The 7 Best Drill Presses for Woodworking

A drill press or drill machine is useful in making holes or enlarging cylindrical pre-created goals. Regardless of your woodworking experience, these fantastic machines will help you make quick, simple, and more accurate drills. However, since there are various options in the market right now, we will be giving you the best seven drill presses for woodworking.

Every drill press on our list has a power that a simple handheld drill can’t match. So, if you want high-quality drill presses without breaking your savings, you can choose with these best drill presses. 

  1. HICO Bench Top Drill Press
  2. Jet JDP-17
  3. Wen 4214
  4. SKIL 3320-01
  5. NOVA 58000 Voyager DVR Drill Press
  6. TruePower Gino Development 01-0822
  7. BUCKTOOL Drill Press 2501A

From creating and enhancing holes, and even using as a lathe, drill presses are a helpful woodworking tool that makes everything easier. If you want to get the best results, you need to have the best drill press as well. So, for your search of the most suitable machine for your woodworking machinery, let’s take a more profound understanding of why and how these drill presses made it to our list.

How To Choose The Best Drill Presses For Woodworking?

Before we jump into our list, let us first know what the features that make an impressive drill press are. These are the attributes that you should look for when buying your first drilling machine. If you want to get the best result for every project, you need to take a look at some considerations both in performance and looks.

Type Of Drill Press

Drilling machines come in two different types, and you can select based on your preference and space in your woodshop. You can either choose between a Floor Press or a Benchtop Press. Before we identify each type, you should know that both kinds of presses offer different advantages and disadvantages on different levels.

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  • Benchtop Drilling Machines – This kind is suitable if you have smaller wood shops and minor projects. However, since these drill presses are relatively lightweight, it also means that you can’t use it in utilizing large woodworking items. Moreover, it is more expensive than its counterpart due to mobility and portability.
  • Floor Drill Presses – These drilling machines are powerful, flexible, and stable. Therefore, you can use it for significant projects, even those with sturdy materials. However, due to their heavyweight, these kinds are not very mobile. 

Power Of The Motor 

The amount of power that you need depends mainly on the type of ventures that you want to create. Most wood-processing drill presses have a power output of 0.5 HP up to 2 HP. For starters, you can always start with minimum motor power. You can always upgrade to a more powerful engine than you think you need as you gain more experience. When it comes to pricing, higher motor power is more expensive. So, always choose wisely.

Speed Range 

RPM is the unit that measures speed, which stands for rotations per minute.

A higher the RPM means a faster speed of rotation when drilling. Even the smallest benchtop presses come in a range of rates, which is good because different projects require varying speeds. As a rule of thumb, you need lower RPM for hard and sensitive materials, while thinner woods require to need higher rates of drilling. If you are drilling small projects, you need a faster RPM and vice versa.

  • The Number of Speeds – Every drill has a specific number of speeds within its range that you can choose depending on your materials. A higher number means that you have more options in drilling. However, you still have to make sure the speed levels are easy to modify. This way, you’re not going to have to waste a lot of time trying to fiddle with settings, so then you can focus on drilling.

The Kind Of Wood That You’re Going To Drill

Most drills today have labels and instructions regarding the materials where you can only use it. For example, some drilling machines are only exclusive to fine wood or softwoods. It is because the machine power is low, and it may ruin the machine’s quality if there’s a material that overpowers its motor. On the other hand, if you’re going to work on hardwoods and with the possibility of working with other harder materials like metal, then you need a drill that has more power.

Drilling Capacity 

The drilling efficiency of any drill press depends on the size of your wood. The height of the table on the drill press and how far it can push from the drill on the support column determines the drill capacity. When you’re working on small-scale projects, you won’t need a large room. However, you want to have more accurate and larger machine capacity if you’re working on larger-scale projects.

Chuck Size 

The chuck on most drilling machines is the three-jaw clamp that you use to lock the bit firmly into the drill. The size of the bolt will determine how large the bits you can use. Indeed, bigger bits require larger chucks and vice versa. 

Quill Travel

Quill on drilling machines refers to the hollow tube that surrounds the thimble, which allows the blade high and low when drilling. When it comes to quill travel, a higher number means more speed in turning the spindle. As a result, it makes a more straightforward process of finishing the project, even those that have large sizes. 

