When it comes to drilling ultra-precision holes in workpieces, handheld drills just won’t cut it. That’s where a drill press comes in. Mounted on a large metal frame, a drill press provides the stability and clamping support needed to make extremely straight holes in wood, metal, or plastic. Whether you mount them to a bench or stand on their own, drill presses are the foundation you need for safely performing heavy-duty jobs.
If you’re in the market for the best drill press, you may be overwhelmed by the numerous models and specifications available. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ve gathered the best drill press options of 2023, categorized by price range, and provided a buying guide to help you make an informed decision.
What is a drill press?
A drill press, also known as a drilling machine, is a tool used to create holes on hard surfaces. The drill is attached to a rotating spindle that drills deep into the workpiece. The number and speed of the spindle can vary depending on the model, but the spindle speed of any drill press is adjustable. While drill presses are primarily used for creating new holes, they can also be used to expand existing holes or create threads in holes.
How to Choose the Best Drill Press?
What size will you need?
Drill presses come in three main types: floor drill presses (the largest size), benchtop drill presses (the medium size), and mini drill presses (the smallest size). Consider the dimensions of your workpieces, the available space in your workshop or garage, and the portability you require to choose the most suitable model.
The column length of a drill press is the distance between the chuck center (the part that grips the drill bit) and the column (the vertical pole of the drill press). This specification determines the throat capacity of a drill press, which is an important factor to consider. You can calculate whether a drilling machine can drill into a workpiece with a specific diameter by doubling its throat capacity. Measure the diameters of your workpieces and find a drill press with sufficient throat capacity.
How much power do you need?
Consider the type of material you will be drilling (wood, metal, or plastic) and calculate the horsepower requirement for your projects. Any drill press with a 1/3-horsepower motor or better will be sufficient for most projects, but heavy-duty projects may require more horsepower.
Different materials require different spindle speeds for drilling. Most modern drill presses feature adjustable speed ranging from dozens to thousands of RPM. Consider the materials you will be drilling and choose a drill press with the appropriate speed range.
Consider any additional attachments or accessories you may need to ease your work. For example, a table attachment can improve stability dramatically, while a drill press vise can keep the workpiece securely in place.
Types of Drill Press
There are two major types of drill presses: benchtop and floor drill presses. Benchtop drill presses are compact and suitable for medium workshops, while floor drill presses are larger and more suitable for professional workers or industrial projects involving drilling massive objects.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the characteristics of each type to determine which one is the right fit for you.
Benchtop Drill Press
Benchtop drill presses are the most popular choice for medium workshops. They are portable and compact, making them suitable for small spaces. However, they are still solid and can handle relatively big projects. With a swing distance of approximately 8 inches, they are sufficient for most works. They are also more affordable and compact compared to floor drill presses. However, make sure to measure the available space in your home/garage/workshop to avoid buying a machine that is too big.
Floor Drill Press
Floor drill presses are a sturdy option that can be bolted onto your workshop’s floor. If you are a professional worker or your industrial projects involve drilling massive objects, then a floor drill press is your optimal choice. These models have a shorter minimum column height, allowing for more swing distance and better handling of larger workpieces. However, they are less portable compared to benchtop models and require more space.
Best Drill Press Reviews 2023
Best Drill Press Under $100
1 – WEN 4208 5-Speed Drill Press – 8 in
The WEN 4208 is a premium-quality but incredibly affordable drill press. Constructed with high standards, all the head, table, and base of the machine are made out of cast iron, ensuring smooth and accurate drilling. With a 1/2-inch keyed chuck and a 1/3-horsepower motor, this drill press offers versatility and power for your DIY works. With adjustable speed ranging from 740 to 3,140 RPM, you can customize the speed to suit different materials. The compact size of the WEN 4208 makes it portable and suitable for small workshops. However, it is a bit heavy, weighing 31 pounds.
2 – SE 97511MDP 3-Speed Mini Drill Press
The SE 97511MDP is a super compact and handy drill press, ideal for novice craftsmen and hobbyists. With a modest 7.5-inch height, it can drill as deep as 6mm on materials such as metal, wood, and jewelry. It offers three different speeds – 5,000, 6,500, and 8,000 RPM – to tackle various applications. The wide and stable worktable is suitable for light-duty projects, and the one-inch spindle is easy to control. This drill press comes with three extra wrenches for tightening the chuck key and drill bit together, ensuring safety during operation. It is also energy-efficient, consuming only 100 watts of power.
Best Drill Press Under $200
1 – SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press
The SKIL 3320-01 is an excellent choice for novice users. With a 3.2-amp motor and five different speed settings, this drill press offers versatility and power for various projects. The built-in X-2 2-Beam laser guiding system ensures accurate drilling, and the worktable can tilt up to 45 degrees for more comfortable angles. This model also features an adjustable depth stop and an LED work light for enhanced precision and visibility. The SKIL 3320-01 comes with a 2-year limited warranty, providing peace of mind for users.
