Best Drill Press for Woodworking Reviewed
Odds are, you probably already have a drill, so why should you invest in a drill press?
For starters, a drill press is far more accurate than a handheld drill. Perfect for carrying out repetitive drilling operations, a drill press will allow you to complete woodworking projects more efficiently and with greater precision.
The best drill press for woodworking will depend on the type of work you want to do. For example, if you typically take on large projects that require more height capacity, a floor drill press might be a better choice for you than a benchtop drill press.
We have put together our favorite drill press reviews and go over each of the models in our roundup below, but for those of you in a hurry here is a quick comparison of the drill presses in our review:
Best Drill Press For Woodworking
To help you choose the right tool for your specific needs, we’ve reviewed the five best drill presses for woodworking available.
The WEN 12-inch variable speed drill press is ideal for the home handyman looking to improve the accuracy and precision of their work. The drill delivers equal torque throughout its entire speed range, which can be set anywhere between 580 and 3200 RPMS.
For additional accuracy, a spindle travel of 3-1/8” with locking linear depth stop lets you repeat the same exact drilling operation as many times as you need to.
The adjustable cast iron worktable measures 9-1/2 x 9-1/2”, and a table roller extension adds up to 17 inches of support for the piece you’re working on. Other features include a 5/8-inch keyed chuck, cast iron base, and beveling worktable.
Reasons to buy:
- Easy assembly: This variable speed drill press practically comes ready to use right out of the box. With easy to follow instructions, assembly is a breeze – you can have it up and running in less than 20 minutes.
- Mechanical variable speed: The WEN’s variable speed feature makes it easy to adjust the drill’s speed without having to manually move belts. With the turn of a lever, you can target an exact speed between 580 and 3200 RPMS and see the number displayed on the digital LED readout.
- Laser precision: A bright onboard work light and accurate laser ensures maximum drilling precision.
- Powerful motor: The WEN’s 5 amp induction motor can handle a variety of materials with ease, including wood, metal, and glass.
- Manual tilt adjustment: To tilt the table, you’ll need to manually loosen a nut. While the drill comes with a wrench for this purpose, some people find this extra step to be an annoyance, especially if you need to change the angle frequently.
- Infinitely variable speed ranges from 580-3200 RPMS. Mechanical variable speed delivers equal torque throughout the range. LED read out displays speed.
- Spindle Travel of 3-1/8" with easy to read, locking linear depth stop for accurate and repeatable drilling operations. Front to the back of the motor is 22 inches
- Quill diameter of 2.17 inches. Durable 2/3hp induction motor develops ample torque and power. Motor: 120 V, 60 Hz. Laser Module: Class III
- 9-1/2 x 9-1/2" cast iron worktable features rack & pinion height adjustment and bevels up to 45 Degree left & right. Width with the handles: 14-1/2"
- Includes drill press, mechanical variable speed, laser, table roller extension, 5/8" keyed chuck & key, tools for assembly.Drill press Height from the Floor to the top: 37 inch
The SKIL 3320-01 is a small benchtop drill press that would make a great addition to any small workshop. With 5 variable speeds between 750 and 3050 RPM and a ½” keyed chuck, it’s suitable for a variety of projects.
The cast iron work table tilts from 0 to 45 degrees, and a laser allows for higher precision work. Additional features include an adjustable depth-stop and height adjustable cast iron work table that measures 7-5/8 x 7-5/8 inches.
Reasons to buy:
- Great value: For the level of quality you get from this small drill, the price is hard to beat. There’s no noticeable wobble, the motor runs quietly, and the drill operates smoothly.
- High precision: For a tool designed for home and hobby use, the SKIL is surprisingly precise. The 2-beam laser is accurate and makes precise drilling operations a breeze.
- Quiet motor: One of the most common complaints people have about their drill press is the sound from the motor, but the SKIL 3320-01 is exceptionally quiet, even when operating at a higher RPM.
- Unreliable depth stop: Some people have reported problems with the SKIL’s depth stop function because the instructions aren’t very clear about how to use it. While it works, there is a bit of a learning curve involved.
- 1/2-Inch keyed chuck. Bump-off switch for added safety
- 5 Speeds - 570 - 3,050 RPM
- Adjustable depth stop for accurate measurements and repetitive drilling
- 0-45 Degree Left/Right Tilting Work Surface
- Laser X2 2-beam laser for precise hole alignment
The Craftsman 10-inch benchtop drill press is a reliable tool from a trustworthy brand. This affordable drill press comes uses a 110 V, 60 Hz motor to smoothly drill through a variety of materials. There are five variable speeds ranging from 620 to 3100 RPM.
The table height is easy to adjust thanks to a rack and pinion elevation system. Other features include a scaled steel fence, stop block, ½” keyed chuck, and guiding laser for extra precision.
