Drill presses give the accuracy and power you cannot get when you drill by hand. Also called bench drill, pillar drill or pedestal drill, a drill press is a tool for drilling holes but unlike an ordinary hand drill, it is set on a fixed stand. This machine takes up more space than a hand drill, but it makes drilling easier.
If you are thinking of buying your own drill press, it pays to be familiar with the types and differences of the tool in order to buy the right one for your need. In this drill press reviews and buying guide, you can learn the key points about the machine and the best products in the market today.
Top 5 Drill Presses for 2016 Compared
|Image||Product Name||No. of Speeds||Chuck Size||Power||Price||Editor's Rating|
|WEN 4208||5||1/2"||1/3 HP||$|
|SKIL 3320-01||5||1/2"||3.2 AMP||$$$|
|Delta 18-900L||16||5/8"||3/4 HP||$$$$|
|Powermatic PM2800B||Variable||1/2"||1.5 HP||$$$$$|
Benefits of Using a Drill Press
One of the most important tools that a woodworker should have is a drill press, and here are reasons why: Speed: woodworking requires much drilling, and what better way to drill holes faster is by using a drill press. With this machine, you can automatically set depths and angles, and just drill without worrying about making mistakes. Since their motors are more powerful than the motors of hand drills, they also rotate faster.
If your work requires much drilling, save your energy using a drill press. A more powerful motor runs the machine, making it easier to drill wider holes and big drill bits.
Accuracy is the very reason why any woodworker should use a drill press. Drilling requires precision so that holes are evenly spaced at the same width and angle. This is best achieved because of the features of a drill press.
The functionality of a drill press makes it worth the purchase. With its features, you cannot only create angled holes, but also make intricate shapes for use in furniture and other woodworking applications. Most of these units can run at various speeds and fitted with other equipment like a spindle sander, or drill holes in metal.
Drill presses are generally safe to use as provided by its features like the variable speed or the use of a clamp that secure the material to the table.
Types of Drill Presses
Drill presses mainly have two types, the floor and bench top type, which can still vary according to function and structure. Generally, they are used to drill holes in wood, metal and other materials. Their sizes range from 1/3 to three horsepower, can drill up to an inch of hole (diameter), and are typically run by electric motors mounted at the back of the head assembly.
Standing or Floor Drill Press
A floor drill press is a standing type of drill press for metals and a wide range of materials. As the name implies, it stands on the floor and is designed for heavy-duty jobs. This is a more powerful type as its capacity ranges from 13 to 20 inches swing and 3 to 6 inches of depth. Power ranges from .75 to 1.5 horsepower.
Bench Top Drill Press
The bench top type is a typical drill press for smaller woodworking jobs. They are more compact and are fixed on top of benches. Their capacity is from 8 to 12 inches swing and 2 to 3 3/8 inches in depth. Power ranges from .3 to .5 horsepower. If you have a small working space and you don’t think you need to drill deeper holes, a bench top drill press can work for you.
Top Rated Drill Press Models in the Market
Listed below are the five best drill presses rated by actual customers. Learn about their main features and differences so you can choose what you need for your work.
WEN 4208 drill press is one of the best sellers in stationary drills. It is a good choice for those looking for compact, multipurpose, more affordable drills. It is helpful in completing tasks immediately and drilling holes in a wide range of materials including iron. The package includes a bright yellow and black drill press, a chuck, a chuck key, tools for assembly, manuals and laser guides.
The product boasts a durable 1/3 horsepower motor that is made to last a long time. It is enough to work on resistive supplies and set in five different pace levels, namely 620, 1100, 1720, 2340 and 3100. This allows you to use it regardless of your requirement. It is easy to use because the spindle travel has an easy to read linear depth. It works quietly so you can maintain a good working environment. It weighs only 32 pounds and measures 7.5 by 22.9 by 11 inches. Among the good points of WEN 4208 is that it has a flexible height and program. The 2-inch spindle journey makes repeated drilling easy and precise. What makes this drill press a top choice for customers is that it can work on plastic, wood and metals, making it the best drill press for the money as well.Click here to see price on Amazon!
SKIL 3320 -01 is another bench top type of drill press. It boasts quality materials, almost similar to larger, more expensive drill presses. This one is also an excellent choice for those working on a limited space and budget. It is equipped with the standard features you would want to see in your home drill press including laser sights, adjustable depth and speed, half-inch chuck and more.
The product is powered by a 3.2-amp motor, enough to accomplish all drilling tasks, with an adjustable speed pulley system located just above it. Speeds include 570, 900, 1390, 2050 and 3050 RPM. The package includes a speed chart that lets you know which speed to use on the type of bit, size and material. You can adjust the work surface made from cast iron plate that moves up and down. If you are drilling angled holes, you can simply tilt the table left or right.
