Best Drill Press 2017 – Buyer’s Guide

Intro

Looking for the best drill press that can bore clean holes in all kinds of wood. We have reviewed several models and bring the top 5 drill presses for 2017.

If you are a seasoned woodworker and need a drill press that combines pin-point accuracy and powerful drilling action into one single machine, then the Delta 18-900L 18 Inch Laser Drill Press, will be our top recommendation.

However, if you are low on budget, then the SKIL 3320-01 10 Inch Drill Press, with rock-solid construction and a 3.2 AMP motor can handle small to medium drilling tasks with ease.

Initially, drill presses were designed for metalworking tasks, as normal boring tasks on a wood through a portable (hand) drill. But tons of cutting tools and jigs have flooded the market, thus making drill press a versatile tool for a shop.

It can help you drill better, quickly and more accurately. Several drill press models are available in the market, like standard bench top drill press and powerful floor drill presses. We have made top recommendations for different drilling needs, so that you can buy the drill press that brings the best results.

#1 Best Drill Press for Heavy Woodworking and DIY Experts

  • Delta 18-900L Laser Drill Press : With 16 different speed settings, 6-inch quill travel, precise depth scale and beast of a motor, Delta brings top of the line drill press, for the most complex of drilling needs.
  • JET 354165 JDP-15M 15 Inch Drill Press : If you have space constraints and need a drill press that is low on footprint but high on power, then the JET 354165 will be best bet.

#2 Best Drill Press for Hobbyists

  • SKIL 3320-01 Drill Press – A press designed for home users, SKIL brings a compact package that packs quite a punch in terms of power precision.
  • WEN 4208 8-Inch 5 Speed Drill Press – If you are just starting out, then this easy to operate model from WEN, will be our top recommendation for beginners. It provides satisfactory performance and can handle small tasks with relative ease.

#3 Delta 18-900L Drill Press – Best Overall

#4 Jet 354165 JDP-15M – Small Owners

#5 Skil 3320-01 Drill Press – Best Bang for your Buck

#6 Wen 4208 8-Inch Drill Press – Best for Beginners

#1 Recommendation : Delta 18-900L 18 Inch Laser Drill

Delta brings a true heavyweight in the 18-900L drill press. Designed to handle the toughest of applications, it is easily most versatile drill press in our list. Here is more about it.

Powerful ¾ HP motor

With beast of a motor, the Delta 18-900L will throw most woodworking tasks out of of the park. You can occasionally use it for metal drilling too. Apart from that the knight in shining armor is the “Auto-tensioning belt drive system”. This helps you choose from 16 speed settings, this requires some manual work and you have to shift the the belt, but the ‘image’ instructs you what to do. These 16 speed settings allow you to work on different bits and thus making this machine highly versatile.

Adjustment

Firstly, the table is fairly wide and can be swiveled up to 90 degrees both horizontally and vertically. The table also has T-slots and removable center insert. This gives you the convenience to work with different kinds of work pieces.

Secondly, it also features a TWINLASER which helps you focus on the point of drill, thus making your cuts more accurate. (Pro Tip – Don’t use the LED light along with the laser as they both nullify their effect).

Finally, the depth stop (along with the depth scale) helps you make similar holes on a work piece.

Overall, you can’t ask for more in terms of adjustment precision from a drill press.

If you have a dedicated woodworking shop and have several projects coming on, then this would be a worthwhile investment. If this is not the case, go with the SKIL 3320-01 Drill Press.

Delta 18-900L is one of the most widely recognized professional laser drill presses on the market with a long history of customer satisfaction. The high quality performance and overall precision the 18-900L are just two of the factors that have made the 18-900L one of the most popular drilling machines among professionals and casual users. The extended features such as the adjustable levers and options for changing its speed have led to glowing customer reviews. Learning about these two features, and the other popular Delta options, will help a consumer make an educated decision.

Delta 18-900L Key Features

The 18-900L has several features that have made it extremely popular among those looking for a professional laser drill press. These features include:

  • Heavy Duty Motor
  • Easy Speed Changing Options
  • Guide on Speed Change
  • LED Inductor Light
  • Provisions for Deeper Drilling
  • Adjustable Table
  • Broader Base

It is important to spend time researching these features before making a purchase.

Delta 18-900L with Heavy Duty Motor

Delta 18-900L drill press comes with a heavy duty induction motor. The powerful motor provides increased power to the equipment while it is in use, making it capable of completing a wide variety of personal or professional projects. Having a laser drill press with a strong motor will decrease your chances of ending up with a drill that will stop working after a few uses.

