Best Benchtop Drill Presses: Complete Reviews with Comparison

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Best Benchtop Drill Presses

​Floor-standing drill presses are often considered standard machines for wood and metal workers. However having a unit equipped with a table four inches from the chuck is more convenient for most drilling jobs. Benchtop drill presses are also more affordable and deliver the same power as their counterparts. Here are some benchtop drill presses you should consider buying:

​'Best Benchtop Drill Press' Comparison Chart

★ Top Pick ★

WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press,Orange

★ Editor’s Choice ★WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press

speed range 580-3200 RPMS, equal torque throughout the range, LED display for speed, Spindle Travel of 3-1/8,” locking linear depth stop for accurate drilling, Quill diameter of 2.17 inches


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Dremel Drill Press Rotary Tool Workstation Stand with Wrench- 220-01- Mini Portable Drill Press- Tool Holder- 2 inch Drill Depth- Ideal for Drilling Perpendicular and Angled Holes- Table Top Drill

Dremel Drill Press Rotary Tool Workstation Stand

Articulating Drill Press, Drills Perpendicular and Angled Holes in 15-degree Increments, up to 90 Degrees Horizontal, Holds Tool at 90 Degrees Horizontal, Drill Depth- 2 Inches


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Craftsman 10' Bench Drill Press

Craftsman 12 in. Drill Press by Craftsman

Solid steel and cast iron construction, Spindle travel 2.44 in. Cast iron table with roller extensions


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SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press

1/2-Inch keyed chuck, Bump-off switch for safety, 5 Speeds – 570 – 3,050 RPM, Adjustable depth stop for accuracy, 0-45 Degree Left/Right Tilting Work SurfaceLaser X2 2-beam laser for hole alignment

 


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★ Budget ★

Small Benchtop Drill Press | DRL-300.00

★ Money Saver ★Small Benchtop Drill Press | DRL-300.00

Ideal for all drilling projects, 1-year warranty, Variable speed up to 8,500 RPM, Measures 6-3/4 inches by 6-3/4 inches; 13.00 pounds, Easy-to-use, space-saving and economical


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​Detailed Product Info & Reviews

1. WEN 4214 Variable Speed Drill Press

WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press,Orange

The brand is known for making premium products, and the 4214 drill press is no exception. It boasts a mechanical variable speed system that enables users to adjust the speed between 580-3200 RPM. This feature allows you to work on a vast range of materials. Additionally, once you set the ideal speed you don’t have to readjust it every time.

Its throat depth of 12 inches means you can drill items as large as six inches from the edge of the material. It also makes the drill press ideal for professional and home too. What’s more, the cast-iron table allows you to place large amounts of wood for drilling.

The base remains stable throughout the drilling exercise thanks to the cast iron material used to construct it. You may even bolt it to a workbench using the mounting inserts that come with the equipment. The drill press is ideal for drilling wood not more than 3-1/8’’ thick


Product Highlights


  •     Variable speed control
  •     LED display
  •     Chuck size of 5/8 inches
  •     Speed of 580-3200 RPM
  •     X-pattern laser
  •     Worktable with a rack


What I Like

I particularly like the 5/8-inch chuck and laser system that enhanced drilling accuracy. I also found the inductive motor of 2/3 HP delivering adequate power for drilling low-density wood and thin metal sheets without stalling. Additionally, I was able to make beveled drills using this drill press. This is because the table could tilt 45-degrees to the right and the left.


What I Don’t Like

Its main shortcoming is that it delivers the same torque at all speeds, which makes it impossible to drill metals at low speeds.

​1. WEN 4214 Variable Drill Press

What We Like

  • ​Can drill wood and thin metal sheets
  • ​Digital speed display
  • ​Variable speed enhances versatility
  • ​Sturdy build

What We Don't Like

  • ​Delivers equal torque at all speeds
  • ​​Can’t drill thick metals like steel


​​2. Dremel 220-01 Workstation Drill Press

Dremel Drill Press Rotary Tool Workstation Stand with Wrench- 220-01- Mini Portable Drill Press- Tool Holder- 2 inch Drill Depth- Ideal for Drilling Perpendicular and Angled Holes- Table Top Drill

This three-in-one workstation works as a drill press, a rotary tool holder, and a flex-shaft tool stand. It comes in two separate parts: the stand and the base, which are connected to create the drill press. The stand has a unique design that allows users to make telescopic adjustments of heights between 16-29 inches when boring angled holes.


