Best Bench Drill Presses in 2020

WEN 4208

$
Per
  •  
best value
$
Per Month
  • Engine Horsepower: 18 HP
  • Cutting Width: 42 inches
  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Fuel Capacity: 3 Gallons

SKIL 3320-01

$
Per
  •  
best choice
$
Per Month
  • Engine Horsepower: 18 HP
  • Cutting Width: 42 inches
  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Fuel Capacity: 3 Gallons

WEN 4214

$
Per
  •  
premium pick
$
Per Month
  • Engine Horsepower: 25 HP
  • Cutting Width: 50 inches
  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Fuel Capacity: 6 Gallon

What to Look For in a Drill Press

By Ben Wilson

Published 9 months ago

Small or large DIY jobs like making holes, screwing, reaming, tapping, boring or countersinking can take forever (or be impossible) without a drill press. A “drill press,” is different from a common handheld drill, in that it’s a powerful upright machine used to drill holes in just about any material. Drill presses also go by the names bench drill, pillar drill, or pedestal drill. Ideal for precision drilling, the drill press ensures perfect alignment. While a hand-held drill relies on the user for guidance, leaving much room for error.

 

Drill presses are an essential piece of kit for both home and industrial workshops. Perfect for furniture creation, factories, and engineers. Where the accuracy of measurements is paramount to the success of the project.

Whether you’re a carpenter looking to add a new piece of kit to your arsenal, a metal worker, mechanic or a DIY enthusiast, there are several factors you’ll need to consider before investing in your new machine. Such as:

  • Your budget
  • Scope of jobs to be carried out
  • Size of the machine
  • Speed
  • Power
  • Safety
  • Versatility

Home workshops normally require smaller machines such as the surprisingly powerful, yet simple WEN 4208 8 inch 5-Speed Drill Press or the cost-effective WEN 4210T 10 Inch Drill Press with Laser. Both machines are highly rated by hundreds of happy customers and come highly recommended by DIYGorilla.com.

For the professional that needs a more heavy-duty machine to take on bigger workloads needing added versatility and precision, then the Bosch Bench Drill PBD 40 could be the ideal machine for you. 

In this article, we’ll cover drill presses to suit all needs. Looking at all of the key features so that you can make an informed decision on your next drill press purchase. Saving you time, money and effort. Sit back and explore the best drill presses on the market today. For both professional and home workspaces.

 
 

Table of Contents

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp

Overview

1. WEN 4208 8 inch 5-Speed Drill Press

Best for –Light DIY use or spare drill press to bring to a work site

If you’re looking for a powerful, yet compact drill press, then the WEN 4208 8 inches could be ideal for you. This drill press is a steal at under $100 and can drill through just about any material. The WEN 4208 comes with a 120-volt and 60-hertz induction motor offering ⅓ horsepower (HP). This drill press gives you a tonne of great features for a fraction of the price of some comparable machines. For example, the onboard key storage allows you quick access to the chuck key and your drill bits easily. You can also alter the speed from 740 RPM to 3,140 RPM.

 

The worktable is a decent size at 6½ by 6½ inches, and the drill head is adjustable, which is great if you’re working with larger pieces of wood/ metal. The lock depth adjustment feature ensures that drilled holes are accurate by limiting the movement, allowing you to control the spacing. The ½ inch keyed chuck on the WEN 4208 allows you to change the drill bits, for perfect drilling. One thing that we love about this drill press is that it can bevel up to 45 degrees, left and right, allowing you to create accurate angled holes. 

