The Best Drill Press - Guides & Reviews

Hand picked & battle tested straight forward guide to choose the best rated drill press!

Best Drill Press in 2017 - Ultimate Guides & Reviews

Drill Press is an important tool to have for modern homes and shops alike. There are a number of ways you can use a drill press and a number of things you can do with it. From wood crafting to metal drilling, a drill press does it all. Although there are different types of best drill presses for each job.

The drill presses are mainly bench tops, table tops and magnetic ones. Choosing the top rated drill press for the ideal job is crucial. This article will educate you about which drill press you need and when, the top drill presses in each category, and things you need to remember before buying an ideal drill machine.

How Many Types of Drill Presses Are There?

Here’s where it can get a bit tricky. I’ll go slow so that you can have a clear idea about what I am getting into here. Although drill presses are meant for “Drilling,” things are not as simple as they seem.

A professional would know that Drill Presses can be classified into two broad categories. These categories have different drilling capacities, different speeds, constructions, size, and applications. Let us go over them briefly.

The Bench Top Drill Press

These drills are small in stature. You can practically work with them while setting them up on a table or a bench. Hence the name. The Best Benchtop Drill Presses can give you a swing of 8-12 inches. You’ll be able to find these in small workshops, garages and woodworker shops.

Woodworks love these things. Mainly because of their small footprint and quick action. These drills generally have ½ to 1/3 HP motor and less of a speed range. Overall, these are perfect for woodworking setups.

Floor Drill Presses

If you want to dive in large projects or commercial endeavors with your drill machine, choose best floor drill presses that are out there. The drill press is as the name suggests. It stands on the floor. Few drill-press owners even bolt it to the floor for it to be extra stable.

These things have swing arcs between 14 to 20 inches. Also, you get 16-speed levels compared to benchtops where you get 8 – 12 levels.

What I didn’t tell you is that you have “Multi-Spindle” and “Radial” drill press as well. These tools are good for multitasking and can handle even bigger tasks.

In my list for Best Drill Press for 2017, you’ll find a mix of all these types. If you are waiting for a suitable one, feel free to choose one from my list

10 Best Drill Press - Comparison

Bench Top Drill Press

Bench top drill presses are those which require a table beneath the actual drill machines. The table is bigger than the normal ones (possibly square in size). People require these drill presses to work on wood and other metals to craft important things in workshops.

If you need any delicate drilling done or if you are looking to carve wood for furniture, these benchtop drill presses will come handy. They have a locking mechanism which keeps the material in place while you actually drill. Also, these allow you to perform repeated drillings

Best Benchtop Drill Press Reviews

1. JET 354165 JDP-15M 3/4-HP 15-Inch Bench Drill Press

JET 354165 JDP-15M 3/4-HP 15-Inch Bench Drill Press

This JET 354165 bench mount drill press is the best in the market, according to our test result. You can operate this machine in 16 different speeds of 200 – 3650 RPM.

So, the machine is suitable for slow and careful drilling to extremely fast carving on any surface. The worktable rotates to provide you control over the objects. It tilts to 45 degrees and it has ¾ HP engine to provide you the power.

JDP-15M Drill Press displays the depth in inches and millimeters so that you can have an accurate idea of how much you have drilled.

The metal belt and the quick-set bolt provide the ease of tweaking the drill press effortlessly for you. The Push-button switch helps you to conserve energy whenever you are not drilling. You can even enhance the capacities of the drill press by attaching available tools with it.

Pros

  • 16 different speeds provide you greater flexibility.
  • You can adjust the work table quickly thanks to the crank.
  • Jet 354165 offers you power and versatility.
  • The drill press is rigid and impact resistant.
  • It has the perfect chuck size for operations.

Cons

  • Few reviewers mentioned this to be heavier than the competition.
  • It is not all that feature-packed when you think about it.

2. Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press

Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press

Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser is another high-performance and best bench top drill press in the market. You can drill through plastics, as well as metals with the 16 speeds it has got.

It has an auto adjustment belt.You will find it easy to operate and the belt will give you control over the 16 speeds of the machine.

