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Best Drill Press of 2022

Updated
Drill presses deliver accuracy and speed. We'll show you the best models.

If you work with wood or metal and need to work at a fast pace, a drill press could be the tool for you.

The best drill presses bore holes in wood, metal and plastic using precision and speed. It’s also an ideal tool for those serious about working quickly to get through bulk projects.

We explain what a drill press is, how it works and what makes a good drill press.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Jet JMD-18 350018 230-Volt 1 Phase Milling/Drilling Machine
Best for Milling
Jet JMD-18 350018 Drilling Machine
  • 360-degree swivel head
  • 2 hp motor
  • Large work table
Product Image of the JET JDP-20MF, 20-Inch Floor Drill Press, 1Ph 115/230V (354170)
Best Floor Drill Press
Jet JDP-20MF 354170 Floor Drill Press
  • 12 speeds
  • Built-in light
  • Safety on/off switch
Product Image of the WEN 4208T 2.3-Amp 8-Inch 5-Speed Cast Iron Benchtop Drill Press
Best for Metal
WEN 4208T 5-Speed Benchtop
  • Convenient to use
  • 45-degree bevel worktable
  • Onboard key storage
Product Image of the WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press,Orange
Best Overall Drill Press
WEN 4214 Variable Speed Drill Press
  • Spindle travel
  • Table extension
  • Digital speed display
Product Image of the Grizzly G7944 12 Speed Heavy-Duty Floor Drill Press, 14-Inch
Best Versatile Drill Press
Grizzly Industrial
  • 90 degree tilting table
  • 12 speeds in a wide range
  • Range of useful features
Product Image of the PROXXON Bench Drill Press TBM 115, 38128 , Green
Best Small Drill Press
Proxxon 38128 TBM Bench Drill Press
  • Portable
  • Maximum 8,500 rpm
  • Micro-drill
Product Image of the Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press
Best for Woodworking
Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Drill
  • 90-degree tilting table
  • Sander
  • 12 speeds
Product Image of the SE 3-Speed Mini Drill Press Bench - 97511MDP
Best Budget Drill Press
SE 3-Speed Mini Drill Press
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Portable
  • Budget pick
Product Image of the Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press
Best Industrial Drill Press
Delta 18-900L Laser Drill Press
  • Professional grade
  • 16 speeds
  • Best-in-class capacity
Product Image of the Grizzly G7943 12 Speed Heavy-Duty Bench-Top Drill Press
Best Heavy-Duty Drill Press
Grizzly Industrial Benchtop
  • 12 speeds
  • Emergency shut-off
  • Threaded depth gauge


Product Reviews

Drill presses are specialist tools, but each has characteristics to stand apart from the competition. We look at the best drill presses for specific tasks to make your choices easier.

1. Jet JMD-18 350018 Milling/Drilling Machine

Best Drill Press for Milling

This Jet milling and drilling machine is the ideal tool to use for milling.

It has a hinged belt to speed up belt changes, the work table measures 9.5 inches by 31.75 inches and it has a 2 horsepower 230-volt motor.

It also has easy to read depth gauges and a 360-degree swivel head.

What We Like

360-Degree Swivel Head

The ability to swivel your workpiece by 360 degrees, improves your ability to make a higher amount of cuts. It also increases your repertoire of angled cuts.

2 Horsepower Motor

Most drill presses have 0.75 horsepower motors, so having the extra power increases the hardness of the material you can work on. This makes it ideal for milling.

Large Work Table

The extra-large work table increases the size of the projects you can work on. It also increases your flexibility.

What We Don't Like

Price

At this price, the only people likely to want or need this drill press are the professionals. It is likely that most people would refrain from spending this much money.

Specialist Capabilities

The milling credentials of this machine cater to those with specialist knowledge and not the casual user.

Product Specs

Table size (inches) 9.5 x 31.75
Dimensions (inches) 42.5 x 39.75 x 43.5
Weight 739 pounds
Horsepower 2
Speeds 12
Warranty 2-year
Price $$$$

2. Jet JDP-20MF 354170 Floor Drill Press

Best Floor Drill Press

Jet feature yet again!

