6 Best Drill Presses in 2021 – For Home and Industrial Drilling
Whether you are looking to improve your home woodworking shop or putting together a professional industrial work area, you need a drill press.
Drill presses allow you to drill accurately and safely, no matter whether you are drilling through plastic or cast iron. The market is full of great brands and models, so choosing the best drill press may seem a little daunting, but don’t worry, that is what we are here for.
We have done the research and are here to tell you about some excellent options, both for home and industrial use. Before we talk about the products, let’s take a quick look at what you need to consider before making your purchase.
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The 6 Best Drill Presses in Review
6. Grizzly Industrial G7943
Travel: 3 1/4’”
If you are looking for a more compact option that can still offer a lot of power, then we present to you the Grizzly Industrial G7942. This is the best drill press for metal in this size and price range. It offers a 3/4HP motor with 12 speeds, 104 to 3,050 rpm, meaning this drill should be able to handle any of your metal projects.
This is a heavy-duty machine with a cast iron table and base. It weighs 80lb, so much easier to move than some of the floor models, but still sturdy enough to depend on. It comes with some handy features, such as a built-in light, chuck guard, and threaded depth gauge. This drill should have all the features you would expect on a benchtop drill press, plus a little extra.
The cast iron table tilts up to 90 degrees and easily adjusts up and down with a simple crank. It comes with a 14” swing and 3 ¼” travel as well as ⅝“ chuck, all good sizes for a bench drill. It has a 1” steel drill capacity, so get ready for some industrial drilling. The price point on this one is a little high for a bench drill, but it is industrial-grade, which somewhat explains the cost.
One of the best drill presses for metal that comes in a compact size with lots of power. Its handy features and safety measures make it a good choice for industrial usage, despite its somewhat hefty price.
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5. Jet 352170 Floor Drill Press
Travel Tilt: 45 Degrees
This is a beast of a drill. If you are looking for a high-capacity, powerful machine, then this is the one. It has a 1.5HP motor that runs on 115v, but can be converted to 230v. It has 12 speeds, ranging from 150 to 4,200, so no matter what you want to drill through, you can depend on the Jet to get the job done. Jet also provides a 2-year warranty, just in case something unexpected takes place.
This model comes with a 20” swing and 4 ⅝“ travel, so bigger projects will not be an issue. It comes with a ¾“ chuck, built-in work light socket, and locking depth stop. The table is 18 ⅝“ x 16 ⅛“ and is easily moved up and down with a crank. The table tilts from 0 to 45 degrees and can be adjusted with a quick-release clamp.
This will be a great choice if you plan on doing some serious industrial drilling daily. It is quite heavy, 282lb, so single-handed assembly is pretty much out of the question. It is also on the higher end of the price range, but if you need a heavy-duty drill, the extra cost is worth the confidence that you will have when using this drill press.
4. Delta 18-900L Professional Grade Floor Drill Press
Table Tilt: 90 Degrees
With this drill, Delta has manufactured an excellent tool that would be a great addition to any bigger workshop. With an 18″ swing, you can expect to have plenty of room for your wider projects. Not only that, but this drill comes with a large, easy to adjust table. The table tilts up to 90 degrees to the left and right as well as tilting forward up to 48 degrees. These tilt options make this the best drill press for those tricky drilling projects.
The motor is 3/4HP, so plenty of power for your daily drilling. There are 16 speeds, ranging from 170 to 3,000 rpm, giving you the options you need. It is 120v, so you will not have to worry about rewiring the workshop.
One of the high selling points for this drill is that it comes with two intersecting laser guides for precision drilling. It also comes with a built-in LED work light so that you never have to worry about shadows distorting your view.
Since this is a large floor unit, it is heavy, weighing 240lb. Moving it will require more than one person, so you may want to phone a friend or two for assembly. This one also has a higher price point, but with benefits like a 6” travel and auto-tension on the belts for easy speed adjustments, the extra cost may be worth it.
With this drill’s 18” swing, you’ll have enough space for your wider projects. It’s a good choice for those who are looking to take advantage of auto-tension belts and large tilting tables that give you the advantage of working efficiently on diverse projects.
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3. Shop Fox W1680
Travel: 3 1/4”
Table Tilt: 90 Degrees
This model from Shop Fox is the perfect moderate option for those who need something a little bigger, but do not want to break the bank. With a 1HP motor and 12 speeds, ranging from 140 to 3,050 rpm, this drill is sure to have what you need for your busy shop. It runs on 110v power, has a 1” steel drilling capacity, and solid cast iron construction.
The prominent feature of this drill is the table. It comes with a 14″ diameter round table that is pre-drilled for easy clamp use. The tilt on this one goes from 0 to 90 degrees, and the vertical adjustment allows you to lower the table 31.5″, perfect for those taller projects.
This drill also comes with some handy safety features such as a hinged chuck guard. This protects your hands from moving parts when the drill is running. And it is easy to flip out of the way when you are changing bits. The toggle on/off switch also comes with a paddle cover that helps to prevent accidental starts, but also allows quick stops..
For a floor drill press, this model has a smaller travel length, only 3 ¼“, but the adjustable table helps to make up for that. The swing is 17”, so a little smaller than other models, but still quite large for your average drill press. The best thing about this model is that even though it offers comparable power, it comes in at about half the price of other floor models, making it the best drill press for the money.
