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Getting The Job Done Right
Drill presses are drills which can be mounted on workbenches, floors or stands for added stability when you have to drill a hole with precision. They are also one of the traditional tools which have evolved with advancement in functionality.
When compared to a regular drilling machine, in a drill press you can set the width, depth, and angle of the hole you want beforehand, allowing you to make the same holes with ease. They can drill holes at any angle, perfect for those uneven pieces of furniture.
The motorized drills are powerful and allow you to accomplish the task with utmost ease. Plus, with full control over the actions of the drill, you are immune from getting injured.
If you are fond of the woodwork and are considering investing in a drill press, let me warn you that with the number of options available out there, you’re quite likely to go mad. So, being a DIY woodwork enthusiast myself, I did some research on the best drill presses available in the market. For doing so, I went through online consumer reviews followed by some offline analysis about the same products. One product which turned out the best is WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press (click to view on Amazon.com).
*List recently updated for 2019
If you are working with tools for a long time or you have just taken the plunge, WEN is one ever-so-popular brand in the industry. WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press is without a doubt an industry leader in drill presses as it sports a cast-iron worktable which is sturdy and can last a lifetime.
It drills holes ½” to 1″ thick holes with accuracy and can drill identical holes more precisely than a hand-held drill. It can pierce through metal, rubber, woods, plastics, and other materials. The powerful 1/3 HP induction motor gives the drill its strength.
If everything you are looking for in the drill press is to make precise holes, don’t look further. WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press is light and portable, enabling you to carry the drill to and from the shop floor. The functionality of the drill is unbelievable with lockable depth adjustment which allows you to define the depth of the hole beforehand. Plus, the cast-iron base keeps the drill intact on the ground so that it doesn’t end up walking or wobbling. The onboard key storage is often ignored but is one way you will never lose your keys.
According to some online reviewers, the drill handles are of poor quality, the method of adjusting the height of the table needs correction, and the spring is allegedly too strong for a product this size. Others have pointed out that the machine tends to wobble while I don’t see it.
– Depth Adjustment gauge
– On-board Key Storage
– ½ inch key chuck
– Five-speed Operation
– Beveling Worktable
– Cast-iron base
– 1/3 HP induction motor
– 8-inch swing and 2-inch stroke
SKIL is the manufacturer of consumer quality products and it’s 3320-01 3.2 Amp Drill Press stands true to all the expectations. This affordable press features precision laser alignment and a 0-45 degree tilt in the work platform for hassle-free holes even at an angle.
The 120V motor works at five different speed to cut holes through wood, plastic, metal, and other materials with ½ inch keyed chunk. Moreover, the depth adjustment system lets you drill down quickly, providing higher precision than any handheld drill out there! Everything is backed up with a 3-year warranty.
For a weekend woodworker such as myself, I found the drill press fir right into my budget and expectations. The 10” depth along with depth adjustment and 5-speed drilling makes it easier to drill holes in wood, metal, and other materials. Whether you’re looking to drill straight holes or some at an angle, the platform can be tilted from 0-45 degrees. For absolute precision, it has X2 2-Beam laser to align the hole better. If you are into occasional furniture transformation too, the SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp Drill Press is the tool for you!
The column base collar is made up of aluminum instead of cast-iron which makes it distort easily as compared to the rest of the drill presses. The motor buzzes and vibrates a lot as you work. The spindle is also made up what seems like aluminum ribs. Well, SKIL, a German-owned brand can do better by replacing the most crucial aluminum parts of the drill press with cast-iron and focusing a bit more on retaining the quality.
– Five-Speed System
– 0-45 degree tilting work surface
– Laser X2 2-Beam
– 1/2 inch keyed chuck
For those looking for a tool to cut holes through the metal, plastic, wood, glass, and more, WEN 4210T is powered by a robust 3.2Amp motor to do it with utmost ease. The precision laser and the 5-degree bevelling worktable will ensure that the bit passes through material at any angle you want.
