Best Drill Press For Woodworking in 2022 (Reviews and Comparison)

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Most serious woodworkers appreciate the value of a good benchtop drill press to improve the quality of their work. With a benchtop drill press you will have precise and straight drill holes every time.

You know you are always drilling straight down, to the exact depth you need. No more flared out, skewed off, too deep holes that you can end up with when using a handheld drill.

Benchtop drill presses can also be used for tasks such as mortises and large holes. You can save time and effort by drilling out the majority of waste before finishing off with a chisel or router. And with a benchtop drill press you know you are clearing to the correct depth with straight sides.

But there are many benchtop drill presses out there to choose from with various features. So how do you know which is the best benchtop drill press for woodworking?

We’ve pressed ahead and done the research for you, drilled through the details, and narrowed it down to a few of the best benchtop drill presses available to suit various budgets.

COMPARISON CHART

IMAGE PRODUCT
WEN 4212T 5-Amp 10-Inch Variable Speed Benchtop Drill Press with Laser 1. WEN 4212T 5-Amp 10-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press
  • Variable RPM
  • Host of Features
  • Powerful
  • Good mid-range size and weight
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BILT HARD 12 inch Variable Speed Drill Press, with Laser & Worklight, 5 Amp Benchtop Drilling Machine 2. Bilt Hard 12-Inch Variable Speed 5-Amp Drill Press
  • Larger capacity
  • Variable Speeds
  • Lots of features
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WEN 4208T 2.3-Amp 8-Inch 5-Speed Benchtop Drill Press 3. WEN 4208T 2.3-Amp 8-Inch 5 Speed Drill Press
  • Great Value
  • Good Features
  • Compact and lightweight
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BILT HARD 10 in Drill Press with Drill Bit Set, 3/4HP Drilling Machine for Woodworking, CSA Certificate 4. Bilt Hard 10-Inch 6.2-Amp 12 Speed Drill Press
  • Powerful Motor
  • Good range of RPM
  • Compact and Lightweight
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JET JWDP-12, 12-Inch Benchtop Drill Press, 1/2HP, 115V 1PH (716000) 5. Jet JWDP-12 12-Inch Benchtop Drill Press
  • Variable Speed
  • Powerful Motor
  • Stable
  • 5-year warranty
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1. WEN 4212T 5-Amp 10-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press

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WEN 4212T 5-Amp 10-Inch Variable Speed Benchtop Drill Press with Laser

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WEN 4212T 5-Amp 10-Inch Variable Speed Benchtop Drill Press with Laser

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WEN 4212T 5-Amp 10-Inch Variable Speed Benchtop Drill Press with Laser

Specification

Swing10-Inch
Spindle Travel2-⅜-Inch
Chunk Capacity½-Inch
Motor4.5 Amp
Speed530-3100 RPM

Features

  • Digital Speed Readout
  • 45 degrees bevel work table
  • Depth Adjustment Gauge
  • Laser guide

WEN benchtop drills feature heavily in most users’ favorite lists of benchtop drill presses. 

The WEN 4212T is a highly rated mid-range benchtop drill press with plenty of useful features to improve results. It is large enough to cope with most projects without being too cumbersome and heavy.

It has a decent variable speed range of 530-3100 RPM. And with a digital speed readout, you can set it at any speed you choose within that range and coupled with a 4.5 Amp motor should handle most woodworking tasks.

What We Like

It has all the extra features you would need for most jobs. We particularly like the variable speed adjustment with digital readout for precise speed control. It is sturdily built and good value as well as having a two-year warranty.

On-board key storage is a nice simple extra.

What We Don’t Like

Some users said it needed a bit of work getting it set up right on purchase but worked well once done.

The laser guide needs separate AA batteries which is an extra thing that would be nice not to have to think about.

PROS

  • Variable RPM
  • Host of Features
  • Powerful
  • Good mid-range size and weight

CONS

  • Not the longest spindle travel
  • Laser battery powered

2. Bilt Hard 12-Inch Variable Speed 5-Amp Drill Press

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BILT HARD 12 inch Variable Speed Drill Press, with Laser & Worklight, 5 Amp Benchtop Drilling Machine

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BILT HARD 12 inch Variable Speed Drill Press, with Laser & Worklight, 5 Amp Benchtop Drilling Machine

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BILT HARD 12 inch Variable Speed Drill Press, with Laser & Worklight, 5 Amp Benchtop Drilling Machine

Specification

Swing12-Inch
Spindle Travel3 ⅛-Inch
Chunk Capacity⅝-Inch
Motor5 Amp
Speed580-3200 RPM

Features

  • 45 degrees bevel work table
  • Depth Adjustment Gauge
  • Laser guide

Another brand that has several popular and highly rated drill presses is Bilt Hard.

The Bilt Hard 12-Inch is a mid-range model that ticks a lot of boxes in most users’ drill press wish lists.

What We Like

The Bilt 12-inch model has a larger swing capacity,  spindle travel and chuck capacity than the WEN 4212T as well as a more powerful motor. It also has a similar variable speed with digital readout.

So it would be a good choice for larger jobs.

What We Don’t Like

It does only have a 1-year limited warranty and weighs in at a hefty 82 pounds.

