Written by Marloes

What do I use a pillar drill for?

A pillar drill (also called a drill press or a bench drill) is unusual when it comes to drills. Still, it's also used to drill holes. It just works a little bit different than the well-known cordless drill or impact drill. We'll gladly explain the most important differences and pros and cons of pillar drills.

1. What is a pillar drill?

What is a pillar drill?

A pillar drill is attached to a base on a frame or workbench. An adjustable table is suspended between the base and the drill. On it, you clamp the wooden board, sheet material, or tile. Is the workpiece secure and positioned correctly? Use the handle to lower the drill. It's impossible to drill crookedly with a pillar drill. The main difference between a pillar drill and other types of drills is that you have to carry the work to the drill, instead of the work to the drill. That means you can only drill separate workpieces.

2. What are pros?

Pros of a pillar drill

The big advantage of working with a pillar drill is its stability and accuracy. When using a "normal" drill, you have to rely on your own carpenter's eye and steady hand in order to drill straight. If you use a pillar drill, you can be sure you drill perfectly straight drill holes. After all, you lower the drill down in a perfect line, perpendicular to the workpiece. The workpiece can even be a small block of wood that might be difficult to drill freehand. In addition, you can exert more force with a pillar drill than with a handheld drill. If you're planning on working hard materials like hardwood or steel, a pillar drill is worth considering.

3. Are there any cons?

Lots of space for a pillar drill

A pillar drill is not something you buy in order to drill a hole in a wall and hang a painting. Nor would you use it to tighten the screws on your Swedish bookcase. You'd only use a pillar drill to drill holes in materials you can carry to the tool. This type of drill won't make you very mobile. In addition, a pillar drill takes up more space than a cordless drill, which you can easily store in its case in a broom closet.

4. What will you use it for?

What will you use a pillar drill for?

Do you need to drill multiple holes in succession with the exact same depth and dimensions? That's something you could do quickly and accurately with a pillar drill. For instance, if you're building your own bookcase, you want all the shelves to be level and hanging at exactly the same distances. A pillar drill helps you deliver a neat job. A pillar drill lets you set the drill depth down to the millimeter. You can also control the RPM. That means you can drill any material at the right speed.

5. What else can you keep in mind?

What to keep in mind when looking for a pillar drill?

Not all pillar drills offer the same functions. For instance, there are pillar drills with a safety shield around the drill. That way, you won't have to worry about chips and bits of wood and metal flying around while you're drilling away. The dimensions of the adjustable table can also differ per pillar drill. If you already know you're mainly going to work on large workpieces such as long wooden beams or aluminum sheets, it's a good idea to consider the size of the table. Most convenient are the pillar drills that have a tiltable table that also let you drill ad an angle, that have LED lighting, and a laser guide to indicate where the point of the drill will go.

6. Don't forget the drill bits!

Pillar drills tend to have a quick-release or keyed drill head, which means they fit most common drill bits. Depending on the job, you have to choose the best drill bit. If you buy a set of drill heads, you'll have different versions for different applications in 1 go.


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