Best Drill Press – Complete Buyer’s Guide
If you’re looking at buying a new drill press, you are in the right place. Browse through our drill press reviews before making a decision. Our aim is to help you get the best value for money by giving you everything you need to make a well informed choice.
|WEN 4208 |
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Read Our Review
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Drill presses have a multitude of use cases, from metal work to wood-working and much more. There is a huge variety of different drill presses available on the market. They vary in their size, power, portability and very importantly, pricing. Fortunately for you, the reader, we have taken the time to write detailed drill press reviews aimed at simplifying the purchasing process and providing you with all the information you need to get the best value for your hard earned money. Whether you need the best bench top drill press or some other type, this all depends on your use case and what your personal needs are. For example, you will need to consider things like how much space you have to store your drill press. If you have a lot of space you don’t need to worry too much about the size, however those with space constrictions, limited to a work-bench will probably opt for the bench top style drill press. Your budget is also one of the most crucial factors in determining which model is right for you. All of these aspects mean that the specific design features, and price vary wildly from model to model. Read through the guide below to get filled in with all the information you need to make the right buy for your workshop.
Top 10 Drill Presses
The WEN 4208 8-inch, 5 speed benchtop model is a high quality machine at a very reasonable price. Most would agree it’s likely one of the best drill presses under $100. It is built to a high standard of construction and has a cast iron base, table, and head. This ensures smoothness and accurate holes. The drill also has ball bearings for durability of the motor, and to keep it smooth and balanced.
At a respectable 1/3hp the motor is powerful enough to handle all the DIY tasks you can throw at it.
This model is versatile, high quality, and great value for money. That’s why it earns its spot as my top pick.
I think it’s perfect for the home work-shop or just everyday DIY. A list of the best benchtop drill presses would not be complete without the wen 4208.
The SKIL 3320-01 model 5 speed, 10 inch bench top drill press is another great entry level option. Perhaps even the best benchtop drill press for beginners. Consumers agree that it is a robust and precise piece of machinery. It also offers fantastic value for money. Featuring an X-2 2-Beam laser guiding system that makes precision hole alignment a cinch.
Although it is a reasonably compact machine, it certainly has sufficient power for a variety of materials and tasks. The motor is 3.2 amp and has 5 RPM settings (570 – 3050).
Consumers note that the assembly process for this model is very straightforward, so you can get to work right away!
The base and work table are cast iron, the design and mechanical aspects are top notch too. For the price and quality it’s hard to find a better addition to the workshop, making this quite likely the best drill press for the money.
The Craftsman 12 inch drill press is a solid choice and has a reasonable price tag for a 12 inch machine. Especially since it comes with plenty of features like digital depth readout, and a laser cross-hair system for precision drilling. It is powered with a 3.5 amp motor which provides an impressive 1/2 horse power, more than enough to get all your drilling done.
The speed settings vary from 355 to 3065 RPM, so the Craftsman can handle a good variety of tasks. Although not the best value for money, if the Craftsman is in your price range it could be the right choice for you.
The Shop Fox W1668 is a pretty decent option. Although it doesn’t offer the same value for money as some of other brands. The thing about this drill press that stands out is its versatility. One example is that it’s equipped with a kit to convert it into a sander – so you’re getting more features than just a drill. It also features a table swing of 360 degrees, and table tilt of 45 degrees left and right which can accommodate various types of projects.
The power is provided by a 3/4 hp motor. It features 12 different speed settings from 250 RPM – 3050 RPM.
The Delta 18-900L is a high quality product, and a favorite among professionals and serious DIYers alike.
The 18 inch size allows for very large scale projects. the 18-900L is suitable for the most demanding of tasks and is equipped with a very impressive 16 different speed settings. This drill press uniquely features an auto-tensioning belt drive system. This system increases efficiency changing speeds and keeps consistent belt tension and motor-alignment.
The 18-900L also features an independent depth-scale and micro-adjustable depth stops. That allows you to zero the scale and have it setup for precise repetitive drilling in mere seconds.
This machine is probably one of the best available, and might be out of the price range of the everyday hobbyist, but if you’re serious about having a top of the line drill press then this is a great choice.
