Best Drill Presses

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 1, 2017
When you need to drill a perfectly upright and accurate hole, nothing is better than a drill press. We have reviewed 5 best drill presses so that you can find the one you need! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
POWER
SPEEDS
SPEED RANGE
CHUCK CAPACITY
QUILL TRAVEL
BEST FOR
EXTRAS
SIZE
WEIGHT
Warranty
 
PROS
An ultra low speed allows drilling lightweight and delicate materials such as glass and ceramics. The tool is covered by 5-year warranty.
CONS
The unit is pretty heavy.
OUR VERDICT
Delta drill press can be regarded as one of the best tools for home applications and small manufacturing. The tool's versatility and usability will let you handle a wide range of materials.
detailed parameters
POWER
8 Amps
SPEEDS
16
SPEED RANGE
170 - 3000 RPM
CHUCK CAPACITY
5/8"
QUILL TRAVEL
6"
BEST FOR
Softwood, Hardwood, Acrylic, Brass, Aluminum, Steel
EXTRAS
TWINLASER, LED light, Micro-adjustable depth stops, Auto-tensioning belt drive system
SIZE
70" x 20" x 28"
WEIGHT
240 lbs
Warranty
5 years
PROS
The gear selector provides a convenient changing of speeds without a belt adjustment. The magnetic base allows you to install the press vertically.
CONS
The press base can adhere to metal surfaces only.
OUR VERDICT
It's an interesting model that will be useful for those engaged in woodworking. The overload protection and quick-release handles of this press will make the use easy and enjoyable.
detailed parameters
POWER
10 Amps
SPEEDS
2
SPEED RANGE
300 - 400 RPM
CHUCK CAPACITY
3/4" Weldon shank, 1/2" Keyed chuck
QUILL TRAVEL
4-3/8"
BEST FOR
Wood, Metal, Plastics
EXTRAS
Quick change chuck system, Overload protection, Quick Release feed handles, Magnetic base, Double-sided handle, Comfortable case
SIZE
22.4" x 6.5" x 19.3"
WEIGHT
33 lbs
Warranty
3 years
PROS
The crank handle allows a quick and accurate adjustment of the table height.
CONS
The laser pointer is powered by batteries, not by electricity.
OUR VERDICT
Craftsman drill press is an affordable tool that can be used for a wide range of tasks. This bench drill press has lots of conveniences and comprises functional capabilities of high-end models but boasts a really good price.
detailed parameters
POWER
3.2 Amps
SPEEDS
5
SPEED RANGE
680 - 3150 RPM
CHUCK CAPACITY
1/2"
QUILL TRAVEL
2-1/2"
BEST FOR
Softwood, Hardwood, Acrylic, Brass, Aluminum, Steel, Sanding drums
EXTRAS
Guiding laser, Depth gauge ensures fast machining, Strong stop block and scaled steel fence guide, Sight window helps you monitor speed
SIZE
26.77" x 13.39" x 8.27"
WEIGHT
60.63 lbs
Warranty
1 year
PROS
Small size and weight of this drill press allow you to use it anywhere.
CONS
A short quill travel.
OUR VERDICT
The SE mini drill press will be a great assistant for fine drilling of various materials, polishing acrylic and silicone items as well as for jewelers and DIYers. The energy-saving motor and a high chuck speed provide a great press performance.
detailed parameters
POWER
0.9 Amp
SPEEDS
3
SPEED RANGE
0 - 5000 RPM, 0 - 6500 RPM, 0 - 8500 RPM
CHUCK CAPACITY
1/4"
QUILL TRAVEL
1"
BEST FOR
Wood, Gold, Silver, Brass, Copper
EXTRAS
3 speeds, Light weight, Variable speed
SIZE
12" x 10" x 9"
WEIGHT
~12 lbs
Warranty
1 year
PROS
A convenient clamp on the press allows you to keep the key always at hand. This tool makes little noise.
CONS
The motor power is mediocre.
OUR VERDICT
This drill press is a successful combination of a high performance, compactness, and usability. The tool is suitable for both skilled craftsmen and amateurs.
detailed parameters
POWER
2.3 Amps
SPEEDS
5
SPEED RANGE
620 - 3100 RPM
CHUCK CAPACITY
1/2"
QUILL TRAVEL
2"
BEST FOR
Wood, Steel, Aluminum, Brass, Plastics
EXTRAS
5 different speeds, Heigh-adjustable worktable, Locking linear depth stops
SIZE
18" x 13.5" x 9.2"
WEIGHT
35 lbs
Warranty
1 year

