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Obey the Drill Press Speed Limits

If your drill bits are sharp, but you're experiencing tear-out when drilling holes, there's a good chance that the drill press speed is set too slow. There are several factors that determine the proper drilling speed, including the size and type of bit, plus the density of the material being drilled. The chart below provides a range of drill press speeds that should work well.

Type of Drill Bit Size of Drill Bit Hardwood Speed (rpm) Softwood Speed (rpm)
Brad Point 1/8″–1/4 1000 2000
3/8″–1/2 750 1800
5/8″–3/4 375 1600
7/8″–1″ 250 1000
Forstner 1/4″–3/8 750 2200
1/2″–5/8 500 2000
3/4″–1″ 500 1600
11/8″–11/4 250 1000
13/8″–2″ 250 500
21/8″–3″ 250 250
Spade Bit 1/4″–5/8 1800 2200
3/4″–1″ 1600 1800
11/4″–11/2 1200 1600
Countersink Fluted 1000 1200
Shearcutting 800 1000

Have a nice weekend,

Wyatt Myers
Online Editor, Workbench

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