Best Floor Drill Presses of 2020

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Categories Drills
Floor drill presses increase your speed and accuracy.

Floor standing drill presses are powerful machines that surpass benchtop varieties in every way except maneuverability. If you have a woodshop at home and have space, a floor-standing drill press is a wise choice.

We show you 7 of the best floor drill presses to give you a better idea of what they are and what they can do.


When to Use a Floor Drill Press

Whenever you have heavy-duty drilling tasks to perform, a floor drill press is the best tool to use. Drill presses are primarily used to drill cylindrical holes, but they are much more than just a fixed drill with muscle. They bore, countersink, ream and tap.

The great thing about floor drill presses is they provide accuracy and power when they are needed and can create multiple holes using a set-and-forget depth stop, which means you don’t need to measure or adjust the drill during operation.

It makes them the perfect tool for woodshops, factories and production lines.

What Size Floor Drill Press Do I Buy?

This depends on the type of stock you are working on. If you have a large workpiece with a wider diameter, you will need to consider the “swing” of the drill press.

The size of a drill press is measured by the swing. This is twice the throat distance (defined as the distance from the center of the spindle to the closest edge of the column). So, an 18-inch drill press will have a swing of 9 inches. It means it can drill through the center of a 9-inch workpiece.

Most drill presses are 16, 18 or 20 inches.

What Should I Look for in a Floor Drill Press?

There are many considerations to take into account when shopping for a floor drill press. Everyone has different priorities, but there are some fundamental basics that every drill press should have.

Purpose

Decide what you want the drill press for. Once you have done this, you can narrow your search to the right model. The type and size of the stock you work with all play a role in determining the purpose of the drill press.

Power

The power element of your drill press is measured in horsepower. Drill presses are typically 0.50 to 1.5-horsepower, which is ample when you are drilling through metal and hardwood. The power is delivered from the motor via the spindle.

The faster the spindle turns, the less torque gets created, and the slower the spindle rotates helps to create higher torque levels.

Chuck

Ordinarily, we’d advise that keyless chucks are better and more convenient. This is true, especially for hand drills. Not so on floor drill presses. A keyed chuck ensures that the bit is bolted in and won’t move during drilling. Because of the heavy-duty nature of the drill press, you should forego the convenience of a keyless chuck on this occasion.

Make sure the chuck is the highest quality because this is the part of the drill press that gets the most punishment.

Speed

The ability to alter the speed of the drill press gives you the versatility to adapt to different materials. You will want a slower rate for metals as they require more torque, and when you switch to softwood, increase the speed for less torque.

Speed on a drill press is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM) and can range from 250 to 4,000 RPM.

Tilting Table

Tilting tables enable you to drill angled holes. Some tables tilt 45 degrees while others tilt to 90 degrees. Some even tilt left and right or forward and back.

Not all holes that you drill will be straight, so a tilting table is a must-have if you want flexibility and precision.

Depth Stop

The depth stop speeds up the mass-drilling process. You can set the depth and drill to your heart’s content without worrying that the measurements are out each time. It makes this tool the ideal choice for production line work, where speed and accuracy are the two most important factors.

Laser

A laser guide makes your drilling super-accurate as it removes the guesswork. Lasers are also a useful feature if you are learning how to use a drill press for the first time.

Light

Illuminating the work area increases your accuracy and removes any shadows that might hinder your progress.

Warranty

The warranty gives you peace of mind that you have bought a quality item. Should a malfunction occur, you know your investment is covered. It’s also a good indicator of just how confident the manufacturer is about their product.


The Best Floor Drill Presses of 2020

Floor drill presses are not cheap. For this reason alone, making the right choice is crucial. We bring you our take on what we consider to be the best floor drill presses.

1. JET JDP-20MF 20-Inch Floor Drill Press

Best Floor Drill Press for Woodworking

JET 354170/JDP-20MF 20-Inch Floor Drill Press
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This JET drill press has a 1.5-horsepower motor, so it has enough power to tackle the toughest jobs and materials. It has a 0.75-inch chuck with a key and 12-speed settings that range from 150 to 4,200 RPM.

It also has a work light and a tilting table, as well as a depth stop with a dual locking nut feature for faster adjustments.

