Best drill press for woodworking – A comprehensive guide based on testing and expert findings:- A drill press is a very important woodworking machine that is used to perform a variety of tasks including precise drilling of holes and cutting mortises for the purposes of making joints, dowels and even spindle sands. Although drill presses basically work the same way, they are categorized as either being freestanding or benchtops. The difference comes in terms of size, motors, work tables as well as the number of speed settings and rack-and-pinion adjustments. The freestanding press drill models are more powerful and accommodate more materials and applications compared to benchtops that are mainly used for standard drilling applications. When looking for a drill press for woodworking, there are many factors that you need to consider to ensure that you get the right one for your specific application. Such factors include the maximum hole depth or quill stroke, motor capacity, chuck size, safety features and so on. This makes it such a hard task but there is no need to worry because the following is a list of the the best drill press for woodworking that you can choose from.
List Of The Best Drill Presses For Woodworking
#1. WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press
# 2. SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press
#3. WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press
#4. Shop Fox W1668 ¾-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press/Spindle Sander
#5. Craftsman 10 in Bench Drill Press w/ Laser Trac
#6. Rikon 30-100 RIKON 8-Inch Drill Press
#7. Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press
Below is an in-depth review and critics on each of the drill presses outlined above and why they made it to our best woodworking drill press list.
The WEN 4208 is a popular drill with a height of 23-1/8 inches and weight of 1.6 pounds is a powerful machine that drills through metal, plastic and wood among other materials. It employs a 120 volt, 60Hz induction motor with 1/3 HP that is not only durable but also deliver smooth and balanced performance at high speed. It also operates on 5 speeds of 740, 1100, 1530, 2100 and 2140 RPM and a versatile ½ -inch chuck capacity in 1-inch thick cast iron. The WEN 4208 uses an 8-inch swing, 2-inch stroke with a depth adjustment gauge to limit spindle travel and a 6.5 X 6.5 -inch beveling worktable of up to 45 degrees in either direction to allow for angled drilling. Other features include onboard key storage, cast iron head, table and base as well as a one year warranty.
Why choose WEN 4208
- It is durable and with a solid construction since it is made using quality materials.
- It is a powerful machine with a 1/3 HP motor that allow drilling of a wide range of materials at ease. This means that you can use it on a variety of applications.
- The drill press delivers a smooth and balanced performance thanks to the motor ball bearings that also ensures durability.
- It has a wide range of speed settings ranging between 740 – 2140 RPM.
- It is compact yet powerful and this means that it cannot limit the space on your work bench.
- It is versatile since the ½-inch drilling chuck has the JT33 spindle taper that allows you to work with a variety of bits.
- It is accurate and with high integrity thanks to the locking depth adjustments that limit the movements of the spindle.
- It is convenient given the onboard key storage that ensures that the chuck key is always there when you need it.
- The beveling table allows you to work on materials of different sizes and shapes.
- It is easy to assemble thanks to the variety of tools that make this process hassle-free. This is the reason it is frustration free certified.
- It comes with a 2 year warranty.
Potential concerns with the WEN 4208.
- There are those who feel that the baseplate is small.
- It is heavy especially if you are not intending to bolt it down.
The WEN 4208 is an affordable, powerful and precise drill press that you can use to drill holes on a wide variety of materials. It is compact yet solid and sturdy which makes it the perfect choice for your DIY projects especially for the price.
The SKIL 3320-01 is red in color and has dimensions of 21.8 x 15.2 x 9.8 inches and a weight of 52.2 pounds. It is touted as being a highly precise drill press thanks to the X2 2-beam laser and the depth adjustment system that allow for precision and consistency when drilling. This 3.2 amp, 120 volt drill press uses a 5-speed system that range from 750 -3050 RPM and 10-inch drill on the center for different materials including metal and wood. Its chuck size is ½-inch hence allow bits of various diameters fro woodworking and cutting. The 7-5/8 inch working surface can tilt from 0-45 degrees and is made of cast iron together with the base. Other features include chucking key, AA batteries, cSAus certification and a 1 year warranty including a 30 day money back guarantee.
Why choose SKIL 3320-01
- It is sturdy with good general fit, painting and finish.
- It is easy to assemble as the instructions are straight forward.
- It is accurate thanks to the X2 2-beam laser and depth adjustment system that it employs.
- Good customer care and fast shipping is also a plus.