This 20-inch floor drill press has a powerful 1.5 horsepower motor that can handle the toughest materials.

It also has 12 spindle speeds, giving you the option of a maximum top speed of 4,500 RPM.

It has a built-in work light and comes with a drill chuck and key.

What We Like

12 Speeds

The ability to adjust the speed increases the versatility of the drill press. It means you can work on material with different grades of hardness.

Built-In Light

The built-in light increases your accuracy and enhances your visibility of the workpiece.

Safety On/Off Switch

The safety switch is located at the front of the drill press, making it easily accessible in an emergency.

What We Don't Like

Price

It seems one of the main features of Jet drill presses is the high price. These are quality machines, and they do say you get what you pay for, but these drill presses will appeal to professionals rather than DIY enthusiasts.

Limited Maneuverability

This is a floor standing drill press, so it is a stationary tool. Once in position, this thing is not easy to move.

Product Specs

Table size (inches) 18.6 x 16.1
Dimensions (inches) 58 x 27 x 13
Weight 175 pounds
Horsepower 1.5
Speeds 12
Warranty 2-year
Price $$$$

3. WEN 4208T 5-Speed Benchtop Drill Press

Best Drill Press for Metal

This is the first of two Wen drill presses to feature on the list.

This model has five speeds ranging from 740 to 3,140 RPM, so you can adjust the speed to cater to most materials. This includes wood, plastic, and of course, metals. You can also use it for various other metals thanks to the high speed and two-inch spindle travel.

Another feature that makes it suitable for a range of projects is the ½ inch keyed chuck. Therefore, this accepts a variety of drill bits.

What We Like

Adjust the Depth and Lock It

Choose your desired depth depending on the project at hand. Enjoy the handy feature of locking that in place for your convenience. This allows you to repeat the desired settings time and time again.

45 Degree Bevel Worktable

Enjoy the beveling worktable, which adjusts to 45 degrees towards the left and right. This ensures you have precisely angled holes which is a joiner’s dream.

Onboard Key Storage

Onboard key storage is a must-have feature so that you don’t lose important accessories. Keep your chuck key attached to the machine so that it’s always available when you need it.

What We Don't Like

Basic Drill Press

This meets the basic needs of drill pressing. It’s not the best for thick materials or specific materials such as glass. The precision is also basic. Don’t expect super accurate cuts down to the millimeter.

Product Specs

Table size (inches) ‎6.5 x 6.5
Dimensions (inches) 7.5 x 22.9 x 11
Weight 34.2 pounds
Horsepower 0.33
Speeds 5
Warranty 90 days
Price $

4. WEN 4214 Variable Speed Drilling Machine

Best Overall Drill Press

This WEN drill press has variable speed settings, meaning you can customize the speed you need for the material you are working on.

The speeds range from 580 to 3,200 RPM.

The table angles at 45 degrees, and it also has a linear depth lock for accurate drilling.

What We Like

Spindle Travel

This drill has a spindle travel of 3.12 inches, meaning you can tackle thicker workpieces.

Table Extension

The table extends to allow for more substantial projects. It increases to 17 inches maximum.

Digital Speed Display

Accuracy is vital, and the correct speed for the work material you have improves precision. The digital readout helps you to maintain control over the drill press.

What We Don't Like

Build Quality Issues

It seems that some of the materials used in the construction are of lesser quality when compared to the high-end drill presses.

Price

We are always fans of saving you money. However, sometimes things can appear too cheap. This drill press is a fraction of the price of the Jet models.

Product Specs

Table size (inches) 9.5 x 9.5
Dimensions (inches) 13.5 x 36.63 x 16.75
Weight 89 pounds
Horsepower 0.66
Speeds Variable
Warranty 2-year
Price $$

5. Grizzly Industrial G7944 14-Inch Floor Drill Press

Best Versatile Drill Press

With 12 speeds, you can customize this drill press to suit your specific needs. We think this is a staple for pretty much any shop, thanks to the versatility and the heavy-duty construction.

