Porter Cable Drill Press Reviews: Our Honest Views & Guide

As time goes by, power tools are becoming more of a necessity than a luxury. This is because they make everything more straightforward when it comes to handling various tasks around the house or in the workshop.

An excellent example of such a tool is a drill press which is a tool that is designed to make drilling into various materials to be an effortless affair. The main advantage of this tool is that it works well with both wood and metal plus does not require prior experience before you acquire it.

Owning a drill press also saves you a lot since you do not need to pay a handyman for the job. In this article, we will focus on the Porter Cable brand, which is a reputable name in the world of power tools.

We hope that the Porter Cable drill press reviews will help you understand which we rate the brand so highly.

Top 2 Porter Cable Drill Presses - Comparison Table

Let's start by checking out some drill presses from the brand, which we believe are the best available. Take your time to check them out and see whether any of them suits your preferences.

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Porter Cable Drill Press Review

1. Porter Cable 10-Inch Bench Drill Press

The first item we shall look at is the 10-inch bench drill press which we consider to be a fairly versatile option. This is due to its capability for use in different projects such as metalwork, woodwork, sanding, among others.

Let’s see what this unit is all about.


Product Description

The first thing to talk about is its construction. This unit's different parts such as the head, the work-table and the base are made of cast-iron, and this is vital for longevity and stability of the drill press during operation. Further, you are likely to experience minimal vibration, and this would help you achieve the accuracy needed in operation.

Next up is thew five-speed setting that ranges from 610-2,800 RPM. This means that you could adjust the speed depending on the material you are working on or the drill bit you are using.

As for the work-table, it tilts up to 45-degrees either left or right so that you can find the perfect angle that would deliver the accurate results you are looking for.

Other Features And Benefits

Another notable feature we should mention is the adjustable depth stop that helps attain precise measurements and for repetitive drilling.

We liked the LED light that is located under the drill head, which will light up the work area when needed to do so.

Last but not least, there is the rack and pinion table elevation system that allows for quick and precise adjustments.


  • Built to last
  • Has a five-speed setting
  • Tilting work-table


  • Noisy

2. Porter Cable 15-inch Floor Drill Press

When you look at this 15” floor drill press, it is easy to see why many individuals consider it to be an upgrade of the bench press models. This is because it comes with features that you do not find in models like the one above.

Before you decide to invest in it, check out what we discovered about the unit after extensive research.


Product Description

Let's start with the twelve speeds that range between 300-3100 RPM to allow for drilling into different materials such as wood and metal. Even better is that there is a chart that recommends rates for different materials and bits.

Adjusting the speed is very easy, and you only need to use the pulley at the top of the drill press.

The next vital feature is the adjustable drill gauge which assists in accurate and repetitive drilling. Besides that, the gauge has a quick-release feature that enables it to move upwards and downwards fast.

Another upgrade from the bench press drill is the laser cross beam that allows for precise drilling. If your laser does not arrive aligned, you will get a set of instructions on how to do so yourself.

Other Features And Benefits

We liked the availability of three handles on both the left and right side of the unit that allows for comfortable use by both right and left-handers. Further, the handles are of a convenient size for a tight and secure grip.

Let's not leave out the large cast-iron work-table which can tilt up to 45-degrees, and this would be perfect for bevel drilling.

Most of all, the assembly is straightforward, and if you follow the instructions to the latter, the entire process should not take you more than 30-minutes.


  • Adjustable goose-neck work light to illuminate the work area
  • Laser guides for accurate drilling
  • Easy assembly


  • Spindle vibrates a lot

Buying Guide to A Perfect Porter Cable Drill Press

Even though we have stated that Porter Cable rarely disappoints when it comes to the drill press, you should always take an extra step to ensure that all the vital features are in place. For this reason, we will point out some of the factors to look out for as you shop for the ideal drill press.

I) Power and Variable Speed

Different materials require different levels of speed that would not damage them. So, a unit without variable speed levels would be more suited for handling different materials than one with a fixed setting.

The Porter Cable drill presses we came across have variable speed settings, and most of all, changing the speed is not complicated at all, and this is a feature that beginners would appreciate. All you have to do is pull a lever normally located at the top of the unit.

Then, the unit should also be powerful enough to handle any material that you throw at it.

II) The Construction

In most cases, when we talk about construction, you would start thinking about how it affects the unit's durability. Well, you are not wrong, only that the quality of the construction also affects the stability with which you operate the drill press.

The good thing is that the Porter Cable units we examined were sturdily made to ensure they serve you for a decent period and to be stable enough to deliver accurate results.

III) Work-Table

This is a crucial part of a drill press to enable you to get the results that you were aiming for. The table ought to be in good condition all times and should lock in place to provide you with the stability that you need for the job.

Further, the table ought to tilt either left or right to provide you with a range of angles which you could work with as you proceed with your drilling operation.

IV) A Laser Guide

If you want pinpoint accuracy in your drilling task, look out for a unit that features a laser guide. Even better is that some drill presses come with two laser guides, although you have to be prepared to dig deeper into your pockets.

V) Chuck

A metallic chuck serves to boost the drill press' efficiency. The chucks come in different designs to accept drill bits of various lengths including ½", 3/8" and 5/8". An adaptable drill press is one that takes bits of up to ½".

The other thing about the chuck is the key that it comes with. The keys could easily get lost, and it is vital that your unit has a holder that keeps them secure.

VI) Quill Travel and Depth Stop

When we talk about the quill travel, we are referring to the spaces that the quill goes through, and this would have an impact on the depth of the holes that you drill. The ideal depth will depend on your preference.

With the depth stop, you can set the depth that you feel would be perfect. 

