When getting into woodworking or similar DIY project, there are certain tools you simply have to get; they are so essential. One of the first that comes to mind is the table saw closely followed by the circular saw. However, the drill press is not far behind them, even though it’s not talked about as often.
The best drill press can offer you loads of different benefits and be used for a wide variety of tasks – from mortising to sanding and even more. It is an incredibly versatile tool, and today we will tell you all about it.
Why Buying a Drill Press?
If you own a workshop or just intend on doing some woodworking or metalworking project, a drill press is a tool you simply need to have since it will make your work so much easier. There are a lot of reasons for buying a drill press, and we will only be able to cover a few of them here but rest assured that there are plenty more.
The most obvious reason to get a drill press is the stability and precision that it provides. This tool works by pressing the drill into the material that’s placed on its worktable, thus providing you with accuracy that simply can’t be achieved when using a hand drill. Whether you’re drilling extremely small or large holes, you will be able to get exactly what you want.
The other significant upside over hand drills is the sheer power a tool like this has. It can easily drill through materials that hand drills would have trouble even denting. This allows you to perform a much wider variety of tasks.
Drills presses can also drill far deeper than hand drills with little problems and have a much wider array of available adjustments and options for you to choose from when working. This gives them much more versatility in the workshop, which is just one of the reasons why they are so essential to most woodworkers.
There are tons of other things we could list as well, but you get the point by now. Drill presses are just incredibly useful tools, and we believe that every woodworker or metalworker should have one.
Not all drill presses are equally good, though, and some or far from being praiseworthy. There are tons of faulty products out there made by companies that prey on those new to woodworking and poorly informed consumers. Well, we are here to help you with a ton of relevant info that will ensure you never fall prey to these tactics and waste money on a bad product. Here, we will cover some of the most important aspects to consider when purchasing a drill press, review the best products we found during our testing process and more! So, let’s get started straight away!
Meet the Best Drill Presses
The Good: Strong, reliable and durable machine that is highly adjustable in all regards.
The Bad: It costs quite a bit, and it has some issues with runout that are not easily solvable.
The Bottom Line: We can recommend this product without any hesitation. It does have a few flaws but the benefits it offers are far greater, and it is more than worth its high price.
The Good: It comes at a low cost and has plenty of different uses and good adjustments.
The Bad: The construction is shoddy, it’s not durable, and it wobbles a lot during use.
The Bottom Line: For people on a budget, this is a great product since it offers a lot for a low price. However, if you can get something better, you should, since it is quite shoddily made and won’t last for a long time.
The Good: This is a decently powerful and surprisingly durable drill press.
The Bad: It lacks some expected features and its laser guides consistently malfunction.
The Bottom Line: Overall, this drill press is a good deal for the price; you get more than you would expect. It has issues though, but it is a good product if you can look past some of the bothersome flaws.
You should continue reading to get our full reviews of these three products.
All of the Factors Considered
Drill presses might seem like arcane machines to some and choosing the right one from a veritable sea of products out there could appear to be a daunting task. Indeed, there are many ways in which you can go wrong when buying a drill press, but you shouldn’t be too concerned. We did the footwork for you and tested a ton of different products before compiling this list of the most important factors you should consider when purchasing a drill press.
The power of a drill’s motor is one of the most important things to consider when purchasing it because it affects almost everything about its performance. It affects the hardness of the materials it can drill through; it affects the speed at which the drill can spin and how quickly you will be able to finish the job and so on.
Most drill presses use either an electric or a gas-powered motor. Because of that, you will find the power of the motor expressed in either amps or horsepower.
One of the most important parts of a drill press is the worktable where you will place anything that needs to be drilled. The size of the worktable is important since it affects the size of the materials you can put on it, obviously.
Of course, a larger table is not always a better option. If you only need to do small projects, a smaller table will be just fine, and it will be easier to adjust than a huge one. It all depends on what you require out of your drill press.
