From removing wheel bearings to drilling through metal, wood, glass, stone, tile and other materials, drill presses serve a broad range of functions in professional settings as well as within home shops. Of course, there are plenty of models on the market and it can be confusing to compare motor sizes, bases, speeds, work surface adjustments, and other features to make an informed purchase decision. Our guide walks you through the top models on the market to help ensure that you’re able to get the best drill press for your needs, whether you’re using it at home or in a professional shop. You’ll find the 10 drill press models we’ve ranked below in a head-to-head comparison table.
Best Drill Press for 2019
|Name||Motor||Speeds||Drill Depth||Worktable Bevel|
|WEN 4208||1/3 HP induction||5||2 inches||Yes||Check on Amazon!|
|Dremel 220-1||N/A||N/A||2 inches||No||Check on Amazon!|
|SKIL 3320-1||1/2 HP||5||Not listed||Yes||Check on Amazon!|
|WEN 4214||2/3 HP||Infinitely variable||3-1/8 inches||Yes||Check on Amazon!|
|SHOP FOX W1848||3/4 HP||12||3-1/4 inches||Yes||Check on Amazon!|
|NOVA 58000 Voyager DVR||1-3/4 to 2 HP (110v-220v)||Variable||Not listed||Yes||Check on Amazon!|
|ShopSeries RK7033||6.2 amp||5||2 inches||Yes||Check on Amazon!|
|General International 75-010 M1||1/3 HP||Variable||3 inches||Yes||Check on Amazon!|
|DeWalt DWE1522K||10 amp||2||4-3/8 inches||No||Check on Amazon!|
|JET J-2530||3/4 HP||16||3-1/8 inches||Yes||Check on Amazon!|
Now that we’ve compared drill press models, it’s time to dive into each one to determine what they deliver and how they compare to one another with more in-depth drill press reviews.
WEN 4208 8-Inch 5-Speed Drill Press
The WEN 4208 could just be the best benchtop drill press. At least where our review is concerned, it takes top honors. The 1/3 HP motor is more than ample for most jobs, and the worktable offers up to 45-degree beveling right and left so you can always get the perfect angle on the job. With five speeds and the ability to drill down up to two inches, it’s a great option for just about any home workshop, and also makes a great addition to professional shops. This drill press also features a locking linear depth stop to make repetitious jobs simpler and easier. The worktable measures 6.5 inches by 6.5 inches, so while it is not massive, it is amply sized for most projects you may undertake. It also features an eight-inch swing and a 1/2-inch keyed chuck with key storage built into the unit.
Dremel 220-01 Rotary Tool Workstation Drill Press Work Station with Wrench
Ok, this entry to our drill press reviews might be a bit confusing. It’s not actually a drill press. Instead, it’s a workstation designed to turn your existing Dremel tool into a drill press. Note that this item does not include a Dremel at all – it is only the workstation. The Dremel 220-01 Rotary Tool Workstation Drill Press is compatible with most Dremel Rotary Tools on the market, including models:
Simply insert your compatible Dremel tool into the workstation and you have the ability to drill, grind, sand, and more. The tool is held at a 90-degree angle and delivers a drilling depth of two inches. It’s also capable of articulating in 15-degree increments up to 90 degrees. The workstation ships with a Flex Shaft Tool, which is a nice addition for Dremel owners who do not yet have one. Note that this is at tabletop drill press and the worktable does not bevel.
SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press
Looking for a powerful drill press that will help you get done, fast? The SKIL 3320-01 delivers plenty of power (3.2 amps) and stands a full 10 inches high. This is another tabletop drill press, but the worktable does bevel (up to 45 degrees right and left). This drill press features five speeds, from 570 RPM all the way up to 3050 RPM to suit the material and your needs. It also comes with a Laser X2 2-Beam sighting system that puts the power of laser aiming in your hands for incredible accuracy with every job. There is a bump-off switch for increased safety, and the unit features a 1/2-inch keyed chuck. The adjustable depth stop also helps with repetitive tasks.
WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press
The second WEN drill press to make our list, the WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press is one of the larger tabletop drill press models we reviewed. It stands a full foot tall and has the heft you need for stability during operation. This is a good drill press for both professionals and serious home users, and it delivers quite a few features and benefits. The motor features infinitely adjustable speeds from 580 RPM all the way up to 3200 RPM, and torque remains consistent at all speeds. Check your RPM with the handy LED gauge. The linear locking depth stop makes repetitive tasks simpler while the 9.5-inch by 9.5-inch worktable offers ample space for even larger projects. Note that this particular drill press has a 5/8-inch keyed chuck (includes the tool). This drill press also comes with a laser sighting system to improve accuracy.
