Best Pillar Drill – The Ulimate User Guide

Best Pillar Drill ReviewsThe best pillar drill is an extremely versatile tool for any workshop, garage or even in the backyard shed.  A pillar drill is a good choice, because it provides a solid base and a clamp for the work piece.  This means that the best pillar drill is safer and steadier to operate, and creates a much more accurate result.  No matter what type of material, or what type of drill bit you need to insert, the best pillar drill press is the way to go.  Because the pillar drill controls the direction and the angle of the drill bit, it is more accurate.  The best pillar drill is also more reliable for when you need to drill many holes.

The Best Pillar Drill provides more power

No matter what type of drill press you choose, you get more power, more precision, and a much safer job.  There is a wide range of different types of drill press.  There is the pillar drill, the benchtop drill press, the bench drill, floor standing drill press, and upright drill press.  Essentially each of these pillar drills and drill presses all do the same job, depending on how large you need!  But what they have in common is a powerful drill motor attached to a movable head.  This means that you have more power to drill through all different types of material.  The pillar drill can handle wood, steel, masonry, aluminium, and plastics with no effort at all.  You do need to select the appropriate drill bit, depending on the type of material.

How to use a Pillar Drill Press

To drill a hole into the work piece, a Pillar Drill Press is simple and safe to use.  All you do is pull down on a handle or lever which drops the drill bit down into the material.  When you clamp the work piece to the base of the drill press, there is no need to have hands anywhere near the danger zone.  The pillar drill allows you to steadily draw down on the handle to make a steady drill hole.  There is less risk of breaking or jamming the drill bit, and therefore a drill press is safer to operate.

Pillar Drill Components – the Head Assembly

When you buy a pillar drill, you need to know the names for each of the components.  The electric motor and gearbox are usually located right at the top of the head of the drill press.  The power from the motor is transferred into the rotating spindle which can be lowered or raised.  If you are familiar with a normal drill, then you would know about the drill chuck.

Don’t forget the chuck

This is the pointy end of the drill, which is adjustable so that you can change out the drill bit.  A chuck on a drill press works exactly the same as a normal drill chuck, and you can swap out drill bits, and tighten up a new drill bit.  Possibly the most hands on element is the drop handle.  The handle is located to the side of the pillar drill, and is the main operating component.  Simple pull down on the handle to lower the drill, and lift the handle to raise the drill.

The Best Pillar drill needs a pillar!

The Best Pillar Drill is supported by a central column, which rises from the sturdy base. The central column is also known as the pillar, which is where the name pillar drill comes from.  If the base is designed to sit on a bench, then this would be known as a benchtop drill press, or bench drill.  A larger version of an upright drill press is designed to stand at ground level, known as the floor standing drill press.  Other than these differences, the remaining components are much the same.

A Pillar Drill should be sturdy

The pillar is always attached to a sturdy base, which anchors the whole machine.  The reason that a pillar press is reliable and accurate is because it does not allow movement or vibration to spoil the job.  The other way that a drill press can make repeatable drill holes is due to the work piece table.  The drilling table is where the action takes place, and provides a flat place to clamp the work piece.  The work table can also be raised or lowered depending on the size of the work piece.

What Size Drill Press do I need?

The size of a pillar drill is often quoted in terms of the size of the work piece.  Although this can seem confusing, it is important to know what size of material can fit under the drill.  The pillar drill size is measured as the distance from the drill point to the upright column.  It makes a lot of sense when you put an item on the table, under the drill bit.  With an 8-inch drill press, you could drill a hole in the middle of a 16 inch piece of material.  For a 24-inch piece of material, you need a 12-inch drill press to drill a hole in the centre.  Obviously, the price of the best pillar drill increases as the size increases.

It is also important to know the height of the material that you need to place under the pillar drill.  The benefit of a floor standing drill press is that the table can be lowered to the ground.  This means that a very large work piece can fit under the drill press.  Or the work table can be raised so that flat materials can also be drilled.  Either way, when you use the best pillar drill, you get the most reliable and accurate results!

