Drill press machines also dubbed as drilling machines are handy tools for a myriad of different applications and industries. Similar to hand drills, drill presses are designed to bore holes in hard surfaces but are a fixed version with a workable underneath.
Drill press machines offer a plethora of advantages over their hand drill counterparts, starting with superior accuracy. It has the ability to drill holes at precise angles (usually 90-degrees), and of identical size, depth, and position into the workpiece.
Drill press machines are available across two common types — benchtop tool and freestanding floor tool, and in an array of brands. Given this wide assortment of choices, buying the best drill press can be a bit tricky. But we’ve done the homework, and narrowed down on 5 best drill presses that won’t disappoint you on the shop floor.
1. DEWALT (DWE1622K) Drill Press Review
The DEWALT (DWE1622K) slots in at the #1 position on this list of best drill presses for several reasons, starting with its onboard robust 10-amp motor. This powerful motor couples with its two-speed settings make the DEWALT (DWE1622K) drill press a great choice for a variety of applications at home or in the shop.
The DWE1622K benchtop drill press by DEWALT measures 22.44 x 6.5 x 19.29 inches, and tips the scales at a little over 47 lbs, making it highly portable, and easy to use for both novice and seasoned DIYers. It features an integrated quick-change chuck system, which allows you to easily switch between 3/4″ Weldon Shank and 1/2″ keyed chuck.
Further, it comes with a magnetic coolant bottle, which can be placed on either side of the work surface or the tool. The cooling tank is designed to offer better control and help you regulate the flow of the cooling fluid.
The DEWALT DWE1622K drill press features 4-3/8-inch travel, which enhances its capacity to be used for a wide range of applications. Adding to this, the motor of the DWE1622K DEWALT drill press can be adjusted, making it more compatible with other accessories.
In terms of safety, the DWE1622K drill press doesn’t fall short with overload protection, which protects the motor from damage. It comes with everything you need to get started right out of the box including a safety chain, a height adjustment tool, and a kit box. The DEWALT DWE1622K drill press is backed by a three-year warranty against any manufacturer warranty.
- Lightweight and compact
- 3-year manufacturer warranty
- Overload protection
- Quick change chuck system
- 4-3/8-inch travel
- 10-amp motor
- 2 speed settings
- Slope in the quick change collet may flop when drilling horizontally
2. SKIL 3320-01 Review
The SKIL 3320-01 slots in at the #2 position on this list of best drill presses owing mostly to its rich set of features. It is an ideal choice for weekend woodworkers and professionals or anyone looking for much better precision compared to a handheld drill.
The SKIL 3320-01 benchtop drill press is a factory equipped with a laser, which enhances precise hole alignment. Further, it comes with a depth adjustment system, which is designed to help you drill down consistently every time you use the tool.
The SKIL 3320-01 drill press features five speeds to choose from, so you can cut neatly through the wood, metal, and other materials. It features a tiltable work surface, which can be adjusted and locked into place between 0 and 45-degrees.
Speaking of which, the tiltable work surface of the SKIL 3320-01 drill press machine supports larger pieces of material and is fitted with a 1/2-inch keyed chuck, making it easier to work with larger bits for cutting or woodworking.
The SKIL 3320-01 drill press measures 21.75 x 15.25 x 9.75 inches, features a 10-inch center drill, and rests sturdily on a 7-5/8-inch table. It is cSAus certified and comes with a cast iron base and work table, one chuck key, and two AA batteries.
To top things off, the SKIL 3320-01 drill press is protected by a three-year limited warranty when you register the product within 30 days after purchase.
- 5 speeds
- Onsite laser X2
- 0-45-degrees left and right tiltable work surface
- 1/2-inch keyed chuck
- 3-year manufacturer warranty
- Setup may be a bit challenging for beginners
3. WEN 3959 Drill Press Review
If you need a drill press and a band saw, the WEN 3959 combo is worth a second look. It comes with both a drill press and a planner, so you can tackle a wide range of applications.
The drill press included in the box can be adjusted between five different speeds from 740 RPM to 3140 RPM. The spindle of the WEN 3959 drill press can travel up to two inches and features an easy to read, locking linear depth that stops in its tracks for accurate and repeated drilling.
It is powered by a durable 1/3 HP induction motor, which is engineered to produce a high amount of torque and power. The WEN 3959 drill press is equipped with a rather large 6-1/2 x 6-1/2″ work table, which can be adjusted for height, and bevels up to 45-degrees to the right and left.
Getting to the band saw, it is powered by a 2.5 amp motor, and can create cuts up to 3-1/2 inches deep and 9 inches wide. It is compatible with any 59-1/2 inch blades that measure between 1/8 to 3/8 inches and is equipped with a large 2-1/4 x 11-7/8 work table, which bevels up to 45-degrees.
The WEN band saw comes with a rip fence, 1/4-inch-wide blade, a 2-1/2 inch dust port, a miter gauge, and is backed by a two-year manufacturer warranty.
