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6 Best Benchtop Drill Presses (2023)

A benchtop drill press is a powerful tool that’s used to bore precise holes in a variety of materials, most commonly wood. In this review, the This Old House Reviews team looks into the best benchtop drill presses available on Amazon to help you select the model that’s right for your next DIY project.

Benchtop Drill Press Adobe

Benchtop drill presses are powerful woodworking and metalworking tools used to bore precise holes with minimal effort. They’re particularly useful for projects that require the repetitive drilling of same-sized holes. While the purpose of a benchtop drill press is straightforward, different models vary in size and drill bit compatibility, impacting the performance of each drill press.

To help you select the right model, the This Old House Reviews team researched the best benchtop drill presses on the market. Here are our top picks.

Compare Top Benchtop Drill Presses

Product Size Speed Settings Weight Warranty Dimensions
Product Size Speed Settings Weight Warranty Dimensions
WEN Variable Speed Drill Press 12-inch 580–3,200 RPM 89 pounds 2-year (limited) 14 x 37 x 17 inches
RIKON Power Tools Benchtop Drill Press 34-inch 620-3,100 RPM 81 pounds 2-year ‎34 x 8 x 37 inches
Jet Benchtop Drill Press 12-inch 530–3,100 RPM 68 pounds Not listed 27 x 17 x 44 inches
WEN Five-Speed Drill Press 8-inch 740–3,140 RPM 34 pounds Not listed ‎8 x 23 x 11 inches
DEWALT Two-Speed Drill Press 2-inch 300 or 450 RPM 48 pounds 3-year (limited) ‎22 x 7 x 19 inches
Evolution Industrial Magnetic Drill 1 1/8-inch 480 RPM 26 pounds 3-year ‎5 x 13 x 11 inches

Top 6 Benchtop Drill Presses


Best Heavy-Duty: WEN Variable Speed Drill Press

WEN Variable Speed Benchtop Drill Press

WEN Variable Speed Benchtop Drill Press

  • $268

Prices taken at time of publishing.

With a convenient digital readout, this benchtop drill press offers serious DIYers the ability to control their drill speed and adjust to the material at hand. At 89 pounds and fitted with a sturdy work table, this drill press is a heavy-duty option among the competition.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Can be adjusted between 580–3,200 revolutions per minute (RPM)
✔ Equipped with an adjustable, cast-iron workbench
✔ Includes a guiding laser that projects onto the material for precise drilling

✘ Heavier than most top-rated drill presses at nearly 90 pounds
✘ Some customers experienced excessive vibrations when using faster drilling speeds

What Customers Are Saying

Positive reviews praised the machine’s affordability and effectiveness in consistently producing accurate holes due to its powerful motor. Disappointed customers complained about the drill press’ lack of power, with one customer experiencing the bit stalling during use.


Best Radial: RIKON Power Tools Benchtop Drill Press

RIKON Power Tools Benchtop Drill Press

RIKON Power Tools Benchtop Drill Press

  • $455

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This generously sized radial benchtop drill press is ideal for professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike. The 34-inch swing, variety of speed options, and unique telescoping design of the drill press offer the user plenty of customization when working on various projects.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Features large feed handles for smooth operation
✔ Has a powerful 13 HP motor
✔ Comes with a speed selection chart to match the correct speed to the job at hand

✘ On the heavier side of benchtop drill presses
✘ Some customers complained about the quality of the drill press’ construction

What Customers Are Saying

Positively, customers reported that this benchtop drill press was easy to put together, and the included LED light and laser measuring system allowed them to bore with precision. Negatively, some users thought that the included product manual was confusing and that the bench press shipped to their home with insufficient packaging materials.


Most Versatile: Jet Benchtop Drill Press

Jet Corded Electric Benchtop Drill Press

Jet Corded Electric Benchtop Drill Press

  • $650

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This high-quality benchtop drill press comes in a heavy-duty frame and a cast iron base that’s powerful and durable but easy to use. Although it has a simple design, this tool contains advanced features like a mechanical variable speed system and a laser that helps you bore accurate holes.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Includes a durable cast iron worktable
✔ Contains a 5/8-inch chuck that accommodates various bit sizes
✔ Offers customizable drilling with variable speed settings

✘ More expensive than other top-rated benchtop drill presses
✘ Some customers experienced the laser malfunctioning during use

What Customers Are Saying

Positive customer reviews centered around the tool’s solid and heavy design that keeps the base steady while drilling. Additionally, many customers applauded the speed and affordability of the product. Negative reviews commented on the drill press’ laser guide, which went out for many users after a short period.


Best Entry-Level: WEN Five-Speed Drill Press

WEN Five-Speed Cast Iron Drill Press

WEN Five-Speed Cast Iron Drill Press

  • $129

Prices taken at time of publishing.

This drill press is the most affordable in this review and includes a large chuck that can adjust to a variety of bits, giving users the choice between five-speed settings. Additionally, the drill press comes with an adjustable work table that can bevel for customized drilling.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Adjustable drilling depth prevents you from boring deeper than intended
✔ Contains on-frame storage for the chuck key
✔ Fits drill bits up to 1/2-inch in diameter

✘ Limits users to five speed settings
✘ Some customers experienced a wobbling drill bit during use

What Customers Are Saying

Many users liked the simplicity of the drill press, stating its effectiveness on thinner pieces of wood. Additional positive reviews highlighted the drill press’ simple installation. Critical reviews described the drill’s lack of power and expressed concern over the low quality of the chuck.