WEN 4214 Drill Press
This 12 inch drill press from WEN is a solid powerhouse which is great for professionals, or amateurs. You can vary the speed of the WEN 4214 from 580 RPM to 3200 RPM as much as you like. Which is a huge benefit over the gears that most drill presses will have. The variable speed also delivers torque equally throughout the range of different speeds. The WEN 4214 features an LED display for reading the current speed. It has a spindle travel of 3 and 1/8 inches which is a good amount for any job. The motor on this drill press is very powerful, at an impressive 2/3 horse power. All around this drill press is solid and well built, with a cast iron worktable that can easily bevel 45 degrees in each direction.
The Powermatic PM2800B is a seriously impressive drill press, as is reflected in the steep price of this machine. Powermatic is a quality brand well known for producing good long lasting tools. This is surely one of the best drill presses for professionals, not so much for the everyday hobbyist however. If you’re a professional who needs a high end drill press, and you have a lot of space to put it (and a fat wallet) then this could be the drill press for you. It features mechanical variable speed which means no belt changes are necessary. It has a digital speed readout that tells you the speed in RPM, so you can quickly get the drill bit operating at the perfect speed to suit your task/whatever material you’re drilling into. The Adjustable stop that the Powermatic PM2800B has is second to none, it makes repeated drilling smooth and easy. Now as for the motor, it packs a seriously big punch. It is 1 HP, so as you can imagine it’s more than capable of fulfilling any power needs. The swing distance is 18 inches, they don’t come much bigger than this, so you need to have a lot of space in your work shop for this drill press. Overall, an extremely quality machine that has some serious power. It’s very bulky and heavy at 266 lbs so only purchase this if you’re a pro.
Grizzly G7943 Bench-top drill press
The Grizzly G7943 is a 12 inch benchtop drill press suitable for both professionals and handymen, but is overall more geared towards the casual drill press user rather than the professional. This great bench top drill from Grizzly is dependable and well built. It features a motor of 3/4 HP, perfectly adequate for most tasks. As this is a 12 inch drill press it is reasonably portable and can fit nicely on your work bench.
JET JDP-15M Benchtop drill press
The JET JDP-15M is the perfect benchtop drill press to use when you’re restricted in terms of space. It has many different speed settings (16 in total) from 200 RPM at the low end to 3600 RPM at the high end. So because it has more speed settings than most other drill presses in this bracket, it offers pretty good value for money. It has a worktable which can easily tilt 45 degrees each way, and is 10 inches by 13 inches in size (ample more most work-pieces). The motor on this bench drill press is a very respectable 3/4 Horsepower, offering enough power for most jobs. The spindle return spring has an adjustable tension so you can alter the rate at which the spindle goes back up after drilling holes. The JDM also comes with a built in work light, for when you’re working in dim spaces. Overall this bench top drill press from JET is a good option for its price, although not the cheapest drill press on this list.
General International 75-010 M1 Bench-top Drill Press
This 12 inch bench drill press from general international is a pretty nice product considering its price point. It has a built in laser pointer, which is great for when you need to drill holes in precisely accurate positions again and again. Like the JET JDM drill press we reviewed the spindle return speed is adjustable by altering the spring tension, this feature comes in handy often. As far as the build quality goes it is top notch – with a solid cast iron head and table. It also features variable speed settings from 500 RPM to 3000 RPM with a digital speed display. The 120 Volt motor is 1/3 HP, so nothing ground breaking, but perfectly suitable for most tasks. Over all this offering from general international is fairly good value.
Consider before you buy a new drill press
Is it built to be durable and have a long life?
The machine you choose must be solid and robust. Your purchase should be an investment in a tool that will last for years to come, so you should be sure that it’s well built to get maximum longevity out of it. Hopefully it will have no trouble remaining accurate and precise for its lifetime.
How portable does your drill press need to be?
Based on the amount of available space you have to work in you could choose: a floor drill press (tall long column), or a bench top drill press (shorter column). Or a mini drill press. The main thing to remember here is that you should choose the one you think will be ideal for you. If you need something portable obviously a larger model is much more difficult to transport.
