A drill press is a popular woodworking tool for boring holes, which can also be used to enlarge holes, smooth out edges and drill holes at an angle. You can do all of these things with a regular handheld drill.
However, a drill press can be useful as it’s more accurate, stable and can help you make precise holes.
Maybe you want to buy a drill press, but you’re having a hard time because there are so many drill presses in the market. I have good news for you! In this article, I will show you what to look for in a drill press so you can buy the right one.
The first factor you should pay attention to is the compactness of the drill press, especially if you don’t have much space for storage.
The floor-mounted type is obviously larger and more difficult to move around. If you have limited space, a benchtop drill press would be the better choice for you.
2. Drilling Capacity
Before buying a drill press, think about how much drilling capacity you’d need.
For instance, a floor drill press is more suitable for large projects as they have greater swing distance, stroke distance, as well as the distance between chuck and base. This will enable you to handle larger stocks easily.
Meanwhile, the benchtop variant has a smaller capacity, but is better for delicate tasks like craft woodworks.
3. Drilling Precision
For the best drilling precision, you should look for a drill press that can support micro-adjustments like output speed and feed rate. Both benchtop and floor drill presses have that features, just make sure to look for them.
But if you are planning to work on small-scale projects and craft woodworks, a mini drill press would be your best bet as it has the optimal precision.
4. Motor Power
Motor power is another factor that can be important when buying a drill press, as this can affect the hole size and material types you can work with. Bits with larger diameters and tough materials will need more power than smaller bits with low-density materials.
While there are heavy-duty drill presses with 1+ horsepower, ½ and 2/3 horsepower should be enough for regular, everyday drilling.
5. Drilling Speeds
A good drill press has variable speed outputs, although a wider speed range tends to be more expensive.
You should consider how much flexibility you’d need for the projects you plan on working, and try to look for models with which you can change the speeds quickly. While single-speed drill presses are cheap, I don’t really recommend buying them.
6. Chuck Type
The two main chuck types are keyless and keyed chucks. A keyless chuck is usually faster and more convenient as you don’t have to look for keys when inserting and removing bits.
A keyed chuck is more affordable, yet it is easy to lose the tiny key so you should definitely be careful about where you store it.
7. Chuck Capacity
The chuck size can determine the shank size of bits and accessories that you can use. Drill presses with larger motor power usually have a bigger chuck size as they can provide more torque to turn the larger bits.
The most popular chuck sizes that you can find are 1/2″ and 5/8″.
8. Table Size
You should also consider the table size of your drill press. Bigger tables are usually better, as this means that you can hold and secure any size of materials easily.
9. Customer Reviews
The next point that should be taken into account is existing customer reviews. Knowing what other people like and don’t like about a specific type or brand can definitely help your decision-making.
This can be even more useful than the official descriptions because you’re hearing immediately from real users of the product.
Lastly, you should have a budget before buying a drill press. The price range for this woodworking tool can vary wildly, from cheaper benchtop models to heavy-duty floor units.
While it might be wise to get an affordable drill press, don’t forget that quality matters in the long run too.
We hope this guide has been helpful in your decision to buy the best drill press for you. Remember to consider each of these points carefully, including the price you’re willing to pay for it.
You might also want to think about how often you’re going to use the drill press, as well as what for. Good luck!