Drill Press Buying Guide

A drill press is an essential tool for drilling precisely spaced holes or boring to exact depths. With the right attachments, a drill press can also serve as a spindle sander, mortise machine, or a pocket hole machine.  Every professional woodworking shop has one, and yours can, too.

Man using drill press in workshop

Drill like a Pro

We have an extensive line of drill presses suited for any workload or budget. Up your drilling game and get precise, accurate, and clean holes at your home workshop. 

Drill Press Model Variations 

After the power saw, the drill press is probably the second most important piece of equipment in the average home workshop. But you need to get the right drill press for your shop.

Floor model drill press

Floor-Model Drill Presses

Floor-model drill presses usually have more powerful motors, more attachments/accessories, and greater material handling capacities than bench-tops. The extra versatility makes floor models good choices for serious DIY and commercial shops. 

Bench top drill press

Bench-Top Drill Presses

Bench-top drill presses mount directly to a workbench or on their own stands. Their compact size makes bench-top models good choices for small shops. 

Major Considerations 

When you're looking for a drill press, compare the following: 

Horsepower (HP) is the maximum power produced by the motor. Higher horsepower allows you to bore larger holes through tougher material. Drill presses are available with motors from 1/4 to 1 HP. 

Size/center drilling capacity is determined by the distance from the centre of the chuck to the column. Since the press can bore a hole in a circle with a diameter two times the distance from the centre of the chuck to the column, the size is listed as twice the distance from the column to the centre of the chuck. A 16-inch drill press can drill a hole up to 8" from the edge of a straight board or at the centre of a 16" diameter circle. 

Variable speeds allow you to drill different diameter holes through different materials without damaging the material or drill bits. Drill presses are available with 5 to 10 speed settings. The more speed settings, the more versatile the drill press. 

The table on most drill presses can be raised and lowered along the entire length of the column. It can also swivel 360 degrees around the column for boring oddly-shaped pieces. Better presses have large, tilting tables with fences. 

Quill travel determines the depth to which the press can bore holes. Greater quill travel allows you to bore deeper holes. 

Depth-stops control the depth to which the quill descends and limit the depth of the hole. Depth-stops are good for repetitive boring and dowel holes. The more precise your depth-stops, the more accurate your boring operations.


Beyond your choices when it comes to drill bits, when choosing a drill press, check to see what accessories and attachments are standard and find out what other attachments the drill press accepts. If you're just starting out, all the extras may seem unnecessary, but as your skill level rises, you'll appreciate the added functions. Look for the following things:

  • Fences attach to the table and help position stock for repetitive holes 
  • Mortising attachments connect to the quill for drilling precise mortises
  • Sanding drums attach to the chuck for sanding irregular edges or patterns
  • Planer heads attach to the chuck for squaring the edges of stock or cutting rabbets

Mortising Bit

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