If you are still finding it hard to guess the speeds you need to drill at, you will have a chart to assist you in your cause for drilling.

Thanks to the six-inch quill stroke, you can now drill deeper with the Delta 18-900L drill machine. The laser helps to aim better while you drill and the T-Table with clamps hold the object you are going to be drilling. The machine takes time to be assembled and you will do well to get a second pair of hands.

Pros

  • It is a noiseless product for you to operate.Precision levels for Delta 18-900L is awesome!
  • You have twin targeting lasers for easy aiming and precise targeting.
  • You have 16 speed levels to choose from and set your desired level.
  • 6-inch quill stroke makes drilling easier than ever.
  • You have the auto tension belt to disperse any load onto the drill press.

Cons

  • You don’t get a fence with this one.
  • The lasers are difficult to spot when lights are on.

3. EURO TOOL (DRL-300.00) Bench-Top Drill Press

EURO TOOL (DRL-300.00) Bench-Top Drill Press

This EURO TOOL (DRL-300.00) bench top drill press as much as 5 inches deep into surface. You will get 3 speed settings to work with and get various drilling projects done with the machine.

The speed of the drill goes up to 8500RPM from 0.The benchtop drill helps you to drill with precision and drill more than the handheld drills without that much of a fatigue.

Plus, the angled movement of the spindle grants you accuracy while drilling. It generates 100 watts of power with a powerful motor.

You can use the larger bits and attain greater speed with the smaller ones. It weighs 12.2 pounds so it is considerately lighter than its competition. Made in China and you will have 9 pieces along with the main drill machine.

Pros

  • If portability is your concern, this is one of the highly portable drill presses around today.
  • You’ll find this thing extremely lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Powerful motor provides you the performance you need and desire.
  • Durable piece of technology; stays young and functional for years to come.
  • Relatively cheap in my opinion; doesn’t cut the wallet too deep.

Cons

  • You’ll not find the user manual to be too helpful with instructions.
  • Don’t think of using this thing for metal cutting or drilling.

4. WEN 4227 13 Amp 12-Speed Floor Standing Drill Press

WEN 4227 13 Amp 12-Speed Floor Standing Drill Press

I am about to conclude my list of Best Drill Presses for 2017 with a product from WEN. The WEN 4227 comes with an amazing swing arc of 17 inches. This thing drills and drills deep. You can take care of materials ranging from wood to metal thanks to amazing features it provides.

First thing that impressed me is the price. This thing possesses a 13-Amp motor in its arsenal. The motor is able to deliver flawless performance without breaking down or getting too hot to handle. How? Well, it has a coolant channel that keeps the machine cool while you do your job. All these things come at a price that is under $1000.

This WEN Drill Press comes with 3 different spindles which I’ve not found in any of the above machines. The designs of these spindles facilitate deep drilling capacities. These things are easy to change and use. With these three spindles, you get 12 speed levels in total. These speed levels begin from 180 RPM and end at 2940 RPM.

Those of you who are ruing the fact that speed count is an issue, hey, it comes with a 14X14-inch worktable surface. You can drill some big pieces of material on that surface.

As far as drilling deep is concerned, the spindle travels 4-3/4-inch deep and can drill through 4X4 boards easily. If you want to go up a notch, you can do that with ease. And, you have a nice tilt up to 45 degrees that provides you a bit more personal approach while drilling holes. You can even drill angled holes with this thing.

Still concerned about the speed limitations? Well, you can drill through softwood, wood, and hard plastic with this medium-sized drill press. At this point, I should mention that you can drill through metal as well.

The Chuck gives you flexibility with a 5/8-inch diameter. You can fit in most of the drill bits inside. You won’t have to waste extra space to store them. There’s an onboard key storage facility that helps you in your cause.

Plus, you have worktable light that assist you while you work in dim light. Worried about precision? You can drill accurately thanks to the laser guide.

Pros

  • The depth-stop feature lets you drill deep and drill repeatedly without missing the mark.
  • The 13-Amp motor is basically a powerhouse at your discretion.
  • You can tackle anything including softwood, wood, hard plastic, and even metal flawlessly.
  • WEN 4227 features a 17-inch swing that facilitates quick drilling when you need it.

