Wen Vs. SKIL Vs. Craftsman Vs. Shop Fox Drill Press

Dou you need one accurate drill press that can handle all the drilling tasks in your workshop? The advantages of having a drill press are enormous. Getting the best drill press means you can perform lots of tasks on a single tool, including sanding and mortising. You also have giant torque able to handle more work regularly compared to a hand drill.

There are lots of drill presses from top manufacturers nowadays, and choosing the best one can be confusing. The most attractive features of a premium construction drill press are durable parts and a powerful motor. Getting the best features in a drill press doesn’t mean it has to be too expensive, WEN and Craftsman are famous for delivering durable premium build drill presses at a friendly price. This review has also included the SKIL entry-level drill press and Shop Fox oscillating floor drill press.

You need a 10-Inch swing size or higher to perform the most significant woodwork tasks as well as metal drilling, which is why we chose the most powerful drill press from each manufacturer. WEN 4214 is the obvious favorite for most professionals because of its premium parts, including a 2/3HP four-pole motor. It is built to be the primary drill press of any workshop driving bits over 3 inches .

Shop Fox w1848 is also another workhorse with 13-inch swing capacity and comes with an oscillating belt for sanding. If you are a homeowner or just shopping for a drill press to handle light drilling tasks in a workshop, craftsman and SKIL3320-01 are your best options in this category. They also have durable induction motors.

To understand how each of these drill presses works, read the detailed review below.

1. WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable speed drill press

WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press

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This drill press will do if you are looking for the ultimate heavy-duty drill press for any drilling job on a budget. It has a 2/3 horsepower motor powered by 5-Amps, which allows it to drill smoothly through any wood. It also has variable speed settings from 580-3200RPM for application on a variety of thicknesses. It is also suitable for drilling metal, which makes it an excellent choice for finish applications in most workshops.

WEN 4214 has a sturdy keyed chuck measuring 5/8 Inches that accept more bits than the regular ½ inch models. It has a cutting depth of 3-1/8 Inches allowing you to drill any size of holes comfortably. For high precision, this drill press has a laser guide light which enables you to set drill accurately. It also has a depth stop that makes it easy to set and drill holes with an equal distance.

Its table is iron cast for durability and measures 9.5 inches, which means you can load larger pieces of wood comfortably. The table is also adjustable and has a beveling allowance of 45 degrees on both sides. The tale also has a roller extension for when you need more room for your lumber. This drill press can be installed anywhere thanks to its wide, stable base.

 

Key Features

  • 5/8 Inch Chuck
  • 5-Amps at 120V
  • 2/3HP motor
  • 3-1/8 Inch drilling depth
  • 580-3200RPM speed

Pros

  • A wide table accommodates large stock
  • Low power consumption
  • LED speed display
  • Laser-guided precision focus light
  • Depth adjustment stop

Cons

  • Takes a lot of time to assemble during set up
  • The Beveling angle does not reach 90 degrees

Top FAQs

Q: Can this drill press accept a ½ inch bit?

A: Yes. It accepts all bits from 5/8 inches

Q: Is the speed adjustment automatic?

A: No. It uses a metallic pulley

Q: Can I use this as an oscillating sander?

A: No

Q: Is the chuck replaceable?

A: Yes

Q: Does it have a warranty?

A: Sure. A 1-year warranty.

2. SKIL 3320-01 3.2-Amp Drill Press


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SKIL created this drill press for DIYers and hobbyists that want to save both money and space. It is a compact unit with a 1/3HP induction motor that cuts quickly through the wood. It is also powerful enough to drill through thin metal sheets that don’t exceed ½ inch thickness. It is also very versatile, featuring five different speeds from 570RPM for high torque jobs up to 3050RPM for the softest material.

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This drill press is well suited for finish operations allowing you to customize your piece. It is simple and straightforward, allowing you to change bits, speed, and depth in seconds. It has a 1/2-inch keyed chuck that accepts a wide range of bits. It also has the X2 2-beam laser tracking light to improve your accuracy in high precision drilling. It has a drill depth of 2.5-inches and also has a depth adjustment stop that allows you to set a uniform depth for multiple holes.

It has a 7-5/8-inch table with a beveling angle of 45 degrees. It is adjustable and also allows you to drill at tight angles. Its construction is robust, featuring an iron cast base, table, and column, as well as a four-pole motor with ball bearings, all build to last. SKIL also gives a three-year warranty for this drill press.

 

Key Features

  • 1/2 Inch keyed chuck
  • 3.2-Amps at 110V
  • 1/3HP motor
  • 2.5-Inch drilling depth
  • 570-3050RPM speed

Pros

  • It has a bump off switch for safety
  • It is light and compact, takes up little space
  • It is easy to change bits
  • Laser-guided light allows high precision focus
  • It has a durable iron cast construction
  • Pocket-friendly pricing

Cons

  • Manual speed adjustment
  • The swing size is only 10 Inches.

