO 10172A Step Drill Bits with 4-Flute Spiral-Grooved Design Step Bit &1/4-Inch Hex Shanks, Step Drill Bit Set for Metal, Quick-Change Step Up Drill Bit for Metal, Unibit Step Drill Bit Metal

$14.76 @ Amazon.com

Product Description

DURABLE DRILL BITS: These step drill bits are made with #4241 high-speed steel and have titanium-nitride coatings for extra durability. The 4-flute spiral-groove design makes these fast and long-lasting metal-cutting tools.

REVOLUTIONARY DESIGN: With a 1/4-inch quick-change hex shank, each unibit step drill bit fits securely in most pistol drills or drill presses. Use these cone-shaped, versatile, and small drill bits for metal projects at work or home.

DRILL BITS FOR HARDENED STEEL: Use this step up drill bit set for metal and steel to create the exact hole size you need. The fluted spiral drill-bit design automatically deburrs and expands holes for a cleaner drilling process every time.

4 FLUTE DESIGN: These 9 stepper drill bits come in various sizes to work for any job. The 11- step bit for metal are built in 1/32-inch increments ranging from 3/16" to 1/2", and the 9-step bits come in 1/16-inch increments ranging from 1/4" to 3/4".

HEAVY-DUTY DRILL BITS: Our cone drill bit is created to work with any project, large or small. This multifunction stepped drill bit is designed with you in mind, so you can get your work done with confidence and speed using our quality tools!

Product Details
Brand: NEIKO
Model #: 10172A
Size: 4 Flute Spiral
Price: $14.76
NEIKO 10172A Step Drill Bits with 4-Flute Spiral-Grooved Design Step Bit &1/4-Inch Hex Shanks, Step Drill Bit Set for Metal, Quick-Change Step Up Drill Bit for Metal, Unibit Step Drill Bit Metal

KSEIBI 9 Steps 1/8-1 inch SAE Standard Industrial Grade Step Drill Bit Ready Impact 1/4 inch Shank, 575079 High-Speed Steel Metal Drill Bits Black Oxide M2 Material


KSEIBI 9 Steps 1/8-1 inch SAE Standard Industrial Grade Step Drill Bit Ready Impact 1/4 inch Shank, 575079 High-Speed Steel Metal Drill Bits Black Oxide M2 Material

$32.18 @ Amazon.com

Product Description

KSEIBI Step Drill Bits feature a dual-flute design for up to 2X faster hole times, 4X longer life, and 50% more holes per charge. Ideal for steel and plastic drilling with high-speed cordless drills.

Constructed with high-speed steel and black oxide M2 material for superior strength and wear resistance, making it ideal for drilling through metal, stainless steel, plastic, and other materials.

Spiral flute design with 9 different steps provides smooth and efficient drilling through a range of thicknesses without the need for multiple bits, making it a go-to tool for any project.

The tapered design ensures precise and accurate drilling every time, while the 1/4-inch impact shank provides a secure and stable connection to your power tools.

Industrial-grade construction ensures durability and longevity, making it a reliable tool for professional tradespeople and DIY enthusiasts alike.

Product Details
Brand: KSEIBI
Price: $32.18
KSEIBI 9 Steps 1/8-1 inch SAE Standard Industrial Grade Step Drill Bit Ready Impact 1/4 inch Shank, 575079 High-Speed Steel Metal Drill Bits Black Oxide M2 Material

QWORK 3 Pcs Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, High Speed Steel, 1/8" - 3/4" Total 28 Sizes, HSS Multiple Hole Drilling Cutting with Storage Bag


QWORK 3 Pcs Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, High Speed Steel, 1/8" - 3/4" Total 28 Sizes, HSS Multiple Hole Drilling Cutting with Storage Bag

$9.98 @ Amazon.com

Product Description

1) 3 standard SAE step drill bits can drill 28 different size of holes on different thickness of materials. One 3/16-inch to 1/2-inch six-step bit, 1/4-inch to 3/4-inch nine-step bit, and 1/8-inch to 1/2-inch 13-step bit(detailed hole size and drill depth of each drill bit please check in Product description below)

2) Made of high quality high speed steel that is hard and sharp enough to drill through wood, plastic, steel and sheet metal

3) Titanium coated surface can reduce friction and overheat when drilling through material for longer life time

4) Two-flute design provides faster, smoother and accurate cutting

5) 1/4" hex shank (6.35mm)can be easily fit into power driver, drill and press drill

Product Details
Brand: QWORK
Model #: WD1803
Color: Gold
Price: $9.98
QWORK 3 Pcs Titanium Step Drill Bit Set, High Speed Steel, 1/8" - 3/4" Total 28 Sizes, HSS Multiple Hole Drilling Cutting with Storage Bag

Step Drill,Yangoutool High Speed Steel Step Drill 10 Steps from 1/4-1-3/8 Inches with Safe Plastic Case


Step Drill,Yangoutool High Speed Steel Step Drill 10 Steps from 1/4-1-3/8 Inches with Safe Plastic Case

$8.99 @ Amazon.com

Product Description

🍀 Long-Lasting HSS Drill Bit - Crafted from high-speed steel for enhanced durability. Titanium coating allows easy cutting through various metals and materials, with automatic deburring for clean drilling.

