The Best Drill Presses For All Your Drilling Needs
The user’s hand and arm operate a hand drill. Thus it’s easy to make an off-center hole. A drill press always makes holes in the center and is the same size, depending on the model. Drill presses are classified into magnetic drill presses, floor model drill presses, and benchtop drill presses.
Consider the material thickness and kind when choosing a drill press. Most drill presses can only drill through around 2 to 6 inches of material. You also need to consider if the material is dense or soft. After a market assessment and product validation, we compiled the list below.
The Best Drill Press: What to Look for
When looking for a drill press, think about how much space you have on your workbench to mount the power tool. You also need to decide if you want a freestanding floor model or one mounted on the wall. Drill presses all work in the same way, but there can be differences in power and features.
Benchtop drill presses are usually bolted to a workbench, so they don’t move around when you’re using them. When they’re bolted down, the top of the press is about 60 inches high. Benchtop drill presses are designed in a home workshop, not a professional setting. They come in standard models with 1/3- to 3/4-horsepower motors and a maximum cutting depth of 4 inches.
A big drill press known as a floor model can be fastened to the floor with bolts or weighted down with sandbags. It is used in commercial workshops because it is exact. It can cut materials up to 13-20 inches deep and has a speed of 300 to 3,000 rpm.
A magnetic drill press is a device used to drill into metal. A strong magnet holds the drill in place, making it stable and accurate. Most magnetic drill presses have a power range of 6 to 12 amps and can cut through metal up to 1-3 inches deep.
All of the devices mentioned above are thought to be primarily stationary tools. But the benchtop and floor options can be moved to another location in the workshop with some effort.
Power and Speed
The motor’s power—in horsepower—determines how long the drill press can be used without damaging the motor. More powerful motors will not overheat as quickly. Still, a drill press with a 1/4 to 3/4 horsepower motor is usually enough in most home workshops. Drill presses with one horsepower or higher power are prevalent in commercial shops.
A drill press has a speed adjustment that you can use to make the drill go faster or slower. When drilling through materials like steel, it’s better to use a slow speed to avoid the drill bit getting too hot and breaking.
The drill’s chuck is the portion that holds the drill bit. The average benchtop drill press usually comes with a 1/2-inch chuck. The chuck can hold drill bits up to 1/2 inch in diameter, such as 1/4-inch, 3/8-inch, etc.
Some floor model drill presses come with 1/2-inch chucks, but most have 3/4-inch and 1-inch chucks that can hold more significant bits. Because most drill bits are 1/2 inch or smaller in diameter, a drill press with a 1/2-inch chuck should suffice.
Size and Weight
The distance between a drill press’s chuck and column determines its size. This distance is doubled to find the drill press’ size. So if the space is 6 inches, it would be a size 12 drill press. The throat distance or “swing” measures how far away from the edge of your material you can drill a hole.
A 10-inch drill press, for example, may drill a hole up to 5 inches away from the material’s edge. A 12-inch drill press can drill a hole up to 6 inches from the edge of the material. The size of the drill press usually depends on what you will use it for. There are larger and smaller ones, but most are either 10 or 12 inches.
Mini drill presses are used more by crafters than by mechanics or woodworkers. They weigh as little as 2.5 pounds, and benchtop models range from 35 to 65 pounds. Floor models can weigh up to 130 pounds.
Most drill presses do not have a lot of extra safety features, but some come with a plastic see-through safety guard. This safety guard keeps wood chips and metal shavings from flying around. Clear safety guards are often offered separately and can be added to most models.
Before using a power tool, read the owner’s manual and follow the safety instructions. It is essential for drills, which can be dangerous if not used correctly. Wear gloves, appropriate clothing, and safety goggles when using a drill press. Long hair should be pulled back and fixed in place.
Drills with integrated drill presses have a few additional features that may be useful.
LED light: Directing a bright light toward the spot you need to drill can be very helpful, especially in workshops with poor lighting.
Oscillation: While drilling, some drill presses can oscillate (move back and forth). When the drill press is equipped with a sanding wheel or polishing hood, the tool can sand and polish in addition to drilling holes.
Optional attachments may be included with some drill presses. Like clamps to hold the material still when drilling. You can also buy these separately.
Our Top Picks
Choose a drill press that is right for you by considering your needs and skill level. The models listed below were chosen based on brand reputation, build quality, power, and ease of use.
1. DEWALT Drill Press 2-Speed Magnetic 2-Inch
In significant projects involving metal fabrication or steel stairs, you will often need a mag drill to drill through the metal. The metal is too large or heavy to move to a workshop drill press. The DEWALT 2-inch magnetic drill press is an excellent option for this work.
