Well it is dependent on your skill level with wood and how accurate you want your machine. If you want more accuracy then use a drill press but if you don't want to spend $$ on a drill press then just use the hand drill. The plans are not set in stone if you drill within .05" then your well off. If it need a little adjusting later on then just wiggle the bit a little to get it to fit. Plus MDF is cheap so if you mess up it would be easy to replace. The plans are just really explanatory guidelines make the machine to what fits your needs.