10 Best Drill Presses
If you’re a professional woodworker or a DYI hobbyist, the most essential work tool to consider for the job is a drill press. The drill press can have a detrimental impact on the accuracy of your woodworking, which is why selecting the right drill press is essential.
This guide is optimized to show you the latest in laser drill press technology at an affordable price. We cover the most essential features, top 10 drill presses and a buyer’s guide to help you determine which drill press is right based on the features.
Table Of Contents
- Top 10 Drill Presses: Our Choice
- 1. WEN 4210T 10 In. Drill Press with Laser
- 2. Milescraft 1318 Drillmate Drill Guide with chuck
- 3. WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press, Orange
- 4. SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press
- 5. WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press
- 6. Genesis GDP805P 5-Speed 2.6 Amp 8" Drill Press
- 7. DEWALT DWE1622K 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press, 2-Inch
- 8. Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press
- 9. Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press
- 10. SHOP FOX W1670 1/2-Horsepower Floor Radial Drill Press
- Drill Press Buyer’s Guide: Top 10 Features
Top 10 Drill Presses: Our Choice
1. WEN 4210T 10 In. Drill Press with Laser
The WEN 4210T 10″ drill press is a best-seller that provides an optimal combination of affordability, technological features, and power. This large 10″ drill press can be the cornerstone of your shop because it contains features present on more high-end drill presses and is excellent for all-around maneuverability in the shop.
The WEN 4210T can easily cut through different materials such as metal, wood, aluminum and more. The highlight of the WEN 4210T is its laser functionality with an X pattern laser that allows you to “lock-in” on the exact drill points you need without having to speculate where it’s supposed to cut. This provides precise drilling while saving you money when you’re drilling scarce materials.
There are 5 main speeds that allow you to adjust the exact RPM you need. The WEN 4210T is built from cast iron steel, a heavy material that solidifies it in place and makes it reliable for heavier materials. The motor is induction-based with ball bearings that prolong the unit’s lifespan while it ensures your cuts are balanced at any speed.
The unit has predrilled holes at the bottom that you’ll find easy to mount onto your main workbench or any stand. It comes with WEN’s brand name and a 12-year warranty. This is overall an excellent versatile tool for all shops and will allow you to finish your projects gracefully.
- 10” large swing for powerful cuts.
- X-pattern laser functionality for accurate cuts.
- 5-speed RPM adjustability.
- 12-year WEN warranty.
2. Milescraft 1318 Drillmate Drill Guide with chuck
The Milescraft 1318 is our top choice among affordable drill presses if you want to save the most money and get basic drilling functionality. The Milescraft 1318 allows you to perform a broad range of drilling tasks at the shop including drilling straight holes, angled holes or edges.
Woodworkers who need basic functionality without overspending, the performance of the Milescraft 1318 is similar to more expensive drill presses but it provides equally accurate holes. To increase the accuracy, Milescraft included a drill guide jig. The unit also has ball bearings that provide support for the spindle for more precise cuts.
The Milescraft 1318 has a specific angle readout that allows you to adjust drilling angles of 45, 60, 75 and 90 degrees. There are safety features such as the anti-slipping TPE feet which secure it to the surface of the table. At the bottom, you’ll find mounting holes that you can use if you want to secure it with screws. This unit is excellent for basic drilling including repetitive drilling motions.
- Most affordable drill press for hobbyists.
- Drill straight holes, angled holes and edges.
- Drill guide jig for increased drilling accuracy.
- 4 angle adjustability: 45, 60, 75 and 90 degrees.
- TPE feet for mounting on a work table.
3. WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press, Orange
The WEN 4214 is a perfect mid-range compromise for woodworkers who need a bit more swing than a standard 10″ drill press. The WEN 4214 offers unique features such as laser centering and high-speed adjustability, making it similar to industrial machines. The 4212 is built of exceptionally sturdy cast iron metal and it has the power to cut through every type of hard material up to 5/8″ in depth.
The highlight feature is the X-pattern laser that locks in on your target and allows you to accurately cut the material. The WEN 4214 has adjustable motor speed from 580 up to 3200 RPM and you can change the speed by moving the lever – this is possible even while the machine is working. The mechanical speed variable replaces outdated pulley systems and it projects the same power through each speed range.
The WEN 4214 has an LED display that can show you the exact speed it’s working with. There is onboard chuck key storage to save you time so you don’t have to look for it. At the bottom, there are predrilled holes in case you want to secure it on a workbench.