With the depth adjustment gauge, drilling identical holes on many surfaces becomes easier. The on-work light is incorporated so that you are not dependent on external light for working with the drill press. The cast-iron base and ½ inch keyed chunk gives you the strength to dig through most durable of the materials.
Speaking of my experience with WEN 4210T Drill Press, it is undoubtedly one of the most powerful ones out there. With power, it provides you all the features to drill through most material precisely such as depth adjustment, laser, 5-speed motor, bevelling worktable, and work light. The cast-iron base is strong enough to stand tall in any amount of vibrations. The 2/3 HP motor operates at different speeds of 600, 1100, 1700, 2400, 3100 RPM for different materials and hums instead of creating a loud noise.
The chuck key has spring attachment which cannot be left on the drill press, annoying for some. Setting up the laser takes a lot of time, and the light fixture might sometimes not work well.
– 10-inch swing and 2-1/2 inch spindle stroke
– Laser precision
– Built-in Work light
– Beveling worktable (0-5 degree left to right)
– 2/3 HP induction motor
– 5-speed operation
WEN 4212 10-Inch Drill Press is another launch by WEN which has gained early popularity, all thanks to its incredible features. The variable speed drill drills through metal, wood, plastic, and more with care for precision and ease. It is built up of the cast-iron present in its base, table, and head.
The variable speed motor deviates from 530 to 3100 RPM with just the tilt of the lever. Plus, there is a digital LED layout which displays the current speed. The 2/3 HP induction motors feature ball bearings which reduce noise and increase performance. Moreover, the bevelling worktable is slotted and reflects an X pattern laser light for added accuracy. The 2-year warranty displays the brand’s trust in the drill press.
Though considerable high-priced from the previous model, paying a little extra for a more sturdy model is something that didn’t bother me. The drilling process becomes quite comfortable with the precision laser, bevelling worktable, depth adjustment gauge, and variable speed drilling motor, and 10-inch drill. Even though some features in terms of quality might seem a bit off, the machine is undoubtedly the one for all your bird-house building adventures.
According to individual reviews, the laser is off by 1/8th of an inch and turntable tilt is off by a degree which might not seem like an issue for building basic garden furniture, but other objects might face instability issues because of this.
– Variable speed, 4.4 amp induction motor
– Bevelling worktable
– Laser precision
– LED RPM display
Featuring a rugged design for professional use, Delta 18-900L Laser Drill Press is a commercial drill press by all means. Though priced a fortune, it is an excellent investment for someone who does heavy drilling work every day. An ideal woodwork drill, Delta sports a heavy duty motor, and an auto-tensioning belt design which can cut through hardest of the wood, metals, and plastics.
For enhanced visibility, the drill is equipped with an LED lamp. Plus, the X-laser helps you drill precise holes. The 16-speed variable speed motor works for a variety of materials. The rack and pinion height can be moved vertically to let the woodworker work with ease. Plus, the 6-inch quill stroke provides best quality drilling.
I was undoubtedly impressed with the core because of the incredible precision and power this drill offers. I visited a woodworker’s shed to watch the drill press in action for obvious reasons. The 16-speed drilling with laser precision and strong ¾ HP motor is undoubtedly something a professional would lay his hands upon. So, if you are into professional drilling work every day, then this is the drill press for you.
Belt mechanism with pulleys is a bit difficult to work with anyway, and those experienced working with them say that the Delta machine’s pulleys are not in place, causing trouble for users. Plus, the price point is one reason why people decide against the tool.
– LED Work Light
– 16 Speed Motor
– Heavy Duty ¾ HP Induction Motor
– Oversized worktable
– Auto-tensioning belt drive system
Built to provide many years of extended service, the Shop Fox W1667 Drill Press has passed rigid quality-control tests. The powerful ½ HP motor enables the drill press to serve as an oscillating sander and a drill as it is capable of both drilling and sanding.
