Best Drill Presses of May 2017: Reviews & Buyers Guide

There are many options when it comes to the tools that a woodworker can use for drilling holes. Hand drills are commonly used because they require less storage space. However, hand drills have some disadvantages regarding their usability.

A drill press is another practical alternative to drilling holes into wood. The best drill press also known as  pillar drill, bench drill, or pedestal drill are a type of precision tool capable of boring holes in precise locations at accurately controlled depths. Drill presses vary in size and cost.

Factors To Consider When Purchasing

• Size of work table
• Quality of chuck
• Availability and style of quill lock
• Length of quill stroke
• Support post and chuck (the distance between the two)
• Capacity of motor
• Table (the raising mechanism)

Even though a woodworker is able to execute most of the drill press’s tasks with other tools, these functions are easier and quicker with a drill press. If you ask most woodworkers why they prefer the drill press to other boring tools, they will probably give you the following reasons.


A drill press allows you to work more efficiently and quickly. Unlike a hand drill that requires you to exercise caution when working, a drill press is convenient. All you have to do is automatically set angles and depths, and everything will be motion.


Drilling holes call for accuracy. The only tool that you can trust to drill holes with this kind of precision is the drill press. A drill press can create holes that are accurately spaced and of the exact angles, widths, and depths.


It can be quite hard drilling holes of the same angles, widths, and depths with a hand-held drill. As stated above, a drill press allows a woodworker to drill holes of the correct angles, widths, and depths. It is this kind of functionality that makes a drill press superior over other boring tools.


Drilling holes with a drill press require considerably less effort than it does with a handheld drill. This saves you both time and energy. When it comes to drilling wider holes, you can use large drill bits to make the process faster. However, the same process can be laborious if a handheld drill was to be used.


Drill presses do more than just drilling holes. They are versatile and can be fitted with other tools such as the rotary sanding disc or the spindle sander. Drill presses are useful for sanding and can also be used to drill holes into metal.


Drill presses provide unmatched safety for woodworkers while they work on wood. These tools come with varied speeds that enable woodworkers to control the drill bit with ease; this ensures that it doesn’t break while in use. Woodworkers can also use a vice/a clamp to hold the piece of wood to the drill press’s table in order to be safe from injuries that might be caused should the wood slip.

Types of Drill Presses

The two most common types of presses are standing/floor and the bench presses. These drills have different capacities, sizes, and functions.

Floor Drill PressBench Top Drill PressPortable Drill Press
Floor or standing drill press is a powerful type of drill that can be used for a broad range of materials. Standing drill presses have more powerful motors (up to 3/4 horsepower), a greater number of speed settings and larger work surfaces making them suited for heavy-duty jobs.
The bench drill presses are also popular and are more compact and less costly compared to floor drill presses. They are perfect for lighter tasks since they have less powerful motors (of up to 1/3 horsepower), and smaller-capacity chucks. A woodworker who has less space can mount the drill press on a customized drill press table.

Another type of drill press is portable drill press also referred to as magnetic drills, portable base drills, or mag drills. These types come with magnetic bases that grip to steel workpieces.

Where is a portable drill used?

• Building and construction
• Welding shops
• Mobile repair shops
• In one-person shops to large construction sites (of 1,000’s of workers)

Our Top 5 Drill Press Picks

Are you looking for a drill press for metalwork or woodworking? The following information will help you find the best drill press.

WEN 4208 Drill Press : Best Budget Option

WEN 4208 Drill Press

WEN 4208 is highly rated by most users and bears the title #1 best seller in stationary drills. WEN 4208 is perfect for everyone looking for a versatile and compact drill that has a wide range of features and is cost effective. This product is the perfect tool for you if you want a powerful machine to complete various tasks at home faster.

WEN 4208 has an attractive bright yellow and black finish making it feel like an exceptional product. The product weighs less compared to other products in the market – about 32 pounds. WEN 4208 is not that huge meaning it requires less storage space and can be moved easily around the house.

The product is easy to assemble as it comes with a detailed assembly manual. WEN 4208 package comes with all the tools that you might need to start working immediately.

1. WEN 4208 Drill Press Features

• Durable induction motor
• Low noise
• 2-inch spindle travel


• 1/3 horsepower induction motor
• 5 speeds (620, 1100, 1720, 2340, 3100 RPM)
• 2 inch travel spindle
• Locking linear depth stop
• Work table (61/2 inch x 61/2 inch)

  • Cost effective
  • Offers 5 speeds

  • Might wobble sometimes

Delta 18-900 Drill Press

Delta 18-900 Drill Press

Delta 18-900 looks and feels like quality, the housing, and the handles make it perfect. The product is designed with the woodworker in mind. Delta 18-900 features 16 speeds for drilling a variety of materials including plastics, woods, and metals. It is powered by a 3/4-horsepower induction motor. This is more than adequate for any woodworking application.

The product has an auto-tensioning belt drive system that allows the user to change drill speeds quite smoothly. Delta 18-900 comes with a chart that spells out the recommended drilling speeds.

The product has a quill stroke (6-Inch) which allows for deeper drilling. In terms of size and weight, Delta 18-900 measures 59 x 12.8 x 3.2 inches. It is quite heavy; it weighs 261 pounds.

