The five Best Benchtop Drill Presses (2021)

John

Apr 28, 2021

A benchtop drill press is a powerful tool that’s used to bore precise holes in a variety of materials, most commonly wood. In this review, the This Old House Reviews team looks into the best benchtop drill presses available to help you select the model that’s right for your next DIY project. The products included in this article are available at various home improvement stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

Benchtop drill presses are strong wood and metalworking tools used to bore precise holes with minimal effort. They’re particularly useful for projects that require the repetitive drilling of same-sized holes. While the purpose of a benchtop drill press is straightforward, different models vary in size and drill bit compatibility, impacting the performance of each drill press.

 

To help you select the right model, the This Old House Reviews team researched the best benchtop drill presses on Amazon. Here are our top picks:

Best Speeds: WEN Variable Speed Drill Press

This benchtop drill push from WEN offers serious DIYers the ability to control their drill speed and adjust to the material at hand. Protected under a two-year limited warranty and fitted with a sturdy work table, this drill push is built to last. Additionally, this customizable drill press includes a digital speed readout that lets you see your exact RPM before drilling.The WEN Variable Speed Drill Press received an average rating of 4.five stars out of five from over 1,200 Amazon customer reviews, which is in line with the average customer rating of 4.5 stars across all five reviewed benchtop drill presses. The product had similar ratings on other leading e-commerce sites like Home Depot and Lowes, with its score staying constant after averaging their customer reviews.

 

Positive reviews praised the machine’s affordability and effectiveness in consistently producing accurate holes. Disappointed customers complained about the drill press’ lack of power, with one customer experiencing the bit stalling during use.

Best Warranty: SKIL 10-Inch Drill Press

This SKIL benchtop drill press is a effective tool that can bore accurate holes in a variety of materials. One impressive feature of this software is its three-year benchtop warranty, which protects the tool from material or workmanship defects. This benchtop drill push also features a cast iron work base and an adjustable depth-stop feature, which prevents users from drilling too far down into materials.

This benchtop drill push from SKIL received an average Amazon rating of 4.3 stars out of five, slightly lower than the average rating of 4.5 stars across all of our top recommendations. Despite having one of the lowest average scores in this review, only 11% of reviewers gave this model 2 stars or less.Some positive reviews highlighted this drill press’ straightforward assembly, with one user describing the included instructions as easy to follow. Other positive reviews focused on the drill press’ efficiency at boring holes through light pieces of metal and wood. More critical reviews stated that the drill bore inaccurate holes.

 

Best Drill Press

 

Most Versatile: Jet Benchtop Drill Press

This Jet Benchtop Drill Push comes in a heavy frame that’s strong but easy to use. Although it offers a simple design, this tool contains advanced features like a mechanical variable speed system and a laser that helps DIYers bore accurate holes. Additionally, the drill press is equipped with a cast-iron base and large drill chuck for a sturdy and adjustable drilling experience.

This benchtop drill press from Jet received an average rating of 4.3 stars out of five from over 30 Amazon ratings. Despite the lack of ratings on Amazon, this drill press’ high quality was confirmed when we averaged its rating with those from other leading e-commerce sites, which increased its average customer rating to 4.7 stars.Positive customer reviews centered around the tool’s solid and heavy design that keeps the base steady while drilling. Additionally, many customers applauded the speed and affordability of the product. Negative reviews commented on the drill press’ laser guide, which went out for many users after a short period.

Best Value: WEN Five-Speed Drill Press

The WEN Five-Speed Drill Press is the most affordable in this review and includes a large chuck that can adjust to a variety of bits, giving users the choice between five-speed settings. Additionally, the drill push comes with an adjustable work table that can bevel for customized drilling.

This product received an overall rating of 4.6 stars out of five from over 3,400 customer reviews, exceeding an average of 4.five stars. This product had one of the highest percentages of 5-star ratings, with 74% of reviewers rating it as such. Many users liked the simplicity of the drill push, stating its effectiveness on thinner pieces of wood. Additional positive reviews highlighted the drill press’ simple installation. Critical reviews described the drill’s lack of power and expressed concern over its low-quality build.

 

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Best for Metal Drilling: DEWALT Two-Speed Drill Press

Designed for metal drilling, this two-speed drill press is chock-full of the features necessary to effectively bore through the metal of various densities. The drill press is equipped with a strong, 10-amp motor and a magnetic coolant bottle that prevents machine burnout. With a chuck capable of accommodating large drill bits, this drill is often a great option for boring small and large holes.

This DEWALT benchtop drill push received an overall rating of 4.6 stars out of five from over 140 Amazon customer reviews. Of those reviews, 80% of customers rated the product 5 stars, with only 7% of reviewers giving it 2 stars or less.Positive reviews focused on the power of the drill push and its ability to handle various-sized drill bits. Some customers also applauded its two-speed settings that allowed for a slower drill speed when necessary. Critical reviews expressed concern over the included chuck’s quality, with one user breaking the chuck after a few hours of use.

Buying Guide

A benchtop drill push is usually a great addition to any professional DIYer’s workshop. In this buyer’s guide, we parse through the features, details, and specifications that differentiate benchtop drill presses to help you find one that suits your needs.

Drill size and travel

Drill presses are measured by twice the distance between their bit and the stand that supports the machine. This is referred to as the swing of the drill push and represents the largest diameter piece the drill can handle. For example, a drill push with a length of 7.five inches between the stand and the bit would be a 15-inch drill push. Drill travel is how far the drill chuck will go up or down. The greater the travel ability, the deeper the drill press can bore.

Speed

Most benchtop drills offer variable speed drilling, measured in revolutions per minute (RPM). RPMs are important when drilling various types of material, as some require low RPMs while others call for high RPMs. For example, wood is typically drilled at a higher RPM than metal, which needs to be drilled at a lower speed to prevent the bit from overheating.

 

Best Drill Press

 

Accessories

Some benchtop drill presses come with accessories, like laser guides and extendable arms, that help make the drilling process easier. Laser guides help the operator by pinpointing where the drill bit is headed, ensuring precision before the bit hits the material. Extendable arms help the drill push accommodate materials of various sizes, as they can pull out or in based on the material’s width.

Safety features

Since a benchtop drill press’ bit is housed and used in the open, it’s important to use caution when operating the resource. Some benchtop drill presses offer features, like safety keys and bump-off switches, that help users safely operate the product. These features are particularly important if you’re operating the drill around young children.

Frequently Asked Questions

What protective equipment is needed when operating a benchtop drill push?

When using a benchtop drill press, debris can kick up into the air and cause eye damage, which is why it’s important to wear shatterproof goggles or glasses while operating the machine. Additionally, you can protect your ears from the loud noise made by the drill push with a pair of earplugs, and you can protect your hands from potential injury with a pair of work gloves.

 

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What can a drill press do?

The function of a drill press is simple: to bore precise holes into wood, metal, and other materials. Drill presses do this by offering variable speed drilling that enables users to set the RPM of the drill bit to match material-specific requirements. For example, benchtop drill presses should be set to a low RPM when drilling through metal to prevent the bit from overheating and warping.

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John

When using a benchtop drill press, debris can kick up into the air and cause eye damage, which is why it’s important to wear shatterproof goggles or glasses while operating the machine. Additionally, you can protect your ears from the loud noise made by the drill push with a pair of earplugs, and you can protect your hands from potential injury with a pair of work gloves.