Cons

  • People need to be extra careful when assembling this unit.
  • Bits below a certain diameter aren’t supported with the chuck of this drill press.

5. Palmgren 15" 16- Speed Bench step pulley drill press

Palmgren 15" 16- Speed Bench step pulley drill press

Palmgren 15" has 16 different speed settings. The top speed of this drill press is 3476 RPM. The spindle can travel 5 inches deep from the surface.

So, you can drill metal objects with care and precision.Also, you can drill cast iron and other solid objects with speed. The machine has a digital meter which shows you the RPM count for your advantage.

When it is mounted on the table, you can adjust the table height. It is particularly useful when working on delicate projects.

You can tilt the table on 45 degree angle. Also, it rotates 360 degrees. That helps when you are doing delicate projects on home improvement. The 3-spoke cast Iron-made handle has rubber handles for easy gripping and preventing slip-ups. The power switch can be operated with your feet and can be locked for preventing accidental use.

Pros

  • Palmgren 5-speed step pulley drill press has a nice 10-inch swing to drill quick and easy.
  • This Drill Press can drill through wood, metal, hard plastic, and many other materials.
  • This is a radial drill press; you can turn the head to 360 degrees.
  • Like all the radial drill presses, you’ll find this easy to use as well.
  • You can turn the “Safety Switch” on to prevent unauthorized use of this thing.
  • I found this perfect for my Delicate DIY projects.

Cons

  • You won’t find any user manual with the package.

Table Top Drill Press

Table top Drill machines are basically smaller than bench top drill machines. The latter is exclusively used in home drilling and in occasional drilling. As the machine boasts of the same mechanism, the motor of the machine is less powerful. The chuck size is smaller as well. But you will still be able to mount small things for drilling. Also, these machines and the tables are transportable. These things are particularly good for woodworking and furniture crafting.

Best Table Top Drill Press Reviews

1. Rockwell RK7033 Drill Press Replaces RK7032 Drill Press

Palmgren 15" 16- Speed Bench step pulley drill press

If you are searching Rockwell 7032 drill press, let me give you an even better one. The RK7033 is a step better in that direction.

This little thing features 6.2-Amp motor which is powerful enough to flesh out 5 levels of speed. The design is low-profile. You can store such a powerhouse inside your garage.

If we turn this into Horse-powers, the motor is capable of dishing out 2/3 HP. I could drill wood, hardwood, metal, and hard plastic with the drill press.

Most compelling thing about this drill press is that the work table is spacious. Plus, you can adjust the height of this table thanks to the "Rack and Pinion" system that comes with it.

Did I mention that the table tilts up to 45-degree angle to the left and to the right sides? I didn't? Yes, it does! Thanks to that, you can now drill angled holes that will complement your drilling style. Not to mention, you can etch many things on a wooden frame too.

Now, many of us reach out to our toolboxes or to professional handymen or call an agency to help us with the assembly of these things with intricate parts. Fortunately, you don’t have to do anything with this.

To protect us from unwanted accidents, it comes with a "Chuck Key." You can lock it to prevent unexpected start-ups. Even if you damage this thing by accident, you can request warranty for the product.

Pros

  • Although it has a powerful motor of 6.2-Amp, it doesn’t consume that much power.
  • This thing comes with 5-speed setting.
  • I can drill into wood, hardwood, plastic, and even thin sheet of metal.
  • It’s got a safety switch for you to prevent unwanted accidents.
  • The worktable tilts to a maximum of 45-degree angle on the left and the right sides.
  • People can also adjust the height of the table through the “Rock and Pinion” system.

Cons

  • Some people reported that there was a chuck key missing from the package. But it was a temporary fault that is taken care of.

2. HICO-DP4116 13-Inch Bench Top Drill Press

HICO-DP4116-13-Inch-Bench-Top-Drill-Press-12-Speed-Rotary-Tool-Work-Station

This 12-speed drill press comes with the full set. And by full set I mean the drilling tool itself, the work table (made of cast iron obviously), then you get the ½-inch chuck, and a chuck key. Oh, I forgot, you get the assembly tools as well.