The removable safety key on the ½ inch keyed chuck is something you do not get in most drill presses out there. The depth scale helps you fix the depth of the hole and is genuinely needed to drill identical holes. The oscillating spindle is the key to perform all the sanding operations for long-lasting abrasives. The oversized foot paddle enables you to control all activities with ease. The 7×7-inch square tilting table supports you, and there is a dirt post to collect the dust.
In my opinion, this is an inexpensive model for small garages, and the sander is not something you find in most tools. The spindle and drum kit, though impressive additions to the drill press are sold separately. Nonetheless, the machine works smoothly, both as a sander and as a drill if I avoid the nerve-wracking vibrations.
Not one but many reviewers have complained that the packaging is often of poor quality and it arrives damaged right in the beginning. But those who managed to get them replaced were disappointed that the attachments which are shown in the advertisement are sold separately whereas they thought the would be in the package.
– Oscillating Spindle
-½ HP motor
– Safety Switch
– Depth Scale
– Tilting Table
– Dust Port
– Spindle Sander Drum Kit (Sold Separately)
One of the most versatile and handy drill presses, Shop Fox W1669 1/2 HP 34-inch Bench-Top Radial Drill Press comes with a bevelling head as well as a worktable, allowing you to drill at any possible angle.
Plus, you can bore with this machine by adding a swing into the center of a piece which is 34-inch wide. The table tilts 90 degrees in both directions while you can move the headstock in an out to increase the distance between the drill chuck and column up to 17 inches. The headstock tilts too! You can run it 45 degrees clockwise and 90 degrees anti-clockwise. With slide and tilt, you can drill a line of identical holes with ease. The safety switch paddle makes switching on and off the ½ HP motor easier.
When I ordered the drill press, it arrived well-packaged with a page for an instruction manual. I set it up and lubricated the parts as instructed with machine oil for better functioning (which I discovered from online instructions). The headstock and worktable moved along the shaft as well as along the axis with ease. The drill worked as expected. Not for commercial purposes though.
The assembly of the drill, according to some reviewers, is a difficult task. Moreover, the single paged instruction manual which arrived with the drill press missed a lot of details. The motor and the mounting board wear out after a few uses.
– Safety switch
– Repeating Operations
– Tilting Headstock and Worktable
– Five-Speed, ½ HP Motor
Grizzly G7943 Heavy Duty Bench Drill Press is one industrial quality tool available for an affordable price. You can tackle the most significant jobs around the house with the ¾ HP motor of this 3-feet tall machine. Moreover, the size of the spindle (3 ¼ inches) and that of swing (1 inch) it offers are purely aesthetic.
This 150-pound machine might seem too large but is quite adjustable with full 360 degrees swing in the table and 12 variable drilling speeds are varying from 140 RPM to a whopping 3050 RPM. The integrated laser, as well as LED lights, give you excellent precision and efficiency while drilling the holes.
My friends suggested that if I want to move a grade up into my garage tool collection and opt for a professional grade drill press, this is the most affordable solution. And rightly so. This is a humongous machine which is easy to drill with all thanks to the 14-inch swing and three ¼ inch spindle. When I first received the machine, I was wondering if I will be able to adjust it single-handedly. However, to my surprise, the worktable can be rotated 360 degrees, and I can efficiently work with the desired seep of the 12 variable RPMs.
According to some users, the table lacks slots to mount the workpiece in. Plus, it tends to wobble, which can prove tricky for intricate metal work. Another issue that I also faced is that the three plunged levers are oversized and interfere with work.
– Integrated Built-in Lights
– ¾ HP Motor
– Industrial Grade Drill press
– 14-inch swing
A product of superior engineering, ShopSeries RK7033 6.2-Amp 10″ Drill Press is built to last long. It is equipped with a 6.2 Amp motor, which makes it the perfect drill for drilling repetitive and accurate holes in words, metals, plastics, and more. The five operating speed range from 620 to 3100 RPM make this ideal for getting through the hardest of the surfaces.
