Best Drill Press Reviews 2016 – All about Drill Press

A drill press is also known as a bench drill, pillar drill, or pedestal drill. It’s a type of drill that’s fixed into one position so that you have more leverage to drill through objects than you would a hand drill.Before you can get your hands on the best benchtop drill press, you need first to know what a drill press is. However, there are things you can drill through with a hand drill that you can’t with a drill press and vice-versa.

Drill presses are bolted or mounted on a stand or workbench. A drill press that’s more portable should have a magnetic base grip included to better drill to steel workpieces. The spindle and chuck move vertically and parallel to the column’s axis when the set of handles of the drill head are turned and radiates from its central hub to ensure quality drilling that maintains stability every time. Here are our reviews of the best drill press:

PictureModelEditor RatingsReview
WEN 4208 Drill Press (4.1 / 5)
547+ Reviews
Our Review
Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press (3.9 / 5)
51+ Reviews
Our Review
SKIL 3320-01 120-Volt 10-Inch Drill Press (4.2 / 5)
305+ Reviews
Our Review
JET 354165 Bench Drill Press (4 / 5)
34+ Reviews
Our Review
Shop Fox W1668 Benchtop Drill Press (3.7 / 5)
58+ Reviews
Our Review

Best Drill Press Reviews

WEN 4208 Drill Press (BEST SELLER)

The WEN 4208 is a woodworker’ delight. It is available at a reasonable price but without restrictions as to whether you will be using it for big or small applications. The WEN 4208 has a powerful and durable 5-pace induction motor that operates at 620 to 3100 RPM. The option of using any of the 5 speed (620, 3100, 2340, 1720, and 1100) enables users to match the machine’s capacity to the requirements of the job or project.

The motor runs on 1/3 HP actual induction, which makes it a suitable equipment even for the most resistive of supplies. The WEN 4208 comes with a two-inch spindle travel, which allows for precise results for long drilling requirements. The spindle travel has a linear level stop to make the drilling more manageable and precise. This feature allows you to stop and drill again without destroying the precision of the outcomes. Whether or not you are experienced in drilling, its linear level stop makes the attainment of precision easier.

While some owners seem to have difficulties with the use of the product, it is one of the reliable drilling equipment in the market for its powerful and long lasting motor suitable for a wide range of jobs. It is a suitable investment for noise-sensitive areas since it produces minimal noise, which is not available for other drilling resources. Its wide speed range accommodates different thicknesses and properties of the materials you are working on, making it a versatile drilling resource in your workshop. Read our detailed WEN 4208 Review.

Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press

This is a top pick drill press because it has all the traits of a good drill press, plus it’s more durable, more rigid, bigger, and has greater specs and capacities on top of meeting and exceeding the finer points of drill press quality. The Delta 18-900L is certainly the best bench drill press option available regarding cost-effectiveness because even though it’s expensive, it’s worth every penny due to its overall value.

It’s not perfect, though. It’s rather pricey exactly because it’s bigger and has more drilling power than all other top notch drill presses. In the end, it’s a worthwhile buy because it will last you a long time, which means it’s a long-term drill press investment when you think about it. This is why, hands down, the Delta 18-900L is the top drill press of the bunch. Certainly, its users all agree with that assessment, from Amazon.com reviews to professional construction workers. See Delta 18-900L Review here

SKIL 3320-01 Drill Press

The SKIL 3320-01 is a “more bang for your buck” kind of drill press that’s different from the Delta 18-900L because it’s affordable yet still delivers more than what its price might suggest. This is the best drill press for the money for sure.It’s not cheap; it’s inexpensively advantageous. It also features a laser alignment system like Delta that increases the accuracy of your drilling, particularly when you’re doing repetitive drilling work.

Yes, there are owners struggling with assembling it correctly. However, it still delivers the best value for your money. For something so affordable, you’ll acquire five speeds of drilling action (570 to 3,050 RPM) from a 3.2 amp motor, a work surface that can tilt from zero to forty-five degrees to the left or right, and a solid depth adjustment system.

It’s a must-buy not because of your savings but because of its quality drilling abilities. See SKIL 3320-01 Review here

JET 354165 JDP-15M Bench Drill Press

As for the JET 354165, this multi-legged device has high rigidness and weight at 150 pounds. You’re less likely to go out of alignment with this beast around. Many a bench drill press reviews would agree in regards to the quality of the JET 354165 drill press. There’s little run-out of the chuck plus the drilling is smoothly delivered when everything is said and done. It handles the toughest jobs with ease.

