Drill press swing size: What do the inches tell us?


What do drill sewing sizes tell us? let’s figure it out in this blog post.

There are many parts attached to a drill press machine and dozens of things to learn, before buying it’s essential to have knowledge about each one in particular so you get the most out of your woodworking projects as well, you will be worth your money.

Drill press swing meaning?

In a drill press machine, we use the swing term to refer to the space between the central column of the machine and its spindle, (multiplied by two). It indicates how much space will be allocated to make bare holes at the center: the maximum width of material that can be fit on a drill press to make holes. It shows in inches, actually, inches are divided by 2.

  • In simple terms, if a drill press size is 15 inches then it means a wood 7.5 inches wide material can be drilled holes.

Types of drill presses and their swing sizes.

Drill presses generally fall under one of two categories: benchtop and stationary. 

  1. Benchtop drill press sizes-

Considering that benchtop drill presses are smaller and shorter in size than stationary drill presses, they will have a smaller swing range.

  • These typically range from 8″ to 12″ maximum. This means you can bear a hole in a material width of 12/2 or 8/2 inches.

  1. Stationary drill presses-

The swing of a stationary drill press is usually wider, greater in size, and more powerful than that of a benchtop model. The machines usually weigh several hundred pounds.

  • A stationary drill press swing size is usually in the 12″-20″ range, which means a material width of more than 6 inches can be drilled through.

​How the swing size is measured?

So speaking of the method to manually verify the measurement of your drill size.

There are some parts included in the process: Let me mention their names.

  • Centre of a spindle: The spindle is actually the bit that is drilled a the material.
  • Column Support: Where we lay a piece of material needed to drill. 
  • Swing: the space between column support and the center of spindle multiplied by 2.

As a whole, measuring the space between the center of a spindle and column support in inches and then multiplying the result by 2 will outcome the final swing size.

The following image will leave you a good idea showing the distance between the center of the spindle and the support column of the drill press.

Showing how to measure the swing size manually of a drill press tool
Credit: bettertoolz.com

​What Swing Size Should I Buy?

Swing size depends a lot on projects you often work on and considering the price factor you will be better off buying one you find yourself comfortable with.

  • 15 to 20 inches swing sizes- Ideal for larger drilling projects: 

​It would make sense if you plan to use a drill press a great deal and work with heavier materials. For the best results, choose a drill press with an ample swing size ranging from 12″ – 17″. Drill press machines with a big swing size have an ample amount of power, larger capacity, more speed, and also these are heavier ones ideally designed to provide better results regardless of the toughness of a material.

  • 8 to 12 inches drill sizes- Ideal for small drilling projects:

Drill press sizes with small swing sizes are ideal for people who don’t have to do anything powerful drilling. For them, anything between 8 inches to 12 inches will work just fine.

  • 3” to 5” swing sizes- Ideal for very small drilling projects:

Mini drill presses are specialty drill presses that are smaller and are sometimes referred to as “mini drill presses.”. Smaller and less powerful (around 3 to 5 inches swing), work best with smaller pieces than with larger presses.

Uses of a Drill Press tool

In order to cut tapered plugs from any wood type, a drill press is the only tool that can spin specialized bits. You can do many things, like boring in a wood or a metallic body, cleaning metal parts using a wire wheel, as well making rails is also an application to count in for a drill press tool. 

As stated above, by drilling holes in a drill press, one can bore precise holes for hanging pegs on the backboard. You can make wood art, can craft toys, and in general, holes are one of the important applications any worker has to deal with.

Using a drill press application including, bits such as twist bits, shovel bits, and hole saws, is better suited. In addition, spinning the sanding mop on wooden toys is a great way to smooth the edges, which is something a drill press tool does fine.

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