Best Drill Press for Woodworking

In every woodworking shop, you’ll find an assortment of drills all around that are used for drilling into wood, concrete, or metal. For the typical DIY simple tasks and on-the-go jobs, a handheld drill will work great to accomplish the job needed.

For going beyond basic jobs, any professional woodworker will need a drill press as will go way beyond simple hole punching into wood. A drill press is more stable to use, has a higher level of accuracy, will take care of large wood with a breeze, and can even do some light grinding/sanding as well.

There’s a pretty wide selection of drill presses available today with different features depending on if you need it for a hobbyist or a more industrial use situation. A standard drill press is heavy and powerful and is stands on its own in the shop. In our guide below, we’ve done the hard work for you of checking each of the best drill presses for woodworking and sorting out the details important for you.

Best Drill Press for Woodworking

Drill Press Reviews

WEN 4208

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  • 38.1 Lbs in weight
  • Speeds ranging from 740-3140 rotations per minute
  • 120 Volts and 1/3 Horsepower
  • Dimensions 1.5 x 22.9 x 11 inches
  • Adjustable table

This When drill press is strong and durable and able to hold up against its competition with its max 3,140 RPMs. Its flexible design allows you to expand the work table to allow larger pieces of wood to be used. You’ll be satisfied with the quality of tis drill press considering it’s 120 volts and 60-hertz induction motor with 1/3 HP of torque.

Pros:

  • While the induction motor is small, it has 1/3 horsepower which is enough to drill through the different density of materials.
  • Onboard key storage for easy accessibility.
  • 8-inch swing and 45-degree bevel
  • High RPM bandwidth from 740 to 3,140 rotations per minute
Cons:

  • A table is small especially when working with large pieces of wood.
  • Bogs down on hardwoods.

This WEN drill has a lot of really great features that make it easy and convenient to use. The onboard key storage is easily accessible to you since it’s right on the machine itself. If you need to get the chuck key, you won’t have to go searching for it anymore.

We also liked that the key chuck accepts up to ½ inch drill bits so the range of drill hole sizes that you can make is quite varied. You’ll also enjoy the beveling worktable of the WEN 4208 as it can do a 45-degree bevel both to the right and the left so you’ll get any angular holes accurate and efficient.

While this drill press is suitable for most jobs, we found that as a standalone build it was difficult to work with many pieces of wood due to the very small table. In order to effectively work, we had to build an additional table to help support the wood. While this isn’t a deal-breaker, it definitely made working without additional support troublesome.

The Wen 4208 has a strong motor and will drill through hardwoods, but it will slow down when working with hardwoods requiring more time and slowing down projects when dealing with thick pieces.


SKIL 3320-01

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  • 3.2 Amp Motor
  • 45 degree left and right tilting work surface
  • ½ inch key chuck
  • Laser beam system
  • Variable speeds from 570-3050 RPM
  • Adjustable depth stop

If you’re looking for a drill press that has many great attributes to help you accomplish difficult tasks, the SKIL 3320 is one of our favorites. With its strong motor and laser guide, you’ll have no issues handling any woodworking tasks that are thrown your way.

The SKIL 3320 is equipped with many features including the adjustable depth control, different speed variations, adjustable work surface, and large chuck makes this a perfect choice for most home DIY and small professional projects.

Pros:

  • Quiet motor
  • Durable and sturdy construction
  • Easy to assemble and shut down
  • Adjustable motor
  • Table Angle up to 45 degrees

Cons:

  • Laser light battery operated
  • Manual belt speed change required
  • No built-in light (except laser)

The best thing about the SKIL 3320 is that it has a powerful motor with 3.2 amps that keeps the 120V drill press going strong. It also supports up to 5 different speeds including 570, 900,1390, 2050, and 3050 by adjusting the belt.

The laser beam system has two different lasers allowing you to know exactly where to position the drill and wood for precise measurements.

The SKIL 3320 is built with strong and durable with cast iron making it perfect if you want a long-lasting drill for your shop. The worktable is also a cast iron plate so it will also last you longer than the others made from hard plastic. You can also tilt the work surface up to 45 degrees so you can drill angled holes into most wood.

While we really liked the built-in laser, we were a bit disappointed that it wasn’t connected to the main power system. It does require a separate battery-operated box in order for it to work. Connecting this to the power system of the rest of the device would have made it a much more efficient operation.