- It is well built with a smooth and quiet operation hence good for your DIY projects at your home workshop.
- The 10-inch drill gives you a greater drilling diameter plus a wide five speed choices to use for a variety of materials as well as sizes. The ½ inch keyed chuck also allows the use of larger bits for both woodworking and cutting.
- It has a square work surface that allows you to work with larger pieces of material.
- It has fewer risks given the 1 year warranty and 30 day money back guarantee.
- It is affordable.
Potential concerns with the SKIL 3320-01
- There are those who complain that the motor gets hot after a few minutes even under light load drilling.
- It is hard to drill hard metals successfully but this should not be a problem with woodworking.
The SKIL 3320-01 is a precise drill press that performs better than many bargain units in the market. It is perfect for light to moderate drill pressing duties for garage projects and small parts. It has met the expectations of many users since it is a small yet accurate, well built and sturdy drill press that performs well for the price.
The WEN 4214 is a yellow colored drill press that measures 13.5 x 36.6 x 16.8 inches and weighs 89 pounds. It uses a 12-inch swing and variable speed drill press that operates with laser precision. Its features are that of a larger industrial type drill press and include a maximum drill capacity of 5/8-inch in 1-inch thick cast iron and a variable speed that range from 580 -3200 RPM and uses a lever for its adjustment and not pulleys and belts. The running speed is displayed using a digital readout that is powered by LEDs. The drill press has its head, tale and base being made of cast iron and its 2/3 HP induction motor uses ball bearings for durability as well as smooth and balanced high speed performance. Other features include 5/8 – inch keyed chuck and key with MT2 spindle taper, 9.5 X 9.5 inch worktable with 45 degrees workable bevels and rack and pinion height adjustments, predrilled base holes and slotted table and X-pattern laser locks.
Why choose the WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press
- It is a 12-inch drill press that is perfect if you want to upgrade to a taller drill press.
- It is easy to set up with clear assembling instructions.
- It is heavy, quiet and tall enough to allow working on thicker pieces.
- It is durable given that it is made of quality material (heavy duty cast iron) and comes with a 2 year warranty.
- It is accurate since it uses precision laser to specify the spot where the bit will travel.
- It is versatile thanks to the MT2 spindle taper that accepts bits with a maximum of 5/8-inch in diameter.
- It has a work light which provides the necessary illumination for your workpiece.
- The table roller extension feature provides extra support as it can extend your table for up to 17 inches.
- It is easy to adjust the speed by simply turning the speed adjustment lever thanks to the mechanical variable speed feature.
Potential concerns with the WEN 4214
- It does not come with a spindle lock.
- Some users feel that the frame is stiff enough for wood but not steel.
The WEN 4214 12-inch drill press is a good machine with a number of excellent features in terms of the drill press length and the mechanical variable speed that it uses. It is also a precise machine that is ideal for large industrial projects. It is highly recommended given the price range.
The Shop Fox W1668 is described as the effective tool for heavy drill pressing that also doubles as a spindle sander. It is a benchtop drill press with dimensions of 23 x 14 x 38 inches and weight of 122.4 pounds. It uses a ¾ HP, 110V and 1725RPM motor, 13-1/4-inches swing, 5/8-inch drill chuck, 3-1/3-inch spindle travel and 2-1/4-inch dust port size. It is a versatile drill press with a maximum tilt table of 90 degrees for both left and right and the table is also removable in case you want to use the drill press base as a drilling or sanding table. It has a sanding capability whereby drilling operations can be converted into sanding operations in a matter of seconds. For this reason, the W1668 comes with a 3-piece spindle sander drum kit together with a 80 grit sanding paper that fits 1, 1.5 and 2-inch drums. Other features include 12 speeds ranging between 250-3050 RPM, a round 12-3/8-inch diameter table, 360 degrees table swing and an oscillating spindle.
Why choose the Shop Fox W1668 ¾-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press/Spindle Sander
- It is a powerful machine given its ¾-inch motor.
- It has robust built and solid parts which is perfect for heavy duty work.
- It is a 2-in-1 and tops up as a spindle sander apart from a drill press.
- The table is flat and has no ridges which usually affect smooth drilling.
- The assembling parts fit well together hence no loose fitting.
- It has an oscillating feature for its sanding capability which reduces heat buildup and produces a smooth finish.
