Best Drill Presses 2021 Reviews + Buying Guide
While pretty much all of us are going to be familiar with the classic power drill. Probably not all of us have the same familiarity with a tool that does a very similar job, which is the drill press.
These larger cousins of the power drill do a very similar job, which is drill holes, but they are essentially supercharged. Your average drill press is going to be faster, stronger, and far more accurate than a handheld drill. This is especially true when working on larger woodworking projects.
In this article, you are going to see what the best drill presses on the market are. If you want to know what the overall best option is, we contend that it is the DeWalt DWE1622K 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press.
A Spotlight On Some of The Best Drill Presses 2021:
Drill Press Reviews
DeWalt DWE1622K 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press
For the very first review of our best drill presses article, we are going to be taking a look at one of the more well-known and well-respected brands in the power tool field, which is DeWalt. They are one of the most recognizable brands out there for a reason, which is that they deliver extremely high-quality products that you can rely on.
So, it isn’t going to be much of a surprise that we are reviewing a drill press from them on our best drill presses article. The DeWalt DWE1622K 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press is, in many ways, a quintessential DeWalt power tool. It is very powerful, very reliable, well-built, but also a bit pricey due to both the quality of the tool and the brand that it comes from.
The first thing that we want to note about the DeWalt DWE1622K 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press is that this is a very powerful drill press. All DeWalt tools are powerful to some extent, but this particular drill press from them really shines when it comes to power. With a 10 amp motor, it is capable of achieving two speeds, either 300 RPM or 450 RPM.
Likewise, the tool is also very fast because it gets up to max speed extremely quickly. All that power may make you concerned about the possibility of burnout, but don’t be. The drill press is equipped with a very advanced and reliable overload protection system to protect both you and the tool.
A big issue when it comes to drill presses is changing the bit on them. With some drill presses, this can be difficult and with some, it can be exceedingly simple. Thankfully, the DeWalt DWE1622K 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press has a very easy bit-changing system.
As we said earlier, one of our main issues with the DeWalt DWE1622K 2-Speed Magnetic Drill Press is that it is a bit on the pricier side.
This is especially noticeable when compared to the prices of a few other entries on our best drill presses review list. The price increase likely comes from both the quality of the tool (which as you can see, is quite high) and the fact that the brand is pretty famous.
WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press
Following up on our review of the DeWalt, we are going to be looking at a more affordable, but still fairly high-performance option in the form of the WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press. WEN isn’t quite the famous brand that DeWalt is, but they do have something of a reputation, and they have their share of the market to be sure.
They also do, in our experience anyway, tend to produce fairly high-quality tools. So, we are excited to take a look at this particular drill press from them because we can count on WEN to deliver a tool that is both fairly reliable when it comes to performance and that won’t be too hard on your wallet.
In terms of power, there isn’t much to complain about when it comes to the WEN. It has a 5 amp induction motor, which may not sound big (especially when compared to the 10 amp motor on the DeWalt that we just finished reviewing), but the WEN manages to make the motor punch well above its weight.
For example, the WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press is able to achieve speeds ranging from 580 to 3200 RPM. Furthermore, the WEN is equipped with a variable speed trigger, which is a feature that you find on quite a few high-end power drills. What it does is ensure that a reasonable amount of torque is always being applied, no matter the speed.
In addition to power, the WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press comes with a bunch of features that are designed to helpfully allow you to be a lot more accurate when it comes to drilling and to tackle a wider variety of jobs. So, the WEN ends up being both powerful and accurate.
Our biggest complaint with the WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press is actually a very minor one.
The light that comes attached to the tool and that is meant to aid you when working in low-light conditions is pretty poorly placed. It is so poorly placed that ends up not being really all that useful. So, you will have to probably buy your own light and attach it if you want to work in low-light conditions.
Shop Fox W1667 1/2 HP 8-1/2-Inch Bench-Top Oscillating Drill Press
The next product that we want to take a look at as part of our best drill press review list is the Shop Fox W1667 1/2 HP 8-1/2-Inch Bench-Top Oscillating Drill Press. This is another one of those decent drill presses that offer good performance at a very fair price. This is why we are including it on our list.
When we say “decent performance” what do we mean exactly? Well, the motor on the Shop Fox W1667 1/2 HP 8-1/2-Inch Bench-Top Oscillating Drill Press is fairly powerful, so the tool doesn’t have any issues tackling tougher materials and jobs. The fact that the bit oscillates also makes it a lot more powerful and effective.
A small, but still very nice and convenient feature is the fact that Shop Fox W1667 1/2 HP 8-1/2-Inch Bench-Top Oscillating Drill Press comes with a safety switch. The safety switch allows you to easily and quickly shut off the drill press in the event of an emergency without having to fumble around for an off switch.
SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press
For the next review on our best drill presses article, we are going to be doing an in-depth review on the SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press. This is a fairly well-made drill press that is also quite affordable. While it does perform above its price tag by quite a lot, it is plagued by some durability issues that prevent us from ranking it quite higher.