PROS

  • Larger capacity
  • Variable Speeds
  • Lots of features

CONS

  • Heavy for a benchtop
  • 1-year warranty

3. WEN 4208T 2.3-Amp 8-Inch 5 Speed Drill Press“ Circular saw Blade

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WEN 4208T 2.3-Amp 8-Inch 5-Speed Benchtop Drill Press

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WEN 4208T 2.3-Amp 8-Inch 5-Speed Benchtop Drill Press

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WEN 4208T 2.3-Amp 8-Inch 5-Speed Benchtop Drill Press

Specification

Swing8-Inch
Spindle Travel2-Inch
Chunk Capacity½-Inch
Motor2.3 Amp
Speed740-3140 RPM

Features

  • 5 Fixed Speeds
  • 45 degrees bevel work table
  • Depth Adjustment Gauge

Another drill press from WEN is the WEN 4208T. If you are on a budget this is a good lower-cost option that still has plenty to offer a home woodworker.

What We Like

While not as fully featured as its brothers in the WEN range of drill presses, it still has plenty of features to offer. If you can live with the smaller capacity and lower power, and live without a laser guide and fully variable speeds – it is a great value drill press.

What We Don’t Like

Smaller 6.5 x 6.5-inch worktable. Slowest speed 740 RPM.

PROS

  • Great Value
  • Good Features
  • Compact and lightweight

CONS

  • Could be too small
  • Lower Power may struggle

4. Bilt Hard 10-Inch 6.2-Amp 12 Speed Drill Press

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BILT HARD 10 in Drill Press with Drill Bit Set, 3/4HP Drilling Machine for Woodworking, CSA Certificate

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BILT HARD 10 in Drill Press with Drill Bit Set, 3/4HP Drilling Machine for Woodworking, CSA Certificate

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BILT HARD 10 in Drill Press with Drill Bit Set, 3/4HP Drilling Machine for Woodworking, CSA Certificate

Specification

Swing10-Inch
Spindle Travel2-9/25-Inch
Chunk Capacity⅝-Inch
Motor6.2 Amp
Speed350-3000 RPM

Features

  • 12 Fixed Speeds
  • 45 degrees bevel work table
  • Depth Adjustment Gauge

This 10-Inch drill press from Bilt Hard has a surprisingly powerful 6.2 Amp motor for a lower cost smaller model.

What We Like

This drill press has a powerful motor and low 350RPM slow speed which are good at this price as well as a good 10-Inch Swing for a smaller drill press.

What We Don’t Like

The speed is changed by having to manually adjust the belt position.

PROS

  • Powerful Motor
  • Good range of RPM
  • Compact and Lightweight

CONS

  • Small 7.48 x 6.3-Inch worktable
  • Manually adjustable speed

5. Jet JWDP-12 12-Inch Benchtop Drill Press

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JET JWDP-12, 12-Inch Benchtop Drill Press, 1/2HP, 115V 1PH (716000)

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JET JWDP-12, 12-Inch Benchtop Drill Press, 1/2HP, 115V 1PH (716000)

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JET JWDP-12, 12-Inch Benchtop Drill Press, 1/2HP, 115V 1PH (716000)

Specification

Swing12-Inch
Spindle Travel3-⅛-Inch
Chunk Capacity⅝-Inch
Motor5-Amp
Speed530-3100 RPM

Features

  • Variable Speeds
  • Digital Speed Readout
  • 45 degrees bevel work table
  • Depth Adjustment Gauge
  • Laser Guide

The standout features of this Jet JWDP-12 Drill Press are the 12-Inch Swing and the powerful ½-HP 5-Amp motor. This is a solid and powerful drill press with a good capacity.

What We Like

This model has the power to drill through most materials including hardwoods and metals if you need. It is a solid, well-built, heavy model which is good for stability.

It is backed up with an impressive 5-year warranty.

What We Don’t Like

It is quite pricey compared to similar specification models and its 85 pounds may be a problem for some if you are likely to move it around occasionally.

PROS

  • Variable Speed
  • Powerful Motor
  • Stable
  • 5-year warranty

CONS

  • Cost
  • Heavy

FAQ/Buyers Guide

What is Swing?

Swing is double the distance from the support post to the drill center. So a drill press with a 10-Inch swing only has a distance of 5 inches from support post to drill bit.

It is to give you an idea of the widest piece of wood you could drill in its center. But you won’t always be drilling in the center of a piece, so for instance you could have a 15-inch wide piece of wood and drill it 4 inches from one edge on a 10-Inch Swing drill press.

What is Spindle Travel?

Spindle travel is the maximum vertical distance the drill will move, so in effect it is the deepest hole you can drill.

What is Chuck Capacity?

It is the largest diameter of drill bit that the chuck will be able to hold. If you want to be using some large drill bits this could be a critical factor for you.

Why does motor power matter?

Some materials, including hard woods like oak, require more power for the drill bit to cut into the dense material. If a drill motor is not powerful enough it will just grind to a halt. So if you are planning on working on harder woods you will need a more powerful motor.

Why does speed/RPM matter?

Harder materials are also better drilled at slower speeds or the bit will overheat and blunt. Whereas softer materials can be drilled at higher speeds. So it’s good to be able to adjust the drill speed for the material.

What is a bevel table?

A bevel table is the ability to rotate the work table, normally up to 45-degrees either side for the times you don’t want to drill straight down into the face of the wood, like for jointing.

What is a depth adjustment gauge?

It is to set how deep the drill goes for precise depths when required. It is far easier than putting a piece of masking tape around the bit and hoping you stop at the right place!

What is a laser guide?

A precise laser, usually in an X shape, shines onto the wood showing exactly where the drill bit will start to drill so you can line up the wood precisely before lowering the drill. It saves guess work and accidental marks in the wrong place.

Conclusion

All these drill presses are good options with various pros and cons, but for a quality all-purpose press drill that should cope with most jobs we would choose the WEN 4212T. It doesn’t top all the specifications but has a good combination of features and is good value for money.

If you need something for bigger jobs with more power and your budget can stretch to it, then the Jet JWDP-12 may be worth the extra outlay.

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