Select Page

Best Benchtop Drill in 2020 – information and  Reviews

A great way for DIY enthusiasts to enter the precise drilling world, the benchtop press is ideal for the garage or home workshop. They can be mounted on a bench or table, but should remain in place, as they are very heavy. If you’re looking for a product to work with thick materials, a floor press is probably a better option. Our best benchtop drill press reviews and advice will help you make your mind up — and choose the right product.

bg
  • Product Name:
  • Price:
  • Rating:
Craftsman 10 Product Image
  • CRAFTSMAN 10 IN BENCH DRILL PRESS
  • $$
Small Benchtop Drill Press DRL 300.00 Product Image
  • EUROTOOL SMALL BENCHTOP DRILL PRESS
  • $
Craftsman 10 Product Image
  • CRAFTSMAN 10 IN BENCH DRILL PRESS
  • $$
Small Benchtop Drill Press DRL 300.00 Product Image
  • EUROTOOL SMALL BENCHTOP DRILL PRESS
  • $

Things to consider before buying a Benchtop Drill Press


R

Good For

A benchtop drill press is a great tool both for professionals and enthusiasts. It is a powerful and versatile machine that is capable of drilling a cylindrical hole through any material, depending on your requirements. However, these machines are most commonly used for drilling through wood. When it comes to main advantages, there are a few things these units thrive in. The first thing people look in these drills is power. On top of that, most of the latest models on the market feature variable speed settings meaning you can get the same amount of torque through the entire speed range.

It may not be the best thing for absolute novices due to its somewhat complex mechanisms, but a benchtop drill press is definitely something you should consider looking into, especially if you’re an avid woodworker. 

Q

Not Recommended For

As mentioned, absolute beginners might have some issues along the way, when it comes to utilizing the full potential of these units. While there are a couple of light-duty models out there, the vast majority of units on the market are heavy-duty and foreseen for particularly demanding projects. In other words, you probably won’t need a benchtop press too often unless you’re dealing with wood on a daily basis. On the other hand, if you’re proficient with tools in general, getting the hang of a drill press shouldn’t be a daunting task for you at all. In fact, it’s recommended that you look into these units in case you’re looking for something sufficiently versatile and yet specific enough for your requirements.

Some people don’t like the price of these as they tend to cost quite a bit. However, there is no need to worry because there are plenty of affordable models that offer similar features as the more expensive ones but for less money.

Top-Rated Benchtop Drill Press


Shop Fox W1668 – Editor’s Choice


Our Rating: 4.9

The W1668 model offers a good amount of versatility, power, and performance. It features a ¾ HP motor and 250-3050 RPM spindle speeds. The drill chuck is ⅝ inch and a three-piece spindle sander drum kit is included. As you can tell, this particular machine is designed to cover most of your benchtop drilling needs.

The design is neat, reliable, and sturdy. The focal point of this particular drill is the tilting table, which allows for versatility of applications. It can tilt at a 90-degree angle — both left and right. On top of that, you can adjust the height of the table to accommodate for workpiece height or sanding angles. 

The best thing about this table is that it can be removed in case you want to use the drill press base as a table instead. Furthermore, one of the most notable things about this model is its ability to change into a sanding unit within seconds. All it takes is a few tool-less steps and you’re ready to go.

When it comes to disadvantages, there aren’t many, but some reviewers complained about the poor packaging when the product was received. Machines were delivered damaged or with pieces missing. While it’s not a mechanical downside, it’s still important to bring this issue up so that you are aware of potential problems with shipping companies. The user manual is not well-written and lacks a bunch of crucial instructions. Luckily, plenty of info is available online, if you do run into issues.

WEN 4212


Our Rating: 4.4

Wen is a well-known manufacturer of quality, yet affordable, heavy-duty tools. This particular tool can easily power through various materials, including metal, plastic, wood, etc. 

The design is generally conventional, although some features are more than you expect in a standard  drill press unit. It has an LED screen, for example, which displays the speed so that the user is always aware of the current RPM. This comes in handy for quite a few applications, especially when it comes to processing metal. 

