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10 Best Benchtop Drill Presses of 2021 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

person using SKIL 3320-01 Drill Press

A good drill press is stable and offers precise drilling. It is far more accurate than a portable tool, thanks to its fixed position and the accuracy of the winding wheel. The increased precision of this type of tool also means that you can enjoy uniform holes every time you use it.

Available with a wide range of bits, including round and square bits, these heavy-duty tools are most commonly employed in workshops but are also a beneficial tool for home use, if you regularly cut holes and need a precision and effortless cutting tool. If you only have infrequent need of a drill press, then a handheld or portable option may be your better bet.

If you are looking for a benchtop drill press, we have compiled a list of reviews of 10 of the best models on the market. Choose according to functionality, features, durability, and cost, to ensure that you get the best benchtop drill press model for your needs.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
SKIL 3320-01 Drill Press SKIL 3320-01 Drill Press
  • Dual laser system
  • Tilting table
  • 120 Volts
  • Best Value
    Second place
    WEN 4208 5-Speed Drill Pres WEN 4208 5-Speed Drill Pres
  • Cheap
  • 5 speeds from 740 to 3,140 RPM
  • ½” chuck is compatible with a lot of bits
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    DEWALT DWE1622K Drill Press DEWALT DWE1622K Drill Press
  • 10-amp motor
  • LED overload warning light
  • Magnetic base
  • Eurotool DRL-300.00 Benchtop Drill Press Eurotool DRL-300.00 Benchtop Drill Press
  • Compact size is ideal for small spaces
  • Lightweight drill
  • Variable speed up to 8,500 RPM
  • Genesis GDP1005A Drill Press Genesis GDP1005A Drill Press
  • 1-amp motor
  • LED work light
  • Modest price
  • The 10 Best Benchtop Drill Presses – Reviews 2021

    1. SKIL 3320-01 Drill Press – Best Overall

    SKIL 3320-01 Drill Press

    The SKIL 3320-01 Drill Press is a 10-inch model. Being smaller than a lot of the other options, it is suitable for home use, but with five speeds and a laser guidance system, it is more than functional enough for professional and workshop use, too.

    The press is made from cast iron so is durable and has a reassuringly sturdy and strong feel in the hand. The ½-inch keyed chuck is easy to use and offers great flexibility with a wide selection of bits. It can be used to cut round or square holes and can also be used with other bits, such as polishers, to further extend the useful functionality of the machine.

    The SKIL has five drill speeds, from 570 RPM to 3,050 RPM. It has two lasers that enable you to precisely guide the bit where you want it, and the table can be adjusted by tilting it up to 45°.

    Pros
    • Variable drill speeds from 570-3,050 RPM
    • Dual laser system
    • Tilting table
    • 120 Volts
    Cons
    • Laser batteries deplete quickly
    • Not as accurate as some other drills

    2. WEN 4208 5-Speed Drill Press – Best Value

    WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press

    The WEN 4208 5-Speed Drill Press is an 8-inch compact drill model. It is cheaper than most other models on this list and, weighing less than 30 pounc=ds, it is compact and easy to install on a workbench. It is the best benchtop drill press for the money. Despite being light, it is made from cast iron so is durable and strong. It has an 8-inch swing with a 2-inch drill depth and can drill at speeds from 740 to 3,140 RPM.

    The WEN is not designed for professional use and is not considered a heavy-duty drill. As such, it will struggle with especially dense materials. It has a ½-inch key-operated chuck so it will work with a wide variety of bits. The drill also has its own chuck storage, offering convenience and ease.

    Because it is not designed for professional use, the WEN 4208 5-Speed Drill Press is not as precise and accurate as a more expensive model, and it will struggle with dense and heavy cutting material. However, it is also very competitively priced and offers some decent features for the cost.

    Pros
    • Cheap
    • ½” chuck is compatible with a lot of bits
    • 5 speeds from 740 to 3,140 RPM
    Cons
    • Not precise
    • Struggles with dense materials

    3. DEWALT DWE1622K Drill Press – Premium Choice

    DEWALT DWE1622K Drill Press

    The DeWalt DWE1622K Drill Press is a mag drill so connects to a base or benchtop magnetically. This means that the DeWalt can be added and removed from bases quickly and easily.

