How do I Drill a Straight Hole Without a Drill Press?

Are you a homeowner who loves to do simple woodwork tasks by yourself? If yes, then I think you already know about the hand drill.

But did you ever used a drill press?

A drill press is also a drilling tool. It helps to create perfect straight holes.

Alright, now you may have a question. What drill press is doing differently here? A drill press does the same job as an ordinary hand drill.

The answer is simply no.

There are so many differences in their usage. A drill press is a bit heavy machine than a hand drill. You can get the option to use variable speed and bits as per your need. There is a table just under the bit that helps to tighten the sheet you want to make a hole.

The problem with a hand drill is, it starts shaking when you start drilling. You cannot fix the 90-degree angle with it where the Drill press bit is set to 90 degrees by default. Variable speed function is not available to an ordinary drill too.

So can’t we make a straight hole without a drill press?

Actually, for many people, it feels simple to hold the drill 90-degree to the surface, but in reality, it is not.

There are multiple methods of creating a perfectly straight hole without a drill press. I will be discussing them one by one.

Method one: Easy but Tricky 

The method I will discuss here is the most common one. Please note that a steady hand and some small tricks can produce a perfectly straight hole. At first, be focused on your goal. The 90-degree angle is your main concern here. Mark the area you want to create the hole, you can do that by using a pencil. To make the task easy, create a small divot with a nail so that your drill bit gets a fixed place to stand. Start drilling at a slow speed. High-speed creates more vibration. Keep your hand as steady as possible. A little practice is needed to sharpen your skill.

Pros of this method: 

  1. No additional tools needed.
  2. Best for home woodwork task. Method Two: The real time saver.

Cons: 

  1. Cannot provide 100% accurate angel.

Method two: The time sever

A drill block is a handy tool that can help you to create a perfectly straight hole. You can use it for various drill bits. Measurement guide is also there from 1/8″ – 1/2″. It is best for a professional woodworker or someone who needs to do such a task so often. You can use it for a long time. Just put the drill block where you want to make the hole then just drill. You can easily purchase a drill block by spending an average of 5$-8$.

Pros:

  1. Quick and accurate.
  2. Can be used for different size bit.
  3. Easy to use.

Cons:

  1. Your drill bit may damage while using a drill block. The reason is each block contains a still slender.

Method three: DIYers special

Let’s say you are working on your project that need to submit by the next day. Or you have no ready-made drill block available. The solution here is to make one.

It’s super simple. Take a piece of wood that is 1.5 inches wide and 10 inches long. Cut off the 2 inches from the end of its length. The cut should be perfectly square.

Now we need some wood glue. Spread some wood glue on the cut piece. Take the piece then place it on the longer part of the wood from 1 inch of the end. You can clump the pieces while the glue is drying up. Use a square to measure the pieces are aligned. Use a screw to align the pieces while you are in a hurry.

Now, line up your drill with the corner you created following the direction. Use your one hand to secure it to your drilling point and start drilling. You can use this DIY method to create hundreds of holes as you need.

Pros:

  1. You can use it for any drill bit.
  2. Easy to make.

Cons:

  1. The angle of the Jig can easily damage by friction with the drill bit.

Method four: Use the Reusable Jig

Need to create multiple holes at the same time?

A reusable jig comes in for such cases. You can easily make a reusable jig by using a brass or aluminum inflate rod. You can purchase that from any hardware store. You have to keep in mind, the internal diameter of the rod varies bit to bit. So, you have to pick one based on the drill bit you own. You can use a caliper to measure. Cut off 1.5 inches of the aluminum road from the end.

Then, place this rod with the angle of the DIY tool. You can use metal glue to join them up. This piece of metal will guide the bit to drill in the right place and make an accurate straight hole.

Pros:

  1. Perfect for making multiple holes at the same time.
  2. Reusable

Cons:

  1. Not suitable for different type bits.

What advantages does a drill press have over a hand drill?