Delta 18-900 Drill Press Features

• Auto-tensioning belt drive system (for easy speed changes)
• Micro-adjustable depth stops and independent depth scale
• Large table (tilts forward 0-45° and rotates left/right 0-90°)
• T-slots on table
• Replaceable plunge plate
• 3/4 horsepower motor
• Depth stop with a micro adjustment and independent depth scale
• 6-inch quill stroke
• LED work lamp

  • Availability of LED work light for better visibility
  • It has micro-adjustable depth stops (perfect for repetitive drilling)

  • Poor interaction between the laser spot and LED light

SKIL 3320-01 Drill Press : Best Value Option


SKIL has been on the market since 2010. Since then, the product has become very popular among men and women who enjoy some woodwork and DIY projects. It is different from the Delta 18-900 when it comes to price. The SKIL 3320-01 drill press is a “more bang for your money.” The notion that cheap translates to low quality does not apply here. This product delivers more than what its price might suggest.

What is included in the box?

The box comes with a number of parts including a cast iron base/work table and a 10-inch drill press with laser – 3320-01. In the box, you will also find AA batteries (2) and the chuck key. The tool has a simple design and can be set up quite quickly.

Dimensions and construction

When compared to other models of drill presses, the product is relatively light. It weighs about 50.8 pounds with a dimension of 21.8 x 15.2 x 9.8 inches. The product is not that big and can easily fit into any space. The product is battery powered; therefore, you don’t have to run a line to a power source.

SKIL 3320-01 Drill Press Features

• Adjustable depth stop (repetitive drilling and accurate measurements)
• An adjustable speed pulley system
• Adjustable working surface
• Up to 5-gear speeds to choose from (570 RPM, 900 RPM, 1390 RPM, 2050 RPM, 3050 RPM)
• 7 5/8-inch square table (tilts up to 45 degrees on either side)
• 3.2 Amp motor
• Drill speed chart (helps users determine the speed to be used for drilling different materials)
• Guiding lasers (gives the users directions when drilling small holes)
• Easy to realign drive belts

  • Comes with a laser that guides while you drill
  • Compact and lightweight

  • Requires recharge after use (battery powered)

JET 354165 Drill Press


The jet drill press has been creating quite some buzz in the market since its launch. This product is perfect for the typical DIYers. It ranks among the best home improvement tools in the market today. JET 354165 is perfect when space limitation is a concern.

The JET 354165 drill press comes with a 16-speed system. This feature makes it ideal for several tasks including mortising, plating, routing, sanding, shaping just to name a few. Just like other drill presses, the JET 354165 also comes with a cast iron base, table, and drill heads.

What is included in the box?

In the box, you will find the JET 354165 bench drill press for you to assemble. Assembling the product should not be a problem since it has a detailed assembly manual.

Specific Features

• JET 354165 drill press is relatively heavy (weighing 163 pounds)
• The product is medium in size (it measures 31 inches in length, 13 inches in width and 39.5 inches in height)
• It has a 16-speed system
• It has a 0.75 horsepower motor that can be operated from 115V/230V power source
• A rotatable work table (measuring 10 x 13 inches)
• It has a spindle that can swing up to 15 inches

  •  Stability
  • Accuracy

  • Does not have a variable-speed type

Grizzly G7943 Drill Press

Grizzly G7943 Drill Press

The Grizzly drill press has specs that match the floor model 14 inch G7944. The product comes with a 3/4-hp motor, making it ideal for heavy-duty tasks. It also comes with a 14-inch drill chuck, which is the largest in the Grizzly series. The product weighs about 250 pounds.

Even though switching between the product’s 12 speeds is a hectic task, its motor jerks back and forth with a lever. This makes the drilling task with the Grizzly G7943 much easier than with other drill presses that have motors which slide on spring-tensioned rods

Grizzly G7943 Drill Press Specifications

• 3/4 hp motor (single-phase, 110V)
• Includes built-in light
• 14 inch drill chuck
• Precision-ground cast iron table
• Table swing and tilt of 360-degree and 90 degrees respectively

  • Work lamp
  • High precision

  • Shifting between the 12 speeds is hectic

Buying a Drill Press: What to Look for

Consider the following specifications when choosing a drill press.

• Speed
• Power
• Throat depth
• Attachments

The power

A good number of drill presses have an electric motor. The power of the motor is rated in horsepower. As a general rule, higher horsepower equates to higher drill press power. More horsepower allows for quicker drilling and the ability to use larger bits for heavy-duty tasks. Motors with more power are also known to last longer since they are not stressed when performing tasks.

Throat depth

This refers to the distance between the middle of the spindle and the drill press’s post. To some degree, the throat depth affects the size of a piece of wood that can be used with a drill press. For instance, a woodworker can’t drill a hole in the center of a circular piece of wood if the radius of the wood is greater than that of the throat depth.


Lighter tasks require the drill bit to spin at lower rates while heavy-duty tasks require the drill bit to spin at much higher rates. Most models offer 16 different rpm levels. Rpm – the rate for measuring the speed of a drill press.


This specification is particularly important to the woodworkers who drill holes at angles. Drill presses feature a table with an adjustable angle. In some drills, users can adjust the angle of the drill head. The angle in which the drill head tilts varies from one drill press to another.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a drill press important to a woodworker?

Yes, a drill press enables you to work fast, provides you with power to perform heavy tasks, spells accuracy in your work, it is versatile, and promotes security and safety in the workplace.

How do you correctly maintain a drill press?

You need to lubricate your drill press regularly so that it operates efficiently. Additionally, you need to keep dust deposits and debris away from your drill press; invest in a good dust remover.

What are some safe work practices to know when using a drill press?

• Always wear the right safety glasses

• Use a vacuum brush/rake to remove cuttings

• Ensure that the drill bit/cutting tool is locked firmly in the chuck

• Lubricate drill bit when drilling metal

• Keep floor near the drill press free of oil and grease

Drill presses are a must have tool for every woodworker. These tools make working with wood easier by increasing the speed, power, accuracy, safety and security of drilling. Woodworkers also get functionality and versatility that they can’t get from any other drilling tool.

Russ Kannigan

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