Easy Speed Changing Options

The ability to change the speed of the drill easily is one of the most popular features of the Delta 18-900L. The user is provided with as many as sixteen speed options allowing them to achieve maximum efficiency when completing a project. This feature utilizes the Auto Tensioning Belt Drive System which gives speed ranges from 170 to 3000 rotations per minute. The Tensioning Belt Drive System uses a pulley and lever system to adjust the tension, and speed, of the belts. With the multiple options users are able to complete projects require fast drilling, and projects that rely on precision drilling.

Guide on Speed Options

Working with the easy speed changing option, the guide on speed feature provides the Delta 18-900L users with a detailed chart that mentions the recommended speed for each sort of wood being used. Using the guide decreases your chances of making an error that could damage your wood or the laser drill press.

LED Indicator Light

The completely adjustable TWINLASER comes with a bright red LED light that can be focused on the point that requires drilling. Perhaps one of the most discussed features, the LED indicator makes precision drilling easier by increasing accuracy. First time laser drill owners have been able to complete tasks faster with less errors because of the LED indicator light.

Provisions for Deeper Drilling

Delta 18-900L has a unique feature called the Quill Stroke that lets users drill deeply. It can bore holes that are six times the depth of many comparable professional laser drill presses. The deeper drilling option makes the 18-900L perfect for users working with thick sheets pieces of wood.

Adjustable Table

The table bottom can bevel from 90 degrees left and right and tilt up to 48 degrees forward. Additionally, the laser drill press has a removable center insert and T-slot for clamping that is dedicated to the medium drilling. These adjustment options make it possible for users to perform drilling and woodworking much more efficiently. Users who have owned other laser drills stated that the adjustable table makes an enormous difference when working with large, difficult to maneuver, materials.

Broader Base

The broader base dimension of the 18-900L curbs the chances of accident. The table size of this drilling machine is 20 x 14, which promotes stability to when the laser drill press is in use. Having a broader base reduces the chances of the drill press toppling over when in use, or while it is being stored.

What’s Included

  • 18 inch Drill Press
  • Oversized Table
  • Owner’s Manual

Does It Have a Warranty?

Yes, the Delta 18-900L comes with a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty on all parts and labor.

What Customers are Saying

Reviewing what customers have said about a product can help you decide whether or not any major purchase is the right choice for you. The Delta 18-900L has received a lot of positive reviews online, and most owners initially praise how easy it is to set up the drill press and begin using it. Most users were able to set up the laser drill press without any outside help.

Users were also impressed by how simple it was to adjust the speeds of the drill press. While this was a first drill press owned by many reviewers, those experienced woodworkers were pleased to own a drill press that only required a few seconds between speed changes. The ability to change speeds without manually adjusting belts allows users to finish their tasks without having to stop mid project to change speeds.

Are There Any Complaints?

Even though the Delta 18-900L drill press has its number of fans, there are some owners who had a few problems with the laser drill press when they initially got started. The size of the table was one thing that some users were not initially happy with. They felt it make completing woodwork more difficult rather than providing any additional safety. A few users even mentioned that they felt the table was “wobbly” creating problems when they attempted to complete a task.

Fortunately, after reading the owner’s manual users were able to prevent future problems. Improper adjustments to the table made it “wobble”, but after the table was adjusted and stabilized it was easier to use. Also, the larger table size came in handy when users grew more comfortable with the table and began using it work on large pieces of wood.

The Good and the Bad

Once you have learned what type of reviews are being written online about any product that you are interested in, it is important that you make a list of a products best features and those features that are not so good. Being able to quickly identify the pros and cons of a product will help you when you are considering any major purchase.

Pros
  • Easy to Use
  • Fast Set Up
  • Multiple Speed Options
  • Laser for Additional Precision
  • 5 Year Warranty
Cons
  • Can be Difficult to Adjust the Table
  • Large Table Not Always User Friendly

Final Thoughts

Even with a few initially negative customer experiences, the 18-900L has received a great deal of acclaim from average users. Many people who have never owned a professional quality drill press before feel that this is the perfect drilling machine for those who are looking for the right laser drill press to add to their workshop. More importantly, in spite of its amazing extended features like speed control, LED lighting, and robust body; its easy to use operations make it superior to many comparable models that have more complicated features. Any shopper looking for a quality laser drill press that will last them for years should seriously consider the Delta 18-900L.

