Expert Buyer’s Guide to the Best Drill Presses in Australia

Introduction

For anyone who is into DIY projects, wood, or metal work – a drill press is a great addition to your tool kit. Designed to drill holes in different kinds of materials ranging from plastic to wood, drill presses have become a staple in any handyman’s garage or workroom.

It is versatile in that it comes with a variety of different accessories that assist in drilling the perfectly sized hole when making decor, furniture, or other functional objects.

Compared to a hand drill, a drill press will ensure precision every single time. In this buyer’s guide, we will look at a few factors you have to consider before buying your own machine, as well as background information on the nifty device in order for you to understand it much better.

Top 5 Drill Presses in Australia 2020

ImageBrandDrill DepthSpeedPowerCheck Prices
KIKBLW50mm5350WCheck price on Amazon AU
Bosch PBD 4040mm(wood) / 13mm(steel)2710WCheck price on Amazon AU
WEN 420650mm5n/aCheck price on Amazon AU
Baumr-AG DP13II50mm9420WCheck price on Amazon AU
Dremel 22050mmn/a220WCheck price on Amazon AU

Drill Press History

Inventors

Australians will feel very proud by knowing that it was actually two Melbourne-based men, William Blanch Brain and Arthur James Arnot, who were the first to patent the electric drill. Before the patent was given in 1889, there were loads of manual powered drills available for wood and metalwork.

However, when these two Aussies invented an electrically powered drill it opened up a new world of possibilities. The invention was so great and groundbreaking, that it still has many of the same features that it was invented with more than a hundred years ago.

Development

Characteristically, drills were designed with motors and handles. More modern designs added an adjustable table. The table allowed for different sized workpieces and depths of drilling.

Going off of the Aussie design, Black&Decker created the first hand-held electrical drill in the 1930s. Drill presses improved in that they leaned towards complete accuracy, using a center finder to accurately align a specialized drill bit over the perfect spot.

In recent years, the center finder has been improved by incorporating a laser alignment. The laser beam makes finding and drilling the right spot much easier than the tedious center finder.

The Function of a Drill Press

The primary function of a drill press is to drill accurate holes in a piece of material – usually a hard piece of metal or wood. To provide an accurate hole, the piece of material is clamped in a vise that rests on a table.

From the drill bit’s part, a laser beam will shine onto the material for an accurate incision. Held in a rotating spindle the drill bit is fed into the piece of material by the pull of a lever.

Specifically, you can use your drill press to perform any of these tasks:

  • Drilling through an already existing hole to create larger diameters with a larger drill bit
  • Drilling holes at specific angles. Some drill heads can be pivoted to change the drilling angle
  • To smooth the edges of an existing hole
  • Drilling holes to specific depths at a consistency
  • Drilling precise holes. Some drills can be set adjusted to micro-millimeters for more precise and consistent holes
  • Countersinking a hole by forming a recess at the entrance in which a flat-headed fastener can be placed
  • Sanding wood and other materials when applying a sanding bit
  • Polishing and finishing wood and other materials by using a polishing accessory
  • Tapping a hole to create a thread in which you can insert a bolt or another fastener
  • Counterboring by drilling a hole while simultaneously removing wood or metal at the entrance

Drill Press Parts

In order for you to make an educated decision to buy a high-quality drill press, you have to know what components should be present.

Motor or Power Transmission

In order to power the entire machine, power transmission is needed. Pulley stacks and a v-bolt that are placed opposite from each other are used to power the operation. The pulley stacks can control the speed of the spindle. In lower-quality machines, the spindle speed is fixed and can’t be controlled.

Head

The head sits at the top of the machine. it houses the motor, spindle, and chuck. It also provides a bit of a protection layer against the operator and the spindle that moves up and down.

Spindle

Responsible for holding the tool and rotating it. The spindle is held in place by a grip that is also connected to the column and covered by the head.

