Updated: Aug 21
If you are a master craftsman or a skilled woodworker, you will surely want the best drill press for your woodworking projects. Whether you're drilling out a mortise for a table leg, recessing a magnet or doing whatever project you have in your mind, a high-quality drilling tool is a necessity. In picking a good quality drill press consider the horsepower, it will dictate whether the machine can drill through all types of wood and other materials quickly and easily. For the best result for your wood projects, make sure you have a choice of quality drill in your workshop.
In looking for a quality drill press, many important factors should be considered. These include the model or manufacturer’s brand, the highest available motor power (HP), the speed range, and a variety of advanced speed settings. Also, considering the types of drill bits for your specific use or function is important. You may also consider the model’s weight and why it might be an advantage or disadvantage in your workshop.
If you have a small shop a bench-top drill press may be the right decision for your woodworking project. However, if you have the space always go for a self standing drill press. They are more powerful machines having 3/4HP and higher and also give you the maximum depth of cutting. Which comes in very handy when you're doing experimental projects involving odd angled cuts.
Over the last 20 years I've used all different types of drill press's. Truly, you get to know a machine by its brand because certain ones have much higher tolerances when it comes to precision and quality components. Here are my reviews for each of these drill press models to determine their strengths and weaknesses so that you could find the one that is best for your woodworking needs.
So, here are the lists of the top 13 Best Drill Presses:
Motor: 1 HP
Speed Range: 250-3000 RPM
Number of Speeds: Variable Speed
Weight: 266 pounds
The Powermatic PM2800B, 18-inch has a 1 HP motor is the most badass drill press on the list. Completely loses other competing drilling tools its design process was made to a woodworker's instinct, improving the workshop experience's functionality and effectiveness. This drill is easy, simple to use, and intuitive as possible, allowing you to concentrate your creative energy on the tasks that make wood craftsmanship so satisfying.
The PM2800B makes your shop more efficient because it has a one-of-a-kind ease of use. A level of mechanical eloquence found only in a Powermatic that exceeds the limits of design, advancement, and longevity. The laser is easy to setup, the table elevates smoothly and is a substantial surface.
In addition, it has a mechanical variable speed range of 250 up to 3,000 RPM that comprises the lower drilling speeds required to drill through all types of materials. It has another excellent feature in the form of a laser guide. This laser guide indicates tool points, allowing you to drill accurately on your work.
Note: When I worked at Tufts Museum School we had this machine. It is very excellent.
Its laser guides improve the accuracy of drilling.
1 HP motor provides enough power to drill on tough materials.
A wide speed range of 250 to 3,000 rpm.
Controlling and adjusting speeds is made simple by a mechanical variable speed combined with a digital speed readout.
It has extra stability because of its extra-large cast iron base.
It offers reversible handles that you positioned on either side, thus, offering comfort while you are working.
It offers quick stock alignment through its adaptable fence system that creates an exact 90-degree relationship to the table.
It offers 5 year warranty period
The machine weighs 266 pounds, so you will need two sets of hands to put it together.
It's only 1HP (for the price it should be 1.5hp
In addition, there is no standard power switch, which might be confusing for some people. Hint: Pull the giant red button!
Motor: 1.5 HP
Speed Range: 150-4,200 RPM
Number of Speeds: 12
Weight: 282 pounds
Many of the low-quality drills have low-quality motors that cannot produce enough torque needed for drilling. The JET's JDP-20MF is a high-quality drill machine that comes with a powerful 1.5 HP motor and a 3/4-inch chuck. It has an above-average torque output and can drill into wood with ease.
The JET 20" set the standard for accuracy, reliability, and flexibility. This high-quality line of JET offers a wider range of spindle speeds than other machines in this class. The 3/4-inch chuck is big enough to hold drill bits of different sizes which is important for craftsmen that work on bigger projects. This also means you don’t have to worry about changing the bits during your big projects.
What do I love about this Jet’s useful features? The built-in LED lights make it easy for the user to see the surface that is being drilled. Also, it has a large worktop that is 45 degrees inclined to allow drilling at different angles. Another thing is the external positive depth stop of 1/2 inch diameter that makes the repeated drilling a smooth experience.
