How to Use a Drill Press Vise: Step-By-Step Tutorial

Video how to use drill press vise

For woodworkers and metalworkers, a drill press vise is an essential tool. But how does it work? How do you use it effectively? In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about drill press vises and their various applications.

How to Use a Drill Press Vise: Step-By-Step Tutorial

Uses of a Drill Press Vise

A drill press vise is designed to securely hold a workpiece during drilling, cutting, and other operations. It eliminates the need for clamps or other gripping tools, saving time and reducing hand fatigue. Whether you’re a professional machinist or a DIY enthusiast, a drill press vise has numerous practical uses:

  • Metalworking: Hold metal pieces securely for drilling, sawing, or adjusting.
  • Woodworking: Stabilize wood for precise cuts or drilling.
  • Gluing: Keep pieces aligned while glue sets.
  • Cutting conduit: Secure conduit during cutting to ensure accuracy.
  • Sawing: Hold materials steady for clean cuts.
  • Drilling: Safely guide the drill bit into the workpiece.
  • Adjusting or screwing: Provide stability when adjusting or screwing parts.
  • Sandpapering or filing: Keep materials in place during sanding or filing.

How to Use a Drill Press Vise

Now, let’s dive into how to use a drill press vise effectively. Follow these steps to ensure proper usage:

Mark the spot for the drill point

Before installing the vise on the drill press table, mark the drill point on the underside of the table. This ensures alignment with the hole in the vise. Marking this spot prevents drilling in the wrong location.

Open the vise jaws

If your workpiece is too large for the vise, use vise-grips to hold it in place. Simply open the jaws of the vise-grips and secure them around the workpiece. This allows you to work with larger materials that wouldn’t fit inside the vise.

Place the workpiece

The primary use of a drill press vise is to hold a workpiece securely. Place the workpiece in the vise, ensuring that it is stable and won’t move during the drilling or machining process. The workpiece and vise should make contact at three points to ensure stability.

Close the jaws of the vise-grip

After positioning the workpiece in the vise, tighten the vise-grip jaws. Turn the handle in a revolving direction to secure the workpiece firmly. It’s crucial to ensure that the workpiece cannot slip out of position.

Ensure alignment

Check the alignment of the drill bit with the drill point on the workpiece. This step helps prevent any misalignment that could damage the workpiece.

Start drilling

Once everything is properly aligned and secured, you can start drilling. Place the workpiece in the drill press chuck and turn on the tool. Slowly lower the drill bit onto the workpiece, applying consistent pressure.

Different Types of Drill Press Vises

There are different types of drill press vises available, each with its unique features. Here are two common types:

Tilting Jaw Vises

Tilting jaw vises have one jaw that can tilt to the side. This feature allows the vise to securely clamp non-parallel and irregularly shaped objects, applying equal pressure on both sides of the project.

Quick-Release Vises

Quick-release drill press vises are equipped with a mechanism that allows for easy adjustment of the jaws with a single movement. The jaws can be quickly opened or closed using a button on the vise, providing convenience and efficiency.


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A drill press vise is an indispensable tool for any woodworking or metalworking project. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can effectively use a drill press vise to secure your workpiece and achieve precise results. Remember to choose the right type of drill press vise for your specific project. To find high-quality drill press vises, visit Best Drill Press For Metal. Happy drilling!

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