Learning, Drilling,

How to Bore a Cylinder with a Drill Press (4 Steps)

In this article, I’ll teach you how to bore a cylinder with a drill press. 

Drill presses are by far the best machines for cutting holes in cylinders. However, you need to select the correct size boring bit by accurately measuring the internal diameter of the cylinder — then getting a boring bit of the same diameter. Being a handyman, I have used a drill press several times to cut neat holes in a cylinder. Knowing how to drill holes with a drill press accurately guarantees neat holes while preventing damage to the drill press and the cylinder.

In general, you need to follow these steps to drill a neat hole with a drill press in a cylinder:

  • Select an Appropriate Bore Size for The Cylinder You Want to Bore
  • Set up The Drill Press to The Required Bore Size
  • Insert Your Cylinder in The Drill Press
  • Drilling the Cylinder
  • Uninstall the Cylinder from The Drill Press
  • Measure the Size of The Bore

We will cover more concepts below.

Step 1: Select an Appropriate Bore Size for the Cylinder You Want to Bore

Depending on the drill press you have, choose a suitable bore size. Also, the material you want to drill matters when selecting the bore size.

For instance, if you want to drill a hole choose a drill bit that corresponds to the drill press you have. However, if you want to drill a hole in plastic material, you can employ any bore size.

You should consider the following factors when looking for the correct bore size for your activity.

  • The diameter of your drill press
  • The diameter of the cylinder you want to bore

Step 2: Set Up the Drill Press to The Required Bore Size

According to most engineers and mechanics, the bore sizes range between 0.5 and 12.0 mm. On that basis, select the correct drill pres.

Start by locating the mm marking on the spindle to set the drill press for a particular bore size.

Then, divide the received number by 100 — to obtain bore diameter or size in mm.

Step 3: Insert Your Cylinder in the Drill Press

Usually, when cutting a hole in a cylinder with a drill press, you should bore the center of the cylinder.

To accomplish that, put the cylinder in the drill press, then turn on the drill. The chuck should grip the cylinder allowing you to use the drill bit to bore a hole at the center of the cylinder.

Step 4: Drilling the Cylinder — Drill Press Action

As aforementioned, the bore size is critical, and your drill press’s drilling action will influence the bore’s final size. Therefore, I reiterate that you should fetch the right size borer. To find the right boring bit, measure the internal diameter of the cylinder – – then select a compatible bit that fits the measurement.

With time and practice, beginners should start with the more minor boring bit, then advance to more complicated, boring bits.


Drill at a low speed initially (carefully checking the hole’ depth) and then gear up to the maximum speed capacity once you are confident everything is going well.

After successfully boring the cylinder remove all the shavings from the chuck and the boring bit.


Avoid overshooting by consistently monitoring the depth of the hole. Overshooting is risky; it can damage your drill press and the cylinder.

Step 5: Uninstall the Cylinder from the Drill Press

Method 1. Remove the chuck from the press and use a wrench to loosen the cylinder’s bolts. Then, gently pull or lift the cylinder from the drill press.

Method 2. Extract the C-clamp from the drill bit. Use a wrench to twist it off the boring bit carefully.

Step 6: Measure the Bore Size

Use a micrometer to correctly measure the bore size. Go ahead and calibrate your drill press before setting up the required depth of the hole — use depth stop.

You can now start drilling with a light touch to inhibit overeating.


  1. Ensure the drill press is neat and sharp to drill a nice hole in the cylinder.
  2. Also, lubricating the boring bit with oil or grease momentarily is fine.
  3. Ensure the drilling surface is neat.
  4. Employ a stopped clock to avoid over-boring the cylinder.

Take a look at some of our related articles below.

Video Reference

Dutch The Yooper

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About Sam Orlovsky

AvatarCertifications: 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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