The tool holder, on the other hand, holds the rotary tool firmly to execute jobs like sanding and polishing of metals and wood. The drill press comes with onboard storage for your wrenches, drill bits, and depth stop markings which, when combined, make the best mini benchtop drill press.


Product Highlights


  •     Has a flex shaft stand
  •     Acts as a tool holder
  •     Drill depth of two inches
  •     Tilting angle of up to 90 degrees


What I Like

I found this benchtop drill press pretty versatile. The fact that it functions as a drill press, a tool stand, and a tool holder meant I could perform lots of home projects without buying additional tools. What’s more, I could replace the drills with others as long as they were compatible with the equipment. I also loved the sold base, which guaranteed vibration-free and accurate drilling.


What I Don’t Like

Despite its versatility it is compatible with Dremel rotary tools only, i.e. models 8220, 8200, 3000, 4200, 8100, 4000, 800, 400, 398, 285, 275, 200, 100, and 395.


​2. ​Dremel 220-01 Workstation Drill Press

What We Like

  • ​​​Can drill at a perpendicular angle
  • ​It doubles as a rotary tool holder and flex-shaft stand
  • ​​​Raises and shrinks tools between heights of 16 and 29 inches
  • ​​​Has a depth stop feature

What We Don't Like

  • ​Compatible with Dremel tools only
  • ​​Does not come with a chuck or spindle


3. Craftsman 10-Inch Drill Press

Craftsman 10' Bench Drill Press

This benchtop drill press is ideal for professionals looking for premium equipment at an affordable price. It is equipped with a ½ HP motor that allows you to choose between five preset speeds ranging from 620 to 3100 RPM. The motor generates adequate torque for you to work on a range of materials, including metal.


Its construction is pretty sturdy for this price range. It features a mix of metal and plastic, which last long. The Craftsman Drill press uses a laser system that ensures accurate X and Y projection for better positioning of the equipment. Its table is fitted with a steel fence that makes it easy to align workpieces on the ten-inch working surface. It also has a laser lighting system, a working LED light, and insert mounts.


Product Highlights


  •     Chuck capacity of 0.5 inches
  •     A maximum speed of 3100 RPM
  •     Spindle travel of up to 2.44 inches
  •     Roller extensions on the table


What I Like

The Craftsman 10-inch drill press features a pretty good construction for this price range. I liked that the unit comes with a tilting table, which allowed me to work on large pieces of wood without a problem. I also loved the fact that the manufacturer equipped the unit with several convenient features like the laser beam system and LED light.


What I Don’t Like

The laser lighting system needs to be powered by AA batteries, which are used up within a short time (30 minutes). Also, the lack of scale marks on the steel fence made it difficult to align and guide the workpiece on the surface.


​3. ​Craftsman 10-inch Drill Press

What We Like

  • ​High-quality construction
  • ​LED lighting and laser tracking
  • ​Variable speed
  • ​Uses rack and pinion system for quick table elevation

What We Don't Like

  • ​​Steel fence is not scaled
  • ​​Laser system needs to be powered by AA batteries


4. Skil 3320-01 Benchtop Drill Press

SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press

The striking feature about this drill press is the adjustable depth stop that allows you to make precise measurements and bore holes consistently. It has a beam laser system that enhances the accuracy of the equipment when aligning it to the material.


Also, the equipment has a five-gear speed system for drilling a range of materials, not just wood. At the highest speed (3050), the machine delivers splinter-less drill holes. What’s more, it has a bump-off switch fitted at the front of the unit to prevent kids from turning it on when not in use.


