How To Choose The Right Drill Press

How To Choose The Right Drill Press – Your Ultimate Guide To All Things Drill Presses

How to select a good drill press? Let us answer that for you! When it comes to working with wood, metal or any of the sort, especially steel and other tough guys, having the ability to choose the right drill press and having it at your disposal can pretty much make all the difference in the world. Available in a ton of different styles, speeds, and powers, these devices are the perfect ones to go for if you need to get some drilling done and get it done precisely.

Combined with a lot of power – powers that you simply cannot find with a standard hand drill, these exceptionally powered tools often tends to come with having many, many handy features that can ramp up your workflow and take your efficiency to a whole new level – especially when you are breaking up a sweat with larger projects.

At the end of the day though, all of that doesn’t mean that you can answer the question “how to choose a drill press” pretty easily and can make do with any drill press available in the market (a fools hope to have, that is).

Fortunately, we got you guys covered on this matter too (just like always!).

Choose the Right Drill Press

Bench drill presses vs floor standing drill models

An age-old question, it definitely can be a tricky affair to choose between a bench top drill models to a floor-standing one and be right about it. And it’s not because they are quite the same thing concerning power and features (or design, if that matters). No, it’s hard. Because it’s your needs and preferences are what that’s going to be choosing for you.

If you are into doing complicated huge construction projects where you are going to be dealing with larger, heavier and thicker materials, you’ll definitely appreciate the floor-standing drill presses and the ample power and increased capacity that they tend to bring with them.

On the other hand, if small-scale projects like home decoration and sword making – sword making? – are the usual ones that are going to rock your boat, the bench top models and the sheer amount of convenience they are capable of bringing to the table (quite literally) might just be what the doctor ordered

To give you guys a clear picture about what these different models entail, and to answer the question of “how to choose the right drill press?’, we are going to be discussing both of them extensively along with their many pros, cons, specific features and more.

Let’s dive in!

Choose the Right Drill Press – Benchtop Drill Press Models

As I said before, people who are on the hunt for a useful machine to carry out their tasks from the comfort of their home may find the bench top models to be a more sensible choice to have regarding both their sheer convenience and affordable costings. Considerably less expensive than a typical floor standing model but packed to the brim with features nonetheless, they are perfect for undertaking smaller projects where there aren’t going to be much to deal with.

Unlike floor standing drill presses, portability is what makes these devices such a great set of tools to own. Often fixed with a clamp, rivet or a non-fixed girdle, you can easily transplant this device from one place another without breaking too much of a sweat – something which not really possible with its fixed floor counterparts.

If the question that you are trying to get the answer to is “how to choose a drill press for woodworking?” I don’t think you’ll find a better than a bench-top drill press model (a match made in heaven that is.


Largely affordable – a far cry from the usual floor standing models and their rather big price tags, the Benchtop models are primarily made affordable because of them having less professional features and not being too much of a beast (in terms of size, that is). Furthermore, their small sizes also mean that they are made with lesser materials, which also later translate into them having a more wallet-friendly tagging to them.

Portable and compact – being one-third of a typical floor standing model, these power tools are smaller in size and therefore, is going to be pretty easy to move around with. Say you need some extra space in your garage or don’t have a real need for drilling at the moment, you can easily pack up a bench top drill press and throw it in the storage until you may have a need for it – again, something that is not really possible with the floor standing models.

Perfect for smaller and trivial jobs – designed to offer a more personalized approach, the bench top drill presses are mostly made to tackle small and non-imposing jobs and not much anything else. Do you want to drill a pipe for the home plumbing? Looking to expand on that balcony? Or, to build a tree house for the kids? If your general, everyday tool work revolves around something that goes along these lines, a bench top drill press is the one for you.


Less powerful – to cut down on weight, size, and pricing, manufacturers often tend to outfit these handy devices with smaller and less powerful motors than what they typically use on their floor standing drill press variants. Furthermore, these will also have smaller swing ranges which considerably lessen the number of workspaces they can usually handle.

Not heavy duty – at the end of the day though, the bench top drill presses are not really the kind of tools designed to tackle heavy workloads. Look for them only if you do not intend to use them as such.

Choose the Right Drill Press – Floor Drill Press Models

Unlike the bench top drill press variant, the Floor standing model is designed to stand independently on a floor without needing to be mounted or fixed. Usually offering an ample swing from 13 to 20 inches, these high-powered drill presses often rocks a stroke between 3 – 6 inches and has a typical power range that spans from 0.75 to its maximum of 1.5 HP.

With these in your garage or workplace, you can easily deal with longer and thicker materials courtesy of its bulkier frame, increased capacity and the sheer amount of power it has up its sleeve. Unlike the bench top models, which comes with having near-stock options, the floor standing drill presses have the added advantage of having plenty of accessories and attachments to choose from. Perfect for professional uses, having the right attachments can easily help you convert your existing floor standing drill press unit to act as a speed sander, amortizing tool, or even a pretty good belt scrubber with all bells and whistles.


More powerful – totting larger, wider, and much more power hungry motors, the floor standing drill presses will probably going to be the most powerful tool in your arsenal. Although both the floor standing and bench top variants may come with sporting similar speed and RPM rates, the sheer amount of torque is what that sets the former apart.