With a 3.2 amp motor, the SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press isn’t quite the most powerful drill press on this list, but it certainly isn’t bad. You have to look at it in context.
Given that this is a fairly inexpensive drill press (especially when compared to something like the DeWalt), you can’t really expect it to compete in terms of power with the other entries that we have looked at.
While the lack of power might be disappointing to some, there are some other features on the SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press that make it worth taking a look at. For example, it comes with 5 different speed options, which helps to give the drill press some much-needed versatility.
WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press
If you are on a budget or if you don’t have a lot of free space to work with, then pretty much all of the products that we have reviewed on our best drill presses article would be a bit disappointing to you.
None of the products have been particularly compact or affordable. With this next product, we aim to remedy that somewhat. We have already reviewed one product from WEN on our list and we rated it quite highly. For this second review, we are going to be taking a look at yet another drill press from WEN in the form of the WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press.
What really sets this WEN drill press apart from the other one that we reviewed and what really makes this one deserving of a review of its own is both how cheap it is and how compact it is. In terms of price, the WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press is easily the least expensive option that we have reviewed on this entire list.
Likewise, in terms of space, the WEN is definitely the smallest and most compact option that we have reviewed. So, if you are in the unfortunate position of not having either the money or the space (or both) to get one of the other drill presses that we have taken a look at, then this one can be a really good compromise.
Of course, the WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press does bring some other pretty good advantages to the table, aside from the price and size. We wouldn’t have included it alongside these other great products if that was its only advantage.
Some other thing that we think that you will like about the WEN is the fact that it has a lot of great speed options. In fact, it has 5 different speed options that you can use. These range from 740 RPM to as high as 3140 RPM.
Furthermore, despite being affordable, the WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press is actually more powerful and comes with a lot more convenience features than you would expect given the price. It has a decent power output and a bunch of features like onboard storage that are really helpful.
Drill Press Buying Guide
We hope that you found our best drill presses review list to be helpful for finding a high-quality drill press that works well for you. As we repeatedly emphasized throughout the course of the article, these are very useful tools.
However, one thing that we didn’t get to go too in-depth on is exactly why they are useful. While some of you came to this article knowing why you needed a drill press, and so won’t need to use this buying guide, we imagine that many others came to this article “on the fence” so to speak.
We imagine that quite a few of you who came to this article didn’t know a whole lot about drill presses in the first place. So, one of the top questions might be “why should I go for a drill press when I can just get a powerful power drill instead?”
It is a fair question and one that we intend to answer in this second part of our article. We are going to explain some of the unique advantages that are available to drill presses that are not also available to handheld power drills.
We are going to avoid going over what to look for when buying a drill press for one simple reason. You can use the same criteria that you would use when buying a regular power drill to buy a drill press. The terminology is largely the same as well, so there isn’t much value in doing a regular buying guide.
Accuracy and Precision
While drill presses have a lot of advantages (you saw this from our best drill presses review list and will see it from this buying guide), if we had to pick a single reason why many people opt for drill presses over drills is because of their accuracy and precision.
With a drill press, you are able to hold the material, instead of the drill. This means that the shakiness of your hands is eliminated, which goes a long way towards making you more accurate.
However, what helps, even more, is the fact that drill presses can be set to deliver the exact same drill each time. You can set the exact depth, angle, etc. With a handheld power drill, you have to monitor these things yourself, and drilling the exact same hole each time is next to impossible. With a drill press, you can achieve consistently precise holes each time.
Given the size of your average drill press and the size of your average power drill, it should come as no surprise that the drill press is the more powerful of the two options. Simply put, drill presses have more space for larger motors. Larger motors mean more power and more impact.
Obviously, one doesn’t always need a ton of power when doing jobs that require drilling (intricate woodworking comes to mind). But if you are in a situation where you do need a lot of drilling power, then you know that the drill press is the best way to go.
While drills presses don’t drill any faster than a handheld power drill will, there is likely to be an overall increase in speed when using a drill press. Why? Well, with a handheld drill, you are going to have to reposition the drill manually.
This takes some time and on larger projects, it begins to add up. With a drill press, you don’t have to bother with repositioning the drill or anything like that. It makes rapid drilling a lot simpler and it can make large woodworking projects a lot quicker.
Another consideration when it comes to whether to use a regular drill or a drill press is safety; this includes the safety of both yourself and whatever material it is that you are drilling into.
With a regular handheld power drill, there is always a risk, no matter how small it may be, that you will accidentally drill for too long and either hurt your hand or damage the material you are trying to drill into. As we have said multiple times so far in the course of this best drill presses article, this isn’t a problem that you need to worry about with these presses because you have strict control over things like depth, angle, and power.
There is no danger that the press is going to accidentally exceed your settings and drill deeper into a piece of wood.
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