Top Drill Presses for Woodworking Reviewed
Odds are, you probably already have a drill, so why should you invest in a drill press?
For starters, a drill press is far more accurate than a handheld drill. Perfect for carrying out repetitive drilling operations, a drill press will allow you to complete woodworking projects more efficiently and with greater precision.
The best drill press for woodworking will depend on the type of work you want to do. For example, if you typically take on large projects that require more height capacity, a floor drill press might be a better choice for you than a benchtop drill press.
We go over each of the models in our roundup below, but for those of you in a hurry here is a quick comparison of the drill presses in our review:
To help you choose the right tool for your specific needs, we’ve reviewed the five best drill presses for woodworking available.
For additional accuracy, a spindle travel of 3-1/8” with locking linear depth stop lets you repeat the same exact drilling operation as many times as you need to.
The adjustable cast iron worktable measures 9-1/2 x 9-1/2”, and a table roller extension adds up to 17 inches of support for the piece you’re working on. Other features include a 5/8-inch keyed chuck, cast iron base, and beveling worktable.
Reasons to buy:
- Easy assembly: This variable speed drill press practically comes ready to use right out of the box. With easy to follow instructions, assembly is a breeze – you can have it up and running in less than 20 minutes.
- Mechanical variable speed: The WEN’s variable speed feature makes it easy to adjust the drill’s speed without having to manually move belts. With the turn of a lever, you can target an exact speed between 580 and 3200 RPMS and see the number displayed on the digital LED readout.
- Laser precision: A bright onboard work light and accurate laser ensures maximum drilling precision.
- Powerful motor: The WEN’s 5 amp induction motor can handle a variety of materials with ease, including wood, metal, and glass.
- Manual tilt adjustment: To tilt the table, you’ll need to manually loosen a nut. While the drill comes with a wrench for this purpose, some people find this extra step to be an annoyance, especially if you need to change the angle frequently.
- Infinitely variable speed ranges from 580-3200 RPMS. Mechanical variable speed delivers equal torque throughout the range. LED read out displays speed.
- Spindle Travel of 3-1/8" with easy to read, locking linear depth stop for accurate and repeatable drilling operations
- Quill diameter of 2.17 inches. Durable 2/3hp induction motor develops ample torque and power. Motor: 120 V, 60 Hz. Laser Module: Class III
- 9-1/2 x 9-1/2" cast iron worktable features rack & pinion height adjustment and bevels up to 45 Degree left & right
- Includes drill press, mechanical variable speed, laser, table roller extension, 5/8" keyed chuck & key, tools for assembly
The cast iron work table tilts from 0 to 45 degrees, and a laser allows for higher precision work. Additional features include an adjustable depth-stop and height adjustable cast iron work table that measures 7-5/8 x 7-5/8 inches.
Reasons to buy:
- Great value: For the level of quality you get from this small drill, the price is hard to beat. There’s no noticeable wobble, the motor runs quietly, and the drill operates smoothly.
- High precision: For a tool designed for home and hobby use, the SKIL is surprisingly precise. The 2-beam laser is accurate and makes precise drilling operations a breeze.
- Quiet motor: One of the most common complaints people have about their drill press is the sound from the motor, but the SKIL 3320-01 is exceptionally quiet, even when operating at a higher RPM.
- Unreliable depth stop: Some people have reported problems with the SKIL’s depth stop function because the instructions aren’t very clear about how to use it. While it works, there is a bit of a learning curve involved.
- 1/2-Inch keyed chuck. Bump-off switch for added safety
- 5 Speeds - 570 - 3,050 RPM
- Adjustable depth stop for accurate measurements and repetitive drilling
- 0-45 Degree Left/Right Tilting Work Surface
- Laser X2 2-beam laser for precise hole alignment
The table height is easy to adjust thanks to a rack and pinion elevation system. Other features include a scaled steel fence, stop block, ½” keyed chuck, and guiding laser for extra precision.