Chuck Size

The other relevant aspect when selecting the size of a drill press, is the size of the drill chuck.  Most drills and pillar drills come with a ½ inch drill chuck.  This means that the chuck can accommodate any drill bit with a ½ inch shank or less.  Don’t worry if you want to drill larger holes, it is possible to buy larger drill bits with a reduced shank size to fit the ½ inch chuck.

Do you need a larger Chuck?

It is also possible to buy a pillar drill with a larger chuck if you prefer to go that way.  We do not recommend that you buy a drill press with a keyless chuck.  Although it may be convenient, a keyless chuck cannot be guaranteed to be as tight as a keyed chuck.  The extra power of a drill press means that you should always use a keyed chuck to make sure the drill bit is tight.

What size motor should I buy for a pillar drill?

Even the most affordable pillar drill will have enough power for most drilling jobs.  The power is not the most important issue.  The best thing to know when you buy a drill press is the drilling speed.  Most pillar drills offer a range of speed settings, which is important for drilling different materials.  We recommend that you buy a drill press with a top speed of around 3000 rpm.  This is adequate for nearly any application, and you don’t really need to go any faster.  However, if you need a slow speed setting, it is important to find the best pillar drill.  Most drill presses offer a speed range from 3000 rpm down to below 1000 rpm.  If you want to drill at very slow speeds, you need to buy an bench drill with special gearing to meet your requirements.

Spindle Travel

Another very important feature in the size of a drill press is the spindle travel distance.  Otherwise known as the stroke of the chuck, this is the distance that the chuck can be lowered and raised.  This defines how deep the drill hole can go, and how thick the material is that you want to drill a hole through.  The average pillar drill can accommodate a standard length drill bit.  So maybe a stroke of around 100 mm.  But if you want to buy a drill press for longer spindle travel.  Then you need to choose a commercial drill press with more capability than a basic model.

How Much Does a pillar drill Cost?

When it comes time to buy a pillar drill, we recommend that you don’t go for the cheapest model.  The cheaper model drill press is made of inferior materials, and may not be a solid or sturdy as you intend.  Therefore you can lose the reliability and accuracy which is what you really need.  For around $100 you can buy a pillar drill with everything you need and more!

How much does a Floor Standing Drill Press cost?

For the best pillar drill, or a floor standing drill press, you will need to pay a little more.  For around $500 you can buy a drill press that is quite large and powerful.  You should expect to pay more money to buy a drill press with more power or larger work table.

Best Pillar Drill Reviews:


1. Delta 18 inch Laser Drill Press

1. Delta 18 inch laser Drill Press - Best Pillar Drill
1. Delta 18 inch laser Drill Press - Best Pillar Drill
Key Features: High Performance Pillar Drill – Powerful and Versatile – Top of the Range - Versatile and easy to use

We need to show you the very best pillar drill right at the start.  The Delta 18 inch Laser Drill Press is simply stunning. Without a doubt, this is top of our list of best pillar drill reviews, if you can afford one!  Sure it costs a lot more, but it can do a lot more than the others.  The Delta Laser drill press offers a ¾ horsepower motor, which is more than you will need.  It comes with a larger chuck size to accommodate larger drill bits.  In fact, you can use any type of drill bit you like. With an incredible 16 different speed settings, there is nothing the Delta Drill press can’t handle.

Other features of the Delta Laser Drill Press

The Delta Laser is a precision drilling machine, with laser pointers to help you get it spot on!  The laser guided drill point makes for superb accuracy and repeatability, and you can set the drill depth also.  Thoughtfully, it comes with LED lighting to keep the work piece in focus at all times.  The chuck stroke is an amazing 6 inches deep, which allows great versatility.  An even better touch is that the work table can be tilted or pivoted to allow highly accurate angle drilling.  The material span of 18 inches is very large, and there are not many machines that can beat the Delta Laser Drill Press.

