When getting a drill press, do you know exactly what to look for so as not to make the wrong choice? Purchasing a drill press requires you to put down a hefty sum, so before investing any dime, you sure will want to know about the different drill presses on the market.
In this article, we have put together a list of bench presses that satisfy our needs, making them deserving to be put on the list; and these drill presses have been chosen based on different criteria. Let us help you shine the light on what the right tools are before you make that decision that just might be irreversible.
Best Drill Press – Quick Answer
- JET 354170
- Shop Fox W1848
- WEN 4227 For Metalworking
- JET 354210
- JET J-A2608-4
- Klutch 14 inches
- WEN 4214
- WEN 4210
Choosing the Best Drill Press
It doesn’t matter if you are a professional woodworker, a DIYer, or a backyard metal fabricator, the drill press can be of good use to you. But then, how do you know you are getting the right product?
Like anything in life where you need to make the right choice, there are things that need to be considered to make that happen, and below, we will be giving you things to consider.
First, what you need to do is examine why exactly you need a drill press.
And if you find that you cannot find an answer to that question, then it would be advisable that you go for the all-purpose machine. if at any time you have in mind to use it for a specific purpose, then you can look for more direct or specific features.
Some drill presses are good for work on metal materials, and some are good if you are working with wood. And when it comes to the jewelry or model maker, getting a large machine will make it hard to work, so in this case, you will want to go for something simpler.
The Size of the Drill Press
There are important factors to consider when it comes to the size, and these things you will want to look at are the throat, swing, and capacity. A drill press with 12 inches; anytime you see where the inches are being stipulated, what is are being referred to are the swing and capacity. Let’s help you figure out this works.
Swing (capacity) = throat multiplied by 2.
Throat is the distance between the column and the center if the spindle.
So, basically. What this means is that a drill press of 12 inches will drill to the center of a circle that is 12 inches wide. And this is how you know what size will meet your needs.
Other Things to Consider
There are other things you would need to consider before you make any purchase, and you would need to ask yourself these questions to do that:
How much space is available to me? By asking this question, you will take into consideration if you will be buying a bench model or a floor model.
What kind of electric service do I have available to me? Depending on where you might be working with this machine, whether in your garage or you home shop, this is if you will be working at home; you should be aware of the current and voltage rating in maps of the service outlet for whatever drill press you will be getting.
The very important aspect, not that every other aspect isn’t as important, but this is what determines what you will buy Vs what it is you want. And that is why this article is vital. We have drill presses on this list that come in different prices and specifications.
Best Drill Press Review
If you are already familiar with what it is they do with drill presses, then forge ahead, and read through this list. This list has been divided into two: the general list, and the other ones listed according to their brands. Let us get into this now, shall we?
WEN 4214-12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press
Even though you have a limited space to work on, this does not matter; this model, the WEN 4214- 12-Inch Drill Press is great for jobs that need to be done but lack the space needed.
One thing that sets this unit apart from the rest is that it has a transmission that has a great variable speed. This is something you won’t find in the many drill presses out there that don’t have huge prices slapped onto them.
The above listed features aren’t the only one that makes this tool the best pick on this list. It has other great features that other drill presses lack. They are:
- It has a locking depth stop
- Digital LED speed display
- 5/8 inches keyed chuck
- 3 – 1/8 spindle travel
- It comes with an X pattern laser guide
- Adjustable table roller extension
That is not all. Not only is this unit easy to use and its speed can be adjusted even while running. It has a ball-bearing induction motor that develops 2/3 HP, this can bore through heavy cast iron with a 5/8 inches bit.
Its speed can be adjusted from 580 RPM to 3,200 RPM. The table of this unit can be tilted 45 degrees in both directions.
JET 354170/JDP – 20 MF, 20 Inches
If you know that you will be doing some very serious drilling, then you should get the JET 354170, as it is the best candidate for the job.
Tougher projects need some torque, and this drill press model gives enough torque, with its 120/240 volts, 1 – ½ HP motor. As if that is not enough, the manufacturers of this model also gave it a ¾ inches chuck that enables you bring out the big bits.
It has spindle adjustments that give you 12 speeds from 150 – 4,200 RPM, and this allows it take whatever task you give it. With the quick release, tilting and rotatable work table features, you can manage it in about any position.
