Best Drill Press for Woodworking: Complete Reviews with Comparison

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Best Drill Press for Woodworking

Precision is a crucial feature when it comes to woodworking. Drill presses deliver this much-needed accuracy better than hand drills because they have built-in mechanisms that control the depth and the speed of the drilling unit.


Additionally, a drilling press allows users to exert pressure on the workpiece when boring holes without compromising on its structure. Drill presses are also perfect for carrying out repetitive drilling tasks more efficiently.


Units designed for woodworking have different builds to match the user’s needs. For example, if you are working on a large project, you need a drill press with more height capacity. As such, you should consider buying a floor drill press instead of a bench drill press. The text explains five best drill presses for woodworking:


 When buying a drill press for woodworking, it is crucial to choose one that suits your needs. If looking for a unit for DIY home projects, then the WEN 4210 drill press is a good buy. Industrial woodworking applications need a heavy-duty machine like the Delta 18-900L Drill Press, but if out of range, the Shop Fox W1668 drill press performs just as well and is more affordable.


​'Best Drill Press for Woodworking' Comparison Chart

★ Top Pick ★

Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press

★ Editor’s Choice ★Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press

Auto-tensioning belt drive system for speed changes, 6-inch quill stroke for deeper drilling, TWIN-LASER projects a bright red crosshair on work piece at the point of bit contact


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Shop Fox W1668 ¾-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press/Spindle Sander

Shop Fox W1668 ¾-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press/Spindle Sander

Motor: 3/4 HP, 110-Volt, 1,725 RPM, Spindle Speeds 250-3050 RPM, Drill chuck: 5/8-Inch, Spindle travel: 3-1/4-Inch, Swing: 13-1/4-Inch


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ShopSeries RK7033 6.2-Amp 10' Drill Press

ShopSeries RK7033 6.2-Amp 10″ Drill Press

6.2-amp drill press for repetitive precision cutting for wood/plastic/metal, work table bevels up to 45 degrees left & right, five operating speeds from 620-3100 rpm


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★ Budget ★

WEN 4210T 10 In. Drill Press with Laser

★ Money Saver ★WEN 4210T 10 In. Drill Press with Laser

Drill press, class II 1mW laser, 1/2″ keyed chuck & key, tools for assembly, five speeds from 600-3100 RPM, Spindle travel of 2-1/2” with locking linear depth stop for accurate drilling


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Rikon 30-100 RIKON 8-Inch Drill Press

 

Rikon 30-100 RIKON 8-Inch Drill Press

5 Spindle Speeds 620-3100 RPM. Drill into any type of material, Solid Steel and Cast Iron Construction. Vibration-free operation


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​Detailed Product Info & Reviews

​1. Delta 18-900L Floor Drill Press

Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press

The drill press is equipped for industrial woodworking capabilities evident from its 16-speed motor with a speed range of 170-3000 rpm. The heavy-duty motor has 0.75 HP, which enables it to take on demanding drilling jobs without cranking or making noisy sounds.


Its 16-speed settings are powered by a belt drive system with three pulleys and two belts. The pulley tension system is specially designed for this equipment. It uses a lever that presses the rear belt to create tightness on both belts.


The drill is quite heavy, weighing 261 pounds. The weight is a result of the additional cast-iron table, head, and bases. It explains why the manufacturer uses a broad base that can be bolted to the surface for stability.


Product Highlights


  • Full six-inch quill stroke
  • Chuck capacity of 5/8 inches
  • 0.75 HP
  • Speed of 170-3000 RPM
  • Auto-tensioning belt drive mechanism


What I Like

Its full six-inch quill stroke made it easy to drill deep holes. I also loved the massive worker’s table that beveled 0-90 degrees (right and left), and forward 0-48 degrees. The table is fitted with T-slots for clamping and a removable center insert for through-the-table drilling. Its micro-adjustable depth stop feature was particularly useful as it allows you to set the scale at zero and make gradual increments.


What I Don’t Like

I found the speed adjustment feature tedious because it required changing the position of the belts. You may have to remove and re-install the belt.


