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Benchtop drill press or decent handheld rotary tool?

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Hi everyone!

I'm slowly kitting myself out with decent tools and equipment, and I'm in need of a reliable method to drill 0.8mm holes in homemade PCBs.

I'm looking at the Proxxon TBM 220 Bench Press drill (website: with a 0.5 - 6mm chuck.

I was trying to use a small DC motor with collet attachment that I got for a couple of pounds from eBay, but (no surprise, really), the rotational accuracy at the end of the drill bit is not nearly good enough for holes that small.

Has anyone used this tool or similar, and do you think it is likely to be significantly better than getting a Proxxon handheld rotary tool and decent Proxxon drill stand?  I know the Dremel ones are meant to be pretty poor, though.  I was just wondering whether, as well as being significantly cheaper, the handheld drill might prove more useful for other jobs too.  But I really don't want to compromise on being able to do very accurate, small holes.

I presume that as the TBM 220 is a bench press, it will be happy taking carbide drill bits, but do you think its top speed of 8,500 rpm would be sufficient?

Anyway, any thoughts or opinions very welcome!  Thanks, guys.  Don't know what I'd do without this forum - I'd be too worried about buying the wrong things all the time!

Get yourself a Proxxon Drill stand.

The expensive MB 200 is suited for milling operation, if you want to do drilling only then MB 140S will suffice. Amazon ships the MB140 to Australia too.

Next, you can attach whatever rotary tool you have with a hack to fit in the 3/4" or 20mm collar. Otherwise you can get the Proxxon 12V Micromot 50

You can power the tool with a DC powersupply, the AC speed control will not work, just vary the PSU voltage for different RPM. Or build a PWM control for full torque. I don't have a problem with drilling 3.2mm x 30mm hole into a block of Aluminium, any larger hole you should use a bigger tool.

The reason for Proxxon is because they are nicely balanced tool with little vibration, and they make accurate holes due to less spindle runout. You can use the Proxxon free hand if required. And finally it has weaker motor so it's quite safe, it kills you slower than the mains powered Dremel.

8,500 rpm is fine for carbide bits.  I have a 10,000 rpm pully set on my mill and run carbide bits at about 6,000 to 7,000 rpm with no problems.

Oh, crap!  Just realised I posted this in the wrong forum section.  Meant to post it in "Other Equipment".

Sorry about that, Dave & everyone.  :-[

8500rpm with a .0315" drill bit is only 70sfm. You can drill exotic, hi temp alloys at that speed.


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