Drill Presses

Drill Presses

What should you do before using a drill press?

Drill presses can be dangerous if not used properly.

  • Read the owner’s manual carefully.
  • Make sure you understand the instructions and are properly trained before operating a drill press.

Refer to Metalworking Machines – General for basic safety tips.

What are some safe work practices to know when using a drill press?

  • Wear appropriate safety glasses.
  • Ensure that the drill press has a start/stop button within easy reach of the operator.
  • Use a vacuum, brush or rake to remove cuttings.
  • Remove burrs and chips from a drilled hole. When making deep holes, clean out the hole frequently.
  • Use a clamp or drill vise to prevent work from spinning.
  • Make sure the drill bit or cutting tool is locked securely in the chuck. Remove the chuck key before starting the drill press.
  • Lubricate drill bit when drilling metal.
  • Reduce the drilling pressure when the drill begins to break through the workpiece. This action prevents the drill from pulling into the work and breaking.
  • Keep drill bits clean and sharp. Dull drills are a common cause of breakage.
  • Keep the floor around the drill press free of oil and grease.
  • Keep the working surface clean of scraps, tools, and materials.
  • Keep guards in place and in good working order.
  • Shut off power before removing the drill bit.

What are some things you should avoid doing?

  • Do not wear any loose clothing or ties. Roll sleeves above the elbow to prevent them from being caught in revolving parts. Confine long hair.
  • Do not wear gloves, rings, watches, or bracelets while working with a drill press.
  • Do not set speeds, adjust, or measure work until the machine is completely stopped.
  • Do not force the drill with extra pressure.
  • Do not leave chuck key in the drill chuck. Make adjustments and remove the key immediately.
  • Do not hold work by hand when drilling holes larger than 1/2 in. (12 mm) in diameter.
  • Do not place hands under the stock being drilled.
  • Do not stop the rotation of chuck and spindle with your hand.
  • Do not remove a broken drill with a center punch and hammer.
  • Do not leave the drill press running unattended.

Document last updated on December 21, 2012.

The original source of this information is from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety www.ccchs.ca. All rights reserved.