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How To Choose The Best Drill Press


A drill press is one of the most important and most often used tools in any workshop. Whether you run a professional workshop, do a bit of DIY or projects, it is a valuable tool to have. The fastest way to get precise drilling at the exact depth required is to use the best drill press, the list of the top-rated models you can find here.

The challenge, however, is knowing how to select a drill press for your needs and not to overpay. Here are some things to think about before you buy a drill press:

Drill press types

There are two main types available:

Floor models

If you have space and like to do larger projects, a floor model will be more suitable. Such presses offer a wide range of accessories and are generally powerful and accurate. They can work on larger projects. A floor drill press is more flexible and allows you to raise and lower the surface and it can be titled when necessary.

Bench models

If space is at a premium and you will be working mainly on small to medium projects then a bench model is a great choice. They are not so precise but they get the job done and do not take up much space.


The next most important consideration is how much power you will need. This is measured in horsepower. This decision will largely be based on the type of work you intend doing and what materials you will work with. Larger holes or harder materials will need more horsepower.

The average motor range is from ¼ to 1 horsepower. Give some serious thought to this factor before deciding. Greater power will make your drill press more versatile and allow you to work on a wider range of materials.


This is measured from the motor column (the long part that keeps the motor in place) to the center of the bore (the part where the drill bit is) and then doubled. That is easier to understand with an example. So, if you have, say a 16-inch drill press you will be able to drill an 8-inch hole from the edge of the material.

It is also known as the swing of the drill press and determines the largest diameter material the drill press can work on. This is the same way lathe sizes are calculated.

Variable speed

Different materials or actions need different drill speeds so a variable speed setting is essential. For instance, a high speed used on most wood surfaces is likely to burn the wood. You want a drill press that is easy to adjust for a range of speed options.

Depth Stop

If you want a consistent drilling depth the depth stop will do this for you. You can set it to the exact drilling depth that you need and it will deliver consistent holes of the same depth every time. It is handy when you need multiple holes drilled to the same depth. This feature will make your work faster, neater and more accurate.

Table quality

You want a table that is solid and stable. It should also be easy to adjust. Some tables also have the option to swivel which could come in handy.


Less weight will offer portability which is important to some while more weight will make the drill press more stable. You need to decide on what your needs are to determine the best option.


A drill press can do so much more than just drill. It is important to consider the attachments that are available or compatible with the model you consider. These could include a drill fence, sanding drums, mortising attachments, and other accessories.


If you buy a reputable brand you have peace of mind knowing that you will be able to service the drill press when necessary and will be able to get spare parts. This does not mean you have to purchase the most expensive brand name but stick to companies with a good reputation.

Built-In Light

Not all drill presses have this feature but it can be very handy. They are normally adjustable and will make your work easier and more accurate.


The price of a drill press can range from extremely affordable to rather expensive. Obviously, a larger, more powerful drill press with a host of features will be more expensive than a smaller more basic model. Again, consider your requirements and your budget before making your investment. Spending too little and not getting what you need will be frustrating while it is pointless spending extra on power and features you might not need.

Final thoughts

There are a number of important factors to consider before investing in a drill press. This guide should give you some direction and help with the choice. Give some thought to what you intend to do with the drill press, both now and in the future. This will help ensure you get the best drill press for your needs.


This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from and other Amazon websites.

Written by Nat Sauteed

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