​1. ​Delta 18-900L Floor Drill Press

What We Like

  • ​Adjustable height
  • ​Up to 16 speeds
  • ​Adjustable locking levers
  • ​Well-lit using the LED light

What We Don't Like

  • ​Extremely pricey
  • ​Ideal for industrial applications only


​2. Shop Fox W1668 13-Inch Bench Drill Press

Shop Fox W1668 ¾-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press/Spindle Sander

The drill press has a compact design equipped with a range of features to meet different drilling needs. Apart from the drilling function, it has an oscillating sander for contour sanding, a clearance hole on the table, and a dust collection port for collecting sawdust and other debris jetting out of the machine.


Shop Fox drill press is a good buy if you are looking for a premium-style machine for woodworking. It has a ¾ HP motor that delivers adequate power for drilling soft and hardwood. What’s more, it has 12 preset speed settings ranging from 250 to 3050 RPM to allow you to work on a vast range of materials.


Product Highlights


  • Motor power of ¾ HP
  • Spindle travel of 3-1/4 inches
  • Drill chuck of 5/8 inches
  • Spindle speed of 250-3050 RPM
  • Equipped with a sander


What I Like

I loved its generous swing of 13-1/4 that made it easy to work on extremely thick wood pieces. This feature is further enhanced by the 90-degree tilting table, which provided a better angle for working the full objects. Its spindle reach also came in handy as it helped drill pretty deep holes for professional woodworking.


I also loved the integration of other features like the three-piece oscillating spindle sander drum. It helped rid of heat build-up when sanding. Also the dust collection and clearance hole were pretty useful.


What I Don’t Like

The drill press is equipped with multiple features you will not find in your regular machine for woodworking. However, its price is a little on the high end, making this drill press ideal for professional or industrial-grade woodworking.


​2. ​Shop Fox W1668 18-Inch Bench Drill Press

What We Like

  • ​The table tilts 90 degrees
  • ​Able to drill deep holes thanks to the spindle reach
  • ​Is pretty accurate
  • ​Has up to 12 speeds

What We Don't Like

  • ​It is expensive


​​3. Rockwell RK7033 Drill Press

ShopSeries RK7033 6.2-Amp 10' Drill Press

It is an upgrade from Rockwell’s RK7032 hence the high motor power of 6.2 amp and 2/3 HP. This motor power is adequate for working on soft and hardwood as well as 1/8-inch mild steel plate and 1/8 high-carbon steel plates.


The drill press has a five-speed setting for handling different materials. Also, it has a table that tilts 45 degrees to the right and left for effective angled drilling. The table is equipped with a rack and pinion system that allows you to adjust the height of the machine. The manufacturer also includes a keyed safety switch that prevents accidental starting.


Product Highlights


  • 6.2 amp drill
  • Five operating speeds
  • Table tilts 45 degrees
  • ½-inch drill chuck
  • Cast iron table


What I Like

Rockwell RK 7033 has a steady construction for this price range. I found its two-inch spindle travel particularly useful as it enhanced the machine’s drilling accuracy and precision. What’s more, I didn’t have to worry about the stability of the equipment when drilling. The device has a pretty stable base.


What I Don’t Like

I didn’t like the fact that it comes disassembled. While the package includes a manual and an Allen wrench to help you assemble the parts, it was a little daunting for me.


​3. Rockwell RK7033 Drill Press

What We Like

  • ​Adaptable thanks to the height adjustment and titling features
  • ​Has multiple speeds
  • ​Fitted with a safety switch to prevent accidents
  • ​Delivers consistent performance

What We Don't Like

  • ​The chuck key might not be included in the package
  • ​It comes disassembled


4. WEN 4210 Drill Press

WEN 4210T 10 In. Drill Press with Laser

The drill press boasts some of the best features for industrial-grade equipment. Its motor has a power output of 3.2 amps, perfect for drilling thick wood pieces. Additionally, its variable speed setting allows you to work on wood pieces with different densities. Wood requires high-speed drill presses, and WEN 4210 does not disappoint with speed as high as 3100 RPM.


What’s more, the drill has a pretty big swing size that allows you to work comfortably on large workpieces. This, coupled with long spindle travel (2.5 inches) enables users to bore deep holes regardless of the size of the wooden piece. You will also love the vast table size, which accommodates commercially available materials like wood planks, engineered lumber, and Plexiglas sheets.


