Top 6 Best Pillar Drill Reviews – Detailed Comparison For DIY & Industrial Use
We Compare 6 of the Best Bench Drill Presses
When you are busy in your workshop trying to create the perfect craftsmanship and you need to drill very accurate holes with perfect precision. You cannot rely on the hand drills since its accuracy it very limited by the user and a steady hand. That is where the pillar drill comes in.
It creates perfect holes where ever you need them on either metal, wood and pretty much any material you need to drill.
As most days go, the number of brands and designs available making choosing the best pillar drill somewhat difficult specially with prices ranging from £70 all the way up to £250+. To select the best pillar drill, you have a few things you need to consider. The workings of a pillar drill are not that complex. You need to demystify the features that are compatible with your needs. It is simple really, just remember the features provided and the rest will fall into place.
To make things easier, we compared over 15 different pillar drills and narrowed it down to just 6 models we think are worth considering. Before we dive into these models we would like to point out that after many afters of research we came to the conclusion that the Clarke CDP5RB - 5 Speed Pillar Drill is the best choice for most people looking for an all round model, that has excellent features, is easy to use, reliable and most importantly, offers excellent value for money.? This is why we awarded it our 'Best Pick'.
Pillar Drill Buyers Guide
When looking for the best pillar drill, you have to look at the amount of work that you have to do and the material you are working with. The space that you have will also play a factor in the size of the pillar drill that you get. These are not all the functions that you have to consider when you are selecting a pillar drill. There are other points that we will discuss further below.
Get some pen and paper and let’s dive in.
- Type of pillar drill - In this category that consists of pillar drills, you are likely to meet with two kinds. You will come across floor and bench drill presses. Aside from their size and positioning, they are not much different. You will find that the small pillar drills are not as powerful and they only cater to small jobs while larger heavy duty models with drill through some serous materials with ease and accuracy.
If you are a DIY enthusiast who needs to drill accurate holes from time to time than you can rely on bench press type that sits on top of a workbench. Floor pillar drills are perfect for heavy duty work. They have the ability to drill bigger holes and handle a wide range of thickness of the material. They are however take up space and portability may be a struggle. A good drill presses can easily be moved to make space when needed, stored in small areas and transported with ease. That is why they are usually preferred for home DIY workshops and light handed work. However they are also very handy for professionals to use.
- Look at the size - Consider the amount of space that you have available and then look at a model that fits the bill. Smaller sizes are limited in the amount of work that they can handle. Larger models are more likely to handle the pressure that comes with large pieces of material. The depth at which the pillar drill can go through a piece of material will also be limited by the size of the unit. Gauge the amount and intensity of the work to be carried out and pick a sizeable machine. Check the dimensions of the unit before purchasing.
- How much power is produced - Almost all of the tools that we have access to now depend on electricity. You want a machine that has a powerful motor. In most cases, you will find that the output is measured in watts which refers to the power of the electric motor. It goes without saying that the higher the power produced the more likely you will be able to bore holes in thick materials. consider the depth of the holes to be drilled and the thickness of the material. Remember you also need good quality drill bits designed for the material your drilling through.
We have reviewed some excellent drill bits which you can read here
- What are the drilling capacity and table specifications - The drilling capacity can be established by the distance between the middle chuck and the column. Look at the material and establish if it will be able to drill an accurate hole further enough into the material.
A table is a very important feature. It determines if different angles of holes can be executed. It is recommended that you invest in a model that has an adjustable table. That way, you can even drill on curved materials. An adjustable table would do well with tight clamps. This is to make certain that the material is secured in position to avoid slips.
- Consider the speed and depth stops - Speed makes time management easy. If you have a tool with a lot of speed, you are likely to get to work quicker. That is depending on the thickness of material that you are working with. You want a model that allows you to control the amount of speed that you apply. The more speed you have to control the more materials you can work with.
