Every wood or metalworker has a portable electric drill, but every wood or metalworker should have a drill press in his or her shop! Why? So glad you asked.
A drill press enables a wood or metalworker to drill perfect holes or to enlarge holes. While a regular handheld cordless drill can bore holes, the larger drill press enables the wood or metalworker to make more precise and larger holes.
The beauty of the drill press is its use is as easy as a handheld drill, but it allows you to bore different size holes with better precision and at variable speeds, something a handheld drill cannot do. The size of the holes you want to bore determines the speed, the larger the hole, the slower the speed.
A drill press has four primary features, and they are the head, table, column, and base. The head of the drill press contains the motor.
The worktable, mounted on the column of the drill, provides support for the wood or metal piece on which you are working, and a vise or clamp on the worktable would securely hold the wood or metal piece.
The column is the backbone of the drill press, and it supports the head; the base serves as the primary support for the drill press. A drill press can be a bench top or a floor model.
Now let’s take a deep dive into the top 10 best drill presses on the market in 2018. After a brief overview of the features of each drill press, I will list the pros and cons of each drill press so you can make an informed decision when choosing which model works best for your needs.
Table of Contents
- 10. JET J-2500 15-Inch Floor Model Drill Press
- 9. Hardware Factory Store 2 Way 4-Inch Drill Press
- 8. Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press
- 7. Jet 716000 JWDP-12 Drill Press
- 6. Genesis GDP1005A 10″ 5-Speed Amp Drill
- 5. WEN 4210 Drill Press
- 4. Craftsman 10 in Bench Drill Press
- 3. Dremel 220-01 Rotary Tool Drill Press
- 2. SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press
- 1. WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press
- Which Drill Press Should You Buy?
10. JET J-2500 15-Inch Floor Model Drill Press
This corded-electric drill weighs 167 pounds. It has a cast-iron head with a ground steel column that provides maximum head and table support.
It features a permanently lubricated ball bearing spindle assembly, and the table can tilt up to a 45 degree angle. This model contains four permanently lubricated ball bearings.
- Ease of assembly
- Unit has 16 variable speeds from 200 to 3,600 RPM; speed adjustments are easy
- Drills various materials including wood, iron, aluminum, PVC, and Plexiglas
- Need a two-man crew to connect the head to the column
- Difficult to reduce vibration of the machine
9. Hardware Factory Store 2 Way 4-Inch Drill Press
This heavy-duty machine constructed of cast iron, has a 4-inch wide jaw. Suitable for wood or metalworking DIY projects. An excellent piece of equipment, this drill press weighs in at only 15 pounds making it small, compact, portable, and especially useful in small workspaces.
- Sturdy design
- Works best for small projects
- Machine can vibrate
- Some screws are difficult to tighten or loosen without oiling first
8. Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press
This machine is easy to use, and you can make changes in the drilling speed making the device versatile. The depth stops, and depth scale allows for more precise drilling. The adjustable laser beams a red light to facilitate precision drilling.
This corded electric tool comes in silver, and it weighs 261 pounds. The unit provides 16 drilling speeds (from 170 to 3,000 RPM), and the large table slants to a 90 degree angle left-to-right and from 0-48 degree forward.
- Machine is user-friendly
- Relatively quiet operation
- Large working table
- Drive spindle can cause problems
- LED light a little weak
7. Jet 716000 JWDP-12 Drill Press
This bench top drill press has a powerful ½ hp induction motor with 300-3100 RPM making it ideally suited for a variety of drilling jobs. This durable drill press is made of cast iron, so its small size (10 x 16-1/8”) and portability make transporting the press effortless.
Works quite well if you have limited workspace. With 12 variable speeds, the drill press makes speed changes easily. The spindle supports maximum depth, and the use of lasers enhances accuracy.
- Powerful motor; smooth quill travel
- Good crosshair laser for drilling accuracy
- Table is excellent for tie-down with four 5/8 inch slots to accommodate a vise
- Pricey when compared to drill presses of similar power and size
- Some difficulty when moving table from side to side
6. Genesis GDP1005A 10″ 5-Speed Amp Drill
The 4.1 amp motor on this drill provides a quiet and smooth performance for large or small projects. Excellent support and flexibility from the table that rotates 360 degree with a 0-45 degree tilt.
Has a built-in work light to illuminate the working area and its compact size works well in a limited workspace. Has five variable speeds and an easily accessible head facilitates speed changes.
