Aside from plain drilling operations, drill presses also perform a multitude of tasks, These tools are really popular, and the reason is their versatility either as a spindle sander or in combination with a mortising machine. But the machine may not be of much use to you if it comes without your preferences met and includes nothing that makes a difference. So, I’ll talk about those factors that matter most and offer some great choices, so you can get what you pay for.
To start, I need to make the fundamentals of the machine an easy read, and so here are some discussions that you would find useful.
Why Should You Trust Us?
Before going any further, we would like to make it clear regarding why you should believe that our buying guide is something you can put your trust in. Well, if you check our About Us page, you will have no doubt anymore (if there was any). This platform is a safe haven for wood and metalworkers from all corners of the USA that come here to share their ideas, opinions, and tips on using different power tools.
We also test and review different metal and woodworking tools here and share our hands-on experience with them. We know very well this helps the novice and home-based DIY enthusiasts find their best matches without having to do hours of research online or visiting several brick and mortar stores for the same purpose. We are so sure about that because many of our audience have thanked us for providing them with such valuable information, which encouraged us to give more reviews on such power tools.
We would also like to mention that our reviews are totally unbiased and free from the influence of the product manufacturers because we are not affiliated with them. We shortlist the choices that we find the most effective in performance during the testing phase and mention their features and our user experience.
Before presenting to you our top 10 drilling presses, let’s first show you what you have to consider in order to make a choice that suits your individual needs.
How Did We Pick These Tools?
Now let’s consider how we prepared this shortlist. At first, we spent 20 hours to research and make a list of the 20 top options available in today’s market. Then, we tested each of these products ourselves to understand their basic features and comparative advantage over another.
Since we could not rely on our results alone, we had to recruit volunteers who conducted practical tests on the various models. Their feedback and reports also helped us a lot in improving our understanding of these shortlisted choices.
During these tests, we focused on the specific features that are required of a good drill press, such as the type, versatility, chuck, spindle reach, price-to-quality ratio, main parts, functionality, angle, and inclination. Moreover, we got ideas from different blog reviews on drill presses. We examined the comments and posts from various consumers of these products. To strengthen our ideas, we also took the trouble of getting in touch with professionals and industry experts who had years of experience with different pedestal or pillar drills.
Finally, we collated product information and user feedback from the volunteers, online reviews, verified consumers, and industry experts. By combining such a large pile of data, we were able to come up with our list of the top 10 drill press. Our time and commitment to finding the most effective drill press choices finally paid off because we are confident that our review will guide you in making an informed decision without any hassle and confusion.
10 Best Woodworking Drill Press Tested and Reviewed
Here comes our shortlisted choices. Take your time and go through every product carefully in order to get familiar with its features, performance, pros, cons, and if it’s really worth your money.
01 WEN 4208 8-inch 5-Speed (Top Pick)
This may not be an industrial press ready to tackle big projects super fast. It’s a bench type drill press. Coming at a price very close to that of a cheap model, the unit packs a lot of power and speed; no matter if you feel low on its small size. This 120volt, 60Hz motor can cut through your tools consistently and efficiently at high-speed.
Its versatility is worth considering. The adjustable speed ranges from 740 – 3140 rpm lets you adjust the speed as required by your tasks on different sizes of the woodwork with comfort. One of the major things we liked about this product is its flexible table which can be inclined 45 degrees to the left or right.
Another feature that is interesting is the built-in key storage which will prevent you from losing it for anything.
The WEN 4208 combines quality with affordability while being under $100. This makes it the ideal product for emerging entrepreneurs and light-duty metal or woodworking projects.
What’s more in the pack? It has dimensions of 7.5 x 22.9 x 11 inches, making it very easy to be stored or moved around. You will appreciate its size more if your workspace is small. In addition, it is very easy to set up and operate, unlike the bulky floor drill press.
We have positive opinion about its durability just like other models in this series, including 4212, 4214, and 4225. The main parts which include the frame, head, table, and base are made from high-quality metal to provide you with a consistently accurate operation anytime.