Pros

  • Lock depth adjustment
  • ½ inch keyed chuck 
  • 6 ½ by 6 ½ worktable
  • Beveling worktable
  • Onboard key storage 
  • ⅓ horsepower engine
  • 8” swing
  • Adjustable spindle

Cons

  • Comparably small table 
  • Slow drilling on hardwoods

Engine Horsepower: 18 HP

Cutting Width: 42 inches

Fuel Type: Petrol

Fuel Capacity: 3 Gallons

2. SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press

Best for Starter drill press, ideal as an upgrade from handheld drill

An impressive high-quality starter drill press with a rock bottom price tag. The SKIL 3320-01 is unbeatable when it comes to both quality and price. It has an X2 2-beam laser guide for ultimate precision and is a brilliant upgrade to a handheld drill. If you’re looking for versatility, the SKIL 3320-01 offers just that, with an option of 5 speeds, from 570 RPM to 3,050 RPM. 

 

This drill press offers a ¼ HP with a voltage of 120 volts. The worktable can be adjusted for drilling angled holes. The worktable is a decent size of 7⅝-inches. This drill press is a good starter drill but isn’t suited for full-time use.

Pros

  • ½-inch chuck size
  • ¼-HP motor
  • Variable speed settings
  • 7⅝-inch table 
  • cSAus Certified

Cons

  • The motor can be short-lived

Engine Horsepower: 23 HP

Cutting Width: 50 inches

Fuel Type: Petrol

Fuel Capacity: 3.5 Gallon

3. WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press

Best for –Carpenters looking for precision drilling – this heavy-weight WEN is best with wood.

Looking for a feature-rich, high-end drill press? Look no further than the WEN 4214. The WEN 4214  is highly adjustable and the precision is top-notch. The laser feature is brilliant to give you complete control over where you drill. Not only is this a brilliant drill press that will suit every avid carpenter’s needs, but it also comes at a great price (between $200 and $300). One thing about the WEN 4214 that makes it stand out is the fact that you can repeat precision holes, giving a thoroughly professional finish. 

The variable speed on this machine ranges between 590 RPM and 3,200 RPM. The speed can be changed with a lever. This machine has a decent engine with ⅔ horsepower (HP) and a voltage of 120 volts. When it comes to accuracy, the WEN 4214 is brilliant – you get both LED lights and laser guides. The LED light can be a bit dull, but you can easily upgrade it by changing the bulb. There’s also a digital screen that allows you to keep track of the speed of your drill. 

Pros

  • Laser guide
  • Onboard LED light
  • Digital speed display screen
  • Extendible table – up to 17”
  • ⅔ HP engine
  • Variable speed (580-3,200 HP)
  • Table bevels 
  • Large 9 ½ by 9 ½ inch work table 

Cons

  • No Spindle Lock
  • Not great at drilling through steel

Engine Horsepower: 25 HP

Cutting Width: 50 inches

Fuel Type: Petrol

Fuel Capacity: 6 Gallon

4. Genesis GDP1005A

The Genesis GDP1005A is a variable speed drill press that is great for your light-weight wood-boring needs. It comes with a larger 5/8 “ chuck. Probably the best thing about the Genesis GDP1005A is that the table tilts 45 degrees left and right and rotates 360 degrees, allowing for drilling at just about any angle. The Genesis GDP1005A comes with a 2-year warranty, so if anything goes awry then you know you’re protected. There is also an LED work light (that uses two AAA batteries) so that you can see what you’re doing without shadows. 

The speed of the Genesis GDP1005A can be adjusted between 620 RM and 3070 RPM. This machine is nice and stable as it has a stable cast iron base. Featuring the rack-and-pinion feature for easy table height adjustment. 

Pros

  • Built-in LED work light 
  • 2 Year Warranty
  • 5-speed (600-3070 RPM)
  • Worktable bevels
  • Quiet engine
  • Easily adjustable height
  • Rack-and-pinion table height adjustment

Cons

  • No laser guide

Engine Horsepower: 22 HP

Cutting Width: 46 inches

Fuel Type: Petrol

Fuel Capacity: 3.9 Gallon

5. Jet 716000 JWDP-12 Drill Press

Best for Carpenters or engineers looking for a professional yet portable drill press

The Jet 716000 is a compact benchtop drill press, ideal for transporting to jobs. The cast iron base is neat, at just 10×16 ⅛ – allowing for placement on smaller surfaces. This drill press is of the highest quality – suitable for professionals. There is an onboard LED light so that you can see where you are going and drill accurate holes. The whole unit is sturdy and secure, with a cast iron base that can be adjusted and sturdy control knobs for hard manual labor. 