The worktable can tilt to both left and right at a 45-degree angle, meaning you can perform angled cuts by simply adjusting the appropriate lever. The mechanical speed adjustment function is also worth mentioning. This allows you to adjust the speed as needed, without sacrificing the torque and power output. One of the most useful things, when it comes to precision and adjustability, is the depth-adjustment gauge located on the handle. It allows you to limit the spindle travel for higher accuracy and precision.

There aren’t many shortcomings, but some things may present an issue to some people. For example, a few users found it to be underpowered for some applications. The manufacturer claims it’s good for heavy-duty tasks, but this is not entirely true. It’s a good tool for lightweight projects, but you shouldn’t expect much. However, if you’re looking for a versatile machine that doesn’t cost much more than a handheld version, this model might be an interesting choice. It isn’t the best thing on the market by any means, but it’s good value for money.

WEN 4212


Our Rating: 4.4

Wen is a well-known manufacturer of quality, yet affordable, heavy-duty tools. This particular tool can easily power through various materials, including metal, plastic, wood, etc. 

The design is generally conventional, although some features are more than you expect in a standard  drill press unit. It has an LED screen, for example, which displays the speed so that the user is always aware of the current RPM. This comes in handy for quite a few applications, especially when it comes to processing metal. 

The worktable can tilt to both left and right at a 45-degree angle, meaning you can perform angled cuts by simply adjusting the appropriate lever. The mechanical speed adjustment function is also worth mentioning. This allows you to adjust the speed as needed, without sacrificing the torque and power output. One of the most useful things, when it comes to precision and adjustability, is the depth-adjustment gauge located on the handle. It allows you to limit the spindle travel for higher accuracy and precision.

There aren’t many shortcomings, but some things may present an issue to some people. For example, a few users found it to be underpowered for some applications. The manufacturer claims it’s good for heavy-duty tasks, but this is not entirely true. It’s a good tool for lightweight projects, but you shouldn’t expect much. However, if you’re looking for a versatile machine that doesn’t cost much more than a handheld version, this model might be an interesting choice. It isn’t the best thing on the market by any means, but it’s good value for money.

Craftsman 10 in Bench Drill Press


Our Rating: 4.3

This unit is a great solution for people who want a high-quality tool for an affordable price. It features a 6-amp motor, which allows you to choose between five operating speeds, ranging between 620 and 3100 RPM. Adjusting the height of the worktable is also quite easy, thanks to the rack-and-pinion table elevation mechanism.

The Craftsman is easy to set up and use in a matter of minutes. What makes this design somewhat special is the laser. It provides accurate X and Y axis projection, allowing for better positioning of the workpiece. It’s a function that DIYers and professionals will appreciate. The drill table tilts both to the left and right, at a 45-degree angle. This allows you to perform angled cuts with a single pull of a lever. The table is made of cast iron, which is the go-to material for most components as it guarantees reliability and sturdiness.

Several users complained about quality control, in particular the quality of assembly. Some units weren’t properly calibrated, which resulted in poor performance and a bad experience. It’s a good machine for hobby work, but may struggle with serious projects, especially if you’re a professional who uses a drill press on a daily basis.

The price is good, but there are other tools that offer similar features for less. The fact that it’s made by Craftsman adds to the price, but gives you the peace of mind of a reputable company.

Skil 3320-01


Our Rating: 4.0

This five-speed, 10-inch press is a great tool for weekend woodworkers. It’s not an ideal solution for professionals, but it’s ideal for hobbyists who are looking for high precision and power at an affordable price. Skil is a well-known manufacturer of quality tools, and this particular product is no exception.

The design is quite similar to others, with a few exceptions. The first and most notable one is the X2, two-beam laser, which ensures precise alignments. Furthermore, the depth adjustment system allows you to drill with consistency at all times. The five-speed range comes in handy if you’re planning on handling different materials and applications. 

The worktable can tilt to both sides at a 45-degree angle. The panic stop button located on the front of the chassis is a great addition — we feel that it’s an essential feature for increased safety..