#2 Jet 354165 JDP-15M ¾ HP Drill Press

If space is always an issue in your woodworking shop, then JET might have the perfect solution for you. This drill press is compact but provides loads of power to the user. Here is our review of the JET 354165 JDP-15M.

Motor

Just like the Delta Drill Press, this one packs a premium ¾ HP motor that drives enough power to handle all kinds of drilling tasks. It also brings 16 speed settings, however changing belts isn’t as smooth as the Delta Drill Press.

Adjustment

The table isn’t as wide as we would have liked but it works for 90% of the jobs. You can easily move it to accommodate work pieces of different size. It swivels in 45 degrees in either direction and also features X-pattern grooves for mounting. Overall all this makes the table versatile and with different speed settings you can use the press for other tasks like sanding, plating, shaping etc.

Other than the depth settings are are also accurate and readings in both mm and cm, simplify the whole process.

Cons

Firstly, this machine is heavy. The whole assembly is easy but you would need a hand or two for the motor head. You can’t move it around the shop, so if you were planning to do so, then this one isn’t for you.

Secondly, the table edges are sharp and we highly recommend to file them down before using. Thirdly, this one is missing a laser, which adds up to the accuracy.

Overall, with a few small niggles aside, this drill press from JET is the complete package, and recommended for small shop owners.

  • Build – 5/5
  • Adjustment – 4.5/5
  • Cutting Action –4. 5/5
  • Overall – 4.7/5

#3 SKIL 3320-01 3.2 AMP 10 Inch Drill Press

If you are a garage woodworker and like to take some woodworking projects as a hobby, then SKIL brings an affordable and sturdy drill press. SKIL is known for cheap woodworking tools, and this drill press joins the line. Here is our review.

Motor and Capacity

Firstly, this is a 10-inch drill press so it can support work pieces up to 5 inches wide. This should for most home owners. Apart the motor can support 5 different speed settings. You can easily drill through most day to day tasks but hardwoods or metal stretches the motor to the limit.

With only 5 speed settings (570 rpm to 3050 rpm) you don’t get the versatility as the high end models, but the huge range makes it possible to engage in other tasks such as sanding or shaping.

Adjustment

The Table quality is not the best and it is not that wide either. You will probably need an extension. However, it features standard X-crossed clamps and comes with 45-degree rotation.

Other than the drill bit is fairly accurate and doesn’t wobble like other similarly priced drill presses.

Finally, it also features a LASER X2 Beam, which isn’t that bright, but proves to be helpful while boring delicate work pieces.

Cons

This is one of the power tools where you get what you pay for. There is nothing much wrong with the machine and it works fine for most part, but as you move to slightly complex tasks, the SKIL 3320-01, might not be the best option.

Other that for, casual woodworkers, this proves to be a great buy.

  • Build – 4/5
  • Adjustment – 4/5
  • Cutting Action – 4/5
  • Overall – 4/5

While your purchase is getting started, the things you want to choose are skil 3320 drills press owning high exactness and safety. Why? Perhaps countless products have various drill bits and sizes. Or maybe you feel that they have a few advantages, such as rugged frameworks and attractive shape designs. Whatever the reason, you will take pride in your choice. If you desire to take your woodworking technology to a high standard, an excellent drill press is necessary.

Having the wonderful drill presses having the benefit of letting you bore lots of equality sized holes makes your job much easier. It’s virtually impossible for any carpenter who hopes to drill repeatable holes to choose multiple items famous for being tiny in the volume if they don’t understand the products. When drilling through harder materials, it does not shake and damage the material.

With your demands in mind, we give you loads of drill presses from Dake and Generic. You need think over your tendency when investing in goods enabling you to drill some holes with different diameters in the wood and make lots of exquisite handicrafts.

Time to discard your old commodities which can’t aid you to bore holes in the metal by connecting to the power and replace them by selecting thousands of products which are easy to adjust and operate.

#4 WEN 4208 8-Inch 5 Speed Drill Press

If you have just gotten into woodworking and need to buy a drill press that can help you with it, then the WEN 4208 8-Inch model will be our top recommendation.

It features a 1/3 HP motor, which is quite average but would work for most beginner needs. You also get 5 different speeds ranging from 370 RPM 3100 RPM.

It is also the lightest drill press in our list, but it ranks the lowest in terms of build quality. It gets heated up fairly quickly too.

The table is again average but offers decent support to heavy work pieces. The depth stop settings are easy to understand, but don’t expect pin-point accuracy from this.

