Best Drill Press for Woodworking in 2022 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

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There are several different types of drill presses out there. What you need might really depend on what you plan to do with the drill press as well as the materials you will be using. When it comes to woodworking drill presses, you can choose from a floor standing drill press, benchtop drill press, and more.

These come in different sizes and many of them have different features as well. If you’re looking for the best drill press for woodworking, look no further. We’ve scoured the market to bring you the very best options out there. We made every effort to find a good variety. The goal is for you to find something suitable for all of your woodworking projects right here.

In this guide, we will share with you all of the best drill presses for woodworking options that we narrowed it down to. We’ve got some tips for helping you choose a good drill press, some detailed woodworking drill press reviews for you, and a complete buyer’s guide and FAQ section as well.

Let’s get started.

How to Choose the Best Drill Presses

how to choose the best drill presses
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Before we start, we thought it might be helpful to have some criteria to work with. This part of our guides is all about letting you know what makes a drill press good. These are details that we pinpointed as we were checking out drill presses, and perhaps details you should note while you’re here.

Drill Press Model

The first thing you need to figure out is what kind of drill press you want. Are you looking for a benchtop drill press or a floor standing drill press?

The difference in these drill presses is much like the name suggests. Within each of these categories, you will also find that there are a ton of different features and variables to choose from but this is the place to start.

Benchtop drill presses are designed for you to set up on a benchtop or a table working surface. They do not have their own stand so you will need a stable working surface to attach your drill press to in this particular bench drill press type.

Then, you have floor drill presses and those are built on a stand. The stand comes from the floor to the appropriate height for the drill machine. You don’t have to worry about a benchtop or a work table to attach it to but you do have to worry about clearing the space for floor standing drill presses.

Speed

Another factor you will want to consider is the speed range that your drill press offers. Some of them just have a static speed while others will give you variable speed and you can adjust the speed to your own needs.

We typically recommend looking for a variable speed choice as this will give you more flexibility as to what you need for your drill bit to make it through the material you are working with. Some of the harder and thicker materials require low speeds because they have to push through the hard material when drilling holes.

You will find machines that have variable speed settings of only 1 or 2 choices. Some might have 5 or 6 choices. Others might have as many speeds as 16 to choose from. If you want the most speed options available, you probably need to stick to a floor drill press as they have far more speed options most of the time.

Power

The power of your drill press will matter. Not just the power that the machine puts out but also the power that it consumes. You want to know the wattage of the machine to understand just how much power it can put out.

These are far more powerful than your everyday cordless power drill most of the time but don’t be fooled by the drilling machine choices that don’t have any more power than a handheld drill. There should really be a difference and most drill presses will make a point to stand out here.

A bench top drill press and a floor standing drills press are going to have different power most of the time. Floor models are larger and made for strong torque drilling and higher drilling speed so it stands to reason that they would have more power in most cases.

You also want to know that the drill press you choose is going to have enough power to actually substantiate the speed settings you are supposed to get from the drill press.

We Think You’ll Like It: Best Drill Press in 2022

The Best Woodworking Drill Press Options

the best woodworking drill press options
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You’ve got some foundational details so let’s get down to business. Here, you will find our top picks for the best drill press for woodworking. We’ve got detailed reviews with a variety of choices. Our reviews also include some basic specs, a rating of the primary features, and some pros and cons so you know all of the details that you need to choose a woodworking drill press for your projects.

1. Best Overall: Shop Fox Floor Standing Drill Press

Shop Fox Floor Standing Drill PressCheck Latest Price

The Shop Fox drill press for woodworking is our best overall choice. This is a floor drill press for woodworking. Shop Fox also has a benchtop drill press if you like the brand but prefer a bench drill press instead. This press offers 550 watts of power on a 1/2 HP motor. You will enjoy the exact speed of your choice to make precise holes with no problems on any woodworking project.