Product Highlights


  •     Up to five speeds ranging from 570 to 3050 RPM
  •     Half-inch keyed chuck
  •     Adjustable depth stops
  •     3.2 amp motor power
  •     Half-inch chuck size


What I Like

Skil 3320-01 benchtop drill press has outdone itself for this price range. The preset speed ranges make it easy to fine-tune the equipment to the required speed for the material. I also loved the laser cross-hair system that guided the machine to the actual drilling spot accurately. The tilting table on the left and right sides came in handy for complicated drilling jobs.


What I Don’t Like

The equipment didn’t perform as well as when I worked on metals such as steel and aluminum. Also, the worktable was not as steady even after tightening several times.


​4. ​Skil 3320-01 Benchtop Drill Press

What We Like

  • ​Has five preset speeds
  • ​Enhances safety using the bump-off switch
  • ​Laser beam system improves accuracy
  • ​Affordable

What We Don't Like

  • ​Speed change is done manually
  • ​The laser beam system requires AA batteries
  • ​Does not have a working light


​5. EuroTool Small Benchtop Drill Press

Small Benchtop Drill Press | DRL-300.00

This is an excellent entry-level drill press for professionals looking to embark on woodworking or jewelry making. It has a relatively miniature size compared to the other benchtop drill presses we have reviewed. It measures 6.75x6.75 and weight 13 pounds hence pretty easy to move it from one working surface to another.


It powered by a 5.5-inch cord and has three preset speed settings of up to 8500 RPM. As such, you can easily choose the best speed for working on specific materials. The drill press is also equipped with chuck and spindle movement that enhance its mechanical operation.


Product Highlights


  •     Variable speed of up to 8500 RPM
  •     Powered by a 5.5-inch cord
  •     Has three-speed settings
  •     Chuck and spindle movement


What I Like

I loved its small, lightweight design. It made it easy to carry it from my garage to my working space. The preset speed settings also made it easy to customize the speed to the material I was working on.


What I Don’t Like

I used the drill press on simple projects and had to buy different equipment for demanding tasks. I also found it challenging to maintain accuracy.


​5. ​EuroTool Small Benchtop Drill Press

What We Like

  • ​Fairly priced
  • ​Excellent for DIY projects
  • ​Variable speed settings

What We Don't Like

  • ​Chuck is not steady
  • ​Can’t handle demanding tasks


Benchtop Drill Press Buyer’s Guide


Choosing the right benchtop drill press can be daunting, especially if you are a first-time buyer. Here are some essential features to look at:


​Availability of a Good Table

A table is an essential factor for any benchtop drill press. It should have enough space to place large and small materials. Also, it should be flexible to allow you to execute complicated tasks. The average table size of a benchtop drill press is 8.75 inches.


It should also have a tilting feature, i.e., 45 degrees to the right and the left or a full 90 degrees. You also need to check if the drill press has slots for attaching jigs and vises. Slotted tables come in handy for woodworkers as they make it easier to work on a large wooden table.


Chuck Size

The chuck keeps the drill bit secure on the equipment. As such, you want a chuck that can be tightened using a wrench or other specialized tool and not by hand. Also, check the size of the chuck. The ideal size for chucks for benchtop drill presses is ½ an inch.


Adjustable Depth Gage

Ensure the drill press has adjustable depth gage to help you set the drill depth. Sometimes, drill holes need to be a specific depth, and, if bored further will cause structural damage. Buying a drill press with an adjustable gage helps deliver a cleaner and accurate project.


Speed and Torque

The two features determine the power output of the equipment. Drill presses with less speed generate more torque while those with high rates have less torque. Checking the speed levels should help you determine the type of equipment you are buying.


Those with high speeds are ideal for drilling small holes in wooden materials, and drill presses with lower speeds are suitable for drilling into metal. Alternatively, purchase equipment with variable speed settings.


This kind allows you to drill into different materials at a suitable boring speed. The consistent speed helps drill smooth and clean edges. For this reason, drill presses are used in executing delicate fabrication jobs that need quality holes drilled into the material.


Power

It is measured in horsepower, and it determines how fast a drill bores a hole into any material. The more powerful a drill is, the faster it bores wide and deep holes.


Additional Features

You also need to look at any extra features included on the drill press as it enhances its versatility and gives you good value for money.