Overall, we recommend this only if you are going for your very drill press and know nothing about it. But bare in mind that, if you decide to move to complex projects, you would have to upgrade to a better drill press.

  • Build – 3.5/5
  • Adjustment – 3.5/5
  • Cutting Action – 3/5
  • Overall – 3.3/5

#5 JET JDP-17MF Drill Press Review

The JET JDP-17MF drill press is a professional quality machine that has helped set industry standards. It is able to handle heavy duty work in a woodshop and produce professional quality results, but it gives the user the ability to adjust its speed and customize its applications according to individual’s preference. This industrial strength drilling device has been designed utilizing some of the most updated features that allow precision and accuracy in work along with the safety that is necessary when working with any large machinery. Even though the JPD-17MF has received some positive reviews online, it is important that any prospective buyer does their research prior to buying the machine.

Key Features of the JET JDP-17MF

Like most professional drill press machines, the JDP-17MF has several key features that are promoted by manufacturers and praised by current owners. The features that potential buyers should research in depth are:

  • Heavy Duty Motor
  • Specialized Drill
  • Motor Switch
  • Bright Light Socket
  • Pre-definable Depth
  • Easy to Change Table Height
  • Metal Belt and Pulley
  • Clamp in the Work Table

Learning about these features can increase your chances of buying the right drill press for your woodworking needs.

Heavy Duty Motor

The JET JDP-17MF is powered by a 3/4 HP, 3 Phase induction type motor. The motor is capable of running at 230 V sources as well as 115V outlet for which it has been prewired at 115V. The multiple outlet options make the drill press a good choice for individuals with older electrical wiring, and the strong motor makes it possible for users to keep their drill press running for long periods of time.

JET JDP-17MF Specialized Drill

The 16 spindle drill of the JET JDP-17MF gives the user the ability to select speed ranges from 200 to 3630 rpm with the push of a button. This enables the device to perform a wide variety of wood working applications. Users who want to complete small projects with children, or large projects for professional clients can all benefit from this drill press.

Motor Switch

The manufacturers of the JET JDP-17MF drill press took safety into consideration when designing this model. In order to provide additional safety, a motor switch is located on the front of the drill press. This motor switch can bring the motor to an instant halt as soon as the switch is pressed, so that the chances of accidents caused by a drill press that cannot be stopped are minimized.

Bright Light Socket

In addition to providing users with a way to stop the drill press immediately, the manufacturers of the JET JDP-17MF have included an additional safety feature designed to make working in dark areas possible by limiting danger. The drill press comes with a light socket that allows users to insert a light bulb so that their work room can remain illuminated avoiding the chance of accidents that are caused by dim lighting.

Pre-definable Depth

The JET JDP-17MF drill press comes with the ability to adjust drilling depth. This helps users who need to define the depth of hole required so that professional accuracy in work can be attained and consistency in work can be maintained throughout a project. The depth can be defined with the touch of a button allowing users to make adjustments mid-project if they realize their chosen depth is not adequate.

Easy to Change Table Height

The round table of the JET JDP-17MF can be lowered, raised or swiveled during work. Being able to adjust the table height allows multiple users to benefit from a drill press without being forced to work on a table that is too low or too high. Adjustments are easy and once the height is changed users can lock the table into place to ensure stability while they work.

Metal Belt and Pulley

Rapid speed change is important when working on a project since slowing down is sometimes necessary in order to maintain quality. However, some drill press models require manual speed changes making working with multiple speeds difficult. The metal belt and pulley cover comes in a hinged metal base that allows for rapid speed change during work, and provides easy access to the motor mount when manual adjustments or maintenance are necessary.

Clamp in the Worktable

The clamp in the worktable can be released quickly and reset according to preference so that the user does not have to spend much time adjusting wood. It is designed to accommodate wood pieces of varying thickness, allowing users to complete a variety of projects without being forced to operate the drill place and hold the wood in place. The clamp is easy to adjust, and remains stable when the drill press is in use.

What’s Included

  • One JPD-17MF Drill Press
  • Drill Chuck
  • Drill Key
  • Owner’s Manual

Does it Have a Warranty?

Yes, the JET JPD-17MF comes with a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty on all parts and labor.

What Are Customers Saying?