It's unbending and stable
The strong engine yields 1.5 HP with a speed scale of 150 to 4200 rpm with 12 velocities
Huge 3/4 inch chuck
Built-in LED lights
45-degree shifting worktable
2-year Warranty Period
1/2-inch diameter external positive depth stop
Belt tensioning systems in changing or shifting speeds can be risky
Motor: 3/4 HP
Speed Range: 170-3,000 RPM
Number of Speeds: 16
Weight: 261 pounds
When hearing the name Delta, I think Drill Press. This Delta 18-900L 18-Inch laser drilling tool has 16 drilling speeds for a wide range of materials. I always love to use this press because I expect good speed empowerment for my work. It has a total of 16 drilling speeds ranging from 170 to 3000 rpm.
Another thing is that it includes an auto-tensioning belt drive system that makes your work quick and easy. For deeper drilling applications, a full 6-inch quill stroke is accessible. It has two important characteristics, micro-adjustable depth stops and an independent depth scale. These enable users to efficiently and simply adjust the zero scale and start setting up repeated drilling. Mostly, this tool is completely flexible to your woodworking needs.
It is equipped with an LED lamp that lights up your work surface for improved visibility. Bevels 0-90 degrees left and right on an extra large woodworker's table.
Note: My personal favorite drill press
The auto-tensioning belt drive system enables quick and simple speed changes while increasing transmission efficiency.
Best-in-class power and offers a comprehensive 6-inch quill stroke for deeper drilling applications.
Micro-adjustable depth stops and an independent depth scale enables the user to fast and easily adjust the zero scale and set up for repeated drilling.
Power and versatility are supplied by a strong motor.
Its extra large worker's table has a patented design and bevels 0-90 degrees left and right, as well as an 0-48 degree tilt forward.
A 5-year warranty is included.
The laser may be difficult to install
The laser and LED light can occasionally go out. As a result, the laser pinpoint may be hard to see which will result in less precise cuts.
A high-priced press drill is probably not ideal for those on a limited budget.
Motor: 3/4HP, 115/230V, Single Phase
Speed Range: 200-3,630 RPM
Number of Spindle Speeds: 16
Weight: 200 pounds
Chuck Size: 5/8 inch
The Jet 354169 JDP-17MF is a true woodworker's drilling machine that offers 16 speeds, allowing you to choose the appropriate speed for your work. Professional woodworkers and craftsmen will appreciate this industrial-style type of drilling tool. It makes the list at number 4 because the price point is better than the 1P
It has spinning bits up to 5/8 of an inch at 16-speed rates ranging from 200 to 3,630 rpm. The belts are powered by a 3/4-horsepower induction motor. The sizable 13-3/4-inch workbench moves quickly because of its rack-and-pinion adaption and tilts 45 degrees right or left to fit your needs. You can easily access the motor mount because of its hinged metal belt and pulley cover that also makes fast spindle speed changes. A quick-set bolt on the depth stop allows for quick and precise adjustments.
The combination of a hinged metal belt, pulley cover, and a quick adjustment motor installation leads to a faster change of spindle speeds.
Crank-operated worktable with a fast clamp that spins and tilts 45 degrees.
For safe operation, an on/off switch is positioned at the front of the press head.
It has an external positive depth-stop of 1/2" diameter with a dual nut locking function for fast adaption.
It has a flexible tension spindle return spring.
The spindle is accompanied by strong-performance ball bearings
Limited warranty of five years.
Work light built in; only bulb not include
5/8" chuck is a limitation
The return spring is pretty unstable.
Many customers' feedback on poor customer service on Jet.
Motor: 1HP, 115/230V, Single Phase
Speed Range: 350 - 2,800 RPM
Maximum Chuck Size: 0.63 inches
Weight: 231 pounds
This Jet IDP-17 offers a 1/2" diameter for an external positive depth stop that you can easily make fast adjustments. It comes with three nut-locking features.
