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Best Drill Press Reviews: Complete Buyer’s Guide

Are you looking to buy a Drill Press? If so, read on for our full guide with reviews of the top models on offer right now with the Pros & Cons or each.
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A handheld drill is an essential power tool for any workshop. However, power drills lack precision, and if you’re trying to keep to fine tolerances for your project, a power drill isn’t the right tool for the job. Power drills also struggle with getting through heavy-duty materials, such as stainless steel.

A drill press provides you with excellent control and a precision cut that comes out perfect every time. Drill processes allow you to drill through thick stocks and robust materials with ease, thanks to the fast drilling speeds you can achieve with these machines.

Selecting the right drill press to match your use of the machine in the workshop can leave you feeling more confused than ever. With so many models available, how do you know which one is the right choice for you?

We put together this review of the bes6t drill presses available to help you with your decision. Below, you’ll find our top picks, as well as a comprehensive analysis of all the top models we selected.

For more information on picking the right drill press, we recommend you read through our buyer’s guide and FAQs later in this review.

Our Top Picks

We selected the best three models for our top picks, based on three different categories.

There’s an option in our top picks for contractors looking for a semi-industrial machine, and a DIY option for homeowners. If you’re on a budget, we thought of you as well, and we have a model that provides you with everything you need around the workshop, without breaking your bank account.

Best Pick: WEN 4208 8-Inch

WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press
  • Includes a 1/2-inch keyed chuck and onboard key storage
  • Operates at 5 different speeds: 740, 1100, 1530, 2100, 3140 RPM
  • Spindle travels up to 2 inches with easy to read, locking linear depth stops for accurate and repeatable drilling operations.Cord Length (ft.):6
  • Durable 1/3 HP induction motor develops ample torque and power
  • 6-1/2 x 6-1/2" worktable is height adjustable and bevels up to 45 degrees left & right

This model is an excellent choice for homeowners and contractors. The WEN 4208 is an 8-inch machine that offers plenty of utility for the job site and workshop.

Contractors that use a drill press from time to time will find this an affordable and useful tool. It features a ½-inch key chuck and a 6.5-inch by 6.5-inch worktable that bevels up to 45-degrees.

Premium Pick: Powermatic PM2800B Drill Press

Powermatic PM2800B 1792800B Drill Press
  • Mechanical variable speed allows for full range of speed with no belt changes
  • 6" of quill travel with one revolution of the handle
  • Fence system adjustable for a perfect 90 degree relationship to the table, for rapid alignment of stock
  • Adjustable material stop makes repetitive actions accurate and quick
  • A digital RPM readout allows user to optimize the spindle speed to the application

The Powermatic PM2800B drill press wins our award for the best premium model in this review. If you’re a contractor, artisan, or woodworking professional, this machine is your top choice.

This Powermatic model features a 14-inch by 20-inch worktable that bevels up to 90-degrees, and an 18-inch swing with a 6-inch quill. This model also features a digital display for easy reference to the operating rpm.

Budget Pick: SKIL 3320-01 10-Inch Drill Press

Sale
SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press
  • 1/2-Inch keyed chuck. Bump-off switch for added safety
  • 5 Speeds - 570 - 3,050 RPM
  • Adjustable depth stop for accurate measurements and repetitive drilling
  • 0-45 Degree Left/Right Tilting Work Surface
  • Laser X2 2-beam laser for precise hole alignment

If you’re a homeowner or DIY expert looking for a drill press for your garage workshop, look no further than the SKIL 3320-01. This 10-inch drill press is the ideal choice for smaller projects. This model is budget-friendly and offers you the best value for money in this review.

You get a table that bevels up to 45-degrees, as well as five operating speeds between 540 and 3,050-rpm. The fancy X2 2-Beam Laser system keeps your drill on point and on-track for the perfect cut.

Drill Press Reviews

WEN 4208 8-Inch Drill Press – The Best Overall Drill Press

The WEN 4208 drill press wins our top spot for the best overall drill press in this review. This tool is powerful, compact, and lightweight, allowing you to move it between job sites or around the workshop with ease.

