What are the best portable drill presses in 2017?
If you don’t have the time to go through our buying guide and you just want to find the best portable drill press, this short paragraph is all you need to read. After extensive product research and comparison, we have found what we believe is the number one product on the market, the WEN 4210. This model stands out because of its tough 3.2-amp motor that delivers enough power and torque to accommodate various applications through its five variable speeds. Perfect for the avid DIYer who aims to someday build a business with their creativity, this model is equipped with features of convenience such as the easy-to-read locking linear depth stop that ensures consistently accurate and repeatable drilling operations, supplemented by the effortlessly controllable 2.5-inch spindle travel. Aside from guaranteeing simple operations, this model ensures lasting use with its cast iron table that also promises adjustability to accommodate the kind of stock you work on. If the WEN 4210 is unavailable, you could get the second best option, the SKIL 3320-01.
Thanks to the invention of the drill press, shop work has never been easier even for the novice craftsman. Not only does a drill press simplify hole drilling into stock but it also facilitates repeated cutting of identical holes for elaborately-designed projects. These are what make top quality machines different from the inferior ones on the market:
The best portable drill presses boast impeccable construction
All the main parts of a good quality machine speak of quality, from the base to the column, table and head. It is the length of the hollow column that determines whether the drill press is a bench model or a floor/freestanding model.
Clamped to the column is the worktable, which moves to any point between the base and the head via a rack-and-pinion mechanism. Some models have a slotted table that enables hassle-free clamping down of the workpiece or holding fixture.
Oftentimes, the table is also designed with a central hole through it. Most models feature an articulating worktable to accommodate angled drilling applications. A simple rack-and-pinion mechanism moves the spindle and the quill. This element is controlled using a feed lever.
The quill typically comes with a travel or stroke varying between 2 and 3.25 inches. Look for models with a ½-inch chuck capacity, which accepts a variety of drill bit sizes for versatility. A V-belt connects the stepped-cone pulley/s to another pulley for the motor that drives the spindle.
The entire machine should boast a solid build to ensure long life and dependable precision. A ribbed table and base adds more rigidity and strength. Slots or ledges on the sides of the table are useful for clamping the stock securely in place.
You want the table to be ground flat to ensure accuracy. The base should be made with a flat surface to hold large stock steadily. The table should be adjustable both up and down as well as left and right to handle various drilling situations.
Make sure the machine has a sealed ball-bearing motor for durability.
The best portable drill press reviews give high ratings to machines that offer versatility
Thankfully, most drill presses on the market are engineered to deliver variable speeds, which makes it possible to drill holes into a variety of materials including wood, metal, plastics and ceramics, among others. Ranging between 250 rpm to 3,000 rpm and beyond, premium drill presses allow you to work on various types of stock to increase your creativity in the workshop.
An articulating work surface enables working with different sizes of stock and also lets you perform drilling at an angle if the workpieces are shaped irregularly.
The maximum size stock that you can work with is determined by the drill press size. For instance, an 8-inch drill press is capable of drilling a hole through the center of an 8-inch size stock.
Average workshop jobs need at least a ¼- to ¾-horsepower motor on the drill press.
The best compact drill press ensures flexibility and serviceability
Some attachments and accessories can expand the functionality of your drill press. A drill press clamp holds the stock firmly in place during work. It is not good to simply hold the workpiece with your hand while working with the machine.
You can be aided with keeping the stock positioned well on the table while drilling if you have fence attachments.
Mortise attachments allow you to do more than bore round holes with a drill press. So will sanding and grooving attachments.
Another thing to ensure when getting a drill press is the machine’s ability to be serviced or upgraded. Replacement parts should be readily available. Service should be effortless to get in case of breakdowns.
The market is filled with a variety of drill presses so it can be a challenge to find the best one for you. The above buying guide is designed to make the buying process less stressful. We have also showcased the best products below for even more shopping guidance.
Ensuring you can drill holes with laser precision, the WEN 4210 is one of the best WEN drill press models available. The package ships with all you need to get started on that dream project: the drill press, tools for assembly and a ½ -inch keyed chuck and key.
Simply assemble the machine, make sure everything is secure and you’re ready to go in minutes. The robust 3.2-amp motor offers sufficient durability to ensure years of use while providing adequate power and torque to accommodate a range of drilling applications by driving the machine to run at five different speeds, varying between 600 and 3100 rpm.
This enables you to work on different kinds of material from wood to metal to plastics and ceramic. For easy control of the drilling operations, the machine comes with a spindle travel of 2.5 inches, supplemented with the locking liner depth stop that is easy to read.
That component enables accurate and repeatable drilling operations so you can work on elaborate projects confidently. The 7 ⅝ x 7 ⅝-inch beveling cast iron worktable offers sufficient rigidity and stability to drill on.
The rack-and-pinion height adjustment lets you raise and lower the table to the right level to accommodate various workpieces of varying sizes and shapes.
Offering a no-load, five-speed range from 570 to 3,050 rpm, the SKIL 3320-01 comes with a 0.5-inch keyed chuck that accommodates a variety of drill bit sizes for different applications. Driven by a robust 120-volt, 3.2-amp motor, the machine provides versatile spindle speeds (no load) to handle a variety of drilling operations and different workpiece materials.
If you love working on elaborate projects, you will surely appreciate the machine’s adjustable depth stop that ensures precise hole measurements while enabling repeatable hole drilling with the same dimensions every time.
Taking on a project that uses an irregularly shaped or odd-sized stock is no problem thanks to the articulating worktable that bevels 0 to 45 degrees left and right. Precise hole alignment is ensured thanks to the Laser X2 two-beam laser, ensuring uniform and clean work.
Definitely a lot better than any standard handheld drill, this model has a dependable depth adjustment system that allows you to drill to the same level for consistently executed holes that ensure professional-looking results.
Confidently drill through wood, metal and other materials thanks to the ½-inch chuck capacity that handles a variety of drill bit sizes. This supports even the most elaborate building and furniture-making projects.
Equipped with a versatile ½-inch keyed chuck that accommodates a variety of drill bit sizes, the WEN 4208 enables you to handle diverse woodworking and cutting projects. This model comes with onboard key storage so you don’t lose or misplace the drill’s vital component that easily.
Running at 5 different speeds, this machine accommodates a variety of materials from the softer to the tougher ones, ranging from wood, metal, to plastics, ceramics and many others. Choose from 740 to 3,140 rpm for a variety of drilling applications.
The spindle travels up to two inches for problem-free control. The locking linear depth stops are easy to read to eliminate the guesswork and enable repetitive drilling operations. This means you can work on elaborate projects with professional-looking results.
The 6 ½ x 6 ½-inch work table comes with height adjustability and also tilts left and right up to 45 degrees so you can work on irregularly shaped stock with non-standard sizes. The durable ⅓-HP motor provides enough power and torque to ensure the machine runs optimally.
The 8-inch size provides a compact-enough footprint that enables effortless placement and positioning of the unit on your workbench. The ½-inch JT33 chuck accepts different drill bit sizes for even more versatility.