How to Buy the Best Benchtop Drill Press

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This is How to Buy the Best Benchtop Drill Press. In this post, you’ll learn everything you need to know to pick out a benchtop drill press that you will be happy to have for a long time. Enjoy.

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Benchtop Drill Presses

How-to-Buy-the-Best-Benchtop-Drill-PressWhen it comes to drill presses, sometimes you just don’t have room for a full-size, floorstanding drill press. Also, you might not have it in the budget to invest so much in a tool at the moment.

This is where benchtop drill presses really shine. They give you a lot of the functionality of a full sized drill press, but in a slightly smaller package, and many times at a much more attractive price. That’s a triple win.

Even still, there are some things you need to know in order to pick out the best benchtop drill press for your particular shop. This way, you get all the features you’re looking for, and you don’t end up wishing you had bought more.

I’ll show you several things to consider coming up in the post. They will each have you look at a particular aspect of the drill press, and make sure that it fits with the types of projects you make in your shop.

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Stick With a Trusted Brand

First of all, start with a trusted brand. If you already have a particular brand of power tools that you like, simply look for a benchtop drill press that is made from the same brand. If not, pick a brand that you are familiar with.

Drill presses are not inexpensive. So, the last thing you want to do is save $100 and get a terrible, off-brand tool. This will only last you a very short amount of time before you end up having to buy something new anyway.

Whatever you do, don’t buy something just because it has a low price. In the end, if the tool doesn’t do what you needed to do, it doesn’t even matter if it was free. It’s still useless, and just taking up space in your shop.

See Also: 29 Ways to Maximize Your Woodworking Shop Layout

Look at the Spindle Travel

First thing to take a look at is the amount of travel. This is how far down the drill press can go, or effectively how deep of a hole you can drill. This is important, because it’s essentially one of the limiting factors of your drill press.

On any good benchtop drill press, you should at least have a few inches of travel, which let you drill through items that are pretty thick for most woodworking applications. It may be a little more than you think you need, but the few times you need it, it will be appreciated.

Another time of this becomes important is when you make certain projects. For example, most pens require you to be able to drill a hole at about 2 1/2 inches of depth. If your drill press doesn’t travel that far, you won’t be able to do one of these most simple beginner lathe projects.

See Also: Why You Should be Using Brad Point Drill Bits

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Look at the Size of the Table Top

Another thing to check out is the size of the table top. This will determine how big of a piece of wood you can drill holes through. This doesn’t refer to the thickness, but actually the width.

On a drill press, the head is held in position by the spine, and the distance between the spine and the center of the drill bit is the effective capacity of the tool. If this is 10 inches, then you can’t drill a hole 12 inches from the edge of a piece of wood unless it’s flipped around.

On most to drill presses, this isn’t really an issue. You’ll have several inches to work with, and that’s usually enough for the majority of woodworking projects. However, you don’t want to fall for something that’s super small, because it can limit your abilities.

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Drill Press Speeds

Next comes your drill press speeds. Most drill presses operate at several different speeds, and they are useful for drilling through different types of material. However, don’t spend too much time worrying about the speed differences.

Most of the time you’re just going to be drilling through wood anyway. Though you can change the speed for metal, plastics, and other materials, the vast majority of the time you are going to be drilling holes in pieces of wood to help you build your projects.

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So, if one drill press has a few more speeds than the next, it doesn’t necessarily make it any better. Besides, you really just need slow medium and fast. All of the other speeds are just variations of the same thing.

See Also: 15 Helpful Woodworking Bench Design Tips

Consider What You Already Make

Finally, another way to pick out a great bench top drill press is just a look at the projects you’ve already made. Then, select a model that works for you. Look at the depth, and the capacity, and make sure they are good for the projects you make.

For example, if you make smaller woodworking projects, then a small to medium size benchtop press is probably all you need. It’s sometimes nice to have something bigger, but the majority of the time you won’t actually need it.

Also, if you see yourself building larger projects, then it makes good sense to plan ahead and get a unit that can handle some of the bigger tasks that you need to throw t’s way. Once you switch to your bigger projects, really happy that you bought the right drill press.

See Also: How to Buy Reconditioned Tools the Safe Way

Your Action Assignment

Now that you know all about benchtop drill presses, and how they can really help you save money, save space, and get a very effective tool, it’s time to get out into the shop and take action.

You’ve been putting off the purchase of a drill press for a while, I recommend that you start looking at benchtop models and seeing if there’s something you like. You can find something that’s less expensive, and still gives you a lot of the same functionality as a large drill press.

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If you have any questions about these tips for picking out the best benchtop drill press, please post a question and I’ll be happy to answer them. Happy build.

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  • More than 20 Years Woodworking Experience
  • 7 Woodworking Books Available on Amazon
  • Over 1 Million Words Published About Woodworking
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree from Arizona State University
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