10 Best Benchtop Drill Presses

  • Swing : 8"
  • Speed Range : 740 - 3140 RPM
  • Number of Speeds : 5 Speed Variable
  • Swing : 8"
  • Speed Range : 760 - 3070 RPM
  • Number of Speeds : 5 Speed Variable
  • Swing : 5"
  • Speed Range : 150 - 4200 RPM
  • Number of Speeds : 12 Speed Variable

Whether you’re a woodworker or handyman, or maybe just a husband who has household repairs to do – a drill press is an essential tool to have in the workspace. While a common handheld drill is great for its mobility, a drill press is essential for people who want to make precision drill holes rather than simply drilling guide holes for screws and mounting drywall. Essentially, a drill press becomes necessary when your drilling job requires precision, repeatability, or is going to be part of the cosmetic look of your job. If you need the perfect hole drilled in the same exact location, every time, a drill press is the right tool for the job. Also, a drill press can lend the weight and leverage needed to drill through tougher materials like metal and plastic and gives you more a more stable working surface than if you were simply holding a drill. For this reason, it’s a great idea to get a drill press and attach it to your workbench for tough jobs that require precision. Below, we’re going to review the ten best drill presses on the market right now, as well as go over some important safety considerations, a buying guide, and some ideas on what drill presses can be used for. Let’s get right into it.

Top 10 Benchtop Drill Presses

1. WEN 4208 5-Speed Benchtop Drill Press

WEN 4208 5-Speed Benchtop Drill Press

The WEN 4208 is a great starter drill press. It has a ½ inch keyed chuck, which should accommodate most drill bits, and operates at 5 speeds, from 740 RPM to 3140 RPM, giving you a nice range of speeds to work with. The motor is 0.33 horsepower which should give you excellent power for simple woodcutting projects, and the price is hard to beat.

The ability to raise and lower the table plate of this drill is also a great added feature.

The Verdict:

If you need a drill press for your next woodworking or craft job, but don’t want to shell out an excess amount of money to make it happen, this is a great starter press. It has common features found on more advanced drill presses, so you shouldn’t be too far out of your element later on when you decide to upgrade.

Pros

  • 8" Swing
  • 5 Speed variable motor
  • 31 lbs
  • Induction motor with ball bearings extends life
  • ½ chuck with spindle taper means you can use a variety of bits

    2. Genesis GDP805P Benchtop Drill Press

    Genesis GDP805P 5-Speed 8

    If you have never used a drill press before and are looking to get acquainted with this amazing tool, the Genesis GDP805P might be the right choice for you. It’s quite affordable as drill presses go and has a wide range of features that you would expect from more advanced drill presses. Take the 45-degree tilting table, this is an excellent feature if you need to make angled holes. The five variable speed is also perfect for a beginner, as it gives you gradations of speed without having to get into the fine-tuned world of infinite variability.

    The Verdict:

    The Genesis GDP805P may not be the most powerful or the most versatile drill press on the market, but for beginner craftsman who just want to get an idea about the tool without having to shell out a ton of money, this can be an excellent starter machine to learn the ins and outs of drill presses.

    Pros

    • 8" Swing
    • 6 Amp Motor
    • 1/2" Chuck
    • 2 Year Warranty
    • 30 lbs

      3. JET 354170 Floor Drill Press

      JET 354170 Floor Drill Press

      This is a top of the line drill press. It’s got the weight and features that make it a step above the rest in terms of capacity, ease of use, and reliability. The motor is 1.5 horsepower, which make it substantially more powerful than your other options, and the heavy weight of 288 pounds means you shouldn’t have to worry too much about this drill press tipping or getting out of hand. Being so heavy, it’s great that the worktable is operated by a crank, to make sure it is still a breeze to handle.

      The Verdict:

      No matter what your needs are as a woodworker or craftsman, you’re going to find that this drill press fulfills your needs nicely. The heavy weight also lends itself to stability and reduced vibration when cutting through harder materials, which should be a breeze with its intense 1.5 horsepower engine.