With all that speed you need another control measure. That is why death stops have been installed. They help you control the depth of the hole that you need so you do not drill to far in into the material. It is recommended that you access a model that has an accurate depth drop feature. It just makes work a bit easier.
- Overall price and accessories offered - Working with a budget is always a prudent thing to do. It allows you to narrow down the range of product you are looking for. Different price ranges come with different features. Keep in mind of all the features offered and weigh the value. Look at the drill bits provided if any are supplied to establish durability. That way you can establish more value for money. Steel is good but not as strong as carbide or cobalt bits.
There are manufacturers that offer extra accessories like sanding drums, planer heads, fences, and mortising attachments. If you are looking for any of these accessories, consider brands that offer them. Most people will probably only need standard features so will not need to worry to much about the features provided. Prices range from around £70 to over £150 but we think if you budget around the £100 mark you cannot really go wrong.
PILLAR DRILL REVIEWS
Clarke CDP5RB 5 Speed Bench Mounted Pillar Drill Review
OUR BEST PICK
The Clarke CDP5RB 5 Speed Bench Mounted Pillar Drill is an impressive peace of kit, perfect for the diy enthusiast and hobbyist. The colour catches your eye and you have a reason to look at it. The model is comprised of high quality features and a high quality build quality. The model is powered by a powerful 350 watt motor that is designed to offer consistent energy as you drill through materials with ease. You can be assured that the motor will run for as long as required if used correctly.
The model is equipped with chuck capacity of 13mm meaning it suitable for drilling most drill bits available. The capacity is adequate enough to drill through some forms of metal, wood and plastic as well as most other materials you may need to drill through. To make it more versatile it has a B16 spindle taper so you can use taper shank drill bits. The high construction assures you of durability and accuracy every time right down to the mm.
For safety and control purposes, you will find that most models are fitted with cut-outs. This is a model that is no different. It has a multi-functioning start/stop switch and NVR. We know that speed is an important factor in drilling through thick materials. With this model, you can access 5 speed settings ranging 620 to 2620 RPM for better control and accuracy. Working with these various speeds ensures that you have control despite the material you are working on. This is specially handy for drilling metal as you can use a slower steady speed which is often much better when drilling metal.
A clear chuck guard has been provided for protection and to ensure you can all ways see what you are doing, a simple but important feature. Therefore, if you are wearing gloves or get distracted for a second, you won’t get injured.
The dimensions provided are, general height- 586mm, chuck –table is 167mm, chuck- column is 104mm. The height adjustable table with clamping slots will be good company in your home workshop.
- Ideal for hobby workshop or light professional use
- Ideal for wood, plastic and metal.
- Powerful 350W motor offers plenty of power when needed.
- Large 13mm spindle capacity make it very versatile.
- Comes with a tiltable table.
- 5 speeds ranging from 620 - 2620 RPM for accurate drilling.
- 12 month guarantee for full peace of mind.
- Not really up to professional applications.
The Clarke CDP5RB Bench Mounted Pillar Drill definitely offers excellent valu for the money without compromising on quality and performance. It's small and portable size makes it adaptable to domestic situations such as a home diy workshop or hobbyist working in the shed.
We like that you can rely on this model to offer you maximum performance without spending a fortune as we looked at simular models that were over £100 more without any real upside.
We like powerful 350 watt motor which by all accounts is very smooth and efficient and will allow you to drill through most basic materials like metal, plastic or wood.
If your a passionate diy enthusiast looking for the best pillar drill without spending silly money then we really cannot recommend a better alternative. Don't get me wrong you can get better, more powerful models but they are more expensive and the extra power would probably be wasted where this cheaper Clarke alternative is more than adequate.
Overall after careful consideration we decided that this model deserved to win our 'Best Pick' award because of its excellent build quality, impressive performance, accuracy and excellent retail price along with its 1 year warranty.
