Finding The Best Drill Press for Woodworking – Reviews & Buying Guide

essential woodworking tool

The drill press is an essential woodworking tool to have in the workshop. The woodworkers use it to make holes of different diameters using different drill bits. They’re available in stationary and benchtop versions to help you complete professional-grade woodworking projects. With a drill press, you’ll be able to bore precise holes and also counterbore or countersink the holes to use sanding attachments. The drill presses available on the market come in a huge variety based on size, brand, power, portability, pricing, etc. So you need to be spot on to get the best drill press suited to your needs.

To help you do that, we take our time to take you through a detailed discussion on drill presses, including the buying guide and some top-notch reviews. Before moving into the main review section, let’s check out some of the factors to consider before buying the most suitable drill press. Here we’ll also answer some FAQs to clarify the issue better.

Drill Press or Drill Machine
Image Source: Zoro Tools

Factors to Consider Before Buying A Drill Press

Drill Press or Drill Machine

A drill press, a drill machine, produces holes in hard materials. It’s held in a rotating spindle to be fed into the workpiece clamped in a vise on a table. Now that we know what it is let’s look at some of the other factors below.

Powerful Motor

When buying a drill press for professional use, one must have a powerful motor because rigid materials and making holes with larger diameters require more power to drill through. The drills with 1/2, 2/3, or 1 horsepower motors should be sufficient for regular, everyday drilling.

Drill Size

One of the essential factors to pay attention to is the size of the drill. The tool’s compactness becomes crucial if you tend to work on the move and need a portable drill press. In that case, a benchtop drill press should be your go-to option. On the other hand, if you want to do heavy-duty drilling for larger projects, you can switch to the floor-mounted type. But make sure you’ve enough space to accommodate it.

Drill Bit

The drill presses power the drill bit to cut through the workpiece by rotation. The drill grasps the upper end of the bit, known as the shank in the chuck. So make sure to choose a drill press to accommodate the bit’s shank needed for your project in the drill chuck. Generally, the twist drill bit is used in woodworking projects. These bits range in diameter from 0.002” to 3.5” and can be long up to 25.5”.

Drilling Speed Levels

Variable speed levels in a drill press are another vital factor to check out. The wider the range of speed levels, the more expensive the drill presses tend to be. Having the drill speed variety is essential to get the right adjustability required for different jobs.

Precision Drill

Getting a precision drill press is essential that’s compatible with micro-adjustments like feed rate & output speed. You can make precise holes to ensure the accuracy of your project. The laser precision feature can be another inclusion to choosing a high-end precision drill press.

Chuck Size

The chuck’s size determines the bit’s shank size, hence the size of the hole you look to bore. The larger the diameter of the shank, the larger the chuck size you need. The larger sizes will require a more powerful drill motor as well. So you know how you need to go about this factor. The most common chuck sizes you can find are 1/2-inch and 5/8-inch.

Drill Press Swing Size

The swing size or swing distance of any drill press determines its size. The throat distance is the distance from the spindle’s center to the column’s closest edge. Drill presses generally have a swing size ranging from 10 inches to 18 inches, meaning they’d be capable of drilling a hole in the disk of any material of that size multiplied by two.

Drill Press Accessories

Choosing a drill press with featured accessories should also be a top priority. These accessories could include a drill fence, drill press vice, drill press table, mortising attachments, sanding drums, and so on. Alongside a top-notch drill press, you also need the best drill press table and best drill press vise for maximum results.

Answering the FAQs

How to Choose the Perfect Drill Press for Your Needs?

To get a perfect drill press meeting your requirements, you need to check out some crucial factors while choosing one. These factors include motor power, compactness, drill capacity, drilling speed, precision, chuck size, etc. Find these specifications on the drill presses and match them with your requirements to find the perfect one.

How To Use A Drill Press?

Using a drill press generally contains steps such as setting up the speed, fitting the drill bit, adjusting the table, gauging the depth, securing the workpiece, and drilling accordingly.