The motor on the Jet 716000 is ⅓ HP which is just what you’d expect. There is also a scale that boosts efficiency so that you can measure in detail and drill all sizes of holes. The Jet 716000 is versatile, as just about every part of it, speed, base, and worktable are adjustable. Giving projects a fine professional finish. 

Pros

  • Sturdy cast iron base
  • Consistent motor for smooth drilling
  • LED lights
  • Laser guides
  • Portable

Cons

  • Laser can be hard to adjust
  • Lacks advanced features

Engine Horsepower: 22 HP

Cutting Width: 46 inches

Fuel Type: Petrol

Fuel Capacity: 3.9 Gallon

6. HICO DP4113

Best for Affordable compact drill press for smaller jobs/ home projects/ beginners

A compact, affordable drill press with adjustable speed that comes with a ⅖ horsepower (HP) motor. You can choose speeds of between 760 RPM to 3070 RPM. The HICO DP4113 makes repeatable jobs light work, with its adjustable stop positions. The table is 6 ½ inches by 6 ½ inches which is quite a bit smaller than some of the other drill presses on the list. But the ideal tool for smaller drilling jobs. This little machine will power through just about anything. 

The powerful engine makes it possible to bore through wood, plastic, and metal with ease. At just 31.6 pounds, the HICO DP4113 is portable and could be used by a professional for smaller jobs. This drill press comes impeccably packaged, however, it doesn’t have a warranty. This compact drill press comes in at under $100 and is great for smaller DIY jobs. A perfect drill press for the complete beginner. 

Pros

  • Adjustable spindle
  • Powerful ⅖ HP engine
  • Tilting work table
  • Great value for money
  • Ideal for beginners

Cons

  • A smaller table just  6 ½ inches by 6 ½ inches
  • No warranty
  • Low-quality drill chuck

Engine Horsepower: 22 HP

Cutting Width: 46 inches

Fuel Type: Petrol

Fuel Capacity: 3.9 Gallon

7. Shop Fox W1668

Best for Larger all in one sander and versatile drill press for larger projects.

Unlike many of the other drill presses on this list, the Shop Fox W1668 is both a drill press and a sander. It has a ¾ HP, 110-volt engine and massive 12 variable speeds of between 250 and 3050 RPM. This means that you can fine-tune the speed of this machine so that you get exactly the result that you are looking for. Worried about the dust from the sander getting everywhere? Don’t be. The Shop Fox W1668 has an onboard dust collection port that collects the dust. 

This drill press is versatile and accurate, you can even tilt the worktable 90 degrees left or right and remove it for larger projects. A bargain for under $200, this machine has it all. In the past (2016 and before)there were concerns about the packaging, but this has now been resolved. This machine will come to you in sturdy protective packaging to keep your drill press secure in transit. If you’re in need of a sander and a drill press, then you can get them both in one unit for one low price with the Shop Fox W1668.

Pros

  • Oscillating spindle sander
  • Worktable bevels 90 degrees
  • The worktable can be removed
  • ¾ HP, 110-volt engine
  • Variable 12 speed control
  • Onboard dust collection port

Cons

  • Heavy machine (At 150 pounds)
  • Noisy engine

Engine Horsepower: 22 HP

Cutting Width: 46 inches

Fuel Type: Petrol

Fuel Capacity: 3.9 Gallon

8. Grizzly Industrial G7945

Best for -Furniture making, drilling larger pieces of material at all angles

The Grizzly Industrial G7945 is a Benchtop drill press, but Grizzly also offers a floor drill press (model number G7946). The Grizzly Industrial G7945 is a big sturdy, heavy-weight machine as you’d expect from an industrial drill press. This machine is truly versatile and allows you to drill larger pieces of material with a drill swing of 34”. The work table is made of cast iron and is a decent size at 8 ⅝ x 9”.

