Best Drill Presses In 2021
An essential tool for woodworking, the best drill press is a fantastic option for any personal or professional workshop. They provide the accuracy you can’t achieve with standard drills (unless you’re some kind of superhuman with pinpoint vision), while also delivering better torque and power than what you find with handheld cordless drills. While they are powerful, they don’t take up too much space on your workbench, meaning you can move along the surface without losing time rearranging the area.
They are resilient, durable, and also versatile. They are capable of working with a variety of materials besides wood, and if you need to drill metal, PVC, ceramic, and even glass. They can handle different speeds to drill through different materials with smooth operation, and you can use some as sanders, too, for when you need to add the finishing touches to your work.
For those times where you need to keep your material secure and get the job done quickly but also with precision and quality, there is nothing better than a drill press to ensure you complete everything correctly, and to the high standard, you expect from yourself. So grab your safety glasses, and check out what we’ve found to be your next drill press, whether you need an upgrade or want to stride into the wonderful world of wood (or whatever or material) working.
The Best Drill Press
The WEN 8” 5-Speed Drill Press is an easy-to-use option that comes at a fantastic price without skimping on quality. It’s heavy, but this is to be expected, and it’s not too heavy that it’s challenging to move around the workshop if needed. The base is solid, perfect for supporting the head, while the castings are smooth to prevent you from catching sleeves or gloves on them.
It comes with 1/2-inch keyed chuck, which is large enough to accommodate large bits for bigger projects, and the onboard key storage keeps everything in place when you’re not using it. With 5 different speeds (740, 1100, 1530, 2100, and 3140 RPM) you get a range of versatility to tackle several materials with consistently high-quality results.
The motor is also powerful, but not so powerful that you don’t feel in total control, and the adjustable work table – while not the largest – is sufficient. You can also adjust this table to 45-degrees in both directions for working with uniquely shaped materials. However, you may need to adjust the table before using it, as it may not be on track.
Besides this tiny and easily fixed issue, its design and reliability make it our choice for the best bench-top drill press around. It provides the performance needed for professional applications but is also intuitive enough for hobbyists, especially those looking for their first drill press. Make sure you also check our guide to the best hammer drills.
Includes 1/2-inch keyed chuck and onboard key storage
Operates at 5 different speeds up to 3,140 RPM
Spindle travels up to 2 inches with easy to read, linear locking depth stops
Durable 1/3 horsepower motor for ample torque and power
Adjustable work table and bevels 45-degrees left or right
- Weight31 pounds
Easy to assemble
Sturdy construction and decent power
Sufficient drilling capability even at the lowest speed
Table not on track and requires plate adjustments
With 5-speed operation, the SKIL 3.2 Amp 10” Drill Press gives you power and performance at a superb, affordable, and reasonable price. Even before using it, you’ll recognize its quality. It boasts solid construction and an excellent finish which even if you’re not technically a professional will still make you feel like one.
Anyone who hates the laborious process of the assembly will revel with how easy this is to put together, and for better longevity, be sure to clean the spindle and chuck before doing this, you’ll thank us later. As for operation, the adjustable depth stop ensures accurate measurements, and this enhanced by the 2-beam Laser X2, to provide precise hole alignment to deliver top quality work.
The 1/2-inch chuck is perfect for large woodworking and cutting jobs, while the tiltable work surface gives you a range of positions to operate in. should you get carried away, the bump-off safety switch keeps your fingers and any other extremities safe from harm. Also take care not to drill too hard, as it shows signs of overheating after around 15 minutes, depending on the demands of the job.
So as long as you don’t overdo it too often, this is a drill press which is both a fantastic option for first-timers, but also one that performs admirably for anyone who wants to make a small but necessary step up to something with a little more bite than cheaper models. Our handy guide to the best jigsaws features more great products like this.
5 speed operation between 570 and 3,050 RPM
Adjustable depth stops allow for accurate measurements and repetitive drilling
Laser X2 2-beam laser for precise hole alignment
0 – 45-degree tiltable work surface
1/2-inch keyed chuck for larger bits of woodworking and cutting
- Weight55 pounds
Bump-off switch to guarantee safety
Reliable, sturdy, and easy to assemble
Easily cuts through 2×4 treated wood without bogging down
Lift track slightly loose and binds
For those looking for a little more versatility in their workshops without taking up too much space, the Shop Fox 13” 3/4 HP Bench-Top Oscillating Drill Press is an ideal, high-range solution. It boasts a 5/8-inch drill chuck to accommodate large drill bits, while the 12-speed operation delivers complete control over a variety of materials and applications.