Wolf 5 Speed 13mm Pillar Drill Press Bench Top Review
The Wolf 5 Speed 13mm Pillar Drill Press Bench Top also gives good value and was one of the cheapest good drill presses worthy of our 'Top 6 List'. As with most models, it has a 13mm (1.5 - 13mm) chuck capacity. Armed with a 350w motor, this pillar drill will deliver effective drilling performance on most materials and the the strong and durable construction presented will enable you to use the model over and over. Its perfect for anyone looking for there first pillar drill without jumping straight into high performance models or extreme accuracy.
The pillar drill, just like all good drills comes with a sizeable table that you can trust to hold your material in position. The table is adjustable to allow you some control over the angle of the hole you want to make. The table can tilt up to 45 degrees left or right making it more versatile. The dimensions for the table are 158 x 160mm with a clearance of 325mm from the base to the chuck. From the chuck to the table it is 200mm with the overall height being 575mm.
If you are wondering what the maximum drilling depth is you get a good 50mm which gives you plenty of drilling depth to play with. That is adequate depth to work with for a pillar drill of this range. As a control measure, there is a depth control so you can drill to a precise depth and avoid over drilling. During our research we found It is not uncommon to find models that lack this simple but convenient and often important feature.
For safety purposes, a chuck guard has been installed. The adjustable mechanism is of a clear construction and you can adjust it according to your needs.
Speed cannot miss a mention so we were pleased to learn them model has 5 speeds to select from for even more accurate drilling and variation depending on the materials you want to drill. The speed ranges from 580-2650 RPM. As mentioned before speed helps the drill get through the material faster or more effectivly.
Finally this unit comes with a 2 year warranty for full peace of mind which is a bonus as most cheaper models only include 1 year.
- Affordable and excellent value for money and probably one of the best models available in its price range.
- Tiltable table 50 45 degrees left or right and depth stop.
- Durable construction and very well made
- The speed is adjustable with 5 speeds to choose from which range from 580-2650 RPM
- 2 year warranty for extra peace of mind.
- The drilling depth is quite limited for large jobs.
- Accuracy may be an issue for very precise jobs due to a slight wiggle between the chuck and the bit.
- Not suitable for professional workshops.
The Wolf 5 Speed Pillar Drill Press gives our 'Best Pick' much needed competition but unfortunately is not quiet as good. However we think it is a better option for someone looking for a cheaper alternative without investing is a model that just doesn't not make the cut.
The unit comes with an adjustable table that you can tilt at an angle which we like. The machine is constructed with durable materials and is still very well made from the price and the 350w motor has plenty of power for most jobs you might find yourself tackling,
The few faults that we find with this model are more on the manufacturer's side. But, considering that the price range is affordable for the features provided, we will have to contend with it. We like the strong construction and heavy base that allows for easy control when the speeds get crazy. Just a shame there are reports of some machines having a very slight wobble on the chuck which under most circumstances won't matter, however on more precise jobs it will. Just keep this in mind when comparing models. Overall though if your looking for your first pillar drill this could be a great choice.
Bosch PBD 40 Bench Drill Review
VERY IMPRESSIVE PIECE OF KIT
The Bosch PBD 40 Bench Drill will definitely cost you more than the average model but what an impressive piece of kit, Bosch really have though of everything. This heavy weight is designed to offer only the best features not often found on standard pillar drills which include electric speed control, laser guide for precise drilling and 2 gearbox design for better control. The first thing you notice about this model us how well built this model is, you can tell this machine is made to last. Now on the drill itself!
The Bosch PBD 40 comes with a 2 speed gearbox that enables you to control how much power is dispensed. The convenience of having a 2- speed gear box is that you will be able to control the depth of the boring even better depending on the type of material. The 730 watt model boasts of 200-850rpm and 600-2500rpm depending on whether you have it in first or second gear and the speed is simply altered using a simple dia wheel which you turn to set the speed. The motor is also protected from electrical damage that can be caused by overloading.
