Top Overall Pick
Do you have an idea in mind in what to look for in a drill press? The investment you make in this tool can be substantial, so making the right choice is important.
After thoroughly testing a wide range of drill presses, we’ve prepared this list of the top performers. Although we’ve made our choice for the best overall, we’re first going to recommend some models based on specific applications and other criteria. We’ll even be rating different popular brand names. Don’t go tool shopping in the dark. We’ve done the research for the Best Drill Press. Let it help you select the right tool for your purposes and budget.
In a hurry? We understand.
While we highly recommend checking out our reviews, here are the shortcuts to best drill presses choices in each category. To see our best overall pick, jump to the last section of the article.
- Our Favorite Drill Presses on the Market
- 7 Best Drill Presses Reviews
- 1. JET 354170/JDP-20MF 20-Inch - Best Benchtop Drill Press
- 2. WEN 4214 12 inch - Best Floor Drill Press
- 3. Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Drill Press - Top Choice for Woodworking
- 4. WEN 4225 17-Inch Drill Press - Top Choice for Metal Work
- 5. Hougen HMD904S Swivel Base - Top Choice for Magnetic Drill Press
- 6. MicroLux 82959 - Top Choice for Small Drill Press
- 7. SHOP FOX W1669 - Top Choice for Radial Drill Press
- Best Drill Presses by Brand
- Best Budget Drill Presses - Reviews
- Final Verdict: Our Top Choice
- How to Choose the Perfect Drill Press for Your Needs
Our Favorite Drill Presses on the Market
7 Best Drill Presses Reviews
If you know what you need to do with your drill press, check this list first. These are our top picks according to how and where they’ll be used.
1. JET 354170/JDP-20MF 20-Inch - Best Benchtop Drill Press
Got some serious drilling to do? With the JET 354170 20-Inch bench-top drill in your shop, you’ll be ready for it.
Monster projects call for torque and this drill press delivers it with a 120/240V, 1-1/2 HP motor! With all that power behind it, Jet supplies this one with a 3/4” keyed chuck to let you bring out the BIG drill bit.
Spindle adjustments give you 12 speeds from 150-4,200 RPM, so it will take on just about any type of stock you can throw at it. With its quick-release, tilting and rotating work table, you can manage that stock in just about any position.
Did we forget to mention capacity?
A 20” capacity lets this floor drill in the center of 20” wide material. If you’ve got to reach out farther than that, you’re probably going to need a radial or industrial model.
This isn’t JET’s largest or most expensive drill press – not by a long shot. For the average contractor or homeowner though, it’s about as big as you should ever need. It does require manual speed changes, but it’s comparatively inexpensive, too.
You’ll have a tough time finding a project this table top drill press won’t handle.
2. WEN 4214 12 inch - Best Floor Drill Press
Limited space doesn’t have to limit your projects. The WEN 4214 12” bench top drill press is an ideal solution for tackling big jobs without a lot of room.
One of the features that sets this tool apart is a transmission with infinitely variable speeds. You won’t find that in many benchtop drill presses that don’t have really big price tags.
That’s far from the only reason for this pick. This workhorse has lots of other features, some of which you won’t find in your average model:
- Digital LED speed readout
- Adjustable table roller extension included
- Locking depth stop
- 5/8” keyed chuck
- 3-1/8” quill travel
- X-pattern laser guide
There’s more to love:
Not only is it easy to operate (you adjust the speed while it’s running), but it packs plenty of “oomph” in that compact frame. A ball-bearing induction motor develops 2/3 HP. That’s enough to bore through heavy cast iron with a 5/8” drill bit.
Speed is adjustable from 580 to 3,200 RPM, with this variable speed drill press. The table tilts 45 degrees left and right. WEN 4214 even includes the tools you need to assemble it!
We think this is the best benchtop drill press for the real deal.
3. Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Drill Press - Top Choice for Woodworking
Choosing the best drill press just for woodworking isn't an easy job. In the final round, we based our choice on a unique feature that will be a valuable addition to any wood shop.
The Shop Fox W1848 bench drill press can quickly and toollessly be converted to a unique oscillating spindle sander. The type of sanding leaves a smoother finish on your workpiece due to reduced heat buildup. We can’t imagine why any woodsmith wouldn’t want this dual-purpose tool in the shop!
