What every serious woodworker craves, above all, is precision. When it comes to drilling holes, sometimes a handheld or cordless power drill can’t offer you the exact level of precision and control you need and certainly can’t make holes of large diameter.
Which is why it’s worth looking into the best woodworking drill press for your next project. These are motorized tools that are mainly used for boring holes in wood. As opposed to handheld drills, drill presses are stationary or benchtop models, so they don’t depend on wrist power to perform well. They’re perfect for professionals and aspiring craftsmen.
Drill presses are available in a wide range and variety. Here are the best ones and how to find them.
Best Woodworking Drill Press Reviews 2021
If you’re ready to take your woodworking to the next level, then a drill press is a must-have. Here are the best ones reviewed to help you choose the right one for yourself.
1. WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press
The first drill press we have selected for your consideration today is available from Wen, one of the most trusted tools manufacturers for those on a budget. The 4208 is an 8-inch benchtop drill press, making it perfect for low to mid-duty woodworking projects. We love its compact shape, which allows it to fit easily onto any workspace.
Despite its small size, however, this little guy definitely packs a lot of power: not only can it drill through plastic, metal, and wood, but its 1/3 hp induction motor allows it to deliver heavy-duty torque consistently throughout the years.
Getting your work done is easier with this machine. The depth adjustment gauge allows you to control the movement of the spindle, ensuring that you get an accurate hole every time. The work table can be beveled at 45 degrees left and right, further enhancing precision and control.
What’s more, the 1/2 inch keyed chuck on the drill press is capable of accepting any drill bit of the same size, so you can depend on it for various project types. And on that note, you will definitely appreciate its 5-speed operation, with speeds from 740 to 3140 RPM.
If you’re thinking of buying a drill press for the first time, and are aiming to enhance your woodworking skills and workmanship, then this is surely a drill press that will stand out to you. If your projects tend to be large, though, this one might not be the right fit.
- 1/3hp induction motor offers reliable and powerful torque and power
- Comes with 5 different speed settings to suit the needs of your project
- 1/2 inch keyed chuck accepts any drill bit of the same size
- Work table can be beveled 45 degrees in either direction
- Robust base made from cast iron to prevent wobbling during operation
2. Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press
Developed to be improved from existing Shop Fox drill press models, the W1848 is by far one of the best if not the very best floor standing drill press for woodworking that we have come across. What sets this press apart from others in its class is—you guessed it—its oscillating spindle.
This unique spindle will not only allow you to enjoy enhanced precision but enhance efficiency in contour sanding operations as well. Yep, you read that right. This guy is not just a drilling machine, but a sanding machine as well. Thanks to the oscillating motion of the 3/4″ spindle, heat build-up are reduced, allowing for a smooth, clean finish.
So what else can it do? With its 3/4hp motor, this is one of the most powerful drill presses on the market, and it comes with a whopping 12-speed system to enable you to take on any kind of woodworking project with ultimate ease. Furthermore, its work table can be adjusted for height and tilt, giving you more space and flexibility to take control of your workpiece.
Yes, this is certainly not the most budget-friendly drill press on our list, but we think it’s a worthwhile expense for those of you who truly prioritizes precision and functionality. And for a machine that both drills and sands, you wouldn’t find a better deal!
- Comes with a 3-piece spindle sander drum kit
- Oscillating spindle allows for a smooth sanding operation
- Easily switch from drilling to sanding mode with tool-free adjustments
- Offers 12 different operation speeds from 250 to 3050 RPM
- Robustly built standing model for years of dependable usage
3. DEWALT DWE1622K Drill Press
Did you really think we’d publish a whole list of tool reviews without mentioning a drill press from DeWalt? We’re sure you didn’t because that wouldn’t make sense. With nearly a century of experience in producing some of the most high-performing tools on the market, DeWalt is trusted all over America and beyond.