This pillar drill has an optimum drill stroke of 90mm which is actually 40mm more than some of the cheaper models on the market. The maximum drilling diameter it can drill is 40mm in wood and 13mm in steel. The drilling depth is as accurate as ever thanks to the digital display provided which means no more old fashioned depth stop. You can easily set and confirm how deep you want to go before activating the drilling process.
This machine has been designed with ease of use in mind and Bosch have done fantastic job at making it as easy as possible to use and setup with simple controls and an easy to read display but more on this in this further down.
Other features include a keyless chuck to hold the bits in place. The chuck is designed with a locking mechanism that holds the bits in position and as it is chuck-less this means no messing around tightening and loosing drill bits with a chuck. Another feature we really like is the laser drilling guide which has been encompassed in the design so as to aid with precision drilling, this is very useful for drilling many holes in succession. One other feature we like but probably not essential if your work-shed is well lit is the LED power light which brightens up your working area.
I clever design we also like is the quick clamp which has been fitted to hold the material in position. The clamp have a non-slip element which we like so you do not have to worry about that.
- High quality features and the latest technology.
- Ideal for drilling wood, plastic and steel.
- Drilling stroke of 90mm.
- Electronic speed control and torque setting which can be viewed on LCD screen and changed electronically with a simple dial.
- Keyless TwinSleeve chuck for changing bits in seconds without tools.
- Features LED cross laser for accuracy every time and power light for better vision.
- Features a 2 speed gear box to choose between 200-850rpm and 600-2500rpm.
- 3 year extended warranty when you register online.
- Not recommended to work on some more demanding metals.
- Very loud, not a problem for most people but could drive you crazy if you use it on daily basis for longer periods of time.
The Bosch PBD 40 Bench Drill is by far one of the best pillar drills we have seen for use in a workshop and is ahead of its time in terms of technology, features and performance.
The main struggle for most people when it comes to this pillar drill is the price as you could but two of our 'Best Pick' with change to spare for the price of one of these models. However It does contain great features that would be very useful in any domestic situation or small workshop. Even though the price is on the higher side when compared to the rest of the models presented. We, however, relate the high price with the features presented.
All though it does look heavy, surprisingly it's not as heavy and in reality its easy to move around so you can out it to one side when not in use which is handy as alot of us have very limited space in our workshops.
We really like the electronic speed control which is very easy to use and and set using the simple dial and clamp is also a great feature, another great feature we like is the laser cross guide.
Overall if you looking for a pillar that drill full of features which made life easier then this is an excellent choice and the power is simply unbeatable, however its also noisy. Remember this model is a very impressive 750 watt while most other models are around 350 watt so it has way more power.
If your looking for a serous model and have the budget, this is worth considering and would of been awarded our 'Best Pick' if it was not for the expensive price. Our 'Best Pick' models need to be reasonably priced for most people and we think this model may just be a little to expensive for most people to justify spending. However this model us worth every penny for those who have the budget.
Silverline 262212 Drill Press Review
Best Value Drill Press
The Silverline 262212 Drill Press is another dependable model that you can work with and is a case of 'you get what you pay for' so don't expect the best quality or performance. However it comes packed with a variety of features and is a great budget model that can get the job done. This unit relies on a 350 Watt motor which is pretty standard to run smoothly and to give the much needed force. Depending on the thickness of the material you are working on, you will be able to get through the material fairly well with a good set of drill bits.
We understand that speed is as valuable as the motor itself so its good to see it has a 5 speed settings fitted to make certain that you have full control no matter what materials your trying to drill. The maximum speed recorded for this unit is 2560 rotations per minute. It has a manual chuck and can take drills bits up to 13mm which is also pretty standard.
The base is made from cast iron so it fairly heavy but very durable. To know how deep, you want the drill to go, you can select between 0-50mm depth.
- ?250 watt motor with maximum drill diameter of 13mm and a 50mm drilling depth.
- Drills into most materials with ease.