This best floor standing drill press includes 5 variable speeds and a drill press swing on a sliding arm that moves back and forth and allows you to tilt it to line your drill bits up however you need. Can your existing power drill give you all of that?

This radial drill press is great for repeatable drilling operations as well as accurate drilling. It’s solid and sturdy with a cast iron base. The drill press table is round with slots and you can always add an additional table if you want something larger.

The speeds range from 550-3470 RPM. The drill chuck capacity spans from 1/16 to 5/8 inches.

Specs

Type: Floor drill press
Power:1/2 HP
Speeds: 5 speed (550-3470 RPM)
Style: Radial with tilting head

Key Features (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speeds: 9
  • Materials: 10
  • Power: 9
  • Versatility: 10
  • Drilling Ability: 10
  • Tilting table and tilting head
  • Powerful motor for high and low speeds
  • Cast iron head and base
  • Drill precisely at a good drilling depth
  • Radial swing for versatility
  • Assembly can be challenging and you may decide to use your own mounting hardware

Why We Like It: This best floor standing drill press gives you a solid base made with cast iron construction. You get 5 speed ranges with a decent setup. You can drill comfortably with plenty of drilling power and a wide speed range.

2. Budget Pick: Wen 4214 Benchtop Drill Press

Wen 4214 Benchtop Drill PressCheck Latest Price

If you’re just looking for a simple bench drill press that is affordable and yet still reliable, look no further than this best benchtop drill press. Wen does a really great job of coming up with quality solutions at reasonable prices and this is one for the books. It’s the classic black and orange Wen colors and it’s really sleek and reliable as well.

This one has an LED work light as well as a digital speed readout. The variable speed mechanism gives you variable speeds from 580 – 3200 RPMs. The drilling capacity is pretty great considering the size of these benchtop models. The spindle travel on this machine is 3 1/8.

The drill press base and table are both made with cast iron on these benchtop models so you know it’s strong and sturdy. This doesn’t have the radial arm but you can tilt the worktable 45 degrees. Every hole drilled is simple and accurate.

Specs

Type: Benchtop
Power: 2/3 HP
Speeds: 5 speed (580-32000 RPM)
Style: Standard with tilting table

Key Features (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speeds: 9
  • Materials: 10
  • Power: 10
  • Versatility: 10
  • Drilling Ability: 10
  • Portable drill press with plenty of power
  • A full 2/3 HP motor
  • Table tilts for some versatility
  • Quality, sturdy materials
  • Budget-friendly option
  • There tends to be quite a bit of vibration at higher speeds

Why We Like It: The best woodworking drill press on a budget really doesn’t get much better than this. You can drill square holes and adjust your table for some added versatility. It’s a benchtop model but it’s stable and reliable to give you the accuracy that you need.

3. Best Value: Jet Drill Press J-2500

Jet Drill Press J-2500Check Latest Price

If you’re looking for the best value for the money, this best floor standing drill press is definitely for you. The Jet drill press for woodworking is a 1 HP motor with variable speed. It’s simple but sturdy and your drill bits will work magic thanks to the overall design of the drill press.

The spindle travel operates on ball bearings and travels up to 3 1/8 inches. The depth stop is also nice to give you some added flexibility. Variable speeds include 16 speeds that range from 200 to 3,630 RPM. This is one of the best ranges of speed you will find. Do you remember how we mentioned some make it to 16 speeds? That is where the Jet drill press delivers.

This floor standing drill press is made with the best materials. It’s solid and large. It’s consistent and accurate, which is something you would expect of the best drill press, no matter what kind it is. The spindle also has a telescoping guard for some additional safety around the drill bit.

Jet covers all of their drill presses with a 2-year warranty or a Red Assurance guarantee.