Weight and Dimensions 

The weight and dimensions of your drilling machine depend on your needs and working space. If you have a big shop and plans on working on large projects, then you can always pick heavier and bigger floor drilling machines. On the other hand, if you have a limited amount of room and only want to complete smaller tasks, you could save some money and space and go to a benchtop version.

Work Table Dimensions 

The size of the workbench will determine the size of your materials. If you have a small table, you can only use it with lower materials, and vice versa. It is better if you can look for drills with extendable tables, as that will help to reduce how much room the drill requires, but also allow you the option to use it with larger parts.

LED Work Light 

The built-in work light is a crucial feature of any drill. These handy lights make it so much easier to see what you’re working on, which helps to increase the precision with which you can drill. Construct and reliability if you are trying to ensure that your press is as robust as possible, then you can go for a floor model. These presses are massive, powerful, and made from the toughest materials. Even if you choose a benchtop model, you’re going to want to be careful about getting anything with plastic components, because they just don’t hold up over time.

7 Best Drill Presses for Woodworking

Now that you have a better understanding of the features of an outstanding drill press, let’s have a look at the seven best drill presses for woodworking in the market today. Here’s a comprehensive review of the features and how every model provides the best drilling mechanism.

1.HICO Bench Top Drill Press

The HICO Bench Top Drill Press has a comfortable and compact design, which makes it perfect for a woodworker who has a limited working station. It is also one of the safest drill presses that you can buy today. Whether you are a beginner or a pro, you can operate this machine efficiently. HICO Bench Top Drill Press also comes with a safety switch that prevents the drill from being operated by mistake. Moreover, this feature keeps you safer when you’re working while making sure your projects aren’t unintentionally affected. 

The motor is small in size, but strong in size. It can provide a lot of pace to work on almost any kind of wood, including hardwoods. However, it doesn’t have much selection when it comes to speed settings. Still, it has an excellent stopping system for an easier and quicker way to start and stop the drill. The table on this press is highly adjustable for a benchtop drill, which makes it so suitable for a variety of projects. 

2.Jet JDP-17

If you’ve been looking for the best drill press for woodworking, then you need to check out this drilling machine from Jet. This company has a long history and success in producing excellent drill presses. The Jet JDP-17 offers one of the largest spindle ranges of any drill press. As a result, it makes an easier process to get the depth that you need with a quick turn of the handle. You only need your one hand to quickly and easily switch different speed settings. This drill also has a massive upper bound, which makes it great for any project you plan on doing. 

What makes this drill machine more impressive is the table. It is large enough to accommodate massive projects. Moreover, it has grooves that help you align your project and center your holes conveniently. You can also move the table up and down the column, allowing you to complete all your wooden projects. The only real downside is the chuck. Unfortunately, it’s a bit difficult to use, which makes it a bit problematic when changing drill bits. Moreover, the quill often appears to vibrate a little on a higher RPM, which may affect the outcomes of your project.

3.WEN 421

If you’re looking for the best woodworking benchtop drill, then be sure to check out this WEN drill press. It has a ⅔ HP engine that’s good for wood stuff, but not ideal for metal. It also has a highly adjustable speed setting that allows you to set the speed anywhere from 580 to 3200 RPM. In addition, due to its digital speed readout, you can set the speed easily. With this easy-to-read guide, you can be sure that you’re drilling at the exact pace needed to get the job done correctly.

The WEN 4214 has both laser direction and an LED working lamp. Both of these light sources make it much easier to create precise cuts or holes. The laser is especially useful as it increases the production and makes it much easier to drill every time. However, be careful with the controls because they are not the most durable. While the benchtop models are smaller by design, it doesn’t mean that it is not suitable for huge projects. In fact, this drill press comes with an extension so that you can expand the side of the table to work on larger pieces of wood.

4.SKIL 3320-01

If you’re someone who enjoys experimenting and trying new things, this is a great drill to use. SKIL 3320-01 is the most versatile benchtop drill on our list, making it a perfect tool to have in any woodworking shop. You can move the table up and down just by turning the crank. Moreover, you can tilt it up to 45 degrees. This manoeuvrability gives you the versatility that you need for completing even complex woodworking projects. Since you can move the table up close, there’s no problem with the size of the project you want to do. 

Another nice feature for this drill is the precision drilling laser. While it’s not as bright as some other lasers, it’ll still give you a quick reference template to make sure you’re drilling exactly where you want to. However, this model doesn’t have a colossal RPM and even other speed settings, which is what you should expect with smaller drill presses. Still, it offers more than enough power for most woodworking projects, unless you want to use hardwoods or more substantial pieces. 

