Drill Press Runout Check and Fix


What is drill press runout?

Drill press runout occurs when the coupling or shaft’s centerline deviates from its true axis of rotation.

Simply put, drill press runout refers to the amount of wobble present in a rotating drill press.

The drill press runout is most noticeable in the chuck drive, which is connected to the spindle, and it can be identified in various ways.

How do I check the runout of a drill press?

There are several ways to check for drill press runout, but the most common and simple method is to use a dial indicator.

Here are a few simple steps to take when using a dial indicator to check for drill press runout.

  • Install your dial indicator beneath the drill press’s chuck drive.
  • Spin the spindle slowly for 2 to 3 rotations to get a good amount of rotation going.
  • The movement of the dial indicator should be measured and recorded.
  • Rep the second and third steps, but this time spin the spindle in the opposite direction.

A value of 1/1000 or less is considered good and indicates a very strong and tight chuck. On the other hand, professionals recommend that any value less than 5/1000 in either direction can be allowed, while any value greater than that indicates a significant chuck runout.

How do you correct drill press runout?

Having a drill press runout in your drill press allows for some inaccuracy when working. A variety of factors can cause drill press runout in a drill press, whether it is a floor drill or a benchtop drill.

To that end, we’ve identified several approaches that can assist you in fixing your drill press runout. Each of these approaches aims to correct one of the possible factors that could be causing the drill press runout.

The chuck

The first step is to gently remove the chuck and clean the spindle shaft of any debris or dirt. Another option, which usually works best in most cases, is to completely replace the old chuck with a new chuck.

The Quill

The quill is the hollow metal that surrounds the spindle, and in most cases, a quick adjustment of the quill can correct runout.

Some drill press models include an adjustment knob that can be used to fine-tune the quill’s position. Replacing the quill may save you time and stress if the adjustment does not work.

Spindle and Bearings

Suppose the first two methods do not correct the runout, which is usually quite rare. The next option is to remove the chuck and spindle to inspect the spindle and bearings.

Drill runout is caused sometimes by a manufacturer’s flaws in the bearings or the chuck itself. A quick chuck change usually takes care of the runout and is the most efficient way to solve this problem. If the runout persists after attempting the procedures mentioned above, consider contacting the manufacturer and requesting a replacement model.

Related Post: Best Drill Press for Metal.


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Jason D. Turner

Hi there! My name is Jason, a keen enthusiast in power tools and their mechanisms and the sole mastermind behind the Noisy Tools. Working in a multi-national construction firm in Brooklyn for over a decade, I have developed a fair flair for different construction devices, gadgets, and their diverse operational aspects. By the dint of this platform, I have researched and reviewed various tools with utmost details of even the most trivial matters that will provide valuable insights for any prospective user.

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