Best Bench-Top Drill Press Reviews

Best Bench Top Drills Press Review

For any serious construction DIYer or professional, finding the best bench-top drill press is not just a value-addition to the workshop, it is an essential requirement to have around.

Bench-top drill presses bring the power and performance of a large tool into a compact size. They are also equipped to offer versatility as they can deal with a variety of materials including metals and an assortment of woods.

The bench-top drill press is a piece of equipment that is compact without compromising on performance. It is ideal for home-improvement and light professional jobs and is rather economical.

What to look for?

A bench-top drill press (which is significantly more powerful than the cordless drill) can deliver a swing between 8 to 12 inches, which determines the width of the material that it can deal with. This amount of power is ample to successfully complete all construction jobs you may have around the house. The motor of a drill press is another essential feature that determines its worthiness. A drill press powered by a motor of higher horsepower will be able to cut through thicker material more aggressively. A big advantage that bench-top drill presses have for amateur construction workers and home-improvers is that it is portable and compact. This means that it won’t hog up space in your workshop and can be stowed away when not in use.

The basic operation of a drill press is to bore sharp, accurate holes into materials at desired depths. Their versatility range can be expanded by adding attachments. Out of the myriad of options available, some features are essential to get the best out of your bench-top drilling press. So, keep in mind the following when you pick out a bench-top drill press:

  • Durability: Considering the kind of high-intensity, friction-prone work that is demanded of a bench-top drill press, it is necessary that it be designed for durability along with high performance. The design of the table and base of the saw is of utmost importance as it lends sturdiness too the machine and increases convenience for the user. These should be ribbed and slotted to provide strength and should be placed flat to ensure precision during drilling. If the table can be adjusted in height and can be swiveled around 360-degrees, it greatly enhances the flexibility of the machine, increasing its versatility and adding value to it.The head of the drill should be constructed in a sturdy metal such as cast iron to provide defense to the motor, quill and pinion shaft, to maintain the machine in optimum condition despite heavy-duty usage.
  • Chuck design: A chuck that can be tightened with a wrench or a key is always better than one that needs to be tightened by hand. Drill manufactures have also optimised the chuck design to make it versatile. A ½ inch capacity is ideal for a bench-top dill press chuck so that it can equip varied bits and accessories with ease.
  • Adjustment options: The presence of a depth-adjustment gauge eliminates the requirement for re-checking every time you make a hole at the same depth. These depth stops help maintain consistency while boring repeatedly by controlling how deep the bit drills into the material. An adjustable motor bracket helps to assure the most suitable belt tension to achieve accurate results, while lending support to the motor.
  • Variable speed options: It is advisable to look for a drill press that provides you with a speed range to work across so you can choose the ideal speed according to the material at hand. Metals require a slower speed to get the neatest drilling results, while woods need to worked on at medium to high speeds to avoid splintering. Ideally, a range of 500-4000 RPM suits a variety of applications on a number of materials.This range also gives you the freedom to explore the versatility of your drill press by mortising, sanding and grooving, other than drilling.
  • Weight: Unlike with hand-held tools, weight is actually an advantage for stationary tools such as the bench-top drill press. The more mass the machine has, the more vibration it will absorb, keeping the drilling operation smooth.

Top 5 Picks

It is always advisable to buy power tools from an established and reliable manufacturer because their products are backed by credibility and user-satisfaction. They are also able to address repair and replacement issues more satisfactorily, in case any arise. Keeping this in mind and the features that make for an excellent bench-top drill press, your best options can be narrowed down to this list:

1. Wen 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press

Wen 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press

Wen offers great performance at a pocket-friendly price with the 421412. It has a 12” swing, which is top-in-line for a bench-top drill press model. It runs on a 2/3 hp induction motor that delivers 580-3200 RPMs of speed. The powerful motor and variable speed range lend this drill press versatility to deal with a variety of medium to tough materials, including metal and hardwoods.

The machine is made out of cast iron, lending enough strength to drill a maximum of 5/8” through 1” of wood, metal and other hard materials. It also contributes to the durability of the drill press.

Wen has designed this bench-top drill press to lend optimum ease-of –use to the operator. The chuck can be maneuvered with a key that has on-board storage for quick access. The 5/8” inch chuck also induces versatility with its MT2 spindle taper as it allows you to use a variety of bits and accessories with your drill press. The drill also features a linear depth stop to ensure consistency in repeated drilling.

The table is ergonomically designed with slots and can bevel up to 45 degrees, both on the left and right to make it suitable for all job applications. The drill is equipped with a X-patterned laser to save you the effort of estimates and provide you precision in work.

This bench-top drill press is strong, durable and functional for all home improvement jobs. It weighs at about 89 pounds and comes with a 2-year warranty.

Things We Liked

  • Variable speed feature easily controlled by a lever.
  • LED display to clearly read running speed.

Things We Didn't Like

  • Not capable of professional capacity work.
  • Quality of belt is unsatisfactory.

2. SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press

SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press

If you are a dedicated hobbyist or an occasional woodworker, you shall find a great companion in the 10” drill press from SKIL. With a 3.2 amp compact but powerful motor, capable of delivering 5 variable speeds in the range of 750-3050 RPMs, it promises greater power and precision.

The drill press is equipped with an X2 two-beam laser to demarcate your working area clearly for enhanced accuracy. The depth adjustment system puts you in control of the drilling process and delivers consistent results. The worktable can also be tilted to 45 degrees to suit your project requirements. This machine has a 1/2” chuck with a key to allows larger bits for a variety of carpentry projects. 

This bench-top drill press from Skil weighs 55 pounds for all versatility-enhancing features that it packs. There is a standard 1-year warranty with a 30-day money back guarantee with the product. With an online registration of the product, the available warranty period is 3 years.

