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Drill press controls and how to use them

Last Updated: 13.07.20


Familiarizing yourself with the controls on the drill press ensures prompt and hassle-free use during operation. It is important to get yourself acquainted with the various knobs and controls as well as the main parts of the power tool so you can make the most of the machine to carry out smooth applications while also ensuring your safety.

1.Drill press controls

The upper portion

The upper portion of the drill press, typically made of cast iron, is where the quill is housed, along with a worklight in some models. This element also supports the belt housing and the motor. The tapered shaft connecting the chuck to the spindle is called the arbor. The bearings and spindle are contained in the quill. The hollow shaft that accommodates the arbor is called the spindle.


The covers

The covers and guards on the drill press are there for a purpose: to protect you from accidental contact with flying debris or moving parts. Constantly make sure that they are undamaged, correctly installed and working optimally before using the drill press.


The power switch

You turn the machine on and off using the power switch. While some machines have an ordinary toggle switch that you press one way for on and the other for off, other drill presses have a more elaborate type of switch called a paddle-type switch, which comes with a removable safety key and a large paddle you can’t miss every time you hit it. This kind of switch is one of the safest to have in any shop.


To ensure safety, you have to keep the switch in the OFF position prior to reconnecting so you can avoid unintentional or sudden start. Another important reminder is never to leave the machine running unattended. Turn the power switch off and make sure all the moving parts have completely stopped before you move away from the drill press. Do not attempt to do maintenance or change speeds while the machine is plugged in or switched on.

2.Drill press controls


The belt tension lock knob is found at the rear part of the head and functions to lock the motor in place so belt tension is maintained. The clamp bolts are found near the horizontal adjustment lever on the top of the column near the head, and they lock the table rotation, control the horizontal movement of your drill press and also lock the power tool’s rotation on the column. The movement of the headstock along the horizontal rack is controlled by the horizontal adjustment lever.


The work table is lowered and raised using the crank handle to which it is attached. On the other hand, the downfeed handles mounted above the chuck move it (chuck) up or down. You control the distance the quill travels using the depth stop, which offers a preset drilling depth. The quill lash is detached using the lash screw.


To return the quill to the headstock, use the torsion spring. The lock pin locks the headstock in a vertical position. When the headstock is unlocked, it can be tilted so you can carry out angled drilling without having to worry that the drill bit will enter the workpiece the wrong way. You can view the current angle of the headstock tilt via the headstock angle tilt scale, so you can ensure precision in your projects.


Watch this video and learn how to use a drill press