- It is highly versatile thanks to the 90degrees table tilt as well as table height adjustments.
- The incorporation of sand collection port ensures that the sanding process is not a messy one.
- It ships fast and is easy to assemble.
- It is affordable.
Potential concerns with the Shop Fox W1668 ¾-HP 13-Inch
- It is heavy and the assembly instructions are not the best.
- It does not have good aesthetic features.
The Shop Fox W1668 is undoubtedly a powerful and feature rich machine that can make a perfect addition to your workshop. It is an accurate drill press that doubles up as a spindle sander. All these qualities make it a highly recommended machine that lives up to its promise of being durable, safe and reliable.
The Craftsman is an affordable benchtop drill press that measures 13 x 8 x 27 inches and weighs 61 pounds. It uses a powerful 6.0 Amp, 120 V, and 60 Hz motor with 0.5 HP and five operating speeds that range between 620-3100 RPM. It is highly touted as a durable machine with smooth operations for household use. The ½-inch keyed chuck accommodates a wide range of metal and wood bits as well as sanding drums. Other features include rack and pinion table elevation system, quick belt tension and release, scaled steel fence and stop block for consistency in repetitive drilling operations.
Why choose Craftsman 10 in Bench Drill Press w/ Laser Trac
- It uses a powerful motor that is not only durable but with smooth and balanced operations.
- It uses quick belt tension and release for easy speed changes of the spindles.
- It adjusts quickly and easily thanks to the rack and pinion table elevation system.
- The ½-inch keyed chuck accommodates a variety of bits and sand drums.
- It is compact and ideal for light work.
- The table is flat and has no ridges.
- It is easy to assemble, use and get it running.
- It is affordable.
Potential concerns with Craftsman 10 in Bench Drill Press w/ Laser Trac
- It is a small drill press and not ideal for heavy duty work.
- It is advertised as having a 6 Amp motor but there are those who say that they received the one with 3 Amp motor. You may want to confirm this before making this purchase.
The Craftsman is a good drill press that is powerful, easy to set up and works great as many users have reported. It is an ideal choice if you want to use it for light household projects with both wood and metal materials. It may just be that one drill press that you have been looking for.
The Rikon 8-inch drill press measures 7 x 16 x 23 inches and weighs 34.4 pounds. It uses a 1/3 HP motor and 5 spindle speeds that range from 620 – 3100 RPM that accommodates the drilling of a wide range of materials. The construction is rugged heavy duty using solid steel and cast iron which is important in ensuring durability and smooth operations. The Rikon 30-100 also features a depth stop that ensures easy, accurate and repeatable drilling, toggle switch, cast-iron handles and a speed selection chart.
Why choose Rikon 30-100 RIKON 8-Inch Drill Press
- It is a smooth running drill press especially when drilling pen blanks.
- It is sturdy and strong.
- It is durable since it is made using quality materials.
- It comes with a 5 year warranty.
- It ships fast, well packaged with all parts and tools and it is easy to set up and run.
- It is compact and light enough to carry around.
- The customer service is great.
- It is very affordable.
Potential concerns with Rikon 30-100 RIKON 8-Inch Drill Press
- The motor is not strong enough for drilling certain metals.
- Not good for heavy duty work.
The Rikon 30-100 is a great small drill press that is ideal for home woodworking projects. The motor may not be powerful but it is a great machine for the price especially when it is used for what it can handle which is light work. The warranty is just exceptional and the customer service is all you can wish for. It is definitely a great piece of equipment given the price.
The Delta 18-900L drill press measures 61 x 31.5 x 13 inches and weighs 261 pounds. It features a powerful ¾ HP induction motor, 18-inch drill press and an auto-tensioning belt drive system for easy speed changes. It is touted as an accurate and precise machine that is ideal for woodworking. Most notable is its full 16 drilling speeds that range from 170 – 3000 RPM together with an oversized woodworkers table that bevels 0-90 degrees left and right. The auto-tensioning belt drive system is also a unique feature of the Delta which ensures fast and easy speed changes. The 6-inch quill stroke makes it ideal for deep drilling projects mainly in industrial applications. Other features include rack and pinion height adjustments, adjustable locking levers, bright TWINLASER for drilling accuracy, T-slots for clamping, removable center insert, LED light, micro-adjustable depth stops and a non-tip cast iron base for maximum stability. The Delta also comes with a manual and a 5 year warranty.
