A high quality drill press is an essential part of many projects. And the advent of benchtop drill presses has brought them into even fairly compact environments. But the newfound abundance of options can make it difficult to find the best benchtop drill press.
In the following article we’ll go over the best options available in 2021. This involves considering cost, performance, durability and overall return on the investment. Finally, real world experiences from users will also push the drill rankings up or down.
9. Wen 434TV 4.25-Inch Benchtop Drill Press
Material: Cast Iron
Size: 4.25 Inches
Style: Drill Press Tilting Angle Vise
Degrees: 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90
– V-Shaped groove
– Stable and Reliable Clamping
– 7 positive tilting stops
Made from cast iron and powder-coated to make it even more durable, this is one of the more affordable benchtop drill presses. It has seven tilting stops ranging from 0 to 90 degrees, with each stop having a difference of 15 degrees between each other. It has a simpler design that allows you to make adjustments with a simple turn of the wheel.
- The cast iron build is well made and sturdy.
- The angle movement is smooth and easily adjustable.
- Its locking mechanism is fantastic, so you won’t have trouble with materials slipping while you’re working.
- It doesn’t have any lasers or other features that help you work on projects smoothly. You need some experience to work with this model.
It’s a sturdy and well-built machine that brings immense value to your workshop at a very low cost. Its features are quite impressive considering the price point, even though it lacks other elements that are found on more expensive benchtop drill presses.
The best benchtop drill presses also require high quality bits. With that said, you might also be interested in high quality drill bits for glass.
8. Wen 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press
Style: Drill Pres
Stroke: 3-1/8 Inches
Swing: 12 Inches
Maximum Speed: 3200 RPM
– Variable Speed Drill Press with Laser centering device
– LED screen display
– Powerful Induction Motor
The WEN 4214 offers a variable speed range of 580-3200 RPMs. With a spindle travel of 3-1/8 inches it offers accurate and repeatable drilling operations. It has a 2/3hp induction motor that offers good torque, and a quill diameter of 2.17 inches. You’ll need no more manual belt changes, and the onboard worklight does a fantastic job of illuminating even in dark conditions.
- The supplied keyed chuck is far better than we expected.
- The lasers greatly improve accuracy overall.
- The RPM range is fantastic, and it’s easily maneuvarable.
- No spindle lock, so you’ll have to be extra careful when you’re working.
We were impressed with this machine’s variable speed settings. It works wonders when you need to either work fast or apply more torque. Despite the lack of a spindle lock, we still recommend this drill because it has overall quality features which allow you to work properly.
7. Rikon 30-140 Bench Top Radial Drill Press
Style: Benchtop Radial Drill Press
Stroke: 3/8 inches
Maximum Power: 0.33 Horsepower
Swing: 34 inches
Maximum Speed: 3100 RPM
– Rotating Table with Stable Base
– Telescopic Design
– 5 Spindle Speeds
Rikon offers one of the best benchtop drill press options if one has a lot of table space. At 37” and 108 lbs it pushes the definition of a compact benchtop system. But if one has some extra space to spare than the extra 1/3rd horsepower motor lives up to expectations set by its size. And the rotating 7”x7” table also makes efficient use of the available space.
- It’s a powerful system that’s able to handle some difficult projects. It’s also durable enough to have a fairly long life span under reasonable usage conditions.
- A few of the less important parts have a surprisingly low build quality. The knobs, in particular, are made of fairly cheap plastic. They’re easy to replace, but it lowers the overall ranking for this drill press.
You wouldn’t expect such a versatile benchtop drill press to be this compact, yet here it is. The adjustable depth option is precise and the entire construction is sturdy – one user claimed their box got damaged during shipping but the drill itself remained intact with no scratches.
Looking for a full-fledged drill press for home and industrial use? Try these options.
6. Eurotool Small Benchtop Drill Press
Style: Small Benchtop Drill Press
Maximum Power: 100 Watts
Maximum Speed: 8500 RPM
– Ideal for all drilling projects
– Measures 6-3/4 inches by 6-3/4 inches
With small right in the name, people might assume that it’s only useful with smaller projects. And it’s true that the device comes in a very small size. It’s 6-¾”x6-¾” design saves a lot of space. And the machine only weighs 13 lbs. But there’s a full 8,500 of power in that small package.