- Large 10” swing.
- Cut metal up to 5/8” in depth.
- Speed adjustability from 580 up to 3200 RPM.
- LED screen displays the speed of the unit.
4. SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press
The SKIL 3320-01 is a high-powered laser drill that comes at an affordable price tag. Marketed towards hobbyist woodworkers, this 10″ drill is excellent for woodworkers who don’t need a lot of power but want an accurate drill press that allows them to get the job done.
The highlight feature of the SKIL 3320-01 is it’s unique 2 beam laser (x2) that ensures you’ll always make precise drills and increases the accuracy significantly. The hole alignment is top-notch thanks to its dual laser beam system. Users can simultaneously adjust the depth in order to drill down consistently each time.
The unit has 5 adjustable speeds and can power through hard material such as wood, metal and more. The tilting work surface can be adjusted and lock in between 0-45 degrees and it improves angled drilling. There is a large 1/2″ keyed chuck to store heavier materials. The unit comes with a 3-year warranty for replacement and parts, making it reliable for all cutting purposes.
- Laser with 2 beams for accurate drilling
- 10” large swing for accurate drilling.
- 5 adjustable speeds.
- Large keyed chuck for heavy materials.
- Adjustable angles from 0-45 degrees.
5. WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press
The WEN 4208 is a smaller brother from the iconic WEN drill press lineup offering an 8″ swing for hobbyists who want WEN quality but don’t need the extra space. The machine has 5 speeds, high drill capacity and the ability to penetrate through all materials.
The WEN 4208 has a maximum drill capacity of 1/2″ for iron drilling while it can also drill metal, wood, and plastic. If you need a drill press that can make laser-accurate drills with repetitive holes, this will get the job done. The WEN 4208 has a sturdy frame 100% built from cast iron. The head, table, and base are all iron-built and the induction motor also has WEN’s signature belt bearings that prolong its lifetime and give you a smooth and balanced cutting power.
There is a 1/2″ chuck with a spindle taper for cutting various materials. The WEN 4208’s main work table allows for tilting of up to 45 degrees (left and right) in order to adjust the angles when you need precision drilling. At the base, you’ll find pre-drilled holes that you can use to mount the unit on your work station. You can mount clamps and vises on the slotted table. The unit comes with WEN’s warranty.
- 5 Speed drilling adjustability
- Depth capacity of ½” for cast iron drilling
- 100% built from cast iron.
- Worktable provides tilting up to 45 degrees.
- 12-year WEN warranty.
6. Genesis GDP805P 5-Speed 2.6 Amp 8" Drill Press
The Genesis GDP805P is an excellent drill press for hobbyists who want to get an affordable drill press with a powerful motor and adjustability options. The main feature of the Genesis GDP805P is its powerful 2.6AMP motor that provides high power drilling for all materials.
The Genesis GDP805P has 5 speeds and adjustable RMP to get the exact speed you need, while the table is tillable up to 45 degrees for precision cuts. There is a 1/2″ chuck which can support larger bits, making it versatile for cutting materials of all sizes.
The switches are accessible to the side and there’s a safety lockout option. The gears switch based on a pulley system with 5 separate gears. Genesis includes a warranty of 2 years for repairs and replacement, ensuring the unit will last you for a long time.
- Powerful 2.6AMP motor
- 5-speed adjustability.
- Depth cutting up to ½”
- Safety lockout option.
- 2-year warranty.
7. DEWALT DWE1622K 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press, 2-Inch
The DEWALT DWE1622K is a high-end drill press meant for professional woodworkers who need the best equipment for their shop. While the unit is a lot more expensive than beginner-aimed drill presses, this is what you buy if you want the top of the line machinery that you can rely on for 10+ years at the shop.
The highlight feature of the DEWALT DWE1622K is the magnetic self-feed cooling tank which can be adjusted from either side of the tool (or a work surface) and regulates the cooling fluid. The large 4″ drill travel can support high-duty drilling and the motor has a height adjustment to increase accessory compatibility with the unit. It comes with DeWalt’s warranty and a kit box for professionals.
The DEWALT DWE1622K has an industrial-grade motor with 10AMPs and 2 main speed settings that can be adjusted for optimal performance. The DEWALT DWE1622K has advanced safety features that prevent the motor from overworking and any possible damage is minimized due to the protective mechanics and accessories. There is a quick-release fed that allows you to change the handles from both sides of the tool.