Still, on the design, the spindle has markings that make it easy to read. Also, it has a length of 2 inches with which it can drill any 2-inches wood. In addition, it comes with locking depth stops to maintain accuracy even under repeated operations.
Some of the greatest competitive features of this product include power and speed, thanks to its 1/3HP induction motor which develops a powerful torque. Other features include durability, ease of set up, affordability, and efficiency. In general, it will give you excellent performance for the money.
- Bench type
- Swing: 8 inches
- Speed range: 740 – 3140 RPM
- Number of speeds: 5
- Spindle travel: 2 inches
- Chuck capacity: ½ inch
- Amperage: 2.3Amps
- Table size: 6- ½ x 6- ½ inches
- Height: 23 1/8 inches
- Comes with depth adjustment knobs for setting the spindle length
- Maintains speed and accuracy under repeated operations
- The table can be inclined by 45 degrees which is useful for drilling holes on curved surfaces
- Can accept drill bits of ½ inch size which is ideal for performing multiple tasks
- Made for iron which enhances its durability
- Has a high price-to-quality ratio
- You need to bolt it to your workbench any time you want to work
The WEN 4208 provides amazing performance for both pro and novice woodworkers. It is compact in design which implies that less space will be used for its storage. Additionally, it can carve holes through plastics, light metals, wood, and more.
Moreover, it is made from a heavy-duty cast iron which does not only ensures its durability but helps to provide you with a smooth, efficient and balanced operation irrespective of the speed. More interesting, it is very affordable despite its high-quality features.
02 Dremel 220-01 Rotary Tool Workstation (Budget-Friendly)
The Dremel 220-01 has earned itself the prestige of being the most affordable product on this list. Among the types of drill presses, this bench style is distinguishable with its feature strength. It comes with a flexible 36-inch shaft attachment for different bits. It drills both angular and perpendicular holes at an inclination of 15° to 90° horizontal. Also, the plunge features offer you the opportunity of cutting your work piece from its middle.
One of its most interesting peculiarity refers to its tool holder function. This feature allows tools to be fixed firmly to the machine to enable you to perform various tasks like sanding objects of different sizes and shapes, polishing, and grinding metal objects.
One of its greatest assets is the flex shaft tool stand. It allows you to adjust the drill press to any height ranging from 16 to 29 inches.
Now, let’s consider what is in the package for you. The Dremel 220-01 comes with Crow’s nests for storage of wrenches, drill bits, drill bit sharpeners, and other tools. In addition, the cord clips allow helps to protect the power cord from harm that may result from improper storage.
Another interesting feature that is worth mentioning is that the base is marked in an inch-metric system which allows you to drill holes accurately on the workpiece. Also, the depth markings and depth stop do not only provide you with more ability to control the drilling process, but it guarantees the consistency in the depth of each hole.
This workstation is designed to be fixed firmly on the work table which is made possible by the 4-clamping point on its base. As we said earlier, this is one of the most versatile products in the market. It can be used with other tools from Dremel to perform multiple tasks in addition to the drilling of the holes.
- Weight: 4.85 pounds
- Dimensions: 6 x 6 x 12 inches
- Color: multicolor
- Type: Workstation
- Material: steel
- Measurement system: metric/inch
- It is extremely affordable
- The steel-aluminum parts come into its construction to increase its lifespan
- It is compatible with other tools by Dremel
- The base is marked to enhance the consistency of the hole depths
- Bits can be changed easily
- It is not as durable as its competitors
The thing we love most about Dremel 220-01 is its affordability. Also, it is highly versatile with the ability to tilt the drill to any angle which allows you to carve holes on curved or flat surfaces. The shaft can be easily adjusted from heights of 16 inches to 29 inches.
In addition to its lightweight which allows it to be carried easily, it has a compact design which enables it to be stored within a limited workspace.
03 WEN 4214 12-inch Variable Speed (Advanced Choice)
WEN 4214 is a benchtop drill press. It comes equipped with a 2/3HP powerful motor that delivers adequate torque and precision on each drill stroke. The most amazing part is that you can work on various sizes of wood pieces and light metals with this tool.