The owners of any product have a favorite feature that makes them appreciate their purchase and recommend it to friends and family members. One of the most talked about features of the JET JDP-17MF drill press is the motor switch. Safety is a major concern when working with wood and large pieces of machinery, and the ability to turn the machine off quickly has helped users avoid woodworking disasters. Another feature that users appreciate is the socket for a work light. Owners of the machine have experienced problems working in a dark workroom in the past, and appreciated the manufacturer’s thoughtfulness in including a bright light socket.

Any Complaints?

As common with every consumer goods, the JET JDP-17MF has its share of user complaints. However, it has fewer complaints than many comparable models. One of the only common complaints is that the drill press can become extremely noisy, and occasionally vibrate, when used repeatedly. The problem is rare, but has been experienced by more than one user. A few owners have mentioned that the problem is caused by incorrect set up, or attempting to work pieces of wood that weigh almost as much as the 178 pound drill press.

The Good and the Bad

Understanding the good and bad features of the JDP-17MF drill press can help you if you are working to narrow down your drill press options.

Pros
  • Bright Light Socket
  • Adjustable Table
  • Motor Switch
  • Pre-definable Depth Options
  • Easy Set Up
Cons
  • Loud Noise When in Use
  • Bulb for Light Socket Not Included

Final Thoughts

Even though the JDP-17MF has had some negative feedback, it has established a strong fan base among professional and casual woodworkers. One of the reasons the model is so popular is because of its highly advanced safety features, high standard of performance and functions, and multiple customizable features that make it easy to use by people of all skill levels. More importantly, the drill press is easy to assemble and install making the JET JDP-17MF one option for those looking for a well-reviewed drill press machine.

Best Drill Press – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide 2017

Finding the Best Drill Press

With modern day drill presses coming with variable speed settings you can use it for other tasks such as mortising, shaping, sanding etc. This makes a drill press quite versatile and a necessary tool for your shop or garage. But there are few core features that you need to look before buying a drill press. We have covered most of them in the following section, but if you need a detailed account of the different DP terminology you can check out this article.

So lets move to top features of a drill press:

  • Motor – Motor is usually the core of any power tool and the story remains the same with drill presses. The power capability of the DP depends on your requirements. If you are a seasoned woodworker, then you need a motor with atleast ¾ HP. Such high powered motors drive enough power to handle the toughest of applications. For hobbyists at least 1/3 HP motors are recommended. It must be noted that higher the power rating of the press, higher will be the number of speed settings it offers. Higher speed settings mean you can use different bit sizes, thus making the machine more versatile.
  • Table – Table is where you will rest your work-piece. High end drill presses come with a wide table but cheap models rely on average sized tables. Bigger is always better, especially in case of tables ;). Apart from that most drill presses offer a table rotation up to 45 degrees which helps to accommodate different sizes of wood. Mounts are almost mandatory.
  • Adjustment – The most important adjustment setting for any drill press is the depth stop. It helps you make repeated holes at the same depth. Almost all DPs come with accurate and calibrated depth settings.

Apart from that build quality like any power tool, deserves a lot of your focus.

Other than that, you also need to look into your needs. If you are running a shop, you need to buy a high quality DP. It is worth the investment and you can practically stretch them to the limit. Hobbyists however can go for cheap or affordable models.

Drill Press TYPES

Drill Press is considered to be the base in the arsenal of woodworkers, carpenters, and machinists. The time when accuracy is the most important aspect, the professionals tend to go for a drill press. This may be either a vertical drill that is fixed to a tabletop, workbench, or to the floor. It is also referred to as a bench drill, that is capable of drilling accurately spaced holes at specific depths, widths and straightness.

#1 Bench-Top Drill Press:-

Bench top drill presses are attached directly to a workbench or on their own stands. Have a stationary drill with a platform to hold the piece to be drilled and a hand crank to lower the drill bit down to said piece that sits on top of a work bench.

#2 Floor-Model Drill Press:-

Floor-model drill presses possess powerful motors, different attachments/accessories and greater material handling options rather than the bench-tops. Features a rugged cast iron design with a ground steel column for lasting drilling accuracy in metal, wood or plastic.

#3 Portable Drill Press:-

Portable drill presses are the best option for those who do not function with a wood shop. Yields least power, and is suitable for small jobs and travel. Best suited for drilling a perfectly perpendicular hole.

#4 Radial Drill Press:-

Radial drill presses are convenient to use on large and heavy work or where many holes are to be drilled since the work does not have to be readjusted for each hole. Have a movable spindle that can be adjusted according to the type of job.

Best Drill Press 2017 – Buyer’s Guide
4.6 (91.14%) 88 votes
We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Shares