What is a Drill Press

When we need to make a hole in wood or metal, we usually use a drill. Yet, when you need to make lots of accurate holes in a single workpiece or deal with multiple workpieces, a conventional drill requires too much effort and time. Fortunately, drill presses can not just drill holes from scratch but enlarge existing openings, thread them, grind wooden pieces and cut inscriptions and images on wax or plastic surfaces.

A drill press features an electric motor, a belt drive, a quill, and a chuck for drill bits or other attachments. Drill presses can make holes of different diameters and depths in wood and metal that vary depending on a specific model. Moreover, drill presses do their job with the utmost precision, so they will be indispensable for large projects.

We will consider the most important features of drill presses that you should pay attention to when choosing a drill press.

If you still need a portability of a conventional drill, read our reviews and pick one of power drills, cordless drills, or hammer drills for heavy-duty projects.

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What Features to Compare

Today, there are 3 types of drill presses: radial, horizontal, and upright. Radial and horizontal models are highly powerful and functional; they are usually used in large manufacturing facilities, but we are going to consider upright models only. They are smaller and more lightweight but can accomplish even heavy-duty tasks.

Performance

Performance is the very first thing to pay attention to. A drill press has an electric motor the power of which defines the rotating speed of a drive belt; the faster it rotates, the faster a hole is drilled. First of all, you need to decide how often you will use a drill press. If your drilling sessions are going to be short, you can pick a model with the power of up to 600W, but let the motor rest periodically for cooling. Consider drill presses with the power of 1000W and higher for more long-lasting works. Such powerful models can successfully drill through metal and wood, as their speed can be adjusted according to a specific material. A drill press may have a few speeds, usually from 2 to 16, and the more speeds there are, the more accurate a drilling can be.

Drilling Capacity

When looking for a drill press, pay attention to a drilling capacity, namely such as maximum drilling depth and diameter. Again, you should think in advance what types of materials you're going handle most of the time. If you'd need to drill holes up to 0.23” in diameter, a model of about 1 Amp will be enough. A drill press of 8 Amps and more would be more appropriate for drilling thick pieces up to 1” and deeper. Also, consider a quill travel since it defines the maximum thickness of a workpiece a press can handle. The low-power drill presses can have quills traveling up to 1”, and this may be sufficient since such models are used mainly for drilling PCBs and nonferrous metals. If you need to drill thick workpieces, choose powerful models the quill travel of which can reach 8”.

Usability

Usability is just as important as performance of the tool. Therefore, make sure to consider several parameters which are responsible for convenience of use. Pick a suitable size over the range of tools to fit your garage or shed; check the weight of a drill, for if you plan to use a drill on multiple construction sites, portability is essential. A laser guide is a feature that is commonly considered a benefit and so, if the chosen drill is equipped with one, aligning workpieces would be much easier and precisely too. A lot of customers give preference to the drills with a turning or tilting capability, allowing drilling holes at various angles.

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Delta 18 900L

Appropriate Speed to Fulfill Any Task

Delta was established in 1919 in Milwaukee. Making the world's first scroll saw titled “American Boy” in 1923 and building the first miter saw in 1966 can be regarded as the company's crowning achievements. As of today, Delta Power Equipment Corporation is one of the most honored brands in the woodworking industry. The company manufactures table saws, band saws, radial arm saws, as well as drill presses, one of which we've picked to review further on.