You get as many as 12 different speeds to play with. The lowest this thing can go is to 280 Revolutions Per Minute. You can go as high as 2800 Revolutions Per Minute.

This range means you can drill through wood, plastic, and even metal sheets. Of course the thickness of these materials vary.

You get to use the 2/3-HP motor to do your bidding. Despite the motor being THIS powerful, it doesn’t eat up that much of energy and bills so to speak.

The spindle can travel up to 3-1/5-inch deep to drill holes. There is a depth stop too. This thing is easy to read. People can adjust at various points to start and stop at will. So, you can drill repeatedly at one place also.

This thing has a generous 13-inch swing. Plus, you have a spacious 10-inch work surface that you can put to good use. Despite being this big, the worktable tilts up to 45 degrees to the right and to the left as well. This makes drilling angled holes a piece of cake.

I could achieve best results when I paired this thing with HICO VMSO125 5-inch or VMSO100 4-inch drill vice. These two grant the machine extra stability.

Pros

  • This thing is surprisingly well-built with all the parts that it comes with.
  • The motor is surprisingly powerful clocking at 2/3 HP.
  • This thing adds versatility to your workshop as you can cut down more than one material with it.
  • 12 Different speeds for a machine of HICO’s price is more than a bargain for me.
  • Oh, I even found the “Safety Switch” of this machine useful when I’m not using it.

Cons

  • The instruction manual is confusing for people first starting with a drill press

3. RIKON 30-120 13-Inch Drill Press

RIKON 30-120 13-Inch Drill Press

RIKON 30-120 13-Inch Drill Press is a tough one in terms of longevity. Some people reckon that it’s not a Floor Size model or a Bench Top.

It is somewhere in the middle considering the size. It has a ½ HP motor which allows it power.

The assembly process completes without taking much time. The top speed of the machine is 3600 RPM and you can change the speeds easily with a belt-pulling mechanism.

The motor is quiet and the table doesn’t vibrate. That makes the machine suitable for long projects without any irritationsYou can even adjust the table if you want to drill delicate objects or if you are looking for speedy operations. You will have to use the Handle of the machine carefully as it can work to your disadvantage. It is perfect fit for anyone who’s just got into drilling..

Pros

  • You won’t feel any vibrations even when you operate this drill press on top speed.
  • RIKON 30-120 Drill Press is your ideal tool if you want to drill repeatedly at the same spot.
  • This durable drill press can survive through thick and thins of your workstation.
  • The ½ HP drilling motor provides impressive power for your day-to-day tasks.
  • 16 levels of speed provides the capacity to drill various kinds of materials including wood and metal.

Cons

  • I didn’t find the packaging that much impressive to be honest.
  • Assembling this thing can be tricky for newbies.

4. Factory-Reconditioned SKIL 3320-01-RT 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press

Factory-Reconditioned SKIL 3320-01-RT 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press

This is a reconditioned 3320-01-RT drill machine from SKIL but still works really great. There is a X2 laser system with two laser beams.

It works great when you have to drill holes in a precise location.

Drilling is often about digging holes through different metals.

This machine makes the task easy with 5 speed settings. Along with speeds, you can adjust how deep you want to drill as well. 

The machine tilts (from 0 to 45 degrees) to ensure precise drilling. But since it is a reconditioned machine, you will have to be satisfied with some cosmetic blemishes in some of the tools inside the package.

Pros

  • You can drill deep into any material thanks to the 3.2-Amp motor and 10-inch swing.
  • Accurate drilling has never been easier with the laser guide it comes with.
  • At this price, you get 5 different speeds which is a fair bargain according to me.
  • The worktable can tilt to the right and the left side to provide convenience while you drill.
  • Skill comes with a light that helps you carry out your business in dark conditions as well.

Cons

  • Batteries of the laser guide die quickly.

5. Powermatic PM2800B 1792800B Drill Press

Factory-Reconditioned SKIL 3320-01-RT 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press

This PM2800B 1792800B is one of the premiere drilling machines when it comes to the table-tops. This drilling machine is built on mechanical principles and it doesn’t require any belts to change the speed levels that make the job easier for you.

