Can You Use a Drill Press as a Router? Get Expert Advice and Tips Here!

Do you have a drill press sitting around that doesn’t get much use? Did you know that with a few simple modifications, you can turn it into a highly functional and versatile router? In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps necessary to transform your drill press into a router, and show you how to take advantage of the benefits that come with having a dual-purpose machine in your workshop. Using a drill press as a router may seem like an odd idea at first, but it’s actually a great way to save space and money in your woodworking endeavors. With a new router easily costing hundreds of dollars, repurposing equipment that you already own is a smart choice.

Plus, a drill press/router hybrid provides the angle-drilling capabilities of a drill press, with the added versatility of a router. The process of converting a drill press into a router can be broken down into a few simple steps, such as installing the router bit, creating a guide fence, and modifying your table. You can even add a variable speed control if your drill press does not already have one.

Once you’ve made these modifications, you’ll be able to produce precise cuts and shapes in a variety of materials. So, whether you’re a seasoned woodworker looking to expand your capabilities, or a beginner hoping to save some money on equipment, using your drill press as a router is a great option. With a little bit of know-how and some creative thinking, you can turn your drill press into a truly versatile machine that will help take your woodworking projects to the next level.

Understanding the Differences Between a Drill Press and a Router

Drill presses and routers are both popular power tools frequently used in woodworking, but they serve different purposes. While they may appear similar in operation, there are fundamental differences between the two. The biggest difference is that a drill press is mainly used for making holes, whereas a router is used for cutting and shaping edges and grooves.

However, some people wonder if they can use a drill press as a router. The short answer is no. While it’s possible to modify a drill press to function like a router, a drill press doesn’t have a motor powerful enough to handle the kind of work that a router can do.

It also doesn’t have the bits designed for the specific tasks that a router can accomplish. So, it’s not recommended to use a drill press as a router. However, each tool is essential in its own way and suited for specific woodworking operations.

So, it’s essential to have and use both tools accordingly.


If you’re looking to add some tools to your workshop, you might be considering a drill press or a router. While these two tools may seem similar at first glance, they’re actually quite different in terms of functionality. A drill press is a stationary tool that allows you to drill precise holes into various materials.

It’s ideal for repetitive drilling tasks where accuracy is paramount. A router, on the other hand, is a handheld tool that’s used for carving out grooves or shaping edges on various materials such as wood, plastic or metal. Think of it as a mini chainsaw for your workshop.

Both tools have their unique advantages and applications, but understanding the differences between them can help you choose the right tool for your needs. So, whether you need to drill holes in a piece of wood or carve out a decorative edge, consider the functionality of a drill press or a router and make an informed decision.

can you use a drill press as a router

Bits and Chuck Size

If you’re new to the world of DIY crafting or woodworking, understanding the differences between a drill press and a router can be confusing. Both tools are essential for any woodworker, and they have their unique functions. A router is a handheld power tool that cuts out grooves in the wood, while a drill press is a tool that drills holes in a precise location.

The bits used in a drill press have a standardized size that is measured in fractions of an inch, while the bits used in a router come in a variety of sizes. Additionally, a router usually has a chuck size that can accommodate different sizes of router bits, but a drill press usually has a fixed chuck size. Knowing the differences between these tools and their bits and chuck sizes is essential to choose the right tool for your project and produce quality results.

Modifying a Drill Press to Function as a Router

Have you ever wondered if you can use a drill press as a router? Well, the answer is yes, with some modifications. By attaching a router table to the drill press and a fence to guide the material, your drill press can now function as a router. This opens up a new range of possibilities for your woodworking projects.

However, it is important to keep in mind that a drill press-turned-router may not have the same power or precision as a dedicated router. It may also require more frequent maintenance due to the added stress on the machine. But if you have a limited budget or workspace, or simply want to expand the capabilities of your drill press, modifying it to function as a router is a great option to consider.

Choosing the Right Router Baseplate

If you’re looking to modify a drill press to function as a router, there are a few things you need to consider. One of the most important factors is choosing the right router baseplate. This is the part of the router that attaches to the bottom of your drill press, and it’s where you’ll be attaching your router bit.

You’ll want to make sure that the baseplate you choose is compatible with your drill press, and that it’s the right size and shape for the job you’ll be doing. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that the baseplate is durable and able to withstand the wear and tear of regular use. With a little bit of research and planning, you can be on your way to creating your own custom drill press router setup that will serve you well for years to come.