    The whole drill is designed for convenience with a handle that can be placed on either side of the machine. It has a Weldon chuck that is really easy to use, so changing bits won’t slow you down or reduce your efficiency with the machine. It has a 10-amp motor, so it provides plenty of power for home and light use, and combined with the low speed settings, this drill is ideally suited for use on metal workpieces.

    There’s also an LED warning light. The light illuminates if you overload the drill but will continue to operate for a few seconds, which allows you to extricate the bit from your work material. The DeWalt DWE1622K is a portable drill press that even comes with its own storage case. You can place the drill and all of its components inside the case to transport it between sites and home.

    Pros
    • 10-amp motor
    • LED overload warning light
    • Magnetic base
    • Suitable for metal
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Only two speed settings – 300 and 450 RPM

    4. Eurotool DRL-300.00 Benchtop Drill Press

    The Eurotool DRL-300.00 Benchtop Drill Press is a small and basic benchtop drill. It is inexpensive and basic. Its basic design means that the Eurotool is very easy to fit and install in your workshop, while its diminutive size means that it will fit in even the most cramped workspace.

    If you only have a small corner of a garage or home workshop available, the 10” x 12” x 8” dimensions may prove ideal. Despite its simplicity, the Eurotool is a variable speed drill, operating at speeds of up to 8,500 RPM.

    While a lot of the other drills on the list are made from cast iron, this particular model is a combination of steel and plastic. It has a 110-watt motor. However, it is designed for small spaces and restricted budgets, and it is not suitable for drilling metal.

    Pros
    • Compact size is ideal for small spaces
    • Lightweight drill
    • Variable speed up to 8,500 RPM
    Cons
    • Shocking user manual
    • Not suitable for hard materials or heavy-duty tasks

    5. Genesis GDP1005A Drill Press

    Genesis GDP1005A Drill Press

    The Genesis GDP1005S Drill Press is a benchtop drill press with a powerful 4.1A motor that delivers five variable speeds between 620 and 3,070 RPM. The ⅝-inch chuck means that you can use large drill bits while the table itself can rotate fully to 360° and it will tilt to 45°.

    The safety key can be used to prevent accidental operation, and injuries that can ensue. The cast-iron base should ensure stability during use. With a 10” swing, variable speed, and powerful motor, this drill will handle some metals and dense materials, but there have been a number of complaints regarding the build quality of the table and drill.

    Ensure that all the screws are tightened thoroughly before use. Also, while the table does have its own built-in LED to illuminate your workpiece and work area, it does not provide good light but it will consume batteries quickly.  The Genesis is moderately priced, and it does a decent job of occasional drilling, but you will need to manually check that it is secure and properly set up.

    Pros
    • Variable speed between 620 and 3,070 RPM
    • 1-amp motor
    • LED work light
    • Modest price
    Cons
    • Will need to check screws are secure
    • Worklight is poor

    6. Shop Fox W1667 Bench-Top Oscillating Drill Press

    Shop Fox W1667 Bench-Top Oscillating Drill Press

    The Shop Fox W1667 Bench-Top Oscillating Drill Press has a ½ HP motor and uses a ½-inch chuck. It has a safety key to prevent accidents and injuries.

    The drill press also has a sanding spindle that works with drums up to 2-inch diameter. While a lot of drill presses have a tilting table, the Shop Fox is one of few that will tilt all the way around to 90° rather than stopping at 45°. There is also a 2¼-inch dust port, so the W1667 can be attached to an automatic dust collector system, making it easier to maintain your workshop and keep a clean working environment.

    The drill has variable speeds that range from 620 to 3,100 RPM. Unfortunately, this drill does not do well with steel and other metals. Also, the depth stop rod is made from plastic and is liable to become damaged or broken after just a few uses.

    Pros
    • Dust port
    • Variable speed between 620 and 3,100 RPM
    • Safety key
    • Includes spindle for sanding as well as drilling
    Cons
    • Struggles with metal
    • Poor quality components

    7. Craftsman 12″ Bench Drill Press

    Craftsman 12 Bench Drill Press

    The Craftsman 12” Bench Drill Press is a lightweight drill press, made from aluminum. It has a speed between 355 and 3,150 RPM, which Craftsman claims can cut through metal as well as wood. It can be easily adjusted using the swivel knob, and the flexible LED is used to illuminate your workpiece and make it easier to achieve a reliable drilling position.

