Benchtop Vs. Floor Drill Press

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Do you find it hard to choose the best tool to perform your drilling, sanding, and mortising projects? A floor drill press will do tougher jobs, but it comes at a higher cost, which may not be worth it for home-based workshops. You can buy a benchtop drill press if you concentrate on drilling standard Stock and light metal. Whichever workhorse you choose, ensure you get a solid cast iron construction and a powerful motor.

The benchtop drill press has a smaller motor usually 3-7 amps and a horsepower rating of 1/3 to 2/3, which is enough for woodwork. In this review, we chose WEN 4214, a top-rated 5-Amp drill press with a budget-friendly price that gives you value for the money. It has a 5/8-inch chuck, 3-1/8-Inch drill depth and 12-Inch swing capacity. It is suitable for both DIYers and commercial woodworkers with heavy-duty woodwork projects.

If you intend to drill large Stock, over 13-Inches, as well as heavier metallic applications, then you are better off with a great floor drill press. Shop Fox W1848 is a powerful 9-Amp drill press that you can also convert into a quick sander or a mortising tool depending on your needs. It is more expensive compared to the WEN 4214 but worth the investment considering its solid construction and broader application.

1. WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable speed drill press

WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press
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WEN bench tools are designed for professional woodwork, but they have a friendly design making them easy to operate. This drill press is specially designed to handle heavy-duty drilling, sanding, or mortising projects in a workshop. Most people go for it because of its friendly price, but we loved it for its solid cast-Iron construction and a powerful 5-Amp four-pole motor. It has five-speed modes ranging from 580RPM to 3200RPM, allowing you to customize the speed for different material densities.

It is operated using a rack and pinion system that is both durable and easy to operate. It has a 5/8-inch keyed chuck, which can be connected to a variety of bits and sanding drums up to a 1/64-inch diameter. The spindle travels 3-I/8 inches, which allows you to drill deeper than the 2.5 inches offered by most drill presses. You can also set accurate depths for each project with the depth adjustment stop for uniform depths.

It stands 37 inches top to bottom, which makes it easy to operate on a table or directly from the floor. It also weighs 85lbs, which makes it stable when running and easy to move around when necessary. This drill press is also easy to use thanks to an LED display that tells the exact speed of the motor. It also has a laser guide light, which increases accuracy. Moreover, it has a work light that brightens up your workspace.

The table is also suitable for loading large Stock measuring 9 inches on both sides, meaning it can carry a load over 20 inches wide. The table adjustable and removable for convenience. It also bevels 45 degrees to both sides, allowing you to drill curved pieces, joints, and angled holes. It also has a roller extension to carry bigger loads.

Key Features

  • Chuck: 5/8-Inches
  • Power: 5-Amps, 110V
  • horsepower: 2/3hp
  • Quill: 2- inches
  • Spindle: 3-1/8 inches
  • Speed: 580-3200RPM
  • Table: 9.5 inches

Pros

  • The table is large and has a roller extension
  • It has a laser guide light for accuracy
  • Five-speed modes for handling different densities
  • LED display for easy speed reading
  • A bright work light for dark spaces
  • The chuck has three jaws with a sturdy bit grip
  • Cool silent operation

Cons

  • It has many parts which make it hard to set up
  • It doesn`t have a reverse drill function

Top FAQs

Q: Can I use this to drill through 2-Inch steel?

A: Yes.

Q: Can the speed go lower than 580RPM?

A: Sure. It can go down to 500RPM.

Q: Can I sue this drill press for sanding?

A: Yes.

Q: Does it have an oscillating belt?

A: No

Q: Is this drill press suitable for drilling steel?

A: Yes and No. It can drill steel, but the finish is rather rugged due to its high speed

2. Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press 

Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press

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If you need to handle many commercial projects with lots of sanding mortising and drilling both metal and wood on one tool, then you need Shop Fox W1848. It has a large swing capacity of 13-1/4 inches with a cast iron body weighing 122lbs. This drill press remains stable while running. Its most significant feature is the simple change over design that allows you to switch between drilling to sanding without tools. It also has a broad 24×15 inch base for more stability.