Specs

Type: Floor drill press
Power:1 HP
Speeds: 16 speed (200-3,630 RPM)
Style: Standard w/tilt

Key Features (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speeds: 10
  • Materials: 10
  • Power: 10
  • Versatility: 10
  • Drilling Ability: 10
  • Awesome value for the money
  • 16 speeds to work with
  • Telescoping guard for more protection around the drill bits
  • High quality materials from top to bottom
  • 1 HP of power
  • The customer support can be challenging to navigate should you have issues

Why We Like It: This floor standing drill press for woodworking really goes to the next level with 16 speeds, a little added safety, and plenty of precision and accuracy when you put your drill bit to use. It’s consistent and solid for the best drill press choice.

4. Rikon 30-140 Portable Drill Press Benchtop Press

Jet Drill Press J-2500Check Latest Price

Finally, check out this best drill press from Rikon. It’s a radial drill press with a sliding arm so that you can move it around and use it how you need it. It’s a pretty great best drill press and while it’s a benchtop rather than a floor drill press, it does a pretty great job when you need to drill holes.

This operates on a 1/3 HP motor so not as much power as some options out there. It’s a simple design with reliable accuracy and precision. You can choose from 5 speeds that range between 620 and 3100 RPM.

The head slides and tilts for you to give you some versatility in your work. It’s made with quality, sturdy materials. The spindle travel is consistent with other drill presses for woodworking. You can rely on drilling accuracy here and that’s what makes it a good choice.

Specs

Type: Benchtop
Power:1/3 HP
Speeds:5 speed (620-3,100 RPM)
Style: Radial

Key Features (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speeds: 8
  • Materials: 9
  • Power: 8
  • Versatility: 10
  • Drilling Ability: 10
  • Best drill press from a good brand
  • Sturdy materials that last
  • Optimal spindle travel
  • Adjustable depth with depth stop
  • Work light for the best view
  • Some of the parts are made with cheaper materials and may need to be replaced soon

Why We Like It: This drill press is a simple but reliable choice. It’s inexpensive and it does the job it was designed for well, which is why it made our list as the best drill press. Accuracy, adjustability, and appropriate speeds are a part of the drill press package that you can depend on.

Buyer’s Guide

best drill press buyers guide
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Now that you have seen some really great drill press choices, take a look at this buyer’s guide. It’s designed to simply give you some additional details that you might want to consider as you pick out the drill press that best meets your needs.

Travel of Spindle

The ability of the spindle to travel is something that could be important to you. All of our choices above do travel but there are machines out there that don’t. Some of them maybe just don’t travel enough.

The travel comes out to affect whether or not you can drill soft or hard wood but might affect other details as well. How deep the spindle can go is how deep your drill can go. This way you can work with deep items and thick items on your drill press. It doesn’t matter if it’s a floor drill press or benchtop drill press you still want to know where your spindle travels.

When you see the term spindle travels, this tells you how deep the drill bits can go. Ideally, you want a spindle that is at least 3 inches. Some of them will get up to 6 inches and those are pretty great too.

Lighting

Not every drill press will have a light but it’s a great feature when they do. The light just comes in handy when you’re working because you can really see in the dark parts of the machine while you’re trying to work.

Normally, the bit, the spindle, the head, and other parts of your machine could easily shadow or hinder your view. If there’s a shadow or a hard to see spot then that could affect your work, right? The light is typically on the head when one is included.

This just gives you improved visibility so that you can easily track what you are doing or need to be doing and know that it’s accurate or right where it should be. Without a light, you might need to consider a head lamp or another type of lamp to give you some light.

Of course, this is definitely a matter of preference and you may not feel like you need additional light for your drill press.

Table

Every drill press has a table of some sort. The thing is those tables come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some of them are plain and simple with barely any working space. Others might be large and extendable.

For the most part, the standard table on a drill press is designed to not be any larger than the head of the press so they tend to be fairly small. However, you can always add an external table to your drill press if you need to.

External tables are larger and are very effective at giving you additional working room so you can work with larger materials when you need to.

While the table won’t be a make it or break it part of your drill press most likely, it’s still something you might need to pay attention to. Some tables are certainly better than others. Some of them will tilt for added versatility.

