A drill press is an essential tool for any shop that frequently drills precision holes in a variety of materials. A drill press can also drill to accurate depths which is more difficult with handheld power drills.
If you drill larger holes in tougher materials or need to drill precision holes at an angle, a drill press is really the only way to go.
What should you consider when buying a new drill press?
The published size of a drill press is 2X its throat depth or swing. Throat depth is the distance from the chuck to the column. This depth determines the width of cutting material that a drill press can accommodate. A 12-inch drill press can drill a hole in the middle of 12-inch wide materials.
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Stroke length determines how far the tool can drill into the material. An inexpensive benchtop drill press may not have the stroke length to drill completely through a 4×4 in a single pass. If you need a longer stroke length you should choose a floor standing model.
Your tool choices include popular benchtop models, floor-standing models, magnetic models, and radial drill presses.
Benchtop Models are popular because of their lower prices and the fact that they can be mounted to a benchtop and don’t need to take up floor space in your shop. Most benchtop models are rated for home or light commercial use.
Floor Standing Models give you the advantage of larger swings, longer strokes, and more power to drill larger holes through denser materials.
Radial Models give you the capability to drill precision angled holes in your desired materials and deliver larger swings.
Magnetic Models are portable drill presses that can drill precision holes in structural steel and other metals in situations where it would be time-consuming and cumbersome to maneuver large steel or pipe into position on a stationary drill press. A mag drill can be used in any position, even upside down.
Not just for drilling, these tools can also be equipped with optional attachments that turn it into a sander, pocket hole or mortise driller, or a buffer.
We searched tool forums, manufacturers sites, consumer sites, customer review sites, social media, and retail sites to find the most popular and highly rated bench drill press.
Take a look at our choice and see if it’s the best drill press for your needs!
You may not be familiar with the WEN brand. They have been designing and distributing high quality and affordable power tools for decades. Founded by Nick Anton back in 1951, WEN originally made its mark by helping bring tools and electricity together (putting the power into power tools). Their research and development team played a vital role in helping to develop a variety of common everyday tools such as the chainsaw, the electric soldering gun, the electric jigsaw, the electric engraver, and the knife and wet wheel sharpeners. WEN even pioneered random orbital technology; the technology seen in most polishers, waxers, and buffers today that gives cars everywhere the streak-free shine they deserve.
These days they continue to grow by expanding into a variety of power tools including drill presses, tool chests, bench grinders, nailers, miter saws, hand tools, generators, and air compressors to name a few. They are headquartered right here in the USA in Elgin, Illinois where they continue to help woodworkers and artisans around the world execute on their designs.
Their WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Press is a perfect example of their dedication to high-quality tools at reasonable prices. Capable of drilling a 5/8-inch hole through cast iron, it also allows you to control its speed to tailor the drill press to a specific task’s material requirements. Built to last, it has a powerful induction motor with ball bearings that produce more balanced performance. Its beveling worktable allows you to attain the perfect position for consistent right-angle drilling. An integrated X-pattern laser pinpoints your drill target removing the guesswork and accidental waste of valuable materials. Convenience features include a depth adjustment gauge and onboard work light.
Drill Press: Features
- 5-Amp, 12-Inch, variable speed press with 3-1/8-inch spindle travel and 5/8-inch keyed chuck
- Powerful 5-Amp, 2/3 HP, ball bearing induction motor delivers long life and balanced performance
- Infinitely variable speed operation with LED digital speed readout lets you accurately adjust drill bit speed between 580 and 3,200 RPM with the simple turn of a lever and delivers equal torque throughout the range
- 5/8-inch chuck with MT2 spindle taper gives you versatility with a variety of bits and features on-board chuck key storage
- Drill press table bevels 45-degrees left and right for those tricky operations for the perfect right angles consistently
- Precision X-pattern laser locks-on to your drill points, saving on guesswork and sparing expensive materials
- Locking linear depth adjustment gauge limits spindle travel using depth adjustment knobs for more accurate and repeatable drilling
- An onboard work light provides maximum visibility and precision in low light conditions
- 9-1/2 x 9-1/2 inches cast iron worktable features rack and pinion height adjustment
- 17-inch table roller extension provides better support for longer work pieces
- 2-Year limited warranty
- 1 – Table roller extension
- 1 – Chuck key
- 1 – Set assembly tools
- Quality construction and materials
- Accurate drilling
- Outstanding, powerful performance
- Plenty of useful features make it an excellent value
- Some complaints about inconvenient depth adjustment mechanism
- Wobble in chuck prevents high-precision drilling
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What do you think of this benchtop drill press? Which drill press are you planning to buy? Please take a moment to leave a comment below.
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A drill press is a valuable tool in any shop where you have to drill precision holes through a variety of materials without damaging either the materials or the drill press. We sincerely hope that this article has provided you with valuable information that helps you choose the best drill press for your needs!