The motor on this floor drill is also suitable for demanding projects. It is a 9-amp induction motor with a horsepower rating of 3/4hp. It also has 12 speeds from 250RPM for steel to 3050RPM for softwood, cardboards, and plastic. It is operated by a rack and pinion system, which allows the spindle to move smoothly even at high speed. It is fitted with a durable replaceable oscillating belt for long-lasting service.

Its spindle travels 3-1/4 Inches so you can use it to drill thick material. The chuck is 5/8 inches and fitted with three jaws to clamp down on a wide range of bits and sanding drums. It also comes with three different sanding drums ranging from 2 inches to 1 inch for both small and large workpieces. The package also includes grit sanding papers for each sanding drum.

The table is 12-3/6 inches in diameter and can hold wide planks up to 24-Inches in width. It is also fitted with 2-Inch wide holes that allow the chaff to go through preventing clogging. It can also be tilted at 90 degrees on both sides, making it easy to work with joints, curved pieces, and angular drilling.

Key Features

  • Chuck: 5/8-Inches
  • Power: 9-Amps, 110V
  • horsepower: 3/4hp
  • Spindle depth: 3-1/8 inches
  • Speed: 250-3050RPM
  • Table: 13-1/4 inches

Pros

  • It is easy to switch from drilling to sanding
  • 12-speed settings allow you to adjust for different material
  • Large table (13 inches) which can tilt up to 90 degrees
  • Solid cast iron construction
  • Quick heat dispersion keeps it cool when working

Cons

  • It doesn’t have a laser pointing system
  • It is too heavy to carry around

Top FAQs

Can I remove the table?

A: Yes. The table is both adjustable and removable

Q: What is the warranty?

A: Two years

Q: Is this suitable for drilling through ceramic?

A: Yes

Q: What is the voltage?

A: 110V 

Direct Comparison

Power

The floor drill press has more power than a table drill press because it is built to work more regularly and on tougher material. Shop FoxW1848 has a 9-Amp motor with a 3/4hp, which delivers a higher torque in every stroke than WEN 4124`s 2/3HP. The floor drill press delivers the high torque needed for drilling smoothly through steel and tough fiber. The benchtop drill press motor is strained by thick steel and fiber leading to a rather rugged finish.

Speed

With drill presses, you need lower speed for higher torque, especially when dealing with metal and tough lumber. The floor drill press has a minimum speed of 250RPM, which cuts smoothly through steel better than the 580RPM of the WEN 4214 drill press. Shop Fox W1848 also has 12 distinct speed settings that make it easy to customize your drilling depending on the density of the material in question.

The floor drill press has a top speed of 3050RPM, which is suitable for woodwork and plastic, although it doesn`t cut as fast as the 3200RPM delivered by the benchtop drill. WEN 4214 has only five distinct speed settings suitable for light material, including steel less than 2-Inches thick.

Sanding

Shop Fox W1848 has an oscillating belt specifically meant to make contour sanding easy. It also includes sanding drums, which reduce the extra costs needed to convert a benchtop drill press to a sander. WEN 4214 can also be used for quick sanding thanks to its high speed, although you have to invest in sanding drums and paper. It can`t do it efficiently as you have to hold and direct the workpiece yourself.

Table

These drill presses have iron cast tables designed to last for a long time under frequent heavy-duty use. Shop Fox W1848 also comes in at the top because the table is 13-1/4-inch, which allows you to access extra-large Stock. The table also bevels at 90 degrees, which enables you to drill curved pieces and tight angles comfortably. WEN 4214 has a 9.5 Inch table and a beveling angle of 45 degrees, which limits you to smaller workpieces.

Spindle Depth 

These two have equal spindle travels of 3-1/8 inches. It allows them to handle similar thicknesses of Stock. Shop Fox, however, works better through the Stock compared to the WEN benchtop drill press.

Precision

WEN 4214 has a laser-guided X-rays that pinpoint the exact point of drilling, reducing the chances of error. Shop Fox W1848 does not have a laser guide system, which reduces its accuracy.

Final Note

Choosing between a floor drill press and a benchtop drill press is a decision that affects the type and quality of your woodwork for a long time. Tight budgets and limitations of space and experience force many people to go for low-quality benchtop drill presses. This review is a comparison of the best drill press and floor drill press you can get on a tight budget and get the value of any high-end drill press.

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