It also boasts a ¾ HP motor which is quite powerful, especially considering the slim design.

What We Like

90 Degree Tilting Table

The tilting table is one of the most remarkable features about this drill press. It tilts 90 degrees to the left and right. This will suit your various projects.

Another feature about the table is that the crank handle lets you easily move the table. It operates the vertical pinion movement, so it’s easy to use.

12 Speeds In a Wide Range

12 speeds is generous, but what’s even better is the wide range. It goes from 104 to 3050, which is quite the speed span! Whether you want something relatively slow or super speedy, this covers all bases.

Range of Useful Features

This has an endless list of unique features. First of all, you’ll find a precision-ground cast-iron table that is invaluable and durable. It comes with a built-in light so you can see even in darker conditions.

The table locks for safety. There is also a threaded depth gauge and a depth stop.

We also love the cushion-grip quill handles, which prioritize your comfort!

What We Don't Like

Belts Don’t Fully Tighten

The belts are quite cheap and don’t tighten fully. Even with belt dressing, customers found that they slipped. This causes vibration, which can be annoying.

Product Specs

Table size (inches) Not specified
Dimensions (inches) 57 x 20.5 x 10.5
Weight 171 pounds
Horsepower 0.75
Speeds 12
Warranty 1-year
Price $$$

6. Proxxon 38128 TBM Bench Drill Machine

Best Small Drill Press

Proxxon may not be a name as well-known as Delta and WEN, but this little drill press is no less effective. Because it is a micro-drill, it excels at drilling small holes, so you are limited to the bit sizes.

It has 3 speeds and an 8.5 x 4.75-inch table with an adjustable fence for greater accuracy and stability.

What We Like

Portable

It weighs just over 8 pounds, so you can easily transport this drill press to job sites.

Maximum 8,500 RPM

It may be compact, but it still packs a punch. The 3 speeds range from 1,800, 4,700 and 8,500 RPM.

What We Don't Like

Size

There is no denying that this drill press is tiny. It stands at just over twelve inches. So it is going to limit you to smaller workpieces.

Price

While it is cheaper than some featured on this list, for a small drill press, it is still costly. Expect to pay more for this than the Skil model.

Product Specs

Table size (inches) 8.5 x 4.75
Dimensions (inches) 12.6 x 9.45 x 5.12
Weight 8.05 pounds
Horsepower 0.115
Speeds 3
Warranty 2-year
Price $$

7. Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Drill

Best Drill Press for Woodworking

This oscillating drill press is ideal for woodworkers because it has an oscillating feature that allows you to attach sanding equipment to refinish your drilled holes.

So, if you are working on a project and need the neatest quality holes, this is the tool to use.

It has 12 speeds that range from 250 to 3050 RPM, and the motor generates 0.75 horsepower.

What We Like

90-Degree Tilting Table

Unlike other drill presses with 45-degree tilting tables, this Shop Fox allows you to go further and tilt the table to 90 degrees. It improves your breadth of angle options.

Sander

When you have finished drilling, you can attach the sanding drum in seconds to convert your drill press into an oscillating sander. It is an ideal feature for those working with wood.

12 Speeds

Having 12 speeds gives you the ability to customize the pace to match the material. It means you can work at a low rate with increased torque for drilling through harder material.

What We Don't Like

Damage on Delivery

Many people have reported the packaging for delivery is inadequate, causing the parts to rattle about and damage the drill press.

Build Quality Issues

Shop Fox drill presses are not cheap, yet many people have experienced loose-fitting or poorly made parts. This tool is made in China, presumably to save on costs.

Product Specs

Table size (inches) 12.38 diameter
Dimensions (inches) 24 x 15 x 63
Weight 122 pounds
Horsepower 0.75
Speeds 12
Warranty 2-year
Price $$$

8. SE 3-SpeedMini Drill Press

Best Budget Drill Press

If you are looking for a drill press on a budget, this is worthy of your attention.

