Best Drill Presses in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update July 19, 2018
Drilling a perfectly straight and accurate hole is not a problem when you have a good drill press. If you manufacture various parts using wood, metal, plastic, or even gemstones as raw materials, such a tool is a must - have for you. In this review, we have selected the five best models available in the market today, so that you could make the right pick. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Power
Speeds
RPM
Chuck Capacity
Spindle (Quill) Travel
Best for
Extras
Dimensions (H x W x D)
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

There is a LED display on the front panel of the head assembly that indicates the current rotation speed and drilling depth. Owing to this feature, you always get precise bores regardless of the material you use.

CONS

Has no adjustable table.

OUR VERDICT

The PBD 40 is a good choice for those who like carpentry and fabricate some metallic or plastic parts. The model provides for an accurate workpiece setting and precise drilling using the integrated laser guide.

detailed parameters
Power

710W

Speeds

2

RPM

200 – 850 (Mode 1), 600 – 2500 (Mode 2)

Chuck Capacity

1.5 – 13 mm

Spindle (Quill) Travel

90 mm

Best for

Wood, metal, plastic

Extras

The electronic digital display; 2-speed gearbox; Keyless precision chuck; integrated laser and LED light;  quick-action clamp

Dimensions (H x W x D)

650 x 330 x 350 mm

Weight

11.2 kg

Warranty

2 years ( 3 years - if registered )

PROS

With its intuitive controls, this model will be easy to use for both professionals and beginners. Thanks to low-speed feature, drilling even thick pieces of metal is not an issue.

CONS

The user manual may seem not clear enough.

OUR VERDICT

The manufacturer managed to make the Wolf Pillar Drill Press an inexpensive yet quite efficient to use. So, if you like to make things with your own hands, this model will be a great assistant for you.

detailed parameters
Power

500W

Speeds

9

RPM

280, 450, 540, 620, 800, 1000, 1550, 1700, 2350

Chuck Capacity

3 - 16 mm

Spindle (Quill) Travel

50 mm

Best for

Wood, metal, plastic

Extras

Large chuck capacity; wide range of selectable chuck speeds; manufactured from high quality cast iron; accurate and easy to control eye level pillar drill

Dimensions (H x W x D)

610 x 185 x 300 mm

Weight

18 kg

Warranty

2 years 

PROS

Using the Silverline 262212 you can work with various metals just changing the rotation speed and drill bits used. With the maximum speed of 2650 RPM, it won't be a difficult task to drill accurate bores even in thin metal plates.

CONS

The machine is a bit loud when running.

OUR VERDICT

The Silverline 262212 combines a quite reasonable price, excellent performance, and intuitive controls. With such advantages, this model is a perfect pick for you whether you are a beginning DIYer or a professional.

detailed parameters
Power

350W

Speeds

5

RPM

580, 850, 1220, 1650, 2650

Chuck Capacity

1.5 - 13 mm

Spindle (Quill) Travel

50 mm

Best for

Wood, metal, plastic

Extras

5-speed belt drive; sturdy cast base & machine table for drilling jobs where a high degree of accuracy is required

Dimensions (H x W x D)

440 x 225 x 355 mm

Weight

14.5 kg

Warranty

3 years ( if registered ) 

PROS

Thanks to its compact size and lightweight design, the Merry Tools Mini Bench Drill Press is very convenient to use practically in any working environment.

CONS

Offers a quite short spindle vertical travel.

OUR VERDICT

If you are looking for a reliable tool for polishing wax or acrylic workpieces we highly recommend taking a closer look at this model. It helps jewellers and craftsmen make real masterpieces.

detailed parameters
Power

180W

Speeds

3

RPM

up to 7000

Chuck Capacity

0.6 - 6.5 mm

Spindle (Quill) Travel

~25.5 mm

Best for

Wood, gold, silver, brass, copper

Extras

Light weight; variable speed; support of a very thin drill bit

Dimensions (H x W x D)

328 x 251 x 206 mm

Weight

5 kg

Warranty

30 days 

PROS

The table can be moved smoothly up and down the machine column with a locking handle and a rack bar. This design benefit makes the drilling procedure faster and more convenient.