Product Highlights


  • Five preset speeds from 600-3100 RPM
  • Half-inch keyed chuck
  • 3.2 amp motor
  • Cast-iron worktable with rack and pinion height adjustment
  • Tilting worktable at 45 degrees (right and left)


What I Like

I loved the fact that I could tilt the table to the right and to the left at 45 degrees when working on complicated tasks. What’s more, the table is equipped with a lock-in feature for repetitive drilling. The depth adjustment gauge also came in handy for jobs that needs a bit of tact and accuracy. It locked the spindle travel pretty accurately and helped me achieve depths I would not attain using regular drill presses.


What I Don’t Like

As other WEN drill presses, the 4210 does not have an automated speed control feature. Thus, I had to adjust the belt tensioning system to change the speed. It was challenging when handling repetitive drilling tasks that needed different speeds.


​4. ​WEN 4210 Drill Press

What We Like

  • ​Pretty sturdy base
  • ​Simple set up
  • ​Accurate and user-friendly depth stop
  • ​Equipped with a table light
  • ​Affordable

What We Don't Like

  • ​Laser needs manual adjustment
  • ​The speed is adjusted automatically


5. Rikon 8-Inch Benchtop Drill Press

Rikon 30-100 RIKON 8-Inch Drill Press

It is a good buy for simple DIY projects or just embarked on woodworking projects. The drill press has five-speed levels perfect for small projects. The lowest speed is 620 RPM, and the highest is 3100 RPM, which is pretty reasonable for woodworking applications.


The equipment features cast-iron construction, which reduces vibrations when boring holes in thick wooden pieces. It also has a cast-iron table adjustable to the user’s drilling needs.


Product Highlights


  • Five speeds of 620-3100 RPM
  • Cast iron construction
  • Has clutch depth stop setting
  • Rack and pinion gears
  • Vibration-free


What I Like

I found the clutch depth feature particularly useful when working on thick pieces of wood. It made work easier, accurate, and delivered high-quality drilling for repetitive tasks.


What I Don’t Like

It was difficult to achieve precise adjustments because the equipment is bolted to the table. I often needed to unscrew the drill press to adjust it correctly.


​5. ​Rikon 8-Inch Benchtop Drill Press

What We Like

  • ​Variable speed
  • ​Great entry-level drill press
  • ​Cast-iron construction makes it sturdy and durable
  • ​It is lightweight

What We Don't Like

  • ​Difficult to tilt the table without a tool
  • ​Needs regular adjustments
  • ​Not suitable for demanding jobs


​Woodworking Drill Press Buyer’s Guide


The drill press you choose determines the difference between a successful and failed boring job. Lots of features come in to play and affect the efficiency of the equipment. We look at some of these features to help you make an informed buying decision:


The Swing

This feature determines the size of the workpiece you should work with by measuring the length between the center of the spindle and the column. For example, if the equipment indicates it has an 8-inch swing, then you have eight inches to slide in the wood on the table.


Speed

Select a drill press with variable drill speeds. The feature comes in handy when working with different types of wood pieces, as you will need to increase or reduce the RPMs. The ideal speed adjustment ranges for woodworking projects range between 500-4000 RPMs.


Size of the Table

It determines the size of the material you can work on. Most drill presses for woodworking have table sizes ranging from 6x6 inches to 14x14 inches. Other models have table rollers which provide adequate wiggle room for handling large planks. Also, check the material used to construct the table; cast iron is known for its durability and sturdiness.


Model Type

There are two types: bench and floor drill presses. Floor drill presses are ideal for heavy-duty woodworking applications, while the bench-style machine is suitable for small DIY projects. Benchtop drill presses use a moderately-powered motor for supplying power to smaller tasks. They are also great if you have a cramped workstation.


Versatility

Modern drilling jobs are not just about boring holes in wooden objects; they should polish and cut the furniture when the need arises. Since different bits are required for all such tasks, it is essential to look for drill presses that allow you to fit the different types of woodworking bits.