As expected, it may not be the best in terms of speed, but you will still appreciate its unique speed range from 580 to 3200RPM. It is designed to deliver a uniform torque throughout. Also, with the LED, you can monitor and control the speed with ease.
The powerful induction motor works with mechanical precision to enhance its performance and lifespan. In addition, the 5/8-inch chuck with onboard key storage allows you to perform various tasks with the machine by changing the bits.
Another feature that we cannot ignore is the 3-1/8-inch spindle travel length which allows you to carve out deep holes on the work piece. You will appreciate that its adjustable table is made from cast iron which is not only strong enough to handle your work piece but can be adjusted based on the size and shape of the work tool.
WEN 4214’s onboard laser light allows you to take on drill tasks with accuracy and efficiency. Finally, the machine can be inclined to a precise angle of 45 degrees in both left and right direction which affords you more control of the work piece.
- Swing: 12 inches
- Spindle travel: 3-1/8 inches
- Speed range: 580 – 3200RPM
- Number of speeds: variable
- Chuck: 5/8 inch
- Height: 36 -1/2 inches
- Table size: 9-1/2 x 9-1/2 inches
- Digital speed readout
- Work light
- It can drill any size of wood courtesy of its 2/3HP motor
- We love its durable construction material
- The speed range is wide enough for a variety of operations
- The digital speed display allows you to monitor and control the drilling process
- The laser light allows you to pick your drilling point accurately
- It is not very suitable for professional woodworkers
The WEN 4214 12-inch is a bench type drilling machine designed to meet the needs of the advanced users. It drills through light metals and various sizes of wood. The LED readout allows you to monitor and control its speed. In addition, it comes with a laser to increase the accuracy and efficiency of the cutting. However, things we like about this model include cast iron construction, performance, and durability.
04 Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press
Ever wished that your preferred model would come with a versatile of variable speed settings? Delta 18-900L Laser Drill is there to fulfill any such wish.
It comes with a precise and powerful 0.75 HP induction motor with full-fledged 16 speeds drilling. That ensures fantastic working capacity with different types of materials.
We also liked the versatility of the machine; we could adjust the rack-and-pinion height smoothly when required. The locking lever could also be adjusted to the table top. For precision drilling the TWINLASER came very handy.
This model stands out in the field of other machines with its unique Belt Drive technology that incorporates Auto-Tensioning for optimum performance. We were able to change speeds super-fast as the best tension was consistent.
In addition, DELTA 18-900L comes with a six-inch-long quill stroke with which we could drill deeper. We found it to be useful for industrial applications.
You will get depth stops that are micro-adjustable coupled with an independent depth scale. We were able to zero our scales quickly before starting a new one in repetitive actions. The added LED light was enough to lighten up the work surface.
The base of this machine made of cast iron making it stable during work. The oversized table and a laser drill that is 18 inches are enough to get you through heavy-duty projects.
- Size: 18-inch.
- Motor: 0.75 HP
- Motor (Control): Rocker Switch On/Off.
- Speeds: 16-speed (170 – 3000 RPM)
- Column: 80 mm.
- Quill Stroke: 6-inch.
- Quill Diameter: 52 millimeters.
- Robust motor
- LED light for visual accuracy
- Adjustable Twin Lasers
- Worktable is oversized with tilting options
- Doesn’t support 230V operation
This compact drill press is a fantastic choice for beginners. It has a multiple speed range that enables you to perform diverse operations on your workpiece. Excellent LED illumination for precise and accurate drilling.
However, it cannot operate at 230V, but that’s a small tradeoff compared to the pack of useful features it offers. Get this right away if you have the budget.
05 SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch
SKIL 3320-01 is small, quick yet ready for all woodworking operations. Its ½-inch chuck allows you to perform a variety of operations with different bits. Since we checked a lot of mini drill press reviews, we found this model to be better, to a little extent though, than a handheld model. The higher degree of accuracy is what makes us happy.