The capacity of a drill press is, essentially, the maximum thickness of the material that it can drill through. This is double the distance from the front of the column to the center of the chuck.
Most conventional drill presses for home use range somewhere between 8 inches of capacity up to 16 inches or so. For most tasks, you won’t need a capacity of more than 12 inches. However, depending on what you need, you may opt for a larger drill press than that.
If you don’t need to drill anything extremely large and thick, you should go for a smaller, more manageable drill press.
Versatility is an important factor when it comes to drill presses and one of the main reasons that people buy them over hand drills. The more different settings a drill like this has and the easier they are to use, the better it is.
Having a wide variety of speed settings is important, as well as how easy they are to use. Some drill presses require you to turn them off to change the speed, while others do not and you should always go for those where you can set the speed on the fly. However, they can cost more than the traditional models, where you have to stop and open the gearbox to set the speed.
The angle at which you can pivot the worktable is also important since that will allow you to do a ton of different tasks that you otherwise couldn’t. If the head of the drill can also be angled, that is even better since it is easier than moving the worktable.
There’s more, but additional adjustability options are never a bad thing when it comes to drill presses.
It’s important to assess how sturdy and durable a drill press is before purchasing it. The main reason for this is simply getting your money’s worth – these tools can be quite expensive, and you don’t want a 300-dollar machine to break after drilling a dozen holes. The other is that a badly built machine can be a serious safety hazard for anyone working with it.
To that end, you should try to look for drill presses which use mostly metal materials in their construction, and you shouldn’t skimp on the cost when it comes to this. You should also check how they’re constructed if they’re using good quality screws and joints and so on. Reading experiences from users who have owned particular models for years can be extremely helpful in correctly assessing the durability of a drill press.
Now, take a look at how the top three products measure up in all these areas.
In-Depth Reviews of 3 Drill Presses
Powerful, Quiet Motor
This unit is powered by a strong, 2/3hp induction motor, giving it ample power and allowing the drill to rotate at speeds of up to 3200 RPM. This unit has more than ample power to drill through anything you put in front of it.
Large Work Area and Great Capacity
With a worktable of 9-1/2 x 9-1/2″ and a capacity of 12 inches, this drill press can handle almost any piece of wood or metal. It is bound to be precise as well, with its laser guides. There’s almost nothing it can’t handle. The table can even be extended further, up to 17 inches.
Almost everything about this drill can be adjusted with ease. There’s a ton of different speed options that you can change on the fly and see on the digital readout; the worktable can pivot up to 45 degrees, the depth can be easily adjusted and so on. The work light might need a little tinkering though since it is badly placed.
This is a drill press which will last for a long time, due to mostly being made out of metal parts. There’s nothing flimsy about it, not on the surface or under it. The motor is incredibly rugged and shows no signs of stopping even after hundreds of hours of work.
Who Should Buy This Product
If you want an incredibly strong and reliable drill press that you can use in your home workshop, this is the product you should be looking it. It is quite strong for its size and can be adjusted to your liking. It is easy to use, even for amateurs and it can easily handle a wide variety of tasks.
What to Watch Out For
Well, compared to the average drill press for home use, it is quite an expensive piece of kit. Some people might have trouble affording it. Also, it has some issues with runout, so you might want to be careful when drilling. The only other issue is the work light – it’s almost useless due to how it’s placed.
Overall, this is quite a good drill press. It’s strong, fast, reliable, highly adjustable and surprisingly quite to boot. You do have to pay a lot for it, though, but we believe it is worth the price. It has some other downsides as well, like the issue with runout, but the positives here far outweigh the negatives.
Not a Lot of Strength, too Much Wobble
You get what you pay for, and this is not a strong drill press by any means. It is mostly meant for drilling angled holes and light-duty work on the countertop. If you expect to get anything more out of it, you’re out of luck. Unfortunately, it is also quite inaccurate and vibrates a lot during work.
