Whether you are a model maker, an artisan or a hobbyist, a drill press represents an important resource that you absolutely cannot do without, but which one to choose among the many models available on the market?
Our guide will help you better evaluate the characteristics of the different drills, enabling you to choose the one that best suits your needs.
To facilitate the task, in addition, you will also find reviews of the models most appreciated by buyers.
The best, according to the buyers’ opinions, are the Einhell BT-BD 501 E , a model for hobbyists with a good degree of precision, and the Fervi 0012 , thanks to its professional performance.
Our Editors Choice
RANK#1: Shop Fox W1668
The Shop Fox W1668 bench drill press is one of the two models produced by the Shop Fox company that we examined in the guide, both characterized by low prices.
Despite being an economic product, however, according to the opinions of the buyers it is one of the best drill presses of 2020, among those sold online in the low-cost hobby tool range.
Among its specifications, in fact, we find the belt advancement system for adjusting the speed on the pulley, nine different speeds starting from 280 up to 2,350 rpm, a widely adjustable, folding and tilting work surface, and the switch On / Off with release coil.
Shoppers were positively impressed with the accuracy of the BT-BD 501 E, which is significantly higher than the average of similarly priced hobby drill presses. The only flaw is the far too sensitive safety microswitch, which many recommend changing.
Powerful and versatile : Its 500 watts of power allow it to drill up to a maximum thickness of 50 millimeters and to work without problems with both wood and plastic and metal.
Precise and silent : Its precision is above the standard average of drills, it is also decidedly silent compared to the models produced by competing companies.
Economic : As in the best Shop Fox tradition, the price of this drill is among the lowest you can find, easily accessible even for beginners who have limited resources.
Safety : The safety switch located near the belts is a bit too sensitive and many advise to modify it or to have it done by those who have skills in the matter of electricity.
Fervi Bench Drill C / Belt Drive
For those who wonder where to buy a professional drill press, instead, we suggest the 0012 model produced by the well-known Italian company Fervi, whose characteristics are similar to those of the Fervi Bench Drill C / Belt Drive drill examined above, but the performances offered are of a completely different level. .
The Fervi column drill, in fact, is driven by a 650 Watt electric motor that generates a variable speed from 280 to 2,380 rpm. It is capable of drilling holes of 20 millimeters in diameter in cast iron and 16 millimeters in diameter in steel, obviously with pre-bored holes, and has a continuous drilling capacity with 12 mm diameter drills. The spindle, of the self-locking type, is compatible with bits and shafts from 2 to 16 millimeters in diameter and has a stroke of 80 millimeters.
Apart from the excellent performance, the Fervi 0012 is extremely solid and weighs 51 kilograms.
Almost professional : Despite being classified as a drill press for hobbyists, the Fervi offers an almost professional level of performance. In fact, many buyers who, in this respect, consider it the best drill press among all those examined.
Solid and resistant : With a structure with a total weight of 51 kilograms, the Fervi column drill is at the top in terms of solidity and longevity.
Functional : In addition to being tilted, the work surface is also rotatable, which makes it extremely functional and also increases ease of use.
Details : The finishes are somewhat coarse unfortunately, which out of tune with the price, but overall it is an excellent drill.
Bosch 0603B07000 PBD 40 Column Drill
The Bosch PBD 40 column drill belongs to the Hobby line, recognizable by the typical green color of the body, and its main strength is the high quality of the electronics, in particular the digital system for reading the speed and depth of drilling, and the speed regulation system that allows you to adapt the revolutions according to the type of material you are working on.
From the point of view of mechanics, on the other hand, it suffers from some limitations that prevent it from fully exploiting its potential.
The wheel that regulates the descent of the drill, for example, not only acts on the spindle but also on the motor unit, and according to some buyers this is decidedly uncomfortable; then it is limited in height, the work surface is not tiltable and its 710 Watts of power generate high noise and very consistent vibrations, which negatively affect the accuracy of the appliance.
Electronics : The electronic systems of regulation and digital reading are of high quality and allow to optimize the work according to the materials and the type of project to be carried out.
Versatile : Its flexibility of use is remarkable. From do-it-yourself and modeling work to the construction and restoration of furniture, the possibilities of use are manifold.
Powerful : The 710 watts of power generate a maximum speed of 2,800 rpm and allow it to work smoothly with wood, plastic and metal.
Inaccurate and noisy : Due to the high power, unfortunately, it is very noisy and generates vibrations that make it unsuitable for precision work.
Valex TR13RD 350 W Column drill
Among the various economic models that we have compared, the Valex TR13RD column drill stands out, which is intended exclusively for hobby use.