Shop Fox offers smaller, top models of this bench model, but we think the added capacity and stability make the floor model a better choice. Finishing operations can be tedious and the 63″ height of this machine will be a back saver.
In drilling press mode, it’s as full-featured as you’d expect. It’s driven by a 120V, 3/4 HP motor. The 12-speed transmission spins the 5/8″ chuck at 250 - 3050 RPM. There’s enough reach for common drilling jobs, with 13-1/4″ of swing.
The Shop Fox W1848 comes with sanding drums and a 2″ dust port on the tilting table.
Why not get the benefits of two woodworking tools in one with this drill press?
4. WEN 4225 17-Inch Drill Press - Top Choice for Metal Work
Were you expecting to see a magnetic drill press in this spot? If so, you should know that in making this choice, we considered all types of metal, including non-ferrous materials like aluminum or brass. With that in mind, we chose the WEN 4225.
Working with a wide range of metals requires a few things:
- A wide speed range
- Constant torque
If your setup can’t meet those requirements, you’re going to end up with burned drill bit, galled flutes/teeth and a lot of frustration.
This drill press meets those criteria and more. You can select variable speeds from 280 to 3,300 RPM. A 8.6-amp induction motor provides plenty of smooth power.
But what about that third item?
This model comes with an important extra: A fluid collection channel around the edge of the table. If you’ve ever stood in a puddle of oil on a shop floor, you’ll understand the value of that feature.
The 4225 also gives you:
- 15″ of swing
- 5/8″ chuck
- 4″ quill stroke
- Depth gauge
- Pivoting workbench or table ( 45 degrees left and right )
- X-shaped laser guide
- Work light
This is our best drill press for metal. We like it that much!
5. Hougen HMD904S Swivel Base - Top Choice for Magnetic Drill Press
For steel fabrication applications, magnetic drill presses are often the go-to power tool. The Hougen HMD904 is our top choice in this category because it’s a practical tool for your home shop as well as for production work.
The drill press operates on 120V. The kit includes a chuck and adapter that allows you to use twist drills as well as specialized cutters. It’s also lighter in weight (30.5 lb) than many comparable models.
It’s not just a good choice for backyard shops, though. The HMD904 is designed to stand up to the rigors of production work, too.
The 450 RPM motor is rated at 9A. A 5/8″ slot drive arbor is solid and accurate while allowing for quick cutter changes. The tool accepts cutters from 7/16″ to 1-1/2″ and has a 2″ depth of cut. It also has a long list of safety features.
A unique, 2-stage magnet provides a 30% increase in holding power when the motor is activated. This reduces power consumption and facilitates easier adjustments prior to starting the work.
The kit includes a coolant bottle, cutter/drill assortment, and chain.
We think you’ll want to check this one out.
6. MicroLux 82959 - Top Choice for Small Drill Press
This miniature drill press proves that “small” doesn’t mean “inadequate”. The Microlux Mini Hobby is a precision drill press intended for serious small project work.
This bench model lets you dial in constantly variable speeds in two ranges:
- Low: 0 to 3,600 RPM
- High: 0 to 5,000 RPM
The wide speed range means you can work plastic without melting it and avoid chipping in wood. You can also set the right speed for fast, clean metal drilling.
Pulse Width Modulation maintains constant torque throughout the entire speed range.
A zeroing, digital depth finder lets you set your depth electronically with an LCD readout for precise, repeatable depth. There’s a sliding fence included, too, so you can maintain perfect hole alignment.
The ball bearing spindle has a maximum travel of 1 – 9/16″. That should be enough to get through just about anything a small project demands.
The headstock and base are made of cast iron for durability and stable weight. A steel column prevents flexing.
This bench drill press is ideal for custom electronics, jewelry, models or any small-scale projects. It will give you the precise control and repeatable performance to give those jobs a professional touch.
7. SHOP FOX W1669 - Top Choice for Radial Drill Press
The Shop Fox W1669 delivers big performance in a bench-top size package. It’s also reasonably priced, which helps make it our top-rated radial drill press.
The arm gives you a full 17″ of swing. Because the headstock pivots within the slide collar, you can angle the spindle for angle drilling or horizontal boring. Combined with the tilting table, almost any angle is possible.