What we like about the Delta 18 inch Laser Drill Press

The whole unit is held together with commercial grade materials, such as the stainless steel pillar support.  Even the base and the precision machined work table, are commercial grade components.  Suitable for metal work, woodwork, drilling, boring, as well as bevels and edging.

Click here to see the price of the Delta 18 inch Laser Drill Press.


2. OEMTOOLS 24826 15 inch Floor Standing  Drill Press

2. OEMTOOLS 24826 15 inch Pillar Drill - Best Floor Standing Drill Press
2. OEMTOOLS 24826 15 inch Pillar Drill - Best Floor Standing Drill Press
Key Features: Floor standing Drill Press – affordable – Versatile – Powerful

By comparison with the mighty Delta Laser, there is a range of cheap drill presses that can still do the job.   Such as the OEMTOOLS 15 inch Heavy Duty Floor Standing Drill Press.  For a fraction of the price of the top range models, this cheap drill press weighs in at an impressive 160 pounds.  The motor and gearbox have a wide speed range, and can deliver 16 speed settings.  The 600 Watt motor is powerful enough to drill through any materials.

What we like about the OEMTOOLS 15 inch Heavy Duty Floor Drill Press

This cheap drill press is very flexible, and is adjustable in many angles.  The table can swing through 360 degrees, as well as tilted by 45 degrees either left or right.  The table can be raised or lowered on the precision rack and pinion mechanism.  This floor drill press is manufactured from solid cast iron components to eliminate vibration and tool chatter.   With a 15 inch material capacity, this machine can handle most job sizes that you need to work on.

Click here to see the price on the OEMTOOLS 15 inch Heavy Duty Floor Drill Press.


3. WEN 8 Inch 5 Speed drill press

3. WEN 8 inch 5 speed Drill Press - Cheap Portable Pillar Drill
3. WEN 8 inch 5 speed Drill Press - Cheap Portable Pillar Drill
Key Features: Entry Level Drill Press – Reputable Manufacturer - Very affordable – High quality components

A really good entry level bench drill press is the WEN 8 inch drill press.  If you want to compare cheap drill presses, then the WEN 8 inch model ticks a lot of boxes.  But it comes from a reputable manufacturer of quality power tools.  WEN are renowned for making solid and sturdy power tools that are made to last.  This model WEN 8 inch drill press is compact in size, but there are no short cuts.  The base, pillar and table are all made from heavy cast iron components, so it is certainly not flimsy.  It is reassuring to feel the sturdiness and rigid combination of heavy duty components.

What we like about the WEN 8 inch drill press

The WEN 8 inch pillar drill is a portable drill press, and it is a steady and reliable performer.  The WEN 8 inch drill press comes with a ½ inch chuck, with key.  The gearbox has 5 speeds for drilling different materials.  Along with the 8 inch material width, the stroke of the chuck spindle is limited to 2 inches.

Click here to see the price of the WEN 8 inch 5 speed portable drill press at Amazon.


4. SKIL 120 Volt 10 Inch Drill Press

4. SKIL 120 Volt 10 inch Drill Press - Best Pillar Drill
4. SKIL 120 Volt 10 inch Drill Press - Best Pillar Drill
Key Features: Versatile Drill Press - Powerful - Excellent Value For Money

The SKIL Drill Press is a bench drill that offers solid and dependable performance, without costing the earth.  So you get the best of both worlds, a portable drill press and a good cheap drill press.  The SKIL drill press has everything you need.  But there are no fancy extras so you don’t have to pay for things you don’t actually need.  It comes with a basic ½ inch chuck which is okay.  It comes with a range of 5 speeds, which is also acceptable.  Nothing flashy so far!  The motor is powerful enough, and SKIL are renowned for quality machines, so it won’t break down.

What we like about the SKIL Drill Press

The SKIL Drill Press is a good portable drill press on the market.  However, the 10 inch span of the worktable offers a large material capability which is excellent for the price.  Not only can you handle large jobs, but the SKIL drill press comes with a laser pointer.  So this means you can drill with pinpoint accuracy on large jobs, which is definitely a big plus.  This is a good value for money drill press.