We'd like to draw your attention to the 18-900L laser drill press, one of the most powerful drills on the market. The tool has an 8A electric motor that revolves the spindle at 3000 RPM. At such a high speed it's possible to drill several holes literally in seconds. Yet, what impressed us the most is the number of speeds that make 16, all adjustable in belt drive system. The tool has a special lever that assures a proper belt tension at the speed change. Next, we'd like to proceed to the chuck which is compatible with different drill bits and attachments. The maximum chuck capacity is 5/8" allowing you to fulfill a wide variety of jobs, including drilling plywood, edging wooden bars and processing steel and aluminum. The 6" quill travel is one of the most crucial features of this press that can let you handle pretty thick parts with the weight up to 250 lbs.

Review of Delta 18 900L 18-Inch Laser

Effortless Drilling

Apart from an impressive performance, we noted a few peculiarities that can facilitate working with this floor-standing drill press. First of all, the tool has a crosshair TIWNLASER. This element will help you aim the drill bit at the needed point and make a hole much more quickly. In addition, the press has the "LIGHT" button located under the laser knob. This button activates the LED work light that is located on the press headstock. The light has a flexible stalk that allows you to put it in the most convenient position and illuminate the working area when the lighting is poor. Yet, the depth stop is the main advantage of this drill press, in our opinion. More precisely, these are two spring-loaded nuts that slide over the threaded rod and limit the quill travel both up and down. This design solution makes the depth adjustment faster and more convenient than turning nuts of other models. The pinion handles with adjustable depth scale for quill feed are worth your attention too. You can zero the scale when a drill bit touches a workpiece and drill multiple holes to the desired depth just looking at the scale instead of checking the depth at each run. In the end, we'd like to note a convenient table that tilts to 45°, turns 90° left and right, and rises or descends allowing you to handle deep parts.

Thus, Delta drill press can easily be considered one of the best tools for home use and small manufacturing business. The press versatility and convenience will let you complete diverse tasks that involve wood and metal. After all, the 5-year warranty is undoubtedly a convincing argument for buying this tool.

Delta 18 900L 18-Inch Laser in the use

More Products to Consider

Miter saws are awesome for making accurate crosscuts in the wooden boards and planks.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Feature tour / review of the Delta 18-900L drill press
Delta 18 900L
Delta 18 900L
 

DEWALT DWE-1622K

Cooling is Crucial

Founded in 1922, DeWALT has been producing power tools and machines for woodworking. The company constructed the first radial arm saw that paved the way for the company incorporation and creation of cordless electric tools in the middle of the 1990s.

So, we've selected the DeWALT DWE1622K drill press which is known for one specific feature, but let's describe the tool step by step. This drill press has a pretty powerful motor, though the rotation speed is not great - from 300 to 400 RPM. As you might have understood, the press has 2 speeds (switched with the help of a special selector). In general, the given number of speeds allows the press to drill through steel, however, thick drill bits are beyond the capacity of this press. DWE1622K can also handle wood and plastics and is compatible with 3/4" Weldon shank cutters and includes a detachable 1/2" chuck. The Quick Change Chuck system allows you to quickly connect the chuck or the shank holder. The coolant application while drilling is one of the best capabilities of this drill press. The machine has a special tank for the cooling fluid that can be attached to either side of the tool. Thus, the coolant will be applied to your drill bit or cutter, so it won't get overheated or broken.

Review of DEWALT DWE-1622K 2-Speed Magnetic

Use the Tool as You Wish

Exploring the handiness of this drill press, we need to point a few peculiarities. Let's begin by stating that the press is compact and lightweight, weighing just 33 lbs. Still, the magnetic base is its main advantage. The press bottom features an electric magnet that is engaged by pushing the button. So, put the press on a metal surface, press the knob, and the press will be drawn securely. Thus, the tool is lightweight but stable at the same time. Next, we'd like to highlight the convenience of the Quick Release feed handles. The point is that these handles can be attached to either side of the tool, just push the button, remove handles, and install them on the desired side. This is a truly convenient option, particularly if you are a leftie. Lastly, we'd like to draw your attention to the wisely designed protection system - if you apply too much load on the gear, the green LED indicator light will turn red and will be flashing until the load is reduced. Also, there is a handy carrying case that contains all the accessories requisite for a proper tool operation.