What Type of Drill Press Are Available?

There are mainly two types of drill presses: benchtop and floor-standing or stationary. Benchtop drill presses are more compact, lighter, and portable. In contrast, floor models are relatively heavier and more challenging to move but include more power, features, and capacity.

What Do Drill Presses Do?

Drill presses are motorized tools that can make holes in hard substances. It’s mainly accommodated in a rotating spindle and fed into the workpiece clamped in a vise held on a table.

How to Mount a Bench Drill Press?

The floor-standing drill presses are stationary; however, the bench-type ones need to be mounted on the workbench or a stand made of wood or steel. While mounting the drill press, you need to use the bolts & nuts to fasten its base to the benchtop or stand. To secure the workbench or the stand on the floor, make sure to use lag bolts or masonry bolts.

How Does a Bench Drill Press Work?

The bench drill press is an adjustable and lightweight drill press that follows the same working principle as a regular drill press to drill upright. It comes with the cutting bits held in the chuck or morse taper of the drill press. The bits are then rotated and fed into the workpiece at desired speeds. It’s easy to set up and provides leverage levels to make the drilling process faster and safer.

How Portable Does Your Drill Press Need to Be?

Your drill press needs to be very portable when you’re up for tasks that need drilling in hard-to-reach places, such as locks on doors, rivets on vehicles, or screws on taller cabinets. The portable drill press will allow you to create accurate holes in difficult positions.

How to Buy the Best Bench Top Drill Press?

Buying a benchtop drill press requires consideration of similar factors that you’re supposed to consider for regular drill presses, such as compactness, motor power, drill size, drilling speed, drilling capacity, chuck size, etc. However, the drill press’s compactness and portability have to be the most important factors to check out.

How Much Drill Press Do You Need?

The chuck size determines the amount of drill press, hence your drill press’s drilling capacity. You should generally need to chuck a bit of shank around 5/8 inches to up to 3/4 inches to bore a hole of that size.

How Much Does the Worktable Tilt?

The adjustable tilting angle of the worktable is generally between 0-90 degrees. These tables come with a locking pin on the chain, allowing it to fixate every 15 degrees.

List of The Best Drill Press Reviews 

Photo Product Price Buy
WEN 4214 12-Inch...image WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press,Orange $267.71
Powermatic PM2800B, 18-Inch...image Powermatic PM2800B, 18-Inch Drill Press, 1 HP, 1Ph 115/230V (1792800B) $2,029.33
Rikon 12 inch...image Rikon 12 inch Variable Speed Drill Press $584.99
Shop Fox W1668...image Shop Fox W1668 3/4-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press/Spindle Sander $798.87
JET JDP-17, 17-Inch...image JET JDP-17, 17-Inch Drill Press, 16-Speed, 1Ph 115V (716300) $1,329.99
Powermatic 701 Benchtop...image Powermatic 701 Benchtop Mortiser, 3/4HP, 1Ph 115/230V (1791310) $899.99
Grizzly G7945 5...image Grizzly G7945 5 Speed Bench-Top Radial Drill Press $610.00
NOVA 58000 Voyager...image NOVA 58000 Voyager DVR Drill Press
WEN 4208T 2.3-Amp...image WEN 4208T 2.3-Amp 8-Inch 5-Speed Benchtop Drill Press & DPA2513 24-by-12-Inch Drill Press Table with an Adjustable Fence and Stop Block
Delta 18-900L 18-Inch...image Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press $1,777.36

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated on this page and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed at the purchase time will apply to this product.

WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Presswen 4208 best woodworking tools

WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press is a compact, powerful, and versatile tool to drill through any hard substance, including wood. This brand is a special one when it comes to providing power tools on a budget. So check this out here to get quality, performance, and a reasonable price.