Click here to see the price of the SKIL Drill Press at Amazon.


5. WEN 4214 12 Inch Variable Speed Drill Press

5. WEN 4214 12 inch Variable speed Drill Press - Best Benchtop Pillar Drill
5. WEN 4214 12 inch Variable speed Drill Press - Best Benchtop Pillar Drill
Key Features: Benchtop drill press – Variable Speed - Mid range price – good all round performer

The WEN 4214 12 inch variable speed drill press is a great all round performer with all the nice to have components.  The motor comes with more power than you will ever need and is combined with a variable speed gearbox.  The WEN drill press comes with an LED display with the drill speed.  This machine takes the guess work out of choosing the speed setting for different materials.  The WEN 4214 12 inch variable speed drill press can easily cut through wood, metal and other materials with ease.

Additional Features of the WEN 4214 12 inch variable speed drill press

  • Powerful 2/3 horsepower induction motor
  • Variable speed range from 600 rpm to 3200 rpm.
  • LED speed display takes the guess work out of speed selection
  • No loss of torque throughout the power range
  • Accurate and repeatable drilling capability
  • Cross point laser for pin point accuracy
  • 12 inch work space
  • Cast iron table is fully adjustable
  • Table tilts 45 degrees both left and right

What we like about the WEN drill press – another portable drill press

The WEN 4214 12 inch variable speed drill press is a good all round performer.  It provides all of the capability of the top of the range models, but comes at a fraction of the price.  The variable speed drive is very nice to have.  The Cross point laser pointer keeps you on track and accurate at all times.

Click here to see the price of the WEN 4214 12 inch variable speed drill press at Amazon.


How much should you spend to buy the Best Pillar Drill

It is important to know what features you need when buying a drill press.

Power of a pillar drill.

Unlike most power tools, we don’t really need to worry too much about the size of the motor.  Most drill presses have enough power for the average job.  Worst case scenario, if you have a heavy duty task, it just might be a little slow.  The important thing is that you will be able to drill much more accurate holes than using a hand drill.

Speed selection

Small drill press machines have manual speed selection belts, which means you have to stop work and physically change over the belts.  More modern drill presses have automatic speed selection which makes life much easier.  Even better when you can find a drill press with variable speed, because there is no guesswork involved.

Drilling accuracy

The purpose of buying a drill press is for accurate drilling.  A drill press should be built from sturdy materials to be rigid and eliminate vibration.  When you work with machine vibration, it can lead to tool chatter which can damage the work piece.  A solid and sturdy pillar drill will ensure drilling accuracy, as well as repeatable drill holes.

Drilling depth

The best pillar drill should have a depth setting to control the depth of each drill hole.  To enable quick and easy drilling, you can fix the hole depth on the side of the machine.  The hole depth gauge will provide an accurate depth limiter and simple drilling depth for every single hole.

Drilling angles

One of the hardest jobs with a hand held drill is to drill holes at an angle to the surface.  The job is much easier when you buy the best pillar drill.  All you need to do is to tilt the work table to the desired angle, and operate the drill press up and down as normal.  This takes the difficulty out of a very tricky task, and makes every single drill hole the same as the last.

Pinpoint laser accuracy

The best thing when you buy a pillar drill is the laser pointer.  Most modern drill presses come with a laser pointer which directs the drill tip to the exact place you want to drill.  The laser pointer makes life much easier, and also makes the job much more accurate.  We highly recommend that you look to buy a pillar drill with a laser pointer – you can become an expert!



Here at Air Compressor Journal, we review all types of pillar drills, bench drills, floor standing drill presses and portable drill presses.  All our products are available at the Amazon superstore, there are special deals that are promoted for short periods of time.  So we always advise to come back regularly to check out the latest sales and prices on air compressors, and you just never know when you might find the best pillar drill for sale! Protection Status

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