drill press RPMs

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Forum topic by jaydubya posted 11-09-2011 04:48 AM 1190 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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183 posts in 2233 days

11-09-2011 04:48 AM

IVE been scouring high and low for a nice benchtop drill press or a used shopsmith. Id really like to get a shopsmith since they are supposed to be a great woodworking drill. The only thing holding me back is that the shopsmith wont go below 700 rpm. How important is it to have lower speeds on a drill press?

7 replies so far

View jumbojack's profile


1666 posts in 2045 days

#1 posted 11-09-2011 05:06 AM

there is a speed reducer available

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View HorizontalMike's profile


7064 posts in 2335 days

#2 posted 11-09-2011 05:09 AM

It all depends on the size of the bit you are using. Large Forster bits require slower speeds. Smaller bits need higher speeds. Check out this Drill Speed Chart.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View jaydubya's profile


183 posts in 2233 days

#3 posted 11-09-2011 05:44 AM

I know about the speed reducer, but they go for more than i want to spend. Probably just buy a drill press

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16801 posts in 2526 days

#4 posted 11-09-2011 04:09 PM

I’d go for a floor model drill press that has a range from 300 to 3000 rpm. That should do all you woodworking needs . I have mine set at 850 most all the time and I drill wood. Corian, brass, steel and aluminum. For the large Forstner bits, I run them at 300 in the milling machine because my wimpy drill press won’t pull them.

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2495 days

#5 posted 11-09-2011 05:33 PM

For me, it is important to get my drill press to run at slow speeds. I often use forstner bits up to 3” in diameter. The slowest speed on my drill press is 250 r.p.m. and that is almost too fast for a 3” bit.

As an FYI – - When drilling large holes, I always do it in stages. My first pass may be with a 1.5” bit – then a 2” bit – then a 2.5” bit etc. Of course, I have to have the wood securely clamped in place.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View jaydubya's profile


183 posts in 2233 days

#6 posted 11-14-2011 03:09 AM

So I skipped on a few shopsmiths that I was offered and bought a drill press from harbor freight….. I know, I know. Its the tall benctop model 31842 and is supposed to be one of the “gems” and the price was right, 210 out the door with a 20 pecent coupon. It goes down to 220 rpm for use with larger bits. Only problem is its gonna be too tall for my benchtop so Im gonna have to make something for it. What would be the optimal height for a drill press? Im kind of a tall guy (6’2”) and want it to be as easy to use as possible

View Grandpa's profile


3256 posts in 2096 days

#7 posted 11-14-2011 03:53 AM

I like my levers about chin to ear level on the center of the shaft. Just what I like.

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