Another best feature of this is increased load support where the spindle is accompanied by strong ball bearings, which also lessens rotational pressure. For safety features, it includes an LED machine lamp and a spindle guard.
Other features for the convenience of functions are the hinged metal belt, pulley cover, and easy-to-adjust motor mount. This tool adheres to specific standards and electrical specifications. It is supported by a two-year warranty.
Set the standards for precision, consistency, and flexibility.
It has a 1/2“ diameter external positive depth stop for easy adjustments.
Includes standard oversize tables and LED machine lamps for lighting.
JET offers a manufacturing two-year warranty on their machines.
Spindle guard gets in the way
This tool is CSA/CUS certified and needs to follow clear standards and electrical specifications.
Motor: 1.5 H.P. Single-Phase
Speed Range: 140-3,050 RPM
Number of Speeds: 12
Weight: 171 pounds
Drill Chuck: 1/64"-5/8"
Heavy Duty Oversize Table
This Grizzly G7944 comes with 12 speeds and a powerful 1.5 HP motor. This is a heavy-duty floor model drill tool that is a must-have in any workshop. The table is oversized and tilts to 90 degrees left and right, it also contains lock levers and coolant troughs.
The table and base are made of cast iron. It has other beautiful features such as a precision-ground cast-iron table, built-in light, threaded depth stop, powder-coated finish, and cushion-grip quill handles.
Belts are designed to easily change speed using the link belts.
Extra large precision-ground cast-iron table.
Threaded depth stop.
Offers a safety switch with a removable key.
90 degrees left and right table tilt
Built-in 110V light socket that is helpful in lighting while working on your projects.
Needs two people to set up this machine.
Motor: 1.75 HP
Speed Range: 50-5,500 RPM
Weight: 307 pounds
Maximum Chuck Size: 16 mm
Drilling Capacity: 3/4" Steel
The NOVA 58000 DVR 18-inch is the world's first clever drilling machine, blending the best qualities of drill machines combined with the use of advanced technology to make your project productive, enjoyable, and safe.
This is considered the best drill because it offers versatility on the market and is multifunctional that is capable of working with wood, metals, plastics, and glass. The NOVA 58000 DVR is the most recent customized DVR application, designed to provide superior safety and preventive maintenance features by implementing some sensors.
The DVR, or digital variable reluctance motor, is a switch reluctance motor with a distinct electronic control. The electronic control employs a microprocessor to continuously monitor the motor and environmental conditions to adapt and adjust power.
Strong 1.75 HP/2 HP high torque.
Customer service is great.
Speed ranges from 50 up to 5, 500 RPM for different types of projects.
Considered the first multifunctional machine because it can easily handle wood, plastics, metals, and glass.
Great software with digital quill depth readout as well as digital speed readout and control.
Offers a 2-year warranty that covers full replacement of the motor and controller and the good news is a 5-Year for a full replacement of the mechanical.
Good power but also needs extra money to purchase this machine and not recommended if it is not fitted on your budget.
Motor: 1 HP
Speed Range: 140 to 3,050 RPM
Number of Speeds: 12
Swing: 17 inches
Maximum Chuck Size: 6.35 mm
Weight: 178 lbs
One of the primary goal is to purchase a woodworking press with powerful and high torque because this machine will be drilling on hardwood, soft metals and other hard materials. Fortunately, that is what you will get if you will buy this Shop Fox W1680 17-Inch which comes with a 1 HP motor that is extraordinary in terms of its drilling power.
Furthermore, this machine has a speed range of 140 to 3,050 RPM with 12 speeds, making it ideal for drilling on all types of materials. It offers enough capacity to adjust the drilling velocity to different materials.
One of the downsides of this machine is its cheap-feeling plastic knobs. However, they function perfectly and have no record of being broken while in use. The price point won't break the bank and is one of the major benefits of this drill press.
This floor press has a large a circular cast iron work table that tilts 90 degrees. Personally, I'm not a fan of circular drill press tables because they are harder to clamp to. However, that doesn't stop it from being a great machine. It has a 3-1/4-inch spindle travel which is also an excellent feature, allowing woodworkers to tackle large projects that would be impossible to complete with incompetent floor-standing presses.