The drilling speed is variable and has 5 speeds from 550 RPM to 3470 RPM. The Grizzly Industrial G7945 also offers radial action allowing you to drill holes at just about any angle with ease, without tilting the workpiece. Ideal for furniture making, that requires tricky angled drilling. A great machine for the woodworking professional. The downside to this machine is that it can vibrate, which can affect stability in some cases.

Pros

  • Large table 8 ⅝ x 9”
  • 34” swing
  • ½ HP, 110-volt engine
  • Long axis shaft
  • Radial action
  • Worktable tilt of 90 degrees

Cons

  • Chuck runout
  • Can lack power
  • Vibrates

Engine Horsepower: 22 HP

Cutting Width: 46 inches

Fuel Type: Petrol

Fuel Capacity: 3.9 Gallon

9. DRL-300.00

Best for Portable, compact drill press best suited for small production work

Needing to drill holes and don’t have space for a large drill press? Then the DRL-300.00 could be the machine for you. This easy to use benchtop drill press may be small, but don’t be fooled by its size. The DRL-300.00 offers variable speeds of up to massive 8500 RPM, which is the top speed for a drill press. You’ll also get a 1-year warranty, so if anything goes wrong, you have peace of mind that you’re covered. 

If you’re a no-frills kind of person, that just wants to get the job of drilling done, you’ll love the DRL-300.00. It lacks some of the features of other machines, but it gets the job done. This little drill press is just 11.55 pounds, so it can be moved around easily. The bearings may need to be oiled before you use the machine to avoid stalling. What’s more, this machine can drill through plastic and metal, with its high-speed setting. A Lightweight, compact, economical – small but mighty benchtop drill press.

Pros

  • Variable speeds up to 8500 RPM
  • 110 Volt motor
  • Lightweight
  • 6 ¾ x 6 ¾ work table
  • Compact portable machine
  • Cost-effective

Cons

  • Difficult to adjust the height
  • Only good for small pieces of material

Engine Horsepower: 22 HP

Cutting Width: 46 inches

Fuel Type: Petrol

Fuel Capacity: 3.9 Gallon

10. RIKON 30-140

Best for Experienced engineers/ carpenters

The RIKON 30-140 is a benchtop radial drill press, with 5 speeds that range from 620 RPM to 3100 RPM. This means that it won’t be good for drilling through plastic or metal but will be better suited for woodwork. The head tilts, and the machine has a unique telescopic design to allow for added versatility. The motor is ⅓ HP which offers you decent power. The swing on this machine is nice at 34”.

Worktable size is good for most small to medium projects, you get 7 ¾ x 7 3/4 “ space to work with. The stable base ensures that you can drill with more safety and precision. You can tilt the head 45 degrees to the right and 90 degrees to the left which allows you to drill angled holes in pieces, ideal for furniture. 

Pros

  • Telescopic design
  • Onboard chuck key holder
  • 2-year warranty
  • ⅓ horsepower engine
  • Variable speed up to 3100 RPM

Cons

  • The belt can come loose
  • Lots of moving parts
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp

Engine Horsepower: 22 HP

Cutting Width: 46 inches

Fuel Type: Petrol

Fuel Capacity: 3.9 Gallon

If you’re yet to buy your first drill press, you might wonder how a drill press actually works. A drill press is like a stand-alone drill, much like the common handheld drill but more secure and accurate. A benchtop drill press and a floor-standing drill press work in much the same way. The only difference is that the bench press is mounted to a workbench. While a floor-standing press, well… stands upright on the floor, as the name suggests. 

 

Before you get started with your drill press, take some time to read the instructions thoroughly. 

Each machine has its own nuances that you need to consider. In all cases, a drill press will come with a drill head, speed adjustment, chuck, motor, quill feed, work table, column, and base. 