And its capacity?
It has a 20 inches capacity that can drill into a circle that is 20 inches wide. And if you know that you want to go further than 20 inches, then you will need to get a radial or an industrial model.
This piece isn’t even JET’s most expensive or even the largest model. But for that DIYer or a professional user, it is big enough. This unit requires you to change it manually, and it is relatively cheap. It handles nearly (if not all) projects.
Shop Fox W1848
This model is best for woodworkers. And in times past, finding a drill press that was good for woodworking wasn’t as easy as it is to find today.
This model can very easily, quickly, and tool-lessly be converted into an oscillating spindle sander. This type of sanding gives a very smooth finish on your workpiece, and this is made possible due to the reduced heat build-up. With its dual-purpose, just about any woodworker will want this in their shop.
The manufacturers of this model have provided small benchtop model of this drill press, but its added stability and capacity makes the floor model drill press a much better option. Its finishing operations can be tiresome and its 63 inches height is a back saver.
This machine is powered by a 120v, ¾ HP motor. Its 5/8-inch chuck is rotated at 250 – 3,050 RPM by its 12-speed transmission. You have enough reach for common drilling jobs with the 13 – ¼ inches of swing.
The Shop Fox W1848 model comes with sanding drums and a 2 inches dust port on the tilting table.
WEN 4227 13 AMP 12-SPEED, 17 INCHES
This drill press is best for metal work. You probably were expecting to see a magnetic drill press land on this spot, and in this article, what we consider are the non-ferrous materials like aluminum and brass, and this is why this model is listed.
To work with metal, you will need a few things, like: constant torque, a wide speed range, coolant or a lubricant. If your setup is unable to meet these requirements, you will encounter frustrating situations that you would rather avoid.
But the thing is that the WEN 4227 meets these criteria. You are given the option of selecting 12 speeds from 180 RPM to 2,940 RPM. There is a 13-amp, 120v induction motor that gives plenty of smooth power.
This model comes with a fluid collection channel around the edge of the table. This model also gives some extra features like: the ability to work light, a depth gauge, 5/8 inches chuck, 17 inches of full swing, 4 -3/4 -inches quill stroke. An X-shaped laser guide, and finally, a pivoting work table.
Hougen HMD904S 114-Volt Swivel Base
This model is great for a magnetic drill press. If you want to do steel fabrications, the magnetic drill press is the right tool for you. And the Hougen HMD904S is our top pick for this category because it works well for projects at home and also for production work.
Its drill press runs at 120 volts. It also has a chuck and an adapter that lets you use twist drills and specialized cutters. It is quite light when it comes to its weight, weighing less than the others, it weighs 28.9lbs.
There is a 5/8 inches slot drive arbor that is both solid and accurate, and it also allows for quicker cutter changes. It can accommodate cutters from 7/16 inches up to 1 – ½ inches and with a depth of cut of about 2 inches.
This unit has: a 2-stage magnet that gives a 30% increase in holding power once the motor is activated; this helps to reduce power consumption of the tool, it also aids easier adjustments before work begins.
There is also a coolant bottle, cutter and drill variety and chain, too.
MicroLux Benchtop Variable Speed Mini Hobby
This is the best featured small drill press. This small drill press makes you realize that small does not always equal inadequate. This tool is a precision tool that is made for some serious small work.
This machine allows you to calibrate the variable speeds in two ranges:
- Low: 0 to 3,600 RPM and
- High: 0 to 5,000 Rpm
This model’s wide speed range means that you can work with plastic without you having to melt it, and, also avoid chipping in wood. You have the ability to also set the proper speed for fast, clean drilling through several materials.
There is a pulse that has a modulation, and it maintains a constant torque throughout its entire speed range.
Its zeroing digital fiber lets you set your depth electronically via LCD readout for a precise, repeatable depth. Included is a sliding fence that helps maintain a perfect hole alignment.
The machine’s ball bearing spindle has a maximum travel of 1 – 9/16 inches.
Its base and headstock are made of cast iron for both durability and a stable weight. Its steel column prevents flexing.
For the custom electronics, jewelry, models, or just about any small-scale projects. With its precision and repeatable performance, it will give you that professional feel.