CONS

The machine is bulky and heavy compared to competitors.

OUR VERDICT

The Clarke CDP152B offers you a flexibility of working with a wide range of materials thanks to its 12 selectable speeds. With this drill press, you will have much fewer limits in your work.

detailed parameters
Power

450W

Speeds

12

RPM

300, 440, 460, 570, 650, 680, 1220, 1250, 1430, 1750, 1840, 2250

Chuck Capacity

3 - 16 mm

Spindle (Quill) Travel

60 mm

Best for

Wood, metal, plastic

Extras

12-speed settings; suitable for a wide variety of jobs

Dimensions (H x W x D)

830 x 292 x 515 mm

Weight

27.6 kg

Warranty

1 year

Bosch PBD 40

Reliable Locking

That is no news that Bosch is a very popular company that manufactures high-quality tools and household products. Their PBD 40 machine is an excellent example of a reliability of the company products. It is an excellent model designed for domestic and small workshop use. Its construction is very simple. The PBD 40 has a base table, column, head assembly in which the driving gear is located, and a control panel on its front. The weight of this press is just 11.2 kg, which is quite modest considering all its useful features. If you take a look at the head from the front, you will see the on/off switch and the digital display with four buttons under. The rotary wheel with a soft grip is located on the right side. With the wheel, you can effortlessly move the head up and down the column. The 2-speed gearbox, to which the wheel is attached allows for a fast speed changing. There are also two clamping levers on the left side of the drill press: the first one limits the head upward movement and the other limits its downward movement. You can mount the PBD 40 on almost any horizontal surface using bolts and mounting holes on the base plate. In addition, this drill press can be equipped with a locking plate, which when used in combination with the clamp mounted on the machine column ensures a more secure locking of your workpieces.

Review of Bosch PBD 40 Bench Drill Press

Double Regulation

As for the performance of this model, it is driven by a powerful 710W electromotor that delivers the 2500 RPM rotation speed. With this model, you can use drill bits with the diameter from 1.5 to 13 mm to work with wood, metal, and plastic. Since drilling each of these materials requires different speeds, the PBD 40 allows you to adjust the speed in two ways. First of all, there is a switch with ‘1’ and ‘2’ numbers on the press side that lets you select the current speed mode or range. Then, using the electronic speed regulator on the control panel, you can smoothly change the drill speed within the range you have selected. For example, mode 1 allows for adjusting the speed in the range of 200 – 850 rpm with a step of 10 rpm. Therefore, you can easily adapt this Bosch tool for working with materials of different density and thickness. There is also a zero point button below the display. It is very handy when you need to drill many bores with different depth. When working in this mode you just need to measure the depth, to which you need to drill several holes, set this value and memorize it by pressing the button. After that, you will easily make multiple holes precisely with the depth set by checking with the display zero point.

Bosch PBD 40 Bench Drill Press in the use

Illuminate, Aim, Fire!

Talking about the usability of this drill press by Bosch we just can’t omit to emphasize its intuitive controls. The built-in digital display is big enough to clearly see the readings such as the depth of drilling and RPM. By the way, you can switch between these readings with a single button located under the display. There are also illumination and laser-cross buttons which are quite useful. Undoubtedly the illumination is a widespread and useful feature that most of the press models have, but a laser set is a gem for any craftsmen. With its help, you can aim the laser at the point you want to drill in and look to the beams crossing during the process. That feature is quite helpful and can significantly speed up your work. The starting handle is an element allowing you to easily control the machine since you can either switch it sidewards or press it turning for an emergency stop. In case the power goes off during the press operation, this model will automatically get blocked. With that after the power supply is resumed, you will need to turn the PBD 40 on again manually. For that, first, you need to set the switch to the "off" position and then to the "on" position. That is to say, not only is this powerful tool by Bosch quite safe it will help you take your work to the next level.