Powerful & Variable Speed Operation

You can easily drill through your hardwoods with the WEN 4208 8-inch Drill Press. It has a powerful 1/3 HP induction motor featuring a ball-bearing construction for an extended lifespan. So there’s ample torque and power to let you experience a smooth, balanced performance even at higher speed levels.

This drill press is a variable speed tool that operates at five different speeds, such as 740, 1100, 1530, 2100, and 3140 RPM. So you can control the speed based on the type and material you are working on.

Great Capacity

WEN 4208 Drill Press offers a swing of 8-inch, allowing you to use it for broader materials. Its great drilling capacity can also be determined by its spindle travel distance. For this drill press, the spindle can travel up to 2 inches with Easy-to-read, Locking Linear Depth Stops for repeatable and accurate drilling actions.

Maximum Versatility & Accuracy

It comes with a 1/2-inch JT33 chuck that allows you to work with various bits. Moreover, the featured worktable can bevel up to 45° left & right. Its construction includes a rigid frame alongside a cast iron table, head, and base, ensuring accurate holes & convenient drilling actions every time.

More Features

There’s more to the feature list of the WEN 4208 drill press. It comes with a 1/2-inch keyed chuck that can be placed on the Onboard Key Storage. So you can get it right when you need it. The depth adjustment knob and worktable beveling lever add to the convenience of this drill press.

What Customers Say

People who look for simple and efficient drill presses find the WEN 4208 to be a fantastic drill one to go for. It’s been impressing users with its powerful specs, decent drilling capacity on wooden materials, and maximum accuracy & efficiency. This is an Amazon’s Choice and a favorite for many.

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DEWALT Drill Press, 2-Speed, Magnetic, 2-Inch (DWE1622K)

dewalt best drill press

You don’t mind paying some extra bucks for a professional-grade drill press. Yeah, we’re talking about the DEWALT DWE1622K Drill Press. It’s a 2-speed magnetic drill press that can do more than your expectations. DEWALT is a high-profile power tools brand, and it’s worth finding out about their Amazon’s Choice drill press here and seeing why one should buy it.

Powerful Specs

The DEWALT DWE1622K 2″ 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press is a pro machine with powerful specs. It has a 10 Amp motor and a 2-speed operation of 300/450 RPM. So you can get optimal performance for a wide variety of applications. This press features Overload Protection Electronics to prevent motor damage & excess accessory wear, ensuring an extended service life.

Quick Change & Quick Release

This DEWALT drill press features Quick Change Chuck System allowing a tool-free change between 3/4-inch Weldon Shank and a 1/2-inch keyed chuck. It also comes with the Quick Release Feed Handles, offering both sides a tool-free change of handles.

Self-Feed Cooling Tank

The Magnetic Self-feed Cooling Tank is a unique feature of this tool. It allows the workers to control the cooling fluid flow and place it on either side of the tool or a working surface. This will help the users get a variety of tool orientations.

Maximum Capacity for Heavy-Duty Applications

This DEWALT DWE1622K has a 4-3/8 inch drill traveling a distance of 4 inches. So you can get the maximum capacity for all your heavy-duty applications. It has a broader motor height adjustment range, making it compatible with wider accessories.

Featured Accessories

This pro drill press comes with featured accessories to make it more convenient for the users. The package includes a DWE1622 Drill Press, Height Adjustment Tool, Safety Chain, Quick change 1/2-inch Keyed Chuck, and a Kit Box.

What Customers Say

The DEWALT DWE1622K is a professional-grade drill press. It seems a little expensive, but most users find it worthwhile, considering the powerful specs, performance, and capacity. Anyone looking to get a drill press for their heavy-duty applications should consider it.

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WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press, Orange

wen 4214 best drill press

Talking about WEN Drill Press, there’s a particular model that you can’t miss out on. It’s the WEN 4214 Variable Speed Drill Press. This drill press is full of features and is ready to give you maximum satisfaction for precision drilling. Let’s learn about its features below.