- It’s among the best benchtop drill press options for people trying to save space.
- The instruction manual is easy to read.
- The power and overall cost are fairly impressive as well. But the size is right in the name for good reason.
- Its main advantage is that it is simply able to save so much space and yet accomplish a lot of work.
- It tends to show wear and tear at a much faster rate than one would hope. This can include physical dulling and even rusting.
- It ships in the retail packaging with no extra protection. However, it’s sturdy enough to survive shipping.
It’s overall a good quality benchtop drill press for the price that it usually goes for. The instruction manual is very helpful for beginners, as it explains the most important parts in plain English rather than highly technical jargon. The wear and tear won’t be that noticeable as long as you take good care of it.
5. General International 75-010 M1 Power Products Bench-Top Drill Press
Style: Benchtop Drill Press
Size: 12 inches
Maximum Power: 0.33 Horsepower
Maximum Speed: 3000 RPM
Spindle Travel: 3.125”
– Built-in laser pointer
– High-quality bearings
– Digital spindle speed display
The General International 75-010 is among the best benchtop drill press options for people who want a sturdy machine. It weighs in at a full 75 lbs. And that weight fits within a 15”x9.4”x33” form factor. Much of the weight comes from a case-iron head, base and central table. But everything up to and including the adjustable spindle tension return spring features durable construction.
- It’s a good example of getting what one pays for.
- The price is higher than other options, but it’s worth it because the build quality is equally high as well.
- It features solid metal construction, and even nice additions such as a forced opening line interrupter switch.
- The increased build quality comes with an expected increased overall cost.
- It also runs a little louder than some users might like.
Highly sturdy and reliable, this machine is worth every penny. With the only real downside being its loudness, we really can’t complain about anything else. If you’re willing to pay top dollar for something versatile and precise, this is one model to consider.
4. Genesis GDP1005A 10″ 5-Speed 4.1 Amp Drill Press
Style: Drill Press
Maximum Power: 30 Watts
Tilts Degrees: 0-45°
Maximum Chuck Size: 16 Millimeters
– 5 speed gear box
– Rack-and-pinion table height adjustment
– Integrated work light
The Genesis GDP1005A pushes the overall size and weight up. It’s 23.2”x16.9” and 52 lbs. The 5 speed gearbox allows for detailed work. And the table itself can rotate 360 degrees and at a 0-45” tilt. It also features a rack-and-pinion system to adjust the overall height.
- It’s one of the best benchtop drill press options for people who need extra adaptability.
- The press might be a little larger than other options, but that size also adds to the extent one can move it to fit any given project.
- Setting it up and using it is easy even for beginner and intermediate users.
- It runs smoothly at all times.
- Although it offers quite a few options for sizing, it’s otherwise lacking in additional features.
- Even someone who needs a place to hang tools on a press might want to consider the other options.
This drill may not be as compact as others on the list, but it’s quite impressive for its price point. If you want something that’s versatile enough to work on most projects without shelling out too much cash, it’s worth considering this option.
If you’re planning on working with porcelain tile, you might want to consider these quality bits.
3. Dremel 220-01 Rotary Tool Workstation Drill Press
Style: Mini Portable Drill Press
Maximum Chuck Size: 13 Millimeters
– Rotary Tool Holder
– Flex-Shaft Tool Stand
– Drills perpendicular and angled holes
Dremel’s press offers articulated drilling at 15 degree increments, up to a full 90 degree horizontal angle. The stand is equally flexible, and can move between a 16” and 29” position. And while it looks simple, the base can even hold a variety of cords or tools. This ranks it among the best benchtop drill press for space management.
- The tool and cord holders are a simple feature that’s missing on most competitors. They allow one to save space with the drill and through the use of its storage options.
- It also allows for an impressive ability to change drilling or stand placement.
- It assumes a certain level of experience from users – someone using a drill press for the first time might easily assume that it’s running crooked or incorrectly.