Then again, the JET 354165 does have issues when it comes to its lack of all the other advanced features that other drills in this list possess (like a laser guide to ensure accurate drilling every time). For what it is, it’s a good investment with solid specs and more speed variations than even the SKIL 3320-01 (it has 16 speeds that go from 200 to 3,630 RPM so that you can drill through many different surfaces with it). See JET 354165 Review here

Shop Fox W1668 Bench-Top Drill Press

This is the most “mobile” of the different drill press offerings featured in this review for sure. It’s small enough to fit in any workshop or garage, but its smallness doesn’t detract from its sheer power. According to multiple bench top drill press reviews, this is a sound investment. It can drill through any surface with sufficient power and capacity every time, thus making it a worthwhile drill press to buy for both DIY enthusiasts and the pros.

According to feedback from owners, some people have problems with the finish of the Shop Fox W1668. With that said, this is a minor aesthetic complaint that doesn’t in any way affect the drilling capabilities of this particular model of drill press. Regarding actual drilling capabilities, the Shop Fox W1668 can compete with the rest of the drill presses here, thus making it nigh pro-grade in overall performance. See Shop Fox W1668 Review here

Why should you have a drill press?

This fixed style of the drill is composed of an induction-motor-drive drill head, a spindle, a table, a column or pillar, and a base. In light of this, you’re given less effort to drill into workpieces compared to handheld drills. Indeed, this drill press review intends to cover not only the best drill presses around, but also why you need drill presses in the first place: Doing easier and faster work altogether is one of those reasons.

Another reason why you should get a drill press is stability. It’s easier to drill to workpieces precisely because a drill press has a base, plus the spindle and chuck are moved by a lever that works on a pinion and rack. In short, you’re given significant mechanical benefits in drilling, plus you’re left with little to no room for human error regarding alignment. The workpiece is clamped on tightly with a vise to restrain it as well.

Check out this amazing in-depth 6-minute clip on How to set up and use the drill press:

How to Search for the Perfect Drill Press?

To better help you with your drill press shopping, let’s take a look at the top then features to watch out for that every drill press model should have.

Solid Construction

If it needs assembly, have professionals assemble it. Even if it doesn’t, you should check it out carefully if the construction is solid or not, from its table to the head to the key chuck, and to the motor.Whether it’s for bench or floor drill press reviews, solid construction remains a valuable metric for gauging drill press quality. Everything must fit and move correctly. Nothing should be too loose or too tight. Everything should be stable from the beginning.

You should make sure that everything does what they’re advertised to do so that you can enjoy a lifetime of drilling value. A badly constructed drill press tends to deteriorate the most regarding precision. To be more specific, the drill isn’t able to precisely make holes on where you want it to drill holes because the clamp is loosened or certain parts aren’t working as well.Solid construction means more longevity from your drill press.

Drill Press Diagram

Ribbing

Ribbing is an important aspect of your drill press. The base and table are less likely to move around on the floor if it’s ribbed or at least rubberized, thus increasing friction between the floor and the base while ensuring a stable platform where you can do your drilling work. Lack of ribbing is what makes a drill press table less secure and can cause inaccuracy in drilling. Quality drilling needs quality ribbing on the base, just put. It also guarantees ultimate convenience and safety.

Ribbing is important because it makes the base more rigid and strong, no matter how much RPM you’re putting on the drill. Thus, the surface you’re attempting to put holes in won’t suddenly go all awry and create imperfect, imprecise holes that are a waste of wooden or metal sheets. Get a base that’s slotted too, because having ledges and slats on the sides makes it easier to clamp onto your workpiece.

Do watch this 7-minute clip explaining basic Drill Press Safety rules!

Flat Table

Use a ruler or some other measurement device as well as a piece of metal or wooden sheet to test how flat the table of your drill press is. A rough, uneven table means an inaccurate and ultimately poor job in drilling. All the stability, slats, and ridges in the world won’t matter if your sheets aren’t perfectly placed on an even table with no spaces in between because otherwise, discrepancies from drilling are all but unavoidable.

The table should also lie flat on the ground to also increase accuracy. The table from the base to the surface where you place your sheets for drilling should have perfect flatness and evenness. This is particularly the case when you’re doing repetitive work, and every last sheet should have the most precise holes on them or else your whole drilling project would be ruined. Having a bit of a leeway when it comes to adjusting the table helps in evening it out.

Cast Iron Head

Head in this context refers to the working mechanism part of the drill press that’s attached to the top of the device’s column. It’s one of the more integral parts of a drill press, and in turn, its most important component is its spindle. The best drill press for metal requires some heavy duty tools, like the right head. A cast iron head is perfect for the job because you’ll get to benefit from excellent protection and support.

A head that’s cast iron also ensures performance integrity of the drill press and the continued excellent long-term function of the pinion shaft, quill, and motor. The head has a spindle that revolves vertically and is placed at each end of a movable sleeve known as the sleeve. The cast iron material for the head ensures long-lasting work because it can take the repetitive wear-and-tear of the rack-and-pinion gearing that’s operated by the feed lever and moves the spindle downward over and over.

