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Meddings Machine Tools design, manufacture and distribute a range of drilling machines worldwide. Meddings drilling machines are supplied into many training, educational and manufacturing companies around the world due to their quality, durability, and safety features.

Meddings Machine tools started off in Slough and in 1973 a larger more suitable manufacturing site was required due to congestion in South East England. After researching the UK for good manufacturing sites it was decided that a move to Ivybridge, South Devon would provide all the requirements for a new modern industrial site. The Lee Mill Industrial Estate was chosen as it was a seen as a site that would allow the company to grow. Meddings over the years has been renowned for the quality and robustness of design with over 150,000 machines manufactured to date. 


COMPACT/Mk2 (2023 model)

Our latest Mk2 version of our every popular Compact machine  is still produced here in our own factory. 

This machine combines all of our previous experience and knowledge in building the original Compact range, but with updated and added features including emergency stop as standard, new stop/start assembly and options for an interlock guard if required.

The Compact is lighter than our 'L' series machines, yet still robust and rigid. Not intended as a full time production machine, it still offers performance and accuracy to the highest order for the lighter user.


The 13mm capacity machine is based on our original standard Compact Drilling Machine with the addition of a 'Variable Speed' control unit capable of speeds between 300 - 3000 RPM. 

This machine allows the user automatic speed control without having to adjust the belt, ideal for use in any workshop or educational establishment.

Variable Speed

L1 MK 6 - L2 MK 4

Developed from our earlier, long running, series these models d
feature 2 MT spindles with increased drilling capacities, the L1 series effectively replace the earlier L2 models and the new L2 replaces our earlier M4 series thus offering better value. 

The L2 models feature a 2 speed motor to expand the available speed range. Items now included as standard - rack and pinion table adjustment, work light and base mounted stop switch were previously available as optional extras. All machines are supplied complete with chuck guards as illustrated.



We have an extensive spare parts list and are happy to help if you need a replacement for your machine. All we need to assist you is your serial number and the part you require. 

As a long standing UK manufacturer we have a historical purchase data base so we can help locate your machine and any spares you may require. 

We also now have our EBay shop - click to take a look. 



We are also the UK supplier for the Iberdrill range who are part of the Erlo Group. We work closely with their sales and technical team to help our customers in any way needed.

They guarantee reliability and robustness in their drilling and tapping machines.

Contact Meddings Machine Tools direct for enquiries 



For years, we’ve been proud to be Strands UK supplier. They have been manufacturing machines for over 100 years and have experience in producing high quality, reliable Gear Driven Drilling Machines and Mills/Drills.

Contact Meddings Machine Tools direct for enquiries 


The pillar drilling machine or drill press is accepted as the most widely used machine tool in the world. It is also the machine tool chosen with the least consideration and, when in use, is the most abused machine with little or no care being given to its maintenance. With well over one hundred variations in machine specification there are a great number of factors which should be considered before investing in a drilling machine. This essential guide is designed to help with the evaluation process, if any further information is required then contact Meddings Machine Tools for their considered opinion.

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- Basic Types of Drilling Machines 
- Belt drive (stepped pulley) 
- Belt drive (variable speed pulleys) 
- Electronic variable speed control 
- Geared head 
- Hybrid machines are also available. i.e. belt drive with gearbox, geared head with 2 speed motors, etc Machines are available as bench or floor models, in various sizes (larger machines are normally floor only) with or without power feed options.

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Drilling machines are normally designated by their drilling capacity, maximum capability to drill holes in mild steel (50/60 Kg Steel) using a standard HSS drill i.e. 13mm (1/2”) machine should have the capability to drill a 13mm (1/2”) diameter hole in mild steel

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Throat depth 

Maximum distance from the edge of component to the twist drill centre line 

Spindle nose to table 

Maximum height of component 

Spindle nose to base 

If the base is machined, it can be used for large or heavy components 

Main column size 

Should be sufficient to maintain rigidity 

Quill diameter 

Should be finished / toleranced for strength and to minimize play 

Spindle travel (stroke) 

Determines maximum depth of hole 

Size or Sizes of Hole  Loosely there are four main categories for drilling sizes:  1. Heavy drilling Holes larger than 16mm (5/8”) diameter  2. Light drilling Holes between 2.5 & 16mm (3/32” & 5/8”) diameter  3. Small hole drilling Holes between 0.25 & 3mm (.010” & 1/8”) diameter  4. Micro drilling Holes between 0.05 & 0.5mm (0.002” & 0.020”) (These require specialist consideration) 

Speeds and /or Feeds  The maximum spindle speed available on a drilling machine is normally determined by the maximum drilling capacity. The larger the machine the slower the top spindle speed. If holes to be drilled are both very small and large it may be necessary to have two machines or a wide speed range machine. Note: - For steel the normal maximum speed required will not exceed 8000rpm for drills around 1mm diameter. Below 1.0mm diameter recommended drilling speeds start to slow down 

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It is just not possible to drill high quality holes on a low quality machine. If the machine is for casual use in the corner of a home workshop and accuracy or reliability are not important, a lower cost machine is probably all that is required. 

