Benchtop vs Floor Drill Press

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Forum topic by MrRon posted 09-03-2021 05:46 PM 677 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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6188 posts in 4492 days

09-03-2021 05:46 PM

I have owned my floor drill press for over 40 years and have utilized it’s floor to chuck distance maybe 2 or 3 times. When I read questions about whether to get a floor mounted or bench mounted drill press, I can see that the reason for a floor DP is to save bench space. A bench DP on it’s own bench will serve the space issue. I don’t think many have a need for the floor DP capacity, certainly I don’t. A bench DP has enough vertical capacity for 95% of their users. Correct me if I’m wrong. If I were buying a new DP, I would buy a bench model.

22 replies so far

View Kudzupatch's profile


300 posts in 2457 days

#1 posted 09-03-2021 06:10 PM

You are not wrong if that is what you want then it is right for you.

I prefer floor model because I can put them anywhere. Don’t have to have a bench to put it on. And I have never regretted having more capacity than I need, but I have often wished I had more.

Everyone is different so there is no one size fits all.

-- Jeff Horton * Kudzu Craft skin boats*

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Richard Lee

438 posts in 2023 days

#2 posted 09-03-2021 06:11 PM

Most bench presses can rotate the head, so you could easily swing the head over 90 deg. and use the bench to floor height if needed.

View Oughtsix's profile


71 posts in 2423 days

#3 posted 09-04-2021 12:14 AM

I prefer floor stand drill presses. I have an old 13” Walker Turner bench DP that someone replaced the column with a 6’ column making it into a wobbly floor standing DP. Bolting it to a mobile base made it a nice floor stander.

View squazo's profile


303 posts in 2893 days

#4 posted 09-04-2021 03:03 AM

seems like considering you would always put a bench mount on a bench, it would therefore take up the same space as a floor mounted. Unless you plan on tucking it away somewhere after each use, (something I always say I will do and then never do), I guess I would get either.

View Madmark2's profile


3104 posts in 1836 days

#5 posted 09-04-2021 03:27 AM

I have a cheap Skil 3320-01 bench top drill press that is about 8 years old. For a cheap tool (~$125) it has done everything I’ve thrown at it up to and including a 3” carbide forstner in oak. (That was its limit, I had to peck to get down 1/8”.)

It’s bolted down ‘cause I nearly pulled it over in a stumble before I did. I added a magnetic light. I’ve never used the laser cross hairs. I leave it on the middle speed 99% of the time. I have my little hand blower and a dedicated screwdriver. The base is littered with my most used bits in various tips. The sheet metal top is a perfect parking spot for my magnetic base tools. It’s up and out of the way and yet handy.

Skil 3320-01 10” Bench drill press.

The wood pieces are 1/4” thick spacers for quick & accurate depth changes. One of the spindle feed arms has been removed. The M8-1.25 depth stop knob broke early on and was replaced with a spare rubber leveling foot.

I’ve drilled tons of holes with it and have been pleasantly surprised at its durability. It’s got its own dedicated stand, cluttered with bits of all types. I have a simple “one knob” fence that I can clamp a stop on. I leave the bare cast iron top instead of adding a bigger table so I can use my magnetic square and digital height indicator.

I don’t really find the small table a limit for two reasons, first, my work surfaces are all about the same height and can support the far ends of large pieces on other machines, and because I find I can easily one hand hold a cabinet door for 35mm hinge cup drilling even on the small table.

The chuck & key are a little worn but it still tightens perfectly. The underneath space is available for use instead of being full of post on a floor model. I’ve never tilted the table.

I do wish it had a little more power, its 3.2A, ~1/2 hp, and most of all, more spindle stroke. 2-3/8” just ain’t enuf!

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View SMP's profile


4846 posts in 1154 days

#6 posted 09-04-2021 04:56 AM

My drill press is a display benchtop model Delta that Costco had maybe 15 years ago? I asked the guy if they had anymore and the manager said, If you want the display its $50. I use it mainly for metalwork, as I rarely need a drill press for woodworking. But it has done everything I need it to do. I’m actually not even sure what a woodworker would need a floor model for?

View prazbotta's profile


43 posts in 523 days

#7 posted 09-04-2021 05:28 AM

You are not wrong
- Kudzupatch


No one can say your opinion is wrong when it comes to your tool selection. What works for you, may not for the next guy.
In this case, I take your side. I like my bench top drill press for its stability. That said, my floor model has its drawbacks.

View therealSteveN's profile


8906 posts in 1822 days

#8 posted 09-04-2021 05:43 AM

My floor model is for sale, hopefully someone comes along, because I already bought a benchie to replace it, and am moving along on making a rolling cabinet to house all my drill bits, and the tool on top.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Robert's profile


4748 posts in 2729 days

#9 posted 09-04-2021 09:09 AM

Yes, had to do over I’d get a bench model.

Taking up floor space is more important to me than a foot of bench top, + no portability.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View tvrgeek's profile


2292 posts in 2897 days

#10 posted 09-04-2021 09:37 AM

The problems with bench tops is the depth, stroke, power, as well as most are not as heavy duty as floor standing. Slop in the quill fully extended etc. Basically, light weight and more flexible. But convenient. I had mine on a heavy tool lower chest so great access to bits, gauges and accessories.

Palmgren – 9680157 (15 inch) or the Nova Viking (16 inch) are the only two I would consider. I had a Craftsman 12 inch for years and the flex, slop, and short stroke drove me crazy. Could not drill a rough pocket with a Forsner bit for a mortice without so much flex, it was crooked. I had to make an adjustable jack base to hold up the table.

I have been half tempted to cut the post on my Delta and make it a bench top. But I hate it anyway. I will probably buy a Viking as it is only a little more than the Palmgren and the DVR sure is sweet.

View tvrgeek's profile


2292 posts in 2897 days

#11 posted 09-04-2021 09:41 AM

I see several comments on stability. All drill presses should be bolted down. Real sturdy bench, or to the floor.
As I wanted my floor stander higher anyway, it sits on a platform of 6×6’s bolted together. It is over twice as large as the iron base so it is stable.

View controlfreak's profile


2922 posts in 850 days

#12 posted 09-04-2021 09:43 AM

I was coming back from a run and saw an old craftsman saw and it’s detached base on the curb. I carried the base home and added a plywood base w/casters. Another piece of ply on the top of the stand and that is what my benchtop press sits on. The height works well and my Porter Cable pancake air compressor has a home underneath too.

View bondogaposis's profile


6048 posts in 3599 days

#13 posted 09-04-2021 03:17 PM

I like my bench top drill press because I built a nice cabinet for it, with lots of storage for all of the drill bits and other accessories, so it is all right where I need and use it. I have never felt the need for a floor model.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View MrRon's profile


6188 posts in 4492 days

#14 posted 09-05-2021 08:47 PM

My 1937 Delta floor mounted DP has a round 18” diameter base, so it is very stable. Never had a need to bolt it down. The DP’s with the narrow bases are very top heavy and must be bolted down, or placed on a base wide enough to prevent tipping.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2900 posts in 4170 days

#15 posted 09-05-2021 09:34 PM

seems like considering you would always put a bench mount on a bench, it would therefore take up the same space as a floor mounted. Unless you plan on tucking it away somewhere after each use, (something I always say I will do and then never do), I guess I would get either.

- squazo

I agree. I have a bench drill press and wish I had a floor drill press. They both take up the same floor space and I had to build a bench to support mine.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

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