Bench top drill press vs floor drill press: Which of the 2 is right for You?

Written by Adam Morris
5 Min read
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Bench vs floor drill presses

Drill presses, commonly referred to as drillers, are important tools in any workshop or toolbox. The main distinction between different types of drill is size and placement – bench top models are smaller and typically mounted on a table, while floor drills are larger and require their own stand for support. Whether it’s a manual or power drill, these tools can help with many different kinds of tasks from construction to woodworking. In this article, we will compare bench top against floor drill presses to determine which type of drill press is best for your next project.

  • 1. What are the benefits of using a drill press?
    2. Are there any differences in power between a bench top drill and a floor drill?
    3. How does the chuck size of a bench top drill differ from that of a floor drill?
    4. How does swing size vary between a bench top drill and a floor drill?
    5. What is spindle tilt, and why is it available only with floor drill presses?
    6. What is the difference in spindle speed between a bench top drill and a floor drill?
    7. How do the voltages of a bench top drill and a floor drill differ?
    8. What are the pros and cons of using a bench top drill?
    9. What are the pros and cons of using a floor drill?
    10. Is a bench top drill or a floor drill better for DIY enthusiasts and small projects?
    11. Is a bench top drill or a floor drill better for professionals and larger, more precise projects?
    12. What is the overall recommendation for choosing between a bench top drill and a floor drill?


Bench top drills have a horsepower (HP) ranging from ⅓-⅝, while floor drills have an HP from 1-5. This means that a bench top model has a lower power rating than a floor model, meaning higher speed capability and more precise control. Additionally, a floor drill is more powerful, enabling users to drill through tougher materials with less effort.

Chuck Size

The chuck size of a bench top drill is typically 1/4” to 1/2”, while floor drills can accommodate up to 1” chuck size. This means that the size of drill bit used can be larger for floor drills than for bench tops, making floor drill presses better for drilling bigger and deeper holes.

Swing Size

The swing size of a bench top drill is usually 5”-7”, whereas a floor drill press can typically handle up to 12”. Larger swing sizes offer more flexibility for drilling larger materials.

Spindle Tilt

Floor drills have more advanced features than bench top models, such as spindle tilt, which allows users to tilt the drill head up and down to different angles. This offers more flexibility to users and enables them to drill at different angles. Bench top drills do not have this particular feature.


The speed range of a bench top drill press is usually between 500-3,000 RPM, while floor drill presses have a wider speed range of 250-5,000 RPM. This means that the user has more control over the speed of the drill bit when using a floor drill, allowing for more precise cuts when working with harder materials.


Bench top drills generally operate on 110 volts, while floor drills require a higher voltage of 220 volts. This means that bench top models are typically suited for home use, while floor drills need access to a commercial power source.


The cost of bench top and floor drills varies greatly depending on the features and quality of the tool. Generally, bench top models cost less than floor drills, but if more precision and power are needed, then a floor drill may be the better investment.

Bench top drill press

Pros and Cons

The decision between a bench top and floor drill should be based on the type of project that needs to be done. Bench top drills are perfect for small projects at home, while floor drills offer more power and precision for larger projects. Bench top models are lightweight and easy to transport, while floor drills require more space and a permanent setup. Both types of drills have their own advantages and disadvantages, which need to be considered before making a decision.

In conclusion, choosing a drill comes down to the user’s specific needs. For small projects or DIY enthusiasts, a bench top model is best. For pros or larger, more precise projects, a floor drill should be chosen. The cost and features of each type should also be weighed before making a decision.

Expert Tip:

When considering a bench top or floor drill, be sure to assess the size of the project you're working on. For precision and power, a floor drill is best for large projects. However, if you’re looking for a lightweight, more portable option that doesn't require as much setup, then a bench top model should be considered.

More information on drill presses may be found here

Power Source

Bench top drills are typically powered by electric cables, while floor drill presses are often powered through air or hydraulic sources. Electric drills are usually the most affordable and easiest to use, while hydraulic and pneumatic drills can be more expensive but provide more power and better control.


Floor drill presses are constructed from higher quality parts and are more durable than bench top models. This means that floor drill presses can withstand heavier loads and are less likely to break down over time.


Bench top drill presses require more regular maintenance than floor drill presses due to the smaller parts and higher RPMs. Floor drill presses have larger parts, which makes them easier to maintain. However, bench top models are typically easier to access for cleaning and lubrication.

Table Movement

Floor drill presses typically come with a quill feed in addition to table movement, which is not available on bench top models. The quill feed enables users to make fine adjustments to the drill bit while drilling.


Bench top drill presses are much lighter than their floor drill press counterparts, making them easy to move around and transport. Bench top models also take up less space than floor drill presses.

Noise Levels

Due to the larger size and heavier construction of floor drill presses, they tend to produce more noise than bench top models. This may be a factor for those working in small workshop environments as it can disrupt neighbors.

Safety Features

Floor drill presses typically come with safety features such as emergency stop buttons and adjustable gauges. These features make floor drill presses safer to use, especially for larger and more powerful models.


As mentioned previously, bench top drill presses are much lighter than floor drill presses and therefore more portable. This makes them ideal for home workshops and small businesses where space is limited and mobility is key.


Bench top drill presses are generally more versatile than their floor drill press counterparts and can handle a wider variety of tasks. From woodworking to construction projects, a bench top drill press can do it all!

Resale Value

Floor drill presses often retain their resale value better than bench top models due to their larger size and heavier construction. This means they can fetch a higher asking price if they are ever sold.

Appliances made simple. 

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