How Do You Keep a Drill Press From Rusting (4 Easy Steps)

Published on: March 31, 2022
Written by Eric Devin / Fact-checked by David Rowan

I have got a solution for your drill press rusting problem! There are various ways to keep the rust away. But I’ll show you the easiest and best way you can use for keeping your drilling machine clean, shiny, and in function.

When you regularly work in the open air or a humid environment, you find rust on your metal tools. Metal things are very prone to rust unless you take great care of them. In this article, we’ll be discussing the most beneficial way of keeping your drill press from rusting. 

A drill press is a great working tool. If you take proper care, it can last a decade. Everyone’s method is different. I’ll share the one that I found the easiest and long-serving with you. So, stay put!

how do you keep a drill press from rusting

Keep Your Drill Press From Rusting

Preventing rust is a lot easier than removing it. Some simple methods protect the metal and keep the rust from forming. It’s not any particular thing but combinations of the different steps to keep your tools from rusting and corrosion. Among the numerous processes, I’ll give you the one that needs less effort and provides more results. 

Point 1: Removing Rust From Machine

You should remove the existing rust to protect your tools from getting rust in the first place because rust creates more rust.  Do use any of the methods explained below to get rid of rust.

Ways of Removing Rust From Metal:

To remove the oxidation from the surface, you can use rust-removing oil for metal that cleanses the rust. Apply a thin coat and let that sit for about ten minutes or a little more. Then scrub it with steel wool or stainless steel brush. Clean off excess oil. Then put some mineral spirit on a rag and wipe it clean. After it’s dry, only then can you put a protective coating.

If you’ve got light rust on it, pour some white vinegar evenly on the surface. You may leave it for a couple of hours or overnight. Then rinse with water, make a paste with water and baking soda, and spread it on the rust. Let it sit for an hour. Then brush the rust off of the metal using a wire brush. You can use sandpaper as well.

Tools to Use to Remove Rust From Metal:

You may use a random orbital sander, 220 sandpaper, steel wool, wire brush, or even scotch Brite pads for removing rust. If you use a sanding machine, put the finest grit sandpaper on it, and sand it down.

Point 2:  Controlling Humidity

Dealing with garage shop humidity is challenging, especially if you live in a humid area. Humidity wreaks havoc on tools, whether it’s a detached garage or an unheated basement workshop. If the devices have metal surfaces, they’ll get corrosion and rust. You have to control the humidity in the air. You can buy a dehumidifier to reduce the impact. You can purchase at a local shop or online. Set up the machine and get rid of the humidity problem.

And for the hand tools that are kept in the drawers or cabinets, get some moisture-absorbing gel packs, or you can get a VCI (volatile corrosion inhibitor- vapor electrochemically attached to metal and protect from corrosion). You’ll get them in sheets. Put it in your drawer or wrap your tools with it like paper. They emit a vapor within the enclosed drawer or box that electrochemically bonds to metal surfaces and protects the tools from rusting. The vapor gets in all the nooks and crannies that you can’t necessarily get to reach.

Point 3: Avoid Getting the Tools Wet

Mobile contractors who work outdoors get their tools easily wet in the rain. Try to prevent them from getting wet. Wipe them down whenever they get wet. Transport them into a closed van, trail, or truck. Store them in weather-resistant tool boxes or containers. Don’t put ice drinks on your metal tabletops.

Point 4:  Apply a Protective Coating

Use protective coatings. There are various brands in the market. Or even paste wax will do the job. But before applying, you must remove the rust and make the surface clean. Put some liberal amount of coating. Apply it in a circular motion. When it’s dry, polish off the extra bits. Do it two to three times a year, depending on the area you’re living in. 

One Last Tip!

Keep your tools and drill press clean after work.


What’s a Drill Press?

A drill press is a device for making holes in a workpiece that is clamped to the adjacent stand or table to secure movement. According to Wikipedia, a drill press, also known as a pedestal drill, pillar drill, or bench drill, is a type of machine that is generally bolted to the floor or mounted on a workbench.

There are also portable varieties available, some of which have a magnetic base. The main components are- base, adjustable table, column/pillar, spindle, chuck, and drill head. An electric motor usually runs the drill head.

What Advantages Does a Drill Press Give Over a Hand-held Drill?

A drill press has a few advantages over a hand-held drill:

  • Modern drill presses have a variable-speed function.
  • Less effort compared to a hand-held drill.
  • The clamp secures the workpiece to the station and gives the advantage of safe working.
  • The advanced mechanism provides the operator with a mechanical advantage.
  • Drill press creates more accurate holes, thus giving more perfection.
  • They have more powerful motors. So, bulk work is easy to do.
  • You can use larger drill bits in a drill press.

Can I Use Any Drill Bit in a Drill Press?

Generally, all the drill bits are the same and can be used in a drill press and other drilling machines. Though there are some particular bits only made for individual devices. So, before starting to use it, make sure that the bit fits the device’s diameter.

What Are the Uses of a Drill Press Other than Drilling Holes?

Drill presses can be used for miscellaneous tasks other than drilling holes, including polishing, sanding, and honing.

Is a Drill Press Worth the Money?

If you are a woodworker who does regular bulk work, a drill press is obviously a plus for you. It offers better accuracy and is more powerful than a handheld drill. While the hand drills are suitable for small jobs, a drill press is necessary for serious bulk work.


I hope this article helped solve the rusting problem. Take preventive measures. Following these steps, you can prevent not only your drill press but any tool from rust and corrosion. Another thing to mention is that you must maintain all the requirements. That is to do all the steps maintaining the sequence without skipping one. Otherwise, you won’t get the desired result. Also, once it’s become rusty, it’s difficult to remove it.

Do share these valuable tips with your friends and colleagues. Also, visit our website for other helpful information and don’t forget to tell others to do so!

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About This Writer

author eric devin

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

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