And so is the case with this beautiful drill press. Powered with a highly capable 10 amp motor, this drill press is nevertheless quite portable due to being lightweight. We do wish it came with more speed settings than just 300 and 450 RPM, but the 4″ drill is more than capable of handling even the toughest materials.
Besides, using this thing is super easy thanks to its intuitive design and features. It comes with quick-release feed handles, which are made to be mounted on either side of the drill press, so if you have a small workspace, you’ll definitely appreciate this feature.
Meanwhile, the chuck system of the drill press has been integrated with classic DeWalt convenience; in this case, a quick-change mechanism that allows you to effortlessly swap chucks tool-lessly!
All that being said, it must be admitted that this offering from DeWalt is quite pricey, particularly in the context of its minimal adjustability. However, for determined beginners who are looking to step up their woodworking game, this is a pretty good place to start, and it’s sure to last you a long time.
- Equipped with a powerful 10 amp motor that allows you to drill through the toughest materials
- Effortless chuck swapping mechanism with overheating protection
- Convenient design with dual feed handles for compact spaces
- Comes with an overload protection LED light indicator
- Offers two-speed settings: 300 and 450 RPM
4. JET JDP-20MF 20 Inch Drill Press
This next pick has been selected by us specifically for the serious professional woodworkers who are reading this article. This highly rated offering from Jet is one of our favorite standing drill presses, and if you keep reading, it’ll become pretty evident why that is!
Like working with steel or metal when you’re not working with wood? No problem. Boasting a powerful, robust 1-1/2 hp motor, this standing drill press is capable of undertaking the drilling operations of even the toughest of materials.
Facilitating that is the generous 12-speed setting, which allows you to manipulate the operation of the drill from 150 to 4200 RPM. The external depth stop measures 1/2″ in diameter, and its three-nut locking feature allows for easier, faster, and smoother adjustments.
You will also be able to use your preferred drill bits, thanks to the included drill chuck (which, of course, comes with its own key as well). The press’s work table is operated via a quick-release crank and can be tilted 45 degrees in either direction.
Furthermore, the spindle speed is also easy to manipulate thanks to the motor mount. Meanwhile, the telescoping guard keeps you safe when you’re near the spindle. Is this drill press expensive? Certainly. But is it worth it? Also yes!
- The included depth stop is equipped with a quick-set bolt for faster and smoother adjustments
- The work table can be tilted back and forth 45 degrees
- Allows for enhanced visibility with in-built work light
- Boasts a powerful 1-1/2 hp motor with 12 speeds from 150 to 4,200 RPM
5. Mophorn 1200W Magnetic Drill Press
Given the high quality and average price range of the drill presses we have reviewed thus far (and those you have no doubt read about on other platforms), you might be thinking that good drill presses are only available at high prices. Well, Mophorn is here to disprove that notion with ease.
This 1200 watt powered drill press is different from the others we have seen thus far in the sense that it’s operated magnetically. The base of the drill is electromagnetic and is easy to control using an accessible switch.
This drill press has a maximum drilling diameter of 23mm and can be used with fittings measuring 1.5 to 23mm. It offers a maximum magnetic force of 2920lbs, and it’s powerful enough to cut through steel and other metals with ultimate ease. We also appreciate the guide rail, which has been constructed from durable aluminum alloy and allows you to adjust the motor’s height according to the needs of the job.
One drawback of this drill press is that it operates at only a one-speed setting, 500 RPM. As such, we wouldn’t recommend this machine for those of you who prioritize refinement and smoothness in your woodworking. It’s more suitable for workshops and garages, or other industrial applications.
- Guide rail with sturdy aluminum alloy construction enhances the machine's strength
- Rocker lever comes with a rubber sleeve to prevent slippage
- The integrated cyclone cooling system prevents the machine from overheating
- Perfect for industrial and heavy-duty applications
- Electromagnetic base with a maximum drilling diameter of 23mm
6. BILT HARD 8 Inch Drill Press
While we’re on the topic of affordable drill presses, it would be a crime to skip over this absolutely beautiful offering from BILT HARD. This benchtop model is one of the most versatile and functional that we have come across, and it’s available at a highly gratifying price, as well.
