Successful completion of a force control task with a robot manipulator requires critical analysis of the task and investigation of the dynamic interactions between the tool carried by the manipulator and a workpiece. These generate a set of specifications that guide us in selecting a proper control strategy to complete the task. This paper presents the analysis and characterization of force-controlled robotic drilling, generation of a control strategy according to the specifications obtained from the characterization of this task, and the completion of a drilling operation with a manipulator under endpoint force control. The experimental results reveal that a robot manipulator can perform drilling if enough contact thrust-force is provided between a workpiece and drill, and is controlled properly. It is shown that the key parameters for robotic drilling are the drill rotational speed and thrust force. The torque-speed characteristics of the drill's motor are thus taken into account. The effects of varying the key parameters are evaluated using cutting time as a measure of performance. We conclude that a low cutting force and a high drill rotational speed is the best combination for the successful completion of a drilling operation using a robot manipulator.