Reasons to buy:
- Sturdy and stable: Solidly built, the Craftsman drill press is stable and drills smoothly. Sitting perfectly flat, the table doesn’t move side to side at all.
- High accuracy: The built-in LED light is bright and the laser guide is easy to adjust, allowing you to drill with greater accuracy. Once the laser position is set, you can trust that it won’t move out of adjustment, making it easy to precisely align your work.
- Rack and pinion table elevation: The elevation of the Craftsman’s worktable is easy to adjust, and the rack and pinion system ensures each adjustment is highly accurate.
- Misleading amperage: While product descriptions for this Craftsman drill press sometimes boast a 6 amp motor, it actually has a 3.2 amp motor.
- Five operating speeds with a range between 620 - 3100 RPM
- 6.0 Amp, 120 Volts, 60 Hz motor
- Rack and Pinion table elevation makes adjusting the table height easy and accurate
- Scaled steel fence helps align, guide and brace workpieces, stop block for repetitive drilling jobs
The WEN’s 7-5/8” x 7-5/8” cast iron worktable is sturdy and easy to adjust by crank to whatever height you need. Other useful features include a work light, laser, and storage for the key to the ½-inch chuck.
Reasons to buy:
- Sturdy base: With a base made from solid cast iron, the unit is solid and sturdy enough so that the drill press runs smoothly and quietly.
- Accurate depth stop: The depth stop is accurate and easy to use, always hitting solidly at the set depth.
- Convenience: The WEN 4210 drill press is incredibly simple to set up and start using. Very little assembly is required, and even manually adjusting the belt to change the speed of the drill is a quick and painless process.
- Laser adjustment: Out of the box, the laser is not accurately adjusted to the contact point. Keep in mind that you’ll need to manually adjust it before you start working.
- Includes: drill press, class II 1mW laser, 1/2" keyed chuck & key, tools for assembly
- Adjust between five speeds from 600 to 3100 RPM
- Spindle travel of 2-1/2" with easy to read, locking linear depth stop for accurate and repeatable drilling operations
- Durable 3.2-amp motor provides ample torque and power
- 7-5/8 x 7-5/8" cast iron worktable features rack & pinion height adjustment and bevels up to 45 degrees left & right
You can tackle a variety of different projects and materials with the WEN’s five adjustable speeds that range from 740 to 3140 RPM. The 6-1/2 x 6-1/2” adjustable worktable tilts 45 degrees left or right, giving you extra flexibility. And with built-in key storage for the WEN’s ½-inch keyed chuck, you’ll never have to worry about losing it ever again.
Reasons to buy:
- Great price: Priced under $100, the WEN combines affordability with quality, making it perfect for homeowners and hobbyists who need a drill press for light-duty wood and metal work.
- Compact design: Measuring just 7.5 x 22.9 x 11 inches, this drill press is incredibly easy to move and store, making it the perfect solution for smaller workspaces. And unlike a bulky floor drill press that takes time to set up, this handy little press is always ready to go.
- Durability: For a small benchtop drill press, the WEN is surprisingly tough. Made from solid high-quality metal, it will last you much longer than a drill press made with cheap plastic.
- Top heavy: This particular WEN model is slightly top heavy. To prevent it from moving around while you work, you’ll need to bolt this drill press to your workbench before you start.
- Includes a 1/2-inch keyed chuck and onboard key storage
- Operates at 5 different speeds: 740, 1100, 1530, 2100, 3140 RPM
- Spindle travels up to 2 inches with easy to read, locking linear depth stops for accurate and repeatable drilling operations
- Durable 1/3 HP induction motor develops ample torque and power
- 6-1/2 x 6-1/2" worktable is height adjustable and bevels up to 45 degrees left & right
Drill Press Video
Here is a YouTube video explaining the basics of using a drill press:
Take Your Woodworking to the Next Level
We hope that our reviews help you find the best drill press for woodworking that meets your unique needs. Just remember that no matter what type of drill press you end up choosing, you can always expect higher accuracy, efficiency, and precision from this powerful tool.