With its 8 inch swing and total weight of 22 pounds, this is a highly portable drill press that is compatible with a wide variety of materials, including wood, plastic, metal, and others of low- to mid-density.
This is thanks to the capable 1/3 hp motor the machine is fitted with, which works through 5 different operating speeds to give you ultimate control over your workpiece. Adding to that is the adjustable work table, which can be tilted 45 degrees in either direction.
And speaking of the work table, should you ever feel like transferring it to a work stand, that’s easily done thanks to the predrilled holes. We also love the overall construction of this drill press. With its cast-iron frame, it’s super sturdy yet does not take away from its portability. The 1/2 inch keyed chuck accepts any drill bit with a diameter of 1/16 to 1/2 inches. It will accept even the best drill bit for pressure treated wood with ease.
- Work table bevels can be adjusted 45 degrees to the left or to the right
- Equipped with a 5-speed system from 750 RPM to 3200 RPM
- Accessible adjustable locking depth stop allows you complete control
- 1/2 inch keyed chuck accept any drill bit between 1/16 and 1/2 inches in diameter
7. GENERAL INTERNATIONAL 75-010 M1 12 In. Commercial Benchtop Drill Press
If you’re truly serious about perfecting and streamlining your woodworking experience but don’t want to spend too much, this high-tech offering from General International will be right up your alley. Equipped with some of the most advanced features we’ve seen on a drill press, this is one of the most impressive models on our list.
Let’s get right into the standout feature of this drill press: its laser guide! Yep, this guy comes with his own laser pointer, which allows you to enjoy unmatched accuracy in drilling. This is definitely helped along by the 1/3hp, 120v motor, which will give you an industrial user experience. The machine’s total weight of 75 pounds also makes it an ideal choice for workshop mobility.
But it doesn’t stop there. General International has also equipped this drill machine with premium-quality bearings that preclude any sort of vibration, which further enhances the smoothness of the machine’s operation. And of course, you get to enjoy variable speed settings from a range of 500 to 3000 RPM.
All in all, this is the perfect companion for the intermediate or DIY woodworker. It’s going to fit perfectly into any home garage or workshop, but it’s also capable of taking on tough materials. And it’s available at such an amazing price, too!
- Equipped with a laser pointer to allow for precise drilling accuracy
- Premium bearings allow for smooth vibration-free operation
- Allows you to control the speed between 500 and 3000 RPM for the needs of your project
- Weighs only 75 pounds; an ideal choice for portability and mobility
8. Klutch Floor Drill Press
Our final pick in drill presses is a floor drill press from Klutch. It’s equipped with a wide range of attractive features which promise to make up for its relatively high price. Let’s see what it has to offer.
This 17-inch drill press comes with a chuck capacity of 5/8 inches, which means you’ll be able to fit it with a wide range of your own drill bits. This will allow you to take on any sort of woodworking project with ease.
But it’s not just wood you can work on with this thing; from plastic to metal, this guy can handle it all. That’s thanks to its 1-inch maximum drilling capacity and 1 1/2hp motor, which combines with the 6-inch vertical stroke to afford you precision and control.
And of course, the machine’s work table can also be adjusted for angle, with its capacity to bend 45 degrees left or right. Whatever angle you need to get at your workpiece from, this machine’s got you covered. Plus, with its ball knob handle and depth lock, adjustments are made even more precise.
For the price that this machine is available at, however, you can find other models with more advanced features. That being said, the durability and capacity of this particular drill press do stand out.
- Lets you drill at variable speeds of up to 2400 RPM
- Equipped with a vertical stroke of 6 inches
- The work table can be tilted 45 degrees left or right for greater control
- Swing measures 17 inches for greater versatility
- Fitted with a 1 1/2 HP motor for dependable power
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Things to Consider Before Buying Woodworking Drill Press
There are certain factors you need to take into account to be able to successfully pick out a drill press that suits your preferences. We have listed some of the key characteristics you should look out for.