Detailed review of Bosch PBD 40 Bench Drill Press

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Wolf Pillar Drill Press

The Safety Is Above All

Searching for the best drill presses, we have selected the Wolf Pillar model which is considered a quite reliable instrument for many reasons. Let's start with its design. The machine consists of a body, column, working table, and a base plate. There are two driven and one driving gear pulleys under the cup of the body. The pulleys are connected with two belts, which tension you can adjust with a belt regulator located on the right side of the Wolf Pillar body. There is also a feed lever to provide a smooth vertical movement of the chuck. As for the chuck itself, it is equipped with a plastic guard that restricts an access to the upper part of the drill bit for a safer operation. The work table can be moved up and down, right and left the column. The table angle can also be adjusted within 45-degree range. That option allows you to drill angled holes and use workpieces of various dimensions. The height of this model is 610 mm. However, that is hardly a drawback if you want to install it in your garage or a workshop. On the other hand, you will have no problems in treating large workpieces and parts with this drill press. Made of metal, the Wolf model is quite durable and steady; however, it may seem a bit heavier than some other models.

Review of Wolf Pillar Drill Press

For Small and Large Holes Alike

Thanks to a powerful 500W electromotor, this drill press offers a pretty good performance. This capacity enables the motor to rotate the spindle at a high speed of up to 2350 RPM. On the other hand, the minimal spindle speed supported is 280 RPM, which is not common for such low priced models. In regards to the speed changing, you just need to change the arrangement of the belts on the pulleys. The maximum drill depth is 50 mm, but if you need to make a deeper hole and have the drill bit that is long enough, you can raise the work table a bit higher and continue to drill to get to the depth needed. The chuck capacity is 16 mm with the minimum drill bit diameter of 3 mm, which is also enough for most drilling operations. In other words, this drill press by Wolf will help you drill wooden, metallic, as well as plastic objects, you just need to select the right drill bit and speed.

Wolf Pillar Drill Press in the use

A Very Simple Control

The Wolf Pillar is a user-friendly device that is quite simple to set up and start working. All you need to do is select the required speed, clamp a drill bit in the chuck, and guide it down to a workpiece. There is a scale with a depth stop at the bottom of the feed lever, so when you need to make a 20 mm-deep hole, for instance, you can find this value on the scale and set it to limit the drill bit travel. This option is quite useful when you need to drill many bores and want them to be of a precise depth. The last but not the least there are the instructions on how to change the position of the belts to change the rotation speed pictured on the front side of the unit.

Considering all the advantages the Wolf Pillar Drill Press has, there is no doubt that it's one of the best models offering a good performance and ease of use even for a novice craftsman.
Detailed review of Wolf Pillar Drill Press

 

Silverline 262212

Reasonable Price for High Quality

The 262212 drill press is a reliable and affordable model from Silverline. It has a lean and mean design and offers a quite simple operation. There are three hand feed levers attached to the feed wheel on the right side of the body which move the chuck up and down. These levers are removable and can be installed separately hence you can either use all of them or remove one if it bumps into a workpiece, for example. The drive belt tension adjuster for changing speeds is next to the feed levers. The on/off switch is on the left side. There are two sets of five pulleys on a single shaft (one set is attached to the spindle assembly the other to the motor) with a driving belt connecting them that are located under the lid of the 262212 head. The machine body and the table are mounted on the metal column. You can adjust the table height and tilt angle. There are two slots for securing a vice to the table surface and a central hole that allows a drill bit to pass through the material without damaging the working surface. As for drill bits, the chuck is capable of clamping the bits with a diameter from 1.5 to 13 mm.

Review of Silverline 262212 Drill Press

An Excellent Result

Craftsmen are aware that the required drill bit type and spindle speed vary with the type of material you are going to drill. This drill press uses a 350W electro motor capable of providing the 2650 RPM rotation speed. This model offers five speeds, which you can switch between manually. To do so, just disconnect the drill press from the power supply, open the pulley cover, loosen the driving belt with the dedicated lever, pull the motor towards the front of the drill, slip the belt ends over the needed pulleys, and then increase the tension of the belt again. If you don't know what belt position you need, you can refer to the table, which is placed on the front side of the machine. The lowest speed of the Silverline 262212 is 580 RPM, which is suitable for 11 - 13 mm metal drill bits, 25 mm and longer wood drill bits, and 35 - 50 mm Forstner bit. As for high speeds, you can drill metal and wood with both 3 - 4 mm and 3 - 15 mm drill bits. The maximum depth, as well as maximum spindle travel, is up to 50 mm.