A large cast-iron work table allows for the use of all materials of all sizes, and it even tilts 90 degrees for added convenience.
The 1 HP engine motor produces consistent torque.
A speed range of 140 to 3,050 RPM with 12 speeds makes it very easy to adapt drilling speeds to different types of woodwork.
The machine is very simple to set up.
The 3-1/4-inch spindle travel is enough for any kind of project.
Offers 2-year guarantee.
Cheap-feeling plastic knobs.
With a weight of almost 200 pounds, it may be too heavy to carry for your work.
Motor: 1/2 HP, single-phase, 120V, 5A
Speed Range: 550–3000 RPM
Number of Speeds: 5
Drill chuck: 1/16"–5/8"
Swing: 34" maximum
Weight: 136 pounds
Certainly not the most powerful drill press but it's a decent machine for a small shop. This 5-speed radial press has a variable swing of up to 34 inches as well as pivoting heads for drilling at different angles. Exceptionally adaptable for every craftsman who desires to have a flexible press like this.
The headstock can be inclined 45° to the left, 90° to the right, and glided forward or backward over the column for complete adaptability. To make the most of the table, this press has rack-and-pinion elevation controls that are adjustable 24-1/2" vertically, 90° tilt to the left and right, and can perform 360° rotation around the column.
This standing press can drill through wood, plastic, fiberglass, and composite materials and can drill through thin sheet metal without getting bogged down. It comes with a 1-year warranty that covers parts and guarantees the unit is free of factory defects.
Cast-Iron Precision-Ground Table
The table rotates 360 degrees.
The table includes Lock Levers and a Coolant Trough.
The table pivots the head 90 degrees to the left and right.
Threaded Depth Stop
Drill Clamps are adjusted by holes in the table.
Cast iron table and base.
Quill Handles with Cushion Grip
The price is fair for this machine. However, if you want more powerful motor capabilities, you will need a high-power motor that has a higher rate than this machine.
1-year warranty only and does not cover consumables.
Bench Top Drill Presses
Motor: 3/4 HP
Speed: 3500 RPM
Number of Speed: 16
Weight: 154 pounds
Chuck Size: 5/8"
Spindle Travel : 3-1/8"
This JET JDP-15B is built to fulfill its powerful performance, with a full 3-1/8" spindle travel and a durable cast iron head with a poly v-belt drive system. It has a one-handed belt tensioning system that allows for faster speed increases and a large worktop.
The integrated depth stop helps to make the repeated drilling fast and easy. It has a large 12-1/2" x 17" precision ground worktop that is combined with twin T-slot grooves and four table slots to make your work easier and more comfortable.
The large base that is made of cast iron ensures consistency. It has also a long-lasting, built-in LED work light that offers direct lighting while lessening the shadows for complicated work.
Precision ground cast iron worktop with twin T-slot grooves and 4 table slots.
The spindle travels a full 3-1/8″
One-handed belt tensioning for fast speed changes
Drilling accuracy because of its X-shaped XACTA laser
Built-in Work light
5 Year Warranty
Product accessories made of plastic
Expensive for a Benchtop Drill press
Motor: 1/2 HP
Maximum Chuck Size: 0.79"
Weight: 102 Pounds
Number of Speeds: 16
Speeds: 200-3,630 RPM
The RIKON 30-120 13-Inch is a heavy-duty drilling machine that features the exceptional durability of solid steel and cast iron design, as well as the functionality of 16 spindle speeds and a large cast iron handle for easy handling. This drill has a 13-inch swing and is powerful and simple to use, making it ideal for both amateurs and professional workers.
It has a powerful, seamless, and effective performance because of its 1/2-horsepower motor that provides more than enough torque for whatever you will use. The 16 spindle speeds ranging from 200 to 3,630 RPM provide adaptability. It has also a clutch depth stop that allows the user to set the drill depth, making it especially effective for works that require repetitive drilling.