- High-end machine for industrial drilling.
- High-end machine for industrial drilling.
- Self-feed cooling tank regulates the fluid.
- 2 main speed settings.
- DeWalt warranty + box kit.
8. Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press
The Shop Fox W1848 is Shop Fox’s premier drill press which is the ultimate you can get from the W lineup. This unit is an upgrade to smaller SF units such as W1667 and 1668. Similar to the brother benchtop versions, this drill press offers features such as an oscillating spindle that allows you to efficiently handle your sanding.
The Shop Fox W1848 provides fast switching of drilling and sanding operations and the main highlight is its large sanding capacity. The Shop Fox W1848 has an oscillating spindle that reduces the heat buildup when you’re drilling over a longer period and it leaves smooth finishes when you’re using it for sanding.
The Shop Fox W1848 can tilt the table up to 90 degrees (left and right) which provides accurate cuts at all angles while giving you more space to accommodate the larger pieces with height adjustability. The table can be removed in order to use the unit as a table for drilling.
- Tilting up to 90 degrees for accurate cuts.
- Powerful motor.
- Oscillating spindle for sanding.
- Removable table.
9. Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press
The Delta 18-900L is an advanced drill press with laser capability designed for professional and hobbyist use. The Delta 18-900L has all the precision tools you need to make accurate cuts and a powerful motor with numerous adjustability options. The machine boasts a heavy motor combined with an auto-tensioning belt that allows you to quickly change the gears based on how much speed you need.
The Delta 18-900L has an LED lamp on the side that illuminates the surface over the workpieces and a powerful laser that can mark the incisions you need before the drill descends on the workpiece. The unit features a high-power Class IIA laser performance that provides more visibility than regular lasers. 16-speed variation makes it easy to find the ideal speed you need for drilling purposes.
The Delta 18-900L provides maximum versatility with a height adjustment option and an oversized work table that can fit large pieces and can be raised or lowered, depending on your needs. The locking levers are adjustable and can help you get the exact angles you need while the dual laser ensures you get it right every time.
- Powerful motor with an auto-tensioning belt.
- LED lamp to illuminate the workpiece.
- Laser provides more visibility.
- Height adjustment options.
- Large work table.
10. SHOP FOX W1670 1/2-Horsepower Floor Radial Drill Press
The SHOP FOX W1670 is an all-purpose drill press that you can use as your primarily drill press or a complimentary machine. The SHOP FOX W1670 can be used as a vertical drilling machine and a horizontal boring machine. The large swing can accommodate pieces up to 34″ wide and drill through heavy materials such as metal, wood, and plastic.
The machine comes with 5 varying speeds from 550 up to 3470 RPM. There is a protective belt guard and a speed chart below the belt guard where you can change the speeds with the push of a button. The distance between the drill chuck and the column can be increased by sliding the headstock in and out.
The headstock can be adjusted from 45 degrees up to 90 degrees for ideal accuracy in angled drilling. It’s possible to drill straight and angled holes interchangeably without having to reposition the workpiece by using SHOP FOX W1670’s adjustable slide and tilt features.
- Large swing can accommodate 34” wide workpieces.
- 5-speed adjustability from 550 up to 3470 RPM
- Headstock adjustability from 45 up to 90 degrees.
Drill Press Buyer’s Guide: Top 10 Features
What are the key features that make a drill press stand out? If you’re investing in a drill press, you must be aware of the feature differences between drill presses. Whether you’re a hobbyist DIY woodworker or a professional manufacturer, there are major differences between the drill presses that we’ll cover below.
For basic hobbyist work, most drill presses we listed will suffice. The laser technology, powerful motors, and multiple speeds will support hobbyists for most work purposes. For professionals who require more punch and higher angle-adjustability, there are few options by high-end operators such as DeWalt. Here are the top 10 features to look out for:
1) Drill Bits
The drill bit is the main feature every drill press must-have because it’s used to drill the workpieces. There are different drill bits designed for glass and metal which you should consider when you’re buying a machine.
If the manufacturer claims that it can cut metal, plastic, and glass at the same time – that means it has a powerful drill bit that can be used for versatile purposes. If you have a powerful drill bit, you’ll be able to cut deeper and make more accurate holes.
