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How to Use a Drill Press Vise – A Complete Guide

A drill press vise is an indispensable tool for any woodworker or metal worker. But how does it work? How do you use it? What are the benefits of using this machine, and how can you make sure that you’re getting the most out of your investment with these tips? This article will cover everything you need to know about how to use a drill press vise and what the best practices are when it comes to usage.

It’s not hard to find videos or tutorials on how to use it. As YouTube alone is littered with them, there’s no shortage of video guidance on the subject. But if you’re looking for a quick overview of it, then you’ve come to the right place

What are the Uses of a Drill Press Vise?

A drill press vise is known for its usefulness in holding a work piece in place during drilling, cutting, and other operations. They are often found on drill presses and allow users to securely hold work pieces without the need for clamps or other gripping devices. This is beneficial as it saves time and prevents users from wearing their hands out as they use it.

A drill press vise is a tool that machinists have used for decades, but many home handy-persons do not have a drill press vise in their workshop. Yet, this simple device has so many great uses that it’s hard to imagine working on projects without one. Here included some uses of drill press vise: 

  • Metalworking
  • Woodworking
  • Gluing
  • Sawing
  • Drilling
  • Sandpapering or filing
  • Adjusting or screwing
  • Cutting conduit

How to Preparing Your Drill Press Vise

When you’re using a drill press, preparing your vice is an important step. But it can be complicated to do it the right way. So whether you’re planning to use your drill press as a replacement for a table saw or need to drill a few holes in wood, your drill press is an integral part of your workshop.

Use a clamp or drill vise when drilling holes in metal. Secure the workpiece by holding it between two clamps, so it doesn’t slip. Cut with a slow, steady motion. Remove the drill bit before starting and lubricate the bit with oil after drilling.

How to Use a Drill Press Vise Properly

If you’ve set up your drill press vise according to the instructions, and now it’s time to test the vise. The other thing you want to do is give it a test run so you can make sure it’s working right. Here are the instructions you should follow when using your drill press vise:

1. Mark the drill point spot

Mark the drill point before mounting the vise in the drill press table. If you don’t mark the drill bit on the underside of the table, your drill point won’t line up with the hole in the vise, and you’ll drill in the wrong place.

2. Open the jaws

When you have a large workpiece that will not fit in your vise, you can use a pair of vise-grips to hold the workpiece in place. Then, open the jaws of the vise grips and position them around the workpiece.

3. Position the workpiece

Your drill press vise has several different uses, but using it to hold a workpiece in place is one of the most common purposes for this tool. In the first place, you have to make sure that the workpiece is secure and won’t move during machining. At present, there are three points of contact between the workpiece and vise. However, when it comes to positioning, one point is not enough.

4. Close the vise jaws

The final task is tightening the vice. All you need to do is turn the handle in a revolving direction. Make sure that the object cannot slip out of place before moving on to the next step.

5. Setting the alignment

Contractors need to make sure that they are drilling in the right place. In addition, it is essential to align the drill bit with the drill point on the object so that it will not ruin the thing or the work area.

6. Start Drilling

When the workpiece is centred properly in the chuck, you can begin a cut. When you are sure of the exact position of the drill press, slowly turn on the machine and then lower it down onto the item you have clamped in place.

Safety Precautions When Using Drill Press Vise

The drill press vise is one of those machines that can be quite dangerous if not handled with care. When using a drill press vise, you should always check to ensure that the vise is securely fastened to the drill press table. If it isn’t, it can cause serious injuries. Also, you should always wear eye protection to prevent eye injuries from flying debris.

To ensure that the workpiece is secured and properly aligned, the workpiece should be attached to the vise using clamps, C-clamps, or a drill press vise. The vise should be able to grip the workpiece from any angle on the table. You can adjust the jaws of the vise to match the diameter of the workpiece.

Choosing the Best Drill Press Vise For Your Needs

Before you choose a drill press vise for your needs, make sure that you know what you’re going to be using it for and how much you’re willing to spend. There are a few different types of drill press vises, and they’re all designed for other things.


The purpose of using a drill press vise is to hold the wood or metal while you’re drilling. The drill press vise has a wide range of uses. It’s to help you decide how big or small the vise should be and any additional features you need. It can be used to hold wood, metal, plastic, and many other materials.

So your purpose will help you decide if a vise is for you or not. Before purchasing a vise, first, determine your goal so you can make an informed decision on your needs and wants.


The quality of the drill press vise is important as the vise will hold the woodwork in place while you drill into it. Please check that the vise is made of high-quality materials, as this will ensure that it does not break while you are using it.


Look for the correct drill press vise compatibility before you purchase a drill press vise. Some drill presses have the vise built-in, but most of them do not. If yours does not have a vise built-in, you will need to purchase a vise separately.

If you have additional equipment, make sure the drill press vise will work with those tools, too. It will need to be compatible with your drill press.

Throat Depth

The first thing you’ll want to consider is the throat depth. The throat depth is the measurement of the distance from the screw to the top of the jaws. The larger the throat depth, the more depth that you can drill through.

If you’re only going to be drilling holes through thin materials, then you can get by with a smaller throat depth.

Jaws Surface

Look for a drill press vise with jaws with a flat surface and accurate to the size of the drill-press table. The jaws should be about two inches wide and five inches long, and they should be made of solid steel, not cast iron.

Type of Material

Many different types of material can be used to make a drill press vise. The most common are cast iron and cast aluminium. Cast iron is the stronger of the two materials, but it is also significantly heavier. Cast aluminium is lighter and easier to move around, but it is not as strong as cast iron.


Drill press vises range in weight from 3 lbs up to 50 lbs. Heavy vises are ideal for drilling large holes and more extensive stock; however, heavier vises don’t need to be bolted to the drill press because they won’t flex or vibrate when mounted. The weight of the vise will largely determine how stable it is.


When looking for a drill press vise, remember to look for a warranty before purchasing one. It is always important to make sure that you can get it fixed or replaced if anything goes wrong with your vise.

Final Thoughts

That is all you need to know about working with a drill press vise. Before buying a vise, research as much as possible. There are many types of drill press vises, so it’s important to research the various types and their strengths and weaknesses.

Once you’ve done your research, you should be in a better position to pick the right one. It would be best if you also considered safety when working with such machines to avoid injuries. Safety equipment is an excellent idea, especially when using such machines for heavy-duty drilling.

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