Last Updated on May 8, 2022 by William
The Best Drill Presses Reviews from ToolTidBits!
When you want exact precision and perfect holes across a wide range of materials, you really need the abilities of an actual drill press, and you want the best drill press you can afford. Something that can drill through hardened steel as well as wood, glass and other materials depending on which bit you’re using.
They’re better than handheld drills to deliver precise and accurate holes since they are usually some sort of table top and are stationary machines. So if you’re shopping for a drill press, this article can give you some great buying tips.
- The Best Drill Presses Reviews from ToolTidBits!
- Drill Press Buying Guide
- Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press Review
- Powermatic PM701 3/4 Horsepower Bench Mortiser Review
- SKIL 3320-02 120-Volt 10-Inch Drill Press Review
It helps a lot to know what to look for in a larger drill press. This article is also going to outline three products that really made the grade and deliver an exceptional level of performance for the money and should be part of any man’s shop or even home tool kit.
Drill Press Buying Guide
These features come standard in a high quality drill press. The drill press has come a long way over the past couple of years, and through reading this guide we’ve made, you’ll be able to make a smarter purchase. Seasoned drill professionals may want to skip right to the products.
1. Floor Standing Or Benchtop?
First off, you have to decide what type of drill press is right for you. A free standing drill press is usually bigger, while a benchtop model is generally smaller in size. Or you can even have a smaller hobby drill press.
Smaller in size, a benchtop model will be less expensive than a floor standing model, but may not offer the level of performance you need to get the job done.
A floor standing model can offer you more power and the ability to work with a wider range of materials. For shop work and the professionals touch, you’d probably be better off with a floor standing model.
2. Motor Strength
Generally, the power of your motor should be at least 3/4 horsepower to allow you tackle the widest range of materials. This is usually enough power to drill through pretty much anything.
3. Variable Speeds
Having a variety of speeds to work with can really help a lot. For example, if you’re drilling through a piece of metal, you want to ensure that you make a clean hole instead of marring the metal itself. You need a variable speed drill press for the wide variety of materials out there. Look for this feature in any drill press you’re considering.
4. Stroke Depth
The depth of the stroke determines how deep you can drill down into the wood or other material you’re working with. Multiplying the throat depth X 2, you can come to the exact inch measurement the drill will be able to handle. This is also called the “swing”.
5. Beveling Table
The table that holds the wood or other material you’re working with should be able to bevel from left to right, preferably from 0-90 degrees left and right. This is a wonderful feature for people who really go the extra mile with their drill press creations.
6. Auto Tensioning Belt Drive System
This allows the drill press to stay in perfect tension for the work at hand. The belt drive system will automatically tighten or loosen depending on the material being drilled. This feature offers you the added benefit of not having to adjust the belt tension manually.
7. Additional Drill Bits (Sold Separately)
If you’re buying a fairly expensive floor standing or benchtop drill press, it makes the most sense to buy a lot of different drill bits. It will increase the amount of work you can get done by allowing you to tackle a wider range of materials and project ideas.
8. Warranty and Manufacturer
Look for at least a 1 year warranty from the time of purchase so you can stay safe from any initial problems with the drill.
Lastly, the manufacturer has a lot to do with how long the drill is going to last. Powermatic, Delta, and SKIL are all making high quality drill presses these days. Milescraft is also an option.
Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press Review
When you want a drill press with a laser system, you should really consider the Delta 18-900L 18 Inch Laser Drill Press. This is truly a professional grade item. It stands perfectly level on floors and has a variety of features to be interested in.
The auto tensioning belt drive system eliminates the need to make belt adjustments by hand. It has a full six inch quill stroke and adjustable depth stops for perfect precision. It also comes with a independent depth scale that allows the user to make just the right measurements every time.
With a total of 16 different speeds, finding the exact correct speed for every material is easy.
The laser system broadcasts a cross hair onto the exact dimension the drill will hit, giving you pinpoint accuracy that can’t be beat. It’s backed by an iron clad five year warranty that does more than keep you safe from factory defects, it makes sure you get your moneys worth.
