There are two types of drill presses, and these are floor drill presses and benchtop drill presses. Floor drill presses feature full-length columns with heights that vary anywhere between 56″ to 68″. Their bases are wider than benchtop drill presses to ensure that they can hold the weight of the motor and the head. Their swing sizes are typically wider than that of benchtop drill presses, and they bore deeper holes, too. In general, floor drill presses are constructed for heavy-duty use, making them more suitable for professional use.
Benchtop drill presses are built for smaller and lighter projects. They are shorter than floor drill presses, allowing you to set them on top of a workbench. These portable drill presses are ideal for smaller projects, but there are small bench drill presses that are rugged enough that they can be used for professional settings.
In this article, we’re going to focus on benchtop drill presses. With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the best benchtop drill presses on the market right now.
If you’re planning to drill holes on lighter materials or you’re planning to use the machine only occasionally, then it’s best to get a small drill press with a 3/4 HP motor. But if you’re looking for something that you can use for business or if you’re planning to use the power tool every day, then it is recommended for you to get a drill press equipped with a 1/2 HP motor or higher.
Variable Speed Setting
Some drill presses feature 5 speeds, while others have as much as 16 speeds. This feature allows you to choose which speed setting is ideal for the material you’re working on. If you’re boring holes on wood, for example, then it is recommended to choose a higher speed setting. But if you’re working on metal or other thicker materials, then it’s best to switch to a slower speed setting.
13″. 10″. 20″. These measurements are frequently found in the titles and product descriptions of drill presses, but what do they mean? These are swing sizes and these numbers indicate the distance between the drill press column and the machine’s chuck.
So why is it important? Well, this measurement determines whether you can work on a wider piece of wood or not. Let’s say you have a 10″ drill press. To be able to drill a hole in your workpiece, the distance between the hole and the column should be no more than 5″. If you need to drill a hole in wider workpieces, then you’ll need a drill press with a larger swing size.
Maximum Quill Travel
If you frequently drill holes on thicker pieces of wood or metal, then quill travel will be a crucial factor in choosing the right drill press for you. Quill travel, also known as quill stroke, refers to how far down the chuck and bit can travel when you crank the machine’s handle.
The WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press, for example, is ideal for thinner pieces of wood as its maximum quill travel is set at 2″. The Grizzly Industrial G7945 Radial Drill Press, on the other hand, can bore up to 3 1/4″. Some heavy-duty drill presses can drill as much as 6″ holes in thicker pieces of wood or metal.
What a drill press can do is pretty basic, but did you know that there are other unique things you can do with it? Check out this interesting video to learn more.
What else may a drill press be used for besides drilling holes?
The primary use of a drill press is to drill holes, especially large-bore holes or holes that don’t go completely through the wood, although the equipment has other uses. With the proper bit or accessory, your drill press may also be used to drill square holes, deburr wood or metal, sand or clean wood and metal, and polish or buff wood or metal surfaces.
Can I utilize the same drill bits in my drill press and my portable power drill?
As a general rule, you can use the same bits with your drill press that you do with your corded or cordless power drill, as long as the shank size of the bit does not exceed the chuck size of your drill press (the most common chuck size for a conventional tabletop drill press is 1/2 inch). On the other hand, drill presses can take larger diameter bits than a typical power drill, which is one of their primary benefits.
Is it possible to replace the drill press with a regular drill?
If you only need the precision of a drill press for one project, you may not want to buy the entire tool. If you don’t want to drill huge holes or into tough materials, you can get comparable results by using a frame designed to hold a corded or cordless drill in place while you use it. These frames rotate, allowing you to precisely position the drill and keep it far more stable throughout operation than you could with your hand alone.