VII) LED Light

In many instances, you find yourself unable to complete a particular task due to poor visibility. However, you can beat this problem by acquiring a unit which has an LED light that would light up the work area. This feature is usually located under the drill head, and it helps you cover more work than you would have without it.

VIII) Safety Features

The unit should also have safety features that would ensure its durability is not compromised. For instance, it would be best if the drill press features removable parts which you could store away safely to minimize their exposure to rust.

Maintenance Tips for a Drill Press

First, it would be wise if you acquired a low-maintenance product as this would save you a lot of time and money. However, there are some basic maintenance practices that you should perform on your machine to ensure that it remains useful to you for a decent duration.

Let’s see what some of these practices are.

1. Lubrication

Lubrication is an essential exercise for a drill press as it ensures that the unit operates smoothly and efficiently. When lubricating the chuck, drying lubricant would be the most appropriate element for the job.

For proper lubrication of the chuck, start by removing its shell so that you can open the jaws well before blowing compressed air to clean the inside. Ensure to have your goggles on so that you do not expose your eyes to the dust you are blowing off.

Then, spray the lubricant inside and loosen and tighten the jaws repeatedly as the excess oil drips out. Finish by wiping off any remaining oil with a clean piece of cloth.

2. The Belt

If you notice any vibration or annoying noise coming from the unit, chances are there are issues with the belt. It could either be too tight or worn out.

To diagnose the problem, start by unplugging the press before carefully observing the belt. If it is in good condition, proceed to check its tension and if there is any problem, whether too tight or loose, follow the given instructions on how you could make adjustments to the tension.

After that, run the motor and observe if the problem has been fixed. If not, make a point of consulting an expert as there could be something vital that you are missing.

3. The Work-Table

The working table is a vital part of the drill press that aims to make work so much easier. An adjustable table would be the best choice as you could make the necessary adjustments depending on the task at hand.

4. Take Care of Yourself and Others

In general, a drill press is a powerful machine that could hurt you or anyone around you if you are not cautious enough. So, as you use it, follow all the guidelines given, including wearing protective clothing which would ensure that you do not harm yourself during the drilling operation.

Further, after use, ensure you store the machine safely away from the reach of children as they are more prone to inflicting harm on themselves.

How To Operate A Drill Press

Even though this article is about Porter Cable drill press, some rules apply to all machines, and this includes the operation. So, we will provide you with a few pointers on how you can operate your unit effectively and appropriately.

I) Setting the Speed

Before setting the unit to the ideal speed for operation, make sure that it is off so that there are no nasty surprises. You can then adjust the speed by shifting the drive belt from one pulley to the next. A general rule is that the smaller the pulley is, the faster the operation of the unit will be.

Another rule that you should keep on your fingertips is that slower speeds work for tougher materials such as wood while faster speeds are ideal for softer materials such as wood. However, it is always important to check out what the manufacturer recommends to be on the safe side.

II) Adjusting the Table

In some drill presses, you will find a crank that allows you to adjust the table to the appropriate height. In others, once you release the clamping lever, the table will now move freely.

All in all, always adjust the table to the height you are comfortable with as you operate the drill press.

III) Fit the Bit

Start by opening the chuck before sliding in the bit. Then, use your hand to snug the chuck around the bit shaft before using the key to tighten the jaws. 

Make a point of removing the chuck so that it does not turn into a weapon when you turn on the drill.

IV) Gauging the Depth

The first thing you need to know is that if you are drilling a hole into a piece of stock, adjusting the depth gauge is not necessary since there is a threaded rod that sets the distance which the spindle will travel.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a hole with a fixed depth, lower the bit to the height that you want before adjusting the knurled nuts on the gauge to the perfect stopping point. As one stops the spindle, the other locks the other nut in place.

V) Securing the Workpiece

It is vital that the workpiece that you are drilling is fixed in place since it is easy for it to be spun by the drill bit's rotation. So, ensure that the workpiece is tightly secured in place before you start operating the drill press.

VI) Drilling

After proper set up of the machine, the final step is to embark on the drilling mission. The drill should spin at full speed before the bit comes into contact with the workpiece. When you are done drilling the hole, release the pressure on the lever so that the spring-loaded mechanism gets back to its initial position.

FAQs on the Top Porter Cable Drill Press

During our Porter Cable drill press reviews, there are several queries that we came across. We shall attempt to answer them in this section to boost your knowledge on the topic.

Q: What makes the Porter Cable drill press to be so amazing?

A: There are several explanations for this conclusion. First, it is made out of affordable yet sturdy cast-iron material that makes it durable and stable. Further, it features a laser guide to help you get accurate results every time you use the press for your drilling operations.

And there are many more features that make this particular model be a fantastic choice for anyone.

Q: Do you need prior experience before using a Porter Cable drill press?

A: No, you do not. Any user, whether a novice, intermediate or expert, would be comfortable with this unit. This is one of the areas where this brand has the edge over the competition.

Q: Why is a variable speed setting a significant factor to consider? 

A: Different materials require different speed levels which would not damage them during drilling. So, if a unit has adjustable speed, you could set it to the appropriate level that would work well with that particular material.

Which One is the Best?

We felt that the Porter Cable 10-Inch Bench Drill Press would be the ideal unit to invest in. This is due to the outstanding combination of features that we think would enable it to deliver the best service.

Final Verdict

If you want a satisfying drilling experience, Porter Cable drill press is a unit that would not disappoint you. Besides having all the right features to get the job done, the drill press is reasonably priced to ensure it is within reach of ordinary individuals.

Did you have any doubts about the product? If you did, we hope that our article has done its part of eliminating any reluctance you had by giving you all the relevant information on the drill press.

Go for it as we believe you won’t be disappointed.

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