Out of the various table drilling machines that we found, we picked the WEN 4208 8-Inch 5 Speed Drill Press as the best drill press due to its various helpful features, convenient setup and easy price range.
But for those who want something more heavy duty, you might need the WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press which is slightly taller than the 8-inch albeit almost the same features with a few additions, but pricier.
However, if you just want a budget solution for a drill press or just a small accompaniment machine then the Hardware Factory Store 2 Way 4-Inch Drill Press X-Y Compound Vise Cross Slide Mill should work just fine.
The Best Drill Press: WEN 4208 8-Inch 5 Speed Drill Press
We picked WEN 4208 8-Inch 5 Speed Drill Press as the best drill press because of many features. It is an 8 inch drill press where you can be able to choose from 5 different speeds from a 620 to 3100 RPM range. The 1/2 inch keyed chuck and assembly tools make your drilling easier. It also comes with a 2 inch spindle travel.
When it comes to depth control, the linear depth stop is locking and easy to read so you will be safer on using the drill press. The 1/3 hp induction motor is durable and powerful and can withstand a lot of drilling in the long run. Durability is not an issue here because the cast iron which measures 6 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches is very much able to bevel up to 45 degrees, both right and left. Overall, the WEN 4208 8-Inch 5 Speed Drill Press is a greatly recommended feature-packed and priced balanced drill press for any worker.
Step-up Pick: WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press
Step-up Pick: WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press
A bigger step up the game is the WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press which is a 12 inch drill press. It is roughly a similar model to our first pick, but has bigger build and better features. For instance, its speed range varies from 580 to 3200 RPM and it has a 3 1/8 inch spindle travel. It can make up to a 45 degree bevel.
The 9 1/2 by 9 1/2 inch cast iron is highly durable and significantly bigger than our first pick, so it is built for heavier jobs. There is also an LED speed display for the user’s convenience. It also comes with a 5/8 inch keyed chuck and comes with tools for assembly. Last but not the least, the 2/3 hp induction motor is durable and powerful overall.
Budget Pick: Factory Store 2 Way 4-Inch Drill Press X-Y Compound Vise Cross Slide Mill
Budget Pick: Factory Store 2 Way 4-Inch Drill Press X-Y Compound Vise Cross Slide Mill
Small does not mean useless – the Hardware Factory Store 2 Way 4-Inch Drill Press X-Y Compound Vise Cross Slide Mill which has a significantly lower price is perfect for smaller woodwork or metalwork jobs. The cast iron construction is durable and the steel jaws are serrated and powerful for any light to medium drilling job.
It is a small, portable but usable 4 inch drill press, which has a 4.5 inch cross travel – it goes at 5 inch longitudinal and 3.5 inch throat opening. On top of that, the vise crank handle is hinged for the user’s ease and overall, the machine works great for metalwork and woodwork.
Table of Contents
- A Little Background
- How we picked
- Our pick
- Who else likes it?
- Flaws but not dealbreakers
- Step-up Pick
- Budget Pick
- Magnetic Drill Press with 2 Speed Settings
- Great for Mortising Wood
- Laser Powered Drill Press
- High Quality Vise Drill Press
- 15 inch Long Drill Press
- Easy Depth Control System
- Hydraulic Drill Bench Press
- The Competition
- Other Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping it up
A Little Background
Back in the early days, drilling holes in wood, metal and other materials was extremely hard and done by manual means. It was somehow killing time and was not at all accurate to meet industrial standards. After a few years, machines had been taking the shape of smaller and more portable power tools and this change of phase somehow led to the invention of machine drills that are motor powered. One of these drills included the drill press.
A drill press is a very helpful tool for woodwork, metalwork and many other things. It allows a perfect and precise drill and also gives a steady and smooth finish. Mounted on a flat surface such as a table, a drill press is an essential on woodwork shops or any industry or shop that requires drilling holes. Basically, they make the job easier and faster compared to regular methods of drilling.
There may be innovations of drills such as hand drills but if you are looking for smooth and steady drilling that doesn’t really need to be moved anywhere but on your shop or working spot then a drill press is most likely what you will need.
Another big plus about the drill press is that it includes a vise clamp that keeps the object in place, so it does not necessarily move anywhere, allowing for a perfect, precise and safe drilling. The drilling powers of drill presses are also significantly stronger than handheld drills, making them outright perfect for industrial or similar applications. Mechanical advantage is also given by a drill press because of its rack and pinion mechanism so the user can easily drill without much effort.