The other pain-point of the SKIL 3320 is that any speed change in RPM requires you to manually adjust the belt on top of the device. There is no automatic button that allows you to change the speed of the device. To change the speed, you’ll have to remove the top cover and change the belt tension. After the first few times you’ll find it’s a fairly quick process, while tedious.


ShopSeries by Rockwell RK7033

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  • 6.2-amp motor
  • Adjustable table height
  • 45-degree bevel both left and right
  • 5 different speed settings ranging from 620-3100 RPMs
  • Supports up to a ½ inch drill chuck

 This Rockwell Drill press by ShopSeries is a heavy-duty piece of equipment with a 6.2-amp powerful motor that doesn’t bog down and will allow you to plow through lots of work each day without falling behind. You’ll enjoy it’s tilting table and multiple adjustable speed settings and appreciate the accuracy of work completed on every drill.

Pros:

  • Low price, but durable and strong build
  • 5 speeds which make it perfect for both thick or soft wood.
  • Strong and powerful motor for speedy and efficient work

Cons:

  • Small work table
  • Product comes disassembled

For the price of this model, you’ll be happy to know that it has a 2/3 horsepower motor with 6.2 amps so you’ll be able to tackle all of those big jobs when working on construction sites or large projects. It also has 5 different speed ranges between 620 to 3100 rotations per minute so you can adjust it to fit your needs.

The table is adjustable to allow you to change it depending on the thickness of the wood and it also flips both left and right to a 45-degree angle in case you need to drill an angled hole.

The biggest downfall of this unit is that you’ll need to assemble it when it arrives as it comes in pieces so you’ll have to take the time to put it together prior to use in the shop. This definitely isn’t a deal-breaker since most of those purchasing this press are already adept to construction projects.

The table of the RK7033 is also a bit smaller than I’d like which can make it hard to clamp down certain pieces of wood to the surface.


WEN 4214

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  • 590 – 3200 RPMs
  • 120V motor
  • 5/8-inch key chuck
  • LED Display
  • 45-degree bevel

This WEN power tool is a very powerful one to have in your workshop both for DIY home use or for industrial use. It has a strong 120 V motor including a laser module for accurate holes. We also love that it has a 5/8” key chuck which is a bit larger than the normal drill press that has only a ½” key chuck.

Pros:

  • Good depth adjustment and bevel angle.
  • Great speed with a strong 2/3 HP motor.
  • Strong and sturdy steel build.

Cons:

  • Not suitable for most metals especially steel.

You can drill at speeds from 580 to 3200 RPMs with the powerful 2/3 HP motor to back it up, it’s perfect for both soft and hard woods and some soft metals. To change the speeds, simply switch the speed regulator and it automatically changes the belt position. You’ll like that it has an LED display that clearly shows the current speed and has a laser guide to ensure accurate placement and hole drilling.

We also are happy the worktable adjusts to a 45-degree angle both left and right so you can have the perfect tilt. The flexibility of the worktable makes it really easy to accomplish most jobs.

We didn’t find much about this product that we didn’t like in terms of design except that there was no spindle lock which we found lacking. It also didn’t perform well when drilling through metals even though it has a strong motor, it wasn’t designed for hard metal like steel. If you have simple punch jobs through soft metals, it will still do well.


Dremel 220-01 Rotary Tool

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  • Compatible with most Dremel Rotary tool models
  • Adjustable height between 16=29 inches
  • Tilt-able drill press in 15 degree increments up to 90 degrees
  • Flexible accessories used for drilling, routing, sharpening, cutting, grinding, cleaning and polishing
  • Compatible with Dremel models 100, 200, 300, 400, 800, 275, 285, 395, 3000, 4000, 4200, 8100, 8200, and 8220.

If you’re looking for a very affordable alternative to a heavy-duty drill press, the Dremel 220-01 is perfect for you. This compact little workstation is a great addition to any household as it allows you to turn your normal rotary tool into a functional drill press.

There are numerous tasks you can complete with this workstation from simple drilling to wood carving, and much more. While this won’t hold up in a professional or industrial environment, it’s absolutely perfect for at home DIY projects.

Pros:

  • Heavy steel base
  • Compatible with most Dremel rotary drills
  • Tool holder and crow’s nest built in
  • Adjustable up to 90 degrees angle

Cons:

  • Single nut fastens the rotary drill
  • Clamps are made from cheaper plastic
  • Not meant for heavy-duty jobs

First thing you should know is that this is not a normal drill press unit, but rather a drill workstation where you can mount your existing rotary tool to it. This is perfect for DIY home enthusiasts as it means you don’t have to invest a lot of money to have a functioning drill press. Simply purchase this workstation and use it with your existing Dremel rotary tool.

