A drill press is a mechanical machine engineered to bore holes in metal, wood, or plastic. Just like handheld drills, they also use different types of bits to make different sized holes.
However, unlike handheld drills, drill presses are either bench top or stationary units.
In this guide, I’ll recommend some reliable drill presses and also mention some important features to consider before buying.
Best Benchtop Press
- Variable speed from 580 to 3200 revs per minute
- Even torque for mechanical speed ranges
- LED light with speed display
- Easy to read spindle movement of 3 – ⅛”
- Locking linear depth halt for precise and ongoing drilling tasks
- Robust 2/3 horsepower motor with ball bearings for extended life and advance performance
- Rack & pinion adjustable height
- Tilts to a maximum of 45º in both directions
The Wen Drill Press comes with incredibly impressive accessories and features. It has a variable speed of 580 to 3200 RPM and can maintain even torque throughout mechanical speed ranges.
The unit also has a spindle movement of 3 -⅛” and can bevel up to 45º left or right. Other standout features include its rack & pinion height adjustment of 37” from the floor to the top.
Included in your purchase are a drill press, ⅝” chuck and key, table roller extension, mechanical variable speed, and laser.
You will also have no issues working in dimly lit areas, thanks to its LED illumination features with speed display.
What customers are saying
This press received excellent reviews. Customers were most happy with its smooth operation, quick assembly, digital speed display, and overall value for money.
However, some customers had issues with the power output not being adequate and some said there were malfunctioning components.
Best Industrial Drill Press
- Sturdy base for drilling tasks
- Variable speed
- 3 – ⅛” strokes for drilling deep holes
- Depth stop for accurate hole depths
- Tilts up to 45º
- ⅝” chuck and arbor
- 360º rotation or better positioning
- Telescopic spindle guard for safety
The Jet Drill Press is equipped with a ¾ horsepower motor and a tilting table that bevels up to 45º. It also features a durable die cast iron head and bulky quill for advanced accuracy.
The head is supported with a ground steel column, as well as a sturdy base for stability and durability.
The unit’s 3-⅛” stroke allows you to drill deep holes, and the depth stop is useful for making extremely accurate hole depths.
This drill press received plenty of five star reviews, with customers commenting on its sturdy construction, powerful motor, variable speed, and superb overall quality.
Best Floor Drill Press
- Height adjustable with a mere turn of a crank
- 12 spindle speeds ranging from 150 to 4200 RPM
- ¾” chuck
- Weighs 288 lbs
- ½’ positive depth stop and nut-locking device with 3 adjustments
- Tilts up to 45º
- 2 year warranty
The Jet Floor Drill Press adjusts effortlessly when you turn the crank and allows you to keep going until you’ve reached the perfect height.
Performing angled drills are also super easy, thanks to this model’s tilting table that adjusts to 45º with a fast release clamp.
The unit has a 1.5 horsepower motor that requires a 115V outlet or 230V power source. You’ll have access to 12 drill speeds that range from 150 to 4200 revs per minute.
Other standout features on this model include an on/off button, work lamp, positive depth stop, tilting, and assembly instructions.
What customers are saying
This product received great reviews, with most customers commenting on its smooth running motor, stable base, adequate illumination, and overall quality.
Still, some customers complained about receiving malfunctioning or damaged components.
Best Cheap Drill Press
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Don’t let the affordable price of the Tacklife Drill Press fool you into thinking that it cannot perform.
This drill press is extremely versatile and can be used for drilling into metal, plastic, wood, and tiles with a variable speed of 740 to 3100 revs per minute.
Included in your purchase is a powerful 2.5A motor, locking depth knob for drilling continuously, and an 8” swing with a sturdy die cast aluminum drive pulley.
The unit also features feed handles that allow for upstroke movement and downstroke depth adjustability.
This item is ideal for large scale furniture applications, as well as building projects that necessitate optimal precision and power.
What customers are saying
This product received excellent reviews, with customers commenting on its solid construction, heavy duty use, affordability, and ease of assembly.
Other Recommended Drills
This solid drill press by Shop Fox is ideal for a standard size cabinet company or machine shop.
It has an aluminum motor of one horsepower, a morse taper spindle for directly mounted bits, and with the carefully spaced spindle shaft bearing, you can perform precise drill presses effortlessly.
This unit is made with a durable die-cast iron table and has rubber covered fast adjusting handles that offer you optimal convenience and unmatched quality.
Its integrated light also ensures your workspace stays bright for better visibility.
The Wen Drill Press delivers 4” strokes for effortless drilling and features a variable speed adjustment of 280 to 3300 revs per minute.
It also has an integrated work light, 5/8” chuck, precision laser, and onboard storage for the chuck key. The table can tilt up to 45º in both directions, and the unit is backed with a 2 year warranty.
The Grizzly Industrial Drill Press features a #4 spindle taper, T-slot table, and 1-1 ½” horsepower motor that can easily handle most drilling jobs.
The unit comes with a drilling capacity of 1-¼” and a drill chuck of 3/64 – ⅝”. It also has a 20” swing capacity, and the integrated light provides illumination while working.
The Sunex Floor Drill Press features a powerful ¾ horsepower motor with a drilling capacity of ⅝”. It also comes with a belt tension lever that’s convenient for fast speed changes.
The table can tilt from 0 to 45º and rotates at 360º. Also included in your purchase is a ⅝” keyed chuck that fits an MT2 arbor.
The Genesis Floor Stand Drill Press comes with a 6.6A induction motor that is specially designed for providing quick and advanced performance. You can choose between 16 speeds to match different tasks.
Other standout features include its 4/8” chuck handle with big bits, rack & pinion height adjustability, plus 5/8” keyed chuck and wrenches.
How They Work
Making precise holes is the main function of a drill press. Unlike handheld drills, these machines use arm strength along with the stability of the user to drill clean and accurate holes.
The rotating handle regulates the plunge of the spinning device (spindle) that can also move vertically. All models feature a depth stop that is useful for making holes of equal depth.
Types Of Presses
There two types of drill presses, stationary or benchtop.
Benchtop models are more lightweight and portable, while stationary units are bulkier and not as easy to move. However, stationary units have more capacity, power, and features.
Features To Consider
The swing is the area between the unit’s central column and its spindle, doubled.
The swing regulates the uppermost material width, which can be fitted on the drill press when you wish to bore into the middle of the stock piece.
The spindle travel refers to the depth the press is able to go down when the handle is rotated.
Benchtop units may only permit 2 to 3 inches vertically, while the full sized stationary units can go down 5 to 6 inches.
The majority of drill presses have variable speeds which are needed for drilling into different types of materials. The higher end units usually have more speeds.
Models with higher horsepower are more suitable for tackling tough jobs. You will require more horsepower when drilling bigger holes or when working with tough materials.
Slower speeds are more suited for materials like metal, while faster speeds work best for wood.
The base and table on a bench press must be ribbed for rigidity and durability. They must also be slotted. The table must feature ledges or slats on both sides for clamping workpieces.
This makes it more comfortable and safer for the operator. The base must have a flat surface for maintaining larger pieces.
The table must also be easy to adjust left, right, up, or down to match various drilling tasks.
Drill presses are incredibly versatile and often come with attachments or features for completing other tasks like deburring, chiseling, and sanding.
Some units even have an integrated LED lamp or laser guide to show you where the hole will be made.