      Pros

      • 12 Variable Speeds
      • 3/4" Chuck
      • 288 lbs
      • Crank Operated Table
      • 5" Swing

        4. WEN 4214 Variable Speed Benchtop Drill Press

        WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press

        This is an excellent press for when you need an upgrade in terms of power and abilities to a more intermediate range machine, but you don’t want to take it all the way to the top of their class models, which can get pretty expensive. With double the horsepower of lighter models, 2/3 to be exact, it will definitely provide you with enough power for your general crafting needs. And, it’s a hefty 89 pounds so you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a stable work surface for when you start the operation. Finally, you’ll find that this press as a few more special features than the more basic presses, like a laser sight.

        The Verdict:

        This drill is a significant upgrade from simpler models and would definitely suit a more experienced woodworker or craftsman. The added power, weight, and features of this model make it perfect for an intermediate level craftsman.

        Pros

        • 89 lbs
        • 2/3 HP
        • Beveling worktable
        • 5/8" Chuck
        • 12" Drill Swing

          5. SKIL 3320-01 Benchtop Drill Press

          SKIL 3320-01 Benchtop Drill Press

          This is an excellent drill press because it brings together some of the features you might expect in a higher-level drill press down to an introductory level drill press price. You’re certain to find that this machine covers all your basic needs – and it has some extra features like a laser guide, and a crank operated worktable. The off switch is easily manipulated so you’re never going to be fiddling with it, and there’s five variable speed to make sure you always get the right cut.

          The Verdict:

          This drill is great intermediate choice. While it doesn’t have the intense power of more advanced models, it brings with it enough weight and features to get most woodworking and craft jobs done with ease.

          Pros

          • 1/2" Chuck
          • 5 variable speeds, from 570 RPM to 3050 RPM
          • 45 Degree tilting worktable
          • 50.8 lbs
          • Accepts large diameter bits

            6. Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press

            Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press

            This upper mid-range floor press is excellent for experienced woodworkers and craftsman. The key feature of this model is that it is free standing, meaning that you don’t need to put it on a worktable to have a completely operational drill press. That’s great if you’re working with limited space.

            The added weight that this drill press has also means that you don’t have to worry about it tipping or otherwise becoming unstable. Finally, the extra power of this drill press means that you’ll be able to get through even the toughest materials with ease.

            The Verdict:

            Shop Fox has been in the power tools game for a long time, and they’ve developed their reputation for a reason – they build reliable, durable, and precise power tools. This drill press is no exception and is an excellent addition to a burgeoning tool shed or workspace.

            Pros

            • 3/4 HP Motor
            • 13" Swing
            • 250 - 3050 RPM Variable Speed Motor
            • 122 lbs
            • Standing base

              7. NOVA 58000 Voyager Benchtop Drill Press

              NOVA 58000 Voyager Benchtop Drill Press

              If you’re looking for a drill press that is beyond top of the line, the best of the best, the NOVA 58000 Voyager is definitely the choice for you. It is an extremely powerful machine to get all of your jobs complete, even if you need to be drilling through glass, metal, plastic – or wood. The 1.75 to 2 horsepower power source is one of the most powerful of all the drill presses we reviewed, and will have no problem drilling through whatever you need – because, uniquely, this drill press also has a super low speed option of 50 RPM. That can be a great option for drilling through more sensitive materials.

              Furthermore, this setup has a complete digital interface, that can help you see the speed digitally, as well as depth. It’s perfect for professionals who need to be extremely precise in their work.

              The Verdict:

              This drill press is certainly not for everyone, but if you’re into professional work, whether it be cutting glass, woodworking and building furniture, or other high precision type of craft works – this is the perfect tool for you to get the job done with excellence.