 

The drill head is the main machine of the drill and contains the motor, gears, and pulleys. The table is where you’ll place your piece of material to be drilled. The column is the support for the machine, that keeps it upright. 

 

You’ll need to wear safety glasses and protection clothing (and avoid loose clothing) as a safety precaution while using your drill press. Remove jewelry and tie your hair back before using your drill press. 



You may be asking yourself – what does the term “swing” refer to when we’re talking about drill presses? And why does it matter? The drill press swing is the distance from the spindle (the part of the drill head where you insert the drill bit) to the support column (the vertical metal pole that holds the drill upright) timesed by two. 

Why is it multiplied by two? You might ask. Because you want to drill in the center of a piece of wood (or other material). A drill with a 34” swing can drill a hole in the center (17”) of a piece of material. In short, the larger the drill swing, the larger the capacity for drilling holes in the center of bigger pieces of wood.

Make sure that you work in an area that has enough light and space. Not space for the machine, think about the materials that you’ll be using. If you will be working with larger items, then you’ll need a bit more room to move around. The heavy base on the drill press will keep it stable and in place, but you’ll still need to mount it on your workbench for safety. Drill presses are top-heavy and can topple over, as the motor is located in the drill head. 

To mount your drill press first ensure that your workbench is secure. You can use a vice or clamp. It is possible to attach your drill press to a strong piece of hardwood and then bolt the wood to your workbench. Alternatively, you can use a vice or clamp on the base of your drill press to hold it in place. 

Before you invest in a drill press, ask the following three questions:

  • How powerful is the drill press?
  • How accurate is the drill press?
  • How fast is the drill press?

How powerful is the drill press?

If a drill press is too powerful it can negatively impact your work. Wood can break, snap or crumble when a drill press has too much power. Under one HP, is perfect. 

How accurate is the drill press?

The whole point of a drill press is accuracy. Therefore you’ll want to make sure that your chosen drill press is as accurate as can be. Drill presses with laser guides project thin crosshairs onto your drill press table so that you can have added precision. 

How fast is the drill press?

A drill presses power is gauged on the power of the motor and the rotational speed of the drill. Higher speeds mean that you can drill through harder materials. Some drill presses go up to over 8,000 RPM. Whereas lower speeds (of around 500 RPM) allow you to drill through softer materials, like softwood. The ideal drill press will have variable speeds within the range that you require for the materials that you want to bore holes in.

Wipe down your drill press after each use with a clean cloth to remove any dust, oil or grease. Refrain from using solvents, as they can damage the surfaces. You can also clean the drill press with compressed air. Every two months you should oil the column unless you are drilling steel, whereby lubrication might be needed more frequently. Lubrication reduces friction and heat, which will extend the life of your machine and drill bits. 

 

PRO TIP: It’s not advisable to use a drill press on fiberglass material, wallboard, spackling compounds, or plaster. If used for drilling holes in any of these materials, only do so occasionally, then ensure that you clean the machine thoroughly. 

Not all drill presses are made equal. There are two main types of drill presses and they are best suited for different purposes. The two types of drill press are:

  • Floor-standing drill press
  • Benchtop drill press

Floor-standing drill press

Floor-standing drill presses or simply “standing drill presses” are normally more powerful. They are best suited for permanent workshop use. Where there is enough space for a larger machine. Better for professionals, or heavy-duty projects. 

Benchtop drill press

Benchtop drill presses or simply bench presses (not to be confused with the gym exercise) are the more portable option. They can be moved around more easily and are generally smaller. Bench drill presses are affixed to a workbench with a vise. Ideal for smaller projects.

The Bottom Line

As you can imagine, the drill press that you choose depends on what you want to use it for. If you want to drill holes through smaller (harder) items, for craft or jewelry work, then the DRL-300.00 is a good choice. Whereas, if you want a sander included in the machine then you’ll want to go for the Shop Fox W1668. The WEN 4208 8 inch 5-Speed Drill Press is a decent all-round DIY machine, that’s great value for money. 

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp