How to Find the Best Woodworking Drill Presses
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    How to Find the Best Woodworking Drill Presses

    Woodworking is a very unique hobby and career for those select few who are able to take large chunks of irregularly shaped wood and turn it into pieces of art that people everywhere enjoy.

    Woodworking is a very dangerous practice that requires the utmost attentiveness and precaution when in process. In order to get the shape, you desire when woodworking your chosen piece of wood, you must use a variety of different tools and equipment to produce the results you desire.

    When it comes to woodworking, the most commonly used tool is a drill press which is basically a tool that allows you to drill precise holes in virtually any piece of wood that you may be trying to work into a work of art statement, piece of furniture, or anything else that you have an interest in.

    Before you decide on which drill press is best for your woodworking needs, you’ll need to consider a variety of different factors and elements.

    There are a lot of different woodworking drill presses available on the market which can make deciding on which one is right for you were quite difficult. In order to achieve the results, you want, you’ll need more than just the drill press itself, the type of table that you use will also play an important part in how successful you’ll be at creating pieces of art from wood that you select.

    Depending on the size of the wood pieces that you’re working with, you’ll need to make sure that you have a drill press which can accommodate your particular needs. There are several different companies that you can choose from when it comes to manufacturers who produce woodworking drill presses.

    Not all drill presses have the same functionality either so it’s important that you take this into consideration before making a final purchase decision on which option is best for you.

    While some drill presses only drill holes in wood, others allow you to actually transform stationary pieces of wood into streamlined and modern pieces of artwork that will accentuate virtually any part of your home.

    To make the drill press buying process a lot smoother, you want to define a definitive list of features and capabilities that you want your selected drill press to have before finalizing any purchase.

    In this guide, we’re going to go over some of the different types of drill presses that you can choose from in order to create artwork out of virtually any piece of wood that you decide on.

    Each section in this guide is going to explain the fundamental differences between all of the woodworking drill presses available on the market so that you can have a better idea about which one is best for you.

    Before you decide to go out looking for a woodworking drill press, you’ll want to take in all of this information thoroughly to ensure that you know exactly what to look for while you’re out shopping.

    Different Types Of Drill Presses

    Before we get into the really juicy details about the various types of drill presses that are out there and how they each serve a different function, you’ll need to have a basic understanding about how each type operates in order to make the best possible purchase decision.

    Two of the most common types of woodworking drill presses that many people use are benchtop drill presses and floor drill presses. While both of these woodworking drill press types essentially serve the same function, they achieve your desires woodworking results in very different ways.

    To better understand which model will provide you with the most benefit, we’re going to provide you with an in-depth explanation of each woodworking drill press type so that you know what type of model to choose and how effectively it will work at producing the shapes you want from your wood of choice.

    Make sure that you read this entire section in full to avoid some of the most common mistakes that people make when selecting the right woodworking drill press for their specific needs.

    Floor Woodworking Drill Press

    Floor drill presses typically pack a lot more power than their benchtop counterparts due to the fact that often times they are much larger. Floor drill presses are perfect for large shops that have tons of space to house equipment and for those woodworking experts who have been in the industry for some years, floor drill presses will definitely be the preferred method of woodworking for a lot of people.

    Floor drill presses are also very versatile and durable when compared to benchtop drill presses because they come with their own infrastructure and support build as opposed to fitting a drill press to meet your logistical needs or specific work area layout.

    Floor drill presses are also optimal for large pieces of wood which may require a little more physical exertion on your part when compared to other drill press options out on the market. Due to all of these factors, floor drill presses are also generally more expensive due to their sheer power output and stationary operation conditions.

    Benchtop Woodworking Drill Press

    Benchtop woodworking drill presses are ideal for those shop owners who don’t have a lot of room to work with in terms of space for their tools and other equipment.

    While benchtop drill presses are typically a lot smaller and less capable when compared to floor drill presses, they are more robust and versatile in terms of what you’re able to achieve with your woodworking process as opposed to larger more arcane equipment like floor woodworking drill presses.

    Benchtop drill presses are optimal for a project that is smaller in size and don’t require a lot of power to churn out the desired shapes that you want. Because benchtop drill presses are much lighter than floor drill presses, they are great for those who need to constantly travel or move their woodworking project from one place to another.

    Benchtop drill presses are also typically less expensive when compared to floor drill presses so you won’t have to empty your wallet just to get the desired results you want. Benchtop drill presses are very portable which makes them great for those who need to work on their woodworking projects on the go.

    What to Look for When Choosing the Right Drill Press

    There are several different factors and elements that will play a critical role in how successful you’ll be at creating your desired pieces of wood art when using a drill press. These factors include elements such as speed, power, and a lot more.

    If you’re serious about making beautiful pieces of art from wood that you’ve cultivated, you’ll need the proper type of drill press which will allow you to execute the designs and ideas you have in mind.

    There are a lot of woodworking drill presses that come equipped with various configurations of these elements to you’ll have plenty of options to choose from when you begin shopping.

    Make sure that you read the following section in full so you’ll be able to fully understand what type of drill press you’re looking for in order to avoid wasting time or money on products that don’t provide you with the results that you expect.

    Speed Rating

    Virtually all drill presses come with a speed rating that will be expressed as a unit of measurement known as RPM (rotations per minute), this rating will allow you to gauge the power of your chosen drill press before actually buying it.

    If you know that you’re going to be working with very large pieces of wood, you’ll need to purchase a drill press that has an adequate amount of speed for you to efficiently work any piece of wood that you’ve gathered.

    Even smaller drill presses have a wide speed rating so you can crank out as many woodworking designs as you want. Different woodworking projects will require different speed ratings so it’s important to keep that in mind when choosing which drill press is best for you.

    Tougher pieces of wood material will require lower speed ratings when in comparison to smaller pieces of wood which can be worked with very high rates of speed.

    Horsepower Rating

    While speed is important, the amount of power that your selected drill press has is probably the most critical element that will determine how fast and precise you’ll be able to work any piece of wood that you have in mind.

    Most woodworking drill presses come with a power rating that is determined in units of horsepower so it’s pretty easy to determine which drill press is best for you.

    If you’re not sure about how much power you need, consider going online to do some research in order to find out the amount of horsepower required to create the piece of wood art that you have in mind.

    Speed Modes/Options

    Every drill press comes with its own set of different speed modes which allow you to adjust your speed variable at any given moment during your woodworking projects.

    The more speed variables that are available on your particular drill press, the more options you’ll have in terms of flexibility when it comes to the designs and overall shape of the piece of wood that you’re working on.

    Also, before purchasing a woodworking drill press, make sure that It’s fairly easy for you to change the speed rating so that you don’t have to waste too much time adjusting the speed during your projects.

    Drill Capacity

    The drilling capacity of your drill refers to the largest piece of wood that you’ll be able to work with your chosen drill press. If you plan on working with large pieces of wood, you’ll need to make sure that your chosen drill press will be able to handle the capacity you’re about to put through it.

    Trying to fit a very large piece of wood into a drill press that is only rated for small pieces of wood can spell catastrophe for you which is why it’s important that you always follow appropriate safety measures and protocols when working any piece of wood that you’ve cultivated.

    You’ll typically be able to tell the capacity of your drill press by how large its table is and how far you’re able to move the adjuster from one side to another.

    Size of your Chuck

    The term “chuck” in woodworking refers to the three-jawed clamp on drill presses which is used to tighten the drill bit into the press itself. The overall size of your chuck will determine how large of a drill bit you’re able to use on any given woodworking project.

    If you’re going to be using fairly large drill bits, you need to make sure that your selected drill press has a chuck that can fit your selected size of drill bits. Some chucks are even able to accommodate variable drill bit sizes so you can easily swap different sizes without a problem.

    Quill Travel Range

    The Quill on a drill press refers to the hollow tube that surrounds the thimble which will determine how fast you’re able to complete any given woodworking project that you have. The more your quill is able to travel, the better all-around results and performance you’ll receive from your selected drill press.