Wider swings and better precision – unlike bench press units, the Floor standing models are mostly dedicated for hobbyists and DIY’ers. It can offer higher and better precision that can appeal to the more professional end of the spectrum.

Furthermore, the floor-standing units will also have a much larger swing range and bigger column allowing it to handle weirdly sized workpieces that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible with conventional benchtop models.

Versatility– arguably, their major selling point, the floor standing drill presses is highly customizable owing to the abundance of accessories and attachments currently available for them. With the help of dedicated tools and accessories, you can completely transform any floor standing drill presses into any various other tools – something that can come in quite handy in the long run.


Quite large – floor-standing drill presses are inherently pretty large in size and can, therefore, occupy a large amount of space in your workshop. At the end of the day though, they are better off being used for workshops and enterprises that are going to have a genuine use for their power and capabilities.

Pricey – when compared with benchtop models, the floor standing ones are rather expensive with often models costing double the amount that you would typically shell out for a high-end benchtop variant.

How to Choose a Good Drill Press – Some other points to consider

#1 Power of the drill press

With power levels being calculated in terms of horsepower, it’s pretty apparent that you’d want to have a model that’s powerful enough to ensure faster and easier drilling. Make sure to opt for a drill that comes with having higher power ratings; having a powerful motor at your disposal can not only ensure its toughness and durability in the long run, it can also make your job a pretty easy thing to do as it can drill through anything and everything quite breezily.

#2 Speed levels

Not every hole can be drilled with the same speed and power, exactly. It’s absolutely imperative that you make sure that the drilling press that you are vying to buy can adjust its speed with the varying circumstances and can, therefore, perform accordingly. Just like so, the spin rate of s drill press is also something that needs to be considered quite well before you go and choose the right drill press. Measured in revolutions per minute (or RPM), you can now choose from 5 to 16-speed levels with RPM’s going from a meagre 250 to 4500.

#3 Multipurpose nature

Aside from enabling you to drill holes through almost anything, you can use a drill press – with enough customization – as some various tools and devices that may take your fancy. From converting it into a sander, a polisher or even a scraper, there is no limit to what you can do with a spare bit of attachable parts and a proper, well-made drill press model – just make sure that you go and get the right one.

How To Choose The Right Drill Press – Frequently asked questions

As you can see, picking the right drill press can be very tricky. We understand so many things that can ruin your purchase, be it worries, doubts, etc. at PHTS. And of course, we’ll help better avoid this dilemma.

Answered by experts, here is a quick FAQ session on drill presses to better get you to become the right owner for the right tool;

1) What materials can I drill using these drill presses?

Like their industrial counterparts, these drill presses can also drill through everything from woodworks, metal tiles, ceramic, etc. For metal objects, you may need to go for a high RPM model, say 700+ for effective cutting. Other than that, these drill presses can put a hole through everything you can throw at it.

Do note that for different materials, different drill bits may be required. So make sure you have the right bit before drilling in.

2) Do drill presses need much maintenance?

Very little. Give them a nice brush down dirt and grime from getting into the bearings and causing wear often. Besides, always make sure to properly apply lubrication to the chuck, quill, depth, handle and the main column to better combat rust and keep things running smoothly

We also recommend keeping an eye on the drive belt. Yeah, they can last for years, but eventually, they’ll be the first to give out.

3) Where is the best place to buy drill presses?

At this moment, drill presses are available from a variety of power tool dealers, both online & offline channels. However, if you want the best experience & the top prices, we recommend going for the Amazon website.

When you purchase your drill presses from them, you benefit from their excellent customer care and return, should go haywire.

4) How much am I expected to pay for a solid, high-quality drill press?

As of today, a good quality drill press can cost you up to $1000 as far as industrial models are concerned. However, for every day, home and workshop use, you can easily get proper drill presses for as low as $75 to $500.

The more you are ok coughing up, the higher the quality of the drill presses – so plan your budgets accordingly.

5) How long can they last?

Obviously, they are durable machines. But as far as pure lifespan goes, industrial drill models have the upper hand seeing they are specially designed to endure even the heaviest usages under the harshest conditions. Yes, they may often need slight repairs. But other than that, they can be used almost indefinitely.

The budget, home drill presses are less durable, of course. Still, with proper care, you can easily get a decade worth use out of them.

Conclusion – So, How to Choose the Right Drill Press?

To put the answer in a nutshell, both of the variants that we had described above on the topic of “choose the right drill press” are very well capable of getting to help you get the job done, and that too pretty brilliantly. Totting pretty much the same amount of power, features, and functionalities, the differentiating factor, however, is going to be about the amount of space they tend to occupy. Like what I had said above, if you are looking to get things done as a hobbyist, homemaker or a DIY’er, opt for something simple like a bench-top drill press model.

On the other hand, if you are a big shot garage owner or only tends to touch upon works that are going to challenge you, it’s going to be be better for you to opt for a floor standing drill press model as it has the most amount of features and powers that you could ever hope to ask for.

As a rule of thumb, to help you choose the right drill press, I recommend that you go through various online reviews to get a better picture about them and what they are capable of doing, as this can definitely help you determine how its usability is going to pan out for you.

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