Why choose the Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press
- It uses a powerful motor that is ideal for heavy duty drilling applications.
- The full 16 drilling speeds make it highly versatile and can be used to drill a wide variety of materials.
- It is ideal for deep drilling thanks to the 6- inch quill stroke.
- It is precise and accurate and easy to set up for repetitive drilling.
- It has an oversized woodworking table that feature rack and pinion height adjustments to choose your desired working height.
- The motor and the belt drive system are smooth, silent and balanced.
- The depth stop mechanism is quick and easy to precisely adjust.
- It is a good quality drill press that comes with a 5 year warranty.
Potential concerns with the Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press
- It is heavy and a bit tricky when installing the head.
- Some users feel that the chuck is not good.
- The price is a bit on the higher side.
The Delta 18-900L is a feature rich drill press that is ideal for heavy duty drilling projects. It is designed with good quality materials and excellent performance in terms of speed, accuracy and user-friendliness. The 5 year warranty is a good indication of a quality product that will live up to its promise.
Why drill presses are perfect for woodworking
When it comes to drilling holes in pieces of stock, you will need to use a power drill, cordless drill or a drill press. Each of these drills has its own benefits in terms of portability, power, speed and accuracy but what is it that makes drill presses superior?
- Drill presses can be used for other tasks apart from drilling that include sanding and mortising.
- They are precise especially when you are drilling holes with large diameters.
- You can cut mortises on a drill press.
- They are used as oscillating spindle sanders by simply attaching a barrel sander into the chuck.
- Drill presses create versatile dowel joints.
- They also have more powerful and sturdy motors.
The benefits of using drill presses in woodworking are enormous especially when you are well equipped with the tips and tricks of using it for maximum results. However, this will highly depend on whether you choose the right drill press or not in the first place.
Types of Drill Presses
Among the many different types of drill press, you may know the so called stationary drill presses. As the name suggests, it is a stationery item, which means that it isn’t easily moved around. if you read the drill press reviews, you will understand that this kind of machine is great when used for bigger tasks and works, such as dealing with table size, chuck capacity, speed selection, quill stroke, throat depths, and such thing alike. When compared to table planers and saws, this one is surprisingly affordable – if not cheap. The price tag for stationery model and the bench model is only around $200 to $300 different, making this machine look promising. After all, it can be used for making holes in plastics, metals, and even stone and glass.
Besides the stationery one, you have the so called benchtop drill presses. If you mainly deal with small work, this kind of drill press will be suitable for you need. As the name suggests, this drill is attached to the upper side of a bench, having around 8 to 12 inches of swing and 2 to 3 inches of depth. The power is generally about .3 to .5 hp or 5 to 16 speeds. The small package may be worth your spending as it can be the half price from the floor standing drill. If you want a small machine that can handle tough work and job, this is definitely a machine for you. The depth, especially is accurate and better.
If you need more flexibility and ease of use, you may want to consider having the magnetic drill presses. This type of drill is especially helpful and handy when it comes to drilling connection plates and beams. The magnetic feature, especially, is very good in drilling stability, enabling the drill to be used and mounted in even upside down position when needed. To make sure that the drill will be save and function in 100% manner, the surface needs to be clean and flat. If you decide to use it against gravity, you need to use safety chain for your own protection. it can also be used to drill bigger holes in very short time.
And you can also use the mortisers, which are generally used to make rectangular or square holes on the wood. Of course you can always use chisel and power drill when making such holes, but when you use mortisers, you can expect greater accuracy within very short time. After all, this device won’t make you tired at all, which can lead to work perfection and result. Be sure to find mortisers that have slower speed so you won’t have to deal with overheat issue. You can choose the smaller stand or the bigger one, depending on your needs and preferences.
Advantages of Drill Press
Having the drill press machine certainly has its own perks. You can always expect these from them:
- Accuracy. Expect greater and better precision with the machine.
- Speed. The machine is great to deliver uniformed and clean result in such short time.
- Power. When compared to hand drill, the drill press won’t cost you a sweat and you don’t have to worry about getting tired either.
- Functionality. The machine is great to help woodworker make accurate holes, sometimes done in certain difficult angles. This feature alone is pretty impressive and handy.
- Flexibility. The machine can do more than just drill holes. They can also be used with spindle sander, in case you need it.