The common drill press probably doesn't get as much love and attention as more commonly used tools in a workshop like the average hammer, saw or power drill. For the times when you do need the depth and precision of a press, however, having the right one makes all the difference. Drill presses come in all shapes and sizes, with almost as many features to filter through. If you want to find the right one for your needs, you will have to start thinking about what types of hobby or professional... projects for which you will need a drill press.
Like many power tools, most drill presses come in a variety of speeds and drilling depths. Cheaper options tend to offer slower speeds with a smaller degree of control. If you go for an expensive, professional option, the drill will usually be faster with more control available to you. The size of the press is also an important consideration. Many are small enough to fit on a workshop table, but maybe too small for thicker materials or deeper holes. For the ultimate flexibility, consider a floor drill press that can fit in the corner of a workspace or room without taking up additional table space. These options also usually drill deeper, up to a common 18-20in range.
Check out the eight best drill presses to help you decide which one is best for you.
01 of 08
It is all too easy to find the wrong drill press for your needs while shopping. Plenty of options promise the power you need for most construction projects but fail to deliver when needed. The WEN 12" Variable press is designed to skip the overselling and simply offers a powerful, straightforward drill press for your shop. With a maximum speed of 3200 RPM and variable speed dial, the power and control this top choice press offers is clear.
The benefit of a variable speed dial is you can... change the speed while maintaining the same power and torque you may need for denser materials. Using high-quality bearings and a rigid frame, the body of this drill press will resist heavy abuse while extending the life of the inner workings of the power tool. If you need a drill press you can count on to work time and time again, this option is hard to beat.
02 of 08
High performance drill presses may be too much for common hobby or weekend projects around the garage. If you need the precision of a reliable press without the high speed, high torque capability, the Shop Fox W1667 is a top alternative for the average DIYer. The half horsepower motor is more than adequate for typical materials such as wood or soft metals. A depth stop allows you to set the target depth so you don’t go over into space you need to preserve.
The drill press can also do double duty... as a drum sander. A 7" x 7" working table provides a stable platform for flat pieces you need to work with. The table also tilts for sanding contoured surfaces with the drill’s sand drum kit.
03 of 08
Good budget drill presses are hard to find since most options either skip on the performance or build quality you may need. A high quality, name brand option like the Dremel 220-01, however, adds value without the expense. This drill press fits into the category of “small but mighty.” The workstation screws into a worktable for stability without taking up too much valuable space.
For the price, you actually get one of the most flexible drill presses available. The flex shaft attachment works with... the drill to allow you to rotate the head for angled holes up to 90 degrees horizontal. A tool holder and router mount extend the capabilities of this press, enabling other work such as plunge routing and sanding/grinding to be done all in one workstation.
04 of 08
If you don’t mind giving up some performance and control out of a drill press, the WEN 4208 is an excellent budget alternative that won’t break the bank. The press sacrifices the more flexible variable control dial for a five speed switch that extends all the way to 3140 RPM. The 1/3 horsepower motor will get the job done on small to medium jobs and common construction materials.
A cast iron base securely mounts to most worktables for a sturdy, stable hold. The included 6.5" x 6.5"... beveling table is small but flexible, allowing you to tilt the drilling surface up to 45 degrees for angled drilling. The slots in the table are even large enough to accommodate mounting clamps and vises to secure the drilling surface to the table while tilting.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
A variable speed dial allows you to tweak and refine the motor’s performance while working with different materials. Since some surfaces are denser than others, it’s important to have as much control as possible if you plan on working with a large variety of materials. General International 75-010 M1’s variable speed motor is one of the most capable platforms you can buy without spending extra cash on professional models. While slower than other presses on this list, the 3000 Max RPM motor will... handle most common jobs.
The extra degree of flexibility this press offers comes from the spring loaded hand lever you use to control the speed. This setup creates a tactile sense of control as you work. Speed up the motor by increasing the pressure or lay off as you begin to feel the drill chew away underneath. For deeper drilling, this feature is also handy if you need to adapt to changing densities that some materials like knotted woods can present.
06 of 08
For portability, you probably think of handheld power drills. While these are the go-to choice for hobbyists and professionals alike, most power drills lack the precision some jobs require. When you need an additional guide, a lightweight option like the Lukcase Floor Drill is needed. What makes this press portable? It does away with the drill.
Instead of forcing you to lug around a dedicated drill, this press allows you to secure your existing power drill into a tight, rotating clamp. This clamp... holds the drill along the metal rail, giving you the finer degree of precision you need without the extra weight. The clamp rotates from 0 to 90 degrees, so you can even precision drill on vertical surfaces if you can place the press in the correct position.
07 of 08
A dedicated floor drill press offers the most in terms of professional capability and features. The Delta 18-900L is a top-of-the-line option that maximizes the power, control, and durability you can have out of a drill press. If you have a dedicated workshop or professional projects, this type of drill is an investment that will last you a long time.
Many professionals prefer floor drills since they don’t take up table space and, in fact, typically offer larger work surfaces underneath the... drill. The 18-900L includes a 20x28in worktable that bevels up to 90 degrees left or right. The 6" drill stroke is ideal for industrial applications or projects where larger parts such as 4' x 4' wood beams are common. The extra stroke length means you can drill deeper without having to make additional holes on the other side to connect.
08 of 08
Drilling through metal is a different experience than working with woods or plastics. Since metal densities vary, you need a drill press that is highly adaptable for different types of metal. The Milwaukee Electromagnetic drill press specializes in drilling through steel or similar metals with a variable speed controlled motor and 11" drill travel.
Since most metal surfaces are larger than common wood beams and sheets, the Milwaukee Electromagnetic is designed with portability in mind. The... magnetic base will firmly secure the whole press onto any flat, ferrous metal surface. You can even mount this drill upside down when drilling while on auto, aviation, or marine projects. Whether your needs are small or large, this press is the best choice for anything related to metal drilling.
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