SHOP FOX W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press
The largest drill press to make our review, the SHOP FOX W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press is a freestanding model that does not require a table for operation. It stands 63 inches tall. The 3/4-HP motor delivers more than enough power for just about any project you might have in mind, and it also features a 1/64-inch to 5/8-inch chuck. With 12 speeds from 250 RPM to 3050 RPM and a table over 12 inches in size, this drill press is more than capable. Note that in addition to being used as a traditional drill press, the oscillating feature makes it ideal for use as a sander, and can be converted from drilling to sanding without any tools, in a matter of seconds. In fact, it actually ships with a three-piece spindle sander drum kit.
NOVA 58000 Voyager DVR Drill Press
Another floor standing drill press, the NOVA 58000 Voyager DVR Drill Press brings a lot of power and capabilities to the table. While it might be the most expensive item to hit our list of drill press reviews, it is perhaps the most capable model we’ve seen. It features the ability to run on 110v or 220v, which changes the motor capacity from 1-3/4 HOP to 2 HP. It’s also a direct-drive motor, and there is a speed range of 50 RPM all the way to 5500 RPM. The worktable is highly adjustable and very large, as well. However, the real benefit here, other than the high-capacity motor and the large size, is the software that comes with it. This is a highly-computerized, almost automated, drill press that delivers everything from constant performance monitoring to drill bit selection assistance to make it simple and easy to work with almost any material, from wood to metal to tile and glass.
ShopSeries RK7033 6.2-Amp 10-Inch Drill Press
With its 6.2-amp motor and two-year limited warranty, this drill press is a worthy contender for your attention. The ShopSeries RK7033 stands 10 inches high and is designed to work as a tabletop drill press. The base is heavy enough to provide ample stability, but it can also be permanently mounted in place. The worktable bevels up to 45 degrees left and right, and is made from cast iron for durability and additional heft. The motor features five speeds, from 620 RPM to 3100 RPM, and the unit features a 1/2-inch drill chuck. While it does not feature a laser sighting system, it does have a built-in LED light to help make it easier to see what you’re working on. One very interesting aspect of this drill press is that it can use either AC or DC power – it can plug in, or it can be used with a 1.3Ah lithium-ion battery (included).
General International 75-010 M1 Bench-Top Drill Press 12”
Standing a full 12 inches tall, the General International 75-0101 M1 is a benchtop drill press in retro green. However, don’t let its good looks fool you. This is a very capable machine and features a cast iron head, base, and worktable to ensure plenty of stability while working. It includes a safety feature most of those on this list do not – a forced opening line interrupter switch. In the event of a power failure, the machine must be manually restarted. It will not automatically start back up. It also offers speeds from 500 RPM to 3000 RPM, and comes with a built-in laser sighting system. The heavy-duty 3/4-HP induction motor is designed to deliver worry-free performance for years to come, and the unit features a 5/8-inch chuck.
DeWalt DWE1622K 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press
The DeWalt DWE1622K 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press is like nothing else on our list. It’s designed for tremendous portability and can be taken anywhere there’s access to a standard power outlet. The magnetic base clamps onto metal work surfaces, allowing the powerful motor to bring the drill to bear. The unit offers only two speeds – 300 or 450 RPM – combined with plenty of torque. The magnetic coolant bottle can be added to the right or left side of the drill to suit usage needs. It also uses a 1/2-inch keyed chuck, and comes with a safety chain and height adjustment tool.
JET J-2530 15-Inch 3/4 Horsepower 115-Volt Bench Model Drill Press
The final entry to our drill press review list, the JET J-2530 remains an excellent purchase decision despite falling in last place here. The cast iron head offers stability and durability, while the large quill is good for improved drilling accuracy. The table bevels 45 degrees left or right, and the base features mounting options to suit your installation needs. The 3/4-HP motor delivers plenty of power and performance, and you can choose from 16 different speeds to suit the material you’re working with and your production needs. It includes a light, but no laser sighting system. The worktable measures a generous 10 inches by 10 inches, and the head swivels 360 degrees.
As you can see, there is a drill press for just about any needs. Whether you’re interested in a high-performance tabletop drill press, prefer a floor standing unit, or want something that will allow you to get more out of your existing Dremel tool, it’s on our list. With all that being said, there is more to choosing a drill press than just comparing the units on the market. Below, we’ve included a buying guide to help you learn more about the various features and selling points of the drill press models on the market.
Drill Press Buying Guide
Finding the drill press for you requires that you know a bit more about the various features, functions, and capabilities on offer with the many different models on the market. It also requires understanding a bit more about your own needs and how a drill press might suit those needs. In our buying guide, we’ll walk you through the various things that you need to know in order to make an informed purchase decision.
