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Ever need to drill through the middle of round stock? Sure, you can use a center finder to find the center at the edge of the stock, but how do you accurately find the center in the middle of the stock? One cool solution would be to use a round bar center finder, like the one from Grizzly pictured above.

To use the tool, you need to chuck the center finder’s 3/8″ shank into a drill press. Then when both of the legs of the Y are resting on the bar stock and the two notches line up, the drill press chuck is directly over the center of the stock.

Swiss Precision Instruments sells one version of the tool which runs $15 before shipping. If you don’t want to pay that much you can get the one from Grizzly shipped for $11.

Round Bar Center Finder [SPI]
Round Bar Center Finder [Grizzly]
Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

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13 Responses to Round Bar Center Finder

  1. JerryD says:

    Wow, is this NOT a new tool. Been around forever, and widely available.

  2. Wes says:

    Strange … I fail to see anywhere in the post where the tool is claimed to be new.

  3. Andy says:

    Anybody know of one of these that has a 1/4″ shank? My micro press doesn’t go up to 3/8″, but I’ve been dying for one of these…

  4. Cameron Watt says:

    Looks like a good apprentice project…

  5. MattW says:

    Doesn’t have to be new for me to learn about it here. I now have one on order.

  6. george says:

    is there one to use free hand ? so i could make a mark to use a hand drill ? i’m glad i read this cuz i didn’t know it existed, so new or not, thanks.

  7. cheerIO says:

    Man, I wish I had known about these last week. I am new to machining and was milling a groove in a 7/8 round stock of nylon. I ended up touching one side with the side of the end mill, then the other, and doing the math from what the DRO gave me. This would have been a lot simpler and saved me the faint knicks on the sides of my piece. Thanks.

  8. would help me a lot in drilling side holes in wooden dowels. I have to pick one up.

  9. FredP says:


    Here’s your next machining lesson: The Edge Finder. It’s a simple tool that lets you find the edge of a piece of material and has a known diameter, thus allowing you to find the center. Here’s a video showing how to use one:


    Here’s a good place to buy them:



  10. fred says:

    Like you would use a center head on your machinist’s combination square to scribe diameter lines across a cylindrical object – you can also use a V-block to position and hold a cylindeer in a drill press. In our metal shop – we have a precision ground V-Block that came out of a old aircraft factory. The block is about 12 inckes long by six inches wide and has a few different diameter centered clearnce holes machined into the v-groove. The block is easily clamped into the drill press vise and centered using one of the clearance hole and a piece of drill rod. Once set up, repetitive drilling is easy.

    I see that Amazon sells what looks like a poor man’s version:


  11. cheerIO says:


    Thanks for the tip. That video was very helpful.

    My father and I have finally gotten to the point where it is justifiable for us to purchase a milling machine and lathe for our shop and start making some tools and fixtures ourselves. At 34 years old, I am just starting to learn about machining and right now I’m really feeling about 20 years behind in my education.

    Everyday I look back and curse all my “fancy” schooling. Each school I went to did not even give me access to a shop class or auto shop or anything. Thank goodness for my Dad and sites like Toolmonger. 😉

  12. KMR says:

    I made one of these a few years ago from a V-block… I’ll probably buy one of these simply because quality V-blocks are more than $11!

  13. area_educator says:


    A hand-held version to mark the stock for a hand drill wouldn’t do any good. It doesn’t matter where you start drilling the hole if it isn’t pointed toward the center of the stock. And a mark on the outside of the bar won’t help with the aiming.

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