How We Picked
In choosing the best drill press, we put the following criteria as a guideline:
The size and dimensions of the drill press is important. You have to consider a drill press that will outright match your current shop or workplace and that it will not be too oversized. Consider a drill press that is just right for the job.
Its RPM or revolutions per minute signify its efficiency in drilling holes to any surface. In addition the ability to choose from different speeds from the RPM range is also necessary. This is because some surfaces aren’t so thick but some are too thick to handle, so you need to be able to adjust the speed variably so that the machine would not be too exhausted in only having to focus on one speed. Using slower speeds on smaller materials make the machine last longer – this is because you are only using it for a smaller job with the right amount of RPM.
Size of the keyed chuck is also looked upon, but this varies depending on the size and dimensions of the drill press. Safety features are a big plus, of course. Without safety, the drill press would be troublesome to the user and might alter the quality of whatever material you are working on. The drill press should come with great safety features and adjustable options so that you can worry less about getting your finger injured and focus more on getting the drilling job done.
Motor power also defines what makes a great drill press. This is why you significantly want a drill press compared to a hand drill. It has considerably more horsepower than a regular hand drill so that you can easily get the job done. Choose from more powerful speeds than what you see on hand drills.
The construction of the whole frame and materials used makes a durable drill press. An all-metal drill press is very sturdy, compared to drills with mostly plastic or synthetic materials. However, synthetic made drills are okay as smaller, side drills, but for your main working drill, as you only want durability and high quality work with it.
Stability and anti-wobbling is also very important. This is precisely why you want a drill press in the first place – to get rid of the wobbling that happens when you use a hand drill. The vise grip must keep the material in place as much as possible so you can focus on your work with minimal interruption.
Last but not the least, customer reviews and ratings as well as the price do matter. We picked only those with overwhelmingly positive customer experiences about the product and consider the price so that you know what to expect from the drill press you are going to order and use.
Jen’s Top Pick: WEN 4208 8-Inch 5 Speed Drill Press
For our top pick, we chose the WEN 4208 8-Inch 5 Speed Drill Press as the best drill press.
Being an 8 inch drill press, the user can choose from up to 5 various speeds between a 620 and 3100 RPM range, making drilling easier to manage if you are working on different materials. It includes a 1/2 inch keyed chuck and also comes with assembly tools. Alongside is a 2 inch spindle travel as well as a safe to use linear depth stop that is locking and also quite easy to read.
Power speaks for itself with this drill press because of its 1/3 hp induction motor, which is also very durable and powerful. In addition to its durability is the cast iron which measures 6 1/2 by 6 1/2 inches that is also able to bevel up to 45 degrees, both right and left. Built with a rigid frame construction, the drill press is already built with predrilled mounting holes on base.
With a balanced and smooth performance even on high speed, you can’t go wrong with the WEN 4208 8-Inch 5 Speed Drill Press, standing with a very portable design. As far as it goes, it can easily drill plastic, metal, wood, and others. It bears a 1/2 inch max drill capacity in 1 inch cast iron and also includes a flexible cord.
With absolutely no wobbling on any operation you perform with it; the table roller is easily adjustable. Added to its perks, it comes with red safety glasses so you can look cool with the 90s vibe and at the same time, stay safe. Nearly all of the important stuff is made from metal so it’s very sturdy.
Who Else Likes It?
Any woodworker, metalworker or industrial worker, be it on a small shop or a medium to large scale business or company will definitely benefit from this awesome drill press. Since it is proven to be very sturdy, wobble-free and has a decent design, it will be a big help to those in the industry who need to get their job done quickly and precisely.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
There are only very few flaws about the drill press, which are not major concerns if you just want to have the drill functionality. For instance, the laser is slightly out of focus so you have to adjust, but this is only on a very slight basis. It also slightly lacks torque, but this can still be worked around and is not necessarily on all models.
Step-up Pick: WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press
A higher and bigger version of our top pick is the WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press.
Being a 12 inch drill press, it has a speed range that varies from 580 to 3200 RPM – a lot more variable than our first pick due to its size and price. It also has a 3 1/8 inch spindle travel and can tilt up to 45 degree bevel. It is also significantly bigger with its 9 1/2 by 9 1/2 inch cast iron.
Having a bright and easy to read LED speed display, it handles a 5/8 inch keyed chuck and also comes with tools for assembly. The 2/3 hp induction motor is durable and much more powerful than the top pick – hence its hefty price. It also has a spring loaded pin on chuck key.