The powerful electromagnetic base is placed on the metal to be drilled, such as an I-beam. It anchors the drill press to the metal item, increasing stability while drilling. The DEWALT mag drill has two-speed settings: 300 RPM and 450 RPM. A safety overload switch also shuts down the drill if it overheats. It can help prevent accidents.
The 10-amp motor has two speeds. Versatile, tool-free 34-shank change. Quick-release feed, magnetic self-feed cooling tank, motor height adjustment.
Power: 10-amp motor
Chuck Size: ½-inch
2. JET JDP-15B 15-Inch Bench Drill Press
The JDP-15B is a good investment for people who want to do home-based production workshops. This drill press includes a 3/4-horsepower motor with a speed range of 210 to 3,500 rpm. It’s perfect for small muffler shops, building custom motorcycles, or creating custom furniture.
With speed and power, this spindle can travel three 1/8 inches to handle everything from softwood to cast iron efficiently. The 15-inch throat is large enough for your projects, and the 17-inch wide table has precision-ground t-grooves to clamp and hold production firmly. For faster alignment, it also features a laser guide.
This drill press is heavy and not meant to be portable, but users can change the speed by adjusting the drive belt. It is okay, but it would be better if a digital readout showed the spindle’s rate for precision work.
The benchtop is the type.
Motor power: 34 horsepower
Chuck is 58-inch in length
3. Fox 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press with Spindle Sander
The Shop Fox 13-inch Benchtop Drill Press/Spindle Sander can be used for drilling and sanding. This drill press is powered by a 3/4-horsepower motor that can move the spindle at rates ranging from 250 to 3,050 rpm. The 13 1/4-inch swing makes it easy to maneuver large workpieces when sanding.
The table may be tilted up to 90 degrees in each direction, making it simpler to drill into woodworking products. A drum kit comprising 1-, 1 1/2-, and 2-inch drums, as well as sandpaper, is included with the table. The drum oscillates up and down when in sanding mode. The unusual spherical worktable has a circular notch for the sanding drum, making it ideal for delicate, detailed sanding chores.
This drill has no mechanism for switching between drilling and spindle sanding, and it’s too heavy to be a portable drill press. To change modes, open the lid and remove or replace a belt.
The benchtop is the type.
34 horses of power
Chuck is 58-inch in length
4. WEN 4212 Variable Speed Drill Press, 10-Inch
The WEN 4212 Variable Speed Drill Press 10-Inch drill press features a spacious 8-inch worktable that allows users to drill precise holes up to 4 inches from the material’s edge. The laser guide is helpful for beginners who are just learning how to drill. Still, advanced employees will also find it helpful.
The WEN drill press has a worktable that tilts up to 45 degrees. This way, you can drill directional holes more easily. You can also choose the speed you need, from 530 to 3,100 rpm. For stability, it is best to mount this bench-style drill press onto a countertop.
Power: 5-amp motorChuck Size: ½-inch
5. Drill Press WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed
The WEN 4214 12-inch Variable Speed drill press is a good choice for the DIY workshop. It offers plenty of power for drilling through wood, plastic, and metal. This drill press offers industrial-style features, including a digital readout and cross-hair lasers to help you drill in the correct location.
The 12-inch worktable can tilt up to 45 degrees in both directions, allowing you to drill holes up to 3 1/8 inches deep and 6 inches from the material’s edge. The cast-iron base has holes for bolting to the work surface.
Power: 120 volts
Chuck Size: ⅝-inch
6. W1848 Fox Oscillating Floor Drill Press
If you’re a woodworker who needs both a drill press and a sander, the Shop Fox drill press is a great option. The oscillating sanding feature delivers a smooth surface without scratches or cross-grain marks.
The drill press has a 2-inch dust port that you can use to connect it to a standard shop vacuum. It will help keep the wood dust under control. The worktable can be tilted up to 90 degrees in either direction, making it simple to drill at different angles. Additionally, there are 12 different speeds available, ranging from 250 to 3,050 rpm.
The most significant hole possible is 3 1/4 inches deep. You can drill holes up to 6 1/2 inches from the edge of the material. The worktable is 12 3/8 inches in diameter, and you can bolt it down to a concrete or anchor it with heavy sandbags or gym weights.
Design: Floor model
110 volts of power
Chuck Size range: 1/64 to 5/8 inches
7. WEN 4208T 8-Inch 5-Speed Drill Press
The WEN 4208T 8-Inch 5-Speed Drill Press is a powerful and versatile tool perfect for cabinetmaking, DIY projects, and metalworking jobs. The durable 1/3 HP induction motor provides ample power and torque for light to medium tasks. You will be able to drill through wood quickly, as well as plastic and metal, with little effort.
The ball-bearing construction of the motor ensures a smooth, balanced, and long-lasting performance. The cast iron base prevents wobbling, making the machine perfect for many projects. You can tailor the machine to suit your drilling needs with the five variable speeds from 740-3140 RPM.