Drill presses measure their size by using the “throat capacity”. The distance between the column (vertical “pole” part of the machine) and the center of the chuck (piece which holds the “drill bit”). If a drill press has an 8 inch throat capacity, it can drill a hole in the center of a 16 inch diameter disc. It is therefore a 16 inch drill press. So effectively the size of the drill press is the throat capacity (column – chuck distance) multiplied by two.
So consider the size of projects you want to use the drill press for when making a purchase.
How much power do you need?
Power is an important consideration when choosing a drill press depending on what you want to use it for. Consider if you’re using your drill press for metal work or for wood. Power is measured in horsepower (HP). Anything with a motor that is 1/3 hp or more should be perfect for most jobs. However larger projects may require a drill press with more horsepower.
A different spindle speed may be ideal, depending on your materials being used. most drill presses these days have a good variety of adjustable speed settings. If you plan to work with a lot of different materials then this is useful.
Which accessories are needed?
There are some situations that you might want to have some additional accessories to make your life easier. An example is using a table to ensure good stability. Another popular addition is a drill press vise, which is used to ensure the piece you’re drilling stays exactly in place.
Types of Drill Press
whether you’re using it in your professional workshop, or just a garage. The size of your machine is an important factor worth considering. Often you’re better off with a bench top drill press because some spaces will be too small to make room for the large free standing floor drill press.
Do you want the best drill press for metal? Or, perhaps for wood. Maybe you just want the most inexpensive drill press. Whichever is the case, just make sure to read our reviews so you know you’re buying what you need.
The two main categories of drill press are floor drill presses, and the benchtop drill presses. There is a lot of overlap in the use of these tools – and generally they are interchangeable. However, there are some specific differences you should be aware of when considering which one is right for you. Let’s take a closer look at these two different types.
Benchtop Drill Press
You’ll find that this design is the most common in the the average workshop. Due to the size of these they are much more portable than taller floor standing models, however still sturdy and able to tackle fairly large projects. The swing distance is still fairly substantial, but potentially too short for the type of large projects where you may need a floor model.
Benchtop drill presses are bolted directly onto your workbench, rather than onto the floor. Often the swing distance is around 8 inches, rather than 14-18inches like a floor drill press has. In most scenarios the bench-top style is perfectly suitable to get your job done. It’s also generally lower in price, and lighter. To pick the right one take some measurements in your garage or wherever you plan to install it and see how much space you have. The best benchtop drill press should offer great value for money because they’re relatively cheap and yet very versatile.
Floor drill press
If you’re planning to be working with very large objects, then the floor design is the obvious choice. If you’re doing industrial scale work they’re also a far superior choice. As they can be bolted right into the floor of your workshop they are very rigid and sturdy. Because the column of the floor designed drill press starts much lower, you have much more swing distance, thus the ability to deal with bigger workpieces. If you choose the floor design you will be comfortably be able to do all that you would with a benchtop – however, due to their large size it may be inconvenient to install such a large machine.
A drill press is a must have if you’re serious about doing woodwork, metalwork, or you’re just an amateur hobbyist wanting to do some drilling. It is comparable to a hand-held drill but has so many more advantages. These advantages allow for all sorts of exciting efficient applications. A drill press provides a level of power and accuracy that you simply couldn’t get drilling by hand. It does this by utilizing leverage.
Hopefully after reading through our detailed drill press reviews you’ll be very well equipped to make a wise purchase. After reading the information here you will also have an idea of how to get the best drill press for money. But not only that, you will be able to make the decision knowing you’ve considered the important factors regarding size etc.
Another important factor is that you should always check out what kind of warranty is offered for whichever product you are interested in purchasing. It may sound mundane, but it’s actually an important part of the buying process. Even the most reliable tools and best models occasionally have faults or issues. Even if you’re extremely careful with how you use your machine, there’s a chance that a fault may have slipped through unnoticed when it was being manufactured.
So that you can rest easy knowing your back is covered, I strongly suggest you check the warranty! And look at what kinds of issues it covers. If you have any suggestions of advice we could add to this guide, please let us know.
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