Turning the handle one time will move the quill six inches with this machine. You can enjoy repetitive precision with material stop which also is adjustable.

The fence system allows you to fix the alignment of the materials rapidly with the table.

This machine also has a digital RPM reading system to provide you the correct information in terms of speed. It provides you three handles in the package. The product is worth every penny you put for it.

Pros

  • First thing I like about Powermatic PM2800B is the speed range that is easy to adjust.
  • It is a medium-sized tool and fits into a cramped garage workshop too.
  • This is the top rated drill press as far as instruction manual is concerned. The manual is detailed to down to bits.
  • The PM2800B features dual LED light to assist you in dark conditions.
  • The swing of this thing is an incredible 18 inches. It drills through large pieces of wood without breaking a sweat.

Cons

  • Changing the adjustment belts is a bit of a drag.
  • Assembling this thing can be quite a task for a newbie.
  • This thing can be a bit noisy when you are operating with high speed levels.

Things to consider before buying a drill press

With the list finally completed, let us focus on few things which we need to keep in our mind while buying the best drill press. The first thing is the capacity of work. If you are a passionate, part time driller, you need to buy a small size drilling machine which is perfect for your home jobs.

If you are a professional, a bigger drilling machine will do, it will work whether you work for your own woodworking or build a fishing boat. Consider the chuck size and the spindle rotation before buying. Larger chuck means you will be able to incorporate different sizes of bits. Greater spindle speed means you can drill quickly. Consider the price as well. Sometimes, price means everything and there are some features simply money can’t buy for you.

Trust me, these things com by hundreds when you are out shopping for them. But you need to put together a shortlist of products that match your criteria. Later you choose one from the list. I did the same thing. So, which factors I ticked off before selecting these candidates? Let me explain in the next segment.

I Simply Looked at the Construction!

You need to do that too! No matter which drill press you choose, you should look at stability and the individual condition of the parts. They should be able to stay the course for multiple years. Inspect everything from your machine’s head, the chuck key’s head, the stand, and the motor.

People should pay extra attention to the fact that everything needs to be in place. Anything too loose or too tight can be hazardous and can render the machine useless. You should purchase a tool that is “Perfect” or else, you’ll not be able to drill holes properly.

I Checked If the Drill Press is Ribbed or Not

For those of you who don’t know what ribbing does, it keeps the drilling tool and the table together. Most of the top drill presses are either rubberized or ribbed. It reduces vibration when you are working at a high speed. As a result, you’ll have added stability when drilling rigid objects. They won’t vibrate and go out of place while you make holes in them.

The Machines I Chose Have a Flat Table

This is important! I brought out a measurement stick to check that the tables are perfectly flat or not. An even table provides the perfect surface for you to drill on. As a result, you can make precise holes and without straying off course.

If, by any chance, the table is uneven, all your efforts of ensuring stability, proper construction, and speed won’t matter. So, be careful when doing your own research. Better yet, go for one from my list!

I Went to Great Lengths to Ensure My Drill Presses Have Cast Iron Heads

By head, I mean the main and meaty part of the machine. You need to go for “Cast Iron” surely. The fact is, this thing needs to be solid. An Iron-made head is able to take all the wears and tears you throw at it and still come on top.

When you are spending a significant amount on these tools, you want stability, durability, and performance out of them. These things should be able to handle repeated drilling. That is why the Drill Press for Metal has cast iron material too.

For a drill press, the head also houses important bits such as the pinion shaft, spindle, the motor, and a small thing known as the quill. Cast Iron gives it the durability it needs to house all these things safely. So, in a way, it ensures safety as well.

The Chuck Was Next on My List

You cannot expect a key chuck in every model nowadays. But the Drill Presses in my book have at least a ½-inch keyed chuck. While you can drill with a “Chuck-less” device, a keyed chuck provides an extra “Grip” to the drill bits and holds them tightly in place. This facilitates accurate drilling every time.

Beyond the normal settings, you can tighten this chuck some more to ensure it provides a much better grip to the bits. You’ll immediately notice the increase in the rotation of the drill bits. As a result, the speed of your machine will increase.