It costs over 20 times less than the most expensive drill press featured on the list. Having said that, it is pretty basic.

This SE is another mini drill press with a work table size of 9.56 by 9.56, and it has three variable speeds ranging from 5,000, 6,500 and 8,000 RPM.

What We Like

Ideal For Beginners

If you want something simple to operate and easy to learn with, this could be an option. It isn’t the most complicated power tool to master, making it the ideal novice drill press.

Portable

You can pick this drill press up and carry it to the task, rather than bring the materials to the drill press.

Price

This drill press is so cheap. You could buy two of these and still have change from the price it would cost you to purchase the Shop Fox model.

Product Specs

Table size (inches) 9.56 x 9.56
Dimensions (inches) 20.5 x 13.1 x 17.1
Weight 2.2 pounds
Horsepower 0.125
Speeds 3
Warranty 3-year (includes 1-year extension if registered)
Price $

9. Delta 18-900L Laser Drill Press

Best Industrial Drill Press

Delta is probably the drill press your dad used to have.

They have been gracing workshops and factories for decades.

This laser drill press benefits from an oversized table with a fence and T-slots to grip the workpiece.

It also pivots 90 degrees left and right, as well as forward by 48 degrees. It has a work light and a dual laser gauge for increased accuracy.

What We Like

Professional Grade

With features like a micro-adjustable depth stop and an oversized table, this is the stand-out candidate for the industrial award.

16 Speeds

It has a class-leading 16-speed settings. This increases your control when matching the speed to the material.

Best-in-Class Capacity

The 6-inch quill stroke allows for the biggest capacity for industrial applications.

What We Don't Like

Price

This drill press has so much to offer, and all these extra features come at a price. It may not be as expensive as the Jet models, but it is in the same price league.

Zero Customer Service

Delta scores poorly when it comes to customer service. Many people have complained that it is non-existent when they have reported problems.

Product Specs

Table size (inches) 20 x 14
Dimensions (inches) 59 x 30.5 x 13
Weight 261 pounds
Horsepower 0.75
Speeds 16
Warranty 5-year
Price $$$$

10. Grizzly Industrial G7943 Heavy-Duty Benchtop Drill Press

Best Heavy-Duty Drill Press

Sometimes you need a tool that has grit and gets the toughest jobs done.

This Grizzly drill press is one such product. It has a tilting table that pivots 90 degrees left and right.

It also has a 14-inch swing, and a steel drilling capacity of 0.75 inches.

It also comes with a work light, although the bulb is not included in the price.

What We Like

12 Speeds

The speeds range from a leisurely 104 RPM up to a Daytona-like 3,050 RPM. As we’ve said previously, the increased choice of speeds gives you a more versatile drill press.

Emergency Shut-Off

The shut-off button sits front and center. You cannot miss it in an emergency.

Threaded Depth Gauge

This neat addition means you can wind the gauge to the required depth and lock it in place with the locking nuts.

What We Don't Like

No Mount Holes

The table has no mount holes, which restricts your ability to mount clamps, vices and fences.

Price

For a tabletop press, this model is not cheap. It is made of robust materials, but that doesn’t compensate for the high price.

Product Specs

Table size (inches) 11.38 x 11.38
Dimensions (inches) 33 x 20 x 12
Weight 142 pounds
Horsepower 0.75
Speeds 12
Warranty 1-year limited
Price $$$

