Best Drill Press Reviews

Drilling is a term loosely used to refer to semi-precision and general-purpose hole making in preparation for screws or other fixings.

You’ll need a portable electric drill, a handheld model or a drill press.

Accurate drilling is a must for all aspects of woodworking. Getting your holes cut cleanly and to the proper depth while also located in the right spot is indicative of solid cabinetmaking just as much as snug joints and a smooth finish.

Since drilling accurately is just about impossible with handheld tools, the best drill press is a workshop essential. In today’s drill press reviews, we’ll outline 5 of the strongest products on the market. We’ll also give you a no-nonsense guide to streamline your buying decision and have you drilling with incredibly precision in no time.

A drill press has broadly similar features regardless of brand:

  • Motor with variable speed belt and pulley system
  • Table (stationary or tilting)
  • Chuck
  • Base
  • Column
Editor's Choice

  • 5 speeds
  • 1/3 HP induction motor
  • 120V, 60Hz
  • ½-inch keyed chuck with onboard storage
  • 6 ½ x 6 ½-inch work table
  • Swing: 8 inches
Rated as
4/5
Budget Friendly

  • 5 speeds
  • 3.2-amp motor
  • Maximum no-load speed 3050 RPM
  • ½-inch keyed chuck
  • 2-beam laser system
  • 22 x 15 x 10 inches
  • 10-inch swing
  • 7 5/8 x 7 5/8 -inch work table
Rated as
4/5
Amazon's Choice

  • 5 speeds
  • 350-watt motor
  • 230V
  • ½-inch keyed chuck
  • 2 inch maximum drilling depth
  • Swing: 10 inches
Rated as
5/5

Best Drill Press Reviews – Comparison Guide

If you’re looking for the best drill press, it’s easy to get bogged down with the sheer number of products on the market. We’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Here are 5 of the best drill presses worthy of a place in any workshop …

Table of Contents

Main Features
  • 5 speeds
  • 1/3 HP induction motor
  • 120V, 60Hz
  • ½-inch keyed chuck with onboard storage
  • 6 ½ x 6 ½-inch work table
  • Swing: 8 inches
Rated as
4/5

First up in our drill press reviews is a dinky but highly effective 8-incher from WEN. This brand has a hard-fought reputation for combining price and performance with a healthy dose of durability. This 5-speed drill press continues that tradition in fine style.

While you obviously won’t get the firepower or ability to engage in hardcore commercial projects with this diminutive drill press, this WEN punches well above its weight.

Check out the core features before we break down the shower of benefits this drill press could bring to your workshop…

Weighing in at just 38 pounds, this drill press might be lightweight in terms of stature but the performance is delivers is far from it. Powered by a 1/3 HP, 120-volt motor, you’ll also enjoy 5 adjustable speeds allowing you to tweak things according to the application:

  • 740 RPM
  • 1100 RPM
  • 1530 RPM
  • 2100 RPM
  • 3140 RPM

With such power, you’ll also need plenty of stability. WEN made the base of this drill press from cast iron giving you a rock-solid foundation to work from and allowing you to increase your accuracy not just the speed at which you can bore.

The table is generous enough to use as a makeshift worktable. At 6 ½ x 6 ½ feet, you can bevel the table 45 degrees left and right. You’ll also be able to fine-tune the height so everything is in place for some accurate, pacey drilling any time you want.

This accuracy you can enjoy with the WEN is further honed by the exceptional lockable and readable depth stop. This comes in particularly handy if you have lots of repetitive drilling you want replicated without spending all day squinting and laboring away.

Although you won’t be able to work with steel or other really tough metals, you can quite easily slice your way through some aluminum so this drill press steps up to the plate for more than basic woodworking duty.

You’ll get an 8-inch swing along with spindle travel of 2 inches if you invest in the WEN.

As if all this is not enough, you’ll be covered by a solid 2-year guarantee so you shouldn’t have any lingering doubts about purchasing this fantastic, inexpensive drill press.

Drilling is straightforward but drilling effectively and accurately is not so easy…

Unless, of course, you treat yourself to the best drill press!