2) Speed And Horsepower
The horsepower is the raw power of the motor that allows you to drill holes in the workpiece at a certain speed for any depth. Horsepower is detrimental to the efficiency of the drill. If you want to drill larger holes, you’re going to need more horsepower and higher speed.
The drill press takes on a certain stress level when it starts drilling and this stress is decreased if the drill has more horsepower and can power through heavy materials with ease. The speed settings are important because you don’t need the same speed for all materials. Certain materials require slow speeds while others can be drilled very fast. The more speed adjustment options your drill press has, the better.
3) Gear Mode
The gear mode of the drill press can help you determine how much force you want to project on the workpiece. Certain materials require little power while others require more power. If your drill press has dual gear mode, this gives you the adjustability you need to project toughness over the material. The speed and torque can be adjusted in order to drill better holes. Low-speed gears make sure the wood doesn’t split and fit the screws.
4) LED Lamps
Advanced drill presses have LED lights that are located right above the workpiece and they can illuminate the work area in order to provide a better overview of the workpiece. This allows you to position the piece accurately, especially when you’re making repetitive cuts. Many times workshops are badly lit and/or the light is not enough to give you a clear view of what’s going on underneath the drill bit. This is why an LED light is convenient.
The feature that gives you an indicator as to the quality of the drill press is the manufacturer warranty. If a company offers a warranty for 2+ years, this means you’re getting a quality drill press. Many companies offer drill presses with 10+ year warranties.
The drill press is meant to be a tool used for the long-term and not something you replace every 2 years. It’s essential to have a long warranty because you may need replacement parts later down the line and you can get them directly from the manufacturer.
What Do Drill Presses Do?
The short answer: They drill. Surprising, huh? Well, drill presses have many other functions but the basic feature is the drilling capability. Drill presses are sizable power tools that you usually mount on a bigger machine in order to get precise drilling at a great speed and power.
There are factors that can impact the functioning of the drill press such as the surface you position it on and the pulley system (which operates in a vertical manner). The new drill presses made by companies such as DeWalt and WEN provide stronger motors that give you the ability to drill large holes in a quick manner.
New Generation Of Drill Presses
You can drill a lot more with less effort and at a faster speed – this is the new generation of drill presses. Many of them have lasers to pinpoint the exact spot you want to drill. They are powerful enough to drill through the thickest materials without any fatigue.
The drill press is the most essential tool you need when you’re drilling holes through wood, metal, plastic, and glass. The new generation allows woodworkers to project power and drill straight holes with minimal effort. The machines can be adjusted to drill at any angle you prefer, in order to achieve spotless drilling at all dimensions and angles.
Hand drills are similar in functionality (and offer flexibility), however, the drill press is the ultimate tool for getting the job done perfectly. Drill presses can do things such as tapping, reaming and counterboring.
Floor Standing Vs Bench Press
Drill presses are split into two camps based on the functionality: floor-standing and bench presses types. Standing drill presses are the standard for most workshops because they’re larger, offer higher power and more accurate drilling.
Standing presses are for woodworkers who care about accuracy and rely on the drill press to get a lot of work done. The advantage of smaller bench presses is that they can be temporarily adjusted to a smaller table or a work surface, making them suitable for small shops. Large drill presses are made for woodworkers who need to handle heavy-duty projects and they require industrial power and flexibility.
Features Of Drill Presses: Top 5 Features
What can drill presses do aside from drilling? There are many uses for a drill press. The following are the top 5 things you can do on a drill press. Note: Before you attempt any of the following, read the operating manual of your drill press to avoid injury.
Counterboring is a method that takes one end of a tubular hole and then uses the drill press to enlarge that hole and form a square shoulder on top of that hole. This method can be used to improve the head of bolts (usually performed at a slow pace).
Countersinking is taking one end of a hole and then making a cone enlargement at that particular end. This way, the flat head of the screw is able to rest on the hole. This type of drilling requires precise drilling at angles such as 90 degrees.
Tapping is a drilling method where you use the drill in order to create small threads on a hole such as on a piece of metal or wood. You can later use that hole to screw or bolt a workpiece.
Reaming is a process of adding the finishing touches for an existing hole. If you have a hole that you enlarged with the drill press (boring or counterboring), you need to finish it off and this process is called reaming.
- Spot facing
Spot facing is a process of smoothening the hole. Drill presses can be used to square the end of a certain hole, usually one where you fix a screw or a nut.