It is also equipped with a laser system for a more precise drilling. The safety features of the 3320 are also impressive. It has a big front mounted paddle switch with a safety key. Bench top models are easily reached by kids, but with the key pops you can disable the on and off switch.Click here to see price on Amazon!
Delta 18-900L is a higher-end drill press for it costs significantly higher than the rest of the products in this list. The manufacturer made sure to design a powerful drill that is highly durable and versatile. It is powered by a heavier ¾ horsepower motor, making it a professional grade tool.
This drill press offers 16 different speeds. It is equipped with a belt drive system that makes it easy to change between speeds. The package comes with a chart to tell you the right speed. Deep drilling is made easier by the 6-inch quill stroke, a major improvement among drill presses since you do not have to reset the depth of the table when you want to drill deeper. It has a laser and the table has T-slots that allow you to use your F-clamps with ease. These will keep materials in place, like a metal pipe or other work pieces. Repetitive drilling is never bothersome in this DELTA drill press because of the micro-adjustable depth stops and depth scale features.
It has a twin laser that list the work piece on contact for a precise work. The table can be adjusted forward from 0 to 45 degrees and rotates to the left or right at 0 to 90 degrees. Overall, this DELTA drill press can provide you a durable tool that can last a long time.Click here to see price on Amazon!
Fourth on our list is this product from JET. It is called JET 354165, a bench top drill press that boasts 16 speeds and 15-inch swing. This is also ideal for small workshops but you cannot underestimate its functionality. The speed levels allow you to plate, route, shape, sand, mortise and more. Like the other drill presses reviewed, this one also has a cast iron base, drill heads and table that won’t leave you disappointed. Weighing 163 pounds, JET 345165 is very rigid and powerful but delivers very smoothly. You won’t have problems running out of the chuck, thanks to the ball bearings on the spindle. Make sure you mount it on a stable surface for seamless work.
The motor uses .75 horsepower while the 10 by 13 inches worktable can be bent up to 45 degrees. The spindle can swing for up to 15 inches. It is very easy to assemble, works quietly and smoothly compared to other drills. You also won’t have any problems switching between speeds. Overall, this can be a good option if you are looking for a compact, sturdy and powerful drill press.Click here to see price on Amazon!
The fifth drill press on our list is simple and easy to use, the very reason why customers like it. It boasts elegant, innovative and durable design. It features a large and stable cast iron base and two LED lights for visibility. You can be sure to produce accurate results since this drill has a digital readout of the speed, allowing you to optimize the speed of the spindle according to application in addition to the laser guide for precise indication. It also features reversible handles placed on either side of the machine for better comfort when you work on the quill. Its worktable can be rotated to full 90 degrees. Like the rest of the products reviewed, this one comes with a manual that is easy to understand. Powermatic drill press weighs 209 pounds. The chuck does not need a key so it is easy to use. The adjustable stop makes it quick and accurate to drill repetitively. A safety key is used to prevent starting the machine accidentally. This product is designed with the user in mind, for it is simple to use, certainly a worthy addition to your workshop.Click here to see price on Amazon!
Key Considerations in Choosing the Best Drill Press
If you are out to buy a drill press, pay attention to the following key considerations:
Speed: If you notice, the products featured above offer different number of speed levels. Workers know that proper speed is important in different drilling jobs and materials. If you were working on the different materials, then it would be best to consider a drill with more speed levels offered.
Power: Power accounts for the type of work to be accomplished by the drill press. Floor models usually offer more power than bench-mounted units do. In deciding the right power you need, think about the type of job you expect to perform, like if it is a light or heavy one or if it is continuous or occasional.
Space: Think about the amount of space you are willing to reserve for your new drill press. This will determine if you need either a floor or a bench top type of unit. Expect floor models to take much space and cost you more.
Throat Depth: the throat depth determines the size of the material that the drill can work with, so if you think you will be working on larger materials go for drill presses with more throat depth.
Attachments: attachments such as a spindle sander and other tools can make a drill press more functional. Those that offer more drill bits to attach make them more valuable.
Woodworking professionals rely on their tools for the accuracy of their work. Drill presses certainly help make their work easier. With the wide range of products in the market today, consumers have more options in choosing the right one that perfectly suits their needs. The key to owning the right drill press is to understand their differences and determining your work requirement. After that, you know exactly what to buy at a budget you can afford.
Reading professional reviews will give you an in depth knowledge of a certain product that you are thinking of buying. You may also browse some drill press comparison charts to quickly go over the similarities and differences of various models.