Drill Press Speed Chart


Glass and Tile Bit

Stanley Powerbore Bit

Spade Bit with Spurs

Spade Bit

B & D Bullet Pilot-point Bit

Twist Bit

Brad Point Bit

Forstner Bit

Hole Saw

Multi-spur Bit

Countersink

Shear-cutting Countersink

Countersink Screw Pilot Bit

Countersink with Taper Drill Bit

Circle Cutter

Plug Cutter

Flexible Disc Sander

Drum Sander

Flap Sander

Grinding Wheel

Polishing Wheel

RECOMMENDED OPERATING SPEEDS (RPM)

NR = Not Recommended * Back material to prevent chip-out Always wear a face shield for optimum protection
Accessory Softwood (Pine) Hardwood (Hard Maple) Acrylic Brass Aluminium Steel Notes
Twist Drill Bits*
1/16" - 3/16"
1/4" - 3/8"
7/16" - 5/8"
11/16" - 1"
3000
3000
1500
750
3000
1500
750
500
2500
2000
1500
NR
3000
1200
750
400
3000
2500
1500
1000
3000
1000
600
350
Lubricate drill with oil when cutting steel 1/8" or thicker. Use center punch on all holes to prevent drill from wandering.
Black & Decker Bullet pilot-point bits*
1/8" - 3/16"
1/4" - 3/8"
1/2"
3000
3000
3000
3000
3000
1500
3000
2400
1600
2000
1500
1500
1500
1000
750
3000
2000
1200
Good all-around bit. These cut more quickly than brad points and twist drills.
Brad point bits*
1/8"
1/4"
3/8"
1/2"
5/8"
3/4"
3/8"
1"
1800
1800
1800
1800
1800
1400
1200
1000
1200
1000
750
750
500
250
250
250
1500
1500
1500
1000
750
750
500
250
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
Raise 1/4" and smaller bits often to clear shavings and prevent heat build-up.
Forstner Bits
1/4" - 3/8"
1/2" - 5/8"
3/4" - 1"
1-1/8" - 1-1/4"
1-3/8" - 2"
2400
2400
1500
1000
500
700
500
500
250
250
NR
250
250
250
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
Raise 1/4-3/8" bits often to clear shavings and prevent heat build-up. Make several shallow passes with larger bits; allow bit to cool between passes.
Glass-and-tile bits (Listed speeds are for glass and tile—not softwood)
1/8"
3/16"
1/4"
5/16"
3/8"
1/2"
750
600
500
400
350
200
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
Wear safety goggles. Use drill press only. Do not apply excessive pressure. Lubricate with water while drilling. Reduce quill pressure when bit tip emerges from back side.
Hole saws*
1" - 1-1/2"
1-5/8" - 2"
2-1/8" - 2-1/2"
500
500
250-500
350
250
NR
NR
NR
NR
250
150
150
250
250
250
NR
NR
NR
Do not use with brass or aluminum thicker than 1/16". Avoid dense hardwoods such as hard maple.
Multi-spur bits*
2-1/8" - 4" 250 250 NR NR NR NR Smaller sizes also available; use Forstner speeds.
Spade bits*
1/4" - 1/2"
5/8" - 1"
1-1/8" - 1-1/2"
2000
1750
1500
1500
1500
1000
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
Clamp work to table to improve quality of hole.
Spade bits with spurs
2-1/8" - 4" 2000 1800 500 NR NR NR Best bit for acrylic. Clamp work securely.
Stanley Powerbore bits*
3/8" - 1/2"
3/4" - 1"
1800
1800
500
750
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
Ideal for deep holes and end-grain drilling.
Circle cutters*
1-1/2 - 3"
3-1/4" - 6"
500
250
250
250
250
250
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
Drill one side, flip material over, place center bit in its hole and resume cut.
Shear-cutting countersinks
1/4"
3/8"
1000
750
1000
700
700
700
700-1000
250-700
700-1000
250-700
NR
NR
Cuts cleaner than traditional countersinks.
Countersinks
2-flute
5-flute
1400
1000
1400
750
NR
750
NR
250
NR
250
NR
250
Raise and lower frequently for quicker cutting.
Countersink screw pilot bits
All sizes 1500 1000 500 500 NR NR Clear twist drill often.
Taper drill bits with countersinks
All sizes 500 250 250 NR NR NR Clear bit often to prevent heat build-up.
Plug cutters
All sizes 1000 500 NR NR NR NR Cut to full depth so bit chamfers plug.
Drum Sanders
Hard Rubber
Soft sleeveless
3" pneumatic
750
500
1750
1500
750
1750
750
750
1750
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
NR
Avoid load-up and overheating.

Decrease air pressure for fine contours.
5" Flex discs 750 500 500 500 NR NR Adhesive-backed discs work best.
Polishing wheels 1500 1500 1500 1500 2000 NR Use light pressure.
Flap sanders 2000 2000 2000 2000 2000 2400 Hold work firmly.
Grinding wheels NR NR NR NR NR 3000 Use 6" or smaller wheel.
Accessory Softwood (Pine) Hardwood (Hard Maple) Acrylic Brass Aluminium Steel Notes
NR = Not Recommended * Back material to prevent chip-out Always wear a face shield for optimum protection

Notes

  • Recommendations are based on visual and tactile tests under shop conditions. Drilling faster than recommended can cause overheating. Speeds slower than those recommended may cause poor-quality holes.
  • All testing done on face grain. Reduce speed when drilling into end grain.
  • Speeds based on new bits from the factory.

With thanks to WOOD® Magazine