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Used in a stationary position on a workbench, the drill press allows drilling or vertical boring of high precision in almost any material.

6 drill presses.

Drill presses for private individuals offer a good stability for drilling, but do not guarantee quite the same precision as the models used in industry (accurate to 100th of mm). The six machines tested here have a drilling capacity in steel from 13 to 20 mm and up to 40 mm in softer materials such as wood, plastic or fiberglass...

Drill presses with powerful and quiet motors

Equipped with an electric motor (350 to 710 W), the drills tested are silent and hindered little vibration. The motor drives a spindle through a gearbox. It is placed on a column, itself mounted on a wide foot and heavy for stability. A conical pin, fixed on the spindle, moves vertically (between 50 and 90 mm) using a capstan or flywheel (Bosch). The piece to be pierced is held firmly on a tray that slides on the column. The maximum distance between this plate and the mandrel varies here from 135 to 370 mm.

Manage speed variations of a drill press

The gearboxes of the six tested machines possess five reports for the smaller ones and twelve for the bigger ones (Einhell and OTMT). The ratios make it possible to vary the rotational speed of the mandrel from 200 to more than 2,620 rpm. Low speeds are used for large diameter holes in hard materials. Only Bosch offers an electronic speed controller. In general, the speeds are changed by hand by moving one or two belts on pulleys of different diameters. This system is impractical. With a drill press, it is not always easy to choose the speed depending on the drill. Two machines (Bosch and Einhell) however indicate a correspondence between drill and selected report.

Choose your machine

It is best to determine the use of his drill press before making his choice. The size of the parts to be worked depends on the stroke of the drilling head, the distance between the axis of the mandrel and the column and between the drilling table and the mandrel. A rack system facilitates adjustment of the drilling table.
The maximum drilling capacity It is important, but the minimum capacity is equally important for the meticulous work. For example, Bosch, Optimum, Silverline and Peugeot accept drills from Ø 1 to 1.5 mm. For others, the minimum diameter is 3 mm.
The number of speeds is not really important. It is necessary to favor the models whose minimum speed is the lowest possible, 200 to 580 rev / min being the ideal to drill large diameters in hard materials.
The presence of a self-locking mandrel is a more appreciable. It must also be checked whether the machine is supplied with a vise, an essential element.

Controls and mandrels on drill presses

Switching switches.

  • The start switches are identical on all machines: two push buttons on / off, except on the Bosch where there is only one button for the three actions.


  • To lower the mandrel, the capstan is composed of three handles screwed on an axis.
  • On all models, they tend to unscrew during use. On the Bosch, the capstan is a molded flywheel that stays in place.

Crank handle for ordering rack and pinion drilling tables.

  • The rack and pinion drilling tables are controlled by a crank.
  • That of the Einhell has too much play which makes the maneuvers difficult.

Unscrew the adjusting screw.

  • Each table rotates on the axis of the column and rotates up to 45° for angled holes.
  • The adjusting screw is unscrewed with the help of a key, except that of the Bosch, which remains fixed.

Set up the drill.

  • The self-tightening chucks supplied with the Peugeot, Optimum and Bosch save time when setting up the drill bit. On top of the Bosch one, there is also a quick clamping and loosening ring.

Chuck protection cover.

  • Each machine is provided with a protective cover mandrel (except Bosch), efficient but poorly manufactured.

Drilling depth

Adjust the drilling depth.

  • The drilling depth is set differently depending on the model.
  • On Einhell, OTMT and Peugeot, the depth stop is a ring at the base of the capstan blocked by a set screw. This device is the least accurate.

Set the drilling depth to a threaded rod.

  • Optimum and Silverline offer a threaded shaft with a locknut mounted on the side of the housing.

Automatically adjust the drilling depth on a digital display.

  • On the Bosch, it is an automatic adjustment with a digital display. The accuracy is good, but the setting is sensitive.

Always think about safety when you tinker

The main risk comes rotating chuck and drill. It is therefore necessary to work with fitted clothing and to equip oneself with protective glasses. These and a mask are provided with the Peugeot. On the other hand, the piece to be drilled must be firmly clamped on the table.

Drills and Drills of Drill Presses

Move a belt on two pulleys.

  • On 5-speed machines (Peugeot, Silverline and Optimum), to change the ratio, simply move a belt on two pulleys.

Pulley and belt.

  • On the 12-speed models (Einhell and OTMT), there is a pulley and a belt in addition.

Table with the speed and the corresponding drill.

  • Diagrams help to position the belts. The Einhell offers a table with the corresponding speed and drill.

A control screen indicates the speed at which the chuck rotates.

