Drill Press Buyer’s Guide

A drill press allows one to bore holes in wood, metal, and various materials with more precision and convenience than a portable drill. A drill press also offers the user more power for puncturing harder materials. The stationary equipment gives more accuracy and control for drilling at perfect angles as well as creating consistent holes. Additional accessories render this machine more versatile for different jobs like buffing, grinding, mortising, sanding, and shaping.

The following questions will help pinpoint one’s specific drilling requirements and one’s prospective drill press:

* How large is your workspace area?
* What sizes do you usually work on?
* What type of materials do you work with?

Types of Drill Presses

There are two types of drill presses: bench-top and floor-standing. Bench-top drill presses are compact and more affordable. This type is more suitable for smaller and less demanding tasks. Floor-standing units have more power to handle a larger range of material types. A specialty press, like an electromagnetic or radial unit, is best for specialized or more difficult jobs.
Drill Press Capacity

The “swing” of a drill press determines the thickness of material that it can handle. “Stroke” affects the equipment’s drilling depth.

* A bench-top’s typical swing is from 10-12 inches.
* A floor-standing press’ swing is from 15-17 inches.
* Floor-standing units have larger strokes to drill through thicker material.

Drill Press Rate and Power

More speed settings are required to penetrate metal and wood, as metal’s composition needs lower drill speeds. Wood requires medium-to-high speeds.

* Various materials and thicknesses need more speed settings.
* Bench-tops are more limited in the number of speed settings and speed range.

Specialty Drill Presses

Types of specialty presses include:

1. Radial drill presses are best for angled drill work and large workpieces.
2. Magnetic drill presses are extremely powerful and more portable.

These two types of specialty presses are for specific applications. These require greater investments.