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Table size (inches) Dimensions (inches) Weight Horsepower Speeds Warranty
Jet JMD-18 350018 Drilling Machine Milling 9.5 x 31.75 42.5 x 39.75 x 43.5 739 lbs 2 12 2-year
Jet JDP-20MF 354170 Floor Drill Press Floor Drill Press 18.6 x 16.1 58 x 27 x 13 175 lbs 2 12 2-year
WEN 4208T 5-Speed Benchtop Drill Press Metal ‎6.5 x 6.5 7.5 x 22.9 x 11 34.2 lbs 0.33 5 90 days
WEN 4214 Variable Speed Drill Press Overall Choice 9.5 x 9.5 13.5 x 36.63 x 16.75 89 lbs 1 Variable 2-year
Grizzly Industrial G7944 Versatile N/A 57 x 20.5 x 10.5 171 lbs 0.75 12 1-year
Proxxon 38128 TBM Bench Drill Press Small Drill Press 8.5 x 4.75 12.6 x 9.45 x 5.12 8.05 lbs 0 3 2-year
Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Drill Woodworking 12.38 D 24 x 15 x 63 122 lbs 0.75 12 2-year
SE 3-Speed Mini Drill Press Budget Pick 9.56 x 9.56 20.5 x 13.1 x 17.1 2.2 lbs 0.125 3 3-year
Delta 18-900L Laser Drill Press Industrial 20 x 14 59 x 30.5 x 13 261 lbs 0.75 16 5-year
Grizzly Industrial G7943 Benchtop Drill Press Heavy-Duty 11.38 x 11.38 33 x 20 x 12 142 lbs 0.75 12 1-year limited

What Is a Drill Press Used For?

A drill press is a stationary tool used to bore precise holes in wood, metal and plastic. Thanks to the array of bit attachments, it can also countersink and counterbore. The most common drill presses in domestic settings tend to be the benchtop varieties, with the floor drill presses best suited to industrial uses.

Drill presses are typically found in woodshops, production lines and factories because they are precision tools that speed up the drilling process. They also deliver a degree of accuracy that most would struggle to replicate with a hand drill.

Here are some specific uses of a drill press:

  • Drilling Large Diameter Holes: Drill presses have more power and torque than hand drills so they can drive larger bits and accessories into different types of material.
  • Drilling Holes to a Specific Depth: Most drill presses have a depth stop that makes drilling holes to the same depth easier and with consistency.
  • Drilling Holes at Specific Angles: Drill presses have pivoting tables that enable you to change the position of the workpiece to drill more acute angles.
  • Sanding: You can get attachments that convert your drill press into a sander. It is possible to use the tilting table to get the neatest finish to your project.
  • Enlarging Holes: With all the extra power and torque, a drill press can accommodate larger drill bits to enlarge existing holes.

How to Choose a Drill Press

A drill press is a significant investment, so if you are serious about getting a top drill press, there are some things you should consider.

Type

There are two varieties of drill press. First, there is the benchtop drill press. As the name suggests, it is small enough to sit on top of your workbench. Some models have holes in the base to enable you to bolt them in place. This increases their stability. Benchtop drill presses are smaller, lighter and generally more portable.

However, because they have a scaled down size, while they are better suited to home DIY projects, they restrict the size of the tasks you can complete.

Second, there are floor standing drill presses. These are also known as stationary drill presses. Once in position, they do not move, so they are more substantial and not portable. These drill presses are suited to woodworkers with a dedicated workshop, or in factories or production lines.

Quick Note

Floor drill presses are more expensive than the benchtop varieties.

Size

When we talk about size, what we actually mean is swing and spindle travel.

Swing determines the maximum width of stock you can place on your drill press if you are aiming to drill through the center. It is calculated as the distance between the central column and the spindle, multiplied by two.

Spindle travel, or stroke distance, is the downward distance that your drill press moves. Benchtop models typically have lower spindle travel, at 2 to 3 inches. Floor drill presses have a higher spindle travel, at 5 to 6 inches.

Power

Most drill presses display the amps and voltage, but to calculate the wattage, multiply them together. A high wattage indicates that you have a powerful machine that can drill through harder materials. Drill presses suited to metalwork have a higher wattage.

As you would expect, floor models have more power. They have, on average, 1,000 watts, whereas benchtop presses have about 500 watts.

Speed

Most drill presses give you the ability to adjust the speed. This is crucial when you are drilling harder materials because you will need to work at a slower pace. Benchtop varieties offer around 5 or 6 speed settings, whereas floor presses can have as many as 16 different speeds.

Chuck Capacity

Most drill presses have a chuck capacity of 0.50 inches. There are 0.75-inch chuck capacities available on larger, more industrial drill presses. Likewise, on the compact models, you can expect a chuck size no greater than 0.25 inches.

A higher chuck capacity means your drill press can handle more significant drill bits, which increases the range of holes you can drill.

Adjustability

The workpiece sits on the drill press table, and this moves up and down. Some drill presses allow angle adjustments of 45 and 90 degrees. Some top drill presses allow a full 360 degrees. Look for other features like LED lights and laser guides to improve your accuracy when you drill.

Who Makes the Best Drill Press?

Wen

Wen was founded in 1951 by Nick Anton. Since then, they have expanded their operation into drill presses, nailers, miter saws and bench grinders.

By 2001, the company had sold over 50 million units.

Skil

In 1924, Edmond Michel invented the world’s first electric saw. He founded the Skilsaw Incorporate Company with his business partner Joseph Sullivan. By 1926, 2,000 electric circular saws were produced, showing their increasing popularity (1).

The name “Skilsaw” is still commonly used as a generic name for all circular saws.

Delta

Delta has been making power tools for almost 100 years. It all started in 1919 in Milwaukee when a German immigrant named Herbert Tautz started making hand tools. This developed into powered versions and culminated with the invention of the first compound miter saw.

Grizzly

Grizzly is a relatively new kid on the block compared to other brands. Started in 1998 by business partners Inge Christ and Horst Lieb, the plan was to supply the German gardening industry with affordable gardening tools.

This has now expanded to producing power tools like drill presses.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does My Drill Press Wobble?

One common reason for a wobbly drill press could be the quill. A loose quill will cause the chuck to wobble when the drill press is operating. Another issue could be that the drill press is misaligned. This is a result of the gearbox and motor not lining up correctly.

Also, check that the drill bit is inserted in the chuck correctly.

What Does the Size of a Drill Press Mean?

The size of a drill press is measured in terms of swing. The swing is the distance from the central spindle multiplied by two. So, if your drill press has a swing of 16 inches, it is capable of drilling the center of a 16-inch workpiece.

You also need to factor in spindle travel because that determines the depth of stock you can work with. Spindle travel is the downward movement of the chuck and motor towards the workpiece.

What is a Quill Lock on a Drill Press?

A quill lock is typically a lever opposite the handles. It allows you to lower the drill press to your desired depth and lock it in place.

How Tall Should a Drill Press Stand Be?

The stand should be between 33 and 35 inches tall, including the casters.

How Do You Drill an Angle With a Drill Press?

As the table can angle either to 45, 90 degrees or the full 360 degrees, set the angle of the table to your preferred specifications and lock it in place. You can raise or lower the table depending on the depth you want to drill. Bring the drill press down so that the drill bit is making contact with the stock.

Now start the drill press, working slowly as the bit begins to make the hole. You could make a pilot hole to improve your accuracy if you feel it is necessary.

How Much Horsepower Does a Drill Press Have?

Most drill presses operate with between 0.50 and 0.75 horsepower. That said, Shop Fox produces a drill press with 1 horsepower, and Jet has a drilling/milling machine with 2 horsepower.

Do You Need Special Drill Bits for a Drill Press?

This is a yes and no scenario. Standard drill bits are designed to fit any universal chuck, so in theory, you can install any drill bit with a circular or hexagonal shaft in a drill press. While it may be possible, it might not be a good idea. Some drill bits are aggressive and would grip the workpiece, making it hard to control the drill press.

The best drill bits to use are spade, brad point and standard twist.


The Pressing Issue

We’ve established the credentials of the drill press and how they speed up your projects while increasing the accuracy of the holes you drill. You might have thought that drill presses were the preserve of professionals and serious woodworkers.

A drill press is for everyone, no matter what your skill level.

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Headshot of Mark Weir

About the Author

Mark Weir

Mark spent 24 years working in real estate, so he knows his way around a home. He also worked with contractors and experts, advising them on issues of planning, investments, and renovations. Mark is no stranger to hands-on experience, having renovated his own home and many properties for resale. He likes nothing better than seeing a project through to completion.