Why We Love It

Powerful Motor

With 1.5-horsepower at your disposal, this floor drill press is capable of tackling the hardest materials, including steel and cast iron.

12 Speed Settings

The lowest speed of 150 RPM offers a higher torque level for drilling metal and other hard workpieces, and for softer woods, you can switch up the rate to 4,200 RPM.

20-Inch Swing

This JET floor drill press has a swing of 20 inches, meaning that it can drill in the center of stock 10 inches in diameter.

Keep In Mind

Build Quality Issues

Some people have complained of design faults and build quality issues, especially relating to the depth stop.

High Price

This floor drill press is not cheap and you will need to spend a decent amount to own it.

Additional Specs

Swing (inches)20
Chuck size (inches)0.75
Weight (pounds)268
Dimensions (inches)58 x 27 x 13
Table tilt45 degrees
Price$$$$
Warranty2-year

2. WEN 4225 Variable Speed Drill Press

Best Variable Speed Floor Drill Press

WEN 4225 8.6-Amp Variable Speed Floor Standing Drill Press, 15-Inch
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This drill press is smaller than the JET model. It has a stroke of 4 inches to make cutting 4 x 4 boards easier. It also has a work light to give you a better sight of the workpiece. The table is constructed from cast iron and measures 12 inches square, and it pivots to 45 degrees both left and right.

This drill press has variable speeds from 250 RPM for high-torque applications to 3,300 RPM for lighter work.

Why We Love It

Lower Price

This floor drill press is considerably cheaper than the JET model. It is still an expensive tool, but compared to some models, this is excellent value for money.

Tilting Table

The table tilts left and right at 45 degrees to give you a more extensive choice of angles and cuts. It makes you and the tool more versatile.

Quick Speed Adjustment

Between 250 and 1,000 RPM, the speed can be adjusted by turning a lever. This gives you greater flexibility when working the stock.

Keep In Mind

Smaller Swing

The swing is smaller on this model, at 15 inches, which will restrict the size projects you can undertake to 7.5 inches in diameter. Decide if you need a larger model before purchasing, or you might regret it later.

Only Weighs 171.6 lbs

A lightweight floor drill press is ideal for maneuverability, but it does restrict you to lighter projects to avoid the drill press toppling over.

Additional Specs

Swing (inches)15
Chuck size (inches)0.625
Weight (pounds)171.6
Dimensions (inches)25 x 12 x 63
Table tilt45 degrees left and right
Price$$$
Warranty2-year

3. Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press

Best Oscillating Floor Drill Press

Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press
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This is an oscillating floor drill press, which means that not only does it rotate, it also moves back and forth in a swinging motion. This drill press can transform into an oscillating sander to make the holes you drill smoother than other drill presses.

It even comes with a set of sanding drums to get you started. The motor is 0.75 horsepower, so it is a little smaller than some, making this an ideal woodworking tool, and the chuck measures 0.625 inches.

Why We Love It

Oscillation Feature

The oscillation feature makes this drill press one of the most versatile on the market. It turns the drill into a sander for smoother outcomes.

Adjustable Speed Range

Choose from 250 to 3,050 RPM for a variety of different materials. Slower speeds suit harder stock while faster speeds suit lighter material.

Low Price

This drill press is a bargain. If it wasn’t winning the award for the oscillating drill press, this would have been crowned the budget model.

Keep In Mind

Weighs Only 122 lbs

This drill press weighs just 122 pounds. That’s almost half the weight of the JET model. You might find the weight ratio hinders the stock size you can work on.

Low Price

It is unusual to see the price as a pro and a con, but we get the feeling that this drill press might be just that little bit too cheap. The sort of cheap that sees the build quality suffer in favor of a keen price-point.

Additional Specs

Swing (inches)13.75 inches
Chuck size (inches)0.625
Weight (pounds)122
Dimensions (inches)24 x 15 x 63
Table tilt90 degrees left and right
Price$$
Warranty2-year

4. Shop Fox W1680 1-Horsepower Floor Drill Press

Best Floor Drill Press for Metal

SHOP FOX W1680 1-Horsepower 17-Inch Floor Model Drill Press
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This is turning out to be the Shop Fox show, with another model featured. This is a 17-inch model that has a slower maximum of 1,720 RPM, which means it works at a slower rate. When working with metal, it is better to use slower speeds to create higher torque levels.