It does this with precision which is impossible to achieve with hand-held drills. The worktable bevels 45 degrees, bot left and right for drilling in holes at the required angles. A safety switch is cabled to the drill to prevent accidental starting and sudden switch off. The in-built visibility enhancing light is one feature which sets the drill press apart. This reliable drill comes with a two-year limited warranty.
Being a homeowner and a DIYer, my friend gave this drill to me as a Christmas gift. I couldn’t wait for the next morning to assemble it and get drilling. The instructions weren’t very helpful in drilling, but I managed a free-hand assembly. It was not a tough job. The spin seemed right and didn’t wobble. Though there is a little noise when the drill changes pitch, the overall performance was, and at this price point, I would not recommend against buying it.
It is quite apparent that the unit top is substantial as compared to the base, making the dynamics a bit odd and imbalanced. The head is a little off from the center too. Other than that, this is an excellent machine for hobbyists at this price point.
– Cast-Iron Bevelling Worktable
– Variable speed drilling
– Limited 2-year warranty
– Lithium-Ion Cordless Drill/Driver
To handle larger drilling projects, Genesis GDP1005A 5-Speed Drill Press is an affordable option. As compared to the rest ½ inch chunks, it has larger 5/8 inch chunks paired with a 4.1 Amp motors which will help you drill through most wood and plastic materials. For added convenience and visibility, it comes with an integrated work light and a handle to select one of the five speeds.
It works on a belt mechanism with easy to access pulleys and is a compact machine which can be easily stored in your workshop. The worktable tilts 45 degrees and can rotate 360 degrees for angled drills. With a 2-year limited warranty, it is an ideal machine for DIY projects.
I purchased the drill for back to back operations at my workshop, and it was an addition to the commercial quality bench drill I was already using. The drill worked fine for the softer woods, and I could be as precise as I wanted with the angles. Then again, I could feel the lack of precision laser and depth adjustment. Still, I would recommend a 4.1Amp motor powered drill for those who are looking for an affordable and smooth solution for larger projects.
The 4.1 Amp power motor is not strong enough to drill through strong and hard materials. The lack of precision laser and depth adjuster is something you would miss every time you are about to dig. Plus, the shaky and imbalanced behavior of the machine is worrying at times.
– In-built work-light
– 4.1 Amp Motor
– Larger 5/8” chuck
– Compact machine
This is a crucial feature of any drill press as it helps you predefine the depth of the hole so that you don’t end up running the material.
The drill press you are planning to should be built up of strong and durable material which won’t wear off with repeated use.
Not all materials you drill through can be worked on at the same pace. The RPM of the motor should be capable of being adjusted according to the material. Of course, if you are working with uniform material, you can opt out of it.
To be sure that the spot you want will get drilled, you need an intersecting laser for added accuracy.
Even if your drill press comes with a massive duty base which can strongly stand its ground, you need to mount the drill press on the worktable for additional safety. This will ensure that the drill wobbles less and doesn’t move from a fixed position due to heavy drilling and vibrations. Plus, when the motor is stored on the top, the bottom can become imbalanced and fall off. By mounting the base, you are adding the weight of the table to the bottom to make the drill press balanced.
For mounting, you can invest in a strong clamp or directly attach it with the table through bolts. If you don’t want to bolt it to your table, you can find a piece of plywood or any wood to mount the base on.
In the above list, you have every leading drill press out there of which hobbyists can use some while others make a great option for commercial projects. While it is not in my power to decide which one should you buy, the purpose for which each is fit is clearly defined. Other than that, there is always a budget which needs to be adhered to.
Here, hobbyists with a home-based workshop can opt for options that fall into the lower price brackets and make a great gift; and professionals can choose for the more powerful ones with motors more potent than ¾ HP for commercial, everyday use.
No matter which drill press appeals to you the best, there is no way you will regret your decision when you know what you are investing in. Do let us know in the comments if I have missed out on one of your favorites.
By Darion Robinson
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