I Checked Out the Speed Levels of These Things

Since we are talking about speed levels, this point deserves a mention. Many of us have only one gear when drilling. That is the “Top” gear. We tend to go for the highest level of speed whenever drilling something. However, this is not a good practice by any means.

When I prepared my shortlist, I did my testing of these things by drilling different materials at different speeds. I found that certain materials (like ceramic, wood, softwood, metal etc.) have an affinity to certain speeds. If you drill ceramic too fast, it will crack. Even lowest speed of some drill presses may crack delicate materials or generate heat which is unstable.

Case and point: certain drill machines are good for drilling certain materials at certain speeds. So, choose a drill press according to what you normally do and choose one according to the speed you drill at. 16 or 20 levels of speed may not be necessary for your job.

Don’t freak out. You’ll find instruction manuals guiding you through different RPMs needed for drilling different materials.

“Depth Adjustment Gauge” Was a Crucial Part of My Research

With the right tool by your side, you can even adjust how deep the hole goes. You don’t need through and through holes that reach the other end of the object you are drilling. Sometimes, you may need a hole that complies with your gig. That is why you need a set of screws that should determine how deep the hole will be. Set the screws to a certain length and you are done! And after the set point, the spindle will stop and won’t go further.

This facilitates repeated and precise drilling. Yes, you do need an even work table, solid construction, and nice chuck. But, add the “Depth Stop” with a readout, and you’ve got a perfect machine.

These Drill Presses Have Adjustable Motor Bracket Support

This little thing allows these machines to drill on various surfaces without flinching even a little bit. Besides ensuring the accuracy and quickness of your work, it gives the motor something extra to depend on. A motor bracket allows the motor to last longer and get through wear and tear.

Some high-end drill press motors come with gas pedals to save the motor from getting hot after an hour or two of heavy drilling. For the others, motor bracket suffices. You can adjust it for better performance and wear and tear resistance.

I Did Check the Warranty Packages

As tedious as it may sound, I did check the warranty packages for each of my best drill press candidates that I am offering to you. The thing is, no matter how much careful you are, or which brand you buy, these drill presses will succumb to accidents and performance issues. Natural degradation will get the better of them at some point.

Add to that our own irresponsive using and hard drilling and you’ll see your drill bits degrading in performance. Your drill press will wear out sooner than you think. For such cases, a warranty or a guaranty is handy thing to have. Check the clauses specifically and the types of damages the warranty papers cover too.

Why Would I Need a Drill Press Anyway?

Fair question, right? I mean, you have the cordless drills (AKA handheld drill machines). Why would you need a drill press?

The answer is to drill fast. Another reason is, to ensure you are drilling accurately. The cordless and normal drilling equipment can handle normal jobs easily. I’m talking about your DIY jobs and small-scale home projects.

But the big boys (Best Drill Presses for benchtop and floor models) come into play when you need finesse and you need it quickly. These are for people who are more dedicated to crafts such as woodworking and metal drilling. You should have your own workshop to house one of these.

With these things, you get a base for support. Also, you have “Rock and Pinion” system and the “Chuck” system to rely on. This gives you better control when you are drilling holes through objects.

Along with these benefits, drill presses are able to adjust how far you want to drill and for how long. In other words, you can drill accurately.

Other Advantages of this thing Include:

  • A drill press saves your power. When you are woodworking, a speedy drill press would drill hard into the piece by itself. You won’t have to push or exert any physical force.
  • Changing speed levels of a drill press is a hassle but it can achieve higher speeds than normal ones. So, this goes down as an advantage in my book.
  • These things are safe. And I MEAN safe. The drill bits are sturdy, so is the cast iron head. You have a chuck guard with most tools. Then you have the fences around worktable to prevent drilled object and debris from flying around.
  • With the radial drill presses and the ones that come with tilting tables, you can drill angular holes. Again, these work very well when woodworking and metal drilling.
  • Drill presses do more than just “Drill Holes” so to speak. With the proper bits, these things can polish, hone wheels, sharpen objects, and even sand drums.

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