Shop Fox W1669
This is the best radial for the money. The makers of this machine have given us a machine with a top performance in a benchtop size package. And it comes at a reasonable price.
This model’s arm gives you a full 17 inches swing. You are able to angle the side spindle for angle drilling or horizontal boring because of the fact that the headstock pivots within the side collar. With its tilting table, almost any angle is achievable. You do not need to move your workpiece because you can lock the slide at any time.
Its ½ HP, 120v motor runs at a 5-speed transmission with a range of 550 RPM to 3,470 RPM. Its spindle travels at 3 ¼ inches with a threaded depth stop for repeatable operations.
There is a paddle switch that has a lock-out key for your safety. This drill press comes in at just a little over $300. Best value for the money.
Best Drill Press by Brands
Lots of people go after products that are made by big, popular brands, and that is why this section exists in this article.
Delta 18 – 900 L
The Delta brand has been a very popular brand for years and years when it comes to power tools. And this model, the Delta 18 – 900 L, is one that is to be reckoned with.
Its 18 inches, 16-speed belt drive floor drill press is one tough tool. It has a lot of space for both the big stuff and all the features that you would need to get the job done. It has a 6-inch stroke that lets you drill deeper than any other model in its category. It has a ¾ HP, 120v motor that gives plenty of power to its 5/8 inches chuck.
The model’s 20 inches by 14 inches tilting table keeps your work exactly where it needs to be, and there are features that are put in place to help keep it secure.
There are micro-adjustable depth stops and a movable scale that makes sure you have the accuracy and repeatability you need. Twin laser that are also adjustable are there to project a bright cross-hair target that gets rid of any guesswork. There is also a built-in, flexible LED light.
Due to its dual transmission and self-tensioning, its speed changes are easy and are quick. Speeds are selected from 170 RPM to 3,000 RPM in a matter of 16 steps. If what you need is a bulky, all-purpose drill press that will help maximize your productivity, this is one model to consider.
WEN 4227 13 Amp 12-Speed Floor Standing 17 inches
The manufacturers of this powerhouse have been in business for a very long time. This machine is a 17 inches, 12-speed, free-standing drill press. It has comes at 120v, with a 13-amp motor that powers a 3-spindle transmission that enables you to switch belts to 12 speeds from 180 RPM to 2, 940 RPM, making it one of the most flexible on the list.
There are other features that are included in this machine, and they are:
- A ball-bearing motor
- 5/8 inches chuck
- A heavy cast iron base
- Attached gooseneck work light
- An x-shaped laser alignment
- 4-3/4 inches stroke
- A 1-inch runoff channel to contain the coolant
- Its table tilts up to 45 degrees left or right
- 14 inches by 14 inches cast iron work table
- 26 inches maximum table to chuck distance
This machine was made with both safety and convenience in mind, and a lock switch with onboard storage for the chuck key.
The vast power and capacity make this model one of WEN’s top models on this list. But this machine’s speeds need to be manually set, it makes it all the more flexible.
It does nit matter it is that you are working with, whether it is metal or wood, plastic, or other materials, and whether you are drilling, mortising, or milling, this all-purpose drill press should do all the needed job.
You probably are familiar with this brand and the kind of power tools that it is they make, and their efficiencies and capabilities. This is a model that is big tool capacity fitted to a bench-sized platform. It has a radial arm which is another great feature.
The drill head can go as far as 17 inches from the column, and you can get more than twice the capacity of fixed-head bench models. You are also able to lock the arm travel at any time.
Its arm rotates at 360 degrees, making you able to work on larger stock placed on the bench or the floor. Its head rotates in the vertical axis, that gives you a flexible angle drilling. Its table also tilts, 90 degrees to both the left and the right.
It has a 5/8-inch chuck, 3 – ¼ degrees of spindle travel and 5 speeds with a motor that develops ½ HP to help you with most projects.
When you talk about industrial strength and a quick and easy operation, the JET drill is the one. This model helps you go through tough tasks, and it gives you the features you need to complete them.
It has a capacity drill press of 15 inches with a full 6 inches stroke. Its big, crank-adjusted table drops very far to allow for the handling of big stuff.
One great feature of this unit is its reduction gear-driven variable speed. Turn the hand wheel and keep a close look on the digital display so you can set it at 400 PM to 5,000RPM.
