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Mill press vs drill press

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by glocked-up, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. glocked-up


    Jan 15, 2010
    Whats the difference or is there any?
  2. BHP9


    Nov 21, 2008
    God's Country.
    A drill press makes holes in one direction - down.

    A mill/drill press goes in two or more directions - down like a drill press but it also works with side pressure - cuts slots, hogs out material etc.

    It's all in the design of the quill.

  3. msinc


    Aug 26, 2007
    "it's all in the design of the quill" .....

    And the gearhead, and the two axis milling table. The quill alone dont make it cut slots. A drill press usually just has an adjustable chuck, a mill usually has a collet system which is much more rigid. In fact if I had to state the difference with just one word my word is rigidity. Not too many drill presses can be fitted with an end mill and a milling table and work as well as a purpose designed machine. Suggest you look online at a company called Enco...they have alot of machines geared toward versatility. It is easier to see the differences when you have pictures but you would know right away what I am talking about if you ever milled on a real vertical milling machine as opposed to a drill press fitted wit a traversing table.
  4. glocked-up


    Jan 15, 2010
    So would it be correct to say that a mill press can do anything that a drill press can.....but a drill press can't do the things a mill press can do?
  5. Brian Lee

    Brian Lee Drop those nuts

    Jul 28, 2008
    Up a tree.
    Generally, yes, that's true, but not completely. A nice drill press - and I'm talking about professional machine shop equipment here - will often have longer quill travel than a typical milling machine will, so you can use longer drills and still be able to retract them all the way out of the hole to clear your chips out. But that's not always true of all drill presses.

    Mills have much stronger spindle bearings, so don't fall for a drill press with an X,Y table retrofitted onto it, and NEVER expect an end mill to cut worth a crap when you've got it mounted into a drill chuck. End Mills NEED to be held in collets. The loss of proper rigidity will keep it from cutting right, and will break the end mill, as well as ruin the concentricity of the drill chuck.

    And: neither myself, or any other machinist or toolmaker I ever knew would refer to a "milling machine" as a "mill press".
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2010