- Excellent performance for the price when compared to similar models
- Easy to assemble
- Quality construction
- A little noisy
- Works best with wood but not so well with metal materials
5. WEN 4210 Drill Press
This 10-inch drill press with a 3.2 AMP motor provides substantial power despite its size. It has five variable speeds from 530 to 3100 RPM and a motor that rivals models that are more expensive.
It can provide smooth and accurate drilling for wood or metal projects. Its durable cast iron worktable slants left to right at a 45 degree angle making it suitable for all drilling projects. Its linear depth stop and laser crosshairs ensure accurate drilling.
- Pre-drilled holes make mounting easy.
- Current speed displayed on digital LED readout
- Head, table, and base made of durable cast iron
- Battery powered laser
4. Craftsman 10 in Bench Drill Press
This model has a powerful motor with five variable speeds ranging from 620-3100 RPM. Excellent drill press for all wood or metal DIY projects.
A very solid, easy to use drill press with laser crosshairs for drilling accuracy. Utilitarian built-in light provides excellent illumination of the workspace. Uses metal, not plastic gears, which is a plus.
- Easy to assemble
- Good value for the price
- Laser and light make this drill press excellent for precision drilling
- Table moves a bit when operating drill
- Head cover can be difficult to open
3. Dremel 220-01 Rotary Tool Drill Press
This articulating drill press is three tools in one. It drills holes up to 90 degree, and as a rotary tool holder, it can hold tools that facilitate the grinding and polishing of metal and sanding various shapes.
It has a flex-shaft tool stand that can accommodate wrenches, drill bits, and other tools. To ensure accurate drilling, marks on the base have both imperial (inch) and metric (meters) measurements.
- Sturdy construction
- Useful for jewelry projects
- Works with metal, clay, glass, and stones
- Vibrates during drilling
- Some difficulty in assembly; manual can be confusing
2. SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press
With five variable speeds from 570 to 3050 RPM, this drill press can accommodate all DIY projects. Its adjustable depth stop and laser beam ensure accurate measurements and precision holes.
It has a 0-45degree worktable. This machine runs smoothly and is an excellent tool for the DIYer. It handles the drilling of wood or metal quite well. This is a great drill press for the price.
- Ease of assembly
- Size is great if you have limited workspace
- Runs smoothly and lasers provide precision drilling
- Motor runs hot
- Laser beam is difficult to see in bright light
1. WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press
This drill press operates at five different speeds (740, 1100, 1530, 2100, and 3140). With a 1/3 hp induction motor, this press can handle large or small DIY projects. The 6-1/2 x 6-1/12” worktable is adjustable up to 45 degree .
Despite the ratio of construction materials versus size, this lightweight machine is portable and perfect for small workplaces. The head, table, and base are constructed of cast iron.
- A well-constructed tool with a solid base
- Assembly instructions clear, concise, and simple to follow
- Compact yet portable and great value for the price
- The motor can sometimes stall
- Difficulty in measuring accurately
Which Drill Press Should You Buy?
Now that I have shared information about the features and functions of the ten most popular drill presses, as well as the pros and cons for each of the different drill press models, let me provide you with some tips to help you decide which drill press is best for you and your needs.
When choosing the drill press that is best for your needs, you might want to consider several factors, one of which is whether you want a benchtop or floor model.
Choosing a benchtop or floor model is primarily determined by the amount of space you have. If you have ample workspace, then you might want to purchase a floor model, but if you have limited workspace, then a bench type drill press would work best.
Another consideration is ease of use. If the drill press is difficult to assemble or if working the press poses difficulty, you might want to choose a different model. You might also want to consider the cost of the drill press. When considering the price, sometimes the value of the machine outweighs the cost.
Since it is not feasible for you to “test drive” all of the drill presses highlighted here, let me identify my top choices and the reasons for my preference. My top floor drill press is the Jet J-2500 15-inch floor model with 15 variable speeds that can drill a variety of materials including wood, iron, aluminum, PVC, and Plexiglas.
My top bench drill press is the Wen 4210, a 10-inch bench drill press with five variable speeds and accurate drilling of both wood and metal. This model is perfect for the DIYer.
My top most economical model with high value and low cost is the Dremel 220-01, a benchtop rotary tool drill press that can grind, polish, and sand wood, metal, clay, glass, and stones. This model works perfectly for DIY jewelry makers.
Armed with my tips and suggestions, take a visit to your favorite tool shop and check out my top three models.