Let’s consider some of its design specs. The model comes with a powerful torque that allows you to cut wooden materials without any difficulty. Its speed ranges from 750 to 3050RPM and can attain the highest speed within a few seconds. In addition, it comes with 5-speed levels that enable you to work on different materials and projects based on its speed requirement.
Another point worth mentioning is that SKIL 3320-01 is equipped with an adjustable work surface that can be inclined to a maximum angle of 45 degrees. With this feature, you will have more control over your workpiece when using the drill press and can drill holes on curved surfaces. Also, the worktable is sizable enough to accommodate different sizes of woods while you feel comfortable on the job.
Finally, the base is made from cast iron and can be clamped to the work station bench to prevent it from shaking during the drilling or grinding operations.
- Amperage: 3.2
- Voltage: 120V
- Speed range: 750 – 3050
- Chuck size: ½ inch
- Table angle of inclination: 45 degrees
- Table size: 7 – 5/8 inches
- weight: 52 pounds
- color: red
- Power source: corded-electric
- The 10-inch swing allows you to use it for a variety of wood works
- The laser aim enables you to perform your drilling tasks with precision
- Since it has an inclinable worktable, you will be more comfortable while drilling on curved surfaces
- You can work with it in a poorly lighted environment
- The AA sized battery does not last due to the laser but you can replace easily
SKIL 3320-01 is a very good choice for woodmen. It comes with a worktable of about 8 inches by size which allows you to perform tasks with comfort. In addition, the worktable can be tilted to an angle of 45 degrees which enables you to drill holes on wood with sharp bends.
The base is made of cast iron which makes it sturdy enough for you to drill with speed and efficiency.
06 WEN 4210 10″ Laser
WEN 4210 comes with features that we commonly find in a giant floor drill. The 5-speed levels ranging from 600 to 3100RPM doesn’t seem too much. It has a spindle travel range that enables it to drill holes of 2 – ½ inches depth.
The adjustable worktable made from cast iron comes with dimensions of 7 – 5/8 x 7 – 5/8 inches. So, you can adjust its height to fit your needs. In addition, it comes with a laser that accurately pinpoints the drilling surface to enhance the accuracy of the operation.
It is worth mentioning that this model is equipped with a work light that allows you to work in a near-dark environment. Also, in the package is the storage for the ½ inch chuck key.
Besides its solid assembly, the base is made of cast iron which makes the unit firm enough to enable it to run quietly and smoothly. You will appreciate its depth stop which enables it to operate with precision without fail.
One of its greatest advantages is that this drill press can be installed and operated very easily. It does not require much in its assembly and the speed belt can be manually adjusted effortlessly.
- Speed range: 600 – 3100RPM
- Chuck size: ½ inch
- Spindle travel: 2- ½ inch
- Worktable size: 7- 5/8 x 7 – 5/8 inches
- Angle of inclination: 45 degrees
- Amperage: 3.2
- The extensive speed range allows you to perform seemingly difficult tasks with ease
- It is easy to install and operate
- The cast iron base allows it to operate smoothly and quietly
- The height of the worktable can be adjusted to accommodate various sizes of the workpiece
- The laser light must be adjusted manually to an accurate point before using it
The WEN 4210 is one of the most popular choices in its production line. It comes with amazing features that rank it above its various competitors. It comes with spindle travel of ½ with depth markings to enable you to enjoy a perfect performance.
The worktable is made from cast iron which does not only make it durable but allows you to drill holes with comfort.
07 Delta 18-900L 18″ Laser
This machine comes with a powerful ¾ horsepower engine, allowing the user to get industry-level experience. The overall design and look of this drill press help the user get efficient performance being designed ergonomically with LED work light and oversized table. We were amazed at the precise deeper drilling capabilities of this woodworking drill press.
Delta 18-900L has 16 speed settings being associated with an auto tensioning system that works great to change the speed quickly ranging from 170 to 3,000 RPM. It is easy to use due to the enhanced stability it offers weighing almost 261 pounds. This weight makes it a bit tough to transport but the sturdy cast iron adds the extra weight, it weighs less than a lathe machine.
