How to Remove and Replace a Drill Press Spindle

Video how does a drill press spindle work

The spindle is a crucial part of your drill press that undergoes a lot of stress during drilling. Over time, the spindle may bend or the bearings that hold it in place may fail. Instead of taking it to a repair shop and spending a fortune, you can replace the spindle yourself. In this article, we will guide you through the process step by step, saving you both time and money.


How to Remove and Replace a Drill Press Spindle

Removing the Quill Assembly

1. Remove the drill chuck

Use the appropriate drill chuck removal tool to remove the chuck from your drill press. This tool will vary depending on your drill press model. Removing the chuck is an essential first step in accessing the spindle.

Removing the Chuck

2. Remove the belt

Open the drill’s top cover and remove the drive belt. This will allow you to proceed with the disassembly of the quill assembly.

Removing the Belt

3. Remove the quill set screw

First, remove the nut threaded onto the set screw. Then, unscrew the set screw from the drill press body. This will free the quill assembly for further disassembly.

Remove Quill Set Screw

4. Remove the return spring assembly

Caution: The return spring assembly is under tension. Exercise caution to avoid injury.

5. Remove the handle and quill

The handle and quill are held together by gears. Remove the handle to free the quill assembly.

Removing and Replacing the Spindle

1. Remove the quill retaining ring

Use retaining ring pliers to remove the retaining ring from the quill assembly. This will allow you to separate the quill from the spindle.

Remove Retaining Ring

2. Separate the quill and spindle

Secure the quill assembly in a vice and tap the spindle out of the quill. This will separate the two parts for further examination.

Separate Quill and Spindle

3. Remove the spindle bearing

Set the spindle in a vice and tap the bearing off the spindle. This will allow you to replace the bearing with a new one.

Remove Spindle Bearing

4. Install the bearing on your new spindle

Set the new spindle in a vice and tap the bearing onto the spindle. Make sure it is secure before proceeding.

Install New Spindle Bearing

5. Install the spindle into the quill

Insert the spindle into the quill and secure it in place using a vice and gentle tapping. Take care not to damage the parts during this step.

Install Spindle into Quill

6. Replace the retaining ring

Slide the retaining ring back into place on the quill assembly, ensuring that it sits securely in its groove.

Replace Retaining Ring

Reinstalling the Quill Assembly

1. Remount the handle and quill

Slide the quill assembly back into position and insert the handle to secure it in place.

Remount Handle and Quill

2. Install the return spring assembly

Exercise caution while reinstalling the return spring assembly, as it is under tension. Properly thread the nuts and adjust the tension to ensure smooth operation.

3. Adjust the handle tension

Fine-tune the tension of the return spring assembly by adjusting the nut until the handle moves smoothly. Aim for a slight amount of rubbing to ensure the tension is correct.


  • Can I replace the spindle bearings myself?
    Yes, you can replace the spindle bearings yourself as long as you have the proper tools and follow the necessary steps.

  • How often should I replace the spindle bearings?
    The frequency of replacing spindle bearings depends on the usage and maintenance of the drill press. Regular inspection and lubrication can help extend their lifespan.


Repairing the spindle on your drill press may seem challenging, but with the right tools and guidance, you can do it yourself. By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to remove and replace the spindle, saving both time and money. Remember to exercise caution when working with the delicate components and always ensure the proper functioning of your drill press. For more information and helpful guides, visit Best Drill Press For Metal.

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