How to Choose the Best Small Drill Press

Posted on May 14, 2021

Small Drill Presses

A small drill press is in fact largely used in jewelry in a variety of ways. It can be as simple as drilling holes in gems and stones, or more advanced metalsmithing operations. Artists are one of the main user groups of a mini drill press because it allows small drills into small material made from wood, plastic, or metal that would not have been possible with a full-size drill.
 

Small Drill Presses Overview

Small drill presses, also known as mini drill presses or mini drilling machines, are a useful power tool that is capable of drilling a wide range of materials and does not take up too much space. You can often just sit one on a benchtop in your workshop ready for use anytime. If you are looking to acquire a very efficient power tool for drilling small and accurate holes, a benchtop mini drill press will definitely be able to deliver given that the right-sized drill bits are used.

Now you will definitely be able to find a small drill press that retains the identical functionality of a full-sized drill press, even with the reduced bulkiness and weight. As one of the most versatile tools in workshops, and you can easily obtain one from any of the local tool stores. Despite so, you will still need to do some researches in order to determine which model of small drill press best suits your needs.
 

Who Can Use Small Drill Presses

A small drill press is in fact largely used in jewelry in a variety of ways. It can be as simple as drilling holes in gems and stones, or more advanced metalsmithing operations.

Artists are one of the main user groups of a mini drill press because it allows small drills into small material made from wood, plastic, or metal that would not have been possible with a full-size drill.

Hobbyists often make use of these handy drilling devices as well due to the accuracy the machine is able to deliver, making any sort of smaller scaled DIY projects feasible. Crafts for home improvement are also accomplished by the use of a mini drill press.

In a nutshell, if you intend to work on a very small material that requires optimum precision and accuracy, a mini drill press is without a doubt your best bet. It will be able to provide results even better than a drill machine or a handheld mini rotary tool that produces a superior finish.
 

:: Read More: What Is the Mini Drill Machine?
 

Factors to Consider When Buying Small Drill Presses

Here are some of the relevant factors to consider:
 

Size of Drill Press

The size and capacity of small drill presses are directly associated with the distance between the front of the machine’s column and the center of the chuck. The distance (usually expressed in diameter) denotes how big a workpiece needs to be to allow drilling a hole through it with a drill press. 

This means that a 5-inch drill press can be used for cutting a hole through the center of a round stock that is also of the same length, which is also 5 inches in this case. The distance from the front of the column to the center of the chuck will be exactly half of the measurement, which is 2.5 inches in this case.
 

Construction and Ribbing

Drill presses should always be of rigid and robust construction no matter what type or size. This will make sure that your mini drill press will last for as long as possible regardless of the project types. This is very important because when a mini drill press fails, you’ll most likely be replacing the entire machine instead of a single component. 

With quality construction, you may only be looking to replace worn-out drill bits. The benchtop of your mini drill press should be ribbed to ensure optimal strength, support, and rigidity. Your drill press can be rendered useless if it's not able to support its diminutive size. Therefore, it is recommended to opt for a drill press with a slotted base for the added stability and safety.
 

Accuracy

Mini drill presses are known for their superior accuracy, which is why they are often used for professional finishing. They are in fact capable of drilling up to an accuracy of 1/64". To accommodate smaller drill bits, a mini drill press is often coupled with a standard 1/4" chuck. This allows effective drilling without damaging the material.
 

Mobility

Mini drill presses are very mobile thanks to the small size and fairly compact design. You definitely do not want to opt for a model that weighs too much because being lightweight is practically the essence of a mini drill press. Besides the lightweight, you should also be able to clamp your mini drill press on a workbench for additional stability. 

Moreover, the mobile nature of a mini drill press will also enable you to carry the machine anywhere you want unlike the conventional ones. They can easily fit into your trunk or bag being so small, taking up relatively less space as opposed to other machine tools.
 

Stability

If you are looking for a mini drill press that is capable of drilling accurate holes, you want to make sure that the stability of your chosen product is optimized. Your drill press should have a large, solid base that is not too tall at the same time. In addition, the capability of bolting the drill press on a workbench is a plus as well.
 

Budget

This may just be the primary factor that most potential buyers will look at. Typically, the price of a small drill press can range from $180 to $900, or above. Just like many other machine tools, the price is often correlated with the functionality and design of a particular model. In other words, a feature-rich drill press will most likely be more expensive than those that offer less functionality. Therefore, before considering the price, you need to think about what features and functions you want to include in your perspective machine.
 

Versatility

If you are expected to work with a wide variety of types of materials (e.g., jewelers), versatility may be another crucial factor. This means that you need to pay extra attention to the features and components that contribute to a drill press's versatility, such as the spindle speed or a height adjustment system. You may also want to look for a drill press with an adjustable chuck as it will allow the use of a variety of different drill bit sizes.
 

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