- Features 5 speed setting for better control when drilling depending on the material being drilled.
- Easy to assemble.
- Switches a little flimsy.
- The overall construction of the unit could be better but is adequate.
- Only good for basic jobs.
The Silverline 262212 Drill Press offers basic features for a basic price which means it great for doing odd jobs here. With this unit, you will not meet with the finesse of the Clark or Bosch Drill Press.
However it will cater to the basic functions that you need around the house or in a workshop which accuracy does not need to be perfect.
The price you will pay for this drill are definitely reflected in the quality and performance. For those who are looking not to spend a lot of money and are looking for the best value drill press, this model would be worth considering.
For those looking for something a bit better its worth paying a little more and investing in our 'Best Pick'
Fox F12-941 16mm Drill Press Review
The Fox F12-941 16mm Drill Press is designed with a 240V motor that is capable of sustaining the needed speeds. The motor is of a high quality, there will be no need for constant repairs or incurring extra costs. The solid construction assures you of stable performance as you drill through different kinds of material.
We know that sometimes you do not need to move around the pillar drill. That is mostly why you find that most models make room for vice fittings. That way you can bolt down the unit controlling the amount of vibration affecting accuracy. The Fox model is no different. It has made room for vice fittings.
The working speeds of this model allow you to select how fast you want to go. This unit has a more detailed speed controls than most models and has 12 speeds of which you can drill from 230 rotations per minute up to 2470 rotations per minute which is fairly fast. The maximum chuck capacity stands at 16mm which is pretty standard.
To make certain that you have the capability of drilling at an angle, you need a table that tilts. This model has a table that tilts. You can take advantage of the feature according to your demands.
The dimensions provided are as follows; table dimensions- 197x202 mm, chuck – column 126mm. A chuck guard has been provided as a safety measure.
- Great robust construction and high performance.
- 12 speeds from 230 to 2470rpm
- Tilting workbench with vice groves.
- Fairly priced for the features provided.
- Newly designed 3 bar ergonomic handle which we think is easier to use.
- The overall finish could be improved upon.
- Manual could be better, may be not easy to understand for first time users of a pillar drill.
The Fox F12-941 16mm Drill Press is a good product with strong capabilities and is perfect for anyone looking for a high quality machine which has plenty of power.
The quality of the features provided cannot be questioned. Although it is a little rough between the edges when it comes to finishing. The model is capable of delivering excellent results. The 240V motor is capable of holding the speed for as long as you are drilling and we like the 12 speeds which make it ideal for a range of materials.
Overall, we believe that this drill would do well in domestic applications where the user is looking for an affordable good drill press that can handle heavier work than the basic models but it probably cannot handle the needed vigour of commercial work.
Finally the price is fair for what you get and although the unit is somewhat heavy, it will be worth the hustle.
Sealey GDM120B Pillar Drill Bench Review
The Sealey GDM120B Pillar Drill Bench is one heavy unit that is perfect for lighter industrial, agricultural and woodworking applications. This heavyweight unit has a 350 watt motor with a input power of 550 watt. We have seen that this is the motor performance level that the industry uses for smaller units like this one.
Just as a cheetah relies on speed to catch its prey, speed aids you to get work done. You have seen several recommendations that advise that speed is required especially when working with the thick or resistant material. This model has 16 speed settings that you can control according to what you are working with. The maximum speed at which this pillar drill can work at is at 3340 rotations per minute and a minimum of 210 rpm when a lower speed is needed such as drilling through steel.
When it comes to the drilling capabilities. The chuck capacity determines the size of bit that you can use. The maximum chuck side that is recommended for this model is 16mm. the spindle travel distance is an impressive 80mm which is more than any other drill on this review.
The distance between the chuck and the column is 162mm with the overall height of the unit being 100cm. It also features an adjustable table has been provided for your convenience when drilling angled holes.
