Although not the cheapest model on the list, this drill press still comes at an incredibly good price and includes a laser guidance system for properly positioning your work piece. Another option this drill press features (Which none of our other choices has) is a fence for the table. While a fence may seem strictly optional, it can be incredibly handy when you need to drill a series of holes in a straight line. The Craftsman 10 comes with a 2/3 HP motor, coupled through pulleys to give it five speeds with twice the motor power of most inexpensive drill presses. All this, and the Craftsman warranty standing behind it make this a great budget drill press.
WEN has a very nice 10 inch benchtop drill press and the really great thing about this model is its dual laser crosshairs feature allowing precise location of where the drill point is going to land before you begin drilling. If you’re like me, you always end up off to one side just a bit so this feature goes a long way towards making your holes more accurate. This 5 speed drill press comes with a 1/2 HP ball bearing, induction motor, and a half inch chuck typical for a small benchtop unit. The spindle has 2.5 inches of travel.
Grizzly has one of the biggest lines of power shop tools on the market. I picked the G79422 drill press because of Grizzly’s reputation for building quality rugged tools. This model is their smallest drill press, providing eight inches of travel and a two inch spindle travel. The motor is 1/3 HP so it doesn’t have as much clout as some of the others units we’re looking at. Nevertheless it will still take drill bits up to 1/2 inches in diameter and is supposed to be able to drill 1/2 inch holes in plate steel. The 6-1/2 inch square table tilts up to 90 degrees in both directions. This unit is long-lasting Grizzly quality in a compact package.
I’ve basically picked this Central Machinery unit for its low price. I have an earlier version of this same drill press in my workshop and it’s served me well for a number of years. The vertical capacity on this unit is only 5 3/4”, which really isn’t all too much; however I have found very few projects I couldn’t work on, even with this drills small size. Like the Grizzly unit, it has a 1/3 HP motor and a two inch spindle stroke. This unit comes with a keyless chuck, the only one on any of the drill presses I’ve selected which is great for convenience, but users need to be careful to not spin the drill bit when cutting through metal. All-in-all, this budget drill press is a great addition to your workshop.
Genesis CDP500, 8 Inch 5 Speed Drill Press
This unit from Genesis Power Tools is much like the Grizzly or Central Machinery units we looked at. The motor is rated at 2.5 amps, but not rated in horsepower. I’m guessing it’s pretty much a 1/3 HP motor like those other units, based upon power consumption specs I’ve been seeing for the other drill presses. Being an induction motor, the CDP500 is nice and quiet as well as being maintenance-free. You don’t have to worry about brushes and commutators wearing out so you’ll get years of use out of this drill press. It has a 1/2 inch chuck with a 2 inch spindle travel. The 6-1/4 inch square table tilts 45 degrees in both directions. The Genesis CDP500 is another nice, compact unit on our list.
Powermatic states they’ve made this model specifically with the woodworker in mind. Of all the drill presses available on the market, this unit is the one I’d most like to have in my workshop. It has a 1 hp motor, providing plenty of power for whatever cutting needs you may have. This is the only drill press on this list with infinitely variable speeds, changed by a single handle. A digital readout gives you an accurate display of the actual speed. The spindle stroke is a respectable 4-3/8”. Powermatic states their table is the largest in the market, starting at 16” x 14” and extendable to 16” x 26”. Both LED lights and laser crosshairs are standard on this drill press. Overall, a very well designed product.
Once again, Delta weighs in with a winner with this 18” drill press. Like all Delta tools, this drill press unit is a rugged workhorse. If there’s anything this company knows how to do, it’s eliminating chatter in their power tools, and this drill press is no exception. Of all the drill presses selected, this model is the only one with a spindle stroke extending to a full 6” of travel, extremely beneficial when drilling deep holes, or holes inside of a hollowed out workpiece. The motor is a little smaller than Powermatic’s, at 3/4 hp, but still powerful enough for just about any drilling task. Laser crosshairs and flexible LED work lights are provided. An auto-tensioning belt drive system allows for fast and easy speed changes for any of its 16 available speeds, while minimizing power loss through belt slippage.
Jet’s 17” Deluxe Drill Press was made for woodworkers and comes with both a dual laser system for proper “aiming” as well as an AC work light to illuminate the your work. The table is an impressive 14” x 18” with two “T” slots giving ample space for projects as well as the ability to clamp down a work piece. Spindle travel is 4-3/8”, which is pretty typical for this size of drill press. This drill press comes equipped with a 3/4 HP Motor, with 16 speeds. The clutch-type drill stop works extremely well for regulating drilling depth.
Grizzly has a wide range of drill press models in their lineup, topping out with this 20 inch model. If sheer capacity is what you need, then take a good look at this unit. While the spindle travel of 4-3/4” isn’t much more than the others we’ve looked at, the 20” swing allows you to work on bigger projects. The oversized table is 18-3/4” x 16-3/4, making it the biggest one on this list. The table also has several T slots, spaced on 4-1/4” centers, allowing you multiple clamping options. This drill press has a 1-1/2 HP motor, double the power of most of the drill presses on this list and ready to take on any job you throw at it. Slightly larger than the others on this list, it was included thanks to Grizzly’s excellent pricing.
Of all the drill presses on this list, Ricon seems to have put the most effort into operator comfort and usability. This drill press has an ergonomic cast iron handle, superior to your typical metal spoke handle. Their clutch-style depth stop is the easiest to use of any drill press’ depth stop. This unit comes with a 1 HP motor, guaranteeing the ability to cut through heavy metal parts. The chuck capacity is 3/4”, the only drill press I have selected with big a chuck capacity (All the others are 5/8”, the standard for a pedestal drill press). The only thing drawback to this drill press is an absence of laser crosshairs or built-in work lights.