Best way to automize the hand of hand drill press

I want to control "hand" in the hand drill press with a motor.

Why? Actually it is protype of custom cnc for drilling small metal parts (about 12mmx12mm). I already setup proxxon KT 70 with two step motors with arduino cnc board and it is working without problem. Actually I tried to use a rope directly with a nema23 step motor( sanyo denki 103g770-2517 1.1A 4.1V , probably 0.62Nm) , but it could not pull the hand. I checked and there are many custom hand drill press or some tips related to this "universal hand drill press" drill stand, but I could not find something similar which is trying to control this hand powered drill stand.

I think I need a motor gear, but I dont know where is best place to mount this mechanism.

Maybe drive a screwed rod with a motor and put a nut on the handle so when the rod rotates it moves the nut up or down.

Are you trying to do this for a Proxxon drill stand - if so, which model?

Would a powerful servo work?


Typical drilling forces might be upto 100's of newtons, a leadscrew makes sense for that,
but you need to think about when things go wrong - you might make a machine strong enough
to damage itself, or which doesn't notice when a drillbit breaks.

Replacing the handle with a large belt sprocket might be another possibility.

How about a photo?

If you can measure the drilling force that's useful for detecting when a drillbit
needs sharpening / replacing too, as well as preventing damage.

Thank you for the replies.

Today I got some hand on experience on a real drill press with carbide bits at milling/machining shop , and then I also tried my cheap hand drill press at home.

No, I will put links to pictures on hand drill press below. Proxxon drill stand is not appropriate for ordinary home drills. You need to use original smaller proxxon drills with proxxon drill stand.

It was like cutting bread with this drill press & carbide bits (6.9mm bit) on cylindrical metal.

And I also trying the same material with hand drill press, but with hss bits. It was very difficult, and I also tried aluminium material, but no success.

Yes, you are right. Dealing with drillbit is also another issue. Today I just experienced it today, after some time, drill bit needed sharpening. I tried this on a professional machining/milling company, and they just sharpened the bits.

So I decided not to waste my time on hand drill press, rather work on real drill press. I will also do tapping in different sizes M4,M6,M8. So I will share my experiences, milling shop owner suggest to give this machine creation task to a pro machine manufacturer. I just want to try my chance and get hands on experience to make some automation on this drill machine.

No, I will put links to pictures on hand drill press below. Proxxon drill stand is not appropriate for ordinary home drills. You need to use original smaller proxxon drills with proxxon drill stand.

I only asked because I have a Proxxon drill and stand.

My suggestion for a screwed rod applies regardless of size.


Here is a hint for what ever you decide on drilling: use a "spotting drill" to start the hole. You can Google that! Any of your drill bits will wander when starting a hole, especially ones sharpened by hand. Also while drilling steel or aluminum, bring the drill bit up out of the hole a bit to clear the removed material. Aluminum will weld itself to the drill bit.


Try cutting wax. Spin up the drill and get some on the bit. With the proper speed and pressure for the material, steel or aluminum will cut easily and you’ll get one long “curly fry” shaving. The bit will stay sharp, run cooler and last longer.

If you want very accurate centre drilling you shouldn't be using a drill-press, you should be using a mill
with a centre drill. A drill press is a wobbly jelly compared to a mill (which weigh ~1000kg in order to be
that rigid). Still a centre drill is good start :slight_smile:

For cutting speeds, there are tables of those which are well worth consulting - a drill bit
is just a specialized cutting tool and the same principles apply (but you have to be more careful
to clear chips and when drilling deep). Use cutting lubricant.