Silverline 262212 Drill Press in the use

Remember to Always Close the Lid After Changing the Speed

What we really like to mention about this model is its exceptionally safe operation. There is a chuck guard that makes your work safer by limiting an access to the chuck. However, if you want to run this tool and the guard hinders you from a convenient operation, you can always raise and lock the chuck guard using the mainspring, which will keep locked in this position. Continuing on the safety measures implemented we'd like to mention the availability of the safety device located inside the pulley cover. Its purpose is to prevent the tool from running when the lid is open. That's why after changing speeds, make sure you've closed the cover otherwise the drill press won't start. According to the manufacturer, it is recommended to let the motor cool down after every 15 minutes of drilling. This will help prolong the service life of the motor and the whole unit as well.

Detailed review of Silverline 262212 Drill Press

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Merry Tools Mini Bench Drill Press

Pinpoint Accuracy

One of the things you will notice first when looking at this drill press by KATSU is its compact size. Indeed, it is probably one of the smallest models we have worked with. Still, quality-wise it is on par with many larger models available in the market today. Being designed for drilling narrow and accurate holes this model performs remarkably well when processing small workpieces. It has two pulleys and a rubber belt under the cover, replacing which you can select one of three speeds. The handle that controls the chuck travel is positioned on the right side of the machine body with the speed control placed right next to it. As for the materials this tool can drill, it offers a multitude of options. Using the 100080 model you can work with wood, printed circuit boards, acryl parts, thin metal sheets, non-ferrous metals, and even gemstones. With that, the diameter of the holes drilled ranges from 0.6 to 6.5 mm.

Review of Merry Tools Mini Bench Drill Press

Incredible Speed

This Mini Bench Drill Press uses a 180W electro motor to provide the drilling. Despite such moderate power capacity, this motor is capable of delivering an impressively high 7000 RPM spindle speed. In regards to the workpiece size related performance, the model has a spindle travel of about 25.5 mm, which may seem small compared to other models. However, considering the possibility of moving the head assembly down the column effortlessly for increasing the drilling depth, this value can hardly be considered as a major shortcoming. Near the bottom of the chuck feed handle, there is a scale that allows you to make more precise and accurate holes. It's worth mentioning that when making wooden handicrafts, the size and parameters of the holes are not the only things that are important about your part. The overall look of your parts also matters. We recommend you using disc sanders to polish the product before paint it or varnish it over.

Merry Tools Mini Bench Drill Press in the use

Superior Smoothness

Small size and low weight (only 5kg) are not the only advantages of this model. Another advantage is its speed controller, which allows you to adjust the speed smoothly and effortlessly for the type of material you work with. Moreover, you're offered two options on limiting the maximum spindle speed. First, you can change the position of the driving belt concealed under the pulley cover. Secondly, the control knob itself allows limiting its rotation to a fixed position, which you can set by tightening the screw. This double option ensures a more accurate speed regulation, especially when working at low speeds. As for the overall design of this drilling tool by Merry Tools, it is pretty simple and assembling it won't take you much time. All you need to do is insert the column metallic pipe into the base table and then mount the head with the electro motor, spindle, and control elements on the column. As for the model controls, it has a quite convenient spindle feed handle. The handle is equipped with a rotation limiter preventing it to make a complete revolution around its axis, which is possible for other models. Owing to this feature, when making small holes, you can set the exact drilling depth and have no worries about accidentally going deeper.

Summarising all the above, this bench top drilling machine will become a great assistant for those carpenters who manufacture parts from a wide range of materials, polish wax or acrylic workpieces, and gemstones.