Reasons to buy:
- Sturdy and stable: Solidly built, the Craftsman drill press is stable and drills smoothly. Sitting perfectly flat, the table doesn’t move side to side at all.
- High accuracy: The built-in LED light is bright and the laser guide is easy to adjust, allowing you to drill with greater accuracy. Once the laser position is set, you can trust that it won’t move out of adjustment, making it easy to precisely align your work.
- Rack and pinion table elevation: The elevation of the Craftsman’s worktable is easy to adjust, and the rack and pinion system ensures each adjustment is highly accurate.
- Misleading amperage: While product descriptions for this Craftsman drill press sometimes boast a 6 amp motor, it actually has a 3.2 amp motor.
- Solid steel and cast iron construction
- Spindle travel 2.44 in.
- Item ca't ship to AK, HI or PO Box
- Cast iron table with roller extensions
The WEN 4210 packs some of the best features of a large industrial floor drill press into a compact, 10-inch benchtop drill press. You can choose from five speeds between 600 and 3100 RPM to drill holes as deep as 2-1/2 inches.
The WEN’s 7-5/8” x 7-5/8” cast iron worktable is sturdy and easy to adjust by crank to whatever height you need. Other useful features include a work light, laser, and storage for the key to the ½-inch chuck.
Reasons to buy:
- Sturdy base: With a base made from solid cast iron, the unit is solid and sturdy enough so that the drill press runs smoothly and quietly.
- Accurate depth stop: The depth stop is accurate and easy to use, always hitting solidly at the set depth.
- Convenience: The WEN 4210 drill press is incredibly simple to set up and start using. Very little assembly is required, and even manually adjusting the belt to change the speed of the drill is a quick and painless process.
- Laser adjustment: Out of the box, the laser is not accurately adjusted to the contact point. Keep in mind that you’ll need to manually adjust it before you start working.
- Includes: drill press, class II 1mW laser, 1/2" keyed chuck & key, tools for assembly
- Adjust between five speeds from 600 to 3100 RPM
- Spindle travel of 2-1/2” with easy to read, locking linear depth stop for accurate and repeatable drilling operations
- Durable 3.2-amp motor provides ample torque and power
- 7-5/8 x 7-5/8" cast iron worktable features rack & pinion height adjustment and bevels up to 45 degrees left & right
The WEN 4208 is a great simple drill press at an extremely affordable price. Don’t underestimate its small size – this little press packs a pretty decent punch. The 120 volt, 60 Hz motor delivers consistently smooth performance even at the highest speed setting.
You can tackle a variety of different projects and materials with the WEN’s five adjustable speeds that range from 740 to 3140 RPM. The 6-1/2 x 6-1/2” adjustable worktable tilts 45 degrees left or right, giving you extra flexibility. And with built-in key storage for the WEN’s ½-inch keyed chuck, you’ll never have to worry about losing it ever again.
Reasons to buy:
- Great price: Priced under $100, the WEN combines affordability with quality, making it perfect for homeowners and hobbyists who need a drill press for light-duty wood and metal work.
- Compact design: Measuring just 7.5 x 22.9 x 11 inches, this drill press is incredibly easy to move and store, making it the perfect solution for smaller workspaces. And unlike a bulky floor drill press that takes time to set up, this handy little press is always ready to go.
- Durability: For a small benchtop drill press, the WEN is surprisingly tough. Made from solid high-quality metal, it will last you much longer than a drill press made with cheap plastic.
- Top heavy: This particular WEN model is slightly top heavy. To prevent it from moving around while you work, you’ll need to bolt this drill press to your workbench before you start.
- Includes a 1/2-inch keyed chuck and onboard key storage
- Operates at 5 different speeds: 740, 1100, 1530, 2100, 3140 RPM
- Spindle travels up to 2 inches with easy to read, locking linear depth stops for accurate and repeatable drilling operations.Cord Length (ft.):6
- Durable 1/3 HP induction motor develops ample torque and power
- 6-1/2 x 6-1/2" worktable is height adjustable and bevels up to 45 degrees left & right
Drill Press Video
Here is a YouTube video explaining the basics of using a drill press:
Take Your Woodworking to the Next Level
We hope that our reviews help you find the best drill press for woodworking that meets your unique needs. Just remember that no matter what type of drill press you end up choosing, you can always expect higher accuracy, efficiency, and precision from this powerful tool.
Buying Guide: What to Look For
Being on the hunt for the best drill press is extremely frustrating. The best benchtop drill press or floor drill press will be able to drill cylindrical holes into pieces of wood. Sounds simple right? But not all drill presses are accurate, nor are they easy to use.
Before making a purchase, we recommend following this buying guide so that you know exactly what to look out for and what features are important. We hope our buying guide helps you choose the right drill press for you!