Its power is in fact modest, only 350 Watts, but still generates an adjustable speed on five different levels, from a minimum of 630 up to a maximum of 2,800 rpm; these characteristics make it ideal for wood rather than metal, although it is foreseen by the specifications. It has a 13 mm spindle with B16CM2 connection, a tilting worktop in cast iron and the classic three-lever system for vertical movement of the spindle.
The compact dimensions, including those of the base, make it ideal for those with limited space available and further underline the hobby character of the tool; therefore its major limitation is that of being not very versatile and suitable only for those who work with wood.
For wood : In the instructions there is a table with the cutting performance for cast iron and steel (to be drilled with HSS drills not included in the package); despite this, many buyers recommend using it only for wood, given the low power.
Compact : The dimensions, especially those of the base, make it particularly suitable for hobbyists who work in environments where the available space is limited.
Economic : The affordable price is an additional strength; the Valex TR13RD is placed in the same price range as the Einhell drills in fact, and is one of the bestsellers in its category.
Not very versatile : As mentioned above, it is a hobby drill that offers its best only with wood, with metal and plastic it tends to strain excessively instead.
Einhell Column drill TC-BD 350W
And here we are at the cheapest of the devices examined in our guide: the Einhell TC-BD 350 column drill which, as indicated by the acronym, has a power of 350 Watts and is naturally recommended for home use.
The speed is adjustable on five different levels, from 580 to 2,650 revolutions per minute, the work surface can be tilted up to 45 ° on both sides and the perforation height can be continuously adjusted, as well as being adjustable without the aid of any tool. The maximum drilling depth is 50 mm and the B16 spindle is compatible with drills with a diameter between 1.5 and 13 mm.
The spindle, however, is not self-locking and the manufacturing materials are of just sufficient quality. Furthermore, the movement mechanism of the belts is not the best and also the opening system of the pulley compartment is somewhat inconvenient and cumbersome.
Price : Much of its market success is mainly due to the fact that it has a rather negligible cost, easily accessible for anyone.
Tilting table : Unlike other economic models which have a fixed table, or which can only be tilted on one side, the Einhell table can be moved on both sides, guaranteeing greater comfort of use.
Simplicity : Both assembly and installation and use are remarkably simple, designed specifically to adapt to the needs of beginner hobbyists.
Mediocre quality : Some mechanical components and the assembly, from a qualitative point of view, are mediocre but given the cost of the appliance you cannot expect more.
Vigor VTC-550xl Floor Column Drills
The Vigor VTC-550XL is a floor pillar drill that stands out for its competitive price, therefore recommended especially for those who do not have large needs and prefer to save money.
It is neither more nor less than a power tool for hobbyists, but unlike the similar model produced by the Fervi company, examined previously, its performances are much lower and also the quality of the manufacturing materials and the assembly turns out to be just mediocre. According to the buyers, however, if you limit yourself to using it occasionally and not intensively for model making and other small DIY projects, the Vigor offers quite satisfactory results.
Its main flaw, as mentioned before, is related to assembly and mediocre materials, which cause some instability and force to fix the machine to the floor with pins, or to a wall with a support arm, to avoid the risk of capsizing.
Price : To be a floor drill press it is a decidedly inexpensive model, and therefore it has been appreciated above all by the less demanding hobbyists who make it an occasional and not intensive use.
Easy to assemble : Assembly is simple even for a beginner, and this factor has further influenced those who have chosen to buy it and give it a chance.
Transmission : Despite its objective limitations and performance, the VTC-550XL has an excellent transmission system for speed regulation, with aluminum pulleys.
Poor quality : The quality of manufacturing and assembly materials is low and the drill column Vigor is not very robust and quite unstable.
Proxxon 27110 MF 70 micro mill
If the time has come for you to buy a new drill with a milling cutter, we suggest you take a look at the MICRO MF 70, produced by the well-known German company Proxxon, specialized in the production of precision power tools for hobby and professional use.
The manufacturing materials are of high quality, the base of the machine is in solid cast iron while the body of the arm is in aluminum, also the assembly is excellent and completely free from play. The special 24-pin motor has a power of 100 watts and generates a variable speed continuously from 5,000 to 20,000 rpm, it is also silent and completely vibration-free.
The worktop is made of aluminum and engraved with a precision millimeter scale, the package also includes steel step clamps, to fix it to the workbench without having to bolt it.
The top of precision : Proxxon tools are mainly used by professionals such as watchmakers, tool manufacturers, opticians, goldsmiths, precision mechanics and model makers, and they guarantee the top of precision.