The downsides are few, but there are some things you should be aware of. The machine works well when it comes to processing wood and other soft materials, but it underperforms with metals, such as aluminum and steel. 

The worktable has a tendency to wobble and move, even when tightened correctly. However, the price is more than acceptable, which means you are going to get what you pay for. One of the biggest advantages of this particular model is the above-mentioned X2 laser — you wouldn’t normally find such a feature in this price bracket.

Skil 3320-01


Our Rating: 4.0

This five-speed, 10-inch press is a great tool for weekend woodworkers. It’s not an ideal solution for professionals, but it’s ideal for hobbyists who are looking for high precision and power at an affordable price. Skil is a well-known manufacturer of quality tools, and this particular product is no exception.

The design is quite similar to others, with a few exceptions. The first and most notable one is the X2, two-beam laser, which ensures precise alignments. Furthermore, the depth adjustment system allows you to drill with consistency at all times. The five-speed range comes in handy if you’re planning on handling different materials and applications. 

The worktable can tilt to both sides at a 45-degree angle. The panic stop button located on the front of the chassis is a great addition — we feel that it’s an essential feature for increased safety..

The downsides are few, but there are some things you should be aware of. The machine works well when it comes to processing wood and other soft materials, but it underperforms with metals, such as aluminum and steel. 

The worktable has a tendency to wobble and move, even when tightened correctly. However, the price is more than acceptable, which means you are going to get what you pay for. One of the biggest advantages of this particular model is the above-mentioned X2 laser — you wouldn’t normally find such a feature in this price bracket.

EuroTool Small Benchtop Drill Press


Our Rating: 3.8

If you’re looking for an entry-level machine that is easy to use, yet effective enough to drill through a variety of materials, this model could be ideal. It’s a somewhat miniature version of a regular benchtop drill press, but that doesn’t mean it’s not capable of coping with a variety of applications.

The most notable feature of this tool is its compactness. It weighs about 13 pounds and measures 6¾ inches by 6¾ inches. As you can see, it’s a small, lightweight machine, which is also easy to set up and use. It features variable speeds of up to 8500 RPM. Therefore, the whole design revolves around the idea of being a space-saving tool but still powerful enough to handle a variety of DIY projects. The biggest drawback is that it can’t handle massive pieces, thus not being suitable for professional purposes or big projects.

When it comes to shortcomings, there aren’t too many — the first being the obvious lack of ability to cope with bigger projects. The unit can sometimes struggle with accuracy and power, with some users complaining about poor performance. In its defence, this machine isn’t designed for heavy-duty projects. As an entry-level tool, you shouldn’t expect too much from it in the first place. The chuck tends to get loose and wobble occasionally, but it’s easy to readjust in a matter of seconds.

We think the unit is reasonably priced, although some feel it’s expensive — it all comes down to personal preference in the end. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for heavy-duty tools, this one isn’t going to be the best choice.

Quick Product Comparison


 VoltageSPEEDWEIGHTPRICE 
Shop Fox W1668 Product Image

Shop Fox W1668

110V250 - 3050 RPM122.4 lbs$$$$Check Price
WEN 4212 product image

WEN 4212

120V530 - 3100 RPM62.4 lbs$$Check Price
Craftsman 10 Product Image

Craftsman 10 in Bench Drill Press

120V620 - 3100 RPM47.3 lbs$$Check Price
Skil 3320-01 Drill Press product image

Skil 3320-01

120V570 - 3050 RPM52.2 lbs$Check Price
Small Benchtop Drill Press DRL 300.00 Product Image

EuroTool Small Benchtop Drill Press

110Vup to 8500 RPM12.2 lbs$Check Price

Before You Buy: How Does a Benchtop Drill Press Work?

Before you decide on which model to invest in, it’s a good idea to do a bit of research and get familiar with the basic principles and mechanisms of how these tools work. Many people neglect this particular step and consequently end up buying something that is either not worth the money or doesn’t meet their expectations. In order to get the best possible deal, you should at least know how a benchtop drill press works.

