What are the best drill presses for woodworking in 2017?
For those who don’t have time to do their own research on the best drill press for woodworking, we have done the hard part ourselves to give you everything you need to know in this short paragraph. We believe that the WEN 4208 is the best on the market because it comes with a wide RPM range from 620 to 3100 RPM to give you the exact drilling speed you need for any woodworking application. The spindle travel of 2 inches allows you to move the bit to the exact point for drilling, helping you stay in control of the drilling task from the very start. If the WEN 4208 is not available, we suggest getting the Shop Fox W1667, which is just as good.
Using a drill press for woodworking
What is a drill press used for in woodworking? Craftspeople use a drill press for precise drilling of holes, cutting mortises or drilling square holes for future joinery tasks, spindle sanding and dowelling. The drill press has always been considered an integral woodworking machine that can handle a variety of other tasks. Aside from drilling round holes, a drill press can also be used to cut square holes when fitted with a mortising attachment.
Floor or freestanding models may take up more room, but they are equipped with more powerful motors, have larger work tables on which to place the workpiece, and offer more speed settings and rack-and-pinion adjustments for the table height to accommodate more types of materials and applications compared to standard benchtop models. Many benchtop drill presses, though not all, have moderately sized motors that can handle standard drilling applications using smaller capacity chucks and with less number of speed settings compared to freestanding machines. Benchtop drill presses are designed for cramped workshops or for occasional use only, and can be easily stored in a corner when not in use.
All drill presses work fundamentally the same way. A pulley is driven bya motor mounted at the back of the drill press. The pulley connects to a spindle that turns the drill bit. You can adjust the spindle speed with stepped pulleys that also allow working with different types of material. Large diameter bits have to be used with slow speeds while small diameter ones need to be used with higher speeds to maximize tool life. With variable spindle speeds, you are able to get more precise adjustments for every application.
The distance of travel for the chuck is referred to as the quill stroke, which also denotes the machine’s maximum hole depth. When making depth adjustments, an easy-to-use quill lock lets you lower the bit to the workpiece and hold it there temporarily. Make sure the manufacturer of the machine has provided this for convenience. The distance between the support post and the chuck and the dimensions of the worktable help determine the size and shape of the workpiece you can work on.
You want a smooth-operating chuck. You also want the spindle and chuck assembly to have minimal runout or wobbling as the bit turns. The capacity of the drill press motor determines the extent of your productivity and the machine’s overall functionality, so make sure the motor offer ample power to handle your workshop needs. To prevent slipping of the workpiece on the drill press table, you should use a clamp or vise to secure the stock. Do not assume that you need just your hands to hold the stock in place when you’re just going to do a quick hole cutting job.
Easy to assemble, the WEN 4208 comes with tools to make assembly hassle free. It comes with a ½ inch keyed chuck and a chuck key for problem-free use.
Outfitted with a ⅓ horsepower motor that drives the spindle to deliver speeds from 620 to 1100, 1720, 2340 and 3100 RPM, this model can handle various kinds of materials and thicknesses to expand your creativity, earning praises in plenty of best drill press reviews. This model has a 2-inch spindle travel complemented with an easy-to-read locking linear depth stop to ensure repeatable and accurate drilling operations.
The drill press motor offers enough power and torque for the machine to handle various applications. The 6.5-inch X 6.5-inch work table has an adjustable height and bevels up to 45 degrees left and right so you can work with different kinds of materials with varying sizes and shapes. This is a genuinely powerful tool with an 8-inch swing that lets you drill in the center of an 8-inch workpiece easily, whether plastic, wood, metal or other types of material. It has a maximum drill capacity of ½ inch in 1 inch thick cast iron.
Compact and convenient, the Shop Fox W1667 is a benchtop oscillating machine that offers versatile functionality either as a drill press or an oscillating sander. Capable of handling different drilling and sanding operations, this model is outfitted with a ½ horsepower motor plus a removable safety key that helps prevent accidental starts, along with a ½-inch drill chuck that accommodates different sizes of drill bits for different applications.
The precision-ground sanding spindle can be used with sanding drums that have 1 to 2 inches diameter and are up to 4.25 inches long. The oscillating spindle delivers a better finish and ensures longer life for the abrasives.
The unit features a paddle switch that provides greater safety compared to other types of switches thanks to the removable lock-out key and oversized paddle. You won’t have to fumble around to find the OFF button since you only need to slap the paddle down to cut the power off. You can drill holes at a specific depth repeatedly thanks to the lockable depth stop, while the easy-to-read depth scale helps you easily find the desired depth.
Engineered specifically for woodworking, the Woodtek 109367 has a large ½ horsepower motor that helps it to handle demanding workloads. The three-spoke wheel lets you easily lower the chuck with the drill bit to the surface of the material and raise it after drilling. The locking height adjustments allow you to do repeatable drilling operations with greater accuracy. The quiet V-belt drive ½ horsepower motor ensures enough torque and power delivered to handle various applications. The cast iron table ensures solid support while being tiltable left to right from 0 to 45 degrees for angled drilling tasks. Offering value for money, this model offers five different speeds from 720, 1070, 1620, 2360 and 3250 RPM so you can work on different tasks without a hitch.
The 10 ⅛ inch swing allows you to drill a hole in the center of a 10 ⅛-inch workpiece with confidence. The ½-inch chuck lets you use different bit sizes for any application. The worktable measures 6.5 x 6.5 inches to hold the stock in place and provide support as you drill.