🍀 Titanium Coated for Efficiency - Ensures excellent heat, corrosion, and rust resistance, boosting the drill set's performance.

🍀 Innovative Tri-Flatted Shank - Securely fits into power tools chucks, preventing slips. The two-flute design aids in faster chip clearing and easy particle escape.

🍀 Versatile Step Sizes Included - Comes with 10 step sizes: 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", 7/8", 1", 1-1/8", 1-1/4", 1-3/8".

🍀 Essential for Handymen and Professionals - Ideal for home repairs and light tasks. Suitable for drilling in plastic, aluminum, copper, iron, and various sheet metals, except for steel or harder metals.

Product Details
Brand: Yangoutool
Size: 10 steps
Dimensions: 6.1 X 2.9 X 1.6 inches (Length X Width X Height)
Price: $8.99
Step Drill,Yangoutool High Speed Steel Step Drill 10 Steps from 1/4-1-3/8 Inches with Safe Plastic Case

Step Drill Bit for Metal, Step Drill Bit, CORTOOL Titanium High Speed Steel Step Drill Bit Set, Unibit Step Drill Bit, Heavy Duty Step Bit, HSS Drill Bit Set (1/4" to 1-3/8" Step Bit)


Step Drill Bit for Metal, Step Drill Bit, CORTOOL Titanium High Speed Steel Step Drill Bit Set, Unibit Step Drill Bit, Heavy Duty Step Bit, HSS Drill Bit Set (1/4" to 1-3/8" Step Bit)

$8.98 @ Amazon.com

Product Description

Two-fluted design provides faster,smoother cutting,provided with small pressure and the sets.

The 3-flat shank titanium drill uses a doubleedged design to make cutting smoother and smoother;Increases cutting speed with self-centering and prevents walking.

Perfect for home repairs and light jobs such as drilling holes in plastic, aluminum, copper, iron sheet and many other types of sheet metal (excluding steel or any other harder metal).

Perfect for home repairs and light jobs such as drilling holes in plastic, aluminum, copper, iron sheet and many other types of sheet metal (excluding steel or any other harder metal).

Your customer satisfaction and 30-day warranty of step drill bit can be guaranteed.

Product Details
Brand: Cortool
Model #: 13000001
Size: #1: 1/4" to 1-3/8"; #2: 3/16" to 7/8
Price: $8.98
Step Drill Bit for Metal, Step Drill Bit, CORTOOL Titanium High Speed Steel Step Drill Bit Set, Unibit Step Drill Bit, Heavy Duty Step Bit, HSS Drill Bit Set (1/4" to 1-3/8" Step Bit)

Knoweasy Step Drill Kit - 5PCS HSS Titanium Step Drill with Automatic Center Punch and 50 Sizes of High-Speed Steel Step Drills for Multiple Hole Drilling


Knoweasy Step Drill Kit - 5PCS HSS Titanium Step Drill with Automatic Center Punch and 50 Sizes of High-Speed Steel Step Drills for Multiple Hole Drilling

$19.99 @ Amazon.com

Product Description

✅【What you get:】Includes five standard step drill bits with center punch,which can replace 50 individual drill bits, you can process 50 different kinds of diameter holes with the five pieces.

✅【Product Feature:】The center punch delivers an automatic,high-impact,spring-loaded strike through adjusting the cap; its brass body has a deeply knurled surface for nonslip control; and the carbide tipped bit makes the center punch 10 times stronger than normal one;protective aluminum case makes the drills not easy to dull.

✅【HSS Titanium Coating:】High speed steel along with titanium coating ensures outstanding durability and sharpness,can reduces the friction,runs cooler.

✅【Application:】Perfect for home repairs and light jobs such as drilling holes in plastic, aluminum, copper, iron sheet and many other types of sheet metal (excluding steel or any other harder metal

✅【Product Guarantee】Your customer satisfaction and 12 months warranty of step drills can be guaranteed.

Product Details
Brand: knoweasy
Size: Step Drill Bits 9
Price: $19.99
Knoweasy Step Drill Kit - 5PCS HSS Titanium Step Drill with Automatic Center Punch and 50 Sizes of High-Speed Steel Step Drills for Multiple Hole Drilling

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