Different speeds and large chucks are almost standard, though (at least we’d hope they are), so the Shop Fox goes a step or two further by fitting its drill press with oscillating capabilities to maximize your options in the workshop. With this, you can complete drilling and sanding jobs with one machine, and with tool-free changing, it’s easy to switch between applications. We wish it was as easy to change the belt speed, but the time you save switching from drilling to sanding balances everything out.
The drill is both powerful and heavy, so you can feel assured it’s built to last, so much so, that we’re happy to look past a few issues with the finishing, but you’re likely to only notice these if you put the whole thing under the microscope, and you’d need a very large one for that to be possible.
Its price means it’s something that may only appeal to anyone who needs an oscillating drill press all day, every day, so hobbyists may find better value for money elsewhere. If you’re a professional on the hunt for a new drill press, though, this is one of the best ones you can find. It’s pricier than others (though not the most expensive) and the additional features make up for this, anyway. Love this product? Check out our review of the best screw guns for our top picks.
5/8-inch drill chuck
Oscillating capabilities for sanding operation
12-speed operation between 250 and 3,050 RPM
Tilting table up to 90-degrees left and right for versatile applications
Tool-free change from drilling to sanding
- BrandShop Fox
- Weight63 pounds
Easily fit parts together with no hassle
Solid construction with precise operation
Versatile operation offers excellent value for money
Slightly counter-intuitive to change belt speeds
The Rockwell ShopSeries 6.2 Amp 10” Drill Press provides professional quality at an affordable price for hobbyists serious about maximizing their woodworking and other projects’ performance. The powerful 6.2 amp motor is perfect for tackling a variety of demands, and is capable of handling all-day use, meaning your weekends and evenings won’t go to waste waiting for it to cool down.
Like any decent drill press, it’s sturdy and robust, with durable cast iron construction guaranteed to last you through many jobs, while the five operating speeds – ranging from 620 to 3,100 RPM – provides excellent control over whatever you’re working on.
The drill handle gives 200 pounds of torque to ensure it can drill effortlessly through any material you place on the tabletop. However, this tabletop may be too small for large projects, which makes it less-than-ideal for professionals, but this may be the reason it can work all day long. If you’ve got large jobs in mind, or are thinking about gifting this to one of your professional woodworking buddies, you may want to look elsewhere.
If you’re just after quality at an affordable price, though, there’s still a lot to love about this drill press. The keyed safety switch eliminates the risk of accidental starting (always important when you’ve got kids in the house), and even though you must assemble it yourself, you’ll at least learn everything you need to know about the unit as you put it together. Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best reciprocating saws.
Powerful motor ideal for repetitive drilling and precision
Durable cast iron bevel tilts 45-degrees left and right
Five operating speeds range from 620 to 3,100 RPM
1/2-inch drill chuck suitable for woodworking and metal drill bits
Keyed safety switch to prevent accidental starting and increase operation security
- Weight48.3 pounds
Reliable performance to tackle a variety of applications
Solidly built to ensure longevity
Suitable for experienced hobbyists
Table may be too small for more intensive projects
Our premium pick is the JET 15” 3/4 Horsepower 115-Volt Floor Model Drill Press, which is arguably the best drill press for woodworking and metalworking you’re likely to find. Its 16-speed settings provide varied applications, and the wide range ensures you are ready to work with any kind of material that’s placed in front of you.
The operation is smooth, and the permanently lubricated ball bearing spindle ensures easy movement and durability. The ground steel column also keeps it stable, balancing the head and the table perfectly so you’ve got one less thing to worry about when working. The work table also tilts to 45 degrees both left and right.
At 167 pounds, it’s also massive and incredibly heavy, so unless you’ve been hitting the gym like a machine recently, it may be a little difficult to move around the workshop or garage if needed. There’s a bright side, though, as the weight further guarantees longevity, ensuring robust design and construction that’s built to handle intensive and demanding projects.
The transmission design doesn’t do much to reduce vibration, though, and this can affect comfort if using it all day long, so be sure to take breaks as you work to reduce the risk of fatigue and potential accidents. It takes just 30 minutes to assemble, and you won’t waste time deciphering instructions. While it may be too much for the casual hobbyist, for anyone who needs a robust, versatile drill press for their workshop – whatever they do – this is the best you’re likely to find. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best angle grinders.
16-speed settings from 200 to 3,600 RPM
Durable with permanently lubricated ball bearing spindle assembly
Table tiltable to 45 degrees
Large ground steel column diameter increases head and table stability
Accurate depth stop for precise hole depths
- Weight320 pounds
Heavy but robust construction ideal for demanding jobs
Versatile applications for a variety of materials
Easy to assemble within 30 minutes
Transmission design doesn’t help to reduce vibration
The JET 12” JWDP-12 Drill Press finds the perfect balance between power and compactness to give you an excellent drill press experience that’s often impossible to find with lower-end products. At over $400, it’s perhaps too much for hobbyists to justify splashing the cash unless they spend more time in the garage than they do with their own family. If for tradesmen looking for a relatively inexpensive (all things considered) option, though, this is almost perfect.
