What you need to know about magnetic drill presses

When you are into fabrication, you will surely have to perform onsite hole-drilling. You need to devote a lot of thought into getting  a good magnetic drill press for the job. Like any other task, hole-making jobs will need the right tool to ensure smooth and consistent results every time.

Should you need to drill holes but simply can’t take the work to the machine, get yourself a portable, manual-feed magnetic drill. Several sizes and types of magnetic drills are available for contractors and fabricators. Those types of machines carry a variety of features as well.



A basic, portable magnetic drill is quite versatile, which makes it the most popular option. That said, it may not be large or powerful enough for handling heavy-duty drilling tasks such as hole-making into scaly, rusty, extremely hard, or painted workpieces. However, when you need to drill in confined or hard-to-access spots, a portable magnetic drill press is the best option.

A standard, manual-feed, portable magnetic drill press utilizes an annular cutter to do its job. This type of device is available in different sizes, speeds, horsepower ratings, and coolant system options.


Most manual-feed, portable, magnetic drill presses are equipped with a three-handle feed that carries a slide-and-gib system that mobilizes the cutter, arbor, and motor together. Each manufacturer puts in their choice of standard features in their products, which will also influence the price of their devices.

You can also go for a quill-feed, variable-speed magnetic drill press, which is lightweight and yet has a large drilling capacity. This type does not need gib-and-slide adjustments. It comes with a fixed profile that enables an easy fit into a tight, confined spot into which standard drills can’t go.


You can get a fast and smooth feed from the quill feed while making the entire cut, even when you have to drill a deep hole. Some machines have an optional pressurized coolant delivery system just for that specific purpose. The variable speed increases the unit’s tool life. It also works well when using carbide cutters, which need a higher RPM rating compared to standard annular cutters.

A 90-degree, low-profile drill is the best solution when you have to drill in confined spaces under 8 inches in height. A mini-drill comes with a single feed handle and not the regular three-handle feed in the majority of magnetic drill presses. This kind of device also features a great cutter size range. The presence of a quill feed prevents the cutter from moving.

Mini drill presses can run in any spot they fit into. They are a suitable option as well when portability is a must thanks to their lightweight design. You can take a drill press with you when moving up a ladder or around the job site.

A power-feed drill is great for repetitive hole drilling tasks. This type of device delivers consistent hole cutting without causing plenty of user-fatigue. With one operator being able to run two or more drills at the same time, the onsite productivity also greatly improves. As one unit is drilling, another can be set up.

The electronic optimization of the feed rate can help in extending the tool life and also in the creation of higher-quality holes.

A swivel-base drill lets you roughly position the machine and then activate the magnet. You can do the precise positioning of the drill simply by releasing the swivel system to speed up the alignment of the holes.