Powerful Operation

The WEN 12-inch Variable Speed Drill Press is perfect for DIYers and homeowners. It comes with a durable 2/3 HP, 120V Induction Motor generating ample power to drill through hardwoods and metals. Its great drilling capacity allows you to make a 5/8-inch hole through the heavy-duty cast irons.

More Drilling Specs

There are some excellent drilling specifications in the WEN 4214 drill press. It features mechanical variable speed allowing the users to target the desired RPM ranging from 580 to 3200 RPM for your application.

It has a Quill diameter of 2.17-inches and includes a 5/8-inch chuck with MT2 Spindle Taper. So you can work with a variety of drill bits for versatile applications. The spindle travels 3-1/8-inch with an Easy-to-read, Locking Linear Depth Stop. So you can make repeatable and accurate drilling actions. There’s also a laser module for class III.

Convenient Work Table

The WEN 4214 also features a worktable that can bevel up to 45° to either side for those critical operations to make the perfect and consistent right angles. A table roller extension feature allows the table to extend up to 17-inches for additional support to the workpiece.

Advanced Features

The depth adjustment knob and the LED screen for digital speed readout make it more convenient to control the spindle travel and the drill press speed.

The X-pattern Laser also locks onto the drilling points for laser precision with tasks. So you can be saved on the guesswork to spare expensive materials. Moreover, there is also onboard storage for the chuck key and an onboard work light to illuminate the workpiece for maximum precision and visibility.

What Customers Say

WEN is always a brand to remember for power tool lovers. The WEN 4214 drill press is another powerful tool that’s been successful in winning people’s hearts with its achievement. It’s a mid-budget drill press with powerful specifications and performance. So you have enough reason’s to give it a go.

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Powermatic PM2800B 1792800B Drill Press

powermatic best drill press

If you own a woodworking shop and looking to add a commercial drill press to the arsenal, you must check out the Powermatic PM2800B Drill Press. It’s an expensive yet mechanically elegant tool bringing simplicity to the shop. With a drill press here, let’s find out the best of innovation, design, and durability.

Heavy-Duty Drill Press

The PM2800B drill press comes with some real power. It features high-quality construction, making it built to last. It can withstand everyday heavy-duty drilling actions with ease. Its 1 HP, 115V induction motor is powerful enough to drill through anything you throw at it.

Modern, Digital Features

This Powermatic drill press features Mechanical Variable Speed, allowing you to utilize a full range of speeds without any manual belt changes. There’s also a digital RPM readout that helps the user with the spindle’s speed optimization as required by the applications.

Its modern features also include a bright laser that illuminates the drill spot. So you can drill more conveniently and quickly without compromising accuracy.

powermatic best drill press

Great Capacity & Adjustments

It has excellent drilling capacity—the 6-inches of quill travel with a single revolution of the handle. There are a lot of adjustment options that make this drill press more convenient for users. Its adjustable fence system allows a perfect 90-degree relationship to the work table for a quick alignment of stock and drilling odd angles in the materials in a much easier way.

The adjustable Material Stop helps to make repetitive actions quick and accurate. It also features a keyless chuck that allows a quick and easy change procedure of the drill bits.

What Customers Say 

Powermatic PM2800B drill press is an expensive machine that has its target customers. This high-end model is not for everyone and is exclusively built for professionals. Comparing this power tool for casual or heavy-duty drilling tasks doesn’t leave any competition. So if you can afford it, you know what you should do!

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Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press

 Moving towards another Amazon’s Choice Drill Press on the list. It’s the Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press. Shop Fox has a reputation for providing great power tools, including drill presses such as W1667 & W1668. And they carry on this legacy well with this W1848 model. Let’s find out more about this floor-standing drill press here.

Floor Model Design

The Shop Fox W1848 comes in an Oscillating Floor Model Design. It’s a great capacity and weight drill press that can easily tackle larger applications. So it includes a floor model design with a durable, rock-solid build.