It depends on the type of work you want to do. What kind of material you want to drill, material size, thickness, how many holes you want to create everything matters.

Video: Drill Straight Without a Drill Press

Some key advantages of a drill press:

Accuracy is the main advantage of a drill press. It will drill at an accurate angle. Also, you can set the depth of each hole you create by a drill press. It is not easy to do with a cordless drill. We can use drill press even for drilling on metal.

A drill press works must faster than a hand drill.

The motors used in drill press are more powerful. It saves workers energy and needs less effort cause Drilling a hole with a hand drill takes more time and effort.

You can use a centerless drill with a drill press that is nearly impossible to use with a hand drill.

Precision is another advantage of a drill press. A table comes with a drill press by default. You can easily clamp the sheet you want to drill. Making a straight hole is super easy with a drill press.

Adjustable torque is one of its core features. You can adjust the belt that will help you to control the speed as per your need. It provides a better consistent pressure in the drilling point. A hand drill does not have an adjustable RPM setting option.

You can drill multiple holes at a time. A hand drill takes more time even we use a drill block.

A drill press bit life is longer than a hand drill. Fewer men power needed to operate it that can save your time and money.

Are Drill press bits different? 

It depends on the drill press you are using and what kind of work you want to do with that. The drill chuck is capable of taking most of the bits available in the market. Chuck is the slot where we insert the drill bits. How far the drill chuck will open to fit a drill bit that is important. Common bits work well on a standard chuck. If you do not use the perfect bit for the right purpose, it will not last long. So, use the bit according to your work requirements.

The most common chuck sizes are 10mm and 13mm. 10 mm or 3/8 inch – Such bits work best for day to day tasks. Not perfect for heavy-duty. It will allow bits that have a shaft of 10 mm. 13 mm or 1/2 Inch- Works best for heavy drilling. Allow bits that have a max 13 mm shaft.

Drill bits vary from Material, coating, and geometry. Discussed below are the common metals used for bits.

  1. High-speed steel: It is the most basic one and the least expensive. You can use it for all general purposes and re-sharpen it.
  2. High -speed steel with cobalt: It is more heat and wears resistance.
  3. Carbide: It is the most expensive and long-lasting one. Carbide drill bits provide the best heat & chip resistance. It works perfectly for metal drilling.

Drill bits have different types of coating too. Bright finish, Black oxide, Titanium nitride, Titanium carbo-nitride coating, Titanium aluminum nitride are the most common coating used on drill bits.

It is also interesting that each coating provides a different advantage. Bright finish bits are the entry-level one. We use it for drilling into low carbon steel & Aluminum.

The black oxide coating is an up-gradation over the bright finish. It offers more lubricity and heat resistance with a longer life cycle and resistance to oxidation.

Titanium nitride is the most common coating. It does not transfer heat from the material to the tool you drilling. Typically gold in color.

Titanium carbo-nitride has slightly better temperature resistance than Titanium nitride.

So the bottom line is, Drill bits have lots of varieties. Standard bits are interchangeable to any drills. There are some custom bits available for specific work purposes. You should choose one which suits the best for your work type.

When do you use a drill press and when do you use a router?

A drill press and a router both have different uses and functionality. A drill press is a master for drilling holes preciously with a 90- degree angle that you cannot do accurately with freehanded. It can only move along Y-axis and able to create cylindrical holes.

A router is a versatile tool. A router can move along the X, Y, Z-axis. It has various bits that can create a variety of complex shapes. A router bit can do a lot more than a drill press. It can easily cut dadoes and rabbets and can create the best wood pattern. It is a tool used to curve the edge of a workpiece or material. A router is best for making cabinetry and carpeting. Just look inside your house. The design you see on your furniture is by a router. A router can easily trace a design on a wood piece that increases the beauty of the workpiece.

So the summary is, use a drill bit to create straight faster and accurate. Use a router when it comes to creating a variety of smooth shapes.

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