We’ve compiled a snapshot of the key strengths and weaknesses so you can see at a glance whether the WEN 4208 makes a good fit for your workshop and drilling needs…

Why we like it

  • Extremely nimble little induction motor gives you all the raw power you need along with ample torque when it counts
  • Substantial height adjustable table bevels in 45 degrees to either direction giving you total flexibility
  • Outstanding overall value offering hard-hitting performance at a decidedly budget price point
  • 5 speeds ranging from 740 RPM right through 3140 RPM at the upper end
  • Never lose your chuck again thanks to thoughtful onboard storage
  • Depth adjustment gauge with spindle traveling up to 2 inches allowing you a great deal of control and precision
  • Durable cast iron base means you won’t get any wobbling or movement during operation
  • Works effectively with aluminum and other harder materials not just wood
  • Readable and locking linear depth stops ensure you get repeatable and precise drilling every time
  • 2-year limited warranty is more than you’d expect from a budget drill press

Conclusion

If you’re hunting down the best budget drill press, few units offer the same price to performance ratio as the WEN 4208 which is why we’ve kicked off these drill press reviews with something for the bargain hunters among you.

As long as you’re not expecting a machine designed for sustained and demanding industrial work, you should find this compact drill press delivers fully.

Check out the 4208 today and enhance the quality of your woodworking no end.

Main Features
  • 5 speeds
  • 3.2-amp motor
  • Maximum no-load speed 3050 RPM
  • ½-inch keyed chuck
  • 2-beam laser system
  • 22 x 15 x 10 inches
  • 10-inch swing
  • 7 5/8 x 7 5/8 -inch work table
Rated as
4/5

Next up in our drill press reviews is a slightly more expensive yet still affordable 10-incher from the industry legend SKIL.

This is another benchtop model but slightly larger than the dinky WEN at 10 inches. If you need to undertake some specialized drilling and you need both speed and accuracy, the SKIL is a smart bet.

We’ll break down the basic features then explore this nifty drill press in a little more detail…

The vast majority of drill presses are similar in functionality which is why these reviews are a little shorter than some of the more complex power tools we investigate. Ther SKIL does have a unique selling point that distinguishes it from many lesser drill presses in the guise of a twin laser system that helps you to align drill bits on the worktable. The patented system projects those pair of lasers onto the material so you can ascend to new levels of accuracy without losing out on raw speed. Aligning the lasers is super-simple and you’ll also be able to make any adjustments fuss-free.

Assembly couldn’t be much easier and you’ll be up and running within a half-hour of unboxing.

The 3.2-amp powerplant gives you sufficient power for most regular drilling tasks you’d reasonably carry out. There’s an adjustable speed pulley system sat just above the motor allowing you a choice of 5 speeds:

  • 570 RPM
  • 900 RPM
  • 1390 RPM
  • 2050 RPM
  • 3050 RPM

The only real drawback here is the manual changes you’ll need to make when it’s to switch the speed up or down. Loosen the belt tension knobs to either side of the housing, adjust the belt after sliding the motor forward then reverse these steps and you’ll be firing on all cylinders again. Think carefully about how often you’ll be changing speed. If it’s something you’ll be doing consistently, you might be better advised looking at a drill press offering a tension lever to streamline speed changes.

As with the WEN, you’ll get a base from machined cast iron you can move up and down using a crank handle you’ll find on the support column. The square surface of the table lets you work with fairly large pieces. As with every top-notch drill press, you’ll be able to angle the table up to 45 degrees in both directions.

Safety is uppermost with the SKIL. A front-mounted paddle switch has an integrated safety key ideal for making sure your kids’ curious fingers don’t fire up your drill press accidentally. This can be easily disabled when not being used.

We’ll walk you through the shower of benefits you can expect if you invest in this mighty but inexpensive drill press before serving up out verdict…

Why we like it

  • Flexible, agile 3.2-amp motor gives you adequate power whatever the application
  • 5 speed pre-sets topping out at 3050 RPM so you can make micro-adjustments depending on what material you’re drilling
  • If you use the correct bit, you’ll be able to drill through thin sheets of metal as well as wood
  • Bump-off switch with safety key is a neat way to ensure you don’t get any accidental starts
  • Beam laser system with a pair of lasers gives you even more accuracy and is a wonderful touch for a drill press in this price range
  • Work surface tilts 45 degrees to both left and right
  • Neatly squared-off worktable lets you handle larger pieces of material with plenty of support
  • Well-crafted depth adjustment system allows you to drill with confidence and precision
  • Dependable 3-year SKIL warranty gives you real peace of mind as long as you register within a month of purchase

Conclusion

When it comes to any power tools, you should always buy the best you can afford and you should build up your collection over time. Buying into SKIL lets you experience all that brand heritage without bankrupting yourself.