    It has an adjustable fence, as well as rack and pinion design, so repetitive tasks are easy and do not require that you keep on making adjustments to get the right depth or distance. There is also a laser pointer, which makes it easy to achieve highly accurate cuts. However, the aluminum frame means that this drill is liable to move and there are multiple reports of quality and customer service being low quality for this drill.

    Pros
    • Drill speeds between 355 and 3,150 RPM
    • LED work light
    • Laser cutting guide
    Cons
    • Aluminum frame too flimsy
    • Poor quality control
    • Poor customer service

    8. JET J-2530 Bench Model Drill Press

    JET J-2530 Bench Model Drill Press

    The JET J-2530 Bench Model Drill Press is a 115-volt benchtop drill press. It has a ¾-horsepower engine, which is higher than most of the others on our list.

    The JET allows for precise changing of the drill speed, with 16 settings from 200 to 3,630 RPM. While the higher speeds are suitable for drilling wood, lower speeds are better suited for work with metal. Metal drilling requires low speeds and high power to ensure that you get a reliable, accurate, and precise cut. The worktable can be tilted up to 45° and it has a deep quill. Whether at low or high speeds, the JET does not vibrate and is not as loud as some other models.

    The biggest drawback with this model is that it is expensive. In fact, it is the most expensive option on our list. Despite this, it doesn’t have laser guides or LED work lights.

    Pros
    • Speed range from 200 to 3,640 RPM
    • 45° tilt
    • The powerful engine makes metal cutting possible
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • No laser guide
    • No work light

    9. RIKON 30-120 13-Inch Drill Press

    RIKON 30-120 13-Inch Drill Press

    Although there are more expensive options on the list, the Rikon 30-120 13-Inch Drill Press is still a pricey model. It does, however, have a 13-inch swing, which makes it easy to operate when working on tough material. It has a ½ horsepower engine with 16 speeds from 200 to 3,630 RPM.

    Made from solid steel and cast iron, the Rikon is far from portable, and at more than 100 pounds, it is one of the heaviest models on this list. This is also a noisy model, so don’t expect silent operation when it is in use.

    This is a large and heavy machine, costs more than most on the list while being worrying noisy, and despite its high price, it doesn’t have features like laser guides or LED work lights. It does have a longer swing and a decent range of operating speeds, however.

    Pros
    • 200 to 3,600 RPM speeds
    • 13-inch swing
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Big and heavy
    • Noisey
    • No laser guide or worklight

    10. Ryobi DP103L 10 in. Drill Press

    Ryobi DP103L 10 in. Drill Press

    The Ryobi DP103L 10 in. Drill Press is a drill press with a ¼-horsepower engine and that has five-speed settings between 620 and 3,100 RPM.

    It has a cast iron base, designed to reduce vibrations and increase sensitivity and accuracy. It has a depth stop that is easily adjustable and helps ensure accurate and uniform drilling. It also features an LED work light and the table tilts to 45° while offering a rack and pinion height adjustment for the table. It isn’t the easiest bench drill to erect, unfortunately, and the instructions are lacking in useful information.

    At ¼ HP it is also lacking in power, and because the speeds only start at 620 RPM, it isn’t suitable for drilling metal or dense materials and will only prove effective for wood drilling.

    Pros
    • Cheap
    • Guidelight and work light
    Cons
    • Underpowered ¼ HP motor
    • Instructions are challenging
    • Not suitable for metal
    • Difficult to put up

    Buyer’s Guide

    What Is A Benchtop Drill Press?

    A drill press is basically a powered drill that is mounted to the top of a workbench. They are usually operated via a pulley handle, which raises and lowers the drill head in a perfectly straight line. This method of raising and lowering the head helps ensure a completely straight and clear cut every single time. It avoids arching and prevents angled cuts, although some drills can be tilted, which does allow for an angled cut.

    Benefits Of A Drill Press

    There are various benefits to installing a drill press on top of your workbench or in your workshop at home.

