Our Review of The Best Drill Press in 2017

Best Drill Press Review

If you’re looking to find the best drill press you can pick up to add to your collection, there are a number of different factors you’ll want to consider as you search out the perfect one to fit your projects. Whether you are a homeowner or a woodworker looking to set up a permanent fixture, or a contractor who needs to be able to take your tools along with you to a worksite, there are solutions included in our reviews for every project and use.

Smaller models such as the WEN 4208 8-Inch Drill Press (the top pick from our reviews), or the Dremel 220-01 Workstation, can be the best choice to add to your home workshop depending on your budget and the size or scope of jobs you intend to dov

But, If you are maybe hoping for a little more “umph” and are in the market for a heavy duty, premium product, we have some reccommendations below such as the Powermatic PM 2800B.

Further reviews of products from Delta, Shop Fox and Grizzly can also be found below and we’ve taken the time to go over differences between the speed, power and various features of each so we could find the best tools to stock your toolshed, shop or home workspace.

A small and simple tool that's perfect for occasional use and bringing along to job sites. Not designed to stand as a permanent fixture, but a great press for projects that requires perfect drilling. And, at under a hundred dollars, this is about the best bargain you can find.

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A piece of machinery for those who want to drill some serious holes and have the space in their work shop to dedicate to a standing drill press. This Powermatic model comes with so many advanced features it's near impossible to list them all. We definitely recommend you check it out.

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The Dremel workstation's main function is to provide press-type control and accuracy to your Dremel tools, so any function your Dremel provides can be enhanced simply by mounting it into the station. A great little product for a great little price.

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This drill is one of the best options you can find if you're looking for something to use around the house on occasion. Nothing too fancy or overpowering. Great drill for homeowners looking for a tool to use on the weekends.

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The WEN 4214 is the higher-end, bigger brother to our top pick, the 4208. This is a great power tool for taking care of a variety of drilling projects as its greatest feature is likely its adjustability.

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The Delta 18-900L is a jet-sized machine meant for equally huge jobs. If you have a lot of large scale drilling projects come up in your woodworking life and are ready for a floor standing drill with class-leading capacity the Delta is here for you.

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The Shop Fox W1668 is not only a great drill press, it's a great sander, too. Powerful drilling options that can handle larger jobs than most bench top presses and precise sanding capability make this an excellent piece of equipment to add to any shop.

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This is a smaller scale drill, but it's perfectly suited for handling a variety of tasks within that range. Don't let its size fool you, the HICO-DP4113 is one of the best in its class.

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This incredibly powerful and highly adjustable drill is maybe more than you need if you just want to bore the occasional hole in the occasional piece of wood. But, if you're looking for heavy duty power in your home bench top drill, definitely check the G7943 out.

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This is an afforable drill that is best for those who don't need to do more than drill holes in wood or some other material. Light on frivilous features and light on weight, this drill is simple, easy, and affordable.

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Buyers Guide Questions

Well, Drill Presses drill.

Though many can perform other functions (and do so admirably), at their most basic, drill presses are essentially power drills that are mounted within a larger machine in order to ensure accurate, and consistent drilling with greater speed and power.  A stable surface and a column are standard as well as a pulley system that operates the drill’s vertical movement. Thanks to a stronger motor and the generation of additional power through leverage, drill presses offer the option of drilling large holes, quickly and without the fatigue associated with punching large holes into thick, dense materials.

Drill presses are preferable for when you need to drill holes into metal or accomplish other tough projects that require precise, straight drill holes. Many can also be adjusted to drill at an angle in case the need arises. Whereas a hand drill can offer great flexibility of use, a drill press is the best tool when the job needs to be perfect. Other possible uses include tapping, reaming, counterboring, and countersinking.

There are two types of drill presses: floor-standing presses and bench presses. While standing presses offer greater power and can often be the best option in a spacious work shop that has room enough to dedicate permanently to a drill, bench presses are more portable and can be affixed temporarily to a shop table or other work surface. Standing drill presses are generally best suited to those looking to handle a number of larger heavy-duty projects, benchtop presses are often better for smaller projects and occasional use.

Bench drill presses are the best solution if you occasionally want the power of a drill press, but don’t have the space or need to dedicate an entire section of your work shop. While they don’t pack quite the same power or spin speed as floor-standing drill presses, bench models are best for the homeowner with only a little bit of space or the contractor who is constantly on the go.

How does a Bench Drill Press Work?

Before digging too far into the reviews, you may want to figure out exactly how to use a bench drill press so that you can be sure that it is in fact the machine you need. A bench drill press works in essentially the same way that a floor-standing press does, with the most major difference being the fact that you must mount it to a work bench or table before using it.

While controls vary between presses, as they do with any power tool, there are basic elements of operation that are consistent across the board. Make sure to carefully go over the specific instructions that come with your new drill before using it. If you are looking for a hand held corded drill instead, click here.

A bench drill press consists of a few basic pieces: a head, which houses the motor and generally a series of gears and pulleys that adjust the speed at which the press operates; a spindle and chuck that are the parts of the tool that together hold the bit and spin in order to drill; an arm that raises and lowers the chuck and bit; the table, which you place the material to be drilled on; a base or a foot that can be affixed to a work bench or other surface in your shop; and a column that is a support pole that runs from the base to the head and holds the table in place.

