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Best Benchtop Drill Press for Woodworking Reviews

Last Updated: 09.12.21


What are the best benchtop drill presses for woodworking in 2021?


If you don’t have time to go through our carefully researched buying guide, this short paragraph should give you what you need to know. In this product category, we believe the SKIL 3320-01 is the best benchtop drill press for woodworking because of its five variable speeds that allow you to work on different materials and applications to provide versatility in your projects. The machine is driven by a robust 120-volt, 3.2-amp motor to enable drilling from 750 to 3,050 RPM to suit the material of your workpiece. The adjustable depth ensures accurate hole depths to enable repetitive drilling with uniform results every time. Should the SKIL 3320-01 be unavailable, we recommend the second best option, the Shop Fox W1668.



Comparison table


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Buying guide


Mounting directly to its own work stand or bench, a benchtop drill press comes with a compact frame that makes it suitable for a small workshop. It allows you to handle a variety of hole drilling tasks on a variety of materials, depending on the machine’s specified spin speeds. What distinguishes the best drill press for woodworking from less stellar models?



Provides enough power and is the right size for your needs

The maximum power produced by the motor to drive the spindle is measured in Horsepower (HP). Boring through hardier materials is easy for units that boast higher horsepower ratings. You can select from models equipped with a motor ranging from 0.25 HP to 1 HP. Remember: if you do not really need the highest power rating, go only for the maximum HP rating that you will regularly use to prevent unnecessarily spending on a more expensive machine than you actually need.

Twice the distance from the center of the chuck to the front of the column is equivalent to the machine’s center drilling capacity or size. It follows that the drill press will be able to cut a hole in the center of a workpiece with the same size. Thus, if you are working with a 10-inch drill press, it is able to drill a hole in the center of a 10-inch stock, or up to 5 inches from the edge of a 10-inch diameter circle or a 10-inch straight board.



Sturdy construction

You want the three main parts of the machine to be rigid and strong to ensure adequate support, durability and consistent performance for the long term. The base and column should preferably be made of cast iron, along with the head and worktable. You want premium quality knobs and switches or levers on a good drill press for woodworking. The chuck should not exhibit any kind of ‘give’ once a drill bit is secured into it, to ensure that the bit won’t be ‘walking’ off the target spot when you start drilling. Predrilled holes on the base let you mount the unit easily on a bench or work stand. You want a solid worktable that can support an auxiliary table, clamping attachments and other fixtures.



Useful features for versatility

Thanks to the extensive drill press technology advancements that have evolved, this kind of machine can now offer more than just the ability to drill into metal. Plenty of machines now come with a number of spindle speeds from 5 to 12 in all, allowing you to work on a wide range of materials from wood and plastic to metal and cast iron. The variable spin speeds also ensure longevity to your drill bits while preventing material wastage. A more versatile machine highlighted in the best drill press reviews in 2021 comes with a greater number of speed settings.

Most drill presses have a worktable that you can lower and raise along the entire length of the column, thus enabling drilling into different sizes and shapes of materials. The table should ideally be tiltable to allow you to bore through the stock at an angle or to drill through irregularly-shaped stock. Some tables even come with fences to enhance drilling accuracy.

You will also want high quill travel for cutting deeper holes. The depth of the hole can be controlled to enable repetitive drilling with consistent results if the machine comes with adjustable depth stops.


3 Best Benchtop Drill Presses for Woodworking (Updated Reviews) in 2021



You can now choose from plenty of different benchtop drill presses on the market. While the variety of choices can easily overcome you, the buying guide above should provide enough information to make you a more informed consumer. We have also featured the best machines below for even more shopping assistance.



1. SKIL 3320-01


1-skil-3320-01Driven by a capable 3.2-amp, 120-volt motor, the SKIL 3320-01 is designed for the weekend woodworker who needs to work on elaborate projects with reliable precision compared to using just a regular handheld drill. Equipped with an exclusive X2 2-Beam Laser, this machine delivers accurate hole alignment every time.

It also features a dependable depth adjustment system that allows you to drill down evenly for repeatable results. Offering 5 speeds from 750 to 3,050 RPM, the machine lets you drill holes through different types of material so you can enjoy greater productivity and versatility in your workshop. The machine cuts holes cleanly and easily through wood, metal and other materials.

It also accommodates larger diameter drill bits for cutting and woodworking. If you need to work with oddly-shaped workpieces or to drill through the stock at an angle, you will appreciate the tiltable worktable that bevels from 0 to 45 degrees. The machine also ships with two batteries for the X2 2-Beam Laser.

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2. Shop Fox W1668


2-shop-fox-w1668Able to drill both metal and wood, the Shop Fox W1668 is made of steel to ensure more than enough durability for years of use.

The 3/4 HP, 110-Volt motor drives the machine to deliver 12 spindle speeds in all, ranging from 250 to 3,050 RPM, so you can work with a variety of materials and not be limited to a single type of project every time. The ⅝-inch drill chuck accommodates various sizes of drill bits for even more versatility in your projects. The spindle travels 3.25 inches with every turn of the lever so you can approach the workpiece with accuracy and protect the drill bit as well as the material.

The machine ships with a 3-piece spindle sander drum kit with a mandrel plus 80-grit sanding paper so the drill press doubles as a spindle sander that helps you get a flat and smooth finish on wood pieces. The round 12 ⅜-inch work table swings 360 degrees so you can drill on tall stock. It also tilts 45 degrees left and right so you can do angled drilling.

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3. ATE Tools 10728


3-5-speed-mini-drill-pressDriven by a robust ⅓ HP, 110-volt, 60 Hz, the ATE Tools 10728 delivers consistent work results like any other drill press sold at a higher price.

This tabletop mini-drill press comes with a solid construction to support long term use. It has a chuck size of ½ inch to accommodate smaller drill bits and no larger than the ½-inch size. The 160 mm x 164 mm worktable provides a stable work surface on which you can lay the workpiece and keep it steady for drilling.

The 50 mm spindle stroke lets you drill a hole at that exact depth, which prevents wastage of material and damage to the stock. The 210 mm distance between the spindle to the table enables you to make the proper adjustments so as not to break the drill bit or damage the material accidentally. The table rotates 360 degrees to accommodate long workpieces or irregularly-shaped ones, providing versatility for your projects.

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