There is an easy-to-access stop that lets you match the depth for a repetitive drill. There is a 2 – ¼ inches quill that gives you accuracy and 3 inches column helps to reduce vibrations and flexes.
It is quite expensive, but with a drill press that is driven by a 230v/460v, 3 phase, 1HP motor, we think it is worth the price.
SKIL 3320 – 01
This is a fairly inexpensive and rugged power tool by the SKIL brand, and they have been in the business for a very long time.
This tool gives you just what you need to face the light to moderately heavy jobs with a pocket friendly price tag.
It has a 5-speed transmission, and its 120v, 3.2 A motor delivers speed from 720 RPM – 3,050 RPM that will handle a wide range of materials. If you need accuracy and repetitive production, these wouldn’t be an issue. With its depth stops, laser guide, and its 45 degrees of tilt table, you will always get it right.
Price and Budget
On a budget? There are drill presses that would require you to pay a hefty sum for their purchase, but on this list, we have put together drill presses that you can afford even though you are on a budget.
Note: This post was published on 6th of February, 2019. The prices might have changed as at the time you are reading
Best Drill Press Under $200
Just because you are on a budget doesn’t mean that you have to get a product that doesn’t have the quality you expect of it, and this machine gives all the great performances you would expect in a benchtop machine.
It has a cast iron frame and a 45-degree tilting, a crank-adjusted table and a great build. It also comes with a 2/3 HP 120v motor that powers a 5-speed transmission delivering 600 – 3, 100 RPM. A 5/8-inch chuck, 10-inch swing and 2-1/2-inch stroke, this is one heavily packed tool, and it costs less than $150.
Drill Press Under $300
WEN 4 227
This machine has a unique, mechanical variable speed and many other features like:
- An LED speed display
- A 12-inch capacity
- 580 – 3,200 RPM
- A tilting table with a roller extension
- 2/3 HP, and 120v motor
- 3 – 1/80-inch spindle travel with depth stop
- A laser guide
Klutch 14 inches Floor Mount Drill Press – 1HP, 12 Speed
A 14-inch drill press in this price range is surely hard to find, and this will work well for both a newbie and a professional. It comes with a 1HP, 120v motor and a 12-speed powertrain that gives from 340 RPM – 2,860 RPM. It also has a 5/8 inches chuck that provides it a drilling capacity of 1 – ¼ inch. It also drills deep at 3 – ¼ -inch stroke.
It has a 45 degrees tilting table, a flexible work LED light, a depth stop, and a chuck key storage.
If you need an extreme torque, and one at a low speed, this is the machine to go for. This tool is able to handle tough work like reaming, chamfering, and counterboring with precision and power. Its helical gears give a smooth, quiet performance at eight spindle speeds (that you can adjust). It has a 440v, 3-phase motor driving force.
This model’s huge table has two T-slots and coolant that prevent waste and dangerous spills. The quick-release ejector makes bit changing quite easy. The safety latch keeps the head from dropping once the clamp is released.
JET 354210/JDP-20EVS (230V), 20-Inch
This tool operates at 230V, 2HP, 3-phase motor. It has a gearhead that has a speed range of 65 RPM – 2,000 RPM. Its speed is electronically variable with an LED readout that is found on its panel.
With its 230V, 2HP, 3-phase motor and 65 RPM – 2,000 RPM, you can countersink, mill, drill, polish, and tap. The features don’t just end here, there’s more; it has a coolant system, a trough and drain in the table, a flexible, precision feed tube, and a collection well and pump in the base.
When it comes to safety, it has an emergency stop button.
Our top pick for the best drill press, is the JET 354170/JDP-20MF. It has a capacity of 20 inches, a ¾ inches chuck, and a 12-speed transmission, making it able to handle any material. This floor model also has a 1 – ½ HP, 112V/240V motor than gives more than enough power.
This machine will drill cast iron for up to 1-inch thick or mild steel up to ¾ inches, and it has a speed range of about 150 RPM to 4,200 RPM, capable of handling wood, plastic, and also non-ferrous materials, with great precision.
Its work table is one of the largest you will ever see on the market at 18 ½ inches by 16 inches.
It doesn’t matter of you are a skilled person or a beginner, this will meet your unique needs.