Because you can lock the slide at any point, drilling rows of holes don’t require moving your workpiece. You can even drill rows of angled holes.
The 1/2 HP, 120V motor drives a 5-speed transmission with a range of 550 – 3,470 RPM. Spindle travel is 3-1/4″ and of course there’s a threaded depth stop for repetitive work.
A big, easy to find paddle switch features a removable lock-out key for safety.
This tough little bench-top radial drill press is priced less than most at just over $300. With all of these features, it’s a great value for your hard-earned dollars.
Best Drill Presses by Brand
We know that many of our readers trust specific brand names. With that in mind, here are our best drill presses choice from some of the most well-known manufacturers:
1. Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Drill Press Drill Press
Delta has been a household name in power tools for decades. Their Delta 18-900L Laser is a workhorse that upholds that reputation.
This 18”, 16-speed belt-drive floor drill press is a serious piece of machinery. The Delta 18-900L gives you plenty of space for the big stuff and all the features you need to get the job done right.
With a 6” stroke, it lets you drill deeper than anything else in its class. A 3/4 HP, 120V motor provides plenty of power to the 5/8” chuck. The 20” x 14” tilting table puts your work right where it needs to be and has slots for accessories to keep it there.
This beast has finesse, too. Micro-adjustable depth stops and a movable scale ensure accuracy and repeatability. Adjustable twin lasers project a bright cross-hair target to eliminate guesswork. It even comes with a built-in, flexible LED work light.
Speed changes are quick and easy, thanks to the self-tensioning, dual belt transmission. You can select speeds of 170 – 3,000 RPM in 16 steps.
If you’re looking for a beefy, all-around drill press with just enough extras to maximize your productivity, take a good look at Delta 18-900L. There is one caveat: speed changes involve moving belts.
2. WEN 4225 15-Inch Drill Press
Here’s another powerhouse from a manufacturer that’s been in the business for a long time. The WEN 4225 is a 15-inch, variation speed, free-standing drill press with the power to spare.
An 8.6 Amp motor powers a 4-inch spindle transmission that allows you to switch belts to select different speeds ranging from 280 to 3,300 RPM. That makes it one of the most versatile on our list.
The WEN 4225 includes some nice features, too:
- 12” x 12” cast iron work table
- Table tilts up to 45 degrees left and right
- 4” stroke (drills through 4 x 4’s)
- 5/8” chuck
- Attached gooseneck work light
- Precision Laser
- Heavy cast iron base
The 4225 is designed with both safety and convenience in mind, with a locking switch and onboard storage for the chuck key.
Ample power and capacity make this top one of WEN’s drill presses in our books. Although speeds have to be set manually, it makes up for that in versatility. Whether you’re working with wood, metal, plastics or other materials, drill holes, milling or mortising, this tough, general-purpose drill press should do the job done nicely.
3. Grizzly Industrial G7946-34" Drill Press
If you know the Grizzly brand, then we don’t have to tell you that they make some awesome full-size drill presses. You might also be surprised to see that we’ve picked a floor drill press as our top pick for this brand.
Here’s the thing:
The Grizzly G7946 packs big-tool capacity into a floor-sized platform. One of the most significant reasons or that is the radial arm.
Because the arm lets you move the drill head out as far as 34” from the column, you get more than double the capacity of fixed-head drill. You can also lock the arm travel at any point in between.
The arm swivels 360 degrees, so you can work on larger stock placed on the bench or floor. The head rotates on the vertical axis, to give you more versatile angle drilling. The table, of course, tilts, too – 90 degrees left and right.
Add the 5/8” chuck, 3-1/4” of spindle travel and 5 speeds and we think you’ll see why we chose this one. The motor develops 1/2 HP to handle most projects.
4. JET J-A5818 15-Inch Drill Press
When it comes to industrial strength combined with a quick and easy operation, JET drill presses set the benchmark. The J-A5818 gives you the power to punch through the tough projects and the features you need to get them done easily.
It’s a 15” capacity drill press with a full 6” of stroke. The big, crank-adjusted workbench or table drops far enough to handle the big stuff.
One of the top features of this model is the reduction gear-driven variation speed. Just turn the hand wheel and watch the digital display to set it anywhere from 400 to 5,000 RPM. You can fine-tune your speed to suit any material.