Detailed review of Merry Tools Mini Bench Drill Press

 

Clarke CDP152B

Two Handles for More Convenient Operation

The Clarke company produces a lot of tools and electrical equipment from wrenches, turn screws, and impact hammers to compressors, electro motors, and alternators. Pursuing the high standards for all its products, the company manufactures high-quality drill presses. That's why the CDP152B model can easily become your favourite tool. It has a conventional design, which includes the base, column, table with a worm drive, and the head. As for the control of this tool, there are three four-pulley sets with the driving belt, arranging which in different positions allows for rotation speed change. The drive belt tension regulator is on the right side of the unit head near the feed handles that move the chuck. The table can be either raised, lowered, or tilted with the help of the table support locking handle. Tilting the table is simple. You just need to loosen the locking bolt that secures the table to its mounting, then tilt the table to the required position and retighten the bolt again. To facilitate the tilting through an angle of up to 45 degrees up or down, there is a bevel scale rendered in degrees on the table mounting. In addition, there is another scale at the bottom of the feed handle, which shows you the depth of the drilling. The control buttons are conveniently located on the front side of the head and are protected with a special cup.

Review of Clarke CDP152B Bench Drill Press

For Any Type of Material

The CDP152B utilises a powerful 450W electric motor capable of ensuring the rotation speed from 300 to 2250 RPM. Such a wide range of speeds is achieved owing to a well thought out design of the speed changing system. The system is comprised of three pulley sets and two belts hidden under the unit lid. With it, you have 12 speed options available and all you need to do for selecting the required speed is change the position of the belt. If you are not sure which pulleys to connect with the belt to get the speed needed, there is a table inside the lid that will help you figure it out. Low speeds are suitable for drilling stainless or cast steel. The medium speeds, in their turn, are good for drilling bronze, aluminium, or plastic objects. For drilling holes in wood, you can select one of the hight speeds and use the drill bit of up to 6.4 mm diameter. The chuck can clamp drill bits of 3 - 16 mm in diameter. The spindle travel is 60mm, which is enough for a comfortable work with metallic workpieces. And if you need to increase the drilling depth, just raise the table a little bit and continue drilling.

Clarke CDP152B Bench Drill Press in the use

The Third Button

The Clarke CDP152B has an emergency stop button on the plastic lid that covers on/off buttons. With it, you won't have to open the lid, just press the big stop button and your drill press will stop. This model also has a switch-off function that is quite useful if you have power outage once in a while.

Without a doubt, this tool has all the chances to become an irreplaceable assistant in your workshop. It might seem not as powerful as some other models, yet it offers you many speeds to choose from, thus making the operation more flexible and your work faster.

Detailed review of Clarke CDP152B Bench Drill Press

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

What Is a Drill Press?

When we need to make a bore in a wooden or metallic detail, we usually take a drill. But, when we have to drill a lot of holes in many parts or in a single part, using a conventional power drill will take you much time for doing this. Luckily, today we are not limited to one type of tool. There are many different kinds of them for various purposes, and drill presses are the type of devices design for this purpose. Not only can you use them to drill holes in various materials but you can also expand the drilled bores, cut threads, polish the edges of wooden objects and parts, engrave pictures or inscriptions on plastic or wax workpieces.

At the same time, a drill press has a simple design. This device consists of an electric motor, belt-drive, spindle, drill stock, and a swiveling or fixed-position table. With the help of such a tool, you can make bores of different depth and diameter in wooden and metallic materials alike. With that, the geometry and dimensions of the bores vary with the machine model. In practice, these presses provide pretty precise results and are nearly irreplaceable when you need to do a lot of drilling in a small time.

In order to help you select, we have reviewed the five best drill presses that are reasonably priced and have lots of useful features.

What Features to Compare

There are three most widespread types of drill presses available in the market today: radial, horizontal and upright. Radial and horizontal models are very powerful and multifunctional, and they are mostly used in large industries. In this review, we will focus on the upright models. They are lightweight, compact, and efficient enough for medium-duty operation at a small workshop, for example.

Performance

An upright press is driven by a built-in electro motor, which capacity influences the rotation speed of the driving belt and the spindle and thus the speed of drilling. Given that the machine efficiency is the first thing for you to check on. For starters, you need to figure out which way you are going to work with your drill press. If you usually drill holes using the press in short intervals, the model equipped with an approximately 600W capacity motor will be a good pick. However, one needs to remember that motors of such power require some time between work sessions to cool down. On the other hand, for longer operation cycles we recommend you to consider presses that built around electric motors with 1000W and higher output. Such powerful devices are capable of drilling holes in metallic and wooden materials, as a rule, they also allow you to change the speed depending on the material you work with. The number of selectable rotation speeds and spindle travel also vary from model to model. Most models have 2-16 speed rates available.