Oscillating Features

The design also includes Shop Fox’s unique Oscillating Spindle for dynamic contour sanding. A few simple tool-free steps allow you to convert from drilling to sanding operations in seconds. It also includes sanding drums as well. The drill press’s oscillation property also reduces the health buildup and provides a smooth finish while sanding.

shop fox best drill press

Powerful Specs

This drill press has powerful specs, including a 3/4 HP, 110V motor with a Swing of 13-3/4-inches. It also consists of a JT-33 drill chuck with a 1/64 to 5/8 inches capacity. The machine operates at 12 variable speeds ranging from 25–3050 RPM. Its spindle traveling distance is 3-1/4-inches. A tilting work table, table dust port, and other features and accessories make it a complete package to check out.

Tilting Table for Versatile Applications

The W1848 has a tilting table that can tilt up to 90 degrees to either side. The height and tilt amount are adjustable to accommodate the workpiece to achieve the desired sanding, drilling, or angles. Moreover, you can simply use the drill press base as the table and move the work table out of the way.

What Customers Say

Shop Fox is always on the cards when it comes to power tools. And there’s no exception with the W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press, as customers find this an amazing one to have. It’s a high-profile, floor-model drill machine that people seem to like very much for their heavy-duty drilling operations. The design, engineering, and performance of this drill press are very much satisfactory in practicality.

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SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press

skil best drill press

Time to consider the SKIL 3320-01 10-Inch Drill Press with Laser in the list. It’s an ideal choice for woodworkers looking for greater precision than just a regular handheld drill. We’ll check out its features below to learn more about this product.

Laser X2 Precision Drilling

The SKIL 3320-01 drill press has a 3.2 Amp motor and an X2 2-Beam Laser that ensures precise hole alignment. It also has a depth adjustment system that allows you to drill down consistently for all your projects.

5-Speed System & Versatile Operation

This SKIL drill press comes with a 5-speed operation. These speeds can cut cleaner holes through wood and other hard substances. The drill press’s chuck size is 1/2 inch, allowing you to work with larger diameter drill bits for all your cutting tasks.

Tilting Work Surface

The work table is 7-5/8 inches that can tilt for maximum convenience. Now you can deal with angles in your drilling with the tilting work surface that tilts from 0 to 45 degrees. The square-shaped surface can help support larger workpieces, including furniture and building projects.

What Customers Say

Most beginners find the SKIL 3320-01 a good drill press. The specifications and features are pretty decent, and the performance is also quite satisfactory. The price is also reasonable. All in all, it could be an excellent choice to make for mediocre projects.

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Jet 716000 JWDP-12 Drill Press

 jet best drill press

Jet 716000 JWDP-12 Drill Press is always on the cards to make it to the top chart. It’s powerful and portable, so you know what you can do with it. There’s a good list of features we have here that might make it more interesting for you to go for. Let’s find out more about it below.

Compact & Stable Design

The Jet 716000 drill press comes in a compact benchtop design, providing ease of portability. It includes a stable cast iron base measuring 10 x 16-1/8 inch. So it can fit neatly on the workbenches while allowing for easy re-positioning.

Heavy-Duty Motor

The heavy-duty, powerful 1/2 HP induction motor is good enough to drill through almost everything you throw at it. So you can expect it to tackle the big jobs pretty well. The 3-1/8-inch spindle travel makes it a great choice for maximum-depth cutting.

Variable Speed W/ Precision Drilling

This all-new Jet drill press operates at 12 mechanical variable speeds that are easy to change. So you have control over the optimal speed required for your project. For maximum precision, there’s an innovative X-shaped XACTA laser to ensure accuracy.

More Features

There’s more to its feature list. It comes with 5/8-inch Drill Chuck allowing the versatility to use different size drill bits for multiple drilling applications. This tool also includes a large paddle switch providing easy lockout protection and shut-off options.

