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Benchtop drill presses have been seen in workshops for hundreds of years and are an essential tool.
The problem with that is there are a huge number of products on the market to choose from.
We’ve put together this short guide on some of the top models on the market today…
Note: If you’re on a budget, then take a look at our budget drill press guide.
Here's 3 products we picked out that thought you would be interested in depending on your budget...
On this page:
The Best Benchtop Drill Press with Reviews 2020
Here's a list of benchtop drill presses:
1. JET J-2530 15" Benchtop Drill Press
- Large quill
- Industrial power
- 45-degree table tilt
- High stability
- Low protection form plastic shield
- Very heavy
This is about as big as a benchtop drill press gets. The 15-inch size makes it ideal for all drilling applications and it will make light work of metal. It is very heavy and therefore it’s ideal for those looking for a permanent drill press.
It has a large quill for brilliant accuracy. The table tilts to 45 degrees to allow you to make all the holes that you need. It’s a professional standard drill press which is made to a very high standard. It’s incredibly durable and will take a lot of punishment.
2. WEN 4214 12" Variable Benchtop Drill Press
- LED display
- Locking depth stop
- Laser guide
- High power
- Some users report quality issues
- The LED readout can stop working
In terms of value for money, this drill press can’t be beaten. It has a great level of power and numerous features that are going to enable you to drill with high accuracy. The LED display can be a very good feature to reference your speed.
The locking depth stop will allow for easy drilling. That, helped with features such as the laser guide, make it very easy to use. This is going to be ideal for both professionals and DIY enthusiasts looking for the highest quality.
- 2 beam laser
- 5-speed system
- High table tilt
- High power
- Chuck can block the laser light
- Unreliable depth stop
Skil have been able to produce a drill press which has a remarkable level of quality for the price that you pay. It has all the features of the higher-end models with a great speed range, adjustable depth stop, and 2-beam laser.
As with a lot of drills, sometimes the adjustments can be tricky but it’s not a huge issue. The 2-beam laser is going to be able to give you precise drilling and the table tilt will allow you to have all of the drilling angles that you need.
4. Shop Fox W1668 Table Top Drill Press
- Doubles as a sander
- Tilting table
- Highly durable
- Great for tough tasks
- The clamps can be difficult to use
- Some users report damaged packaging
Shop Fox have been able to produce a beast of a drill press as this is going to be able to get through a very high volume of work. The large RPM, swing size and chuck size that it has makes it ideal for those with high drilling demands.
The general build quality is also very high. It’s likely that you will need to bolt the drill to your worktop due to the size and power. It can also double up as a sander to make it a versatile press. It’s a very impressive model which will last for many years.
5. General International 75-010 M1 Bench Top Drill Press
- Adjustable spindle tension
- Laser pointer
- Stable design
- High-quality bearing
- Lower power
General International have been able to produce another drill press that has an exceptional level of quality. It has a very sturdy design to enable you to have full confidence in your machine when it is sat on your benchtop.
The high-quality bearings that it has give it a very smooth action. It allows you to have a high level of control. That helps with accurate drilling which is helped by the laser pointer that it has. Overall this is an excellent drill press with a great level of build quality.
|Name||Power||Swing size||Chuck size||Speed range||Table tilt|
|JET J-2530||3/4 HP||15″||5/8″||200-3630||45°|
|WEN 4214||2/3 HP||12″||5/8″||580-3200||45°|
|SKIL 3320-01||3/4 HP||10″||1/2″||570-3050||45°|
|Shop Fox W1668||3/4 HP||13-1/4″||5/8″||250-3050||90°|
|GI 75-010 M1||1/3 HP||12″||5/8″||500-3000||0°|
When it comes to your shop, the swing size of your drill is going to play an important role in what type of drilling you’re going to be able to do.
8” drill – This will be ideal for smaller jobs where less depth is required. Some of these drills are still very powerful and are going to be able to easily go through metal. Smaller drills are often less powerful, but this is definitely not always the case.
10” drill – In terms of an ideal all around size, this is a great option. It will be able to get through a lot of work and complete a wide range of tasks. There is usually a wide variety of power outputs to go with this type of drill.
12”+ drill – These are going to be the professional type drills that are able to drill down to a great depth and complete a very high level of work. If you want to have the ultimate in performance, then a 12” drill or higher would be your best option.
With a benchtop drill press, not only is the top speed important but you also want to be able to control the speed too. Most have a wide speed range that will be able to give you the highest level of control over your drilling.
Ideally, you want the maximum RPM on your drill to be over 3,000. At this level, you would be able to easily get through almost all work needed. Anything below this level and you might begin to struggle with the tougher jobs.
The chuck size relates to the width of the drill bit that you will be able to use. The wider the chuck size, the higher level of work you would be able to do. That being said, there isn’t usually a big difference between the chuck sizes.
They generally come in 1/2” for the smaller models and 5/8” for the larger models. If you are going to be using a larger drill then it makes sense that you would be using a larger drill bit. It’s important to know exactly what type of drilling you’ll be doing.
For some, the weight of a benchtop drill press will be irrelevant. This all depends if you’re likely to be moving it around your shop or different sites. If you do need it to be slightly more portable, then double-check the weight that it has.
There are a few features that can be useful on a benchtop drill press but none more so than a laser guide. This will ensure a very high degree of accuracy in your drilling. This will also cut down on drilling time as you’re not going to be more confident.
Wrapping it up
When drilling, you never want to have to fight with your machine to get it to work. All the models that we have looked at here are of the level of quality needed to make those accurate holes. You can’t go wrong with any of these models but there is one stand-out option.
The JET J-2530 15-Inch 3/4-Horsepower 115-Volt Bench Model Drill Press is a phenomenal machine which makes drilling exceptionally easy. The build quality and power it has, together with a long list of great features, make it the best benchtop drill press available today.