High structural quality : The manufacturing materials are first choice, well worked and the assembly is taken care of down to the smallest detail. None of the components play, not even the slightest.
High performance : It generates very high working speeds, from 5,000 to 20,000 rpm, but it is extremely silent and with the original Proxxon tungsten cutters it is able to puncture any material.
Price : The cost is considerable and places it in a market niche intended mainly for the most demanding professionals and hobbyists.
Einhell Bt-Bd 501 E, Column Drill
The high precision of the BT-BD 501 is the feature that buyers appreciated most. But this Einhell drill also stands out for its competitive price and a decidedly low noise threshold, making it ideal for hobbyists who work at home.
The safety microswitch placed near the belts is too sensitive, but the defect can be easily modified, or made to change by those with a minimum of skills in the electronics field.The performance, the low noise, the discrete power and the low price have made it one of the most requested hobby drill presses on the market.
FERVI BENCH DRILL W / BELT DRIVE
The Fervi column drill has the advantage of being extremely solid and heavy, which helps to drastically reduce vibrations by improving the precision of the appliance; its power allows it to punch even cast iron and steel and can be safely used for professional use.
The manufacturing materials are solid and resistant, but the finishes are somewhat coarse and uncared for; the work crown lifting crown, in particular, leaves something to be desired.
The buyers describe the Fervi 0012 as a drill press for hobbyists with an almost professional result, and recommend it especially to the most demanding.
Bosch 0603B07000 PBD 40 Column Drill for Steel and Wood, 13 mm and 40 mm, in Cardboard, 710 W
The main advantage of the Bosch PBD 40, however, lies above all in the high quality of its electronics. The integrated digital systems are able to read drilling speed and depth, and to optimize the working parameters based on the type of material to be worked on.
Apart from the high noise level, the vibrations generated by the Bosch column drill are such as to negatively affect the accuracy of the appliance; moreover, the work surface cannot be tilted.
It is a decidedly powerful column drill and capable of drilling wood, plastic and metal, but it is not very precise and suitable only for DIY and hobby.
Vice for drill press
Einhell 4225706 Vice for Drill
One of the most requested accessories is the drill press vice model 4225706, produced by the Einhell company and appreciated above all for its excellent quality-price ratio.
This is a bar clamp that measures 165 x 200 x 60 millimeters, with a maximum opening of the jaws of 75 millimeters.
It is entirely made of stainless steel, solid and very resistant, and can be fixed both to the work surface of Einhell column drills and to those produced by other companies if they are compatible with the width of the slots of the fixing pins, which is of About 110mm.
Buying Guide – How to choose the best drill presses?
What is the main reason that pushes you to buy a drill press? Do you need a machine to work on large or small pieces? For professional or hobby work? For intensive or occasional use?
As you can see, the factors that determine how to choose a good drill press are different, and affect not only the type of appliance but also its cost. Only by having the answers to these questions very clear, therefore, will you be able to understand which drill press to buy without taking the risk of spending money on a tool that is totally inadequate to your needs.
Excluding the flag column drills that are intended for industrial use, which have a cost that to define as high is almost an understatement, the expense for the purchase of one of these stationary machines is between about 80 and 500-600 euros. , depending on the model and its characteristics. Not all economic specimens are of low quality, however, and professional tools do not always fall within the more expensive range, that’s why you need to be careful and try to understand what exactly the market offers.
The economic models for the less demanding
Unlike other tools where the various price ranges tend to determine the category of application, the column drills represent one of the exceptions to the rule. In fact, one of the primary requirements of this type of machine is precision; it is true that the models of the hobby belt, being the cheapest, are often penalized by the mediocre level of some aspects, such as the manufacturing materials or the assembly, but depending on the type of application, the need to have the best performance in all respects it is not an exclusive prerogative of professionals.
If the purpose is to equip yourself with a machine to be used occasionally for home maintenance or to have fun creating small pieces of crafts on weekends, such as furniture or other artifacts for example, you can also stay in the basic range and calculate an expense included between about 80 and 250 euros or a little more, with the possibility of choosing both a bench drill and a floor drill.
This type of appliance, in fact, can indistinctly satisfy both the needs of hobbyists and those of professionals who do not require a high degree of precision.
The precision and high precision column drills
On the other hand, however, professional figures such as goldsmiths, watchmakers, sculptors, model makers, carvers craftsmen, need to use tools characterized not only by qualities such as solidity and resistance, but above all by assembly and mechanics of high precision operation.
