Ryobi makes a slew of unique tools, as well as workshop staples. Their Drill Press falls into the category of tools I have always been curious about. As is often the case, Ryobi impressed me by including professional features without busting a budget. Features like the laser, light and cast iron table and base stand out as exceptional additions. For the extreme hobbyist, entry-level pro, or homeowner, this Drill Press from Ryobi is an ace in the hole.
Ryobi is known as the ultimate homeowner brand. Occasionally though, they have a tool in their lineup that crosses the bridge between the professional and the homeowner. A tool like a drill press isn’t something you would see in the average garage. Today they are considered somewhat of a specialty tool. For those that find a need for them though, you would be hard pressed to ever convince them of a worthy replacement tool. So, for a traditionally professionally geared tool, can Ryobi bring the performance you’d need at a homeowner price point? Well, let’s take a look in the Ryobi Drill Press Review.
Ryobi Drill Press Review Overview
Drill Presses are used for a number of things. By design, a drill press holds bits within a chuck and is lowered to a workpiece by rotating a feed handle. Drill presses provide more accuracy and power than a traditional drill. Combining specialty bits, like Forstner bits, spade bits or hole saws, and the like can give you a lot of options to take a drill press even further. With the ability to set depth and clamp workpieces, the stability and results are hard to compare.
Now, I have seen jigs designed to provide a drill a way to similarly perform, but guys, there is no subsite for the real thing. One of the interesting aspects of a drill press is their versatility. You’ll see them used with metal as well as wood, and even ceramics, fiberglass of plastics. There are also jigs made to improve their functionality even further that vary in function and design. One of these such jigs is a mortising jig, which uses an auger bit to create square edged mortises for joinery, something woodworkers swear by.
Ryobi Drill Press Review Features
The Ryobi 10-inch drill press is powered by a ¼-HP induction corded motor. Ryobi includes a 3-year limited warranty on this tool.
The ability to change between five speed settings, offering between 620 and 3100 no-load RPM for versatility in use and material. The manual, as well as the drill press's inner housing, includes a detailed chart for the ideal setting based on material type and thickness. These settings are adjusted by moving the belt up and down to the desired spindle setting, and re-securing the necessary hardware.
This drill press includes a standard three-jaw chuck, with a self-ejecting chuck key. While some may not be used to these chucks as drills use hand tightened chucks. While there is more effort to a chuck design like this for higher load situations, these chucks provide unparalleled grip and security of the bit.
The included chuck key allows for the chuck to be adjusted as needed and has a mounting location on the drill press.
The cast-iron table provides a workspace for the workpiece to be set upon and measures 7-5/8 by 6-1/2. The table also swivels a full 360 degrees and allows for up to 45 degrees of tilting for versatility.
The table height is adjusted by releasing the table lock located on the left of the table and rotating the lever located on the right.
The base of this benchtop model is made of cast-iron for strength and durability while also reducing vibrations. Ryobi includes pre-drilled holes for easy mounting.
The integrated work light improves the visibility of the workspace and is controlled by a switch on the front of the tool.
The Exactline laser allows for the precise setting of the workpiece as it allows a precise picture of where the bit will descend. Lasers are only as accurate as their configuration. This drill press features the ability to readjust this to maintain accuracy.
The power controls are easily organized on the front of the Drill Press. One switch operates the LED Lights, and the other operates the laser. Additionally, Ryobi included the main power switch with a built-in locking feature to prevent unintended use.
The spindle features a 2-inch travel, which allows the user to set the depth with ease.
The feed handles provide the user the ability to raise and lower the chuck and bit during operation.
The depth gauge is located on the left side of the drill press and provides an indication of the depth, but also has a depth stop to provide repeatable and accurately controlled drilling depth.
Ryobi Drill Press Review Performance
Before I get too far into performance, lets touch on the setup. The photo shown is what comes out of the box and packaging. The instructions were easy to understand though, which always makes tools that require assembly a bit easier. Overall it was about an hour process to assemble. The drill press itself is quite impressive, especially considering the price. Features like the cast iron base and heavy-duty metal pieces are hard to ignore at a glance. The chuck is actually easy to adjust using the onboard chuck key. Something like this is a big adjustment to those using chucks more commonly seen in drills today. Once you get a feel for how they operate it is pretty easy to see the benefits in a tool like this.
The drill press operates smoothly and efficiently. The LED light is a nice feature on a tool like this. They provide a significant amount of light on the workpiece. Likely my favorite feature overall on this tool though is the laser. It is an incredible addition to this tool and to be honest it was dead on right out of the box, something you usually don’t see. This allows for precise centering of your workpiece under the drill bit. Without a doubt, if you have used a laser on a tool such as a miter saw, you know that they have several benefits.
The one struggle I had initially was changing speeds. If you have never used a belt system like this before, it can be a bit tough to get the hang of. While I have, this one stuck a bit at first, but like all tools, once you learn their inner secrets you have a pretty easy time. Speed settings are adjusted by moving the belt up and down the spindles. Thankfully, Ryobi included an easy to use guide within the belt housing, something you will definitely be grateful for when you switch between materials and bit styles.
One thing that I would suggest to get the most out of your drill press is to install a dedicated drill press vice. A drill press vice works as a clamp of sorts to hold your workpiece in place. This will certainly help to get more accuracy out of a drill press in general. A vise also provides more strength over temporary clamps. Additionally, I would absolutely recommend attaching this to a benchtop to prevent unwanted movement and improve security.
Ryobi Drill Press Review Value
One of the biggest factors in determining the value of a tool comes down to perspective. If you are a professional woodworker or metalworker and use drill presses constantly, you may opt for a bigger and more powerful unit. For a wide range of users though, this model from Ryobi does all you need. If you are a hobbyist, beginner, or on a budget, the Ryobi Drill Press is an amazing value. With professional features and solid performance, this model is worth a look. This model can be purchased at The Home Depot for $129.00.
Ryobi Drill Press Review Final Thoughts
All in all, this Drill Press packs a big punch for the price. As we have come to expect from Ryobi, their tools may be designed with the homeowner in mind, they certainly cross over into a professional grade category at times. The Ryobi Drill Press has features you wouldn’t expect from an entry-level model. The cast iron table and base make for a durable and heavy-duty tool. The lighted work area and laser are an excellent addition at this price point as well and will come in handy for most users, especially those just learning to use a drill press. If you’ve been considering a drill press, but have a difficult time discerning if you will get the use out of it, this model may be the perfect marriage of quality and value.