This press is built to last because of its tough cast iron and solid steel construction for noise operation. It also showcases a complete cast iron head, pivoting table, and base, as well as unbent solid cast iron handles that make it to handle a wide range of projects.
Another best feature here is the table height is easily adjustable using rack and pinion gears, allowing you to make quick changes by turning the handle.
It also has a handy slot design for quick and easy installation of jigs, vises, and fixtures. The 11-3/16-inch table also bends 45 degrees right or left and spins a full 360 degrees for ease and convenience and to support various material sizes.
Powerful 1/2 HP Motor
Solid Steel and Cast Iron Construction
Easy to adjust Table, Table Tilt, and Useful Slot Design
Rack and Pinion Table Height
Clutch Depth Stop
Easy to Assemble
5 Year Warranty
The cast iron handle is placed in an awkward position on the hands.
Power of press is limited
Motor: 1/2 HP
Maximum Chuck Size: 13 mm
Weight: 85 Pounds
Number of Speeds: Variable
Voltage: 115 Volts
Speeds: 530-3,100 RPM
Style: Benchtop Drill Plates
The XACTA Laser's X-shape ensures precision every time in drilling. It has also easy-to-use extra large adjustable knobs that easily you can control. It also provides additional support through a retractable roller extension that allows you to create a fast adjustment in your work.
The other option here is that it has a compact design of cast iron base that fits 10" x 16-1/8" which is good for a small workshop. It has a built-in LED light that lights up your space for your complex job. It has also added safety through its large paddle switch that offers quick shut-off and lockout safety.
Drilling accuracy through X-shaped XACTA Laser
Large ergonomic knobs
3-1/8" Spindle Travel
Retractable Roller Extension
Cast Iron Table Tilts 45 Degrees
5 Year Warranty
#1 Best Seller in Stationary Drill Presses
Good customer service.
It's bigger than a normal benchtop press and requires more space in your workshop.
Not advisable if you don't want the worktable to be 90 degrees to the spindle.
Manufactured in a country that does not produce high-quality tools and machines
Amperage: 5 Amps Induction Motor
Speeds: 580-3,200 RPM
Weight: 85 Pounds
Style: 2021 Model
Chuck Capacity: 5/8"
Spindle Travel: 3-1/8"
This WEN 4214T 5-Amp 12-Inch Variable Speed Cast Iron Benchtop is an affordable option for having a stationary drill press in your workshop. It can drill exactly on the center but lacks in power. If you're a woodworker using dense hardwoods this is not the machine. It's designed for a hobbyist or Jewelry maker and is priced accordingly.
It has a digital speed readout display that shows the machine's current RPM. It has a depth adjustment gauge that enables you to limit your spindle travel for the right distance and efficient drilling. The induction motor has ball bearings to support a long-lasting use that will result in a smooth and stable performance even at full speed.
It has also an extended table with rollers that can support up to 17 inches. It comes also with an LCD screen where you can see the exact RPM or the current speed displayed. It has also an onboard work light that lights up your work for higher visibility and accuracy.
The cast iron base is strong enough. It comes also with bolt holes where you can install it easily on a benchtop. It offers laser precision where it points to the right location that the bit will travel for maximum drilling with accuracy. The worktable can be beveled up to 45 degrees at any angle of your drilling work.
Note: Not professional grade but it's a decent deal factoring the price
Affordable and budget-friendly
Table Roller Extension
Digital Speed Readout
Precision Drilling performed by Laser and LED
Cast Iron Base
Depth Adjustment Gauge
Easy to assemble
Lacks in Power
Poor customer service support.
Does not include the fence or clamps.
No setting for low RPM.
So, there are my reviews and lists of the 13 best drill presses. I hope you have found the best choice of drill press for your woodworking needs. You may also check out my last post which discusses the best thickness planers for woodworking. These reviews might help you by giving tips and ideas on what tools to invest in your woodworking and furniture projects.
Disclaimer: I only recommend products that I have used myself or have in my workshop. All opinions expressed here are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you.