Drilling capacity

The maximum diameter and depth of the hole the press can drill and the spindle/quill travel are another important criteria. In this regard, we recommend you to check on the power of the drill press as more powerful motors allow for boring larger and deeper holes. In addition, the motor power also determines the types of materials it can handle. For example, if you work with tough metals such as iron and steel, select the model with more horsepower. As for the quill travel, less powerful models are usually limited to drilling ~25.5 mm-deep holes. The more powerful models, in their turn, provide a drilling depth of up to 200 mm.

Usability

Obviously, installing and storing such a tool will require some space in your garage or home workshop. Therefore, don't forget to check the dimensions and weight of the drill press, so that you could replace it easily if need be. However, we consider the availability of a laser meter to be a more useful feature compare to small weight and size parameters. With its help, not only can you adjust your drill press accurately but also polish the edges of wooden objects. The lighting is another useful extra that many models offer since it allows you to see all the small defect on your workpiece. And last but not the least is the availability of a moving table, which is very helpful if you want to drill angled holes.

FAQ:

Q: What rotation speed should I use?

A: The best speed for any drill press will depend on the characteristics of the drill press itself and material you want to process. Usually, 2000 RPM spindle rotation speed works fine for the most of the hard materials. Please take note that it is not recommended to run your drilling machine at the speeds exceeding its maximum design speed.

Q: What materials can I drill with a drill press?

A: Though these tools are designed for a wide variety of materials it depends on the type of the drill press you use. In fact, all modern drill presses allow you to work with wood and metal. However, some models are also suitable for drilling plastic, copper, or even gemstones. So when you are looking for a new drill press, we recommend checking the list of materials the model you want to buy is suitable for.

Q: What are the drawbacks of a drill press?

A: Well, if you select a decent model made by a reliable manufacturer with the parameters that cater for your needs, there will be hardly any drawbacks. Though, there is an inherent limitation regarding the positions of a table a drill press can offer. As a rule, such tools allow 45-90-degree table tilt. In case you need to lock your workpiece at a larger angle we recommend you to consult with a specialist who will advise you as to what piece of equipment you can use instead.

Q: What are the types of the drill bits?

A: There are many different types of drill bits available. Universal drill bits are designed for drilling holes in wood, metal, plastic, etc. However, for each type of material, there are some options concerning their geometry such as step and twist drill bits, hole saw and others. For example, metallic drill bits work great for metallic workpieces. In their turn, they are divided into core and countersink types, ejector and gun drill bits, and other types. As for drilling the wood, you could use wood spade bits, spoon or Forstner drill bits, etc. The variety of such supplement tools is large, so it is better to do a small research to choose those types of drill bits that are the best for the materials you usually manufacture your articles from.

Q: What are the safety measures that one must take when working on a drill press?

A: Since this type of tool is hazardous to work with, you should always follow the basic safety rules so to avoid injury. Don't shake the workpiece while drilling it and keep the workpiece securely locked to avoid its movement. Keep your drilling unit always clean and don't keep any flammable materials nearby. Also, use protective glasses to keep your eyes safe from chips.

Sources:

1. Drill Presses Buying Guide, eBay. March 3, 2016.

2. Drill Bits Buying Guide, Lowe's.

3. Steve Hoefer A Beginner's Guide to Drills and BitsBoing Boing. August 25, 2014.

4. The Best Drill Press JigsThe Family Handyman.

5. Choosing a Drill PressLowe's.

6. Drill press, MIT.

7. Scott Gibson All About Drill PressesFineWoodworking. September 12, 2005.

8. 6 Reasons Every Woodworker Needs a Drill Press, eBay.

9. What is a Drill Press? wiseGEEK.

10. Types of Drill Presses, eHow.

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Publish Date: 2017-09-07 15:50:06