This model also has a tilting table that measures 14 inches in diameter and can swing to a 90-degree angle for an increased number of cutting options.

Why We Love It

Reasonable Price

While this model is not as cheap as the other Shop Fox model, it is still reasonably priced, especially when you compare it to the JET model.

90-Degree Table Tilt

Some models have tables that tilt to 45 degrees, but this one is more versatile, with a table tilt of 90 degrees. It adds options when cutting angles.

Enhanced Safety Features

This model has a spindle guard and an oversized cut-off switch to keep you safe in an emergency.

Keep In Mind

Build Quality Issues

To keep costs down, Shop Fox has cut corners on the quality of the components on this drill.

Delivery Issues

Many people have reported that their items arrived damaged as a result of delivery negligence.

Additional Specs

Swing (inches)17
Chuck size (inches)0.625
Weight (pounds)178.1
Dimensions (inches)56.5 x 21 x 10
Table tilt90 degrees
Price$$$
Warranty2-year

5. Delta 18-900L Laser Drill Press

Best Floor Drill Press With Laser

Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press
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If you are looking for a drill press with lasers to help guide you, then look no further than this Delta. It has twin lasers that pinpoint the exact drilling spot, taking away any guesswork. This is a handy feature, especially if you are a beginner.

It has a 0.75-horsepower motor, a work light and an oversized table that pivots to 90 degrees left and right and tilts forward to 48 degrees.

Why We Love It

Twin Lasers

If you want the most accurate outcomes, a twin laser is a wise place to start. It increases the speed and accuracy of the holes you drill and removes all the guesswork.

16 Speeds

The more speed settings your floor drill press has, the more versatile it is. Slower speeds are better for harder materials, while faster speeds better suit lighter workpieces like wood and plastic.

5-Year Warranty

Delta has been generous with their warranty, giving an industry-leading 5-years. When you are spending this much money, it is good to know that you have some guarantees in place.

Keep In Mind

Very Expensive

This floor drill press is, by far, the most expensive to feature and you would need to save a considerable amount to make an investment in this drill press.

Poor Customer Service

Some people have reported issues with the drill press, and when they make contact with the customer services department, they get little or no satisfaction.

Additional Specs

Swing (inches)18
Chuck size (inches)0.50
Weight (pounds)240
Dimensions (inches)59 x 30.5 x 13
Table tilt90 degrees left and right
Price$$$$
Warranty5-year

6. Shop Fox W1670 0.50-Horsepower Radial Drill Press

Best Radial Floor Drill Press

SHOP FOX W1670 1/2-Horsepower Floor Radial Drill Press
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Radial drill presses are specialty tools. They have a head that extends out over your stock to increase the size diameter of your workpiece. This model has a swing of 32.5 inches, which eclipses every other drill press in the review.

That said, this model only has a 0.50-horsepower motor, so while it increases the size of your projects, it might not be suited to heavy-duty chores. The other unique aspect of this drill press is that the drill head tilts as well as the table.

Why We Love It

Tilting Head

The tilting headstock allows for sanding and a higher choice of angles when drilling. Couple that with the table, and you have a multitude of options.

Radial Head

The radial head increases the stock size considerably. Having that extra capacity makes life a lot easier and means that the drilling possibilities are almost endless.

Low Price

You would think that all these extra features would come at a high price, but this drill press is actually cheaper than others on the list.

Keep In Mind

Build Quality Issues

The quality of this drill press is questionable, especially in the face of many disgruntled buyers.

Do You Need One

Ask yourself if you need this machine. If not, get a better quality standard floor drill press. It is a specialty tool that only a few will need.

Additional Specs

Swing (inches)32.5
Chuck size (inches)0.625
Weight (pounds)138
Dimensions (inches)54.5 x 20 x 10
Table tilt90 degrees left and right
Price$$
Warranty2-year

7. Grizzly Industrial G7948-20-Inch Floor Drill Press

Best Industrial Floor Drill Press

Grizzly Industrial G7948-20' Floor Drill Press
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This Grizzly drill press is designed for industrial use, so if you are a light drill press user, then this model will not be suitable. It has a 1.5-horsepower motor and a table that swings left and right by 90 degrees.