It has an eighteen inches swing, six inches quill stroke and a robust motor to form an efficient combination of a drill press. Thought it comes without any fence, the oversized worktable provides with extensive adjustability. It comes with a set of T-slots for trusted clamping. The removable center insert makes it suitable for drilling through the table. The only drawbacks we have encountered when working with this tool are the low quality of LED light and substandard runout measure of the chuck.
- Auto-Tensioning Belt Drive System
- 6 Inches Quill Stroke
- Adjustable TWINLASER
- Table Insert Size: 3.75” x 3.75” x 0.75”
- Corded Electric Power Source
- 16 Different Speed Settings
- LED Work Light
- 3/4-Horsepower Motor
- Easy and quick speed adjustment
- Suitable for precise deeper drilling
- Precise drilling with maximum stability
- Large table ideal for woodworking
- Powerful motor
- Easy to operate
- The LED light seems to be quite weak
- The chuck runout is substandard
Delta 18-900L is a powerful and sturdy woodworking drill press capable of drilling through wood deeply and precisely. The sturdy and stable construction is efficient enough to drill through any kind of wood. We liked the adjustable worktable and speed settings of this tool and fund that it has a few weaknesses as mentioned earlier as cons.
If you can compromise these issues, this tool will be a big bang for the money for sure. We recommend that you get this one for heavy-duty woodworking with ease and comfort. You can keep Delta 18-900L in your buying list without a second thought.
08 Shop Fox W1668 ¾ HP 13″
While we don’t say it’s #1, it certainly is one of the top models of today. Shop Fox W1668 meets both drilling and sanding demands with its powerful machine. The higher torque output allows heavier operations.
When compared with other woodworking drill presses that appear on any of our drill press reviews, it stands out as the giant in capacity and function. What we liked about this machine is the table which is designed with a clearance hole that is used during sanding operations. Also, it has a speed range from 250 – 3050RPM which makes it ideal for diverse drilling and sanding operations.
Let’s see what the manufacturer has for you. During sanding, the collection port on the worktable prevents your work from becoming messy. Also, it is designed to tackle any type of drilling job, thanks to its ¾- inch chuck.
It will interest you that the Shop Fox W1668 allows you to incline the worktable to an angle of 90 degrees, thus, you can carve holes on a non-flat surface. In addition, the table can be adjusted to any height to accommodate your workpiece.
If you are not comfortable with the presence of the worktable on the machine, you can remove it and use the base for your drilling or sanding project.
What we also liked about the Shop Fox W1668 model is that it can operate while standing. Also, it is easy to convert it from drilling to sanding operations and vice versa within a few seconds.
- Weight: 63 pounds
- Dimensions: 23 x 14 x 38 inches
- Style: bench
- Power source: Corded- electric
- Speed range: 250 – 3050RPM
- Voltage: 120
- It is solid enough to be used on heavy metals
- It can be used in a standing position
- The worktable can be removed to give more clearance to the workpiece
- The table can be adjusted to any height and tilted to an angle of 90 degrees
- It runs quietly and smoothly
- Its operations are limited to sanding and drilling only
The Shop Fox W1668 drill press is solid, powerful and heavy enough to take on any wood. It incorporates the features of a giant floor drill press into its compact size. It is designed to drill holes or sand metals accurately and efficiently.
One of the major things we liked about this product is the ease at which it can be converted from drilling operation to a sanding operation. Thus, we cannot complete our drill press reviews woodworking without the Shop Fox W1668.
09 Euro Tool DRL-300.00 Small Benchtop
The DRL-300.00 is not a large unit but delivers its speed and other functions. The variable speeds up to 8500RPM drill through wood surfaces with ease inspiring precision. Can we call it one of the fastest among our tested models? Yes, we can.
As a benchtop drill press, it can be stored and carried easily, thanks to its compact design and weight. The base is designed with a solid cast iron which allows it to operate smoothly and quietly. Interestingly, there are bolt slots on the base which allows you to fix it to the workbench any time.
However, it does not come with a worktable and you have to get a drill press table separately for this purpose. But you can use the base to hold your work piece while drilling. Also, the slotted base allows it to be used with a vise without any difficulty.