For security, the base is stable, making it easy to reposition on your workbench, and it’s also easy to set up and assemble, even if you get your apprentice to do it for you.b it boasts a heavy duty 1/2 horsepower motor to deliver excellent, reliable results regardless of what you’re working with, and the industrial 5/8-inch drill chuck is ideal for multiple applications.
To guarantee safety, the large paddle switch is easy to identify and reach in case of emergency. Although we hope it never comes to that. The laser guide enhances accuracy and also quality, especially when working on delicate projects that allow no room for error. The variable speed settings also give you control over what you’re working on, ranging from 500 to 3,000 RPM, so you’ll always find the correct speed for the correct material.
Still, we have to come back to the price, and while it performs well, we could argue it doesn’t perform much better than a drill press that is half or even a quarter of the price. Unless you’ve got a loyalty to JET, or just prefer how it looks over other drill presses, you’ll find similar results without spending as much elsewhere. If you are looking to upgrade your tools check out our guide to the best electric hand planers.
Stable base design for simple repositioning on your workbench
Heavy duty 1/2 horsepower motor allows for various drilling applications
Large paddle switch ensures easy switch on and off
Industrial 5/8-inch drill chuck for multiple applications
Variable speed settings between 500 and 3,000 RPM
- Weight68 pounds
Compact design allows for easy transportation
Laser guide increases precision for intricate projects
Easy to set up and assemble
Slightly too expensive when compared with other, similarly operation options
The General International 12” Bench-Top Drill Press sits in that comfortable limbo of being not too expensive, but not too cheap either, making it an excellent choice for both hobbyists and professionals. This tabletop drill press boasts a reliable and precise built-in laser to guarantee the perfect performance you need, while the sturdy design, complemented by the cast iron construction in the base, head, and table ensures it’s tough enough to last, although we feel the table could perform a little better, especially under heavy pressure.
The ball-bearings provide smooth operation and aren’t something you’ll find in every drill press, especially not at this price, and the variable speed tops out at 3,000 RPM, which is ideal for tackling a variety of materials and overcoming them with ease. If you need to adjust the depth, this is easily done and further helps you get precise as possible when drilling.
The flip upchuck guard keeps the bits safe, especially when on the brink of overworking, and in the even of a power failure, there is an interrupter switch to deliver an easy restart. This gives you efficiency and reduces downtime between work, particularly if it comes at the worst moments.
While it’s not likely to win any awards for The Greatest Drill Press of All Time™, it’s good enough to give you the results you need and help you make that step from novice to intermediate, and perhaps beyond. As for professional applications, it may not be your go-to option, but it’s certain to perform as an excellent backup if needed. If you are a passionate DIYer, check out our guide to the best stud finders.
Adjustable spindle tension return spring
Built-in laser pointer to improve accuracy and ensure excellent performance
Sturdy design with cast-iron base, head, and table for longevity
High quality ball bearings provide smooth gliding operation
Variable speed between 500 and 3,000 RPM
- BrandGeneral International
- Model75-010 M1
- Weight75 pounds
Forced opening line interrupter switch for machine restart in case of power failure
Easy to adjust dual depth stop for maximum control
Flip-up chuck guard included
Work platform not stable enough to withstand heavy pressure
If you’re on a budget but still want to find the best drill press for the best value, the Genesis 8” 5-Speed 2.6 Amp Drill Press is the undisputed champion of just that. Above all else, it boasts an induction motor to deliver smooth and quiet operation for easy and comfortable use throughout the day.
It’s not just the operation that’s simple, though, and throughout your time using it, you’ll marvel at how simple every step and feature is to use. You can adjust the 5-speed settings using the straightforward pulley system and find the perfect speed for your material easier than any other option we’ve selected. The table also tilts to 45 degrees, offering versatility for differently shaped materials and maximizing drilling capabilities.
At the price, it’s ideal for personal projects, and may also have a home in a professional workshop, especially for smaller projects. Another thing to love about it is its small footprint, which ensures your workstation remains as clutter-free as possible. However, it’s not too small your projects are limited to mini-jobs, and you can still complete a range of large jobs.
While we wish there was a properly variable speed capability instead of you needing to set the speed before drilling with no way to change it as you drill, this is to be expected of a compact, 30-pound drill press. Even if you do forget to set to before starting, it’s not too difficult to make the change, and you won’t lose much time in between. You may also be interested in our guide to the best best crowbars so check it out.
