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.
Drill like a Pro
Major ConsiderationsWhen 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.
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Power drills and drivers are the MVP of your tools, so learn more about them for your next DIY project. In this buying guide, you will learn which drill or driver best suits your needs and how to use it safely and properly.