There’s no better way to make precise holes on a piece of wood than to use a drill press for woodworking. If you invest in the right model, you’ll definitely get the greatest value for your money.
And let me be clear on one thing:
The best drill press for a woodworking project isn’t often the most expensive one per se.
As long as the equipment you choose is powerful enough to penetrate thin and thick wood without being too ruthless to cause damage, then you’ve found yourself the right tool for the job.
Plus, the drill press should provide a good speed range for the project. Not to mention allow you to adjust speed level without relying on some secondary tools to do so.
In this guide, we’ll look at some of the best drill press that you can get right now and start using for your woodwork. Some are so versatile that you can use them to work on other objects like metal. Others are too fragile to handle tough materials but still good enough for wood projects.
WEN 4214 Variable Speed Drill Press
Editor's Pick (Most Popular)
WEN 4208 5-Speed Drill Press
Jet JDP-17 3/4 HP Drill Press
- 1 Best Drill Press for Woodworking Reviews: Top Picks
- 2 How to Choose the Best Drill Press for Woodworking
Best Drill Press for Woodworking Reviews: Top Picks
1. WEN 4208 5-Speed Drill Press for Woodworking
The a top-rated drill press for woodworking doesn’t have to break the bank. Even an inexpensive model such as the 5-speed WEN 4208 can get the job done quite well.
While the WEN 4208 packs a lot of power with its 120 volts, 60Hz, 1/3 HP induction motor, and up to 5 adjustable speeds for work, it’s only as sufficient and effective for small projects.
The frame, head, base, and the table are made of high quality metal, which make the model stable enough to stand up to long hour woodworking jobs. The calibration on the spindle makes the unit easy to read, and the locking depth maintains the accuracy of your wood project all the time.
Judging from the 7.5 x 22.9 x 11 inches dimension, WEN 4208 isn’t such a large drill press per se. So if you’re limited on space or you don’t intend to engage in highly demanding projects, it should be just perfect for you. Not to mention that the compact size makes it easily portable from spot to spot.
The table is flexible, no doubt. Given its 45-degree include to the right or the left, you can adjust your working position to what’s comfortable for you.
Depending on the speed you choose, you do get an RPM in the range between 740 and 3140. Keep in mind that the speed option you choose depends on the type of material to work on, so make sure you adjust to the right settings when working on wood.
- An affordable drill press that provides enough torque power for small to medium woodworking projects
- Precise speed and job accuracy even under repeated operations
- Works with a drill base of ½ inch size, which is good for multiple tasks
- Some parts are made of iron for strength and durability
- Stable base and the table is wide enough for small and medium jobs
- You must bolt it to a workbench before you start using it
2. Nova 58000 Voyager DVR Drill Press
Nova 58000 Voyager DVR drill press has a steeper price point, but it’s a unique equipment to have if you’re interested in a well-built and versatile machine.
From a performance standpoint, this drill press can handle a variety of materials, including plastic, metal, glass, and wood. And it does so with precision on both light and heavy-duty projects.
Voyager DVR’s motor is one of the most powerful technologies built into the device. Plugged into a 220V outlet, the motor pushes the device to generate up to 2 HP, giving you up to 5500 RMP, which is sufficient for woodworking.
If you’re someone who’s always keep to every detail, it won’t take you more than 30 seconds to gaze at the display. It’s clear, colorful, and very easy to read even in direct sunlight. Plus, you don’t even have to be a tech expert to operate the display, which means it’s easy to navigate.
Perhaps a unique and probably quite a rare feature of this drill press is the speed system. Traditional drill presses demand that you use tools to adjust the speed of the system.
However, Nova eliminates this feel from the Voyager 58000, allowing you to adjust and monitor speed from the display. What’s more? You even get a reference guide on the right speed option to use depending on the material in question.
Then there’s the soft start functionality. In a way, it’s a special add-on that keeps the machine under control in the beginning of every project. Not to mention it even feature a direct drive system, which enhances smooth operation.
- This drill press is very stable, thanks to its weight
- Powerful motor provides high RPM for drill
- Versatile; you can use it to work on different materials
- This machine is heavy, so you’ll need some muscles to move it from place to place
- Nova Voyager drill press is expensive
- We wish the table were easy to lock into position
3. Jet JDP-17 3/4 HP Drill Press
Ease of assembly and accuracy are the two important features to look for in a drill press for woodworking. And it’s relieving to see how Jet combines the two aspects harmoniously in the JDP 17.
In our eyes, this is a no nonsense drill press that gets the job done with a higher level of precision. With a bigger spindle range than many drill presses have, the JPD 17 can get to a deeper depth of a piece of wood in almost what would seem like a snap.