This model comes with a stationary tool holder and a crow’s nest at the top for storage. One of the best parts about it is it has an adjustable table that tilts in 15-degree increments from 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, and 90 degrees relative to the horizontal plate.

The only downfalls about this model are that it’s not meant for heavy-duty jobs or for industrial use. This is meant for simple tasks around the house. Additionally, while the unit has a heavy metal base, and most of the build is strong, there is only one fastener for the rotary drill which means it sometimes can become unstable while drilling which can cause inaccuracy issues. For most DIY tasks, this isn’t a big issue though.


WEN 4210

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  • Speed variations from 600 to 3100 RPMs
  • 5 different speed settings
  • 3.2-amp motor
  • Worktable angles up to a 45-degree angle
  • Equipped with precision laser and table light

This WEN drill is a bit more expensive than its prior models, but it also packs a punch in terms of power! With a full 3.2 Amp motor, it’s considered one of the best in terms of power for drilling into harder materials like steel. You’ll love how it can fly through any thickness of wood with speed and precision.

Pros:

  • Comfortably drill through almost all substances
  • Strong 3.2 HP motor
  • Great speed from 600 to 3,100 RPMs
  • Affordable price for the performance
  • Built in lights and laser guide

Cons:

  • While powerful enough to punch through steel, we don’t suggest it for really thick metals

The 4210 model is slightly larger than most drill press models, which is why it can drill a bit stronger than the smaller models. It has a 10-inch swing and can hold a ½ inch chuck for drilling. We appreciated that the WEN team made sure to also increase the table size which is big enough to keep materials stable when clamped down.

The lighted drill area and built-in laser as well as the overall stability of the platform makes it certain that you can have extremely accurate holes drilled. Coupled with the speed of this drill, you’ll be able to utilize this both in the home workshop or in an industrial space. Overall this is one of our favorite drills for large projects.

While I am comfortable using this model to drill through all substances, I still don’t suggest using it for drilling through really thick steel. To preserve the long-term viability of the 4210, if you’re drilling into thick metals you should purchase a heavy-duty drill for that.


Gino Development 01-0822

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  • 0-8500 RPM speed
  • 3 speed settings
  • ¼ inch chuck with chuck key included

This Gino Development drill isn’t the most well-known on the market, but it’s quite the little power-driller and shouldn’t be overlooked. With 3 variable speeds up to 8500 RPMs, it’s a great choice for simple straight-hole projects for around the house.

Pros:

  • Small and portable device
  • Variable speed control
  • High rotations per minute for fast and quick jobs

Cons:

  • Not meant for long continuous use

The 01-0822 drill by Gino Development doesn’t look flashy or complex, and that’s because it’s not. It’s an affordable drill that you can keep around the house for quick jobs or as a backup if your main drill crashes on you.

While we weren’t able to determine the horsepower of the motor, it can spin really fast – up to 8500 rotations per minute which is faster than most drills. It also has an adjustable speed control dial to switch from slow, medium, and fast.

While it’s a great drill for simple projects, it’s not meant for continuous use but rather for simple punch jobs. Using it for an extended amount of time will ruin the device. We typically kept this one around as a backup or as a quick-hit job.


How to choose a drill press for woodworking – Buying Guide

using drill press to mae hole in wooden plank

If you’re new to drill presses, but you’re into woodworking, well here’s our ultimate buyer’s guide to choosing the best drill press for you.

Type: First you have to select what type of drill press and size. The two main drill press types are a bench type drill press which mounts on top of a workbench in your shop. The other type is a floor type drill press which is a standalone unit that is fastened to the floor directly. Each have their own benefits depending on the need. If you’re working on smaller home projects, a bench type is suitable. If you’re working in a construction site or on heavy duty projects, you’ll want a floor type instead.

Size: The drill press is made of the base, the column, and the head so when you’re determining the area to place the drill press, ensure there is plenty of space both above and to the left and right of the drill press. You’ll be utilizing different sizes of wood and some will be long and some will be angled so ensure you have enough space on all sides when determining where to attach it.

Power: If you’re going to using the drill press for woodworking, you’ll want to ensure you use one that runs on electricity. Any drill that is battery powered won’t have enough power to be considered a great drill press. You’ll also want to ensure it has enough power to drive through some tough wood. A good drill press will have around ½ horsepower which is plenty for most woodworking projects.

