Looking for the Best Best Benchtop Drill Press? Let’s Get After It…
When it comes to woodwork, drill presses are a must-have. While floor-standing models are often preferred for heavy-duty work, you can also consider a benchtop drill press, which costs a lot less and works as efficiently as full-size presses, if not more. For those who are looking for the best benchtop drill press, we have a guide that will make things simpler along with five products that can be considered for varied budgets.
In a hurry? WE GET IT, dudes. See our top pick below!
Dremel 220-01 Rotary Tool Workstation Drill Press Work Station with Wrench
Reviewing benchtop drill presses
Below is a quick overview of the drill presses that we liked, based on features and other facts that matter.
- Dremel 220-01 Rotary Tool Workstation Drill Press Work Station. If you are looking for a compact model, this product from Dremel should fit the bill. It’s easy to get angled and perpendicular drills with 15-degree Increments, reaching up to 90 degrees horizontal. It comes with a tool holder and a flex shaft tool stand, which allows you to adjust the height easily. You also have cord management clips with the package. The product is compatible with a bunch of rotary tool models from the manufacturer, which is a big plus.
- WEN 4212 10-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press. This product from Wen is slightly more expensive than the one we mentioned but is meant for extensive woodwork. You get an adjustable depth-stop that simplifies repetitive tasks, while the cast iron worktable comes with a rack and allows pinion height adjustment. You can get angled drilling 45 degrees on both left and right sides. You can get better with drilling with a laser target that offers an X-pattern mark. The whole package includes the drill press meant for variable speed, key, laser, ½-inch keyed chuck, and assembly tools.
- HICO Bench Top Drill Press. HICO brings this 8-inch adjustable height drill press, which comes with a 5-speed motor. The product package includes the drill press, chuck key, assembly tools, and ½-inch key chuck. The speed setting range is between 760 and 3070 RPM for the 2/5HP induction motor, which allows the user to work with diverse materials and thickness needs. The cast iron worktable can be adjusted for height. All in all, this is one of the best budget products we found in this category.
- Genesis GDP1005A 10″ 5-Speed 4.1 Amp Drill Press. This is a budget drill press from that runs on a 1-amp induction motor for easy and quiet performance. The drill press has 5 variable speeds, and the chuck measures 5/8-inch making it easier to work with larger bits. The rack-and-pinion table can rotate 360° and can tilt up to 45° and is meat for easy height adjustment. This product comes with a work light that’s integrated to make work even easier.
- General International 75-010 M1 Bench-Top Drill Press. This green-colored 12-inch drill press from General International is on the expensive side but is designed for extreme performance. You get a forced opening line interrupter switch in this product and adjustable spindle tension return spring. The built-in laser pointer ensures precision drilling. We found this product among the most durable ones, with the base and head made of cast-iron, as is the table.
Buying the best benchtop drill press
Below are the things you need to check.
- The table. Every bench press needs to have a good work table, which should have enough space to get the work done and must tilt, at least up to 45 degrees, if not more.
- Speed settings. Go for a bench drill press that has variable speed settings, so that you can use it to do diverse work purposes.
- Motor power and torque. Benchtop drill presses need to have a powerful motor, which should generate enough torque. Do not compromise on this aspect. The power basically decides how effectively and fast the product can drill into wood. In general, more torque usually means more speed, but having at least five settings is important.
- Other things. Check the warranty on the product and the brand, which are aspects that must be considered. It is also important to check if the product has a safety switch for emergencies. A laser guide is also an essential feature for precise work.
- The price is a matter of budget, but ideally, go for a reliable product that offers enough features to get work done professionally.
Why are benchtop drill presses so popular?
There are two main types of drill presses on the market: benchtops and floor models. Floor models are large and bulky, but they are excellent for sitting steady. That sturdiness is great, especially if you have a workshop where you have enough space for it to sit.