2. Skil 3320-01
Motor: 3.2 Amp
Travel: 2 1/2”
Table Tilt: 45 Degrees
Everyone knows that precision is vital when it comes to drilling on complex woodworking projects. If you are seeking the best drill press for woodworking that won’t break the bank, then definitely give this one a look.
This drill comes with two intersecting precision laser guides, so you can know that you are drilling in the correct spot every time. This one also comes with an easy to use depth stop and 45-degree tilting table. It only has a 10” swing, but that can be plenty of space for most home projects.
Skil designed this drill to be sturdy enough to hold up to daily use, but compact enough to fit comfortably on any workbench. It has a 3.2 amp motor, a little less than ½HP, and five speeds. The speeds range from 750 to 3,050, another feature that makes this great for the woodshop.
If your main goal is doing woodwork, this is the drill for you. It has outstanding precision and comes at a decent price-to-value ratio. With the help of its precision lasers, you will most likely be able to cut out wooden shapes, and even other materials, exactly how you desire.
1. Wen 4208
Table Tilt: 45 Degrees
If you are just setting up your woodshop or looking for a quality drill press to take to multiple worksites, then this is the best drill press for you. This drill comes with everything you need to get your drilling done without going outside of your budget. It is made with quality materials, but only weighs 31lb, so it is easily portable.
The features on this drill include a 1/3HP motor and five speeds ranging from 740 to 3,140. It has a drilling capacity of ½“ heavy cast iron. Speaking of cast iron, both the table and base are made out of cast iron, making this a very sturdy machine. The table is 6.5” x 6.5″ and tilts from 0 to 45 degrees in both directions.
This model has an 8” swing and 2” travel, so a bit smaller than the other models that we have mentioned, but still plenty of room for your home projects. This drill is simple to use and extremely budget-friendly, making it the best drill press for beginners.
At just 31 lbs, this drill is not only a bargain, but also an astounding helping hand in your woodshop. Despite its smaller swing and travel, the price-to-value ratio is phenomenal, and you’ll quickly find yourself working with pleasure on one of the best drill presses for the money.
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Frequently asked questions
Some of these things may seem a little obvious if you are already a professional wood or steelworker, but sometimes going back to the basics is the best way to know that you are making an informed decision.
How do I choose the best drill press for my needs?
The best place to start is by considering the type of work you will be doing. There are two main types of drill presses: floor and bench. Floor drill presses are bigger, often more powerful, and set directly on the floor of your shop. Bench drill presses are more compact, have fewer speeds, and are meant to set on a workbench.
It may be tempting to go out and buy the biggest, most powerful drill you can find, but that is not the best idea. Professional-grade drill presses can be quite expensive and very large, so if you don’t need that much power, you may end up wasting money, not to mention wasting precious floor space in your workroom.
On that same note, do not cut yourself short, either. Buying a drill that is too small can limit your work and cause frustration. Try to take into consideration the type of work you are doing now, as well as what you plan to be doing in the future so that you do not end up having to buy another drill any time soon.
How should the size of my project affect my decision?
The size of your work will determine the size of the drill you need. The three main elements that you will want to consider on the drill as far as size is concerned are the swing, the travel, and the table.
Swing: The swing is the space between the drill bit and the column, the metal pole that holds up the drill. The size of the swing determines what size pieces you can work with. Many home drills have a swing of 8” to 12”, which is typically all the space you would need.
Travel: Travel is the distance that the spindle can descend. This determines the depth at which you can drill. Depending on the model this can range from 2” to 6”.
Table: The table is the platform on which your workpiece rests while drilling. As you would expect, these come in different sizes, usually ranging from 6” to 20”. Most tables can also tilt at different angles, so if you do a lot of angled drilling, be sure to choose a drill that has enough table tilt for your projects.
What specs should I take into consideration the most?
What is inside the drill is just as important as the outer measurements. The main elements to look into when considering the inner workings of your drill are motor size, speed, and torque.
Motor Size: Drill press motors are similar to other motors in that their power is often measured in horsepower. The power can range from 1/3HP to 1.5HP, giving you a pretty good range in power. Even the more compact drills can have powerful motors, so do not think that you have to sacrifice power to save space.
Speeds: Drill presses come with various speeds, ranging from 5 to 16 different speeds. Many bench drills only come with five speeds, but that is usually more than enough for the average workshop. The speeds are measured in revolutions per minute (rpm), and what you need is determined by the materials you will use for your work.
Torque: Torque is, of course, the force with which the drill rotates. High torque is probably the most crucial element, especially if you plan on drilling bigger holes in tougher materials such as steel.
As you can see, there are a lot of excellent drill press options out there, but choosing the best one for you does not have to be a challenge. Once you consider the type and size of the work you plan on doing, picking the right drill is a cinch. Just remember that there is no reason to overbuy. If you know that you are going to stick with simple home projects, then you do not need to shell out a ton of money. Choose one of the budget options; you will save money and still get the power you need.
On the other hand, if you are setting up a professional shop, do not limit yourself. Choose an industrial machine that can handle everything you do now as well as what you plan on doing in the future. A drill press is a vital tool to have in your workshop, so taking the time to research your options is very wise. We hope that the information we have provided will enable you to make a confident and informed decision when purchasing the best drill press for your shop.