You can never miss adequate control features such as the depth control. This unit encompasses an active depth control mechanism and mouse taper mechanisms. All these features make working a bit more convenient.
- ?Perfect for lighter industrial, agricultural and woodworking applications.
- Power power input of 550 watt.
- Spindle travel distance is an impressive 80mm
- Features 16 controllable speeds from 210 to 3340 rpm for precise drilling.
- Strong and stable construction.
- 12 month warranty for full peace of mind.
- Quite noisy.
- It’s quite pricey.
The Sealey GDM120B Pillar Drill Bench is worth every penny is the only model we would recommend for lighter industrial, agricultural and woodworking applications as this is what it is clearly designed for. It has an incredible motor that is accompanied by robust features. The speed of the model is higher than the other models featured in this review which is another reason we think it would be the best option for professional use rather than home diy workshops..
You cannot ignore the fact that it has 16 speed settings at your disposal which makes it very versatile at drilling through a range of materials with ease that other models may struggle with.
You can easily control the speed you want depending on the material you are working with. It comes with all the safety features and more importantly meets Safety of Machinery (Safety) Directives 1992 (and amendments) and is also approved for use in educational environments as it has all safety devices fitted, allowing insurance company approval.
Overall this is of professional quality and performance and is the best choice for professionals use rather than hobby use.
Pillar Drill Reviews Conclusion
In conclusion, as you have seen, pillar drills are easy to use and most have very similar features with the main differences being, the motor power, built quality and robustness, extra features such as electric speed control and laser technology as we have seen with the Bosch Pillar Drill and finally price.
Selecting the best pillar drill for your personal needs should be an easy process since they don’t have many features to work with. Look to make sure that fixing points are provided for stability, specially on heavier models to be used in more of a fixed position. This will depend on the weight of the unit and if you want it bolted down permanently. Perhaps you want a more light weight model which is easy to move around and store.
When it comes to the real nuts and bolts, what it really boils down to is what you intend to use the drill for, whether your looking to do personal DIY projects where a lighter more versatile pillar drill will do such as our 'Best Pick' or even the Bosch PBD 40 Pillar Drill with its user friendly controls and unique features or whether you need a more industrial heavy duty model such as the Sealey GDM120B Pillar Bench Dril??l for drilling through metal as well as wood and other materials where less powerful models may struggle.
Below is a quick overview of 3 of our favourite models but we consider all the models that made it into our 'Top 6 List', worthy of investing in for the right person.
Our Best Pick
Best all round model, very versatile and affordable!
After hours of research and comparing over 20 different models, we came to the conclusion that the Clarke CDP5RB 5 Speed Bench Mounted Pillar Drill is the best pillar drill for most people both as a home diy user and even for lighter more industrial type use.
This is simply because it has the right features for the right price and overall performance is excellent. It gives you speed settings you can control and enough safety features to ensure safe use.
Overall it has everything most people look for in a good pillar drill and all at a fantastic price which would be within most people budgets.
Best Pick Alternative
This title goes to the Wolf 5 Speed 13mm Bench Pillar Drill Press. The reason for this is that the unit has all the right features at a great price.
The chuck size is sufficient for most domestic applications. It is designed with an adjustable table so that you can drill holes at an angle, something not all pillar drills do. It also comes with the much needed speed features.
Overall this would a slightly cheaper, yet very close second to our 'Best Pick'.
BEST FOR PROFESSIONAL WORK ENVIRONMENTS & THE SEROUS DIY ENTHUSIAST
After careful consideration this title goes to the Sealey GDM120B Pillar Drill Bench. What really stands out with this model it that it can handle somewhat heavier applications making it ideal for anyone looking for a more industrial type model without spending thousands. This unit is very heavy so is best placed in a more permanent position.
All though the most expensive model on our list we think it is worth the price. Overall this is of professional quality and performance and is the best choice for professionals use rather than hobby use. It is a worthy investment for any serious consumer and want let you down.