- Weight: 11.55 pounds
- Dimensions: 10 x 12 x 8 inches
- Power source: corded-electric
- Voltage: 110V
- Wattage: 100.00
- Platform: 6 – ¾ x 6 – ¾
- Speed: 8500RPM
- Its speed is very high up to 8500RPM
- It is highly economical and easy to use
- It operates smoothly and quietly
- It can drill through woods and plastics with precision and efficiency
- It cannot be used for drilling of metals
- It is poor in terms of versatility
This compact machine is very powerful for drilling woods and plastics. Its small weight and size allow you to economize your workspace while using it. This model is designed to drill both large and small holes on wooden and plastic surfaces with precision and speed.
You will appreciate that it is the highest in speed among its other top rated counterparts. However, don’t attempt to use it on heavy metals, this may damage the spindle.
10 WEN 4225 8.6 -Amp 15″ Variable Speed Floor Standing
Seeing this at the bottom of our priority list might make you form a low opinion. But we suggest you should not. This one has a stroke capacity of 4-inches which allows you to curve a hole of 4-inches on the material.
You will also like its adjustable speed range of 280 to 1000RPM, which can be easily manipulated by using its adjustment belt. In addition, it comes with an LED display that allows you to monitor and regulate the speed for a perfect and accurate finishing.
Another feature that we cannot ignore is the 12 x 12-inch worktable which can be tilted to an angle of 45 degrees to allow you to drill holes on objects with curved surfaces. Also, it comes with a laser light which locks on your drilling point to enhance the accuracy of the work.
Still, on the design, the 1/12 – 5/8-inch chuck allows you to insert different bits for various tasks that suit the desire of any DIYer. In addition to this, it features a lamb with which you can clearly observe the drilling processes with or without there is adequate lighting on the background.
The base is made of cast iron that makes it sturdy enough to withstand vibrations that occur during operation.
- Spindle travel: 4-inch
- Of Speed: Variable speeds
- Chuck capacity: 5/8 inch
- Amperage: 8.6 Amps
- Height: 63 inches
- Table size: 12 x 12 inches
- Swing: 15 inches
- Digital speed readout
- Key storage
- The spindle can penetrate deep into the object
- It can drill wide objects perfectly
- The LED readout allows you to set and control the speed easily
- The worktable can be adjusted easily to give you a better height and angle for the work
- It is constructed with high-quality materials to enhance its lifespan
- It is too heavy and can take up more storage space
The WEN 4225 is definitely a good value for money product. It combines power, speed, performance, efficiency, and accuracy to ensure that you have an outstanding job. It is designed with high-quality cast iron to enhance its performance and lifespan.
The worktable can be adjusted to suit the size and shape of the workpiece. Also, it can drill into a 4-inch size wood, thanks to its long spindle. When it comes to precision, this product is simply a nice choice because of its laser light that is equipped to focus on your drilling point.
Understanding the Woodworking Drill Press
The drill press has always been one of the indispensable tools for woodworkers, enabling them to drill through the wood with accuracy. If you know how a drill press works , you surely know that the beauty of this device is that it lets you control the operation with its inclinations while handling different angles and surfaces.
Let’s discuss the two main types – the bench and the floor wood presses.
1. Bench Drill Press
A bench drill press remains fixed on the workbench. Despite compromising on the output of speed, it comes handy since it is the portable type and does not take much space. The outstanding thing about it is that it gives you advantages as you drill small holes, pocket holes, and need help with other intricate design.
2. Floor Drill Press
The floor type is bigger and more powerful than the bench type. As the name suggests, it is mounted on the floor. It has the capacity to drill larger and deeper holes and can easily handle complicated drills and cuts.
You should not buy just about any drill press on the market. There are factors to consider. In this buying guide, we will discuss all of those to help you choose wisely.
Who Is This Tool For?
Who can benefit from drill press woodworking? Designed for both inexperienced and professional woodworkers, these tools are easy to use and designed to deliver to woodworkers with any project demand. Here’s an overview of the drill presses that professionals with different levels of woodworking skills would want.