Best for Metal Drilling: DEWALT Two-Speed Drill Press

DEWALT Two-Speed Magnetic Drill Press

DEWALT Two-Speed Magnetic Drill Press

  • $811

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Designed for metal drilling, this two-speed drill press is chock-full of the features necessary to effectively bore through the metal of various densities. The drill press is equipped with a powerful 10-amp motor and a magnetic coolant bottle that prevents machine burnout.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Contains overload protection, which prevents motor damage and excessive wear and tear
✔ Offers a tool-free chuck change
✔ Includes magnetic coolant bottle to prevent overheating

✘ Expensive compared to other top-rated drill presses
✘ Some customers experienced inaccurate drills because of a wobbly chuck

What Customers Are Saying

Positive reviews focused on the power of the drill press and its ability to handle various-sized drill bits. Some customers also applauded its two-speed settings that allowed for a slower drill speed when necessary. Critical reviews expressed concern over the included chuck’s quality, with one user breaking the chuck after a few hours of use.


Most Portable: Evolution Industrial Magnetic Drill

Evolution Industrial Magnetic Drill

Evolution Industrial Magnetic Drill

  • $504

Prices taken at time of publishing.

Complete with a protective carrying case and a light weight of only 26 pounds, this compact drill press is designed for on-the-go use on job sites for construction projects. It has a two-inch maximum cutting depth and for peace of mind, the drill press includes a three-year warranty.

Courtesy Amazon

Pros and Cons

✔ Offers up to 2,860 pounds of magnetic adhesion
✔ Comes with an onboard coolant bottle
✔ Durable double dovetail slide assures long-lasting precision

✘ May be too small for certain jobs
✘ Expensive given its size and low RPM output

What Customers Are Saying

Despite its price tag, many customers thought that this magnetic drill was excellent value for the money, citing its easy adjustability and included coolant bottle. Users also said that the manufacturer’s customer service was excellent. Conversely, some users had a poor customer service experience, and others experienced cracks with the drill’s carrying case.


Buying Guide for Drill Presses

A benchtop drill press is a great addition to any DIYer’s workshop. In this buyer’s guide, we parse through the features, details, and specifications that differentiate benchtop drill presses to help you find one that suits your needs.

Drill Size and Travel

Drill presses are measured by twice the distance between their bit and the stand that supports the machine. This is referred to as the swing of the drill press and represents the largest diameter piece the drill can handle. For example, a drill press with a length of 7.5 inches between the stand and the bit would be a 15-inch drill press. D

rill travel is how far the drill chuck will go up or down. The greater the travel ability, the deeper the drill press can bore.

Speed

Most benchtop drills offer variable speed drilling, measured in revolutions per minute (RPM). RPMs are important when drilling various types of material, as some require low RPMs while others call for high RPMs. For example, wood is typically drilled at a higher RPM than metal, which needs to be drilled at a lower speed to prevent the bit from overheating.

Though speed variability trumps horsepower when it comes to the usefulness of benchtop drill presses, it’s good to have a powerful unit for heavy-duty jobs. Most benchtop drill presses have between 13 to 34 horsepower.

Accessories and Attachments

Some benchtop drill presses come with accessories, like laser guides, clamps, and extendable arms, that help make the drilling process easier. Laser guides help the operator by pinpointing where the drill bit is headed, ensuring precision before the bit hits the material. Extendable arms help the drill press accommodate materials of various sizes, as they can pull out or in based on the material’s width.

Safety Features

Since a benchtop drill press’ bit is housed and used in the open, it’s important to use caution when operating the tool. Some benchtop drill presses offer features, like safety keys and bump-off switches, that help users safely operate the product. These features are particularly important if you’re operating the drill around young children.


Benchtop Drill Press Safety Tips

As with any power tool, benchtop drill presses should be used with the utmost caution. Besides carefully reading the product manual to review any safety-related information, here’s what you should know before you begin boring holes with your new drill press.

  • Make sure your workbench is clear of any clutter or loose items that could get in the way of the drill press.
  • Never wear loose clothing or gloves when using your benchtop drill press.
  • Tie back any loose hair and avoid wearing jewelry.
  • Don’t adjust the drill press or set up anything while the unit is running.
  • Wear safety glasses or goggles during operation.
  • Operate the drill press at the correct RPM for the diameter of the drill bit and the material you’re boring into. Most manufacturers should provide this information in the product manual, but if you’re unsure, you can also find it online.

Frequently Asked Questions About Drill Presses

Is a benchtop drill press worth it?

If your DIY project requires precision drilling in materials such as wood or metal, a benchtop drill press is worth the investment. These tools make it safe and easy to drill the exact-size holes you need, exactly where you want them.

What protective equipment is needed when operating a benchtop drill press?

When using a benchtop drill press, debris can kick up into the air and cause eye damage, which is why it’s important to use proper safety gear.

Guard your eyes by wearing shatterproof goggles or glasses while operating the machine. Additionally, you can protect your hearing with safety-rated earplugs or muffs and save your hands by investing in a heavy-duty pair of work gloves.

What can a drill press do?

The function of a drill press is simple: to bore precise holes into wood, metal, or whatever workpiece you’re manipulating. Drill presses do this by offering variable speed drilling that enables users to set the RPM of the drill bit to match material-specific requirements. For example, benchtop drill presses should be set to a low RPM when drilling through metal to prevent the bit from overheating and warping.

A drill press also produces more accurate results compared to using a conventional power drill.

Why did my drill bit stop spinning?

Drill bits typically stop spinning when they bite and bind into the material you’re drilling, preventing them from moving.


Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team

This Old House has empowered homeowners for more than four decades with top-notch home improvement content in the form of television programs, print media, and digital content on its website and social media platforms. The This Old House Reviews Team focuses on creating in-depth product and service review content to help inform your purchasing decision for just about any item or resource that you might need for your home. The This Old House Reviews Team has written over 1,000 reviews on products in the home space, from cordless drills to kitchen trash cans, lawn mowers, and dining room decorations.

We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.

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