This machine does not come with a stand, as it’s meant for occasional use. You can bolt the cast-iron base to a workbench, or clamp it down. The base also features rubber feet that prevent the machine from moving around, and they also absorb vibration coming from the drill.

The ½-inch key chuck has a clip on the side for storage, preventing you from losing the chuck key (something all carpenters will appreciate). If you’re looking for a DIY machine for occasional use, then you can’t beat the value on offer with this WEN Model.

The table also offers quick release adjustment on the shaft, and the power button is at the front of the machine, which we feel is a nice safety feature.

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Suitable for light semi-industrial use
  • An excellent choice for home workshops
  • Portable and easy to transport
Cons:
  • Not ideal for heavy-duty use

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Powermatic PM2800B Drill Press – The Best Premium Drill Press

If you’re a professional carpenter or metal worker, then you’ll love the Powermatic PM2800B Drill Press. This machine comes with a full-size shaft, allowing you to set it up on the floor, or your workbench. You also get a mobile stand as an optional accessory with this drill press.

However, the size of this machine means that you’ll need an area of your workshop dedicated to the drill press. The large fence and work surface measures out to 14 by 20-inches, with a bevel function that allows a 45-degree tilt to either the right or the left.

The 18-inch swing and 6-inch quill with this model allow you to drill deep holes into any material. On the front of the machine, you have a digital readout of the current rpm, and a power switch for extra safety during operation.

We like the laser guide that keeps your drilling accurate, and the adjustable LED lights are a nice touch if the lighting in your workshop is dim during overcast days.

The cast-iron base of this drill press attaches to a long, stainless steel shaft. The 3-prong design of the turning arm makes for easy operation.

Pros:
  • The best choice for professional use
  • Powerful motor with high drill speeds
  • Large 14 x 20-inch work surface
  • Laser guiding
  • LED lighting
Cons:
  • Overkill for home workshops

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SKIL 3320-01 10-Inch Drill Press – The Best Budget Drill Press

Are you looking for a drill press on a budget?The Skil 3320-01 is your top choice for an affordable and effective drill press. If you’re a hobbyist carpenter or metal worker, then the Skil has everything you need in a drill press.

The cast-iron base is sturdy and durable, and it fits on top of the workbench easily. It’s a lightweight machine that suits occasional use, and it’s easy to move around, and the compact design makes it easy to store away when not in use.

This press has 5-speeds and operates between 540 and 3,050-rpm. We like the X2 laser guidance system on this model that allows for a precise line-up with your material. The work table bevels up to 45-degrees to the left or right, and you get a quick-release clamp that secures the table to the shaft.

The power button is on the front of the machine for safety, and you get a chuck key holder on the side to prevent you from losing it around the workshop. The triple-lever design makes guiding the spindle easy, improving your accuracy.

The only issue we have with this machine is that the base feels somewhat light. You’ll need to ensure you clamp or bolt this machine to your workbench before use.

Pros:
  • The best value for money in this review
  • Affordable
  • 5-operating speeds
  • Laser guidance
Cons:
  • Not suitable for heavy-duty use

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WEN 4214 Variable Speed Drill Press

If money is no object and you’re looking for the best of the best, then the WEN 4214 Variable Speed Drill Press is your top choice. This machine is a monster, and it has the power and range to drill through the toughest materials.

This model is the next move up from our top pick in this review, and it’s a considerable jump in both price and performance. The WEN features the renowned orange and black colors of the WEN brand, and the cast iron base attaches to the extended shaft. You get a 9 ½ by 9 ½-inch cast-iron work surface that extends to 17-inches with the help of the roller on the left of the machine.

The table bevels 45-degrees to the left or right, with quick-release levers controlling the work surface tilt and height on the shaft. The work light is a nice feature for working on cloudy days in dim lighting conditions, and the laser guidance allows for precision drilling.