Depth Stop

This feature ensures all holes you drill have consistent depths. It is a crucial feature when drilling lots of holes and needs their depths to be consistent. For example, if drilling 30 holes two inches deep, you only need to fine-tune the equipment for this range to ensure all the holes have the appropriate depth.


Weight

Drill presses use centrifugal force to cut into materials. The force causes vibration, especially when drilling at high speed. Heavier equipment makes a better buy than lighter units because it eliminates the shakiness, letting you work more smoothly.


Serviceability

Drill presses need regular maintenance to ensure top-notch performance. Look for a unit that allows you to conduct maintenance procedures hassle-free and replace worn out parts quickly. Check if the manufacturer requires his unit to be serviced by qualified personnel. Such machines are high-maintenance as you will be spending lots of cash to replace the parts.


Hassle-free Assembly

The drilling tool should also have a good chuck and spindle combination. It should ensure the chuck is secure when fitting the bits into it. Also, assembly with the spindle ought to be flawless to prevent accidents.


FAQs


(Q) What Other Tasks Can a Woodworking Drill Press Perform?


(A) The most obvious is boring holes in wooden pieces. Modern units are, however, extremely versatile allowing users to perform other tasks including:


  • Mortise cutting: Mortises have been cut by hand using a chisel for years. Modern technology has made it possible to develop specialty machines called the mortise for this function. However, people who don’t want to buy machine can use a drill press for mortise cutting and square up the edges using a sharp chisel
  • Making mortising attachments: Floor-standing drill presses come equipped with a hollow-chisel mortising attachment that allows you to use hollow-chisel mortising bits measuring ¼-3/4 inches in width
  • Sanding: When a project needs several curved cuts, the best way to achieve the best results is to use an oscillating spindle sander. However, if the equipment is not readily available, you can utilize a barrel sander attachment as long as it fits the drill press chuck. What’s more, the variable speeds of the drill press allow you to make spindle sanding adjustments to match any material


(Q) How Do I Maintain the Drill Press?


(A) These few maintenance tips should keep the machine running smoothly:


  • Lubricate the chuck: Lubricating keeps the chuck’s jaws operating effectively, which is crucial to proper bit function. Ensure the jaws are fully open and blow the inside with a burst of compressed air
  • Check the belt for wear: A worn-out belt causes noise and vibration. You can check for wear by unplugging the drill press, removing its head, and performing a visual inspection. If the belt is in good condition, ensure it has the right tension. If it is too loose or tight reset the tension according to the manufacturer’s instructions


​(Q) What Causes a Drill Press not to Start?


(A) Even new drill presses have problems when starting. Here are some reasons:


  • The machine has not been appropriately plugged to the power source
  • Breakages, loose connection, or defective motors and switches
  • Extremely low voltage


(Q) How do I Ensure the Machine Delivers the Required Speed?


(A) Machines with fixed and variable speeds may deliver low-speed output due to reasons such as low voltage, use of undersized power cables, or power overload. Here are ways to ensure the unit performs optimally:


  • Reduce the belt tension
  • Using cables with the same capacity as that required by the machine
  • Using high line voltage
  • Repair or replace a malfunctioning motor
  • Reduce the load on a power line


(Q) How do I Prevent Wood Splinters from Developing on the Underside?


(A) Wood splinters affect the accuracy and quality of the outcome. The most common cause of wood splinters is working on a piece without using a backup material. You can prevent damage by:


  • Drilling with the right bit: If drilling small holes (1/8-1/2 inches) use a brad-point bit, but if making larger ones, a Forstner bit comes in handy. When using the Forstner bit, feed it slowly and secure the piece with clamps
  • Back up the cut: You can use scrap wood to back the workpiece. The backing traps the wood fibers on the exit point, preventing the bit from pushing out the splinters
  • Drill both sides: If the location of the hole makes it difficult to clamp the backing drill the workpiece from both directions


Conclusion

When buying a drill press for woodworking, it is crucial to choose one that suits your needs. If looking for a unit for DIY home projects, then the WEN 4210 drill press is a good buy. Industrial woodworking applications need a heavy-duty machine like the Delta 18-900L Drill Press, but if out of range, the Shop Fox W1668 drill press performs just as well and is more affordable.



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.