Small/mini Drill Presses – The Ultimate Guide that Helps Before Buying


If you spend a lot of time in a crafting shop and know your way around, you know that using the right tool can make the difference for your projects.

One tool that requires a lot of attention and accuracy is the small drill press. The compact design and the high portability are its main characteristics, but you’re going to need a lot more than that when selecting your mini drill press.

What can you do with a mini drill press?

You can use it for drilling holes of the different diameter without breaking the drill bits or ruin the stock, but only if it comes with variable speeds.

Most of the mini drill presses out there include two or three speeds, whereas you can move the table up/down along the length of the column for fitting workpieces of various sizes.

What are the jobs you can perform with a small drill press?

Anyone interested in making professional and precise holes in jewelry should use the mini drill press. Not only that this tool allows accurate drilling to a minimal area, but it’s also really dependable. Its small and compact size doesn’t take much space in any shop, eliminating the risk for clutter on your work table.

Many artists are using the mini drill press for making small drills in various materials. Plastic, wood, and metal are common choices for the artisanal artists that rely on the accuracy of the mini drill press.

The precision of the mini drill press is the main reason for which many hobbyists are using it for their DIY projects. Every time you need to make accurate drills in a tiny material, you should grab a mini drill press. It can help you obtain better than results than a handheld mini rotary device or a regular drill machine.

One of the most common uses for the mini drill press is the circuit boards. Electronic manufacturers use the toll due to its fantastic accuracy, speed, and incredible finish.

What gives an excellent small drill press?

There are plenty of options to choose from, but you don’t want to end up with a lemon. You need to pay attention to some aspects when buying as they can sure make the difference between a successful project and a failed one.

  • Precision

The most important reason for which you’re buying a small drill press is the impressive accuracy and the professional finish it can provide on your work. This tool can help you drill up to 1/64″ precision, with the ¼” chucks being standard for the majority of mini drill presses. You can make incredibly small and professional drills with an excellent mini drill press, with no worry for ruining the material in any way.

  • Portability

As they’re small and have a simple design, the mini drill presses sit on the lightweight side. You don’t want this tool to be massive but instead, come with the possibility of clamping it to your workbench for increased stability.

You know that you got yourself a portable mini drill press when you can easily carry it around, no matter where you need it. It’s small, so it should fit in a small carry bag and have a small footprint on your workbench.

  • Size

Being compact and small are vital features for the small drill presses (hence, the name). A small drill press is never big and doesn’t take much space of your workbench. It counts a lot, especially if your working area is small, to begin with.

  • Stability

When you’re aiming for accuracy, you know that balance is fundamental. You don’t want the small drill press to be too tall as it may trip and fall. A robust and large base are essential features for the stability of the mini drill press. Some bolt holes for bolting securely to your workbench also help the mini drill press stay in place nice and tight throughout the job.

  • Swing

You need the right distance between the table and the drill (the drill), according to the material size in a project. When you’re working with a small material, a small drill press is going to cover your needs. Go with a more massive drill press when your needs grow bigger.

What’s the best way to use a mini drill press?

Buying a dependable mini drill press isn’t going to be enough to get the best results; it’s also vital that you know how to get the best out of it.

Here are the steps to follow when using the small drill press:

  • Always unplug the tool before you change the drill bits or make any setting adjustments. You have to loosen the chuck for changing the drill bits. Use the key around the bit for tightening the chuck.
  • Crank screw or loosen the knob for securing the head of the mini drill press tight. You should lower/raise the head for adjusting the entire height of a specific stock for drilling. The maximum height setting for mini drill presses is 10 inches (give or take). Secure the head by tightening the crank at the height you need.
  • For the tools featuring a speed setting dial, you should decide on the drill rotation speed you need for a job. Some models feature knobs for stopping at a specific speed. Place the cover over the pulleys aside and set the pace. You slip the belt to the next set of pulleys. Don’t forget to secure the lid before trying various speeds.
  • It’s important that you set the drilling depth stop; you have to loosen the ring/set the screw on the pull handle shaft. It’s better that you set to zero the digital depth gauge. Customize the drill bit to the depth you want as the digital gauge/stationary meter gauge is displaying. Set screw or tighten the ring. A crank, a Philips screw, or a hex are options for securing the depth setting.
  • You also need to place the hole under the drill bit for finishing the drilling through the stock. You can slide the table ledge and leave the table ledge on a sturdy space (it’s easier when drilling through items).
  • Never forget to put your safety goggles on. Place the stock for drilling on the table ledge and pull the crank handle toward you. It’s how you lower the drill bit onto the stock. Place the bit precisely on the spot where you’re going to drill the hole. Keep the stock tight and firmly in place, turning on the mini machine. You can reduce the spinning drill into the stock by pulling on the crank handle once more. Drill according to the depth you need and take out the drill slowly when you’re done.

One last suggestion

The diversity of models for the mini drill presses can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know much about this reliable tool. Do due diligence about it and spend some time when selecting. It’s going to worth to choose right!


Other resources