This drill press is heavy, weighing in at around 303 pounds, so once it is in position, it needs to stay there. It makes this the ideal tool for production lines and other commercial uses.

Why We Love It

Durable and Sturdy

Nothing quite matches this floor drill press for durability and strength. It is built to last and is intended for heavy-duty use.

1.5-Horsepower Motor

1.5 horsepower is more than enough power to get the job done. It means you can adapt to most tasks and materials.

Weights 303 lbs

There is little chance of this drill press straining under the weight of your project. It weighs 303 pounds, which is more than enough bulk to take the most substantial jobs.

Keep In Mind

Quite Expensive

If you don’t need such an expensive tool with all the added weight and capabilities, why spend the money. Decide what you want the drill press for before splashing the cash.

Space Limitations

Make sure that you have a space that is suitable for such a heavy item. A concrete floor would be better, however, if you are mounting it on a wooden floor, make sure the boards can take the weight.

Additional Specs

Swing (inches)20
Chuck size (inches)0.625
Weight (pounds)303
Dimensions (inches)26 x 61 x 13.25
Table tilt90 degrees left and right
Price$$$$
Warranty1-year

Floor Drill Press Comparison Chart

ProductBestSwingChuck sizeWeightDimensionsTable tiltWarranty
JET JDP-20MF Floor Drill PressWoodworking20″1″268 lbs58 x 27 x 13″45 deg2-year
WEN 4225 Drill PressVariable Speed15″1″172 lbs25 x 12 x 63″45 deg2-year
Shop Fox W1848 Floor Drill PressOscillating13.75″1″122 lbs24 x 15 x 63″90 deg2-year
Shop Fox W1680 Floor Drill PressMetal17″1″178 lbs56.5 x 21 x 10″90 deg2-year
Delta 18-900L Laser Drill PressLaser18″0.5″240 lbs59 x 30.5 x 13″90 deg5-year
Shop Fox W1670 Radial Drill PressRadial32.5″1″138 lbs54.5 x 20 x 10″90 deg2-year
Grizzly Industrial G7948 Floor Drill PressIndustrial20″1″303 lbs26 x 61 x 13.25″90 deg1-year
Jump to the Full Floor Drill Press Reviews

FAQs

How to Mount a Drill Press to a Concrete Floor

Drill presses are top-heavy tools. It is important to secure your drill press before you use the machine. Mounting a drill press on a concrete floor will require a masonry drill bit, a hammer drill and masonry screws.

Start by marking the holes using the base as a template. Then drill a pilot hole with the masonry bit and hammer drill. When you have reached the required depth, swap the drill bit to a larger size, and enlarge the holes.

Keep doing this until you have reached the correct size for the fixings you have chosen. Now insert anchors to grip the screws and position the base over the holes. Drive the screws in place using the drill/driver setting on the hand-drill.

What Lubricant to Use on a Floor Drill Press

Consult your owner’s manual to find the parts of the drill press that need lubrication. You should wipe down the table with a cloth soaked in light machine oil. This discourages rust growth.

Regular auto grease should do the trick. For the gear bearings and bushes, a drop of gear oil should also work.

How to Move a Floor Drill Press Safely

There are two schools of thought on how to move a drill press safely. One is to wrap the drill press in a protective cloth and get someone to help you lift it in one piece. The other is to remove the head, the stand and the table and transport it in several bits. This method does involve reassembly at the other end, but if you are doing it solo, this is the safest way.

How to Read Spindle Speed on a Floor Drill Press

A couple of factors dictate the spindle speed. First, the material you are cutting determines what rate you work at, and the other is the drill bit you intend to use. Most manufacturers make life easy and publish a handy chart to show you varying speeds that correspond with differing materials.

Some modern drill presses have a digital RPM counter to tell you the speed of the spindle.


Press the Point

Drill presses are the ultimate drilling machine for the woodshop, factory and production line. They offer accuracy, speed and precision.

If you are someone looking for a way to increase productivity while not compromising on your quality, consider a drill press.

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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.
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