A good machine must have 

- A robust quality cast head with an accurately bored and preferably honed quill bore that is square to the machining table 

- Belt drive machines require balanced pulleys and quality Vee belts 

- Gear driven machines require precision manufactured gears 

- All machines should be accurately made with quality bearings, etc 

- The quill / spindle should be concentric and precision ground 

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Light or occasional use 

The possibility to purchase a lower cost belt drive machine, unless accuracy or deep holes are required 

Tool room use 

Accuracy is paramount, a quality machine is required, and normally manual feed will suffice for drilling hole sizes up to 20mm. Tool room operators are skilled, appreciate the ability to feel the drill through the work piece and would not be drilling holes all day. 

Production use 

Buy the best machine that can be afforded. It will last longer and produce better quality holes and give longer drill life. Belt drive machines are the best option if the holes to be drilled are of the same or similar size. Belt drive machines are efficient, quieter running and they have less moving parts with potentially less possibility of breakdown. If hole sizes vary and are over 16mm diameter, either an all geared head or a variable belt drive machine should be considered for ease of speed change. Machines for use on large batch production for drilling anything but very small holes should, if possible, always have some form of power feed, as it considerably lessens operator fatigue. 

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Chuck / Morse Taper 

Whilst most machines have a Morse Taper some are supplied with a chuck fitted semi-permanently to the spindle end. A Morse Taper spindle adds little to the cost and provides greater flexibility. 


Machines sold in Europe should be CE marked with a Certificate of Conformity. Belt drives should be suitably guarded with an incorporated micro switch to isolate the machine should the guard be lifted.  

Chuck guards appropriate for the machine should be used at all times. 

Fabric Machinery in Factory

1. Maximum and minimum hole diameters to be drilled - Consider the sizes of holes to be drilled; this will determine the basic size of machine required 
2. Maximum and minimum drilling speeds required -  Bearing in mind the material to be drilled, and hole size, check that the required speeds are available. 
3. Maximum size of component - Be sure the throat depth is sufficient, check the clearance spindle nose to table and that the quill travel is sufficient 
4. Maximum weight of component - Be sure the component weight can be carried on the machine’s table. If it is a very heavy component consider using the base of the machine (if suitably machined) 
5. Accuracy required - For accuracy always choose a quality machine 
6. Casual or production use - For a casual low quality requirement, a lower cost machine should suffice. For high volume production work a model with power feed should be considered. 
7. Amount of variation in speed required - If hole sizes and hence speeds vary, consider a geared head or a variable belt drive machine on larger hole sizes. Electronic variable speed control on smaller (> 13mm) hole sizes 
8. Intermediate table - For machines with an intermediate table, if work size varies greatly, it is an advantage to have height adjustment by rack and pinion; on larger machines it is essential, due to the weight of the table 
9. Chuck or Morse Taper - A chuck fitted directly to the spindle is the simplest form of tool holder. Morse Taper spindles give greater flexibility of use, but introduce an unnecessary joint if only smaller size drilling is required. Larger machines normally have Morse Taper spindles 
10. Spindle rotation - Normally drilling machines are set to rotate for right hand drilling, if for any reason left hand rotation is required (i.e. for tapping) make sure the machine has a reversing switch 
11. Single or three phase - Always specify a three-phase model if a suitable power supply is available. Single phase motors can introduce unnecessary vibration into the machine, whilst three phase motors are generally more reliable and smoother running. 

How to videos 

Adjusting the Pillar Drill Belt 

Removing & Replacing the Pillar Drill Chuck

Removing the quill return spring 


Meddings Machine Tools offer a refurbishment service for the majority of their drilling machines post 1975 (Subject to model type). Due to demand for quality drilling machines it has become evident that existing customers have relied on the quality and accuracy of their Meddings drilling machine over a number of years in their production environment. 

Meddings Machine Tools is renowned for the rigidity and accuracy of their existing models as well as the robustness of the design. When people look to replace their existing Meddings drill they often come to us to have it overhauled or to get a newer addition. 

This is why Meddings Drilling Machines offer this service which will restore your existing machine, giving further years of excellent service.

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