The feed rate on a drill press is a lot harder to gauge than a mill. It has to be done by feel and by looking at the chips that are produced.

It’s important to have a high enough feed rate that the cutting edge takes a good bite of material consistently. When the cutting edge is fully engaged and removing a continuous strip of material, the heat from the cut goes into the material being removed and taken away. When the cutting edge is barely engaged, it bounces in and out of the cut and rubs on the surface of the material, creating chatter and a lot of heat that stays in the cut. This heat can build up and ruin your drill bit.

When drilling, you should ensure that you are producing large, thick chips. Fine, rough, inconsistent chips indicate the feed rate is too low. It’s easy to judge when the feed rate is too high because the motor will stall.