By far one of the best additions to any metalworker or woodworker’s workshop is a drill press. It has so many advantages over a normal handheld drill as it gives you a higher level of control and precision over the hole you’re trying to make. While you won’t have the mobility that a hand-held drill will have, this is the tradeoff you have to consider.
Overall, drill presses give you a higher level of control over the drill speed as well as the angle of the hole is made. This is important when you’re trying to make exact/accurate holes across multiple pieces of wood. You can also drill wider holes as the motor in most drill presses is going to be much more powerful than a hand-held drill.
On top of the normal hole drilling, a drill press can also accomplish tasks like sanding, deburring, tapping, and mortising. Each of these functions come in very handy especially when woodworking.
When looking for a great drill press you will want to pay close attention to the motor amps and rotations per minute. If the amps or RPMs are too low, it may not hold up well against certain materials. We also suggest that every drill press comes with a laser guide system for accuracy and that the worktable tilts at least to a 45-degree angle for angular holes.
We have picked two of the best drills on the market that are both affordable but powerful and will give you an overview of their features, benefits, and shortcomings to help you decide on the best drill press for you.
Comparison of product features
Below you’ll see an overview of each drill presses features and how they compare to each other.
Drill Press Feature Breakdown
Let’s break down each of these drill presses and discuss what are their best features and what it can do for you.
- 3.2 Amp Motor: The 4210 drill presses motor is very powerful and is perfect for drilling into both soft and hard materials. Plastics, wood, and metal all perform well with this press making it a great choice for both woodworkers and metalworkers alike. While the motor can often become bogged down while drilling through steel, it still works great up to at least 1/2inch in thickness.
- 600-3100 RPM: You’ll love the speed variables of this drill press which has 5 different speed settings that start as low as 600 RPMs and can go as high as 3,100 RPMs. You’ll enjoy the slower speeds when drilling through metals, and the higher speeds when hammering through the wood.
- Angle/Laser: You’ll be able to adjust this drill press both left and right at a 45-degree angle which gives you so much flexibility when accomplishing different jobs. It also has a precision laser that lights up the drill area which helps to improve your productivity and accuracy.
- Drill Size: The 4210 is a bit bigger than most drill presses which will require you to have additional table space when setting it up. The larger size, however, is beneficial as the swing size is 10 inches which allows you to comfortably work with larger materials and allows the spindle to travel up to 2 ½ inches which allow you to bore even deeper holes.
SKIL 3320 Best Features
- 3.2 Amp Motor: The motor of the 3320 provides you with plenty of power to drill through almost all the materials you’ll encounter. With a ¼ horsepower motor, it’s a breeze through wood and handles most metals at a lower speed quite efficiently.
- 3050 RPM Speed: This drill has 5 different adjustable speed settings starting at 570 and ranging all the way up to 3050 rotations per minute. This range makes it practical for many different drilling needs with the lower settings good for soft metals and for detailed drills and the higher speeds great for quick-hit projects that require high productivity and efficiency. To modify the speeds, you’ll need to manually adjust the belts on the motor to move it between the 5-speed settings.
- Table/Angle: The surface of this drill press gives you an adjustable workstation made of a cast iron plate that is easily adjustable up and down with a crank handle. You can also angle the worktable up to 45 degrees both left and right making it simple and easy to drill at any angle. Simply clamp the material to the table and the drill does the rest.
- Laser System: The 3320 has a built-in laser beam system with a double beam that projects 2 laser lines on the workspace showing you exactly where to line up the wood. It’s simple and easy to adjust the lasers which are required each time you modify the workstation level.
- Bump Off Switch: One of the less well-known features of this drill press is that it comes with a bump-off switch located at the front of the unit with a safety key. This is extremely important so it doesn’t accidentally get used by children or accidentally cause injury. This is a great sign that the manufacturer cares about the safety of those purchasing the machine.
Pros and Cons of each Device
|WEN 4210||Powerful enough to drill through all wood and soft metals Affordable price for the good features Highly durable construction Laser and LED light for improved productivity and accuracy||Not powerful enough to drill through hard steel and more than ½ inch metal thickness Requires bolt loosening to tilt table|
|SKIL 3320||Laser light for accuracy Powerful 3.2 AMP motor great for wood and soft metals High RPMs and power for efficient and quick work||Speed setting requires manual belt adjustment Laser light requires batteries to use|
Each of these devices has great functionalities, but each come up short in different aspects. I’ll tell you the ones which I felt were most noticeable and important to know before making a decision.
WEN 4210 Dislikes
- Steel Limitations: While the 4210 has a strong motor and can handle most materials, it doesn’t often hold up against steel very well and will bog down when drilling through. Additionally, if you’re going to drill into metals thicker than 2 ½ inch you will want to ensure it’s done at the lowest speed setting and even then, do so with caution to ensure you don’t break the drill bit.
- Table Adjustments: You’ll notice right away when you adjust the angle of the worktable that it requires you to loosen the bolt. This is a tedious task which could have been improved by having a knob installed, but it isn’t a deal-breaker.
Also watch this video if you want to see a review:
SKIL 3320 Dislikes
- Manual Speed Adjustment: When changing the speeds of the 3320 it does require you to manually change the belt setting of the drill press. To do this you’ll have to manually loosen the tension knobs on each side and then adjust the belt to the appropriate setting.
- Laser Batteries: While we enjoy that this drill press has a built-in dual laser system, the wiring is not built into the main power source and requires AA batteries to operate. This can often cause issues long-term when the batteries die and you need the accuracy of the lasers.
Watch a review of Skil 3320:
When reviewing both of these you’ll notice they both have almost the same ability in terms of motor and rotations per minute which makes them pretty even matches in terms of ability to drill. You’ll find they both stand up against wood and soft metals equally and they both will still bog down with heavy metals like steel.
They also both have similar builds which is why their key differentiating factor is in the additional features you’ll find on each.
This is why overall, we feel the SKIL 3320 comes out on top in terms of performance and features as it comes with some of the following functionality:
- Can perform at a slightly lower speed of 570 RPMs which is needed for precision work.
- Built-in bump-off switch with a safety key for added safety for you and your family.
- Dual laser beam system for added precision and accuracy.
- Easy to adjust the platform and overall compact size of the drill makes it portable and easy to transport.
- While still maintaining most of the same stats, it comes at almost half the price of the WEN 4210
We definitely know you’ll be happy with either choice, but knowing the difference is important when making a purchase. Purchasing a drill press is one of the most important machines for any workshop to increase your accuracy and precision. Whether you’re just doing at home DIY projects or you’re a professional carpentry shop making furniture, you’ll be happy with either of the two drill presses to tackle those projects.