2 – WEN 4210T 10-Inch Drill Press with Laser
The WEN 4210T is an upgraded version of the popular WEN 4208 drill press. It combines the features of an industrial floor drill press with the compact size of a benchtop model. With a 3.2-amp motor and five-speed settings, this drill press provides power and versatility. The adjustable depth stop and work table, along with the laser guidance system, ensure precision and accuracy in your drilling projects. This model also comes with a 2-year warranty, providing added confidence for users.
Best Drill Press Under $300
1 – WEN 4214 Variable Speed Drill Press
The WEN 4214 is a versatile and powerful drill press. With a mechanical variable speed and digital LED display, you can easily adjust the speed to suit your needs. The 2/3-horsepower motor delivers ample power for heavy-duty applications. This drill press also features a precision laser, an integrated work light, and a tiltable table for enhanced visibility and convenience. The locking linear depth stop allows for accurate and repeatable drilling operations. With its sturdy construction and additional features, the WEN 4214 is a top choice for users in this price range.
2 – Mophorn 1200W Magnetic Drill Press
The Mophorn 1200W Magnetic Drill Press is a heavy-duty industrial tool that can handle tough tasks. Its robust 1200W motor and 350 RPM spindle speed make it ideal for drilling thick metal pieces. The magnetic base ensures stability and safety during operation. This model also features an efficient cooling system, an aluminum alloy guide rail for quick height adjustment, and a rubber-coated sleeve on the lifting rod for a comfortable grip. The Mophorn 1200W Magnetic Drill Press is versatile and reliable, making it a great investment for industrial applications.
Best Drill Press Under $500
Shop Fox W1848
The Shop Fox W1848 is a dual-purpose tool that can be used as both a drill press and an oscillating spindle sander. With its compact design, this machine is ideal for workshops with limited space. It features a powerful motor, adjustable speed settings, and an integrated light bulb for enhanced visibility. The Shop Fox W1848 offers excellent value for its multifunctionality and convenience.
Evolution Power Tools EVOMAG28 1-1/8 Inch
The Evolution Power Tools EVOMAG28 is a reliable and versatile magnetic drill press. Its powerful 1200W motor and 13500N magnetic adhesion can handle heavy-duty industrial work. The aluminum alloy guide rail allows for quick and confident height adjustment. This model also comes with a rubber-coated sleeve on the lifting rod for a comfortable grip. The Evolution Power Tools EVOMAG28 is a top choice for users who need a robust and efficient drill press.
Rockwell ShopSeries RK7033 6.2-Amp 10″
The Rockwell ShopSeries RK7033 is a compact and efficient drill press. With its 6.2-amp motor and five-speed settings, it offers versatility and power for a range of projects. This model features a sturdy base, an adjustable table, and a safety switch for added convenience and safety. The Rockwell ShopSeries RK7033 offers excellent value for its performance and user-friendly design.
Best Drill Press Under $1000
DEWALT DWE1622K 2-Speed
The DEWALT DWE1622K is a high-performance drill press with a 10 AMP motor. It offers two-speed settings, allowing for versatility in drilling applications. This model features protection for sudden voltage overflow, ensuring the motor and attachments are safe from electrical hazards. With its durable construction and user-friendly design, the DEWALT DWE1622K is an excellent choice for professionals and enthusiasts.
JET J-2530 15-Inch 3/4-Horsepower
The JET J-2530 is a heavy-duty drill press with a robust 3/4-horsepower motor. It offers 16 levels of speed, providing versatility for various drilling applications. This model features a permanently lubricated spindle for smooth and long-lasting operation. With its solid construction and adjustable table, the JET J-2530 is a reliable and powerful drill press.
Hougen HMD904 Magnetic Drill
The Hougen HMD904 is a versatile and efficient magnetic drill press. It features a two-stage magnet technology that enhances performance and longevity. This model is compact and lightweight, making it suitable for small spaces. The Hougen HMD904 is known for its high-quality construction and powerful 1200W motor. With its advanced features and user-friendly design, it is an excellent choice for industrial applications.
Best Drill Press Under $2000
The JET 354170/JDP-20MF offers exceptional performance and power. With a 1.5-horsepower motor and 12 levels of speed, this drill press can handle a wide range of drilling applications. It features a tiltable table, an adjustable depth stop, and a built-in chuck key for convenience. The JET 354170/JDP-20MF is a durable and versatile drill press that offers excellent value for its performance.
NOVA 58000 Voyager DVR
The NOVA 58000 Voyager DVR is a high-end drill press with advanced features. Its variable speed range, from 50 to 5500 RPM, provides unmatched versatility. This model features a digital display, depth and vibration sensors, and a powerful 2-horsepower motor. With its precision and efficiency, the NOVA 58000 Voyager DVR is a top choice for professionals and enthusiasts.
With the best drill press, you can achieve precision and power in your woodworking projects. Consider the size, power, speed settings, and additional features when choosing the right drill press for your needs. Whether you’re on a tight budget or have more to spend, there are excellent options available at every price range. Invest in a reliable and versatile drill press to enhance your craftsmanship and make your projects a breeze.