An easily accessible stop lets you match the depth consistently for repetitive drilling. A 2-1/4” quill provides accuracy and the hefty, 3” column minimizes flex and vibration.
The power to drive it all is provided by a 230/460V, 3-phase, 1 HP motor, so it’s equally at home in both a garage and a fabrication shop. We think that kind of dual personality is a great quality.
This Jet J-A5818 model will set you back a bit more financially than some, but if you need real power and the versatility of variation speed, you just might find it’s worth it.
5. SKIL 3320-01 10-Inch Drill Press
When it comes to reasonably-priced but rugged power tools, SKIL is one of the most trusted brands around. They’ve been building tools for both contractors and hobbyists long enough that everyone knows the name.
The SKIL 3320-01 bench-top model is a perfect example of the kind of affordable, yet powerful tools that their reputation is built on. It delivers what you need to tackle light to moderately heavy jobs with a price tag that even a novice won’t mind paying.
The 10 inch capacity of SKIL 3320-01 takes on just about any standard lumber. Thanks to a 5-speed transmission, the 120V, 3.2A motor can deliver speeds from 750-3,050 RPM to handle a wide range of materials.
Precise, repetitive production isn’t a problem. You’ll have the same features as the “big guys”. The depth stop, two-beam laser guide and 45 degrees of table tilt help you get it right the first time and every time.
SKIL 3320-01 is the best choice for a beginner to intermediate woodworkers. It’s also a great choice for light metal drilling and any area with limited space.
Best Budget Drill Presses - Reviews
Do you have budget constraints?
The amount of money you can invest in drill presses is astounding. We’ve researched the field carefully and selected the best budget models for several price ranges. You’ll find the right one for your budget listed below.
1. WEN 4208 8-Inch Drill Press - Under $100
Buying a good quality drill press for under $100 can seem like an impossible task, but that's only because you didn't consider or look at the WEN 4208. This is our best choice for the money. Though it costs less than half what larger drill presses do, it can handle many of the same duties and applications.
The WEN 4208 has five-speed settings that let you select the rpm rating that you want and can maintain that speed. With the 1/3-horsepower motor, you get both the torque and power that you need when using the WEN 4208 with any type of wood. It isn't as powerful as the drill presses designed for steel are though, which means that you can't use it with metal.
Capable of cutting a circle with a maximum diameter of eight-inches, it can also cut through two-inch boards. For a good model that won't break the bank, the WEN 4208 might be the perfect option for you.
2. WEN 4210T 10-Inch Drill Press - Under $200
A tight budget doesn’t have to mean settling for poor quality. The WEN 4210T delivers all the performance of a bench top drill press.
From the cast iron frame to the 45 degree tilting, crank-adjusted table, the build quality shows. A 2/3 HP, 120V motor powers a 5-speed transmission to deliver 600 – 3,100 RPM.
With its 5/8” drill chuck, 10 inch swing and 2-1/2” stroke, this tool pack a lot of drilling power into a small package. It delivers it at a cost of less than $150.
3. WEN 4214 12-Inch Drill Press - Under $300
The WEN 4214 variable speed drill press was listed above as our top choice for metal drilling this is also our top choice best variable drill press, partly because of its reasonable price. We’ve chosen it as the top in this class as well, because of its unique, mechanical variable speed and a host of other features:
- 580 – 3,200 RPM (infinitely variable)
- LED Speed display
- Tilting table with roller extension
- 12” capacity
- 3-1/8” Spindle travel with depth stop
- 2/3 HP, 120V motor
- Laser guide
At just over $260.00, we think this is a steal.
4. Klutch 14-inch Drill Press - Under $500
A feature-packed, 14” drill press in this price range is a rare find, but find it we did. This beauty from Klutch will fit the needs of just about any layman or professional.
It packs a 1HP, 120V motor and 12-speed powertrain that delivers speeds from 340-2,860RPM. A 5/8” drill chuck gives it a drilling capacity of 1-1/4”. It drills deep, too, with a 3-1/4” stroke.
An ample, 45 degrees tilting table, flexible LED light, chuck key storage and a depth stop round out the features. This Klutch drill press is a lot of tool for under $500!
