Best Drill Press Reviews 2018
If you’re looking for detailed drill press reviews before making the decision to purchase, then you’re at the right place. Finding the best drill press for you depends largely on what your personal needs are. For example, how much space do you have to put it in your garage or workshop? Considering space constrictions might determine whether you buy a floor, benchtop, or even a much smaller mini drill press. Your budget should also be an important factor you consider when looking at different models, since price range varies significantly with different brands, models and features.
|WEN 4208 |
Read Our Review
|SKIL 3320-01 |
Read Our Review
|Shop Fox W1668 |
Read Our Review
|Delta 18-900L |
Read Our Review
|Craftsman 12 inch |
Read Our Review
The drill press is an extremely versatile piece of equipment – it has uses ranging from drilling into metal to wood crafting, and much more. There’s a huge variety available on the market today that vary in features, power, size, portability and importantly, pricing…. fortunately these drill press reviews should help keep the decision making process simple.
Consider before buying:
The machine you choose must be solid and robust. Purchasing a drill press is an investment in a tool that should last for years to come, so you should be sure that it’s robust and well built to get maximum longevity out of it as well as remaining accurate and precise for its lifetime.
Based on the amount of available space you have to work in you could choose: a floor drill press (tall long column), or a benchtop drill press (shorter column, base goes on the bench rather than floor), or depending on the type of drilling you wish to do you could use a mini drill press (much smaller, more portable, but limited in other features).
Drill presses measure their size by using the “throat capacity”. Which is actually 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, and 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.
Power is a reasonably important consideration when choosing a drill press depending on what you want to use it for. Power is measured in horsepower (HP), and anything with a motor that is 1/3 hp or more should be fine. However larger jobs may require a drill press with more horsepower.
Depending on the materials that you want to drill into – a different spindle speed may be ideal. most drill presses these days have a good variety of adjustable speed settings which is useful if you intend to work with a lot of different materials.
There are some situations when operating a dp that you might want to have some additional accessories to make your life easier and your drilling more efficient. 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.
Now that you have some background information about choosing the right drill press for your needs, let’s take a look at our top 5 picks for their price and quality…
The WEN 4208 8-inch, 5 speed benchtop model is a high quality machine at a very reasonable price.
It is built to a high standard of construction and has a cast iron base, table, and head ensuring 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 and more.
Overall because this model is versatile, high quality, and great value for money it earns its spot as my top pick.
I think it’s perfect for the home work-shop or just everyday DIY.
The SKIL 3320-01 model 5 speed, 10 inch drill press is another great entry level option, and consumers agree that it is a robust and precise piece of machinery which offers fantastic value for money. It features an X-2 2-Beam laser guiding system which makes precision hole alignment every time a cinch.
Although it is a reasonably compact machine, it certainly has sufficient power for a variety of materials and tasks with a 3.2 amp motor and an impressive 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.
Craftsman 12 inch Drill Press
The Craftsman 12 inch drill press is a solid choice and has a reasonable price tag for a 12 inch machine 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 1/2 hp.
The speed settings vary from 355 to 3065 RPM, so the Craftsman can handle a good variety of tasks.
Although not the most value for money, if the Craftsman is in your price range it could be right for you.
Shop Fox W1668
The Shop Fox W1668 is a pretty decent option, although it doesn’t offer the same value for money as some of other brands in my opinion.
The thing about this drill press that stands out is its versatility, for example it is 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 with 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 which 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, allowing 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.
Get to know the Drill Press:
Types of Drill Press: Floor vs Bench Top
There are many different uses and types of drill presses. you may be using it in your professional workshop, your home shop, or just a garage. The size you choose (i.e. floor or benchtop) is an important consideration, as some spaces will be too small to make room for the large free standing floor drill press, and you may be better off simply getting a bench mounted model.
The two main categories of DP are the floor drill press, and the benchtop drill press. Although there is a lot of overlap in the use of these tools, and generally they are interchangeable 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 the main types, and the suitability of each to your particular situation.
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 a Floor dp can be bolted right into the floor of your workshop they are very rigid and sturdy. Because the column of the floor designed drill 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.
The second design is the one most commonly found in your average home DIY hobbyists workshop, or even professional shops/garages. Due to the size of these they are much more portable, 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 of a bench model is around 8 inches, rather than the 14-18inches a floor model has. In most scenarios the bench top style is perfectly suitable to get your job done, as well as being lower prices, 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, in most instances a huge swing is unnecessary.
If you’re serious about DIY, woodwork, metalwork or you’re just an amateur hobbyist wanting to do some drilling then a drill press is an absolutely essential addition to your work-space.
It is comparable to a hand-held drill but has so many more advantages, allowing all sorts of exciting applications and uses. The main function of a drill press is to provide a level of power and accuracy that you simply couldn’t get drilling by hand, by utilizing leverage.
Hopefully after reading through our detailed and honest drill press reviews you’ll be very well equipped to make a wise purchase that suits your needs perfectly.
After reading the information here you will also have an idea of how to get the best drill press value for money. But not only that… you will be able to make the decision knowing you’ve considered the important factors: floor DP, or bench? (how much space do you have? what size projects will you work on?), how much power do I need?… and so on.
Another important suggestion I almost forgot to mention 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 as 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.
that being said from personal experience I recommend going for a reputed brand and making a one off purchase of a great value for money DP that will stand up to the test of time!