- For repetitive and precise drilling, there are no better tools than a drill press.
- But only a handful of models are best suited for woodworking which is reviewed in this article.
- Read more to know about the right drill press for woodworking, and buy without hesitating.
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.
This 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.
Top 5 Woodworking Drill Press List:
How Do You Use A Wood Drill Press?
On the right, the handles let you down the press directly into the wood. There is no depth measurement tool on the handle.
But on the right side, you will see a post and screw-type stoppers on it. You can set the specific depth of cut by adjusting the stoppers. It lets you do counterbore.
Hence, the drill bit doesn’t go all the way through the wooden piece. According to the job requirement, you also have to adjust the table.
Those who are using a custom rig on the table that comes with fixtures and measurement bars often find it difficult to turn the handle of the drill press.
The high bar on the table gets in the way of at least one part of the long handle. To solve this problem, you can simply unscrew the handle, and use the other two for pressing.
One can also use the drill press for sanding holes in the middle of a large piece. The advantage here is that you can finish the task quicker and maintain accuracy.
Best Woodworking Drill Press Reviews
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
- Horsepower: 1/3 HP
- Size: 8”
- Type: Benchtop
- Speed Options: 5
- Table Size: 6.5 x 6.5 Inches
The first drill press I 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. I love its compact shape, which allows it to fit easily into any workspace.
Despite its small size, however, this little guy 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 worktable 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 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 best benchtop drill press for woodworking.
- The drill press can provide powerful torque and power with the help of its ⅓ HP induction motor.
- The five different speed settings allow you 22 completely different types of projects.
- For your convenience, the worktable can be beveled 45 degrees in both directions.
- The cast iron base can successfully prevent wobbling.
- The quality of its chunk is very poor as it often falls off.
2. Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press
- Horsepower: 3/4 HP
- Size: 13-3/4″
- Type: Floor top
- Speed Options: 12
- Table Size: 12-3/8″ dia.
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 I 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 thing 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 is 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 worktable 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 my list, but I think it’s a worthwhile expense for those of you who truly prioritize precision and functionality. And for a machine that both drills and sands, you wouldn’t find a better deal!
- To save you money the package includes a three-piece spindle sandal drum kit.
- For smooth sending operation it has an oscillating spindle.
- Without using any tool, you can easily switch from drilling to sending.
- Besides durable build quality, it has 12 different speed settings.
- Due to having a small-size quill, you can’t use any motorized attachment.
3. DEWALT DWE1622K 2-Speed, Magnetic, 2-Inch Drill Press
- Motor: 10Amp
- No Load Speed: 300/450 RPM
- Type: Tabletop
- Speed Options: 2
- Weight: 47.6 pounds
Did you think I’d publish a whole list of tool reviews without mentioning a drill press from DeWalt? I am 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. I 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 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 without any tool.
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.
- To penetrate the toughest materials the real press comes with a 10-amp motor.
- It has to overheat and overload protection for safe operation.
- To complete different types of projects it comes with 2-speed settings and dual-feed handles.
- You should aware that its quick-change chuck has a vertical play which can be an issue for soft metal drilling.
4. JET JDP-20MF 20 Inch Drill Press
- Horsepower: 1.5 HP
- Size: 20”
- Type: Floor top
- Speed: 4200 RPM
- Table Size: 6.5 x 6.5 Inches
This next pick has been selected by me specifically for experts as it is the best professional woodworking drill press. This highly rated offering from Jet is one of my 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 stops measure 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 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!
- For faster death adjustments it has a quick set bolt.
- You can tilt the worktable 45 degrees in both ways.
- With the help of built-in work light, you can operate it in any condition.
- The 12 speed 1-½ HP powerful motor can operate up to 4200 RPM.
- The instruction set is not easy to understand and it takes time to set up the drill press.
5. Mophorn 1200W Magnetic Drill Press
- Rated Output: 1200W
- Max. Travel Distance: 8.26”
- Type: Benchtop
- Speed: 550 RPM
- Weight: 48 pounds
Given the high quality and average price range of the drill presses I 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 I 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.
I 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, I 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. Those are all the reasons to keep Mophorn 1200W on the best woodworking drill press list.
- The machine’s increased strength comes from a guide rail with sturdy aluminum alloy.
- For maximum grip, the rocker lever comes with a rubber sleeve.
- To prevent overheating the machine has an integrated cyclone cooling system.
- The base with a diameter of 23 mm allows a wide range of applications.
- The manufacturer should focus more on the packaging.
6. BILT HARD 8 Inch Drill Press
- Horsepower: 1/3 HP
- Stroke length: 2”
- Type: Benchtop
- Speed: 3000 RPM
- Weight: 22 pounds
While I am 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 I have come across, and it’s available at a highly gratifying price, as well.
With its 8-inch swing and a 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 worktable, 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. I 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.
- One can easily adjust the work table up to 45 degrees in both ways.
- The five-speed powerful motor can deliver up to 3200 RPM.
- The easily adjustable depth locking mechanism allows quick operation.
- Due to having lots of play on the bottom, you won’t be able to do serious jobs on this drill press.
7. GENERAL 75-010 M1 12 In. Commercial Benchtop Drill Press
- Horsepower: 1/3 HP
- Size: 12”
- Type: Benchtop
- Max. Speed: 3000 RPM
- Weight: 75 pounds
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 I’ve seen on a drill press, this is one of the most impressive models on my list.
Let’s get right into the standout feature of this drill press: its laser guide! Yep, this guy comes with his laser pointer, which allows you to enjoy unmatched accuracy in drilling.
This is 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!
- With the help of a built-in laser pointer, you can get drilling accuracy easily.
- For vibration-free operation, the drill press comes with a premium quality bearing.
- The powerful motor can achieve up to 3000 RPM.
- Because of its lightweight construction, you can easily set the tool at your convenient location.
- The drill press works perfectly fine as long as you are dealing with anything ½” thicker or less.
8. Klutch Variable Speed with Digital Display Floor Drill Press
- Horsepower: 1.5 HP
- Size: 17”
- Type: Floor top
- Max. Speed: 2400 RPM
- Table Size: 14 x 14 Inches
My 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 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 worktable 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 has got you covered. Plus, with its ball knob handle and depth lock, adjustments are made even more precisely.
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.
- Alongside a variable speed setting, you can get up to 2400 RPM from the motor.
- The vertical strike of 6 inches is suitable for larger stock handling.
- One can easily tilt the worktable 45 degrees in both directions.
- The head is very heavy which makes it impossible for one person to set it up.
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Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Drill Press for Woodworking
There are certain factors you need to take into account to be able to successfully pick out a drill press that suits your preferences. I 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: benchtop 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 that 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 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 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 it aside somewhere from $500 to $1500. The drill presses within this price range are made to be used for longer periods and are fitted with very high-powered motors.
On the other hand, that does not mean I 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 I am 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 is a couple to look out for before buying the best woodworking drill press.
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
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.
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.
Depending on the diameter of the bit and material type, the speed varies a lot. For example, drilling a 3/8” softwood requires a speed of 3000 RPM. On the other hand, hardwood with the same thickness requires 1500 RPM.
According to my research, WEN 4208 is the top-rated model and it indicates that 8-inch is the most popular size drill press for woodworking.
I hope that I have made your quest to find the best woodworking drill press a little bit easier. My 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, I recommend the WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press. Good luck, and may your holes always be precise!