  • On the Bosch (5-speed), a variable speed drive allows quick changes.
  • A control screen indicates the speed at which the chuck rotates.

Clamping parts

Vice to clamp the pieces.

  • The vice supplied with the Einhell and the Peugeot is an essential accessory to clamp the parts. He bolts on the piercing table.
  • Both models are perfect for holding tubes and small parts.

Press which is adjusted in height on the column.

  • The Bosch is equipped with a press which is adjusted in height on the column and a vice on the base.

Criteria for evaluation of drill presses

  • Drilling and precision, concern the "play" of the spindle of the mandrel and the good positioning of the drill, a source of inaccuracy that can generate vibrations and false circles during drilling. The machines tested all have a satisfactory factory setting and the false rounds are hardly noticeable. Drilling depth accuracy is also evaluated.
  • The settings take into account the installation of the drill, a delicate operation with the small diameter drills and the ease of change of position of the belts of the gearboxes.
  • ergonomics includes the shape of the capstans handles and the start buttons. The size and shape of the piercing tables are closely watched, as it is an important indication for setting up a vice and the workpiece to be drilled.
  • The comfort of use is equally important. The descent of the spindle must be flexible. Adjusting the height of the piercing table should not require too much effort. Noise and vibration should be as noticeable as possible.

Test procedure *

The tests began with a succession of holes on a steel part (a U-section with a thickness of 10 mm). First high speed Ø 8 mm holes, then maximum diameter holes of each machine at the slowest speed. The fake round (irregular bores due to an off-axis bit) were checked with a freelancer. In the wood (oak and pine of section 40 x 80 mm), the holes were made with drills of Ø 8 to 40 mm. Finally, the precision of the depth gauges was checked by blocking them on 10 and 20 mm.
* The System D test benches are made under real conditions of use by our journalists. The results may therefore differ from those displayed by the manufacturers, whose tests are performed by laboratories according to standardized protocols.

What to remember from the test?

The machines are quite close to each other in terms of precision and piercing quality. The real differences were revealed on the comfort and the practical aspects.

  • First arrival, the Bosch is a machine with which we enjoy working.
  • In second place, theOTMT is made for intensive work.
  • In third place, the Peugeot loses points on the workspace. The support of the piercing table is too bulky.
  • Fourth, the Einhell lack of rigor in its manufacture.
  • In fifth place, the Silverline is rather a good surprise. Its price makes it a machine that you can buy without hesitation, if the work is not too intensive.
  • Finally, the drill Optimum close the march. It is rather precise, but its use lacks comfort.

The Bosch drill press, the favorite of System D

Bosch column drill.

This bench drill does not look like the others. She has a design and an technology which distinguish it from its competitors. Easy to live, thanks to simple adjustments, it is also the only one to propose a lighting and a laser to aim at the best location of the hole to be made. In addition to the variable speed drive, it offers a switch that provides two ranges of variations: from 200 to 850 rpm for large holes and from 600 to 2500 rpm for smaller children. Finally, she is precise and as comfortable with the small holes as the big ones.

Bosch column drill

  • This machine is the only one of the test to propose a led lighting and a laser aiming to place the drill.

Comparison of six drill presses for bench

6 Drilling Presses reviews

Click on the table to enlarge

Bosch column drill

Bosch PBD 40 Drill press

Model: PBD 40
Price: 329 €
Engine power: 710 W
Chuck opening1.5 to 13 mm
Max steel drilling: 13 mm
Spindle race: 90 mm
Speeds (5 reports) : 200 to 2500 rpm
Dimensions (L x W x H): 350 x 330 x 650 mm
Chuck / table distance : 285 mm
Mandrel / column distance: 130 mm
Test results

  • Drilling and precision: 7,5
    The chuck is in the axis of the motor which allows a perfect rotation and round holes and precise
  • settings : 8,0
    Speed ​​can be adjusted quickly using a dimmer. No need to adjust the table height, it is the machine that goes down
  • Ergonomics: 7,5
    This drill is perfect for beginners. The chuck goes down at the same time as the drill, using a rather practical steering wheel that replaces the capstan
  • Comfort in use: 7,6
    The controls are flexible and the settings easy to perform, allowing you to focus on your work.
Test result: 7.6

Einhell Drill Press

Einhell BT-BD 701 Drill press

Model: BT-BD 701
Price: 250 €
Engine power: 630 W
Chuck opening : 3 to 16 mm
Max steel drilling: 16 mm
Spindle race: 65 mm
Speeds (12 reports) : 220 to 2,450 rpm
Dimensions (L x W x H): 490 x 240 x 850 mm
Chuck / table distance300 mm
Mandrel / column distance : 130 mm
Test results