    Accuracy

    A standard drill relies almost entirely on the accuracy of the user. You need to line the drill up properly and you need to push evenly to ensure that the drill creates a straight cut. With a drill press, you affix the drill in place, attach the workpiece to the bench and then pull the drill handle. Everything is kept in place and the drill head is pulled down in a perfectly vertical line. It provides total accuracy and doesn’t depend on how keen the eye of the user is.

    Consistency

    Most pillar drills come with some form of depth stop. This allows you to drill a hole to your desired depth. By locking the depth stop in place, it also ensures you to drill to the same depth next time. Whether you want one or 100 holes drilled to a 2” depth, you can enjoy consistent results, thanks to the benchtop drill press.

    Power

    A standard power drill can struggle to get through materials like hardwood and especially metal. The more dense the material, the more difficult it is to get a drill to cut straight and true. With some drill presses, you can cut through all wood and through most metals, to get an accurate and consistent cut. If you intend to cut through metal, look for those drills with lower speed settings and higher power. This combination will make it easier to drill through steel and other metal materials.

    Ease

    It is easier to drill, regardless of material and cut depth, using this type of fixed drill. Look for machines with the longest swing and the greatest power, and these will make short work of virtually any hole. As well as the ease of using the pulley, these drills also offer the benefit of operating at a convenient and comfortable work height. This can alleviate stress and strain on the back, shoulders, and other joints.

    Speed

    Using a hand drill takes time, especially if you want consistent and accurate results. You need to measure and mark every piece of material, steel yourself to ensure that you’re going to cut accurately and precisely, and then drill the actual holes. With a bench drill press, it takes a few seconds, and because you can set the drill to a specific depth and height, you can further minimize the time it takes to make consistent cuts.

    close up Genesis GDP1005A

    Benchtop Drill Press Features

    To ensure that you get the right benchtop drill press for your needs, you should consider how you use the drill. Think about whether you primarily drill wood or metal, whether you drill perpendicular holes every time, and whether you want additional features. Below are some of the most important and common features to consider when buying.

    • Tilt And Turn – Drill presses are set up to perform perfectly straight cuts and to cut vertically through your workpiece material. With a tilting table, however, it is possible to achieve precise angled cuts. If a table does tilt, it will usually offer up to a 45° tilt, and you can simply flip the material if you need a different angle. Some offer a 90° tilt. The turn of the table prevents you from having to turn your workpiece around and it can make it easier to drill into awkwardly shaped pieces of wood and metal.
    • Guide Lights – Guide lights, or lasers, beam down from the chuck and onto your workpiece. They usually shine exactly where you are going to drill, allowing you to match up the bit head with the guide hole and ensuring that you precisely line the drill up every time.
    • Work Lights – Work lights, usually LED lights, shine onto the surface but are not used as a guide. They are used to illuminate your workpiece. They should not replace decent lighting in your workshop, but they can offer you more accurate lighting and will bathe the workpiece in light.
    • Cutting Speed – This type of drill usually comes with variable speed settings that allow you to increase or decrease the speed that the drill head rotates. The faster the drill head, the quicker it will work through materials like wood. However, if you want to drill metal, you will actually need a lower cutting speed but more power. This prevents the drill from overheating, minimizes mistakes, and ensures a clean cut right through the workpiece.

    divider 8

    Conclusion

    Benchtop drill presses are a great alternative to portable and power drills. They can affix to your existing workbench or, better still, to a dedicated metal column to create your own bench drill press. Their power, usually measured in horsepower, can vary, and so too can the variety of speed settings that the drill has to offer. You will also find a variety of features and accessories, such as laser guide lights and LED work lights, that make choosing the best benchtop drill press seem like a challenge. Above, we have compiled a list of reviews of 10 of the best drills, allowing you to choose the one that best suits your project requirements and even the design of your workshop.

    While writing the reviews, we found the SKIL 3320-01 Drill Press, with its tilting table, dual laser guides, and a good range of speeds, offered the best overall quality, while the benchtop drill offering the best value for money was the WEN 4208 5-Speed Drill Press. The WEN doesn’t have quite the same range of speeds as the SKIL and may struggle with metal, but it is still a great drill press for home use and on wood workpieces.

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    A close look at the best drill presses overall of 2020

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