A drill press is known by several names, such as a bench drill, pedestal drill or a pillar drill. It is a stationary or fixed drill that can be mounted on a stand or ground into the floor or woodworker’s workbench. There are also portable models that have a magnetic base that grip the steel work pieces they drill. Typically, a drill contains a base, a pillar or column, table, quill or spindle and drill head. It usually works on an induction motor. The drill head contains a set of three handles that emerge from a central hub that move the chuck and spindle vertically when rotated. This device is measured in terms of a swing. It is defined as double the throat distance or the distance from the middle of the spindle to the closest part of the pillar. For a woodworker it becomes difficult to choose the best drill press for his project given the choices that are there on the market. We bring you a simple comparison of the best drill presses available on the market so that you get the best bang for your money.
Here’s a quick comparison of the top 6 drill presses:
|Product||Motor||Speed Settings||Speed Range||Weight||Check Price|
|SKIL 3320-01||1/4 HP||Variable||570 - 3050 RPM||55 lbs||Check Price|
|WEN 4208 8-Inch 5 Speed Drill Press||1/3 HP||Variable||740 - 3140 RPM||33.2 lbs||Check Price|
|JET 354170/JDP-20MF 20-Inch Floor Drill Press Speed Drill Press||1.5 HP||12||150 - 2400 RPM||288 lbs||Check Price|
|Shop Fox W1668||3/4 HP||12||250 - 3050 RPM||122.4 lbs||Check Price|
|Craftsman 10 in Bench Drill Press w/ Laser Trac||0.5 HP||5||620 - 3100 RPM||61 lbs||Check Price|
|JET J-2530 15-Inch 3/4-Horspower 115-Volt Bench Model Drill Press||3/4 HP||16||200 - 3630 RPM||157 lbs||Check Price|
Best Drill Press ReviewsSKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press
Though this is a bench top drill press, it can easily handle a large spectrum of drilling projects. So, it is the first choice of home and shop owners, masons, plumbers, carpenters and those who drill objects occasionally. This device is rich with features, of ergonomic design and highly durable.
Features: The X2 2-Beam Laser helps you have precise holes in alignment, while the depth adjustment gauge helps drill consistently each time. It is powered by a 3.2 Amp motor and has an adjustable speed pulley system.
It has five speeds to bore holes into wood and other materials. It also has larger diameter bits for woodworking. Its work surface tilts to a maximum of 45 degrees. For best angled drilling, this device can be tilted on a 7 5/8-inch square bed up to 45 degrees on each side. Laser guides help users when drilling small holes.
- For a 10″ swing during drilling, it has laser guides that make it easy to work and produce precise drilling. It is also strong and works well on soft woods and hard woods.
- Its five speeds make it value for money. By altering the speed for the task you have, it gives you complete control over the device and the drilling action.
- The manual is easy to follow when assembling the drill.
- The battery-operated lasers do not work with 100% efficiency as they diminish as the charge decreases. This affects the woodworker’s work quality.
Features: Here’s a small yet powerful 8-inch swing, 5-speed drill press that bores holes easily through wood, plastics, metal and other materials. It can also drill a 1/2″ hole in thick cast iron. It works better than a hand held drill, boring accurate and precise holes based on the sizes you want.
The device includes a 0.5″ keyed chuck and an inbuilt key storage. It works at five speeds and its spindle travels to a maximum of two inches with easy to read, locking linear depth stops for precise and repeatable drilling experiences. The device provides sufficient power and torque through the 1/3 HP induction motor.
Its work table height is adjustable at 6-1/2 x 6-1/2″ and bevels up to a maximum of 45 degrees on either side. It has an eight-inch swing and it comes with a two-year warranty.
- The height of this device is flexible.
- It comes with a flexible program and a two-inch spindle journey that affords repeatable drilling
- It is strong and durable
- There is no simplicity attached to this device.
- The drill may be unstable during use.
This is one great drill press, whether to be used by professionals or hobbyists. The Jet 354170 JDP-20MF 20-inch floor drill press spins bits to a maximum of 3/4″ with 12 speeds ranging from 150 rpm to 4,200 rpm.
Features: It has an in-built work lamp, adjustable tension spindle with a return spring, and a metal belt with hinges and a pulley cover. It also comes with a drill chuck and key and users are protected by a two-year limited warranty. With every turn of the crank, its table can either be lowered or raised to the height you want, while angled drilling becomes possible thanks to its rotating and tilting 45-degree worktable that comes with a quick-release clamp. Its 1.5 HP motor can run off sources for both 115 volts and 230 volts. Other features ensure that it works fast and well and gives premium class service.
- It has a really good worktable with slits.
- The work light provides ample illumination.
- This device can do some heavy drilling.
- Its adjustable height provides ease to the user.
- Overall, the machine is stable.
- It provides great service considering it is so comfortably priced.
- Each time the speed of the machine has to be changed, the belts have to be repositioned proportionately, causing great problems to users.
- Users also feel that the worktable should be able to move backwards and forwards too.
If you want to experience versatility in your drill press, opt for the Shop Fox W1668 3/4-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press/Spindle Sander. It won’t work only as a drill machine but its various attachments also help it work as a sanding machine too. This makes it a wonderful addition to any woodworker’s shop. It is good to drill wood and metal at amazingly high speeds due to its high voltage motor, thus making it ideal also for industrial use.
