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Parts of a drilling machine

Updated February 21, 2017

A drilling machine, also known as a drill press, is a tool used to precisely drill holes to exact depths. Drills come in two basic types: the bench top drill press and the floor-model drill press. Each type generally has the same parts.

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Power Range (On/Off Switch)

The power range can be switched to three different positions: high, low and off. The ranges allow varying levels of pressure for the machine to drill different sized holes into different kinds of materials. For example, the low range is used to drill large holes in metal. The high range is used to drill small holes into softer materials such as wood. Depending on the model of the drilling machine, the power and range switches may be separate.


The table is the base of the drilling machine and is the surface used to keep the vice in its place. Most of the time, the table can be swivelled out of the way to make it easier to drill holes in pieces that are oddly shaped. The height of the table can also be adjusted with a crank and locked in place. A column is used to support the table.


The vice is a device such as a clamp used to hold the material that is being drilled firmly in place. A vice has two jaws that may be brought together or separated by a lever.

Drill Chuck and Spindle

The drill chuck holds the drilling tools such as a drill bit, which is tool used to create cylindrical holes. The chuck is raised and lowered using the feed lever. Chucks come in different sizes which depend on the diameter of the largest drill bits that can be used.

The spindle holds the drill chuck, which holds the cutting tools such as drill bits and centre drills.

Spindle Speed

The two spindle speeds are high and low. The spindle speeds can be changed while the motor of the drill machine is running. The speed of the spindle depends on the size of the drill used and the material being drilled.

Feed Lever

The feed lever is used to raise and lower the drill bit so that holes can be cut accurately. It usually has two or three handles to allow the user to control the spindle.

Depth Gauge

The depth gauge is used to control the depth of the hole being drilled. Sometimes, the user may not want to drill holes that go all the way through the material and the depth gauge will be able to control this.

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About the Author

Veronica Romualdez

Veronica Romualdez has over 10 years of writing experience, which includes thousands of articles that have been published online as well as marketing copy for online stores. She's written e-learning/training material and technical and instructional manuals. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication and completed a course in interior design.

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