Key Chuck

You should expect a half-inch capacity geared chuck with a key with every typical drill press. Not all models have a key chuck since it’s an accessory, but if you can get a model that has one, do so. It’s because it’s quite handy in providing more grip on your work pieces. Look out for it in even the top models or buy one to add that much-needed stabilizing grip that’s the main focus on all drill press devices.

After all, more solidness and evenness means more accurate drilling no matter what speed or how much power you put into your drill. All the drill press models reviewed above enables accessories to fit directly into their geared chuck every time. You should be able to tighten the chuck with a key or a wrench instead of by hand for maximum mechanical tightness. Having you twist and turn the chuck leaves too much human error on the proverbial table.

Depth-Adjustment Gauge

Here’s another spec that ensures the accuracy of your drilling requirements. More to the point, you want control over the depth of the holes at times because not all holes should go all the way through a given workpiece. Sometimes it should only go so deep because your screws are only about a particular length, for example. You can also use this gauge to drill multiple holes at the same depth every time.

This eliminates guesswork from the equation when it comes to putting holes in a certain depth in whatever workpiece you want to be drilled. Precise and accurate drilling isn’t only about the solidness of your base or the evenness of your table so that it won’t wobble and ruin your drilling experience. You should also have control and accurate measurement of every hole you’re making. You can have room for error, sure, but this is nevertheless a good feature to have to not need that room for error more often than not.

Adjustable Motor Bracket Support

To have an adjustable motor bracket support means you have ways to adjust your drill to whatever workpiece surface it’s faced with, whether it’s wood, plastic, steel, and so forth. Adjustability allows you more control over how deep, how far, and how accurate your drilled holes are while avoiding any potential slip ups that can ruin your hole-drilling accuracy. It should also be sturdy enough to support your motor while having enough mobility for belt tension.

Your motor will also last longer if you have something included to give it enough support. This aspect of drill press maintenance enables you, the owner, to protect the motor and keep it from overworking itself from a massive battery of drilling work. You don’t have to floor the proverbial gas pedal and overwork your motor if you can adjust it and safeguard it from wear and tear with the proper motor bracket.

Ryobi Drill Press
Source: Pro Construction Guide

Various Speeds

Every surface requires a different kind of speed. You can go top speed every time to cut through everything, sure, but that will wear on your motor and can be overkill when dealing with the certain softer surface. You usually drill through ceramics, glass, plastic, wood, and metal. Drill too hard on ceramic and it cracks or crumbles. Drill too softly on metal and you can wear out your drill bit or make your motor receive unnecessary friction from drilling longer.

You should put the appropriate amount of speed on your drill when dealing with different surfaces. Some drills have five speeds, while others can go up to 16 speeds. Many drill presses even have guides on which surface requires which RPM. There are also drill presses that have a triple-pulley arrangement that allows you to select easily multiple speeds (the ballpark figure for this is from 250 RPM to 3,000 RPM). Speed ensures drill press versatility.

Learn how to adjust the speed of the drill press, from this 1:20 minute clip education video from WEN:

Replacement and Services

Your drill press will always receive a lot of wear and tear after prolonged usage. As such, even when it comes to jet drill press reviews, there’s a consensus on the value of replacement and services. Therefore, it’s best that you check out its warranty and guarantees so that you know you’re covered when it breaks down when the time comes.

To not end up searching for refurbished or aftermarket parts for your drill press model, you should make sure that your replacement and services agreement is on the up and up. Take note; a typical quality drill press is backed by a five-year warranty on top of a 30-day guarantee in case you received your equipment with factory errors.

Accessories

Accessories aren’t just limited to key chuck. You can also add sanding drums, abrasive sleeves, disk sanding, buffing wheels, polishing bonnets, extra clamps or vises, and lamp attachment to make your drilling experience with the drill press as effective and efficient as possible. There are manufacturers of drill presses out there that offer a full selection of branded accessories for you to use.

This enables you to avoid making makeshift arrangements so that you can get more out of your drill press’s abilities. For manufacturers who don’t have in-brand accessories, you might have to resort to third-party companies offering generic accessories that fit multiple types of drill presses in a one-size-fits-all manner or attachments specifically made to fit a model but isn’t endorsed by the maker of the model.

Take a look at this video, explaining key press accessories that improve the accuracy and versatility of your drill press:

Conclusion

When picking the best drill press around, you need to choose between high cost and high quality or cost-effectiveness so that you’re getting pound-for-pound the best value for your money. Go with the choice that makes the most sense with your budget. Also, when talking about quality and looking for the right drill press traits, it’s all about ensuring drill press longevity, stability, and accurateness.