Although, like the WEN, this drill press is not designed with incessant industrial usage in mind, you’ll certainly enjoy a broad scope of work if you invest in this powerful 10-inch drill press.

Check one out today or read on for more inspiration when it comes to choosing the best drill press.

Main Features
  • 5 speeds
  • 350-watt motor
  • 230V
  • ½-inch keyed chuck
  • 2 inch maximum drilling depth
  • Swing: 10 inches
Rated as
5/5

As we reach the midpoint of our drill press reviews, we’ve got another fine 10-inch unit from a lesser-known brand, Silverline. It’s not through snobbery that we usually tend to stick with the tried-and-true manufacturers when we’re tracking down the best power tools simply that you know exactly where you stand with the industry’s major players and you’ll invariably get superior value for money over time.

That said, Silverline enjoys a sterling reputation throughout Europe and the functionality of this agile and accurate drill press is too good for us not to cover.

We’ll summarize the main features before doubling down on the many reasons why you should consider adding this capable workhorse to your workshop.

A benchtop model, the Silverline is a great sized unit if you’re struggling for space in your workshop but you’re not prepared to sacrifice accuracy when you’re drilling. You should be aware that you’re not going to get the extreme level of precision a more expensive drill press will provide but the tolerance is close enough for most reasonable household drilling jobs.

The drill press doesn’t come assembled but you shouldn’t need much more than 20 minutes and you’ll be up and at work.

As with most drill presses in this class, you’ll get 5 variable speeds starting at a pedestrian 580 RPM and maxing out at 2650 RPM.

The 350-watt motor delivers more than enough grunt and it runs on 230 volts.

The keyed chuck is a real pleasure to use and the overall feel of this drill press is user-friendly in the extreme. You’ll also be able to use a wide spectrum of drill bits making this a versatile tool.

That versatility extends to the materials you’ll be able to work with. Wood is a given but you’ll also be able to drill your way through much thicker plastic or even harder metals like brass or steel. As long as your intended scope of work is not too ambitious, you’ll get a surprising amount of range with this drill press.

 

Despite such excellent functionality, the Silverline is a slimline and compact piece of kit so it’s ideal in smaller shops.

As you’ll see outlined below, the Silverline offers you an impressive list of benefits. There are a number of drawbacks with this budget drill press so it’s worth paying attention to the negative aspects so you can be sure this makes the right fit for your workshop.

Why we like it

  • Wide band of 5 variable speeds from 580 RPM right through 2650 RPM for pace matched to application across the board
  • Assembly is quick and easy and this drill press is a cinch to use even if you’re just starting out
  • Occupies a very small footprint for a 10-inch drill press so ideal in smaller workshops with space restrictions
  • A versatile drill allowing you to penetrate hard wood, brass, steel and thick plastic if you use the appropriate bit
  • Easily adjust the depth of cut from 0 to 2 inches by restricting the chuck’s movement
  • Keyed chuck is a breeze to open and close, and compatible with a wide range of drill bits
  • This drill press integrates well with a diverse array of accessories making it a very flexible addition to your workshop
  • Sturdy base and thoughtfully engineered table for a solid experience without too much vibration
  • Perfect for all those household DIY jobs where you don’t need to work to incredibly fine tolerances
  • Exceptional 3-year warranty so you can buy without a headache

Conclusion

With so many Europeans flocking to Silverline tools, it might be time to look beyond the usual suspects if you’re looking for a no-nonsense drill press at a price you’ll love.

As always, we’ve frankly outlined the drawbacks of this drill press rather than focusing purely on what it does well. As long as you’re aware of these limitations up front, you’ll get no unpleasant surprises.