Features: It has a powerful motor that lets it bore holes in several types of materials. Its spindle speed ranges from 250 rpm to 3,050 rpm, while its 3/4 HP motor gives it all the drilling power to bore holes in materials at high speed. It can also tilt the table to 90 degrees, left and right.
Adjusting the table height and tilting it for ease of use are also possible here. Sanding is also done here easily. Its chucks are some of the largest available today. It can afford really deep holes. Since it is a good bench-top drilling device, it can be used for any job, no matter how complex. Though it may be heavier than others in the market, yet it packs a punch.
- Its powerful motor and sturdy steel frame see it through heavy and complicated tasks.
- It has a clean and uncomplicated design and all the essential accessories.
- Once you find the right height with the adjustable table, you can begin to drill and sand your work piece.
- Though several accessories are included, yet finding replacement parts may be extremely difficult.
- Understanding the manual is often difficult.
Best Drill Press for the Money
The powerful 6 Amp motor of this device gives the user a long lasting and smooth work experience when working on home projects. It has a 1/2″ keyed chuck that’s perfect for drilling wood or metal bits and sanding drums with a maximum of a 1/2″ shank. It also has five speed settings ranging from 620 rpm to 3100 rpm. Spindle speed can be changed quickly thanks to its quick belt tension and immediate release. The table raising system of rack and pinion is both quick and easy to adjust.
- It is easy to assemble and it offers a smooth operation.
- It has a user-friendly speed adjustment.
- Its inherent light lights up low light areas adequately.
- It is very powerful and bores holes accurately.
- It has a tall pillar.
- It is long lasting.
- It is laser powered by AA batteries, not a power cord.
- There are no scale marks on the fence.
- It is difficult to tilt the table.
Features: This device operates on a 3/4 HP motor and a tilting table. It has a 115V, one-phase motor. It can do a variety of drilling jobs, due to its 16 spindle speeds. To ensure greater accuracy, it has a large quill. There’s a lubricated ball bearing spindle assembly inside its head casting, along with four robust ball bearings in an encased quill, assuring long life.
It can do a 360 degree head swivel and its chuck size is 5/8″. It works at a speed of 200rpm-3,630 rpm.
- It has a large quill, assuring greater accuracy of boring holes.
- It can be used for a long time, thanks to its head casting features.
- Its table can be tilted to 45 degrees.
- It has a large ground steel column diameter that affords the maximum table and head support.
- It does not have a work table.
- It does not have a work light, so working in inadequate light is not possible.
- It does not have a stand.
Drill Press Buyer’s Guide
Types of woodworking drill presses
Here are the most popular types of drill presses:
- Floor Model Drill Press: One of the most popular of all drill presses that professional woodworkers love, the floor model drill press has longer pillars and higher power motors. Its column length ranges between 66” and 72”. By using it, a woodworker can handle larger and more complex jobs since the table can take the full length of the pillar.
- 5 Speed Bench Drill Press: An easy-to-use device, it also drills faster than others. Its five spindle speed is best used for drilling wood, steel, aluminium and plastic. It also has a completely adjustable table and an angle indicator.
- Radial Drill Press: The Radial Drill Press has a movable and adjustable spindle that works best for heavy work which requires the woodworker to drill several holes.
Drill press uses
Basically, drill machines bore holes of different sizes in different but solid materials. A variety of drills are used for specific industries.
- Drill rigs: These drill oil wells and water wells.
- Hand drills: They are best used for screwing something in place and tightening it.
- Electrical pistol grip drill: Builders, plumbers and electricians use this drill.
- Hammer drill: Carpenters use this one drill wood and fix external parts into them.
- Cordless drills: These are best used where one cannot depend on electricity for drilling.
- Pillar drill machine: When metal sheets, wood, plastic, glass, concrete, etc are required in bulk, pillar drill machines are used to cut them to the desired shapes and sizes.
- Milling cum drilling machine: This is used in industries where solids and liquids must be combined and ground.
How to use a drill
By following the steps given below, you can easily use a drill to drive holes into any piece of wood. Remember to unplug the drill while you set it up for use.
Fix the speed: By moving the drive belt from pulley to pulley, you can adjust the speed on the drill. The thumb rule is that a small pulley on the chuck axis helps spin it faster, particularly on wood.
Set the bit: By opening the chuck, you can slide in the bit and fix it appropriately. Ensure that you take out the chuck because if you don’t, it will be dangerous to you when you work the drill. To drill large holes, begin by making a small hole.
Adjust the table height: Though some models use a crank to adjust the table height, yet others move freely after the clamping lever is opened up. For best performance, set the table to the desired height for use.
Depth of gauge: If you’re boring a hole in a piece of wood, you don’t need to alter the depth gauge, but if want a fixed depth stopped hole, you’ll need to lower the bit to the height you want and adjust the two knurled nuts on the gauge to the correct stopping point. While one of the nuts stops the spindle from moving, the other locks in the first nut.
Place your work piece firmly in position: Your work piece must be set in position before you can run the machine. This is necessary as otherwise the drill bit, while rotating, may try spinning the wood.
Drilling operation: If you’re ready to use the drill, ensure that it is spinning at top speed. Put the bit to the work piece, lower the bit by oscillating the turning lever. After you drill the hole, let go of the pressure on the lever and it will get back to its starting position by means of a spring mechanism.
Drill press safety
- Avoid accidents by being very sure where you touch the device.
- Ensure that the bit you use isn’t damaged, bent or dull.
- The bit should be placed in the middle of the chuck and fastened before you use the device.
- First clear the table, then switch on the drill press.