What Customers Say

The Jet 71600 is a workhorse for the users, which they consider a great addition to their workshop. The price is reasonable, the features are rich, and the performance is top-notch.

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Euro Tool Small Benchtop Drill Press | DRL-300.00

euro tool small benchtop best drill press

Euro Tool Small Benchtop Drill Press | DRL-300.00 makes a great addition to our list. This is a compact drill machine that can do some extraordinary drilling for your ordinary projects. So don’t be hard-pressed to look further; check out its feature and have one soon.

Compact & Portable

The DRL-300.00 is a much more compact machine requiring little storage space. It is 10 x 12 x 8 inches and lightweight, weighing only 13 pounds. It’s a portable, space-saving, and economical power tool to add to your workshop.

Variable Speed W/ Large Platform

The Euro Tool DRL-300.00 has variable speeds ranging up to 8500 RPM. So you have the versatility and power to get your drilling tasks right and accurate. For more convenience, it has a large platform measuring 6-3/4-inch x 6-3/4-inch.

Excellent Versatility

There’s also a variable-size chuck that allows you to use different drill bits between 1/64-inch and 9/32-inch. So it offers excellent versatility in making different size holes per the requirements.

What Customers Say

The customers find the DRL-300.00 a mediocre quality drill press that can provide superior performance in light drilling applications. For heavy-duty applications, it’s so-so. The build quality has room for improvement. Yet, it could be a great choice as a budget drill press for DIY projects.

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Micro-Mark Drill Press Microlux 3 Speed 0-6″ Adjust

micro-mark best drill press How about checking out a mini drill press that can take care of your small and delicate drilling tasks? This should be a great idea, which makes us put the Micro-Mark Drill Press on the list. It’s a high-end mini drill machine with decent features to do what it’s built for. Let’s find out more about this product below.

Powerful & Sturdy

This Micro-Mark tool features a 110V high-torque motor capable of generating enough power for the drill bits. So it can get through most of the materials with ease. It’s a sturdy machine with a 5-inch x 9-inch Cast Aluminum Table Base and Housing Machined Surface, providing the required stability.

3-Speed Operations W/ Excellent Spindle Travel

This drill press features three-speed belt drives such as 2100, 4500, and 6500 RPM. So you have the versatility of the speeds to work correctly. It also has a ball-bearing spindle with a decent 1-1/4-inch travel and a generous spindle height.

Professional Features

There’s more to this Micro-Mark drill press. It features a three-jaw chuck and key with a capacity of 028-inches to 1/4 inches. There’s also a sliding gauge to drill in-line holes. The calibrated depth control of the drill press helps with precision drilling.

Precision Miniature

Microlux Drill press is undoubtedly a precision miniature machine for drilling tasks related to delicate applications. This drill press can give you the desired results in projects like electronics, labs, jewelry, and model works.

What Customers Say

People seem to have no complaints against this Microlux drill press unless they consider it for any heavy-duty application. It’s a compact, portable machine, and the users are quite happy with its performance. For specific, small applications, you should find it a decent enough drill press.

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Top Drill Press Picks

Before we conclude the article, we’d like to mention some of our top picks by category from the list. These are as follows:

Affordable Drill Press – Best Drill Press Under 200 Dollars: WEN 4208 8-Inch Drill Press

Best Overall Drill Press: WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press

Best Drill Press for Metal and Wood: The Powermatic PM2800B.

Best Benchtop Drill Press: TACKLIFE Benchtop Drill Press

Best Commercial Drill Press: DEWALT DWE1622K.

Best Budget Drill Press: DRL-300.00 Small Benchtop Drill Press

Conclusion

Now moving to the conclusion of our review guide on the best drill press you must have for woodworking jobs. The article has different buying guides and some top recommendations with detailed reviews. Now you should be aware enough to make an informed choice and find the drill presses suited to your needs.

Feature Image Source: Cumminstools.com

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