Much like our top pick, it also has absolutely no wobbling so you enjoy only steady and precise operation. It also has a long plug and flexible cord so you can place it anywhere on your shop or on a preferred spot even with the constraints of power source outlet. It has absolutely no plastic, all metal materials for the important parts. Last but not the least, it also comes with red safety glasses.
The cast iron construction is durable despite its small build. The steel jaws are serrated and powerful and can be used in a variety of ways. Being a 4 inch drill press, it allows for 4.5 inch cross travel, including 5 inch longitudinal and 3.5 inch throat opening. In addition, its vise crank handle is hinged so you can be assured that your work stays in place where it should.
Being a great tool for metalwork and woodwork, it will definitely help any skilled worker to finish the job. Its steel screws are cold rolled and also, the slots are tightly bolted down for security. From left to right and front to back adjustment, it is using 2 swivel crank handles. It is recommended for smaller jobs only, as its size and power may not be suitable for medium to bigger sized jobs, unlike our first two picks. But if you want a small machine for a small price then this should make the cut.
Magnetic Drill Press with 2 Speed Settings
DEWALT DWE1622K 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press, 2-Inch
If you want a magnetic drill press then look no further than the DEWALT DWE1622K 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press, 2-Inch, which comes with 2 speed settings.
It is a 4 inch drill for heavy duty work and is priced considerably greater than our other 4 inch drill. The magnetic coolant bottle can be easily placed on any work surface or beside a tool depending on the user’s preference. There is no need to worry about electrical surges because you can easily prevent motor damage with the built in overload protection. This drill press has a chuck system which has a quick change feature.
Having a powerful 10 amp motor, this drill press also includes a height adjustment tool for your accuracy needs so you can smoothly drill at precision. It has a 1/2 inch keyed chuck as well as a 3/4 inch weldon shank. Security is not a problem because it also includes a safety chain.
Great for Mortising Wood
DELTA 14-651 Professional 1/2HP Bench Mortising Machine
When it comes to mortising wood (drilling square and rectangular shapes onto any piece of wood), the DELTA 14-651 Professional 1/2HP Bench Mortising Machine will be your best bet. The fence is highly adjustable and it is also easy to open and change.
The cast iron base is large and in addition, the rack and pinion fence is adjustable for lowering and raising. You can have up to 180 degree turned mortising with the head column and it can also be off table mortising remounted. The mortising head has adjustable dovetail way so you can be more comfortable and convenient when it comes to mortising any kind of wood.
This drilling machine uses a 1/2 hp motor with up to 1725 RPM and includes a 3/8 inch drill chuck. Among its features, the feed lever is multi-position. The drill press as a whole measures 22.4 by 18.6 by 16.4 inches in dimensions. It also weighs 77 pounds, making it an average yet portable and easy to carry drill press. It also comes with tool and chisel tray for your woodwork convenience It also includes head stabilizer to keep work steady and smooth on your work. Among its other perks, it also includes a riser block. The DELTA 14-651 Professional 1/2HP Bench Mortising Machine comes with a 2 year warranty.
Laser Powered Drill Press
Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press
If you are up for a laser powered drill press then you would want to have the Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press which comes with an auto tension belt drive system for safer and smoother operation. The deep drill work benefits from 6 inch quill stroke and when it comes to the laser’s functionality and usability, the TWINLASER is fully adjustable. You can choose from a whopping 16 drilling speeds from 170 all the way up to 3,000 RPM.
Powered by a 3/4 hp motor, it can tilt up to 90 degrees left to right and up to 48 degrees forward. This laser drill press has an incredibly high precision depth scale. It has 20 x 70 x 28 inch dimensions and includes a 5/8 inch key chuck, which is significantly larger than most of what we have reviewed so far in this article. In addition to these features, the depth is micro adjustable and can be conveniently set to zero by the user. The drill press also includes table and manual and is under a 5 year warranty from the manufacturer, provided that you buy direct.
High Quality Vise Drill Press
If you want a highly dependable and reliable vise drill press then look no further than the HFS (Tm) 5″ Cross Slide Vise Drill Press Metal Milling 2 Way X-Y Heavy Duty Clamp Machine which comes with a jaw that is 5 inch wide. Bearing a set of high quality milling vises, it has a total of 80,000 PSI on iron. Having highly adjustable gibs, it is longitudinal at 5 inches and it can also cross travel at 4.5 inches.