Power Source

Most models use electricity as a source of power. There were some attempts by a few manufacturers at building a battery-powered unit, but it ended up being a bad idea — cordless units cannot output enough power to process tough materials. Therefore, if you stumble upon a cordless model, our advice is not to consider investing in it.

Motor

The motor is usually located at the top of the unit. Some are enclosed while others aren’t. It’s not a deal breaker, but the exposed motors are slightly better as they cool off faster than the enclosed ones. Most of these units work on a belt and pulley principle. Two rotating discs are enclosed in a casing and driven by the motor — they transfer power via belts. It’s a pretty straightforward mechanism, although some models are slightly more complex.

When it comes to motor power, this varies from model to model. As far as recommendations go, we recommend that you invest in a unit that has at least 5 or 6 amps of power — anything less will most likely be underpowered.

Finding The Best Benchtop Drill Press – Buying Guide


In order to get the best possible deal, you should become familiar with the do’s and don’ts. It’s essential that you are aware of what makes a benchtop drill press worth investing in, or you may end up buying something that won’t meet your expectations. 

To learn about some important aspects, make sure to keep reading this guide. That way, you’ll get a much better idea of what to look for in a bench top drill press — and what to avoid.

Power


As you would expect, the more power a unit features, the more it can handle. However, that doesn’t mean everyone should just look for the most powerful unit on the market. The key is in finding the balance between your requirements and the products on the market. 

Of course, if you’re an avid professional, it’s a good idea to invest in a powerful, heavy-duty unit. On the other hand, for an occasional user, power is not such a priority, but that doesn’t mean you should get an underpowered unit. When it comes to recommended and acceptable values, a 6-amp motor should offer more than enough power for the vast majority of applications. Anything less than that might cause some issues along the way.

Design


While ergonomics aren’t a factor here, there are some things you need to keep in mind when it comes to the design of these tools. For example, the base should be made of sturdy materials, preferably steel. This particular factor is essential — the quality of the base has a massive impact on the overall stability of the unit.

Furthermore, aim to find a unit that is made of reliable materials. Try to avoid models that feature too many components made of hard plastic, which is subpar in comparison to metal. That doesn’t mean that your unit shouldn’t contain any plastic parts at all, but these should be minimal.

steel table

Price


The cost of a particular model is usually associated with the quality, which is not always correct. If something has a high price, that doesn’t mean it’s proportionately better in comparison to cheaper units. Most models that are particularly expensive offer very similar features as the cheaper units but are made by well-known companies. These brands usually offer better warranty conditions, quality control, and good after-sales support. In other words, if you opt for a well-known brand, you should expect great service, but at a higher price.

The key is in finding the balance between a good price and a quality product. The market is saturated with so many different units, some of which simply aren’t worth investing in. The more knowledgeable you are when searching, the better your chances of finding the balance between a good price and acceptable quality.

Drill Press With LED Light

Additional Features


 While extra features will often increase the overall price of a product, there are some that are worth paying more for.

For example, a model with an integrated LED light is strongly recommended, both for professionals and DIYers. It doesn’t seem like a massive advantage, but you’ll find it invaluable at times.

Another really useful feature is an LCD display, showing the current speed in RPM. Occasional users probably don’t need to pay extra for this function, but professionals will find it worth the extra cost.

The conclusion


A benchtop drill press is a great tool because it’s versatile enough to act as a substitute for many handheld tools. It’s not a complex machine, but a few models may require some basic knowledge. Some units can cope with a variety of materials, including metal and plastic, but the majority of these drills are designed for woodworking purposes.

In case you want to read a more in-depth analysis of the units we chose to cover, don’t hesitate to check our full reviews out. On top of that, if you’re struggling to find an appropriate unit for your needs, refer to our buyer’s guide and it might give you a better insight into the essential and important elements one should be looking for in these tools.

The price varies greatly, depending on the brand, power and additional features, to name just a few. After you’ve browsed our expert advice, you’ll be in a better position to choose just the right tool for your needs. So, now’s the time to look at our best benchtop drill press reviews and make your decision.

Other Drill Press Categories