If you are a woodworker with an eye on greater accomplishments, something with simple mechanism yet great performance requiring a little ingenuity from you would be perfect thing to get. A drill press is better than handheld drills in terms of speed, efficiency, and accuracy.
There are woodworking drill presses for professionals to help them get great drilling experiences, especially when the jobs include drilling small/big holes, working on rough surfaces with different angles.
Many woodworkers seem to develop a concern about the nature in themselves, and this rising trend is giving place to the concept of environmentalism in the area of woodworking. With standard dust collection systems, modern drill presses come with an attention to the eco-friendly concerns.
How to Use a Drill Press for Woodworking?
A drill press is an essential woodworking machine because of its ability to handle multiple tasks. It can be used as a mortise, sander or in dowelling. All you need to do is fit the correct drill bit attachment to the chuck. Here are a few ways to make the most of your drilling machine.
1. As a Drill Press
If you’re to carve holes on a piece of wood you do need the best drill press for woodworking. The type of drill press you use depends on the size of your task. Large holes or heavy-duty projects will require a floor drill while a hand-operated or cordless drill is ideal for small holes and light projects.
The floor type is more powerful than the benchtop drills. Their quill and chuck can be aligned with the drill hole by adjusting the height of the worktable to your convenience.
2. Cutting Mortises
Mortises are rectangular or square holes carved on a plank of wood. It receives tenons cut from another wood piece. Before the invention of the mortise or drill press, these holes were carved by hand. Meanwhile, a mortise is designed to cut square or rectangular holes of various sizes on a wood piece. We will discuss how a drill press can be used as a mortiser; so, read on.
3. Drill Press & Mortise
When you’re to create a few squares or rectangular holes on your wood piece, a drill press becomes the ideal option. If the project is large and requires more mortises, it will be suitable to get a dedicated mortise which will churn out the work quickly. However, if there is no mortise available, then drill press becomes the only option. You can attach the hollow-chisel mortising bit to the floor drill press to continue with your operation easily. These drill bit attachments allow you to carve holes of ¼ to ¾ diameter.
4. Sanding of Spindle
A spindle sander is used to create cuts on curved surfaces. Meanwhile, the drill press can also be used if you have a sander attachment that can fit into the chuck of the drill press perfectly. In addition, its variable speeds allow you to cut different materials smoothly and accurately by adjusting the speed accordingly.
Dowels are small but round sticks of wood that are cut to be inserted to holes to provide a glued and durable joint. This technique has been in existence for centuries. Holes are very important in dowelling and they must be smooth and accurate to obtain a strong and durable joint. Such a level of precision and smoothness for a hole can only be achieved by using a drill press.
Woodworking Drill Press Buying Guide
There are some factors you should keep in mind when buying a drill press. We’ve listed them out for you.
The main components of a drill press are the base, column, table, and head. While the drill rests on the head, the table serves as the workstation. The base and the column provide support for the machine. The base should be firmly clamped to the table to reduce the impact of vibration on the entire machine. The type of drill press is determined by the length of the column.
The benchtop and floor drills are the two types of drill presses. Therefore, your choice of a drill press should be determined by its usage. If your need for a drill machine is to take on heavy tasks like drilling large holes into metals or heavy woods, you should buy one that can perform the task. For heavy tasks, we strongly recommend that you try the floor drill type.
The benchtop drill presses are suitable for lighter tasks like drilling of small holes on wood or mild steel sheets. Also, if you have limited space for storage or workstation, the mini type is for you.
A high-end model is not designed to perform only the task of drilling holes on metal or wooden objects. Rather, it should polish, make designs, and cut woods based on your need. It should come with different drill bits for each of these tasks. To maximize the capabilities of your machine, you should always have the right bit ready.
When looking for a quality drill press for woodworking, you’ll always have to consider the chuck and spindle set. The chucks should be firm enough to allow bits to be inserted easily. Also, check the spindle assembly.
5. Spindle Reach
Each spindle is designed for a fixed length. The depth of the hole depends on the length of the spindles. Your preferred model should have a spindle adjustment setting to let you control the hole depth. In addition, you need to measure the quill stroke and adjust the spindle before drilling.