What’s very important is that the spindle has a return spring. This allows it to move easily in an up and down motion. It’s important that the spindle has a weight to it in order to counterbalance the return spring.

Chuck

The chuck is attached to the spindle and holds the drill bit in place. Drill bits are interchangeable and it’s important that the chuck can be adjusted to hold different sized drill bits.

Table

The table part can either be circular, rectangular, or square. It’s the part of the drill press that holds the material in place. In most designs, the table can be adjusted to move up and down and even rotate all the way around. 

Column

The column is a vertical structure that ties everything together. It provides stability and is vertically placed to ensure that the drill enters the material at a 90-degree angle.

Base

The base is used to stabilize the column and all of the attached parts. It’s usually made from a durable iron or steel. With a strong clamping system, the base is fastened to a working space or table.

When all of these components are of high quality, then the drill press will function at an optimum level.

Different Types of Drill Presses

There are two main types of drill presses; Bench drill press and a Floor drill press. Both types have the same parts as listed above, with the difference being the heavy duty of the job at hand.

Floor Drill Presses

Floor drill presses can stand alone on the floor. It offers extra horsepower and strength and is best for heavy-duty and professional jobs.  They feature a 13-20 inch swing and can drill up to 6 inches deep.

To be able to drill angular holes, you can opt for a radial floor drill press. The head pivots at different angles to achieve different drilling insertions.

Bench Drill Press

A bench drill press is designed to be attached to a worktop or table. This means that there is less swing, because of a shorter space between the floor and the drill. They are best to use for smaller jobs as they typically feature a 8-12 inch swing and can drill up to 4 inches deep.

You can choose between any of the four kinds of bench drill presses:

  1. Mini Drill Press: Best used for very small tasks since their motors are much smaller and less powerful. They are much lighter and portable than other drill presses.
  2. Radial Drill Press: Features a pivoting head that can pivot in both directions. It’s perfect to drill angles. Some models feature sliding heads that increase the swing size.
  3. Hand Drill Press: This drill press doesn’t use a motor for drilling. Instead, it is manually operated by a lever. It’s a very cheap alternative to motorized drill presses.
  4. Magnetic Drill Press: This model features a magnetic drill that uses a strong electromagnet attached to the base and materials. It’s best used with iron or other metals and can drill vertically, horizontally, and even upright-down.

Best Brands

There are many great drill presses on the market, but our favorite brands have to be Bosch and WEN.

Bosch

The German company, Bosch, is well-known for creating some of the world’s highest quality power tools. Created in 1886 by German Robert Bosch, the company has grown to be one of the most notorious brands when it comes to drill presses.

Taking into account that Bosch’s first electrical tool was the hair trimmer, launched in 1928, they’ve come a long way in providing first-generation tools that aim to please.

WEN

WEN tools are all manufactured in China and sent to warehouses in California and Illinois. Founded in 1951, the company has become a leader in the industry in creating lawn and garden machines, lathes, drill presses, and generators.

There have been rumors that WEN uses the same factories to manufacture parts of their power tools as other high-quality brands. And that they even use similar designs as other popular brands, making them a more affordable high-quality brand.

Factors to Consider Before Buying a Drill Press

Before purchasing a drill press for your workroom, you need to consider some factors first:

Swing Size

The swing size is the term used to describe the distance between the bench/table and the chuck times two. This is an indication of how large a piece of material you’ll be able to work with. There’s no use in buying a drill press with a limited swing size if you are planning on working with big pieces of material.

A 12-inch drill press will allow you a drill hole depth of 6-inches. If you want to drill holes deeper than 6-inches, you will need a bigger swing size.

Drill presses with large swing sizes are typically more expensive, but the price tag makes up for the larger-scale projects you can perform.

Horsepower

Drilling through hard materials like metal and iron will need a lot more power, than drilling through softwoods or plastic. If you want to tackle tough jobs, then you are going to need a machine with a lot of horsepower.