Top FAQs

Q: Is this drill press suitable for training and first-time users?

A: Sure

Q: Can the chuck take small 1/16 drill bits?

A: Absolutely. It is a keyed chuck that can be adjusted to your bit of choice.

Q: Does it have an automatic speed setting?

A: No. It is a manual pulley system

Q: Can I use this to drill through steel?

A: It is not recommended.

3. Craftsman 12-Inch Drill Press


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Craftsman is famous for creating durable units, which is why this drill press is a one-time purchase for any workshop. This unit is a 1/2HP, 3.2 Amp drill press with a 12-Inch swing capacity, which gives you more room for working on larger pieces of lumber. It can dig 2.5-inches deep through wood, ceramic, plastic, and light steel. Its solid steel body allows it to drill smoothly without vibration, which is essential for a clean finish.

Craftsman focuses on professional users in the construction of its tools, and this one is especially common in workshops. It allows you to customize your drilling with its five-speed settings. It has a lower initial speed at 355RPM, which makes it more suitable for metal drilling compared to other drill presses. Its highest speed is 3050RPM, which drills through softwood and other light material smoothly and quickly.

The solid steel construction allows this drill press to run with little vibration. For high precision drilling, this drill press also has a laser guide light as well as an X and Y axis pinpoint, which is why amateurs and learners can work comfortably with it. It also has an adjustable LED work light that illuminates dark workspaces as well.

 

Key Features

  • 1/2 Inch Keyed Chuck
  • 3.2-Amps at 110V
  • 1/2HP motor
  • 2.5-Inch drilling depth.
  • five-speed modes, 355-3050RPM

Pros

  • It can adjust to a low speed of 355RPM
  • Reduced vibration at high speed
  • Solid chuck construction for a sturdy grip
  • High precision pinpoint for more accuracy
  • Friendly for inexperienced users

Cons

  • The speed adjustment is time-consuming
  • The power is not enough for commercial grade metal drilling

Top FAQs

Q: How far does the spindle travel?

A: The spindle travels 2.5-Inches

Q: Is this unit suitable for regular heavy-duty drilling?

A: Yes. The motor can withstand regular woodwork. Metalwork needs a stronger motor, 5-Amps, and above.

Q: How high is this drill press?

A: It is 29 inches high

Q: Can I replace the chuck with a ¾-Inch?

A: The chuck is replaceable, but we recommend a matching ½-Inch.

4. Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press 

Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press

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Shop Fox W1848 is a multifunctional drill press designed to perform both sanding and drilling projects. It is simple to install sanding drums allowing you to switch from a drill to a sander in seconds. It is a big drill press constructed using durable parts to meet the needs of demanding commercial projects.

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It has a 3/4hp 9-Amp induction motor designed to match the high torque needs of the drill press. The motor unit is also equipped with quick heat dispersion to prevent overheating. This drill press has 12 different speed settings that accommodate any material, including metal, plastic, ceramic, or wood.

The lowest speed is 250RPM, which is suitable for drilling through thick steel with a smooth, professional finish. You can choose the appropriate speed for each project up to 3050RPM. The speed adjustment is easy to set thanks to the calibrated speedometer on the motor unit.

The oscillating spindle is a universal ¾-Inch while the chuck is 5/8-Inches and accepts most drill bits, including the small 1/64-Inch bits. Moreover, the package includes 2-Inch, 1-1/2-Inch, and 1-Inch sanding drums plus sanding papers for each drum. Its table can tilt 90 degrees on both sides for angular drilling. It also has 2-Inch dust ports to keep it clean after sanding.

Key Features

  • 3/4hp motor,
  • 9-Amps, 110V
  • 5/8-Inch keyed chuck
  • 3-1/4-Inch drill depth, ¾-Inch sanding
  • 12-3/8-Inch table, 90-degree tilt capacity
  • 12 Speed modes, 250-3050RPM

Pros

  • 12 different speed settings for customized drilling and sanding
  • It has both drilling and oscillating function
  • Comes with three different sanding drums
  • The table has a 90-degree beveling angle.
  • broad iron cast base prevents movement while working
  • Easy change over from drilling to sanding functions

Cons

  • It is heavy (122lbs) and hard to carry around
  • It doesn’t have a laser pointing system

Top FAQs

Q: Does this drill press have the reverse function?

A: No.

Q: Is the oscillating sander belt replaceable?

A: Yes.

Q: Is this drill press suitable for metalwork finishes?

A: Yes

Q: Can the JT-33 drill bit be used on this drill press?