The tool holder is a very nice thing to have, especially at such a low price point. And even the drill press itself is quite impressive overall. However, it is not for everyone. Beginners might get confused about the way it runs and will probably assume it’s not working properly. But if you’ve been working with similar tools for a few years, you’ll find it to be a great choice.
- User Manual (PDF)
2. Wen 4212 10-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press
WEN’s drill press has a fairly small form factor when compared to other options. It features a 10” design. And the frame is further complemented by a 8”x7-⅔” work table made of cast iron. But the small size comes with an impressively powerful variable speed system ranging from 530 to 3100 RPM.
- It combines a lot of power within a small form factor.
- It even features usability options such as a precision laser and onboard storage.
- For the amount of power and options the price is also quite reasonable.
- It can run a little noisy, and much of this is due to the motor speed selector.
While it might not have the most easy to read manual, the booklet still does a fairly good job of explaining how the entire set-up process works. As for the drill itself, it’s built with top-notch quality and the design makes it very powerful despite its compact size.
1. Shop Fox W1668 3/4 HP Bench-Top Oscillating Drill Press
Style: Benchtop Drill Press
Spindle travel: 3-1/4 inches
Maximum Power:: 3/4 Horsepower
Maximum Speed: 3050 RPM
– Oscillating Drill Press
– 90-degrees tilt
– 12 Spindle Speeds
The Shop Fox W1668 offers an impressive 1,725 RPM motor. And the spindle speed comes in at an even more impressive 250 to 3050 RPM. The table is larger than average at 12-⅜” diameter. And it’s adjustable to a 45 degree angle.
- It’s both powerful and durable.
- Some other high power options skimp on individual components, but this drill press features solid construction for almost every component.
- It can handle even heavy projects and it won’t decrease its overall usage life
- The drill press is a little large and heavy, at 63 lbs and a 32”x14”x38” form factor.
- It’s also one of the more expensive choices on this list. However, the overall build quality is equally high.
The powerful motor and straightforward mechanical adjustment easily propel this drill to the top of our list. Despite its high price, we can’t really say anything bad about it. Even so, if you buy this drill press you will find that your money was well spent. It’s highly versatile and its features make it absolutely astonishing.
Since you’re here, how about also looking into some quality cobalt drill bits for your press?
Frequently Asked Questions
What size drill press do I need?
The size of a drill press is determined by its swing. It’s measured as twice the distance from the center of the spindle to the closest edge of the column or post. A 16-inch drill press will have an 8-inch throat distance. You should choose the size of a drill press depending on what size hole you need to drill in the center of a disk. A 16-inch drill press will drill a 16 inch sized hole, and so on.
What does spindle travel mean on a drill press?
It’s a measure of the depth of holes that can be achieved due to the rotation of the spindle. The spindle is an essential part of the drill press and it will determine the depth of the hole you’re drilling.
How can I work safely with a benchtop drill press?
Take the necessary precautions you would normally take when using industrial products. Wear safety glasses, be careful where you put your hands during operation, and make sure the bit is securely locked to the chuck before starting to work. Avoid wearing rings, bracelets, watches, or any other objects that might make it hard to use the drill press. Secure the material you are working on instead of holding it by hand.
What should I avoid doing when working with a drill press?
First of all, use your common sense. Do not wear any loose clothing or ties. Roll sleeves above the elbow to prevent them from being caught in revolving parts. Tie back or confine long hair. Don’t change the speeds or any other options while the drill is still running. Wait for it to stop completely. And finally, do not leave the drill press running unattended.
The best benchtop drill press choice goes to the Shop Fox W1668. But even there, one can easily see how it might not fit certain preferences. Each of the drill press options comes with unique benefits which fit different users and projects.
This is also why readers can benefit from sharing their experience, questions or ideas. Now that one’s found the best tools, it’s just a matter of getting the most out of them.
Also, don’t forget to purchase the necessary accessories whenever needed. A good handyman should know that a drill won’t be of much help without bits, and that you need to protect yourself from dust and other elements.