SKIL 10in Drill Press Review Overview
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a benchtop drill press at my disposal. This was mostly due to the fact that metalworking and/or milling was near and dear to me growing up. Naturally, even if you aren’t a metalworker, a drill press is a very valuable tool to have around the shop for all kinds of random hole poking projects.
Granted, for anyone starting out in “making” or with a penchant for beginning to tinker around in their shop, a handheld drill will get you through basic projects. On the flip side, the case for a benchtop drill press can be made very easily. Clean, precise drilled holes would be the main motivation, but also ease of use. I prefer a drill press because I know that my workpiece is secure, and not going anywhere. This main concern comes from just how torqued up most drill/drivers are now. Around the shop, you’re more likely to see me planning where holes will be drilled in order to set them up on the drill press, rather than improvising with a handheld drill.
In addition to this, if you aren’t punching a hole the entire way through the workpiece, a drill press is key. Depth of holes can be critical in some projects, and guessing is hardly successful. Lastly, and most importantly, are angled holes. Rather than investing in fancy gauges and jigs, an adjustable deck is handy. This allows you to clamp your work piece down and drill at precise depth and angles. I’ve found success in this when making multiple picture frames at one time, since the 45-degree angles are the same, and my depth gauge can also be preset.
With all of this being said, the SKIL 10in Drill Press is an ideal, budget-friendly answer. As we’ll demonstrate, this tool gets the job done on everyday jobs with no difficulty. The bench top drill press is packed with features, well built, and certainly reliable from an operational standpoint.
SKIL 10in Drill Press Review Features
The X2 2-Beam laser makes figuring precise holes very easy and uses (2) AA batteries
The angled base assists with making accurate holes from 0-45 degrees. The gauge is also very easy to see with the white background.
The adjustable depth stop is handy, and key for repetitive drilling
SKIL is going to make sure that we never lose our chuck key ever again!
With safety first, a bump switch is prevalent in the front of the drill
To access the belt and adjust speed, it is easily accessible on top of the unit.
The drill has a belt-adjustable 5 Speeds, from 570 – 3,050 RPM
The chuck can accommodate up to 1/2 drill bits just enough for small/medium size projects
General build quality on the SKIL is fantastic. For the value, it is one of the most well-built drill presses I’ve used to date.
The cast iron construction aids with plenty of weight to make the unit very sturdy
As with most presses, the deck is also Y-axis adjustable for height
Even though the deck on the SKIL is great, I opted to upgrade the unit by bolting a Bessey drill press vice. The SKIL comes ready with a pattern allowing for such an upgrade as most do. Overall, I was impressed by the clearance on the bottom side that allowed for large bolts.
The 3/4hp motor is more than enough to get through most DIY and maker projects. I found it extremely resilient after long use punching through hardwood picture frames
SKIL 10in Drill Press Review Performance
I tested the SKIL against both metal, and wood during my evaluation, and have used it since on many materials. With wood, obviously, the SKIL excelled. Hardwoods for picture frames and some random projects were no chore. The SKIL bored through even at the steep 45-degree angle. Cold 1/8in rolled steel was a bit more difficult as expected, but the SKIL handled it respectably. With a liberal amount of WD-40 and a slower depth pace, the SKIL did just as well as any other mid-level drill press I’ve ever operated. I expect that prolonged use of the SKIL with steel would be a challenge. However, as long as you pace yourself, the 3/4hp motor will treat you just fine.
SKIL 10in Drill Press Review Value
Through various sellers, you can find the SKIL from anywhere between $110-$130. To me, especially against competitors and extra value brands, the SKIL takes the cake. The features, in conjunction with the general performance, make for a great value drill press. In fact, I would argue that the SKIL would excel past most competitors on features, performance, and build quality up to the $160 range as well. All in all – I can’t complain, the SKIL just does it for me. I could recommend this to anyone who has a home shop, or even to more serious makers that use many different types of materials when doing projects.
SKIL 10in Drill Press Review Final Thoughts
As stated above, the value is what really sets the SKIL 10in Drill Press apart from its peers. The feature-packed unit is both sturdy, reliable, and evenly priced. This makes it an easy choice for someone like myself who has a very high use case for a drill press but doesn’t want to spring for a flagship brand. Historically, the SKIL brand has a fantastic reputation, even with budget-priced tools. With that being said, I trust the brand, and I certainly trust this drill press.