Do you like to make perfect holes in various materials? Then it's time for you to get a new drill press. Unlike drilling by hand, a drill press can offer precision and power. For your easy selection, we conducted five drill press reviews.
Buying a drill press is difficult because there are a lot of sophisticated features that you have to consider. Aside from the price, you should know your needs to get the best choice.
If you want to know the guidelines in buying the best drill press on the market, check them below along with our top five reviews.
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Types Of Drill Presses
Drill presses can be differentiated by their method of drilling holes and portability. When buying for the right drill press, you can choose from these various types.
Bench-top drill presses can be placed on top of a work bench or mounted on a new stand. They're easy to store and less expensive than floor models. Although they're moderately powered, their boring capacity is quite limited.
2. Floor Model
Floor models can remain attached to one one place. Since they're the most powerful type of drill press units, they can be used for professional work.
They're also able to drill through different kinds of materials. However, they can be very expensive and lack portability.
Magnetic drill presses use electromagnetic bases that can make metal materials stick to them. They're lightweight, portable, and quite powerful in drilling thick metals. However, they are more expensive than their benchtop counterparts.
How To Use A Drill Press
The first step in using a drill press properly is to become familiar with its components. You should know its motor, the gears that set its speed, and the chuck that accommodates bits of different sizes.
Next, fix the circle cutter and fasten the workpiece to the table to crop a circle. To keep the circle cutter set in its place, drill at a low speed.You can watch how to setup and use the drill press in this video.
In case you made some irregular shapes, fix a sanding flap wheel to the chuck. When drilling metals, set the speed on low. If you're working on woods, configure the speed at a faster setting.
What To Look For
The flexibility of a drill press is determined by the size of the throat as well as the distance between the rear column and the axis where the spindle turns.
Keep in mind that the size of a drill press is twice the size of its throat depth, the distance between the chuck's center and the column. If your unit is a 12-inch model, the size of the throat is 6 inches.
2. Powerful Motor
Its total power determines the effectiveness of this tool. A good power means better performance in drilling holes cleanly and accurately.
The higher the horsepower (HP) or amps, the better. You can find the most powerful motor in floor-standing models which can go as high as 3/4 HP.
3. Suitable Drill Bits
Your choice of drill bits depends on your needs. If you want to drill holes on marbles and tiles, then a masonry drill bit is preferable. Cobalt bits are suitable for hard metals, like stainless steel.
For softer materials, including wood, you can choose a spade or brad-point bits. Regardless of your choice, the drill bits should be in perfect quality and well maintained.
4. Variable Speed
A good drill press should have variable speeds to keep the drill bits from damage.
Usually, models offer speeds from 5-12 settings which allow users to bore holes in various diameters. The wider the range of speed, the more versatile the tool becomes.
5. Other Features
In buying the best drill press, look for depth blocks, which can ensure the quill to stop a the right level of penetration. Fences can allow you to bore more than one hole. It is extremely desirable if the tool features a laser to allow precision sighting.
Our Top 5 Picks
The Rikon 30-100 has five spindle speeds at 620-3,100 revolutions per minute (RPM). This model is made of solid steel and cast iron for durable construction. Its heavy duty construction promises a vibration-free operation.
What I like about this unit is its depth stop feature which allows you to set your drill depth easily and precisely. This 8-inch drill is perfect for drilling pen blanks.
- Durable exterior construction
- Quite inexpensive for a table top drill press
- Easy to assemble
- Great for drilling small to medium holes
- Nice adjustment speed ranges
- Although its exterior is durable, its plastic belt gears and main shaft are flimsy
- The motor may not be that powerful to drill certain metals
- May sound off balance
- Working on very big holes seem to strain the motor
The Craftsman 10-In Bench Drill Press comes with five operating speeds with a span from 620 to 3,100 RPM. It offers a powerful motor of six amps. Built with a rack and pinion table elevation, you can adjust the table height accurately and easily.
One of its best features is its scaled steel fence that helps position, guide workpieces, and stop block for recurrent drilling works.
The quick belt tension and release enables you to change speed quickly while the laser enhances guidance. This model suits for metal or wood drill bits.
- Effective laser system
- Sturdy base
- Affordable for its nice features, like fence, quick belt tension, and laser trac
- Some parts, like the plastic adjustment knob, seem to be flimsy
- The information about the motor is not as advertised as 6 amps but 3.2 amps
- Can't handle big loads of work
The SKIL 3320-01 has 5 speeds ranging from 570 to 3,050 RPM. It has an adjustable depth stop for precise measurements and recurrent drilling. A laser beam is built to give accurate hole guidance.
SKIL is confident with its quality because it offers a 30-day money back guarantee.
With this model, you can tilt your work surface up to 45 degrees. Powered by a 3.2 amps motor, this model can accommodate larger diameter bits for cutting and woodworking tasks.
- Good 3-year limited warranty
- Great laser alignment tool
- Small footprint easily fits into limited areas
- Sturdy metal construction
- The plastic pulleys are feeble
- The motor is too weak to handle a Forstner bit
- The use of the spindle is limited because it has a lot of runouts
The WEN 4214 includes a mechanical variable speed, laser, and fence. A table roller extension is built along with a 5/8-inch keyed chuck and key. Its variable speed ranges from 580 to 3,200 RPM.
This 12-inch drill press features an LED display to show the level of speed. It also offers a powerful motor f 2/3 HP which can create sufficient torque and power. You can expect durability from this unit as it boasts a cast iron worktable.
- Easy to assemble
- Strong motor and nice mechanical variable speed
- Easy to read LED front panel
- Accurate performance with laser and fence
- The cap screws holding the heavy head casting are unsecured
- The chuck seems to be wobbly
- The unit tends to vibrate when working
The Shop Fox W1668 is a made of durable steel and a powerful motor of 3/4 HP. Its spindle speed ranges from 250 to 3,050 RPM. Aside from drilling, this model also works as an oscillating sander.
With a 12-speed setting, this model can be suitable for heavier use. You can tilt the table 90 degrees to both sides and adjust the height. In case of defects, you can get it repaired or replaced by its 2-year warranty.
- Plenty of power for heavy work
- Long range speed setting
- Versatile and flexible
- Heavy duty and well constructed
- A bit expensive and heavy
- The motor at the bottom tends to vibrate when in use
Among the five drill presses reviewed above, the Shop Fox W1668 receives the highest rating because it meets the most desired qualities of a good drill press.
The W1668 has the longest range of speed settings, the most powerful motor, and the most flexible features. Although it could be a bit expensive, you can't be shortchanged with its durable quality and versatility.
Have you tried using a drill press? Share what you think with us by posting in the comments section below. If you like this article, don't hesitate to share it with your friends and family on social media.