The drill press has a max jaw opening of 4 1/2 inches. The 9 3/4 by 5 1/2 inch base size makes it a portable yet powerful tool when it comes to using a vise drill press. The steel screws are cold rolled and the sturdiness is without question – the cast iron is highly durable. Having a set of steel jaws which are serrated, overall this is great for metalwork and woodwork and many other applications.
15 inch Long Drill Press
WEN 4225 8.6-Amp Variable Speed Floor Standing Drill Press, 15-Inch
For those who want a significantly tall and long standing drill press, you may want the WEN 4225 8.6-Amp Variable Speed Floor Standing Drill Press, 15-Inch which comes with a variable speed as a 15 inch drill press. Choose from the range of 280 RPM to 3300 RPM. It includes a 5/8 inch chuck and has a highly durable and easy to maintain 12 x 12 inches cast iron.
The drill also includes 45 degree table pivot (both directions) as well as other features – it also includes chuck key storage. It outright comes with a precision laser and work light so you can be well guided in your drilling process – stay safe and precise all the time. It makes the use of a 4 inch stroke for easier drilling. The machine’s spindle taper take 1/12 to 5/8 inches and its overall design allows for absolutely no wobbling on your work. It comes with an easy table roller and great fence. The WEN 4225 8.6-Amp Variable Speed Floor Standing Drill Press, 15-Inch comes with a 2 year warranty.
Easy Depth Control System
SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press
For those who want more control over their drill depth, they might want the SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press which is a 10 inch drill press that comes with keyed chuck that is measured 1/2 inches. You can freely choose from 5 speeds from 570 to 3050 RPM and it can do up to 45 degree left and right tilting.
What’s really great about this product is that the precise X2 laser is 2-beam. As it has an easy depth control system, the machine’s depth stop is adjustable. The machine comes with a 3 year limited warranty and allows for a 7 5/8 inch table size. It is also cSAus certified and quality tested with a 120 V rating with amperage of 3.2.
Hydraulic Drill Bench Press
Dake B-10 Model Manual Utility Hydraulic Bench Press, 10 Ton Capacity
For those who prefer a hydraulic press then the Dake B-10 Model Manual Utility Hydraulic Bench Press, 10 Ton Capacity might interest you. Having 23 x 18 x 36 inch dimensions, it has a total of 20,000 pound load capacity so you can load up more and it is intended for heavier applications. Being made from tough iron material to assure you of its durability and stability, its single speed hydraulic hand pump can press up to 10 tons so it is heavily made for big, bad, dirty work.
In addition to that, the off center pressing can be done with movable work head. The drill press includes 2 table plates, reduced step nose and flat ram nose when you receive the package. It has a highly adjustable table height so you no longer have to worry about accessibility. It also includes an H-frame for bulky objects. The drill weighs 132 pounds and has a ram travel of 6 inches. It also has a minimum working height of 4 inches and max working height of 16 inches.
Many drill presses out there are too pricey or have received negative reviews which are mostly pertaining to their material construction and their ability to secure the material you are working on and give it a steady drill. A drill press should be able to keep its grips on the wood or metal or whatever you want drilled and not wobble at all. Safety is also a big issue when it comes to choosing from the big list of drill presses. We would want a secure and safe drill press that does not get in the way of your hand and still be able to perform tasks as it should.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How Important is a drill press for any woodworker, metalworker, and general workers?
A: According to this article from eBay, there are 6 different reasons why woodworkers need a drill press. It spells accuracy in work, gives you more speed in doing the job, provides you with more power to complete any difficult task, very functional with its different features, can be quite versatile in terms of the ability to work on various tasks, and last but not the least, drill presses promote security and safety in the workplace.
In addition, a post discussion from Wood Whisperer states that it keeps their work as steady as possible. It may not be that essential to all wood workers but it’s definitely a helpful tool when it comes down to it, especially on the fact that it can help speed up work compared to a regular drill.
Q: How do you properly maintain a drill press?
A: According to this guide from Rockler , you just need to lubricate it properly and regularly so that it performs well on any job at any given time possible. Dust removers are also beneficial for your drill press. It is important to keep the deposits and debris away from your drill press so it doesn’t cause any headaches while working with any material.
Wrapping It Up
Overall, the WEN 4208 8-Inch 5 Speed Drill Press is our top pick as the best drill press and won’t disappoint you with its price value as a machine that has a lot of great features and usability.