Maybe it would be an understatement to say the drill’s table is up to the standard. Besides making it big enough for large projects, Jet adds some grooves to the construction, so you can easily line up your woods and center the holes with definite precision. You can even move it up and down the column to get that comfortable spot to manage your work.
Its speed settings make it one of the top woodworking drill press for the price. With 16 options present, each adjustable with bare hands under a minute, JPD 17 provides so much flexibility than many drill presses can.
- Has 16 speed settings
- Large spindle and table for large projects
- You can adjust speed with just one hand
- Expect some vibration at higher RMP
- We wish the chunk key were easy to use
4. Dremel Rotary Drill Press
Dremel Rotary is one of the least expensive drill presses in the market, yet one of the strongest built by the company.
Built to drill at an inclined angle between 15 and 90 degrees horizontal, Dremel Rotary is no doubt a versatile unit for the price point. Moreover, it includes a flexible 36-inch shaft attachment, which makes it a perfect power tool to use with different drill bits.
The design includes a Flex Shaft Tool Stand, which lets you make telescopic adjustments to a height between 16 and 29 inches. If you tend to cut your work piece from the middle, the plunge added to this model will let you do just that.
As simple as it looks, Dremel includes a tool holder, which allows you to fix tools to the machine with ease. For example, tools used for sanding wood of different shapes and sizes are relevant for the jobs and, as such, you should consider adding them to the drill press.
A closer look at the base reveals an inch-metric calibration, which makes it easy for you to drill accurate holes on woods. Besides allowing you full control of the drilling process, the depth markings and stop let you get a consistent depth for every hole you drill.
The package doesn’t just come with a crow’s nest for storage but also includes cord clips that you can use to bar the power cord from tangling, especially from poor storage.
Getting started with this power tool is easy and straightforward. There four clamping points on the base, which, once fixed on a worktable ensures enough stability so you can have an easy time working on your wood projects.
- Good to consider if you need an affordable drill press
- Compatible with tools made by the same brand
- Steel and aluminum construction for strength and durability
- Easy to change bit
- Not the most durable drill press on this list
5. WEN 4214 Variable Speed Drill Press
If you’ve tried a bench top drill on a metal project, you must have noticed just ineffective they’re.
Use the same kind of drill press on projects involving wood, and you get the best results. The WEN 4214, a drill press tool with variable speeds, is an example of a bench top model suitable for woodworking.
WEN 4214 features a 2/3 HP motor. While this isn’t powerful for metal projects, it should be sufficient for wood projects. Featuring both LED work lights and a laser guide light, this machine easily illuminates the tools you use for work so that you get the precise drills that you need in wood.
One thing that makes WEN 4214 a good drill press for wood projects is how easy the variable speed is to adjust. The model’s digital display lets in on the current speed, which range between 580 and 3200 RPM. For what it’s worth, the display takes the guesswork on speed out of the equation, allowing you to do the drilling at the right speed so you can complete the work with utmost precision.
Another problem with bench top drill presses is they tend to be smaller in design. However, some models have larger tables that make woodworking easy, and the WEN 4214 is a good example. Its table is sizeable enough to allow for easy woodworking, and you can even extend it to the side if you need more space that can accommodate large pieces of wood.
- You can easily extend the table to accommodate large pieces of wood
- Enough HP and speed to complete small woodworking projects
- Work lights provide enough illumination so that you use your tools correctly
- The controls of this drill press aren’t as durable
- Not as versatile as other models in our list; it’s only suitable for woodwork
- Somewhat expensive
- Not powerful enough for heavy-duty projects
How to Choose the Best Drill Press for Woodworking
Wood isn’t as hard as metal, so it’s best to choose a drill press with a higher variable speed. Often, a model with speeds ranging from 200 to 3,600 RPM should be good for the job.
Drill Size and Travel
Choose a drill press that has a reasonable distance between the stand that supports the motor and the drill bit. Keep in mind that there’s no fixed distance to look at, as your needs and preferences won’t likely be similar to those of other drill press users.
The travel of a drill press also varies from model to model. So you need to decide how far you’d like the chunk to move up and down. Often, a drill press with a greater travel works best.
You don’t have to stress yourself so much when it comes to horsepower. More often than not, a unit with a HP ranging from 1/3 to 3/4 should be enough to get the drilling job done.
Some drill presses come with additional accessories, some don’t. Attachments such as mortising chisels and sanding kits are an important consideration, especially if you want to turn a standard drill press into a high functional, premium power tool.