              Pros

              • 1.75HP - 2HP
              • 50-3000 RPM (can be extended to 5500 RPM)
              • 18" Swing
              • Electric Interface
              • 307 lbs

                8. JET JDP-17 Benchtop Drill Press

                Jet Drill Press JDP 17 Benchtop

                This is a high-end drill press that avoids the problem that many top tier drill presses have – over complication. This press brings you the best in terms of quality and power but doesn’t complicate the picture with a ton of unnecessary features that can get in the way and take time to learn how to use. The motor has one handed belt tensioning which allows you to change the speed with ease, and power switch has an integrated safety feature to prevent you from accidentally flipping it on and off. This press can also take on different sized chucks, if you have special needs and need to use a relatively large (or small) drill bit. The lowest speed setting is 210 RPM, and the fastest is 3500 RPM.

                The Verdict:

                Many advanced craftsmen use the simplest tools – and this machine is an ode to that ethos. It gives you the power, precision, and durability that you will expect from a high end machine, but doesn’t weigh you down with a bunch of extra frills that take away from the time you can put into your craft.

                Pros

                • 198 lbs
                • Integrated depth stop
                • 3/4 HP
                • LED Work Light
                • 14” x 19” Worktable

                  9. DEWALT DWE1622K Benchtop Drill Press

                  DEWALT DWE1622K 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press, 2-Inch

                  This drill press is unique in that it is tailor made for working with metal. It has a magnetic base that will firmly attach itself to the material that you’re cutting, and the 10 Amp, 2 speed motor will grind through just about anything. There’s room for a magnetic bottle on the base, that will keep everything cool as you work for tough metals.

                  The drill bit can travel a full four inches and can just has a ½ inch chuck to take in most drill bits that you’ll be working with. The whole unit is 47.6 pounds, so you should have little problem securing it to whatever material you’re working with.

                  The Verdict:

                  This drill press is a great choice for craftsman who are looking to work with metal rather than just wood, and it is purpose build for the task. It’s great to get this tool in combination with a more traditional wood press, to make sure all your bases are covered.

                  Pros

                  • 2 Speeds
                  • 6 lbs
                  • 10 Amp Motor
                  • Overload protection helps make the drill last a long time
                  • Includes magnetic coolant bottle

                    10. Evolution Power Tools Magnetic Drill Press

                    Evolution Power Tools Magnetic Drill Press

                    Another magnetic drill press choice for those of you who will be using a drill press for metal rather than wood. This tool is ambidextrous which is excellent for craftsman who are left-handed, or those who just need to be on the other side of their tool from time to time.

                    There’s an integrated coolant system to make sure the whole device doesn’t get to hot, which can be a real problem when working with metal. The six-inch stroke length and 2-inch depth of cut should be sufficient for most common applications you’ll run into with simple metal working projects.

                    The Verdict:

                    For those of you who are looking for a good metal working tool but don’t want to shell out quite as much money as other options might cost, this is a great beginners tool to start working more with metal and less with wood.

                    Pros

                    • 2" Depth of Cut
                    • 7/16" to 1/8" Cutting Diameter
                    • 38 lbs make this a more manageable choice than some others
                    • 1/2" Chuck and Key
                    • 3 Year warranty

                      Buying Guide

                      When shopping for a new drill press, there are certain essential elements that you want to keep an eye out for, and others that are non-essential but are nice features to have on a drill press. One of the most important features for a drill press is power: you need to have enough power to get through the material you’re working with. It’s good to find a drill press with more than a half horsepower, generally speaking.

                      Stroke length is also an important feature for drill presses – how deep can it plunge or drill down to? If you need to drill down twelve inches, then a drill press with a six-inch stroke length probably isn’t going to cut it. Be aware of what stroke length you might need for the projects or work that you’re going to be doing.

                      Variable drill speed is a great feature to look out for when buying a drill press because it affects how much control you have when drilling. Some drill presses have set drill speeds, while others give you infinite variability when setting the speed.

                      As with all power tools, you want to make sure you have a tool that you can manage in terms of weight. Drill presses tend to be pretty heavy, so if it takes some doing to get it into place on the workspace, that’s fine. In fact, the stability that extra weight lends to a drill press is an added benefit to reduce vibration.