Speed: The speed of the drill press is measured in the rotations per minute which although it’s important to have a high-speed drill, often you need to make sure it has both slow settings and fast settings since you’ll need it to be flexible when drilling into different materials. A good range is between 500 and 3000 RPMs.

drilling a wooden board

Functionality: While a drill press is used primarily for drilling holes down into the wood, they are also made quite flexible so you can utilize them for sanding, beveling, mortise machine, and even engraving/decorating wood. That’s what makes a drill press as great is it can be used for many different functions all packed into one machine.

Height/Angle: One important piece to consider when purchasing a drill press is the table flexibility. You’ll want a table that can be moved up and down within at least 10-15 inches for thick wood. You’ll also want it to be able to tilt both left and right up to a 45-degree angle as you’ll need to drill holes into the wood at a vertical angle. If it doesn’t tilt, you may want to think twice before buying it as you’ll not have the flexibility of other drills that you would want.


What is the best drill press for woodworking?

If you’re short on time and want a quick answer for the best drill press for woodworking, then we’ve done the hard part for you. Our choice on the best drill press for woodworking is the WEN 4208.

You can read above on the specifics about the drill, but with 5 speeds ranging from an RPM of 620-3100, ½ inch key chuck, 2-inch spindle travel, 1/3 HP, and an adjustable table up to 45 degrees makes it an overall perfect drill at a very affordable price of less than $100.


FAQ

How much hp is necessary for a drill press for woodworking?
While drilling into wood doesn’t require a heavy-duty drill motor, it’s still safe to say that you should find a drill press with at least 1/3 or ½ HP. Lower than that, and you may end up struggling with handling the harder wood. Higher than ½ HP motor, and you’ll just be overdoing it. When using a 1/3 HP motor if it begins to struggle on thick wood, just slow it down and you’ll still get through the job just fine.
How to do milling with a drill press for woodworking?
While it really isn’t suggested to use a drill press for milling (and if not done right, you can cause damage and injury), but if you do want to attempt it you’ll first need a drill press and then to create a simple sliding table with a clamp to hold the wood in place and slide it along the track. While it’s not the best setup, often you’ll end up spending more time and money purchasing the supplies to make the gig than a mill will cost you.
How to use a drill press for woodworking?

If you’re looking to do some woodworking, a standard hand-held drill can typically get holes drilled into wood, however, you won’t achieve the accuracy necessary for some jobs. This is where a drill press comes in.

No matter what the size of the machine, they normally all work the same. The motor is mounted on the top of a device that allows you to position it on top of wood and it comes with a wheel that allows you to push the drill down and back up. The drill press typically comes with some specific bits that allows you to cut decorative designs into wood, bore a square for furniture, and has a table that can be adjusted for angular holes. Simply clamp the wood to the table and bring the drill down on the surface to make the needed hole.

What size drill press for woodworking is the best?
The size of the drill press you need will mostly depend on the task you need it for. If you only use your drill press for simple DIY tasks, you can probably utilize a cheaper model with between 0-3000 RPMs. If you’re looking to take on large projects that require a heavy capacity then you might want to invest in a floor drill press rather than a benchtop drill press that can go up to 8,000 RPMs. Most of the drills in this article were not meant for heavy duty industrial use.
What can you do with a drill press?

By far one of the best investments that a woodworker or metalworker can get is a drill press. There are so many more advantages over a normal drill including accuracy and control that are required for precise projects.

A drill press really gives you full control over the speed of the drill, allows for larger holes to be made, drills at defined angles accurately, and it can be used for tapping, sanding, and deburring.

How much does a drill press cost?

If you’re looking for a standard tabletop drill press, there are many different options available on the market. You can get a decent tabletop drill press that can be used for most wood for under $100 USD. If you’re looking to drill into more heavy materials like thick wood, hard wood, metals, and steel you may want to invest in a stronger drill which ranges from $100-300.

The stand-up drill presses, however, is a much bigger investment and typically will range over $500 and is meant for industrial high-repetition for use in large workshops and industry spaces.

How to remove the chuck from drill press?
Drill presses typically come with a special tool that allows you to remove the chuck. This is the normal way to remove it as the removal tool is specifically shaped to fit into the access point on the drill press. Simply insert the chuck removal tool into the opening above the chuck, then hammer against it until the chuck falls out of the press. Be sure to clean the chuck prior to reinstalling it into the drill press.
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