Why do people prefer standalone Drill Press?

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Forum topic by Zvonko posted 03-17-2019 02:28 PM 1412 views 0 times favorited 39 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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91 posts in 493 days

03-17-2019 02:28 PM

In researching drill presses I’ve run into comments like “I wish I had bought a standalone DP from the start” a lot. However, I’m not real clear on WHY that is. I’d love to get some clarification/examples of why exactly people prefer a standalone vs benchtop DP.



-- You can't always control WHAT happens, but you can always control HOW you respond.

39 replies so far

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


631 posts in 458 days

#1 posted 03-17-2019 02:33 PM

You mean vs a bench top model? I ditched a decent bench top model for a floor standing unit due to the need for clearance to drill larger items…depth and height. Also for me, floor space greatly exceeds bench space.

View BFamous's profile


341 posts in 799 days

#2 posted 03-17-2019 03:47 PM

You mean vs a bench top model? I ditched a decent bench top model for a floor standing unit due to the need for clearance to drill larger items…depth and height. Also for me, floor space greatly exceeds bench space.

- BlueRidgeDog

All of this. I have a floor standing unit, on a mobile base to I can wheel it out into the driveway for both more clearance on both sides and less need to clean the shop after I’m done.
Plus I occasionally drill into pieces over 12” in height, something I could never do on a tabletop version.

-- Brian Famous :: Charlotte, NC ::

View JRsgarage's profile


367 posts in 1188 days

#3 posted 03-17-2019 03:52 PM

I originally wanted to upgrade my bench top due to quill travel and it was easier to find greater stroke in floor models. After owning the floor model, space requirement were about the same because I had my BT on a dedicated stand.

-- “Facts don't care about your feelings.” ..., Ben Shapiro

View Manitario's profile (online now)


2807 posts in 3561 days

#4 posted 03-17-2019 04:02 PM

I needed the clearance for larger items. Also needed to free up some bench space.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Woodknack's profile


13136 posts in 3058 days

#5 posted 03-17-2019 05:07 PM

I have one of those in-between sizes that’s too tall for a bench and too short for the floor, it sets on a 2’ -ish tall cabinet that holds my drilling stuff. Gets it done for me.

-- Rick M,

View HackFabrication's profile


167 posts in 390 days

#6 posted 03-17-2019 06:49 PM

Went to a floor model for all the reasons posted. Being a bigger machine than the smaller workbench model it replaced, it also has more speeds for spinning larger diameter bits, holesaws, etc.

Mobile base keeps it out of the way when not in use.

-- "In the end, it's all Hack..."

View Alphonse's profile


11 posts in 3368 days

#7 posted 03-17-2019 06:53 PM

Capacity, clearance and robustness.

-- Alphonse

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6893 posts in 3873 days

#8 posted 03-17-2019 07:05 PM

I started out with 12” Delta benchtop, and was fairly happy with it…It worked for my needs at the time…But one time my father-in-law and mother-in-law came up from Texas to visit us and he was wanting to get into some woodworking, but wanted to build some bird houses and was looking for some shop equipment….I had a bandsaw, router and table I had built, and a few other “starter” pieces he wanted to buy….I sold them to him and he asked about the drill press…Since I was kind of looking at a floor model, I sold him the d.p. too, along with the shop stand it sit on….So….when they left to go back home, we loaded up all the equipment in his truck, tied it all down, and covered it with a tarp…..Shortly after that, I bought a Delta 16 1/2” floor model, and that was 16 years ago, and I still have the floor model and use it often. My father-in-law has since died, so my m-i-l said I could have it back so I can give it to my son for his small shop….I bought that 12” in 1990, and it’s till going strong….!! That’s why I have a floor model…..!

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View becikeja's profile


1062 posts in 3492 days

#9 posted 03-18-2019 01:41 AM

Had an old craftsman bench top DP for years. Worked great for most of my needs. Ran into a project that needed some 1.5” diameter 2 inch deep holes and it just didn’t have the power to get it done. I had been wanting to increase the depth anyway, so it pushed me over the top and I bought a floor model. On the floor model I have a much larger table which is really nice, but honestly the bench top would still work for 80% of what I use it for.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


6061 posts in 3087 days

#10 posted 03-18-2019 03:09 AM

I never got rid of the benchtop. The 17” JET has all the above listed improvements so it gets used for a great deal of things. The 8” benchtop is used for pilot holes and small quick stuff. Having BOTH if you have the room is a plus.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View WoodenDreams's profile


961 posts in 589 days

#11 posted 03-18-2019 03:13 AM

Most of the stand alone drill presses have more speed options and higher hp, less apt to bog down while drilling. Also easier to drill longer pieces without the bench getting in the way. If you have the bench model at the end of the workbench and the drill head can be swiveled to the side to clear the workbench. this eliminates the issue of drilling longer pieces.

View pottz's profile


8412 posts in 1663 days

#12 posted 03-18-2019 02:25 PM

a bench top was just too small and limiting for my needs so a stand alone just made the most sense.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4776 days

#13 posted 03-18-2019 02:29 PM

Quill Travel distance. Bench top models can be limited.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View LittleShaver's profile


638 posts in 1298 days

#14 posted 03-18-2019 02:36 PM

All great answers. I was thrilled when my hand-me-down benchtop finally bit the dust and I could justify moving up to a floor model. So much better, I’ll never go back.

-- Sawdust Maker

View Zvonko's profile


91 posts in 493 days

#15 posted 03-18-2019 02:55 PM

Thanks for all the feedback folks.

As I’m still fairly new to this, I’m not quite sure of all the features to look for. Also, cost is an issue. Is it safe to assume that a benchtop will be significantly cheaper than a floor model with the same features?

-- You can't always control WHAT happens, but you can always control HOW you respond.

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