Does your next woodwork project call for accurate drill work? If so, you've come to the right place. As a woodworker, you're most likely aware of the magnitude of using a top-notch benchtop drill press. They typically make it easy and swift to drill through countless wood types with an unmatched level of power and precision.
Here, we review the best benchtop drill presses for woodworking, followed by a detailed buying guide.
Jet JDP17 – Best Overall
Jet has a reputation for designing great drill presses, and the JDP17 is no exception. It features one of the largest spindle ranges, making it easier to achieve the depth you desire.
Typically, it is challenging to change the speed of a drill press. Fortunately, this is not the case with the Jet JDP17, as you'll need one hand to switch to any of the 16-speed settings available. What's more, this tool has a massive upper limit; thus, it's excellent for all projects.
Something else to love about this benchtop drill press is the table. It is spacious enough to hold large workpieces, and it is also grooved. The grooves come in handy, making it effortless to line up the workpiece and center the holes. Again, you can move this table down and up the column, allowing you to finish up on the bigger projects.
Jet JDP17 Pros and Cons
The only shortcoming with this power tool is the chuck key. It is somewhat tricky to use, but you're good to go once you tighten it properly. In addition, the quill usually vibrates when using high RPM, so be careful not to damage your work.
BILT HARD drill press – Runner up
The BILT Hard benchtop drill press is a close second, with a solid build and value for your money. It is more suited for light projects since the motor and available speeds won't handle demanding steel projects. It is easily adjustable and perfect for small projects at home or in the workshop.
BILT HARD drill press Pros and Cons
This machine will certainly make your woodworking projects easier, especially if you're upgrading from a hand drill. It offers the standard functions of a drill press without any glitches. Lastly, the package includes several handy accessories for convenience when working with the drill press.
WEN 4208T – Best Budget
The WEN 4208T is our pick for the woodworker on a tight budget. The best thing about this drill press is that it does not sacrifice quality for affordability. The 4208T drill press is most suitable for woodwork projects mostly, though it can effortlessly drill through low-density metals.
It has five different speeds, allowing you to conveniently adjust to the material you're drilling. Plus, it is quite easy to use, making it ideal even for beginners. It has a compact build that is quick to assemble, making it suitable for woodworkers with limited storage space.
WEN 4208T Pros and Cons
This benchtop drill press retains stability and power with the cast iron bottom and 2.3Amp motor regardless of its small size.
How to choose the best benchtop drill press for woodworking
Choosing the right benchtop drill press is not an easy process, granted the intimidating number of products in the industry. Here are some of the factors you should consider when buying a benchtop drill press:
Materials it can drill
It's essential to note that different drill presses can handle different workpieces. For instance, a five-speed drill press like the WEN 4208T is suitable for wood-based projects or low-density metals. Nonetheless, if you're working with metal, you might want to pick the Jet JDP17, which has 16 speeds and impressive power.
The power of the motor of your benchtop drill press is also essential. A potent motor will feature high torque on lower speeds which is imperative when working with tougher materials.
Drilling requires minimal vibration, especially if precision is what you're looking for. More robust tools with heavier builds are less likely to vibrate, and even so, the taper comes in handy in reducing the vibrations.
The heavier the taper, the more precision you will get from a drill press since it absorbs the vibrations by lying between the spindle and arbor.
Angled/straight drill press
Some tasks call for straight drilling, and others require having the material angled. Ensure that the guide of the machine you intend to buy is flexible and has the angled function if it's what you're looking for.
It is crucial to find out whether you'll mostly be working with your drill press in the workshop or whether you'll require carrying it. This is because drill presses come in different heights and weights. Therefore, if you're moving your drill press around, you'll want to go for a portable drill press.
Typically, bigger drill presses usually mean better service. This is because the bigger drills have more potent motors, thus better applicability. However, these machines tend to be less portable, heavy, and expensive, and not every woodworker needs this type of drill press.
Usually, lighter benchtop drill presses are ideal for more lightweight projects. They're highly portable, user-friendly, and can perform a handful of tasks in the workshop. The best part is that you don't need to spend a lot of money purchasing it.
The benchtop drill press market is filled with tools that claim to be the best, but out of all the products we've tested, the Jet JDP17 is the best. It is extremely user-friendly for a powerful drill press, and it offers 16 different speeds, giving you maximum control over your workpiece.
Moreover, its wide capacity makes it ideal for utilization with various types of wood. Again, it is versatile enough to be used by both professional and beginner woodworkers.