This need is fully shared even by those who practice the same activities but only as a personal hobby; although the use is limited to the home and leisure, therefore, the precision required of the work tools is the same. The column drills intended for this range of users, therefore, have a fairly complex cost depending on their type.
The small models intended for high precision works have a price ranging from around 280 to 500 euros; those produced by the Proxxon company, for example, are considered among the best on the market since this well-known German brand has a long experience in the production of high precision tools, and has still patented the best motors, characterized by very high operating speed and high silence.
The top-of-the-range bench and floor column drills for precision, on the other hand, like those produced by the Italian company Fervi and intended for carpentry and carpentry work, have a cost ranging from 400 to 1,000 euros, depending on the model chosen .
What is the drill press for?
The drill press is a stationary type power tool which, depending on the size, needs to be fixed to a workbench or installed on the floor. It is designed to drill different types of materials: wood, plastics, resins, sheets and profiles of steel, aluminum or other metal alloys, for a maximum depth that can vary from 30 to 80 millimeters depending on the type of machine.
Consequently, it offers a wide range of applications, starting from the industrial sector, but the largest slice of the market mainly concerns drills for carpentry, joinery and precision mechanics, both in the professional and craft and hobby sectors.
Its main characteristic therefore, given the nature of the machine, is its level of precision; the column drills in fact, being stationary, only drill on the vertical axis and it is the piece on which you are working that must be tilted, if necessary. The drill is therefore firmly fixed to the support column and is operated by the operator by means of a wheel or lever with two or more arms, therefore it is far more stable than a manual drill.
As mentioned before, the column drills vary in size according to the field of application of the machine. The larger specimens are used on an industrial scale for the drilling of large or particularly thick pieces, to be subsequently used in the assembly of machinery, vehicles or other items.
Bench drill presses represent the largest market share, they are in fact used by hobbyists and small artisans.
A particular category, on the other hand, is represented by micro-drills, or micro-drills, that is, small bench column drills for high-precision drilling on any type of material, which in the professional category are used by opticians, goldsmiths , watchmakers and precision mechanics, while in the hobby field they are very popular among model makers, sculptors and hobbyists in general.
How is a drill press made?
The column drill consists of a base on which a column is fixed; the base is made of cast iron, in order to offer the maximum possible stability, as well as the worktop with adjustable height, also applied to the column. The worktop supports the pieces to be drilled, and is in turn made of cast iron.
In some specimens the top can be tilted, in others not, it depends on the type and cost of the appliance. The cheaper models tend to be Spartan, and in fact many have a fixed worktop. In all models, however, regardless of the price, the top is designed for mounting a vice.
At the top of the column, on the other hand, is the head with the motor, the drill and the transmission system, which can be belt or gear driven, that of the gearbox and the one for lowering and raising the spindle, i.e. a rudder that the operator moves in a circular direction.
How to use a drill press
How to build a drill press
To build a drill press there are two possible alternatives as appropriate. Since we are talking about a stationary machine in fact, and in the case of one whose primary requirement is precision, if you are particularly demanding and want to build it with new materials you will have to be motivated by a specific purpose, because the costs to be incurred for its construction they could be far superior to buying one already made.
It is possible to save something, however, if you are lucky enough to have a small craft workshop and the tools necessary to perform the job. In this case, by recycling the electronic components and the motor from other old power tools or household appliances, and using recycled materials for the construction of the base and the column, you can build one with very little expense.
For the work to be carried out specifically, however, it is advisable to make use of a detailed paper guide, perhaps complete with diagrams that can help if you do not have your own personal project, or a video guide, both easily available on the net.
How to replace the spindle in the drill press
The spindle of the column drills has the same type of attachment used on lathes and cutters, namely the Morse taper; it is a particular connection system made up of two metal pieces with a conical shape, precisely with a male and female shape, and is characterized by the total absence of welds.
To insert the mandrel into the head, therefore, just place it in its housing and push it firmly upwards until you hear the metallic click of the cones, after which it will be sufficient to perform one or two holes to fully secure the mandrel in position.
To detach it, however, you need to lower the spindle to the maximum limit allowed by the lever, at which point observing the tree where it is inserted you will notice a buttonhole, or a rectangular hole, at which point the extractor must be inserted, which is a piece of triangular metal 10-12 centimeters long.
Place the tip of the extractor in the hole and give it a light hammer on the back so as to unlock the mandrel. It is advisable to put something soft and hold it with one hand, however, or to put something thick and soft under it that can cushion the shocks, because the spindle will fall immediately as soon as it is unlocked.