6. Angle & Inclination
Many of the drill presses for sale are designed with tables which are inclined to specific angles. This is very useful for drilling holes in woods with a curved surface. You should consider a drill press with a table that can be inclined to 45° or 90° angles.
Apart from drilling holes, a drill press serves other purposes. It functions as a mortise or a sander machine once you attach the right drill bits to the machine. You’ll save money by getting a drill press with a high degree of functionality.
8. Price-to-Quality Ratio
So, you want a drill press that matches your budget without requiring you to compromise on quality? A low-profile drill press may come cheap but not with high safety standards, thereby making you susceptible to accidents. Some drill presses come at a reasonable price but with pretty tight safety features So, you need to purchase a machine that delivers exactly what you want to pay for; no more, no less.
Care & Maintenance
The following tips will help on how to care for your drill press and to enhance its productive time and lifespan.
1. Lubricate the Chuck
Your drill press should be lubricated regularly. One of the most important parts of this machine that require much attention is the chuck. To lubricate the chuck, open it while the bit is out, clean off any dirt then apply the lubricant. Try to open and close the jaws repeatedly to ensure that the lubricant has circulated properly
2. Inspect the Drill Quill
You can only inspect the quill once the chuck is out. Hold the quill and confirm if it is fixed to the drill press’ housing. A wobbling quill could mar the accuracy of your drills. Now, tighten the quill’s bolt to secure the quill lube to the motor.
3. Clean the Table
Cleaning the table after each use will help keep it safe from rust. You can wipe it with a soft cloth and then spray a rust-resistant fluid on it.
4. Drill Switches & Power Cords
Check the switches and power cords to ensure that they are working properly. The connection between the cord and the machine should not be loose. Moreover, ensure that there are no cracks on the insulation of the power cord. If the cables are damaged replace them immediately and ensure that its connections are firm.
5. Vibration & Belt
Sounds or vibrations from a worn or bent belt could be annoying. You can check this by opening the machine’s head to inspect the belt visually. If you find cracks on it, replace it immediately. If it seems there is no fault, try to see if the tension is normal. Deflecting the belt will provide you in knowing the status of its tension. If you observe any change in the tension, then you should correct it by making the necessary adjustments in accordance with the instructions on its manual.
Also, you can power up the drill press to observe if the sounds and vibration persists. If it does, check the belt, tap and adjust it again but only after you must have switched it off and the power cord unplugged. Also, if the pulleys are shaky and produce unwanted sounds, check the screws to see if they are secure. If the noise persists, check if the rims on any of the pulleys have been bent and if they are, get them replaced immediately. You can inspect the drill press’s bearings to see if they need a replacement especially if the noise seems to come from there.
A Word from Drillly
To conclude, when you are shopping for the perfect woodworking drill press, it is important to consider some of the major aspects required from a good model. Keeping the points and features that we enumerated here for each product, you are on the right path to making a good choice.
The WEN 4208 is chosen as our first choice because of its excellent price to quality ratio. Some of its outstanding features include powerful torque, accuracy, spindle travel, adjustable worktable, high-quality material construction and more.
The Dremel 220-01 became our runner-up pick because of its extreme affordability and other outstanding features. It is much smaller in size but can drill into woods or plastics with accuracy and speed. It may not be as durable as other drill presses on this list, but it has a good price-to-quality ratio.
We also feel it necessary to inform you that the Drillly team finalized these 10 products based on our user experience and other factors mentioned before. But you will find more options from a number of popular brands, including Rockler, Woodcraft, Craftsman, Porter Cable, Harbor Freight, Grizzly, Ridgid, Dewalt, Powermatic, Rockwell, Nova, Jet, Ryobi, Bosch, Menards, Duracraft, and the list goes on. We could not include some of their best products here because we could not afford more than 10 products in this review.
It is understandable that you will prefer a product based on the features that are required for your project. That is why we have carefully analyzed each product to help you to make the right decision. Therefore, you can go ahead and try any of our top products.