In all, this is a useful tool for homeowners who do some woodworking (during repairs, for example). Featuring the overload protection, this magnetic drill press is suitable even for beginners!

DEWALT DWE-1622K 2-Speed Magnetic in the use

More Products to Consider

DEWALT DW1361 Titanium Pilot Point Drill Bit Set - the branded drill bits for metal, wood, and plastics. The diameter varies from 1/16" to 1/2" so the tool can cope with some really difficult tasks.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
DeWalt DWE1622K Magnetic Drill Review
DEWALT DWE-1622K
DEWALT DWE-1622K
 

Craftsman ZJ4113Z

2-in-1 Tool

Craftsman is the trademark acquired by Sears in 1927. The company manufactures tools, home and garden accessories, as well as work overalls. In 2007, Craftsman was called “America's Most Trusted Brand” and brand with "Highest Expectations".

So, let’s meet this Craftsman drill press. It comes with 3.2A electric motor that can accelerate the spindle up to 3150 RPM. Underneath the head assembly lid, you will find two pulleys that tension the belt. Shifting the belt over these pulleys will give you 5 speeds for drilling different materials. Thus, you can process soft and hard types of wood, acrylic, brass, aluminum, and steel. The chuck of this press can accept twist drill bits from 1/16” to 1/2” and Forstner bits up to 1/2”. So, you’ll have an opportunity to drill fine holes in metal and large openings in wood. The spindle can travel up to 2-1/2" and can be restricted by 2 nuts that provide an ultimate accuracy of the drilling depth.

Review of Craftsman ZJ4113Z w/ Laser Trac

Top Accuracy

Now, let’s take a look at the conveniences of this drill press. First of all, let’s mention a laser that will help you aim the drill bit at the spot for a future hole as well as make angled holes or grind surfaces. We’d like to note that the drill table can go up and down, swivel and tilt right and left to 45°. So, you’ll be able to comfortably drill or planish massive workpieces. The press features a flexible lamp that can lighten the working area for you to be able to see a workpiece clearly. The ON/OFF switch with the locking feature (a plastic plug) is one more useful spec of this drill press. You can insert and remove the plug to start or lock the press when needed. For enhanced stability, the press base can be bolted on a worktop. Now, let's take a quick look at the handle of the tool. It's got 3 levers that you can unscrew for your convenience when they interfere your workpiece. Furthermore, the handle is fitted with the depth scale and stop nuts to fix the desired drilling depth.

Well, that's another drill press capable of performing a wide variety of tasks and with a great set of additional convenience features at such an affordable price. No matter whether you're new to woodworking or you're an experienced handyman, Craftsman 10 Bench Drill Press will suit you great.

Craftsman ZJ4113Z w/ Laser Trac in the use

More Products to Consider

We advise buying drill bits sizing from 1/16" to 3/8" to outfit your drill press. Also, you can acquire protective gloves to protect your hands from filings.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Sears Craftman 10 Inch Drill Press Review
Craftsman ZJ4113Z
Craftsman ZJ4113Z
 

SE 97511-MDP

Staggering Precision

It's a compact drill press with a 0.9A motor and the weight of 12 lbs. The thing about this drill is that it's suitable for drilling small accurate holes in pretty little pieces only, therefore the load on the motor is rather minor and the maximum rotation speed reaches moderate 8500 RPM. The upper part of the press features 2 pulleys and the rubber belt that allows setting one of 3 speeds through the change of its position on pulleys. The maximum quill travel is 1" and it can be varied by a single handle. By the way, if you deal with high workpieces, you can lift the entire headstock and get more space between the table and the chuck. In general, this drill press can be used for handling wood, PCBs, acrylic, fine steel sheets, as well as parts of nonferrous metals. You’ll be able to drill holes up to 1/4" (6mm) in diameter, using drill bits up to 7-1/2" long.