Before operating your drill press, you must make sure that you are wearing proper protection and clothing. It’s always best to wear safety glasses when working with power tools, and you’ll want to avoid wearing loose-fitting clothing and any jewelry that can get caught in the press. Long hair should also be tied back or tucked away before use so that it doesn’t get caught up in the spindle.

When you have mounted your drill press and are ready to use it, adjust the speed that the spindle turns at by changing the pulleys in the head.  When you have selected the proper speed for your intended use, the next step is setting up the drill bit and adjusting the table.

The spindle is the piece of the drill press that spins in order to bore holes. Drill bits are either placed directly into the spindle, if tapered, or are placed in a keyed or non-keyed chuck and then into the spindle. The table is the piece that holds the material to be worked on in place. The table can be moved up and down and usually rotated as required depending on intended use.

Turn on the drill press and place the material you are drilling onto the drill press’s table, then use the arm to move the drill down and through the wood, metal, or whatever other type of material  you may be working with. Remember not to force the drill through – especially if you happen to be working with a more delicate type of material or are running the drill at a low spin speed. Instead of pushing it, you should let the drill press do most of the work and let it “press” its way through.

How to Mount a Bench Drill Press?

Once you have selected a place in your shop or work area with enough lighting that you can properly see and enough room that you can easily maneuver the material you will be working on, it’s time to mount your bench drill press. Most bench drill presses feature a heavy duty base that will avid wobbling or walking while you drill, but it’s still important to mount the base to a table or bench in your shop to maximize safety. The motor in almost all drill presses is stored in the top, also known as the head, which can still make them more top heavy than anything.

In order to mount the press, you may clamp or bolt the base directly to the secured and stable table or surface you will be working on using bolt vises. You may also choose to affix the base to a piece of plywood or other piece of wood you have around the shop and then bolt the wood to your table or bench. Simple vice grips or clamps that might just be lying around your garage can hold the extended base in place.

Conclusion

Now that you’ve read our reviews and buyers guide, you’re good and ready to decide on a drill press to add to your home or professional working space. While we may have missed some classic manufacturers like B+D or JET, we hope you’ll agree the products in our reviews are fantastic. Keep in mind that our picks are just our picks, and what’s important is that you choose a piece of equipment that you are comfortable using and that you know will be able to tackle the jobs you need it for (so, if you still really want the JET, go get the JET). We hope that our reviews have helped to find the best drill press for you.

 

 

WEN 4208 8-Inch

Top Pick

Our top pick is the WEN 4208 Drill Press. This machine matches the standard of its class but in a small, and incredibly affordable package (seriously, if the WEN wasn’t our top pick, it would give Dremel a run for its money on value. The WEN model is a small and simple tool that’s one of the best for weekend woodworking and bringing along to job sites for occasional drilling. This is not a drill meant to stand as a permanent fixture if you have a lot of consistent heavy duty hole drilling to do, but it is perfect for projects that need perfect drilling.

Offering all of the standard drilling-specific components you want and need in a bench drill press, this bare-bones machine eschews more advanced, luxury add-ons such as LED lights, lasers, and digital speed readers, in order to get to business. While all of these can be nice, if you just want to do some good honest hole drilling without breaking the bank, we cannot recommend the WEN 4208 enough. It is the best of both worlds if you’re looking for a bench drill press to handle your smaller projects consistently and efficiently.

Powermatic PM2800B

Premium Choice

The Powermatic PM2800B Drill Press is a premium pick in every sense of the word. It is as powerful as its brand name and, if you’re looking for a heavy-duty floor standing drill press, this is undoubtedly one of the best you’ll find. It might as well be burning jet fuel to run. If you have the space and need in your work shop for a large-scale piece of equipment that’s able to fill a permanent, drill-based hole in your collection (get it?), we definitely recommend the Powermatic PM2800B.

This is a big machine. It weighs in at 266 pounds and boasts a 1HP motor and a huge 18 inch swing that is about as big as it gets. With a 6 inch stroke and 20 by 14 table and you can quickly see why this drill press is a stand out among our floor standing drill reviews. Adding to the pure performance of the machine are advanced features such as laser guides, adjustable LED lights, and the surprisingly thoughtful inclusion of reversible handles that can be mounted to make drilling easier for the left handed handymen among us.

We’re sure you’ll agree that this is a machine can make a great addition for any serious wood worker.

Dremel 220-01

Great Value

If you’ve already taken a quick glance at the Dremel 220-01 Workstation Drill Press, you know that one question that comes immediately to mind when you first see the sticker price: “How in the heck is it so cheap??”

The answer, of course is that it’s ingenious. The Dremel Workstation Drill Press isn’t exactly a drill press, per se, it is the option of turning the elements you already have lying around your garage into a functioning drill press. It’s basically a bench top drill press without the drill (yet). The workstation is built to hold your Dremel-branded rotary tools in place in a system that allows them to act as the power drill components in a drill press. The workstation, in and of itself is just your base, column, table, and arm – the rotary tools do the rest — and that’s why it’s so affordable.

If you already own any of Dremel’s rotary tools and are looking to do some small, accurate drilling on projects around your home– this is the absolute best value product you can purchase. You already have the tools, let Dremel give you the mechanics.

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