Small Worktable and Limited Capacity
The worktable of this unit is quite small, and you won’t be able to drill holes in any material of significant size or thickness. It’s useful for drilling small holes in small pieces of wood, but nothing more than that.
Decently Adjustable and Versatile
This is also a tool stand and a tool holder with a telescopic shaft that can be adjusted from 16 to 29 inches. It also has some inbuilt storage. It is compatible with a lot of different tools, and you can get a lot of use out of it.
Not a Durable Piece of Kit
It is to be expected when the price is this low, but it is still a shame that this unit is so poorly constructed. Most parts are prone to breaking, and it wobbles a lot when working. Overall, it is not something that will last.
Who Should Buy This Product
This is the ideal product for people on a tight budget since you get more than enough bang for your buck. You can use this product as much more than just a drill press, and it is a decent drill press as well, with a lot of different adjustments. It is easy to use, even for beginners, so it will also be great if you’re new to using these tools.
What to Watch Out For
There are more than a few significant problems with this product, the first of which is just how flimsy it is – most of it is made of plastic. It’s shoddily constructed overall, and it shakes a lot when working, so it ends up being quite imprecise, especially when compared to similar products.
The amount of value you get for the low cost of this product can’t be denied – it is a decent tabletop drill press and it has other functions as well. It is also easy to use and has plenty of good adjustments. However, it is difficult to recommend due to how flimsy and imprecise it is. If you’re on a budget, it’s good, but otherwise, you might want to reconsider.
Decently Strong and Quiet
This drill press is powered by a 3.2-amp electric motor which gives it more than enough power. The drill can reach speeds of up to 3050 RPM, and it will drill through most materials. It is also a fairly quiet motor, especially considering its strength.
Good Capacity and Workspace
The worktable of this unit measures up at 7-5/8 inches by 7-5/8 inches, while the capacity is 10 inches. This means it can handle most things that you might need to drill in a home workshop. It is rather precise, though the laser guides aren’t useful at all.
Difficult to Adjust
There are plenty of different adjustments available here, including five speed options, multiple depth options, the ability to tilt the work table up to 45 degrees and more. Unfortunately, they are difficult to use, and the speed must be changed manually, by switching the belts.
The base and the motor of this unit are built to last, and you will find them to be more than sturdy enough. Other parts, not so much. There are a few plastic levers which might break after a while, but the core of the unit will stay intact and functional.
Who Should Buy This Product
Are you looking for a mid-range drill press for your home workshop or small business? Well, this is probably the ideal product for you. This drill press comes at a decent price, it offers a fair amount of power and precision, while being rather durable and sure to last for a long time to come.
What to Watch Out For
This drill press is not without its issues. The laser guides are nearly useless, for example, and you shouldn’t rely on them at all. It also has no speed changing option, so you have to stop working and change the speed manually by fiddling with the belt feed – not beginner-friendly at all.
There are some great upsides to this product, and it is more than decent for the price. It is durable and has ample power as well as good capacity and supreme precision – as long as you don’t use the laser guides. There are more issues with it, and the manual speed changing is certainly a con, but we think this is still a decent product that you should at least consider.
The Best Pick – WEN 4214
Sometimes it is difficult for us to choose just one product as the best since we liked most of the ones we tested. This time, that was not the case – we had a clear winner in mind since we laid eyes upon it and none of the other products were able to top it. We are talking, of course, about the WEN 4214. For us, this is the best drill press on the market, simply because it’s better than all the others in almost every regard – performance, adjustability, durability and so on. It also lacks any significant flaws which might hinder it. Sure, it is expensive, but we believe it is more than worth the high price which makes it our best pick for today.
Well, that’s our best pick, and the reasons are obvious – it stands head and shoulders above all other products. However, that is just our opinion, and you might find that some of the other products presented here fit you better. In the end, you don’t have to follow our choice as gospel – we just hope we were able to help you with all the info we presented. If we did, and you liked this article, please feel free to share it around since it might be helpful to others as well. Until next time, have a good day.