From the dependable build quality through to accuracy and speed all wrapped in that budget package, you’ll struggle to find a better drill press for the money. Road test one of these today and you won’t look back.

Main Features
  • 12 speeds
  • 1 ½ HP motor
  • 115/230V
  • ¾-inch drill chuck and key
  • Work light
  • Swing: 20 inches
  • 325 pounds
Rated as
4/5

We’ll step things up a gear as we near the end of our drill press reviews with a heavyweight beast from the stellar JET, this time a floor-standing model ideal for larger workshops and more ambitious drilling needs.

If you need to process larger sheets of metal in a commercial setting where time is money, the JET is tailor-made. Variable speeds make drilling even the toughest metal straightforward while boring through thinner workpieces is child’s play.

Scope out the core functionality of this exceptional drill press before we laser in on what makes this unit perfect for home craftsmen and pros alike…

First thing’s first, if you’re looking to drill the occasional hole and you’ve got a small home workshop, this is an unnecessary beast. If, on the other hand, you have a consistent need to work with bulky sheets of harder metal, this might be the smartest investment you make all year.

Kicking off with the incredibly agile and capable powerplant developing 1 ½ HP, everything on the JET is precision engineered to give that essential combination of speed and accuracy. Build quality is vital if you want a drill press to help you with challenging applications on a sustained basis. The hard metal is built to stay the distance and all componentry is highly dependable as you’d expect from an industry behemoth like JET.

That motor will keep going all day so you don’t need to worry about overheating if you deal with large volumes of sheeting. Properly maintained, your JET will keep running as long as you have the stamina to operate it.

This is a whopping pillar drill and you’ll benefit from a huge 18 ½ x 16 inch worktable allowing you all the room you need even with bulky sheets of metal. You can bevel this in both directions to 45 degrees as is standard with drill presses and you can also lower or raise the table so you get the optimum working position at all times.

12 variable speeds allow you to start remarkably slowly at just 150 RPM and take things right up to 4200 RPM when the project dictates. You’ll be able to easily penetrate hard plastics and metals as well as wood so you’re spoiled for choice. Initially, changing speeds feels a little awkward but once you’ve got this down-pat, you shouldn’t continue to struggle.

The ½-inch positive depth stop, by contrast, is a cinch to adjust. The 3-nut locking feature is a real bonus enabling you to switch the speed up or down without losing precious working time.

Many workshops are naturally gloomy and there’s nothing worse than straining your eyes attempting intricate work calling for complete precision. The work light housed on the front side of the JET lets you beaver away even if the light is sub-par.

The 2-year limited warranty means JET has your back in the event of anything going awry. Given the quality of this drill press, though, we don’t imagine you’ll be facing too many problems.

Have a glimpse at a breakdown of the pros and cons of this floor-standing colossus before we serve up our verdict and wrap these drill press reviews…

Why we like it

  • Torquey and powerful 1 ½ HP motor giving you all the grunt you need to attack the most demanding applications
  • Ready to go straight out the box so perfect if you dislike assembling machinery
  • Wide choice of 12 speeds starting at 150 RPM and topping out at 4200 RPM so you can match the pace to the project with ease
  • Very generous 1-inch drilling capacity sets this pillar drill apart from the weaker competition
  • Hinged metal belt and pulley cover works seamlessly with motor mount so you can tweak those speeds without reaching for your toolbox
  • Integrated work light illuminates the material perfectly so you can work with complete accuracy even in dimmer workshops
  • ½-inch depth stop also allows for tool-free manipulation
  • ¾-inch chuck accepts an assortment of bits up to ¾-inch in diameter
  • Height adjustable worktable that bevels out 45 degree left and right giving you all the flexibility you need for just about any drilling task
  • Decent 2-year warranty coverage allows you to buy stress-free

Conclusion

When you’re looking for a rugged and powerful drill press you can use to really widen the scope of your drilling while also ramping up the speed and accuracy you can work with, this 20-inch floor standing model from JET is tough to beat.

For an industrial-grade floor-standing drill press that won’t bankrupt your business, the JET is a wise bet. And the best thing, if you do add this giant to your workshop, you’ll recoup that investment in short order thanks to the enormous increase you’ll experience in productivity.