A laser guide system is a valuable addition as it shows where the drill should bore into the material, thus enhancing precision. Other useful accessories include clamp-on lights, adjustable tabletops, different vises, and more. Clamp-on lights, for example, come in handy when working in dimly-lit areas.


The Warranty

Manufacturers who produce high-quality items offer more extended warranties. However, such drill presses are often pricier. It’s up to you to determine if you are willing to pay more for high-quality equipment.


FAQs


(Q) How Do I Prolong the Life of My Benchtop Drill Press?


​(A) Drill presses work in harsh environments such as auto shops, industrial settings, and workshops. As such, it is imperative to conduct regular maintenance procedures that ensure it performs optimally and prolongs its life. Here’s how:



  1.     Clean and lubricate the components: components like the chuck and the spindle need to work effectively at all times. Cleaning and lubricating these parts ensure they remain at their top performance
  2.     Inspect the drive belt: a worn-out belt causes noise and increases vibration when using the unit. Regular inspection helps determine when it needs to be replaced. During the examination, rotate the belt and the pulley system by hand to identify lumps, worn-out areas, or cracks. You also need to check the belt tension; if it is too tight, it could snap, and if too loose, it is likely to slide off. A belt with the right tension should give ¼-inch give when pressed halfway between two pulleys
  3.     Clean the table: Most benchtop drill press tables are made of cast iron. The material is known for its durability and sturdiness. However, you need to clean the table after the job to prevent corrosion and rust. Wiping it down with a damp cloth should remove grit and dust. Follow it up with rust-resistant spray


(Q) My Benchtop Drill Press does not Bore Holes Accurately; What Could Be the Problem?


(A) You need to check the drill quill as it has a direct impact on the accuracy of the equipment. A loose quill causes the chuck to shake, leading to inaccurate drilling. Remove the chuck and check for play between the quill tube and the quill against the drill press housing. If it is loose, tighten the mounting bolt into the motor housing.


You also need to check the condition of the spindle bearings as they also affect the performance of the quill. They cause the quill to develop axial play, which causes vibration and compromises the drilling pressure. As such, you want to examine the spindle bearings for low-quality, weakening, and the wrong adjustment.

 

(Q) How do I Enhance the Safety When Using the Drill Press?


(A) The most common safety hazards when using a drill press are a result of flying broken drill bits and loose clothing getting caught in the unit. Thus, you need to:



  •     Wear gloves when using the machine
  •     Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothes when operating the equipment
  •     Avoid running the machine without eye protection
  •     Avoid forcing the bit through the metal
  •     Ensure the material is clamped firmly before you start drilling
  •     Avoid placing your hands near the spinning drill bit


(Q) Why should I Buy a Unit with Variable Speed settings?


(A) Modern drill presses allow users to choose the ideal speed between a specified range. Benefits of this feature include:


Ability to work on different materials: metals require lower speeds, i.e., between 500-2500 while wood applications use higher speeds. Having a drill press that allows you to customize it to the necessary speed for the material is a bonus


Hone your skills: if you just started operating a drill press, you should consider practicing at a low speed. Having a machine with a variable speed range allows you to experiment at different speeds


Workpiece thickness: a variable speed unit will enable you to adjust its speed to suit the workpiece thickness. It is easier to work at higher speeds, but other materials need fewer rotations per minute


(Q) What is the Best Way to Use a Drill Press?


  1.     Clamp the workpiece to the drill press table
  2.     Choose the drill bit size and mount it
  3.     Select the ideal speed and start drilling
  4.     Back off to remove the chips from the channels in the bit and repeat


Conclusion

This guide should help you choose the ideal benchtop drill press for your applications. If looking for a premium product, WEN 2414 variable drill press is a good buy. Its sturdy construction and vast variable speed settings allow you to work on different materials without purchasing different equipment. However, if looking for affordable alternatives, Skill 3320-01 drill press, and Euro Tool Small drill presses are ideal as they don’t compromise on performance.


About the Author Dan

Just a random guy who likes to build things. Providing tool knowledge, appliance/device testing tips, and DIY project info in an easy-to read & non-intimidating style.