                      Sometimes drill presses will have small extra features that are good for craftsman, like a compartment for storing drill bits, or a safety latch over the power button for making sure it doesn’t accidently get powered on. Other drill presses may oscillate, meaning they can rotate in a circle, or the work plate can rotate allowing you to make angled cuts. These are all features you want to watch out for when getting a drill press, because some of them (like the rotating work plate) can really be essential for some jobs.

                      Safety Considerations

                      Drill Presses are very heavy tools, and because of this you want to be sure that your drill press is secured to whatever your workspace is. Even if the press is not near the edge of a table, but rather in it’s center, vibrations can slowly move the press over time, and even the best made drill presses are liable to tip over if they are bumped into hard enough. For this reason, it’s important to use clamps to secure your drill press to your workspace.

                      You should also make sure that your drill press is powered off when not in use – as with all power tools, they present a danger to children and even pets, let alone your entire house. If a drill press or any power tool that creates friction is left on for an extended period of time, there is a possibility of starting a fire, which puts you, your family, and your property at risk. Discipline in turning off the power of the drill press can help prevent these kinds of problems.

                      When using the press, it’s always essential to wear gloves and goggles. If you’re drilling through a piece of wood or metal, and the density of the material changes unexpectedly, the material may jerk or buck, or pieces of it may be sent flying through the air. It’s important to protect your eyes, because as you know – they’re irreplaceable, unlike a pair of goggles.

                      Gloves are important because the drill press may create heat as you work through tough materials. This heat can actually be enough to burn you and at the very least lead to an unsafe situation in the workspace. Furthermore, it’s generally just good practice to wear gloves when dealing with power tools and craftsman’s materials like wood, metal, and glass.

                      It’s essential to make absolutely sure that the drill press is in a secure location before turning it on, but also that the drill bits are securing fastened to the drill before powering up. If your drill bit is not secured, it may go flying or break into sharp pieces as you try to drill through a hard material. This can lead to injuries, especially if you’re not wearing the proper safety equipment like goggles and gloves.

                      As with all power tools, it’s important to follow basic rules of safety and common sense: don’t allow your children to use this tool unsupervised, always wear protective gear, and read and follow the instructions of your specific tool.

                      What Can I Use a Drill Press For?

                      Generally speaking, a drill press is just another type of drill. But its benefit comes in from its ability to create accurate holes, both in depth and angle. You can set the depth you want to drill to, and the angle, and quickly and repeatedly make the same cut over and over again. This would be nearly impossible with a standard hand drill and at the very least is liable to give you a headache rather than be a pleasure.

                      By changing the drill bit of a drill press, you can also create a much more versatile tool – it can be used as a sander, for example, by putting a rotary sanding tool on it. Furthermore, you’re going to be able to cut unbalanced and unwieldy pieces of wood with a rotary tool, especially if you have some clamps that can help you secure everything in place properly. There are even special drill bits that will allow you to drill square holes, these are called mortisers. If you need to use a very large drill bit, the drill press is guaranteed to have the power you need to get the job done, which a simple hand drill certainly wouldn’t be able to handle. Drill presses are extremely useful tools in making difficult jobs easier through accuracy, power, and repeatability. There’s no limit to what you can do when you’ve got a drill press and solid workspace on hand.

                      Your First (Or second) Drill Press

                      It’s important to start small with a drill press. While you might want to go right into using the drill press to create huge pieces you were going to use for that canoe you’re building, trying it out on some simple 2×4’s first is probably a good idea, just so you can get the hang of the device and what possible mishaps may happen. It’s always a good idea to read through the instruction manual, even if you’ve had or used a drill press before, because some presses have special or unusual features that you might not be expecting when you first get to work.

                      At the end of the day though, whether you’re getting a drill press for home crafts or to get a job done faster, you’ll find that they’re a great tool for making hard tasks easy, and you should get a lot out of having one in your workspace. Just remember your goggles, gloves, and probably a few clamps too.

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