The powerful motor offers a variable speed between 580 and 3,200-rpm, and you can monitor the drill speed through the LED readout display. The front on-off switch improves the safety features of the machine, and the linear-lock helps you reach your preferred drilling depth.

Pros:
  • Powerful motor
  • High drill speeds
  • Good choice for industrial use
  • large work surface with extension
  • Work light
  • Variable speed adjustment
Cons:
  • Costly

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Delta 18-900L Laser Drill Press

For professionals that need the best machine money can buy, the Delta 18-900L is a top choice. This drill press features design and construction with premium components and materials. If you line-up all of the drill presses in this review, it’s clear that the Delta is the standout from the crowd.

This machine will help you tackle the largest drilling jobs with ease, and it has enough power to act as a reamer and tapping tool as well.

Professional contractors, artisans, and metal workers will love this machine. The heavyweight cast iron base provides the drill press with excellent stability, and the long shaft means you can use this machine while standing.

The adjustable work table bevels to the left and right in a wide variety of angles and the locking keys under the table ensure it remains stable while drilling. You also get a work light to illuminate the cutting table in low-light conditions.

The double “X” laser guidance system ensures that you get the perfect cut every time. The drill press also features an auto-tensioning belt-drive system, with 16-speed settings for use with any material.

The 18-inch swing and 6-inch quill mean that you can drill through the thickest materials in minutes, without readjusting your cutting range. The triple levers allow the smooth operation of the spindle, and the measurement gauge provides you with accurate cutting depth.

The front-facing on-off switch also provides safety during use.

Overall, this machine suits heavy-duty use, and professional contractors and carpenters will rate this as the best buy in this review.

Pros:
  • Suitable for large drilling jobs
  • Industrial components and design
  • Twin-laser guidance
  • Auto-tensioning belt drive
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for home workshops

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Shop Fox W1668 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill

The Shop Fox W1668 is another excellent option for DIY workshops. This machine is lightweight, making it easy to pack away after you finish your project.

The cast iron base is durable, but we fell that it could offer the machine so more support if it were a little bigger. Therefore, you’ll have to ensure you clamp or bolt this model onto your workbench.

This machine has a dual function as a drill press and a sander. You even get a dust collection port where you can attach a shop vacuum. The work table also features a circular design, which is somewhat unique compared to all of the other models in this review.

The work table attaches to the main shaft with a quick-release clamp, and the triple levers assist the operator with maintaining precision control over the press while in use. The table angles to 90-degrees to the left or right, providing you with a broad range of cutting angles.

The 13-inch swing features a depth gauge on the front of the unit to monitor your drilling depth. The front panel also features the on-off switch for additional safety.

Pros:
  • Multiple functionalities for drilling and sanding
  • 12-speeds
  • Dust collection port
  • Good choice for home workshops
Cons:
  • Not suitable for heavy-duty use

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HICO-DP4113 Bench Top Drill Press

The HICO-DP4113 bench-top drill press is an excellent choice for DIY carpenters that only use a drill press from time to time. This machine does look a bit flimsy, but don’t let the looks deceive you. This drill press has everything you need for the home workshop.

The 2-inch spindle features a travel and depth gauge, as well as adjustable stop positions. The 6.5-inch by 6.5-inch, adjustable worktable, bevels at angles of up to 45-degrees to the left or right. This machine suits smaller jobs, and it won’t handle extensive use.

The adjustable belt-drive features 5-speed settings, producing spindle speeds of between 760 and 3,070-rpm. We don’t like the on-off switch is on the side of the machine, and you might have to take your eye off of your work when you go to switch it off, presenting a safety hazard.

Pros:
  • Adjustable belt drive
  • 5-speeds
  • powerful induction motor
  • Suitable for small jobs
Cons:
  • Might be too small for some woodworkers and metal workers

View Details

Grizzly G7943 12 Bench-Top Drill Press

The Grizzly is the surprise model in this review. This machine is powerful and adjustable, with 12-speeds to help you drill into the toughest or most delicate materials. The overall look and design of this drill press appear flimsy, and you might confuse it for a DIY model.

However, the Grizzly is the ideal portable and lightweight drill press for contractors. If you need a model that fits in the back of your truck, then choose the Grizzly. The spindle turns at speeds of between 140 and 3,050-rpm, with 3¼-inch travel and 14-inch swing.

The worktable bevels to angles of up to 90-degrees, to the left or right, and the entire table swivels 360-degrees.

This machine is ideal for contractors looking for a mid-range drill press that’s suitable for heavy-duty use.

Pros:
  • A good high-power choice for the home workshop
  • 12-speeds
  • Adjustable belt drive
  • Adjustable table
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Suitable for heavy-duty use

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Drill Press Buyers Guide

The drill press is essentially a power drill mounted to a fixed stand. If you’re drilling through a piece of wood or metal that’s a few inches thick, a regular power drill won’t suffice.

Standard power drills don’t have the speed and power necessary to keep drilling through thick material. As a result, you’ll end up burning out the brushes on the motor.

Even if you do manage to do the job with a handheld machine, the chances are that your drill hole isn’t going to be very accurate.

A drill press is an ideal machine for drilling into thick material over ½-inch thick. The press operates through the use of a lever-arm that the operator pulls on to lower the spindle towards the material.

As a result, the operator gets complete control over the drilling process, allowing for accurate cuts that are within a fine tolerance.

The drill press works on a vertical axis, allowing the operator to place more pressure on the tool head while maintaining a perfectly perpendicular cut into the material. Due to the leverage on offer with this machine, operators can drill large holes into thick, dense materials with no issues.

Most drill presses come with a beveling work surface that allows the operator to clamp the material at angles of up to 90-degrees. Drill presses are versatile machines that can handle many tasks around the workshop. Drilling, tapping, reaming, countersinking, and counterboring are all suitable tasks for a drill press.

What Are the Types of Drill Presses?

There are two common types; bench-press machines and floor-standing presses. Standing presses are the better choice if you have a large workshop with enough space to accommodate the machine.

However, most DIY carpenters or artisans can get away with using a bench drill press. This machine fits onto your existing workbench and either clamps or bolts into the tabletop. Drill machines aren’t very portable, and you’ll need to unbolt it from the bench when you want to move it around.

Unfortunately, your bench-top drill press does require fitment to your bench with clamps or bolts. These top-heavy machines work at high speeds. If you apply too much pressure to the drill during operation, you might cause the press to topple over, leading to a severe injury in the workplace.

If you think you’ll be using a drill press frequently on your projects, then we recommend you go for a standing-type, as these machines are powerful and long-lasting. If you think you’ll only be using a drill press from time to time in your workshop, then a bench model is your best choice.

Bench drill presses are portable, and you can pack them away after use to save on space if you have a small workshop and workbench. However, bench-types are usually DIY machines, and they won’t stand up to heavy-duty use.

What Are the Parts of a Drill Press?

If you’re new to drill press machines, then it might be worth your while to understand how these machines operate before you buy your preferred model.

A drill press is essentially a drilling machine mounted on a fixed stand. The top of the machine contains the motor and the moving parts. You’ll notice a large housing on the top of the press that contains the drive belt. Some models have an automatic speed-shift for the belt, while others require you to set the belt up manually before use.

Under the belt drive, you’ll find the motor and gearbox assembly. Usually, the power switch for the machine is around this location. In front of the motor and gearbox, you’ll find the spindle head, connected to the drive belts in the housing. The motor and top assembly of the machine mount onto a stand that has a long shaft between 10 to 50-inches in length.

The work surface attaches to the stand shaft with a quick-locking system, allowing you to maneuver it into the position you need to drill through your material. The foot of the stand connects to the shaft and will either offer options for bolting to the bench, or attachment to a stand.

On the side of the motor housing, they’ll be a wheel that the operator pulls down on to lower the spindle head to the material.

How Do I Mount a Drill Press?

Select an area of your workshop that has good lighting for working with the machine. Most drill presses are top-heavy, and they come with a heavy, cast-iron base to support its weight. However, the top-heavy design means that it will fall over if you bump it.

To prevent this from happening, you’ll need a dedicated stand for the machine, or you’ll have to bolt or clamp it to a bench to prevent accidents.

Drill Press FAQ

Have you settled on your ideal drill press to suit your working conditions and projects? We recommend you read through these frequently asked questions for more information on your new power tool.

What are the best drill press brands?

WEN and Powermatic and Skil are our top brands for drill presses. These three brands make leading products, and there are plenty of them in this review

How do I use a drill press?

A drill press performs the same function as a handheld power drill. However, when using the press, you take the effort out of work. Always ensure you inspect the machine before you plug it into a power source, and check to see that everything is in order, and your belt drive is on the correct setting.

How much should I expect to pay for a drill press?

A good quality drill press can cost you up to $1,000 for an industrial machine. However, many of the models in this review are available for far less than that. You can expect to pay between $75 to $500 for a good-quality machine

What materials can I work with using my drill press?

All of the drill presses in this review will cut holes in metal and wood. Metal requires higher speeds for a good cut, so you’ll need to ensure your drill head spins at over 700-rpm for effective cutting.

It’s also important to note that there are different drill bits for wood and metal, so make sure you fit your drill press with the right tip before you start drilling.

Can I use an industrial drill press in my home workshop?

Sure, you can use it, but it’s not the ideal choice. Industrial machines are large and powerful, and they are mainly for heavy-duty drilling on large projects. As a novice or home-based woodworker, you only need a DIY tool for small drilling tasks.

How long will my drill press last?

Drill presses are durable machines. A DIY drill press is not suitable for industrial use. Therefore, if you put it to work every day, you can bet you’ll burn out the brushes or the motor. In general, a DIY model should provide you with more than a decade of hassle-free operation, provided you don’t misuse the machine.

Industrial drill presses experience harsh working conditions, but they have the design and construction to get through the most robust materials. You can expect an industrial-type machine to last forever.

You might run into some issues with the belt drive of the machine perishing. However, it’s a cheap replacement part.

Where do I buy a drill press?

Drill presses are available from a variety of power tool dealers both online and offline. However, if you want the best price, we recommend shopping for your drill press on Amazon.

When you purchase on Amazon, you benefit from the excellent customer service and returns, should anything go wrong with your machine.

Safety Tips for Using a Drill Press

  • Before you fire up your drill press for the first time, make sure you read through the operator’s manual.
  • Understanding the operation of your drill press helps to prevent workplace accidents and injuries.
  • Always wear a set of safety glasses when operating the machine.
  • Remove the chuck-key before you attempt to start the drill press.
  • Always clamp down the material you’re working with to prevent accidents and hang-ups when drilling.
  • Ensure that all loose clothing is secure and tie back long hair before operating the machine.
  • Avoid wearing long sleeves, as they may catch in the spindle and cause an injury.
  • Make sure you set up the drill press to the correct operating speed for the material you’re drilling.
  • Stay clear of all moving parts while using the drill press.
  • Wait for the spindle to stop before removing your materials from the work surface.
  • Drill presses are top-heavy machines. Therefore, make sure you bolt it to a stable surface before use.

Conclusion

By now, you should have a good idea of which drill press in this review suits your needs. Whether you’re a professional or a homeowner, there’s a model in this review ton meet your workshop requirements.

In case you’re still sitting on the fence with your decision, why not choose one of our top picks?

The WEN 4208 8-Inch drill press is an excellent choice for home workshops and professionals that don’t use a drill press every day.

If you’re looking for an industrial machine to handle everyday products, then we recommend the Powermatic PM2800B Drill Press.

For those homeowners and hobbyist woodworkers, we recommend the SKIL 3320-01 10-Inch Drill Press as the best budget buy.

James Bourne

James is our resident expert in tools and home renovation. He has managed his own home renovation company and joins us to write all our tool reviews and guides. Contact James@HomesOutline.com

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