Things We Liked

  • Square work surface to accommodate large boards and pieces of wood.
  • Laser assist visibility in low-light conditions.

Things We Didn't Like

  • Lasers are AA battery powered; will require frequent battery changes.

3. Rikon 30-100 RIKON 8-Inch Drill Press

Rikon 30-100 RIKON 8-Inch Drill Press

A powerful yet simple machine, ideal for the DIYer in you, the 8-inch drill press from Rikon runs on a 3.6 amp motor. It features 5 spindle speed settings across 620-3100 RPMs, for increased versatility and suitability for a range of materials.

This machine is meant for durability as it manufactured from cast-iron and steel to have a sturdy body. This also reduces vibration and allows smooth working. The drill press features depth stops that let you determine the ideal depth of holes for your project and maintains it consistently for as long as you may need it, ensuring precision. The chuck is sized at ½ inches to enhance compatibility with a range of bits and accessories.

The table is easily adjustable to suit the perfect height for your project, with the simple action of a lever. The presence of use slots makes it even more desirable as it provides space for a number of clamps and fences. You can use these to firmly secure and comfortably work with boards of a range of sizes. The table can be titled to both left and right at 45 degrees to achieve accurate angled holes.

This drill press weighs all of 34 pounds and comes with a 5 year limited warranty.

Things We Liked

  • Chuck accepts larger bits required for various carpentry jobs; increases versatility of the machine.
  • Front paddle with on/off switch for ease-of-use.

Things We Didn't Like

  • Installation may prove to be a tedious process.

4. Craftsman 10 in Bench Drill Press

Craftsman 10 in Bench Drill Press

A competent and compact drill press is a dream for any workshop and with its 10 inch bench-top drill press, Craftsman offers just that. A ½ hp motor that delivers high torque and operates in the speed range of 620-3100 RPMs powers it. Five variable speed settings across this range not only increase versatility of the machine, but also reduce time and effort employed.

Attaining accuracy should be the paramount concern for a drill press and Craftsman certainly takes care of that. It features a laser that accurately indicated the drilling area. The presence of a depth gauge gives you control over performance of the drill bit to achieve desired results.

The table can be adjusted to tilt to 45 degrees to help you produce precise angled holes. The height of the table is adjustable and can be easily done with the rack-and pinion mechanism present. The ½-inch chuck on this drill is sturdy and allows you to work on various materials.

This drill press from Craftsman weighs 61 pounds and comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Things We Liked

  • Features a steel fence that efficiently aligns material to ensure safe and accurate work.
  • Assembling the machine is easy and can be done by one person.

Things We Didn't Like

  • Battery powered laser requires frequent battery changes.
  • The fence does not have measurement marks.

5. Shop Fox W1668 3/4-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press

Shop Fox W1668 3/4-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press

Shop Fox provides all necessary bench-top drill press features and then some more, with the W1668. Equipped with a ¾ hp motor that delivers 250-3050 RPM, the drill press has an incredible 13-inch swing. This kind of power enables it to drill through the toughest hardwood and even metal, with great efficiency.

This is a highly versatile model, loaded with features to make it fit for more than just drilling holes around the workshop. It has an oscillation feature that lets you use your drill press as a sander, with few quick, tool-less adjustments. The oscillatory action reduces heat generation and leaves your project with a smooth finish. There are 12 stops across the wide variable speed range to save time and effort.

The table is capable of tilting at 90 degrees to both left and right. The height and tilt are adjustable to make the machine suited to your exact project requisites. The drill press also features an efficient 5/8 inches drill chuck and 2 ¼-inch dust port to keep your work space clean.

The whole package weighs around 122 pounds and comes with a 2-year warranty period. This makes this a good contender for the best bench-top drill press.

Things We Liked

  • Detachable table allows you to use the base to be directly for support, if your project so demands.
  • 2-speed gearbox, allows for speed adjustment, providing versatility.

Things We Didn't Like

  • No laser indicator built in.

Conclusion

With its versatility, power and durability, a bench-top drill press can be a highly practical addition to your woodwork shop. It ensures precision and quality to your DIY projects without being a hassle manage or costing a fortune. Considering the most essential features to make a good deal on the best bench-top drill press, the competition boiled down between: Wen 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press and Craftsman 10 in Bench Drill Press.

They were marked on the following criteria to decide a winner:

Power

Both machines are towards the higher side of the swing range, with only a small difference. Therefore, the onus of the tiebreaker falls on the motor. It is an essential component to establish the worthiness of a drill press. The Craftsman drill-press has a ½ hp motor in comparison to Wen’s 2/3 hp. However, Wen delivers a wider speed range with that motor and leaves Craftsman behind, even though it has a motor with more horsepower.

Features

It is important that a drill press does what it is designed to do with optimum precision and offer versatility. It should also have features that make it easy to use. Both drill presses have the option of variable speed. However, Craftsman limits it to 5 settings while Wen allows an infitely variable speed range. Since both machines are equipped with laser indicators and adjustable tables, this feature becomes the deciding factor and Wen fares through.

Weight

As mentioned earlier, weight is an advantage for a bench-top drill press as it reduces vibration and allows smooth operation. Wen weighing at 89 pounds wins this round against Craftsman which stands at 61 pounds.

Warranty

Wen offers a 2-year warranty with its product while Craftsman offers 1 year. A longer warranty period ensures you of satisfactory redressal should you face issues with the machine and helps build confidence in the manufacturer. Therefore, this round goes to Wen.

Price

The 12 inch bench top drill press is understandably higher priced than the Craftsman’s 10-inch. However, for superior quality and performance in return, the difference seems like a fair price to pay.

Winning all 5 rounds, Wen 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press is the best choice for your money an your workshop.

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