Induction motor provides smooth, quiet performance
5 speed operation with easily accessible pulley housing to change speed range
1/2-inch chuck accepts large bits
Table tilts 45 degrees ensures versatility
Small footprint doesn’t hog space on your workbench
- Weight30 pounds
Comfortable for long-term use with consistent and accurate results
Excellent price for small personal or professional projects
Easily drills to the center of 8” materials
Speed settings must be set before drilling with no variable adjustment
Drill Press Buying Guide
How We Chose Our Selection Of Bench-Top Drill Presses
Making our selection for the best drill press wasn’t easy, with so many awesome options around for us to choose. To narrow the choice down from the many to the 8 you see above, we thought about 3 key factors you should consider before making any purchase.
Reviews - Drill press reviews gave us an insight into what are the most important things to look for. This was crucial in determining which of the drill presses we looked at were worth bringing to you. Written by experienced hobbyists or professionals, they helped us understand what an effective drill press does, and why you should choose one option over another. They also helped clear up any confusion about potential issues with parts and operation and how to overcome them.
Price - We understand different readers have different needs and budgets in mind when searching for the right drill press for them. With this in mind, we sought a wide range of products so it didn’t matter if you were a novice looking for an affordable first press to get started or an experienced professional looking to upgrade on their current model. We hope our list provides an inclusive and affordable range of prices for everybody.
Quality - High quality is essential with any product you buy, but it’s perhaps most important with power tools. This is because of the moving parts and heavy duty demands involved. We don’t want to recommend low-quality options for you, so every drill press we selected was vetted thoroughly to ensure it was robust, reliable, and high performing regardless of what material you use with it.
Features To Look For In A Bench-Top Drill Press
Before deciding on your new bench-top drill press, take a moment to consider which features are most important and suitable for your needs. If you’re a casual DIYer, you may not need the same features as someone who will work with their drill press every day, and there’s no point in buying something just for the sake of it even though you won’t use half the features.
Purpose - While you will primarily use your drill press to drill holes, this is not the only purpose for it. Drill presses can double as sanding machines so you can drill and finish your project without switching machines. You can also use the drill bits and chuck for other machines around your workshop, saving money and increasing the value of the drill press.
Size - Your drill press should be large enough to handle the tasks at hand, but not too large it hogs up space around your workstation. A larger size also means increased weight, which makes it difficult to transport if you move or need to clear your tools out.
Typically, a larger drill press will come with more power, however, if you’re only working on small personal projects, this isn’t necessary.
Swing - The swing is an important thing to know whether you’re a newbie, hobbyist, or professional. It’s very similar to what the capacity is, only the swing is the distance from the spindle (or chuck) to the supporting column.
Throat - The (we’ll admit a little strangely named) throat determines the drilling depth. If you’re planning on drilling thick pieces of wood, you will need a larger throat than if you will work with slim pieces. However, as wide throat depth is not much use without the drill bits to go all the way through, so think about finding longer drill bits, too.
Capacity - The drill press’ capacity gives you an idea of the largest piece you can still make a center drill into. If you have an 8” drill press, you can expect to drill a center hole in a 16” piece of wood or other material, but if you had a 17” piece or anything larger, you cannot make a center drill.
Emergency stop - An emergency stop is a must-have feature for any heavy duty power tool, with something as potentially dangerous (if used incorrectly) as a drill press, it’s very important. The emergency stop should be easy to reach and press, and should also be clear, preferably a bright, vibrant color that contrasts with the body of the drill press. It’s also best if the button protrudes from the machine, as this makes it easier to press in an emergency.
Laser guide - laser guide is ideal for increased precision and accuracy during your projects. Instead of relying on using your eyes to pinpoint the exact place you need to drill, a laser guide will save you making any mistakes through miscalculations. The laser guide is clear, even with dust and shavings littered around the drill hole and does the hard work so you can focus on getting everything completed.
Speed - Different holes and different materials require different drill speeds to prevent cracking or damaging and ruining the whole project. While many newbies are tempted to go for the fastest drill speed - because speed is good, duh - experienced users understand you need a range of speeds to tackle as many applications as possible.
Ideally, you’ll need a drill press with at least 5 different speeds. This is the base standard and gives you enough speeds to adequately tackle different holes and materials. If you need even greater versatility, there are drills with 12 or even 16 different speeds for maximum performance.
Tilt - A bevel tilt is a standard feature on any drill press worth buying, and the wider the tilting range the better. This makes it easy to drill at an angle on materials which aren’t flat and also helps you drill into rounded blocks of wood with greater ease than trying to balance it on the tabletop. Also, check for clamps to hold the block in place to ensure it doesn’t slip from the surface.
Light - You won’t find lights on all drill presses, but those that have them are useful for working in low light environments, especially during the winter months. It’s not just that they help illuminate your workspace, though. A drill press light can also increase visibility when drilling as your vision can be compromised by shavings from the material.