5. Using a magnet drill


WARNING: Always observe the safety instructions and applicable regulations.

WARNING: To reduce the risk of serious personal injury, turn tool off and disconnect tool from power source before making any adjustments or removing/installing attachments or accessories.

Carrying handle

Magnet drills come in a wide range of sizes and weights, from small, portable units that can easily be carried by one person, to bulky, extremely heavy machines that require assistance during transportation and setup.

Machines will often feature a carrying handle to assist with movement of the unit. Different models will have these positioned differently but for the VersaDrive V series of magnet drills they are built in to the stand housing.

Magnet drills should only be lifted with their designated handles

DO NOT lift the machine with the electrical conduit cable to the motor.

DO NOT lift the machine with the power cable.

Before lifting the machine, lower the motor unit and slide to its lowest position.

how to lift a magnet drill

Control panel

Switches, dials and buttons that control magnet operation, speed, direction of rotation and more will be located in different places on each magnet drill depending on the size, brand and model of the machine.

The example below shows the positioning, functioning and explanation of switches on a VersaDrive V60T for reference purposes but model specific operation manuals should be consulted to find the correct layout of controls on any individual machine.

  • 1. Magnet Switch (Illuminated)
  • 2. Motor NVR Switch
  • 3. Spindle Direction Switch
  • 4. Magnet Protection Fuse (2A Fast Blow)

Magnet Switch

The magnet switch on the VersaDrive V60T is an illuminated rocker switch.
When in the on position the switch will illuminate red.
This switch provides power to the electro magnet base.

The magnet switch must be turned on as soon as the machine is in position, before any attempt to use the drill is made.

The magnet switch also supplies power for the motor to operate, if it is off the motor will not start.

Motor Switch

The Motor NVR Switch operates the motor spindle.

NVR = No Volt Release – The motor switch has an undervoltage release mechanism to switch off the motor if the supply voltage reduces. The switch must be manually reset when the power is retuned, this is a safety feature.

There are two buttons.

  • 1. GREEN marked with the symbol ‘I’ this will START the motor unit.
  • 2. RED marked with the symbol ‘0’ this will STOP the motor unit.

The GREEN-START button is lower and is shrouded to prevent unintentional operation or start up. The RED-STOP button is raised and unshrouded so it can be quickly accessed in case of emergency.

The motor switch will not switch on if the magnet switch is in the OFF position.
The motor switch will not latch on if the magnet protection fuse has blown.

Spindle Direction Switch

Some magnet drills come equipped with direction control, allowing for the motor to be reversed so operations like tapping can be performed.

VersaDrive V series magnet drills from the V60T up include forward and reverse options as standard.
The spindle direction switch on these models is a 3-position rocker switch.

  • 1. Up - Direction Forward - Normal cutting direction
  • 2. Centre - No direction - Power to motor is interrupted.
  • 3. Down - Direction Reverse - Reverse for operations such as tapping.

This switch SHOULD NOT be operated whilst the spindle is in motion.

To change the direction of the spindle during cutting, such as during tapping the following sequence should be followed.

  • 1) Spindle is rotating in forward direction.
  • 2) Press STOP ‘O’ on the motor switch.
  • 3) WAIT until motor spindle has STOPPED.
  • 4) Change direction switch to reverse position.
  • 5) Press START ‘I’ on the motor switch.

When choosing a magnet drill for a job ensure it features the required capabilities to complete its intended applications - not all magnet drills have reverse options.

Magnet Protection Fuse

The Magnet Protection Fuse protects the magnet from supply issues when being used on site.

If the fuse blows it indicates either a problem with the supply or a problem with the magnet.
If the magnet protection fuse blows machine should be checked by qualified service personnel.

Speed Control

Speed control for magnet drills can come in a variety of forms.

For example the VersaDrive V60T has both Mechanical and Electronic speed control.

Mechanical: Mechanical control is provided via a 2 position slider, on the side of the motor gearbox.

Depending on the position of the slider, a different speed range will be set for the machine.

The mechanical speed position should be set first, choosing the correct gear ratio will provide the best torque.

ALWAYS check that the mechanical speed selector is fully in position before starting the motor.

Electronic: Electronic speed control is via a rotary thumbwheel graduated 1-5 on the side of the motor.

The electronic speed control should be used as a fine adjustment after the mechanical speed has been set.

To ascertain the speed range for a machine consult the model specific operating manual


Make sure the magnetic drilling machine is placed on a smooth, clean, level and solid surface without any objects or debris in between to guarantee maximum adhesion.

The workpiece must be at least 10 mm thick for the magnet to sufficiently adhere to operate the machine.

When cutting thin material, it is possible to enhance magnetic adhesion by temporarily adding a piece of similar material to the workpiece on underside to increase the total thickness.

The electromagnet will work best on surface of at least 10 mm thickness.

The electromagnet may not be able to create a good enough magnetic field. Causes may be:

  • - Surface not flat
  • - Workpiece not magnetisable (e.g. Aluminium/Stainless Steel)
  • - Workpiece coated or painted
  • - Workpiece not thick enough

It is the responsibility of the operator to make sure the workpiece offers the best basis for the magnetic drilling machine to adhere and that the machine is secure before use.

  • 1) Place the machine on the workpiece
  • 2) Connect the machine to the power supply
  • 3) Position the machine in the exact desired spot
  • 4) Press the red magnet switch to activate the magnet, the magnet switch will illuminate.
  • 5) To deactivate the magnet, press the red magnet switch again

Make sure that the magnet attaches securely to the work piece before starting the motor unit of the magnetic drilling machine.

Different magnet drills will have different arrangements of coils. Make sure all coils are in contact with the workpiece. Do not connect any other machines to the same electrical outlet the machine is plugged into, as this could result in the loss of magnetic force.

With any magnet drill there cannot be absolute certainty that the drill will not release from the material.

ALWAYS use the safety strap included.

Overhead drilling is extremely dangerous and is not recommended.
For the use of magnetic drilling machines on pipes, curved or non-magnetic materials, we refer you to our website where several pipe clamping & drilling systems can be found.

Emergency Stop

In case of emergency, many magnet drills are fitted with an emergency stop button.

This quickly stops the motor spindle rotating.

Where this feature is present it can be operated by hitting the RED STOP button on the motor switch. On VersaDrive V series magnet drills this switch is both raised and unshrouded to enable it to be accessed quickly in an emergency. See below.

By hitting the motor stop this will stop the motor but leave the magnet energized for safety.

Tool Lubrication


In order to use the lubrication system, the tank must be filled with a cutting fluid or oil

  • 1) Make sure the flow regulator is closed.
  • 2) Unscrew the fluid reservoir cap.
  • 3) Fill the fluid reservoir with cutting fluid or oil (before fitting to the machine).
  • 4) Replace and secure the cap.
  • 5) Adjust the fluid flow as required using the flow regulator
  • 6) Add more cutting fluid if the shavings (metal chips) become blue.


Apply cutting paste or an appropriate lubrication spray.

WARNING: Do not use the lubrication system in vertical or overhead drilling applications.
Cutting fluid should not be allowed to enter the motor housing of the machine.
Instead use HMT Cutting Paste / HMT AeroPaste Spray Lubricant.

Make sure to use only suitable cutting oil or fluid. HMT offers a wide range of cutting lubricants for all tool and material combinations. Proper cooling will help you create better results faster, whilst extending the lifetime of your tools.

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