Installing the Baseplate

If you are working on a woodworking project and want to use a router, but don’t have one, you can modify your drill press to function as a router. One of the first steps in this process is installing a baseplate, which is a flat piece of metal or plastic that attaches to the chuck of your drill press. The baseplate provides a stable platform for your workpiece and helps ensure accurate cuts.

To install the baseplate, you will need to remove the chuck from your drill press and replace it with the baseplate. This can be a bit tricky, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and use the right tools. Once you have your baseplate installed, you’re ready to start using your modified drill press as a router.

Happy woodworking!

Tips and Tricks for Using a Drill Press as a Router

Yes, you can use a drill press as a router with a few tips and tricks. First, you need to find a router attachment that fits securely onto the drill press spindle. Then, adjust the bit height and fence to the desired position before turning on the machine.

Be sure to use slow and consistent pressure when feeding the material through the bit and always wear eye and ear protection. It is also important to keep the workpiece securely clamped to the table to prevent any movement while in use. Using a drill press as a router can be a cost-effective way to accomplish small routing projects without needing to purchase a dedicated router.

However, it is important to note that a drill press lacks some of the features and capabilities of a router and may not be suitable for complex routing tasks or larger projects.

Adjusting Speed and Depth

One of the major benefits of a drill press is that you can adjust its speed and depth to suit your needs. This is especially useful when using a drill press as a router. To achieve the best results, it’s important to match the speed of the drill press to the type of material you’re working with.

For softer materials, such as wood, you’ll want to use a slower speed. For harder materials, like metal, a faster speed is needed. Additionally, adjusting the depth of the drill bit can help you achieve the desired level of precision and accuracy.

With these simple tips and tricks, you can easily use your drill press as a router and take your woodworking projects to the next level.

Safety Precautions to Follow

Safety Precautions to Follow for Using a Drill Press as a Router Using a drill press as a router can be a great way to enhance your woodworking projects. However, it’s essential to follow safety precautions to prevent accidents. First and foremost, wear ear and eye protection as the machine can be noisy and produce flying debris.

Make sure the drill press is securely mounted and on a stable surface. Keep the bit lubricated and always hold the workpiece firmly in place. Never remove the chips or dust with your bare hands and ensure the workpiece is always secured to avoid kickbacks.

Keep your fingers away from the bit and avoid loose clothing or jewelry that could get caught. By following these safety tips, you can use a drill press as a router effectively while ensuring your safety and the safety of those around you.

Conclusion: Is it Worth Using a Drill Press as a Router?

In conclusion, can you use a drill press as a router? Well, technically, you can use a drill press as a router, but just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. While they may look similar, a drill press and a router are two very different tools with distinct purposes. Trying to use a drill press as a router can lead to uneven cuts, unstable workpieces, and potentially dangerous situations.

So, save yourself the frustration and invest in the right tool for the job. Your projects (and your fingers) will thank you for it.”


What is a drill press and how does it work?
A drill press is a stationary tool used to drill holes into materials such as wood, metal, and plastic. It works by using a motor to rotate the drill bit and applying downward pressure to drill through the material.

What is a router and how does it work?
A router is a tool used to hollow out an area in a piece of wood or other material. It works by spinning a cutting bit at high speeds while the material is held in place.

Can a drill press be used as a router?
While a drill press and router are similar tools, they are designed for different purposes. While some people have found ways to modify a drill press to function as a router, it is not recommended as it can be unsafe and the end result may not be as precise or clean as using a dedicated router.

What are the safety concerns when using a drill press as a router?
When using a tool for a purpose it was not designed for, there are always safety concerns. Using a drill press as a router can result in the drill bit grabbing or getting stuck in the material, which can cause injury or damage to the workpiece. Additionally, without the proper guards and attachments, debris can fly out of the workpiece and potentially cause injury.

What are the benefits of using a dedicated router over a modified drill press?
A dedicated router is designed specifically for routing tasks, meaning it will have the proper attachments, guards, and features to make the job easier and safer. Additionally, dedicated routers offer a wider range of cutting options, such as plunge routing and edge routing, that would not be possible with a drill press.

Can a drill press be used for any woodworking tasks?
While a drill press is primarily designed for drilling holes, it can also be used for other tasks such as sanding, mortising, and tapping threads. However, it is important to use the proper attachments and follow safety guidelines to avoid injury or damage to the workpiece.

What should I consider when choosing between a drill press and a router?
When choosing between a drill press and a router, consider the type of work you will be doing most frequently. If you primarily need to drill holes, a drill press is the better option. If you need to hollow out areas or create decorative edges, a router is the better choice. Additionally, consider the size and portability of the tool, as well as the cost and availability of accessories and replacement parts.

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