5. JET J-A2608-4 20-Inch Drill Press - Under $5000
Our pick for the under $5,000 category is the JET J-A2608-4 20-inch Gear Head Drill Press.
When you need extreme torque at low speed, this is the beast you’re looking for. This tool handles tough tasks like chamfering, reaming and counterboring with professional power and precision drill press.
Helical gears deliver smooth, quiet performance at eight selectable spindle speeds. The driving force is provided by a 440V, 3-phase motor.
The massive table features two T-slots as well as a coolant through to prevent waste and dangerous spills. Bit changes are easy with the quick-release ejector. For safety’s sake, a safety latch keeps the head from dropping when the clamp is released.
This Jet model delivers all of the above and requires less frequent maintenance than other types. If you need power, durability and comparatively low cost, you’ll want to give this one a look.
6. JET 354210/JDP-20EVS 20-Inch Drill Press - Under $10000
Our top pick in this price range is a 20” capacity workhorse that will handle the toughest metal drilling tasks in your home shop or on the production floor. It’s sort of a self-contained metal shop.
The JET 354210/JDP-20EVS runs on a 230V, 2 HP, 3-phase motor. That’s coupled to a gearhead with an incredible speed range of 65 – 2,000 RPM. What’s more, speed is electronically variable with an LED readout on the panel.
With that kind of power and control, you can drill, ream, countersink, mill, polish and even tap. In fact, there’s a tapping mode with one-touch reverse.
One of the top features of this drill press is a built-in coolant system, including:
- Flexible, precision feed tube
- Trough and drain in the table
- Collection well and pump in the base
Everything about this machine is solid, from the hardened chrome molybdenum gears to the cast iron cable and base. It’s also safe, thanks to an over-sized emergency stop button.
For lower-powered shops, the motor can be run in single-phase mode.
This drill press would have been our first choice for Metal Work, if not for the higher-than-average cost. Nevertheless, if it fits your budget, we highly recommend it.
Nevertheless, if it fits your budget, we highly recommend it.
Final Verdict: Our Top Choice
We’ve covered a lot of great tools in this article and the final choice was a tough one. We made our decision, however, and our top choice drill press is the JET 354170/JDP-20MF.
With a massive, 20” capacity, a 3/4” drill chuck and a 12-speed transmission, this floor model will handle almost any material. A 1-1/2 HP, 112V/240V motor provides more than enough power, with two supply outlet options.
This machine will drill cast iron up to 1” thick or mild steel up to 3/4”. With a speed range of 150 to 4,200 RPM, it will also drill holes in wood, plastics, and non-ferrous metals with precision and finesse.
The 18-1/2” by 16” work table is one of the largest available. It also supports up to 80 pounds and adjusts to accommodate almost 30” of material.
Whether you’re an expert craftsman or a beginner, this drill press is one that will meet your needs and grow with your experience.
Buy it now and keep it for a lifetime!
How to Choose the Perfect Drill Press for Your Needs
Whether you’re a professional woodworker, metal fabricator or a backyard “do-it-yourselfer”, a drill press can be a great investment. The question is, how do you make sure you’re investing in the right one?
Like any important decision, the right answer is a matter of several factors:
What do you need a drill press for?
If you have trouble answering that question, you might want to consider a general-purpose machine. If something more specific comes to mind, you should probably look for more specific features.
For instance, some drill presses are ideal for metal work, while others have features more appropriate for woodworking. If you’re a jewelry or model maker, a big, bulky machine will be hard to work with and a waste of money.
Drill Press Size
Swing, throat, and capacity: When you see a drill press listed with a size in inches, “12” ”, for example, that’s a reference to the capacity, or “swing”. It’s important to realize what that means.
Swing (capacity) = throat x 2.
Throat = the distance from the column to the center of the spindle.
So, a 12” will drill to the center of a circle 12” wide. That’s how you determine the size that meets your needs.
How much you have to invest obviously has a lot to do with the tool you’ll purchase. That’s one very good reason to read this article. Among other things, we’ve listed several drill presses at prices that will fit almost anyone’s budget.
There are a few more questions you should ask yourself before you choose:
How much space do I have? This should help you decide between a bench model or a floor model.
What kind of electric service is available? Your garage or home shop may or may not support some drill presses. Make sure you know the voltage and current rating in amps of the service outlet for your model.