    Drill Press Work Table Size

    Your work table is the platform or surface that you’ll place your pieces of wood onto in order to create the perfect design of the shape. All drill presses come with a standard work table however some even allow you to adjust your work table size and even add extensions if you need more room for your woodworking projects.

    Build Quality & Durability

    When you purchase a drill press, it’s a long-term investment that should last you several years if not a lifetime. Before finalizing any purchase, you need to make sure that your chosen drill press is made using high-quality materials that are damage resistant and long-lasting.

    You can easily check the build quality of any given drill press by simply looking at the materials used during its construction, drill presses made using high-quality metals and other durable materials will last you a lot longer than cheaply made options. Always go for the best value and most durable machine so that you can complete your woodworking project in no time.

    Dimensions & Weight

    You don’t want to purchase a woodworking drill press that is too large for your given work area or space. That’s why it’s really important for you to purchase a drill press that is a suitable size for you given workspace and area.

    Woodworking drill presses come in a variety of different sizes, weights, and dimensions so you’ll be able to find the right one for your workspace in no time. To be sure, you may want to measure your current work area or space so that you can be sure not to make any mistakes during the purchase process.

    Top Wood Working Drill Press Recommendations

    Now that you pretty much know all that you need to know in terms of how drill presses work and what to look for when you decide to go out and purchase one, it’s time to give you some of our top woodworking drill press recommendations so that you can begin creating furniture, art, or anything else that you’re interested in crafting out of wood.

    All of the drill press recommendations below come in various sizes and power rating so keep that in mind when selecting which options is best for you.

    #1 WEN 4225 Drill Press

    WEN tools are known for performance and durability because they provide surprising quality and usability at very affordable price points, and like the WEN bench top drill press, the WEN 4225 drill press makes a good option for any DIY woodworking artist or shop.

    The WEN 4225 drill press has with an 8.6 Amp motor, 15-inch quill swing, and 4 inches of spindle travel put the WEN 4225 drill press in the category of many large drills that cost nearly twice as much money.

    This model from WEN is able to work a variety of materials, the drill press has many useful variable speed options which allow you to easily perform adjustment between 280 and 1000 RPM without moving the belt, then drill press can also go from 1000 to 3300 RPM with the traditional belt adjustments.

    The capability of the WEN 4225 drill press increases accuracy on slow-speed cuts so you can finish your work much more efficiently and smoothly. Add on the digital RPM read-out that comes with the WEN 4225 drill press to allow for precision and very accurate replication when drilling in metal and other materials.

    It comes with a precision-marked depth stop gauge and large emergency bump-off switch are standard. It also has a laser x-point light and a flexible work lamp can be added. 

    The 12 by 12-inch work table is precision milled and bevels to 45 degrees in either direction. The 5/8” keyed chuck that comes with the WE 4225 drill press is pure machined steel, and onboard key storage is standard for the model.

    The WEN 4225 drill press uses solid cast iron used in the column and base keeps the drill press stable, but with a 170lb. a machine like this, hold down bolts are always recommended.

    We like the build of these WEN machines, and even though the detailing may not match more premium drill press options on the market, the construction on the 4225 is heavy and built to last.

    The clean manufacturing of the WEN 4225 drill presses’ head, it’s beefy all-steel variable levers and pilot drive crank work smoothly. WEN backs all of its products with responsive customer service. The WEN 4225 offers the most value for the money among any other drill press in its class.

    Top Pick
    WEN 4225 Drill Press | Amazon

    The WEN 4225 Drill Press offers a lot of worth for the price tag. WEN is known for its high performance, quality and durable tools all in exchange for very affordable prices and you can't wrong if you choose this model.

    Buy at
    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
    02/14/2023 10:04 pm GMT

    #2 SHOP FOX W1680 Drill Press

    The Shop Fox W1680 is an affordable standing drill press that is built for use in small professional shops or DIY home shops. It comes with a 1-HP motor that has aluminum cooling fins running a typical belt drive system that offers 12 variable speed settings from 140 to 3,050 RPM.