Before looking for the best drill press for woodworking, you need to have a clear idea of the model types you will come across. In essence, drill presses come in two types: bench top and floor models.
The bench-top model types are those which are easy to carry because of their small form factor and lightweight. Meanwhile, the floor models tend to carry more weight to them. But you should also take into account the additional features you receive from floor models like increased power and drilling capacity.
One thing must pay close attention to is the spindle handle movement offered by the drill. This will determine how deep into your work material you can really go. If you're planning on drilling through thick objects, it's best to choose a drill press with an accessible and easily adjustable spindle handle that will enable you to do so.
The quickest way to find out how much power you will get out of the drill is to calculate the power consumption in watts. Whichever drill you choose to invest in will come with listed amp and volt numbers. Once you multiply these two figures, you will receive the wattage value.
You would have to consider the material to be drilled in order to get the right watt value. The higher your watt value goes, the more power output you receive. As a result, more power lets you drill through tough objects easier.
Drill presses that offer a range of variable speed settings are more versatile to work with. Multiple rotation speeds will let you cater your drill to better suit your material thickness, allowing it to pierce through easily.
For example, materials with hard surfaces would require slow drilling speeds to penetrate through. Any bench-top drill press should come with 5 to 6-speed settings, while the floor models can have as many as 16!
You already know by now that woodworking drill presses don't come cheap. As such, you need to consider your budget before you begin to look into your options.
For those of you looking for a drill press to suit your professional needs, it would be safe to keep aside somewhere from $500 to $1500. The drill presses within this price range are made to be used for longer periods of time and are fitted with very high powered motors.
On the other hand, that does not mean we have to omit the drill presses below that price bracket. Based on your requirements, you might not even need such high powered motors. So, check out your below $500 options as we're quite sure you'll find one that will last you for years with adequate motor speeds.
The performance and capability of your drill press will be determined by a few of its extra features. Here are a couple to look out for.
Work Table Adjustability
The work table on your drill press is the surface on which you will rest your workpiece to be drilled. Adjustability is of crucial importance in this case. Beyond just moving up and down, the worktable should also be able to tilt sideways. If you work with complicated pieces and frequently need to drill at various angles, you will no doubt appreciate the benefit of such a feature.
Although this is a feature usually found only on the most high-end drill press models, it's undoubtedly a very useful one. Drilling with accuracy is of crucial importance; these models step it up by including a laser guiding system, which allows you to align your drilling holes much more easily. If you’re a professional, you won’t want to skip out on this feature.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I know if I need a woodworking drill press?
Ans: If you typically undertake large-scale woodworking projects, need to drill holes of large diameter, or prioritize precision and accuracy, a drill press will greatly enhance the ease of your work.
Q: How do drill presses work?
Ans: The rotating handle of the drill press allows you to determine the downward movement of the spindle (the spinning mechanism to which the drill bit is attached). Because the spindle only moves vertically, it produces clean, precise holes. The depth of the hole and length of the spindle is usually adjustable.
Q: What is the difference between a stationary and bench-top drill press?
Ans: Stationary/floor drill presses are significantly more powerful and are usually equipped with more features than bench-top models; however, the latter is much more portable, as it's lighter and smaller.
Q: Is it possible to create a mortise hole with a drill press?
Ans: You can use your drill press to create a rough mortise hole in the stock, but of course, you'll have to square up the edges of the mortise manually with a chisel. Alternatively, you could get yourself a press that accepts a mortising attachment (bought separately).
Q: What RPM does a drill press operate at?
Ans: Usually between 500RPM and 3000RPM, but this, of course, also depends on the model in question.
We hope that we have made your quest to find the best woodworking drill press a little bit easier. Our top pick is, of course, the JET JDP-20MF 20" Drill Press, with its myriad features and versatile capabilities. It is certainly expensive, however, so if you’re on a budget, we recommend the WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press.
Good luck, and may your holes always be precise!