What Is a Drill Press?
A drill press is, well, a drill that can be pressed downward via a manual or automatic control. At their heart, drill presses are about drilling, although many models can also do a number of other things, such as sanding. Drill presses were designed to help eliminate errors and speed up the process of drilling holes in a wide range of materials, although wood and metal are perhaps the two most common. By using such a device, holes are accurately placed, straight, and precise. Depending on the machine in question, it is also sometimes possible to create angled holes. You’ll find these machines used by a wide range of people, from woodworking professionals to automotive mechanics to gunsmiths. They’re also used in both professional settings and in home workshops.
How Does a Drill Press Work?
Drill presses are actually relatively simple devices. The head is the top of the machine and it contains the drill, the controls, and the drill bit. A worktable is usually positioned below the head. Some units have a base as well, but others use the base as the worktable. To use the drill press, you simply place the material you want to drill on the worktable, with the area to be drilled lined up with the drill bit. Then, turn on the drill, choose the speed you want, and lower the bit. As you lower the head unit, the drill bit will cut through the material. When you have drilled out as much as you desire (or drilled through the material), simply pull the head back up.
What Materials Can a Drill Press Use?
Drill presses can be used with a very wide range of materials. Wood and metal are the most common, but others can also be used. For instance, several of the models in our drill press review are capable of drilling not just metal and wood, but also stone, tile, glass, plastic and more.
What’s the Difference between a Tabletop Drill Press and a Floor-Standing Drill Press?
Take a look at the available drill press models on the market and you’ll find them split between tabletop drill press designs and floor-standing models. What’s the difference? Tabletop units are designed to be mounted to a worktable or other surface. They usually stand up to 12 inches tall. Floor-standing models can be up to 63 inches tall (or more in some cases) and are usually much heavier than tabletop drill press models. In most situations, a tabletop model will be more than sufficient. However, if there is no table or work surface or putting one in place is not an option, or if you have high-production needs, then a floor-standing unit may be the best option. We included a couple of different floor-standing drill presses in our review for just that reason.
What Are the Most Important Features?
When comparing your options to find a drill press, you’ll want to consider some crucial features.
Chuck Size – The chuck size will dictate the size of the tools that you can use with the device. The most common sizes are 1/2-inch and 5/8-inch. These are analogous to conventional drill chucks, as well. A specific chuck can use drill bits and other attachments up to the listed size. For instance, a drill press with a 5/8-inch chuck could use a 5/8-inch drill bit or smaller, while a press with a 1/2-inch chuck would top out at 1/2-inch bits and smaller.
Work Table Size – The size of the worktable is important because it touches on usability and productivity. The larger the table, the better, because you can fit larger items under the press, and long items will have more support. However, a larger table is not always better. Ideally, you’ll have a good idea of what size pieces you will be working on regularly so you can make an informed choice here.
Work Table Bevel – Most drill press models on the market offer beveling work tables, but that’s not true across the board. There are two on our list that do not bevel, for instance. Beveling is simply the ability to tilt the table left or right so you can angle the hole you’re drilling, and is measured in degrees.
Tabletop or Floor – For most buyers, a tabletop drill press will be more than enough. However, if you have limited space, high-production needs, or want to take advantage of greater power output, then a floor-standing model might be better. Again, know your needs and how you want to use the press to answer this question.
Motor Power and RPM – Motor power is very important. The higher the horsepower, the higher the RPM will be. However, you also need to consider torque and how it is provided across the power band. Ideally, you’ll buy a model that delivers the same level of torque at all speeds. Also note that high RPM is not always the best option. A lot depends on the material you’re working with, so know your needs.
Repetitive Tasks – Often, drill presses are used to increase accuracy and decrease worker fatigue during repetitive tasks. Look for a model that includes a linear locking mechanism so you can “set it and forget it”. This allows you to set the drill at a specific height and then complete your entire production run without having to adjust it frequently. That saves you a lot of time and hassle, and can increase your productivity significantly.
Accuracy – Being able to accurately drill is the entire point of a drill press. However, some units are easier to use than others. A laser sighting system is a great option. However, you may not need that level of accuracy. In that case, you might consider a drill press with a built-in light that helps ensure you’re able to see what you’re doing.
When it is all said and done, the best drill press for one person might be the wrong press for another. It really comes down to your usage needs, installation space, and intended materials. Our drill press review includes a model that should work for just about any needs, from carpenters and other woodworkers to automotive mechanics and everyone in between. Know your needs, assess your installation area, and then choose the model that suits you best.
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