January 10, 2022

What is a Portable Drill Press | Ron Hazelton

What Is a Portable Drill Press & Why You Need One

A traditional drill press is often the first tool that comes to mind when you want to drill a perfectly straight and perpendicular hole into wood or plastic. The limitation of a traditional drill press is that they are stationary, usually quite heavy, and often pricey. 

 Man uses a portable drill press to drill a straight holeIf you don’t have a traditional drill press in your workshop and you need to make a perfectly straight hole, a portable drill press might just be what you need. This accessory turns your hand drill into a portable drill press and gives you the freedom to drill a perfectly straight hole just about anywhere. Whether you are on a budget or just looking for a tool that has the portability and versatility for multiple purposes, then consider the portable drill press. In this video and blog, you’ll find out what a portable drill press is, and why and when you would want to use one. I’ll show you how to use it and my best tips for keeping it stable. Also, you’ll see how it can be used to drill into vertical surfaces - something a traditional drill press cannot do! So, for your next project, see how this tool can make your life easier and become a staple in your workshop. 

What is a portable drill press?
A portable drill press is a versatile, lightweight, and practical tool for drilling precise holes. Used with an electric drill, it will accept just about any standard drill bit. It acts as a guide to make sure that your holes are perfectly aligned. The great thing about this tool is that it has many uses and is good for both big and small tasks. 

Why would you use a portable drill press?
As the name suggests, a portable drill press is, well, portable. You can get the precision of a drill press with the mobility of a hand drill. It’s advantage over a standard drill press is that it can move easily with you while you work on your project. It can be used wherever you need it, and is especially helpful for tasks that require drilling in harder-to-reach locations. It need not stay just in your workshop and its transportability allows you to truly maximize its potential. 

BecaMan uses built in work support to drill into a doweluse of this, it can do something that not even a drill press can. With an axillary base, it allows you to use this tool to drill straight holes in a vertical surface. I’ll show you exactly how in the video. This is unique to a portable drill press, and an advantage over a traditional drill press. 

Not only is it lightweight and portable, but its features also do not lack. Many portable drill presses have built-in work support, which is a design that is versatile enough to hold dowels, tubes, pipes securely while drilling holes in the exact center. 

Its compactness appeals to some, especially if you lack the space for a full-size traditional drill press in your workshop. Also, it’s often a cheaper alternative to a heavy, mounted traditional drill press. 

When would you use a portable drill press?
A portable drill press can be used for precisely drilling just about anywhere. Moreover, with built-in work support, it can be used to drill into dowels, tubes, and pipes. It’s smaller size can fit in tighter spaces and it can even drill a straight hole on a vertical surface. 

How do you use a portable drill press?
A portable drill press has its own built-in chuck and will accept just about any standard drill bit. Once placed in, you tighten the chuck, secure it with a key and you’re pretty much ready to go. An electric drill goes on at the end. Simply place the base on the workpiece, lower the drill, and bore a hole. 

Tips and Reminders when using a Portable Drill Press:Man uses portable drill press to drill into a vertical surface

  • Sometimes, the base on this portable drill-press is a little small and it can allow it to tip just a bit. To correct this, you can add an auxiliary base - and I show you exactly how in the video. 
  • By boring a couple of mounting holes in the auxiliary base, it can be screwed to the workpiece. The drill is held securely and both your hands remain free. The auxiliary base is particularly helpful when it comes to drilling straight holes on a vertical surface. 

Drilling a perfectly perpendicular hole can be a real challenge. With this accessory, your hand drill can turn into a portable drill press and allow you to drill a perfectly straight hole just about anywhere. 

If you don’t own a traditional drill press or are looking for a tool that is versatile and can drill straight holes, a portable drill press is a fantastic tool that even has capabilities that extend beyond what a traditional drill press can do. Being able to fit into tighter spaces and drill into vertical surfaces makes it an appealing option. It works well for tasks that require drilling in hard-to-reach areas, in places that wouldn’t be feasible with a standard drill press. 

Less expensive than a traditional drill press and more lightweight, makes it in demand for those with a smaller workshop and for those who crave portability. As you can see, a portable drill press allows for a range of applications.

If you like reading about power tools, and tools you didn’t know you needed, this tool will amaze you.


Posted in: News Projects Tools & Know-How Hand Tools Power Tools Woodworking & Workshop Carpentry Workshop Techniques Jigs & Fixtures
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