This beveling worktable can be tilted in either direction for precise angled drilling operations. The slots can be used to mount clamps and vises. The 2-inch spindle can be easily adjusted with the easy-to-read locking depth adjustment gauge. The ½-inch chuck can be used with various drill bits and has its own onboard storage space.
If you don’t have a lot of space in your garage, the 4208 is a good drill press to buy because it is compact. It is also easy to assemble, which is good for new drill press users. WEN offers a 2-year warranty on this product.
8. DEWALT DWE1622K 2-Inch Drill Press
This DEWALT DWE1622K 2-Inch Drill Press is perfect for anyone who regularly works with steel. It has a sturdy design and a powerful 10 amp motor with two responsive speeds of 300-450 RPM. With 4-3/8-inch spindle travel, it can easily cut through the thickest steel and other workpieces.
The Quick-Change system makes it easy to change tools without any tools. You can switch between a ¾-inch Weldon shank and a ½-inch keyed chuck. The Quick Release feed handles can be mounted on either side of the machine, which is excellent for working in tight spaces.
This machine is simple for DIY beginners to use. You will appreciate the large green and red on/off buttons and the easy-to-understand user manual. The device does not require assembly, which is excellent news for beginners. Extremely portable, the DWE1622K has a sleek, lightweight, and compact profile.
The DEWALT drill press has an intelligent overload protection system. The LED light will flash red and yellow if the drill gets too hot. If it gets even more desirable, the light will turn red, and the drill will turn off until it has cooled down. You can also place a magnetic coolant bottle on either side of the tool to keep it from getting too hot. The drill has a motor height adjustment tool and a long 8-foot power cord. DEWALT offers a 3-year limited warranty on this drill press.
9. JET 354170/JDP-20MF 20-Inch Floor Drill Press
The JET 354170/JDP-20MF 20-Inch Floor Drill Press has a very powerful 1½ HP motor and is ideal for professional and home use. It is sturdy and can drill into 1-inch cast-iron and ¾-inch mild steel workpieces. High-quality ball bearings support the spindle for a smooth running performance.
This easy-to-use tool has excellent drilling versatility. It has a 4-5/8 inches long spindle and 12 different speeds, from 150 to 4200 RPM. You can adjust the tension easily by opening the metal lid, disengaging the motor, and slipping the belt onto the pulley. The ½-inch external depth stop with a 3-nut locking feature allows for quick adjustment. The sizeable smooth cast iron table can support up to 80 lbs, and you can tilt the table to 45° with the quick-release clamp.
The drill press has a built-in work lamp if you need to drill in low-light conditions. The on/off switch is located on the front of the drill press head, and there is a telescoping safety spindle guard. The drill press also comes with a drill chuck and key. Jet offers a 2-year warranty on the drill press.
10. BILT HARD 8-Inch Drill Press
The BILT HARD 8-Inch Drill Press is an excellent tool for home DIY enthusiasts who want more precision for medium-sized projects. The powerful ⅓ HP 2.4 amp heavy-duty ball-bearing motor can be used with wood, metal, or plastic. It has five variable speeds from 760-3070 RPM.
This drill press is designed to be durable. It has a steel base and table that will last a long time. You can adjust the table to the left and right and use clamps and vises.
The user-friendly features of this drill press include an easy-to-read locking depth stop, and the 2½-inch jaws open up to 2-1/10-inch. It is lightweight and compact, making it easy to move around, even in limited workspaces like a garage or basement. Plus, the base has pre-drilled holes for mounting onto a workbench.
The drill press also comes with a 13-piece drill bit set. The drill bit set includes 1/16-, 1/4- and ¼-inch bits. BILT HARD offers a 90-day free from defects in materials and workmanship guarantee and a 1-year limited warranty on the drill press.
Fluke 1587 FC 2-in-1 Insulation Multimeter
With many potential drill choices for home workshops and job sites, it might be tough to decide which is right. The DEWALT magnetic drill press is a great option that should meet your needs. Its 10-amp motor allows for two different speed settings depending on if you’re working with metal or softwood.
Read more: Machine Tool Can Do Many Workshop Jobs
Frequently Asked Questions About Best Drill Press
A motor’s power is measured in horsepower. A compact drill press with a 3/4 HP motor is appropriate for the occasional use or drilling of lightweight materials. A drill press with a 1/2 HP motor is perfect for frequent users.
The “swing” is the distance from the center of the drill chuck to the front of the support column. A hole can be drilled in the center (7.5″) of a 15″ square or circular piece of material using a drill press with a 15″ swing.
You can drill, expand, and finish holes using a drill press. Using a special attachment on the drill press, you can also use a tap to create threads in a hole.