5.NOVA 58000 Voyager DVR Drill Press

Here comes the most versatile drilling machine. The NOVA 58000 Voyager can handle any kinds of wood, even metal, and other materials that you want to drill. If you’ve been asking for power and versatility, NOVA machines will give it to you. Being one of the most potent drill presses today, expect a maximum of 2 HP that can produce up to 5500 RPM. 

Regardless of the material that you’re working on, it guarantees precision and accuracy. However, as people say, with great power comes at a higher price. Still, the manufacturers did an excellent job of designing a drilling machine that can power through any project. This drill features a soft start system that keeps your drill under control when starting. The operation also has a smooth process due to its direct drive system. Another great advantage of this drill press is that it’s easy to read and operate the screen. 

With its electronic feature, you can easily set the speed that you want and start drilling without any hassle. Moreover, the display will also give you a quick reference guide to the speed depending on the material. The only downside of it is that it has no LED work lights, and the table is not extendable. If you can settle with these cons, the NOVA 58000 Voyager is still one of the best floor drill presses.

6.TruePower Gino Development 01-0822

Most drill presses, including benchtop models, are very costly. Fortunately, there are some options that won’t break your savings. TruePower Gino Development 01-0822 is super cheap, lightweight, and highly portable. So, it is perfect to use with wood. It also has a reasonably powerful engine for such a small drill. Although you can only set it to three different speed settings, each of these configurations will give you the pace that you need to drill holes accurately. However, as you would imagine for a more budget-friendly exercise, there are several downfalls. 

Due to its size, it can only handle small wooden projects. It also has a short movement range, so it won’t work when drilling larger pieces of wood. You also can’t expand the table as well compared to other small drill presses where you can move the table up and down or even tilt it. Since it is stationary, it will restrict the number and size of holes that you can drill. Still, it is an excellent option for beginner woodworkers.

7.BUCKTOOL Drill Press 2501A

There are so many features to like about this drill press. First, the powerful laser ensures that every hole that you drill is right in the pocket. Moreover, the precise outcomes make it an excellent choice for woodworkers who work on smaller wood projects. Any user can operate it smoothly due to its quick and easy-to-use controls on the front of the drill machine.

However, the only problem is that you have to deal with its cord placed in an awkward location. Fortunately, you can quickly have it back a little further so that it’s out of the way while you’re working. Moreover, the engine on this benchtop drill press doesn’t have a lot of power, and you can’t set it to a variety of speeds. As a result, it will limit the size and types of wood that you can do. 

Frequently Asked Questions

We hope that our list was able to help you choose the best drill press for all your woodworking projects. Now, it’s time to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about drilling machines.

Do I need a drill press for woodworking?

Drill presses are the advanced versions of handheld drills. At first, you may not need it, but as you expand your skills in woodworking, drilling machines come in handy. It is especially true once you start working on different projects, and you have to produce massive wooden objects every day. 

Drilling holes manually is a tough job, what more if you have to do it daily on different materials? Accuracy is another reason why drill presses are essential for most woodworkers, especially when making identical holes. Moreover, this machine will allow you to set precise angles, depth, and width for every hole that you drill. 

What does a drill press do?

A drill press or drill machine is useful when making holes or enlarging cylindrical pre-made targets. It ensures that the drilled holes precisely matched the exact depth in different materials such as metal and wood. You need a drill press for more precision, performance, and flexibility in boring holes.

In a fast-paced woodworking environment, a drilling machine is an integral woodworking asset that you can use in various tasks. Aside from drilling, you can use it for mortising attachments, making different holes in various shapes, use it as a spindle sander, and even for lathing.

What is an oscillating drill press?

Oscillating is a feature that reduces heat build-up while leaving a smooth finish. Therefore, an oscillating drill press is a kind of machine that eliminates heat when it comes to drilling while making sure that there are no rough surfaces on the material. However, take note that these machines with such features may be expensive than the regular ones.


When it comes to choosing the best drill presses, you have to make sure that there is enough power to handle all projects that you currently want to do and other future tasks. It is essential to know the capacity that the machine can handle and its mobility. More importantly, if it fits your budget. If you’re woodworking as a part of your hobbies, you can always use bench-type of drill presses. In the end, it’s all about preference and knowing what you need in drilling holes.

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