If you just got your drill press recently, then you are probably wondering what accessories you will need to get the most out of one of the most popular and useful tools. If you still don’t have a drill press, make sure to read my guide to getting one before continuing.
In this article, I’ll take a look at twelve of those including vises, soft jaw pads, and drill press tables. With those and other must-have drill press accessories, you will be able to get the output you need while saving yourself time and frustration.
So, let’s jump right in!
1. Drill Press Vise
A drill press vise is one of the first accessories you’ll need when you get a drill press.
For smaller units, a 1.5-inch vise like this one from Palmgren is more than sufficient.
For larger jobs, however, you’ll obviously need a larger vise. This 6-inch vise made by Delta will securely hold even your largest workpieces. The slots on the bottom of the vise allow it to quickly attach to your drill press table. Its quick-release function allows the break-down of your drill press job to be a breeze.
A quality vise is something that will quickly improve your work. The vise squeezes the piece of material you are drilling into so that it can’t buck or twist out of position.
If you don’t have one, make sure to also check my article about the best drill press vises on the market.
Sometimes you need to slightly modify your drill press’ table to maximize the results of your job.
With additional T-tracks, you can measure lengths quicker since the sliding scale can be zeroed at any position. The Incra one comes in lengths of 18, 24, 36, and 48 inches. No. 8 wood screws allow it to be mounted to any drill press table.
3. Magnetic Cleanup Tool
If you’ve ever used metal on a drill press, you are aware of the metal chips that fly everywhere. Blowing the chips elsewhere or sucking them up with a vacuum takes so much time and doesn’t even fully clean the area.
Luckily there are magnetic cleanup tools like the Champion RMX7 Roto Mag Steel Wizard that allow even the most stubborn chips and debris to be removed.
Wave the wand over the mess, and then pull back the handle to release the chips into a trash can, keeping your working area clean.
4. Sanding Drums
After using a drill press, the hole – and sometimes the workpiece overall – will require some level of sanding.
Using a sanding drum set, you can turn your drill press into a sanding gun. With different diameters and grit, it is likely that your application can be satisfied with one of the drums in this 25-piece Delta set.
5. Drill Press Support
A big issue with running a drill press is the material overhang over the sides of the table.
For example, if you’re drilling holes in a plank of wood, you undoubtedly will have unsupported lengths of material. The unsupported material can be bumped or knocked off the table, so you should consider a drill press support.
The HTC PM-128, for example, telescopes to cover a range of lengths from 28 to 56 inches.
6. Mortising Attachment
Not only can drill presses drill circular holes, but they can also drill square holes.
By equipping your machine with a mortising attachment like this one from Ironton, you can create professional-looking square holes for your project without otherwise altering your drill press.
Unlike milling a square pocket, these mortised holes from your drill press will have square corners.
Like an old lawn mower that just doesn’t seem to work right, a drill press has the same symptoms of a long life.
It will not run as smoothly, be less reliable, perhaps break down, there might be more tool chatter. Using lubricant designed for your drill press will increase tool life, reduce heat and friction, and reduce drilling time.
You should consider this one by Lenox. Among other things, it is water-soluble so it is easy to clean up
8. Cutting Fluid
Another way to improve life, cutting quality, and reduce heat and friction of your drill press is to use cutting fluid while operating.
Mostly used in metal applications, by putting cutting fluid on your bit and/or material before cutting, it will prolong the usable life of your drill press.
This one offered by Forney is quite popular.
9. Cutting Fluid Applicator
When it comes to applying cutting fluids to a piece in a machine shop, a fluid applicator is usually the go-to way.
It is designed to maximize heat dissipation while drilling. Since the air controls and fluid controls are separate, they can be tweaked to maximize the outcome for the job at hand.
This Noga applicator also has a magnetic base so it can be fastened and moved quickly with no tools.
Using your drill press to drill through the center of a round bar or tubing is a lot harder than you’d think, unless you own a V-block.
This Global Tools one, for example, has a capacity of up to 2 inches and the block is precisely ground to maximize accuracy. The slots on its bottom allow for it to be quickly affixed to the table of your drill press.
It is a very important accessory to have for your drill press if you work with round workpieces a lot.
11. Soft Jaws
If you’re using your drill press on a piece of material and you want to minimize surface damage due to your vise grip, you should consider getting soft jaw pads.
They are compatible with most vises and can hold almost any material that’s round, square, or irregularly shaped. The magnetic hold and thermoplastic structure are firm enough to grip your material but soft enough to preserve the finish on the material you’re drilling.
12. Drill Press Table
Sometimes you come across an application in which the table of your drill press isn’t ideal.
You can buy and install a third-party drill press table that is either bigger than your standard table or more versatile.
This table, for example, has T-slots on the top, a removable panel for drilling thru-holes, and can be installed to most drill presses. The table absorbs vibrations, and it’s thick and more practical than the standard table on most drill presses.
Whether you work with wood or metal – or both – I’m sure you were able to find an accessory or two in the list above that should help you streamline your work.
Regardless of the type of work you do, I recommend getting at least the following: a drill press table, a drill press vise, lube, and some T-tracks. If you work with metal a lot, then a magnetic cleanup tool and a cutting fluid are must-have drill press accessories as well.
On top of that, you should, of course, also get a set of drill bits.