We just want you to be aware of the table on the drill press that you choose and perhaps be prepared to purchase an external table for a drill press as well if you need it.

Budget

Only you know your budget range and it will most likely be different from other people’s budgets as well. Whether you are looking for a floor drill press or a benchtop model, you can find these in a variety of price ranges as well.

You will notice that even here in our guide. The floor drill press is typically more expensive and that is because they are larger, more powerful, and take more materials to make. The benchtop models are more affordable, although some of those can get pricy too depending on how they are made and what sets them apart.

The good news is that even budget-friendly drill presses can still be really great quality. You might be compromising on a couple of details like size or maybe even speed abilities but you still get accuracy, versatility, and plenty more from the drill.

Just be sure to set your budget for your drill press and then do your best to stick to that budget as you peruse the options.

Warranty Coverage

A drill press is an investment. Even if you get a budget choice, you’re still spending several hundred dollars on the machine. For that matter, you want to know you’re making a good investment that isn’t going to poop out on you in 6 months.

In the event that something does happen to go wrong that quickly, you want to know that the manufacturer is going to stand behind their work, right?

You will want to pay attention to warranty details. Find out if there is any type of warranty, what exactly it does and does not cover, and how challenging it is to access the warranty if the need arises.

You can typically find out the basics on the product listing but you will probably need to check out reviews about your drill press to see what others have to say about actually using the warranty that is promised with your machine.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Size of Drill Press is Best for Woodworking?

It really depends on your specific needs. If you plan to work with a lot of larger materials and projects, then you should probably consider a larger drill press, probably a floor standing drill press if we’re covering our bases.

What is a Drill Press Used for in Woodworking?

Drill presses are primarily used for drilling holes. However, they also might be used for reaming, countersinking, boring, enlarging holes, and more.

Can You Use a Metal Drill Press for Wood?

You can use a metal drill press to drill wood. The thing that you should be aware of is that metal presses are actually made to drill slower because they are designed to work through metals. You can’t put wood on a metal drill press and expect it to move at the same speeds as your wood drill press so keep that in mind.

What is the Difference Between an 8 and 10 Drill Press?

In this case, the difference is really in the size of the swing or the mobility of the spindle and the head. If a drill press is 8 inches, you have 4 inches from the throat and a full 8 inches of swing basically. It’s the same for a 10-inch but 5 inches from the throat and 10 inches of swing.

Conclusion

We hope that this guide to the best drill press for woodworking provides you with a great resource for checking out some really great options but also understanding the details you should look for or at least consider before you make a final choice.

Which drill press stands out to you?

Expert Tip

Pay attention to the speed ranges and maybe even how many speed options you have. You will want to have at least some control over your speeds so you can work at the right speed for your project.

Did You Know?

Did you know that a floor drill press and benchtop drill press might have all of the same features when compared? The biggest difference is that one stands on the floor and the other needs a workbench or table to rest on.

Amazon Recommends:

SaleBestseller No. 1
Shop Fox W1668 3/4-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
  • Includes a 3-piece spindle sander drum kit with a mandrel and 80 grit sanding paper to fit the 1-Inch, 1-1/2-Inch and 2-Inch drums.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Using the Drill Press: Techniques for Better Woodworking (The Workshop Companion)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Engler, Nick (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 124 Pages - 09/01/1995 (Publication Date) - Rodale Pr (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 3
JET JDP-15B, 15-Inch Woodworking Drill Press, 115V 1PH, 3/4HP (716200)
  • 12-1/2" X 17" PRECISION-GROUND CAST IRON TABLE: Features twin T-slot grooves, and four table slots.
  • SPINDLE TRAVELS A FULL 3-1/8"
  • ONE-HANDED BELT TENSIONING: Allows for rapid speed changes.
  • DRILLING ACCURACY: X-shaped XACTA Laser ensures perfection every time.
  • INCREASED VISIBILITY: LED work light increases visibility for intricate applications.

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