    The power head of the W1680 is mounted on a 3” cast iron column and the whole machine is very stable with the option to bolt it down if desired. A sturdy pilot drive handle goes through the spindle through 3-1/4 inches of travel, and a 5/8” chuck which allows for the use of large cutting tools.

    The table on the Fox W1860 drill press is round with a 14” diameter which is great for a lot of different sized wood pieces. It is very well-machined and can tilt up to 90 degrees.

    The W1860 cranks smoothly up and down the column for fast and efficient woodworking. With the table on the W1680 fully lowered there are 31-1/2 inches of drilling depth available.

    The Shop Fox W1680 drill press has some nice detail features considering its relatively low price. A spring-loaded chuck guard gives the W1680 protection from flying debris and moving parts, then flips smoothly out of the way for quick tool changes.

    The large, industrial-style paddle switch on the W1680 has a lock-out to prevent the press from being accidentally turned on, it also has an emergency bump off function.

    The Shop Fox W1680 has adjustment handles are rubber-coated for a firm grip during your work, and a built-in work light takes standard incandescent bulbs for increased visibility.

    #3 JET 354170/JDP-20MG Drill Press

    Jet brand tools are always a good choice if you’re willing to pay more for quality, the 354170 Jet standing drill press is another great product. It is big and heavy-duty with a 20” throat, a 1.5 HP motor, and a 3/4” chuck, and an MT-3 spindle taper makes it a great option for those who want to use different cutting tools.

    The spindle on the 35417 runs on precision bearings in addition to the spindle return spring tension being adjustable. The JET 354170 has a 12-speed range that goes from 150 to 4,200 RPM offering the versatility needed to tackle nearly any type of material.

    The 354170-drill press is rated for drilling through 1” cast iron or 3/4” mild steel so you aren’t limited dot just wood. The work table on the 354170-drill press is 18-1/2 by 16 inches that can hold 80lbs. of total weight capacity while tilting up to 45 degrees for maximum versatility.

    The Jet 354170 drill press is built for service in a professional woodworking shop and it can easily handle light metal work also and it has a 1/2-inch diameter locking external depth stop that adjusts smoothly, and changing speeds is very seamless on the 354170.

    The industrial-style on/off switch is on the 354170-front mounted for easy access and the machine has a built-in work lamp so you can see in dark lighting. The work table on the 35417- has a threaded drain hole in the corner so setting up a catchment system for coolant fluids is a simple task. The weight of this machine is 325lbs which indicates a heavy construction and capability for hard work.2


    Now that you know everything you need to know about drill presses on the market, you can begin confidently shopping for the right model that fits all of your needs when it comes to working pieces of wood that you have in your possession.

    Before you make a final purchase decision, you need to take all of the information in this article into consideration to ensure that you select the right option which will provide you with the power necessary to handle any job you have lined up.

    As long as you use this guide as a reference point when you’re out buying your drill press, you shouldn’t have any problem choosing the right machine for your needs.

    Top Pick
    WEN 4225 Drill Press | Amazon

    The WEN 4225 Drill Press offers a lot of worth for the price tag. WEN is known for its high performance, quality and durable tools all in exchange for very affordable prices and you can't wrong if you choose this model.

    Buy at
    We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
    02/14/2023 10:04 pm GMT

    FAQs About Drill Presses

    What is the purpose of the drill press?

    The main purpose of drill press is drilling cylindrical holes in workpiece. This machine also has other functions such as tapping, reaming, counterskiing and counterboarding.

    What should I look for in a drill press?

    The most important thing to look for in a drill press is the head which should be made of cast iron for better support and protection of the parts of the drill press.

    What materials can I use for my drill press?

    Even if you decide to purchase a smaller benchtop drill press model, you won’t be limited to using your new drill press for wood only. You can drill through a variety of other materials including plastic, metal, and a lot more.

    Is my selected drill press loud?

    Yes, some if not mainly all drill presses are very loud during their operation when you operate the drill press at high rates of speed, those noses will only get louder.

    You should and eyewear when operating a drill press to ensure that you avoid any unnecessary injuries or damage. Consider only operating your drill press in certain areas to minimize the overall noise level that you experience.

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