So if you want a quality laser drill press at an affordable price, this is definitely an option. Delta has done well for themselves and has been producing quality products in recent years.
- 3/4 Horsepower Motor
- 16 Variable Speeds
- 6 Inch Quill Stroke
- 0-90 Degree Beveling Table
- Micro Adjustable Depth Stops and Independent Depth Scale
- Laser Sighting System
- Five Year Warranty
- Changing speeds with this laser drill is fast and easy
- Maintains a very solid grip on the bits
- Amazon is very good at accepting returns if you have a problem
- Spindle and bearing performance is exceptional
- Allows you to drill metal at lower RPM
- Spring loaded push button depth stops
- Makes a great upgrade from older, poor performing drill presses
- Speed table under the lid helps you choose the correct speed
- Relatively quiet operation
- Laser is somewhat difficult to see with drill press light on
- Drill chuck has a slight wobble (About .005 inches of play)
Powermatic PM701 3/4 Horsepower Bench Mortiser Review
A mortiser cuts square and rectangle holes in pieces of lumber or other material. The Powermatic 1791310 PM701 3/4 Horsepower Bench Mortiser is exactly what you need to make these kinds of drilling holes.
With a total of 3/4 horsepower, you’ll be able to power through nearly any material. The drill spins at a speed of 1,725 RPM and has a 5 1/2 inch head stroke capacity. The handle is reversible for both left and right sided operation, making it ideal for both left and right handed users.
The rack and pinion gear system is built well and the motor is pretty powerful.
Overall, this is a great mortiser for professionals who would like the next step up in mortiser quality. Powermatic is making some great tools these days. Some assembly is required.
- 3/4 Horsepower Motor
- 1/2 Inch Chuck
- In-Line Depth Stop
- 5/8 and 3/4 Inch Bushing Size
- 93 Lbs Total Weight
- 1 Year Warranty
- Motor and guides for raising the head run smoothly
- More powerful than the 1/2 horsepower models on the market
- You’ll find it difficult to get this machine to bog down in material you drill into
- Comes with a polishing hone already attached
- Machine is easy to set up out of the box
- Comes with a sturdy tool holder
- Handle is long and stout enough for easy leverage into difficult materials
- Very stiff – No play in the column makes for better precision
- Powermatic makes the most heavy duty tools on the market – Period.
- Excellent rack and pinion gear set – Can handle a lot of abuse
- Requires a metric hex wrench and 10mm metric wrench
- Some people think the price is a bit expensive for a bench mortiser
SKIL 3320-02 120-Volt 10-Inch Drill Press Review
The SKIL 3320-02 120 Volt 10 Inch Drill Press is a high quality item that you can get for a good price on Amazon. This drill press comes with a 3.2 amp, variable speed (570-3,050 RPM) motor and laser beam system to ensure you can meet precise drilling specifications. These guys also make one of the best hammer drills too!
The depth adjustment system allows you to control how deep you drill into your materials like wood, steel, and plastic. The works surface will bevel for you too, at angles of 0-45 degrees to the left and right.
Although this is a small drill, it’s really worth the price tag. Just over a hundred dollars couldn’t be spent better. People with garages and home shops will love the new projects they can take on, and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to own it.
SKIL has been making quality products for awhile now, and getting your hands on such a good deal is fantastic. You can put your trust in SKIL to bring you a high level of quality and performance. Out of a total of 45 customer reviews, this item scored a solid 4 out of 5 stars.
- 3.2 Amp Motor
- 570-3,050 RPM
- Laser Sighting System
- Beveling Work Table 0-45 Degrees Left/Right
- Depth Adjustment System
- Cast Iron Base And Table
- Smooth and quiet operation
- You’ll be surprised by the quality of this drill press even at such a low price
- Bosch, a well known and high quality manufacturer of construction tools, owns SKIL
- Laser works great in assisting to drill small holes
- Small design is made for home shops, not industrial applications
- This drill press assembles easily out of the box
- Very well balanced
- At around 50 lbs total weight, works great sitting on a workbench
- Instructions are easy to follow
- Has a little vibration in the spindle
- Has limits to its ability due to the small size