  • Drilling and precision: 6,5
    A slight game on the spindle generates false circles and vibrations. The depth stop lacks precision
  • settings: 6,7
    The rack-mounted drilling table can be adjusted precisely to position the part to be drilled.
  • Ergonomics: 6,9
    The drilling table is quite large (200 x 195 mm). The protective cover does not remain in the open position, which hinders the installation of the drill.
  • Comfort in use: 7,0
    The capstan is very flexible. The gear ratios are displayed with the corresponding drills.
Test result: 6,8

Optimum column drill

Optimum OPTIDRILL B14 Drill press

Price: 287 €
Engine power: 350 W
Chuck opening1 to 13 mm
Max steel drilling: Ø 14 mm
Spindle race: 50 mm
Speeds (5 reports): 520 to 2,620 rpm
Dimensions (L x W x H): 420 x 230 x 700 mm
Chuck / table distance240 mm
Mandrel / column distance : 104 mm
Test results

  • Drilling and precision: 7,0
    The depth gauge with locknut is quite accurate. The holes are sharp and the false circles barely noticeable
  • settings: 5,0
    Shifting is complicated to perform. There is no forest Ø match.
  • Ergonomics: 7,0
    The handles of the capstan are wide for a good grip. The 160 x 160 mm drilling table is a bit undersized
  • Comfort of use: 6.5
    The self-tightening chuck is a bit hard to screw and unscrew. Centering the drill is not easy to find at the beginning
Test result: 6.4

OTMT Drill press

OTMT OT21520V Drill press

Model: OT21520V
Price: 354 €
Engine power: 550 W
Chuck opening: 3 to 16 mm
Max steel drilling: 20 mm
Spindle race: 65 mm
Speeds (12 reports) : 300 to 2,550 rpm
Dimensions (L x W x H) 440 x 205 x 860 mm
Chuck / table distance370 mm
Mandrel / column distance: 130 mm
Test results

  • Drilling and precision: 7,5
    It lacks a bit of precision in drilling depth. But, big drilling capacity in steel
  • settings: 6,5
    The rack and pinion drilling table is very easy to adjust. Belt movement is not a problem
  • Ergonomics : 6,8
    The piercing table is not very wide, but of a good thickness. The stems of the capstan are a bit thin. The table crank is of good quality
  • Comfort in use: 7,2
    The capstan offers little resistance and the spindle is well guided. The machine is quite silent
Test result: 7.0

Peugeot Drill Press

Peugeot ENERGY Drill-13B Drill press

Model: ENERGY Drill-13B
Price: 279 €
Engine power : 550 W
Chuck opening 1 to 13 mm
Max steel drilling: 13 mm
Spindle race: 65 mm
Speeds (5 reports) : 620 to 2,620 rpm
Dimensions (L x W x H) 550 x 340 x 680 mm
Chuck / table distance: 135 mm
Mandrel / column distance: 130 mm
Test results

  • Drilling and precision: 7,0
    Accuracy is at the rendezvous with holes without fake round. The mini speed (620 rpm) is a bit high
  • settings: 6,7
    Speed ​​changes are not a problem, belts move from one pulley to another quite easily
  • Ergonomics : 6,5
    Strong point of this machine: the capstan for right-handed or left-handed. This is the only one to offer a round table quite wide (Ø 190 mm) and very heavy
  • Comfort in use: 7,3
    This drill hardly vibrates. Quite heavy (28 kg), it offers good stability
Test result: 6.9

Silverline Drill Press

Silverline Drill Press

Model: 350 W Drill Press
Price: 83 €
Engine power: 350 W
Chuck opening: 1.5 to 13 mm
drilling maxi steel: Ø 13 mm
Spindle stroke: 50 mm
Speeds (5 speeds): 580 to 2650 rpm
Dimensions (L x W x H): 355 x 225 x 440 mm
Chuck / table distance: 210 mm
Chuck / column distance: 104 mm
Test results

  • Drilling and precision : 7,0
    The holes are fairly regular, but a game at the chuck creates vibrations a little annoying
  • settings : 6,0
    The piercing table is difficult to move. The depth stop, with screw and locknut, is precise.
  • Ergonomics : 6,5
    Despite the small size of the drill, the 160 x 160 mm drilling table is not ridiculous. The start and stop keys are misplaced
  • Comfort in use: 7,0
    The chuck goes down without difficulty, the gearshift is fast and the motor offers a good travel
Test result: 6.6

Video Instruction: How to Setup and Use the Drill Press - Woodworking for Beginners #5