A: Yes. The spindle is also replaceable and compatible with the 1688 spindle.

Q: What is the Amperage?

A: 9-Amps

Direct Comparison

Power

The power of a drill press depends on the horsepower and the Amperage of the motor. More power means a higher torque, which allows you to drill quickly and easily through high-density material. Most commercial workshops that work on a wide range of material need more torque, which is why 5-Amps or higher is recommended.

High motor power is the reason why Shop Fox W1848 and WEN 4214 are the best drill presses for commercial projects. They have well suited for drilling metal and wood as well as sanding. Shop Fox W1848 is the best suited for demanding sanding operations because it has an oscillating belt.

If you need a secondary drill press for occasional light metal drilling and woodwork, Craftsman 12-Inch and SKIL 3320-01 are the top options. They are budget-friendly and also build with durable iron cast material to last the time.

SKIL 3320-01 is the smallest of the two having a 1/3HP motor with five speeds that are well suited for any standard drilling operation. Craftsman 12-Inch drill press has a lower speed setting of 355RPM, which delivers a better finish in high torque operations.

Speed

Most 3-5 Amp motor drill presses have 5-speed settings. The more speed options you have, the better you can customize your drilling or sanding projects, which is why Shop Fox, with its 12 speeds, is attractive for most workspaces. It has a wide variety of options from 250RPM, which makes it suitable for commercial metalwork as well as woodwork.

WEN 4214 has a high minimum speed of 580RPM, which is not suitable for heavy-duty metal drilling despite having a powerful 5-Amp motor. Its high minimum speed means it is focused mainly on ceramic, plastic, light metal sheet, and wood drilling. It can handle commercial-grade woodwork effectively, which is why many workshops still use it as their first drill.

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Craftsman 12-Inch drill press has a minimum speed of 355RPM, which gives you better control and a smooth finish when drilling through metal. It, however, has a small motor rated at just 1/2HP, which limits you to light metal below 1-Inch in thickness.

SKIL 3320-01 starts at 570RPM and has a 1/3hp motor, which is suitable for occasional light metal drilling. It can handle any level of wood or plastic drilling but not recommended for heavy-duty commercial applications. It is best used as an entry-level drill press.

Drill depth capacity

The depth your drill press can reach depends directly on how far your spindle can travel. The size of the chuck and the drill bit you employ also plays a significant role. WEN 4214 and Shop Fox W1848 can drill 3-I/8 inches, which makes them the workhorses of a workshop. They are the best choices for drilling thick wood, such as 4X4s.

WEN has the best value in this regard, considering its fair pricing and low power consumption. Skil 3320-01 and Craftsman both have a 2.5-inch drill depth, that matches well with their 3.2-Amp motors.

Applications

A drill press is an expensive investment; it is always advisable to go for one that can do more than just drilling holes. Sanding is a common function on most drill presses, although you need an oscillating belt to perform this function better.

Fox W1848 is the best oscillating sander for the money. WEN 4214 can also handle most drilling as well as sanding applications in a workshop regularly. Both WEN 4214 and Shop Fox W1848 have 5/8 Inch chucks that accept a wide range of drill bits and sanding drums.

Shop Fox W1848 also comes with three different sanding drums ranging from 1-2 inches, which can also expand its applications. It, however, comes with a higher price tag, which may not be favorable for a DIYer or a small workshop.

WEN 4214 is a welcome companion because of its friendly price. Craftsman 12-inch and SKIL 3320-01 are standard 1/2hp drill presses best used for standard and light drilling projects. Their applications are limited to the basics, but they perform very well at finishing.

Final Verdict

Getting the best drill press is a major test for most woodworkers. Although your drill press will not do everything, it will handle most of the tasks a hand drill cannot manage and even more. Whether you drill metal, wood, or both, you need to invest in a durable drill press, which is why we chose the four popular drill presses you can trust to last.

This review contains a drill press for any user. Our Top pick is WEN 4214, a 5-Amp drill press designed to meet most drilling needs any workshop may have. It is sturdy and versatile and, best of all, very affordable. We recommend it as both a first or a second drill press for commercial woodwork and casual metalwork.

Shop Fox W1848 is a 9-amp workhorse that can be used to drill also as an oscillating sander. It can serve a busy workshop as an all-round unit performing more functions than a standard drill press. It is also the best value drill press you can find with both functions. Its high price tag, however, is not worth it if all you want to do is drill.

If you are a weekend woodworker or DIYer with less need for torque, craftsman 12-Inch or SKIL will work well. Craftsman has more swing capacity as well as a stronger 1/2hp motor. It can work as a second drill press in a busy workshop or a first drill press for home use. SKIL is the best value drill press for DIYers who need an entry-level drill press on a budget.

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