A 3 HP drill press will definitely perform better than a 2 HP one. Some models’ power can be measured in amps, ranging to as much as 12 amps.

For heavy-duty jobs, you should consider the highest horsepower or amp.

Depth Stop

If you need to make numerous holes that have a consistent depth, then a depth stop feature is a great addition. This helps with consistent precision in drilling the same depth hole numerous times in a row.

Speed

Drilling through hard metals like iron and steel will require a slower speed. This is because the metal and iron can become quite overheated when the drill rotates too fast. A faster speed is perfect for drilling through wood at a speedy tempo.

If you are planning on doing different kinds of tasks with your drill press, then best invest in one that has a speed adjustment.

Type and Uses

As mentioned above, you can choose between either a floor drill press or a bench drill press, whichever fits your needs better. Additionally, you can choose between a drill or sanding feature in both bench and floor models.

Apart from being able to drill, some models can be fitted with other kinds of tools like a sanding drum or spindle sander. This gives the machine many different functions and uses.

Having a machine that can drill and sand will save some space and time.

Model Type

By following the above guide on different types of drill presses, it’s best to choose a model that suits your needs.  Consider how big the model is and whether you’ll be able to fit it in your workshop or garage.  Is it portable and easy to move around? – if that is what you require.

Make sure that the model you choose has the right drilling capacity and precision that you need for future projects.  If you are doing projects that require angle drilling, you need to invest in a radial drill press.

Chuck Size and Capacity

There are two main chuck types; keyless and keyed. The description is in the name, keyless chucks are quicker to operate and don’t require a special key to open and close.

Whereas keyed chucks require a key to open and close in order to install the drill bit. Even though you can end up losing the key to a keyed chuck, you have the utmost control over how tight the drill bit is in the chuck. Compared to a keyless part where you don’t have that control.

Keyless metal chucks are great options if they are of high quality.

It’s very important to consider the chuck capacity when choosing a drill bit. Since this will be the part that holds the drill bits in place, you have to make sure that it has the right capacity amount to hold different sized bits.

Typically, they come in sizes 1/2 inch and 5/8 inch. Some bigger models feature a capacity of 3/4 inch. Mini drill presses feature sizes of as little as 1/4 inch.

Accessories

Consider brands that have different accessories and add-ons available, if not included in the purchase. Accessories like vises, mortising chisels, hold downs, buffing wheels, polishing bonnets, workbenches, tables, and fences are excellent accessories to ensure your work is completed in pristine and precise condition.

Other accessories and drill bits that can be used with a drill press are; circle cutters, polishing wheels, flex disc sanders, flap sanders, grinding wheels, plug cutters, hole saws, spade bits, and glass-and-tile bits.

Make sure that the unit you buy is adaptable to different drill bits and accessories.

Top Reviews of the Best Drill Presses

Considering all of the determining factors, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite and best performing drill presses available on Amazon AU.

KIKBLW Mini Bench Drill Press

 

OVERVIEW: The 350-watt mini bench drill press from KIKBLW is perfect for all workshops. It is easy to move around and sturdy on the desk.

The drilling angle is fully adjustable to suit your specific needs. Drilling depth is at 50 millimeters and the drill itself can reach up to 5 different speeds. Making it easy for the user to use on different types of materials.

Made from strong and durable cast iron, the entire unit is sturdy, reliable, accurate, and easy to control. As a plus,  the KIKBLW mini bench drill’s design allows for noise, vibration, and movement reductions.

Although quite pricy, the model is worth the purchase. A 5% discount is offered upon checkout on Amazon.AU.

COST: $640.14
KEY FEATURES: Cast iron base, 5 speeds, drilling depth of 50mm, fully adjustable angle
BEST USED FOR: As a drilling tool for woodworking, DIY hobbyist, and small workshop tasks

CHECK LATEST PRICES ON AMAZON AU

Bosch Bench Drill PBD 40

OVERVIEW: The Bosch Bench drill is an Amazon’s choice and a favorite of many buyers.  It features a 2-year warranty plus an additional 1-year warranty if you register at MyBosch.com.

