Drill press recommendations for drilling in both metal and stone

I’ve been exploring the various drill presses that are being marketed for use with metal/stone. I would appreciate any recommendations that fellow Orchidians could provide. I want precision, and a solid piece of equipment. My budget will allow for something under $1000, but, of course, I would prefer a much lower price while still acquiring good equipment.

Note From Ganoksin Staff:
Looking for a small drill press tool for your jewelry projects? We recommend:

There are several mini drill presses available from the various places that sell to jewelry people like us, one for less than $100. If you are going to be drilling stone, you will need to figure out how to do it with a water spray directed on your diamond bit, how to secure the stone you are drilling and how to collect the water after it is sprayed. I have spent a lot more on diamond drills for stone than the drill press itself. This need creates a number of challenges all of which might impact your choice of drill press. You will also need a vise (maybe more) that will fit your drill press when you are drilling metal as well as whatever metal bits you will need. I don’t use my drill press much, but when I need it, it is my go to tool. Good luck…Rob

A Dumore series 16 sensitive drill press is the best one for small
precision work. However they are not cheap, they sell for $935 new. You
can occasionally find used ones on ebay or other sites. The reason they
are so great are first and foremost the drill does not have a quill, the
chuck is directly attached to the motor shaft. The work is raised to the
drill bit by a table with a fine pitch rack and pinion mechanical
movement. This means there is no runout in the drill so very tiny drill
bits can drill very precise holes. Second it has a 17,000 RPM motor
which means that those bits can be run at the proper speed for them to
cut as they are designed to leading to less broken drill bits.

I found it nice to have 2 drill presses, one for stone and one for metal.

I’m only drilling small stones , etc. so a cheap Chinese drill press works fine ( less than $100 at Rio ) AND since I’m drilling in water, I don’t worry much about the drill press and possible water damage on the table , etc.

For metal, I have restored old drill presses - but a good quality one that can hold small drill bits and is accurate is best.And don’t cheap out on drill bits, you want the best ones you can find.


HI Vicky,
Technical Ted here, and id like to help, but in the engineering world where I hail from, technical advice starts with the enquirer detailing
1, what size drills they want to use
2. how many holes per week, or day, or hour,
3. what exactly materials is intended to drill, ie silver etc or s/steel or titanium,
4. Stones? what hardness on the mohs scale?
Then we can give you the benefit of our wide experience very accurately.
can we have this info? please?

I have just finished designing and launching a Mini drill press for jewelers that drills normally, drills glass and stone etc.
You don’t meed another motor, just your existing flex shaft.
The basic model sells for $485 and there are many more vices and clamps coming soon
Check out http://www.drill-straight-tools.com/

Cheers, Hans

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The new mini drill from Hans looks great and price too!

Servo Products have several models of small precision drill presses. Speed range 200-20,0000. They are over the $1000 budget Vicki mentioned though. $2000 to $2500.

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Note From Ganoksin Staff:
Looking for a small drill press tool for your jewelry projects? We recommend:

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