A drill press is a stationary power tool that is placed either on a work table or on the floor. It is designed to drill precise holes into metal and wood. Drill presses are made of mostly metal and have a strong and robust metal drill.
In order for the drill press to have precision drilling abilities and be an overall long-lasting and handy piece of equipment, it should have all or most of the following features;
1. Laser guides
Not all drill presses come with laser guides already attached to the drill; however, high-quality drill presses will allow for laser guides to be attached to the drill press. Laser guides help you access your workpiece accurately. They ensure that holes are drilled in the desired location as precisely as possible.
2. Speed settings
As you can imagine, metal, wood, and plastic will all require different drilling speeds and pressure to drill through the material. Drill presses should have at least three drill speeds; low, medium, and high.
The first speed setting is appropriate for driving screws as it has low speed and high torque; the second setting is brilliant at driving as it has medium speed and torque. Finally, the third setting should be used to drive fasteners. A sharp drill press will be able to work at high speeds and low speeds and get from 0 to a speed of 3050 rpm without struggling.
3. Metal drill bit
If you need to drill through tough metals such as steel, regular drill bits will not have the ability to do so. Ensure that the drill press you wish to buy is compatible with the drill bits you require for your upcoming projects.
4. Adjustable depth stop
Drill presses have adjustable depth stops that help you drill to the depth you require. Some drill presses have such fussy and hard to set depth stops that users don’t even bother trying to set the depth. Make sure that the adjustable depth stop on the drill press that you are looking into is easy to control and runs smoothly.
Cast iron bases are the most sought after when it comes to drill press bases. Some heavy materials will damage flimsy drill press bases, so going for a sturdy and durable base is essential.
Drill Press Size
Benchtop drill presses come in an array of sizes. If you are unsure which size you need, always go for a drill press that is on the larger size. Small jobs can be done on a large drill press, but large jobs can not be performed on small drill presses; therefore, you should go a size up.
Drill presses can be purchased at prices as low as $100, or at prices as high as $1,000. That is why setting yourself a budget is essential to prevent you from getting carried away. Obviously, a $100 drill press will not have all of the required features to complete professional jobs, so that is why understanding what drill press features are important to you is crucial.
Regardless of whether your drill press is for home improvements or professional use, you want it to be as powerful as possible. The more powerful a drill press is, the easier it drills through every material. Look out for how much horsepower a drill press has to understand how powerful it is. ⅓ HP is a respectable horsepower rating.
There are plenty of safety rules surrounding power tools in general, and drill presses are no exception. You should never run a drill press above or below the recommended RPM for the drill bit, and the drill bit should always be appropriate for the material you are drilling. Here are a few more safety rules that you should follow:
- You must clamp your work securely to the drill table. Failing to do so could result in your work becoming damaged, or worse, you getting injured.
- Brush off chips and sand down uneven bits of wood or metal.
- Lower the drilling pressure and speed as you progress. When the drill is close to the other end of the material, slow the drill right down.
- Cleaning the machine regularly is extremely important, but it should never be done while the drill press is on.
- Inspect the drills for any cracks before drilling. If the drill is cracked or dull, remove and replace it.
- Once the drill press is turned off, the drill will keep turning until it eventually comes to a full stop. You should never try and stop the drill, as this will seriously injure you. Instead, let the drill stop on its own.
- Some plastics are incredibly brittle and hard to drill. These plastics require special drill bits and coolants in order to keep the material intact. If you are faced with drilling such plastics, ask for assistance and advice.
Of course, there are many more safety steps and procedures to perform when working with a drill press. The above are only a handful, and great care should always be taken when using a drill press.
Size and Weight
Is the drill press going to stay stationary in a workshop, or do you need to take it with you to job sites? Size and weight are almost as important as performance as they affect how easy and convenient the drill press is for you to move and use.
Q: What is a drill press good for?
A: Drill presses are benchtop power tools that are designed to drill precise holes into wood, metal, and other materials. They are known for their precision and help get work completed faster than manual drilling.
Q: What is the best benchtop drill press?
A: The Delta 18-900l is one of the best drill presses on the market. It has a built-in laser and other high-quality features.
Q: What is a quill lock on a drill press?
A: The quill lock is situated on the side of the drill press. It is a rather simple feature and essentially allows you to lower the drill on to the wood or metal. Once the drill has been lowered, it can be locked in place.
Q: Can a drill press be used as a mortiser?
A: yes, it can be!
Q: What speed should I drill Steel?
A: The recommended SFM for steel is between 40-50 SFM.
Q: What are the safety rules for using a drill press?
A: There are lots of safety precautions to take when using a drill press. We have covered a few of them in the above safety section.
Q: What is the most important drill press feature?
A: An easily accessible ‘on/off’ button is probably the most important feature for safety and ease of use.