How are Drill Presses Measured?

In this article, I’ll teach you how drill presses are measured.

Using an improper-sized drill press can undermine your work in many ways, which is why you must know what sizing is best before you start a project.

Quick Summary: To measure your drill press before use:

  • Measure the throat size, which will provide you with the drill press dimensions
  • Chuck measurement
  • Complete measurement

I will go into more detail below.

Critical Requirements when Measuring Drill Presses

Measuring a drill press is not difficult if you follow the correct procedure and understand the requirements.

It is critical to understand that various types of drill presses are available on the market. As a result, different specifications are required to measure various drill presses.

Aside from different drill press sizes and types, the chuck size and mechanical requirements must also be considered when measuring a drill press. You can use a measuring tape to determine the size and function of each component.

Another critical factor is the distance between the chuck and the work table. 

Step-by-Step Procedure to Measure a Drill Press

Step 1: Determine the Machine’s Size

determine the machine's size

The most important step in measuring a drill press is determining its throat size. First, measure the throat size, providing you with the drill press dimensions.

This size of the machine is obtained from a throat measurement. The throat is the space between the spindle’s center and the nearest point of the support column. 

The drill press swing is nothing but the measurement of the throat – the distance between the spindle focus and the adjacent support system. The machine is twice the size of the swing. A 12” drill press has a swing of 6″.

measurement of the throat
Video | Drill Gal

Step 2: Chuck Measurement

Now, determine the chuck’s size. Once you’ve measured it, you’ll be able to increase the amount of chuck slightly. The chuck size shows the widest bit that could be inserted into the chuck.  Most chuck sizes are 1/2″ or 5/8″.

Use Vernier calipers as seen below.

vernier calipers
Video | Drill Gal

Step 3: Determine the Vertical Capacity

The distance between a chuck and a table is the vertical capacity of your machine. It defines how long the drill bit can be and how tall the substance it drills can be.

determining the vertical capacity
Video | AutoDrill

Wrapping Up

Both experts and beginners must understand how drill presses are measured. Once you know your measurements, you can accomplish much more. After you learn this process, your overall result will drastically improve.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

Video References


Drill Gal


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About Sam Orlovsky

b1d87d2ee85af3e51479df87928bdc88?s=90&d=mm&r=gCertifications: B.E.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Electric Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Electrical engineering is my passion, and I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years. This gives me a unique ability to give you expert home improvement and DIY recommendations. I’m not only an electrician, but I also like machinery and anything to do with carpentry. One of my career paths started as a general handyman, so I also have a lot of experience with home improvement I love to share.

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