- Includes drill press and band saw
- 2-inch spindle travel – drill press
- 1/3 HP induction motor – drill press
- 5 speeds – drill press
- 2.5 amp motor – band saw
- Cuts up to 3-1/2 inches deep and 9 inches wide – band saw
- Limited to 1 color option
4. WEN 4214 Drill Press Review
The WEN 4214 drill press is one of the top-selling models from the company for several reasons, starting with its variable speed ranges from 580 to 3200 RMPS. Adding to this, the spindle of the 4214 drill press can travel 3-1/8″, and features an easy to read locking linear depth stop for superior accuracy and repeatable drilling operations.
The WEN 4214 drill press features a 2.14-inch quill diameter and is powered by a class-leading and highly durable 2/3hp induction motor. This motor is engineered to generate a high amount of torque and offers long service life.
Adding to its long list of features is a factory-fitted worktable, which is made from cast iron, and measures 9-1/2 x 9-1/2″. The table can be extended up to 17-inches, making it easier to work with larger workpieces.
The WEN 4214 drill press features a pinion height adjustment system and can bevel up to 45-degrees both to the left and right.
Furthermore, it is fitted with 14-1/2″ handles and an LED readout that displays the current speed. The WEN drill press comes with a 5/8-inch chuck complete with an MT2 spindle taper, which collectively makes it compatible with a wide range of drill bits.
It is appointed with an X-pattern laser, which can be locked onto your drill points, so there’s no guesswork to deal with. Apart from the integrated laser, the WEN 4214 drill press also comes with a work light, which allows you to work with optimal visibility and precision.
- Mechanical variable speed
- Depth adjustment gauge
- Laser precision
- Cast iron base
- Work light
- Digital speed readout
- Table roller extension
- Does not come fully assembled
5. WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press Review
Coming in at the 5th position on this list of best drill presses is another hit model from WEN. The WEN 4208 drill press is powered by a 120V, 60Hz motor, which generates an impressive 1/3 horsepower. It features an eight-inch swing, making it an ideal choice to tackle small to medium size jobs.
The 4208 drill press by WEN is fitted with a generously sized 6-1/2 x 6-1/2″ worktable, which can be adjusted for the right height, and bevels up to 45-degrees. The spindle of the WEN 4208 drill press can travel up to two inches and features an easy to read locking linear depth stops, which provide a high level of accuracy.
The WEN 4208 drill press can be operated at five different speeds — 740, 1100, 1530, 2100, 3140 RPM, and comes with a 1/2-inch keyed chuck and onboard storage. It rests well on a sturdy cast iron base, which features bolt keyholes to mount the drill press to a bench of your choice.
- 120V, 60Hz motor/1/3 horsepower
- 80-inch swing
- 6-1/2 x 6-1/2″ worktable
- 5 different speeds
- 1/2-inch keyed chuck
- Sturdy cast iron-based with bolt keyholes
- Lacks work light
Drill Press Buying Guide
A drill press is a versatile tool in that it can be used to drill holes in both wood and metal, and can also be used to bore waste out of large mortises. Buying a drill press can be a big-ticket purchase, but here are a few factors to consider to ease your buying decision.
What Are The Various Types of Drill Presses?
When on the shopping trail for the best drill press, you will come across two different types — floor drill presses and bench drill presses. Floor drill presses just as the name would suggest are designed to stand alone and are a great choice for jobs that require high horsepower, professional, and heavy-duty jobs.
Bench drill presses are designed to be secure atop a bench, and generally boast a compact footprint compared to floor drill presses, and are a great choice for smaller jobs.
What are You Going to Use the Drill Press For?
We mentioned earlier that drill presses can be used for drilling holes in wood or metal, but there are some tools in this segment that can be used for sanding jobs as well. certain models can be fitted with several accessories such as a spindle sander, which allows you to sand an array of curved cuts. Some models are compatible with mortising chisels to make square cuts or other shapes.
What is a Drill Press Swing?
When looking to buy the best drill press, the words swing size will crop up often. This is basically the distance from the column to the center of the bench chuck (where the drill bit is held). This total distance is then multiplied by two to determine the swing size of the respective drill press.
Most drill press manufacturers list the swing size of the model on the box, so you won’t have to figure it out yourself. It is important to determine the swing size you need before buying a drill press, as it dictates how large of a workpiece it can accommodate.
For example, a 12-inch swing size will allow you to drill up to 6-inches away from the edge of the workpiece. Drill presses with larger swing sizes are more expensive but allow you to perform myriad different tasks.
Drill presses are powered by motors, and ones that offer high horsepower will let you tackle a wide range of jobs with ease. If you’re going to be drilling larger holes or working with tougher materials, buy a drill press that comes with high horsepower. But there’s no point going overboard and buying a drill press with high horsepower when there are 1+ horsepower models that work well for smaller drilling jobs.
If you’re going to be tackling metal tasks, slower speed should get the job done, but you will a drill press with faster speed for wood. Most of the best drill presses come with speed adjustment, which lets you set the desired speed with the flick of an onsite switch.
Spindle Travel (Quill Stroke)
This is the distance the chuck and bit can travel downwards before they bottom out. You should buy a drill press that offers a quill stroke longer than 4-inches.