Most people do not have the space nor the money required for a floor drill press. Benchtops are popular because they can offer that same amount of steadiness without having that bulk take up most of your floor. Moreover, they are also more mobile than floor models, making them great for onsite use.
What’s a good substitute for a benchtop drill press?
Honestly, there really isn’t a “good” drill press substitute. However, if you cannot afford a benchtop drill press for your work, you may be able to make do with a handheld drill, several drill jigs, some clamps, and a guide.
Considering how much it’d cost to get all those supplies, it’s usually just cheaper to get the drill press alone.
Do I really need a drill press?
If you are a casual DIY enthusiast, not having a drill press probably won’t be that big a deal. As long as you have a reliable drill, you should be able to do most of the work—especially when it comes to drilling holes at a straight angle.
The time to get a drill press really starts when you have a bunch of projects where you need to drill into wood at an angle. While you technically can do angled drilling with a hand drill, most people will not be able to hold it straight enough, which will lead to shoddy results.
A drill press will keep all the parts still, which is why this tool is a must-have for people who do uniquely angled drill work on a regular basis. Moreover, if you are a perfectionist when it comes to your drilling, it’s a good thing to have on hand.
How much of an angle can I drill using a drill press?
Most drill presses are designed to drill at an angle between 0 and 45 degrees. Using this range, you should be able to get almost any cut that you need as long as you adjust the item you’re drilling into accordingly.
Should I bolt down my benchtop drill press?
Most benchtop drill presses come with holes that are designed to give you the option of bolting your press down onto a worktable. It’s a nice feature to have, but whether or not it’s right for you to use depends on your unique situation.
You probably should bolt down your benchtop drill press if any (or all) of the following are true:
You are going to be working with items that you know you will need a LOT of help holding steady. If clamps are not enough to hold down your projects, being able to bolt down your benchtop drill press is a huge blessing. The bolts will, at the very least, ensure that your drill press won’t wiggle and shake while you work.
You are okay with never moving the drill press again. Unbolting a drill press is going to be a pretty brutal job, if it’s even doable. If you want to keep your drill press mobile, bolting it down doesn’t make a lick of sense.
The benchtop drill press is part of a larger workhouse or classroom setting. If you are sharing the drill press with a lot of your coworkers or students, bolting it down is a smart move. Doing this can help increase the safety of your workers by adding extra stability. It also can help prevent theft of your tools.
For one reason or another, OSHA standards or local workplace laws require that you do. Sometimes, it’s not a matter of whether you want to bolt it down, but if you have to. Though OSHA standards are fairly universal, local work and building codes are not. If you have reason to believe that it’s a code requirement in your area, bolt it down.
Should I go for a basic drill press or a professional-grade drill press?
Truth be told, there are many professional woodworkers who choose to stick to a basic benchtop drill press for their worksites. Figuring out what grade works for you is simple. These tips below can help:
People who intend on using their drill press daily or near-daily should go for a professional-grade drill press. This is just a durability matter. All tools that are made for professionals are designed to be used on a daily basis.
If you are going to be doing angled cuts or if you’re working with difficult materials, a professional drill press is going to be a must. The more complex the drill sessions you have are supposed to be, the more likely it is that you will need to splurge on a professional-grade press.
People who are new to woodworking are generally better served by a basic, beginner’s drill press. Beginners need to get simple, easy-to-work-with the equipment before they can graduate to ones that have unique features.
How much should I expect to pay for a drill press?
Drill presses have a wide range of different prices, most of which depend on the type of press that you’re getting. When you’re dealing with benchtop drill presses, you have the ability to save big on your tool prices.
On the low end of things, you might be able to get a benchtop drill press for as little as $40. However, most mid-range models will start around $60 for a basic model. If you want to get an advanced model or a professional-grade model, then the price tag will start around $100.
The most you should expect to spend on a drill press that isn’t floor-based is going to be around $300. Even then, you should expect it to have all the bells and whistles you could ever want in a drill press.
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