Main Features
  • 16 speeds
  • ¾ HP induction motor
  • 5/8-inch keyed chuck with onboard storage
  • 20 x 14-inch work table
  • 59 x 30 ½ x 13 inches
  • Swing: 18 inches
  • Dual laser
  • 240 pounds
Rated as
3/5

Last but by no means least in our drill press reviews is another floor-standing gem, this time from Delta.

As with the JET, this drill press is no budget machine but it’s also anything but budget in terms of performance. Take a look at the main features at a glance before we outline what this drill press does best…

The motor is obviously a central part of any effective drill press and Delta rolls out a ¾ HP beauty giving the 18-900L more than enough punch to bore out large, deep holes in more or less any material you put in its way.

With 16 speed settings to choose from, you can work anywhere from 170 RPM to 3000 RPM at the top end. When you need to change that speed, you’ll appreciate the auto-tensioning belt drive. All you need to do is push the handle, manipulate the belts then flick the arm back.

Despite packing all that power, the Delta runs smoothly without any menacing vibration. It’s also quieter than you’d imagine a machine of this stature would be even when you’re working it pretty hard.

The 6-inch quill stroke enables you to drill deeply even if you’re working with thicker metals or very hard plastics.

Patented TWINLASER beams project onto the workpiece enabling you to see like a hawk even if the light in your workshop is fading. This feature alone will add another layer of accuracy to your work while making things easier on your eyes at the same time.

The worktable is substantial and clamping is a breeze with the T-slots thrown in. You can remove the replacement center if you need to carry out any through-the-wood drilling. As with everything else on this drill press, attention to detail in the workmanship and durability is second to none.

Assembly polarizes opinion. While many satisfied customers said they experienced no hassle during set-up, others have complained it’s a tasky procedure.

Make no mistake, this is a huge unit. The drill press tips the scales at 240 pounds and it measures up at 59 x 30 ½ x 13 inches so you’ll need plenty of space to accommodate it. The delivery package is evidently bulky so make sure you’ve got assistance on hand when it arrives.

There’s legitimately very little to moan about with the Delta aside from that price tag. While no machinery is perfect, the Delta 18-inch drill press is the next best thing. Check out at a glance where it stands and falls then we’ll move onto a brief buying guide to make your decision even easier…

Why we like it

  • Class-leading 16 speed settings allowing you to get the pace right whatever material you need to penetrate
  • Heavy-duty ¾ HP motor helps you bore large holes through the toughest materials without sacrificing speed or accuracy
  • Auto-tensioning belt drive system makes switching speeds quick and easy
  • Dual lasers illuminate your workpiece even if the lighting is less than ideal
  • 6-inch quill stroke promotes the deepest drilling in either wood or metal with precise scale marked out in 1/16-inch increments
  • Broad and sturdy worktable with nifty T-slots to simplify clamping
  • Extremely quiet for a drill press which is surprising given the amount of power on tap
  • Some assembly required but you’ll be up and running in no time without too much interference
  • Superb 5-year limited warranty gives you the confidence to invest in this expensive drill press without any concerns about it letting you down next year
  • Micro-adjustable depth stops streamline any repetitive drilling tasks so you can get more done in less time

Conclusion

Not everyone needs an industrial drill press or one built to keep running all day long so if you’re looking for a casual, lightweight machine, this is absolutely not for you.

For any small business owners who need to bore through hard and demanding materials on a regular basis, picking up this awesome pillar drill will save you money as well as enhancing the quality of your work.

With top-tier build quality and all the power you need for even super-tough materials from a brand you can trust, what’s not to like?

best drill press: Looking for more information?

Interested to learn more in-depth details about selecting the right tool for your needs? Read our Informational Buyer Guide and Frequently Asked Questions sections on this topic for more details.

Final Words...

With any luck, this exploration of the best drill presses on the market has put you one step closer to buying the tool of your dreams.

As long as you take the time to think about why you actually need a drill press, you should have no problem getting something that meshes with those needs perfectly.

Drop us a line any time if you’ve got any questions or feedback at all. We love to hear from our readers and we’re always happy to help however we can.

And as a parting shot, we’ve assembled 10 of the most frequently asked questions about the drill press for your convenience…

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