A magnetic drill is a drill press-like machine that has a magnetic base. The magnetic base allows the magnetic drill to be locked onto a vertical steel beam while holes are being bored through it. This allows the operator to bore or drill consistently-spaced holes with no wavering due to drill movement. While mounted on a steel beam, the drill operates without movement, where a typical hand-held drill might have the propensity to move around. The electro-magnetic base is controlled by flipping a switch to engage or disengage the magnets.
The strong clamping power of the magnetic drill allows the operator to be as precise as a surgeon when drilling a hole. In situations such as lock repair on a safe, the most minute movement or fractional miscalculation on where to drill could potentially render the safe useless. By utilizing a magnetic drill, the drill is sure to stay locked onto the exact location the operator deems fit.
Often on construction sites, holes need to be drilled on location to fit certain steel beams together properly. In these cases, the magnetic drill allows the operator to lock the drill in place and begin the drilling process while he moves on to other tasks. The automatic boring feature of some models allows this set-it-and-forget-it mode of operation. Automatic lubrication dispensers and heavy-duty magnets make certain the drill stays on task without incident in most cases.
When working high on a metal building structure, it is likely that some pieces of iron will not fit the intended location such as the blueprint directs. In a situation such as this, the magnetic drill can be fitted with a milling bit and used to mill and shape the steel until it fits. The powerful clamping force of the magnets provides a steady base that the steel can be pushed against to make the needed cuts. The magnets can be easily released and the drill moved to other locations as needed to custom fit the steel beams throughout the structure.
The evolution of the magnet has allowed small portable devices such as the drill to lock onto a steel structure with a pseudo-permanent grip. Building a lightweight tool, manufacturers have made it easy for companies to be able to afford a magnetic tool for all of their crews. The drills have made cutting torches obsolete in many areas by boring clean, properly-sized holes in an exact location.