The model weighs 13.2 kg and is easy to move around the workshop and onto different surfaces. It features a smart innovative display on the head, which allows for easy reading of the drilling depth.

The chuck is keyless and automatically retightens the drill bit if it comes loose. Which is almost impossible with the strong retaining ring that guarantees a perfect hold.  To further protect the chuck and drill bit, the model has a protective hard plastic cover.

This unit has an integrated laser that assists in precision drilling. A soft grip allows for comfortable and controlled drilling speed and usability.

COST: $399
KEY FEATURES: Digital display, keyless chuck, automatic retightening, integrated laser
BEST USED FOR: As a drilling tool for woodworking, DIY hobbyist, and small workshop tasks

CHECK LATEST PRICES ON AMAZON AU

WEN 4206

OVERVIEW: The WEN4206 is a great option when considering a benchtop drill press. The unit is made from sturdy and durable materials that ensure stable and precise drilling.

It features a 2.3A induction motor with an 8-inch swing size and 2-inch spindle. The chuck is keyed; don’t fear to lose the key as a safe storage space on the model is provided.

The model can operate at five different speeds varying from 750-3200 RPM. Its worktable is adjustable 6.5×6.5 inches in height and can drill at an angle of 45 degrees.

COST: $135.55
KEY FEATURES: Keyed chuck, 8-inch swing size, keyed chuck, key storage, 5 speeds, cast iron model, 45-degree angle drill
BEST USED FOR: As a drilling tool for woodworking, DIY hobbyist, and small workshop tasks

CHECK LATEST PRICES ON AMAZON AU

Baumr-AG DP13II

OVERVIEW: Another excellent benchtop drill press is the Baumr-AG. It features a solid stainless steel drill chuck that can hold drill bits of 1.5-13 mm.

The motor is designed to create 9 different speeds, from 500-2500. This design allows for smooth, powerful, and consistent drilling. As a unit, it weighs 12 kg, which makes it easy to transport between benches, and with a height of only 60 cm, it’s the perfect addition to a home workshop or garage.

To ensure the safety of the motor a dust-protected NVR switch is incorporated as well as an accurate depth travel adjustment for precision.

A three-spoke handle allows for easy control with the base providing a sturdy platform that can be mounted on any workshop bench.

COST: $173
KEY FEATURES: 9 speeds, 1.5-13 mm drill chuck, dust-protected NVR switch, sturdy base
BEST USED FOR: As a drilling tool for woodworking, DIY hobbyist, and small workshop tasks

CHECK LATEST PRICES ON AMAZON AU

Dremel 220

OVERVIEW: Another excellent Amazon’s choice is the Dremel 220 multi-purpose 3in1 workstation stand. It features a drill press, flex shaft tool stand, and a drill press.

The drill is perfect for drilling angular holes from 15-90 degrees as perpendicular holes. A strong tool holder can perform different tasks like sanding, polishing, and grinding.

Metric and inch markings on the base of the model allow for accurate drilling and a telescopic flex shaft allows adjustment up to 1629 inches.

An added crow’s nest storage space for drill bits is designed into the top part of the drill press’ head for easy access.

COST: $59.98
KEY FEATURES: Crow’s nest storage, angled drilling, multi-purpose, marking base
BEST USED FOR: First-time users who like to start their DIY wood and metal work journey.

CHECK LATEST PRICES ON AMAZON AU

Conclusion

There are loads of advantages to using a drill press rather than a handheld drilling machine. They are much safer, more efficient, accurate, and more powerful. Whether you want to use it to build or refurbish furniture as a hobby or use it as part of your craftsmanship business, it’s a great addition to your tool kit.

Definitely a must-have in any Aussie garage or workshop.

Check out another DIY tool review: Best Impact Wrenches

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