Review of SE 97511-MDP 7-1/2"

Perfect Smoothness

A small size and weight are the main convenience features of this drill press. Apart from this, we would like to compliment a handy speed control knob. This knob provides a smooth speed adjustment, allowing you to set a correct chuck rotation velocity for specific materials and drill bits. Moreover, you can limit the speed in two ways. The first way is a belt position changing, and the second is turning the special limit screw of the control knob. This way you’ll be able to pick even more accurate RPM rate, particularly when you deal with a low-speed drilling. We’d like to add a couple of words on the tool assembly. The assembly is performed in just a few stages. Firstly, you need to insert a metal tube into the base, and secondly, put a headstock on this tube. That's how quick and easy it is! In the end, let’s highlight the feed handle. Its travel is limited and the handle doesn’t rotate like those installed on the other models. Therefore, you've got an option to control a drilling depth, achieving higher accuracy.

SE 97511-MDP 7-1/2" in the use

More Products to Consider

We have a fine guide and review of the best models of table saws. Check it out if you are interested in gearing your workshop up with quality tools.


SE 97511-MDP
SE 97511-MDP
 

WEN 4208 5 Speed

Wonderful Combination

The WEN company has grown a lot since its foundation back in 1951. By 2001, the company had sold over 50 million products. Nowadays, WEN produces a wide range of tools such as hammer drills, nailers, miter saws, air compressors, power generators, and various handheld tools. Drill presses are in the company's product range too and we will review one of them right now.

WEN 4208 is a benchtop drill press that has a 2.3A induction motor with ball bearings (they prolong the lifespan of the tool). The head of the drill press contains a belt and 2 step pulleys that offer 5 speeds varying from low (for drilling steel) to high (for wood and aluminum). The drill press is fitted with 1/2" chuck and accepts drill bits of the same diameter. Operating the drill press, you can limit the quill travel for achieving the most accurate hole depth. It can be done by turning the feed handle with 3 levers that can also be removed when necessary. The quill travel amounts to 2" and allows processing pretty thick parts without shifting the table. In all, the tool boasts a nice combination of performance and convenience.

Review of WEN 4208 5 Speed 8-Inch 5 Speed

Pointless to Make Noise

So, let’s talk about usability of this drill press and go over some peculiarities. To begin with, we should mention a quiet operation of this press, so you won’t disturb your neighbors and relatives while drilling. The tool is easy-to-carry and you can place it anywhere in your home workshop. Like most other models, the worktable can be lifted and lowered and bevels 45° to the right or left. We should also highlight a simple assembly. The base is attached to the metal column, and then the table and the press head are connected. Apart from that, we need to say that the press base has slotted holes and can be attached to the countertop. As for safety, the switch of this tool is fitted with a safety lock key that protects the press from an accidental start. In general, WEN 4208 is a well-made upright drill press that combines a high performance, portability, and ease of use. This machine is matchable for shops of skilled carpenters and workrooms of beginners, taking into account that the drilling ain't bothering people around you.

WEN 4208 5 Speed 8-Inch 5 Speed in the use

More Products to Consider

Any woodwork requires precise measurements, so Stanley 33-158 5m/16 x 3/4-Inch PowerLock Tape Rule will be useful for you.

DEWALT Drill Bit Set is an excellent kit for drilling hard materials. The drill bits with a diameter from 1/16" to 3/8" have sharp tips that prevent them from sliding over smooth metal surfaces.

Detailed review of WEN 4208 5 Speed 8-Inch 5 Speed

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Wen drillpress unboxing and set-up
WEN 4208 5 Speed
WEN 4208 5 Speed
 

Sources:

1. Drill Presses Buying Guide, eBay. March 3, 2016.

2. Drill Bits Buying Guide, Lowe's.

3. Steve Hoefer A Beginner's Guide to Drills and BitsBoing Boing. August 25, 2014.

4. The Best Drill Press JigsThe Family Handyman.

5. Choosing a Drill PressLowe's.

6. Drill press, MIT.

7. Scott Gibson All About Drill PressesFineWoodworking. September 12, 2005.

8. 6 Reasons Every Woodworker Needs a Drill Press, eBay.

9. What is a Drill Press? wiseGEEK.

10. Types of Drill Presses, eHow.

Other reviews