Best Pillar Drills of 2022

Best Pillar Drills

Last Updated on February 20, 2022

Our editors independently research the best products online to produce this list. We may receive commission on purchases made from the links below but this will never affect our product choices.


Top 10 Best Pillar Drills

  1. Clarke CDP5RB 5 Speed Bench Mounted (Editor’s Choice)
  2. Bosch 0603B07070 Bench PBD 40 (Luxury Choice)
  3. Silverline 262212 350W DIY (Best Value)
  4. KATSU Mini Bench 100W
  5. Draper 38255 5 Speed Hobby
  6. Dirty Pro Tools Heavy Duty 350W 13mm Rotary
  7. Dremel 220 Workstation 2-in-1 Multi-Purpose
  8. DART F12-941 360W / 240V
  9. Scheppach Top FP16SL 0.55 kW 230W
  10. Sealey GDM120B 16-Speed

A pillar drill is a machine that runs electrically and is composed of a column with a sliding table, a stable base, and a motor–drive system. The base is usually made of heavy materials like cast iron and is either grouted or bolted to the workbench. 

The base supports large workpieces, while the pillar drill has a tilting table for angular drilling. A hydraulic machine helps move the entire device up or down to accommodate different cutting heights. Some high-end tools may also be equipped with grooves around the edges to drain the excess coolant.

If you want a reliable drill for your home DIY setup, we have found the best pillar drill in the UK and nine other suitable options for your consideration – enjoy!

How we Compared Pillar Drills

pillar drills collage

To find the right pillar drills we considered multiple factors, including:

  • Accuracy of the spindle
  • Number of speeds
  • Maximum drill depths
  • Size of the chuck

Our team independently examined and compared hundreds of products to help satisfy different needs. We spent our time researching pillar drills and consulting customer reviews to ultimately bring you what, in our opinion, are the best options on the market right now.

To find out more about our editorial process, take a look here.

Pillar Drill Reviews – Top 10 Picks

Clarke CDP5RB 5 Speed Bench Mounted (Editor’s Choice)

The Clarke 5 Speed Bench Mounted Pillar Drill is our choice for the best pillar drill in the UK. It is perfect for people who love to work at home on DIY projects, and as hobbyists, the Clarke 5 Speed Pillar Drill has excellent features and high-quality build quality. With a 350-watt power motor, this drill offers a consistency that is rarely seen in other models. Affordable and great at home, the Clarke 5 Speed can be a constant companion if cared for properly.

The Clarke 5 Speed has a chuck capacity of 13 mm and is compatible with almost all drill bits for pillar drills. This chuck and bit can easily drill through metal, plastic, and wood. It comes equipped with a B15 taper for shank drill bits. With this model, you can get speeds between 620 to 2620 RPM. For other great tools, see our planar thicknesser picks for perfectly flat wood.

Pros:

  • Ideal for wood, plastic, and metal
  • Five speeds from 620 RPM to 2620 RPM
  • 13 mm chuck for versatility
  • Has various safety features for beginner users
  • It also has a clear perspex chuck guard

Cons:

  • Some may find the setup instructions difficult to follow
  • You could find that the on/off switch guard may eventually break

Bosch 0603B07070 Bench PBD 40 (Luxury Choice)

The Bosch PBD 40 is a fantastic operational tool for tradespeople. It features superiorly controlled precision for an optimum drilling process. This variant from Bosch also combines efficiency with focused power to give a higher yield and very precise drilling. Metalwork and woodwork are the specialities of the Bosch PBD 40.

The digital display panel shows the speeds the pillar machine is drilling at. It also allows you to monitor the level of drilling to achieve perfection for all your pieces. The PBD 40 is also engineered to laser guide and cut through 13mm of steel and 400mm of wood. It is also compatible with a host of other drill bits. An ergonomic wheel adjustment, integrated V-groove, and quick-release clamp ensure the safety of the machine. See our guide on pruning saws for some great outdoor tools.

Pros:

  • Powerful engine
  • Cuts through wood and metal easily
  • Laser-guided cutting
  • Includes a parallel guide

Cons:

  • You may find that woodgrains easily deflect the chuck
  • Some may find that the drill vibrates a lot for heavier drill bits

Silverline 262212 350W DIY (Best Value)

The Silverline 262212is a good model for beginners and is made of good quality materials. It is quite affordable and comes with several useful features. It has a standard 350-watt motor and runs smoothly to help you get the precision drilling you need. The chuck is a manual one and can take drill bits to the size of 13 mm. Almost all small drill bits work with this model from Silverline.

This model also has a 5-speed setting range from 580 to 2650 RPM for good control. The spindle travel is 50 mm, and that can help you get almost all primary drilling jobs done. This pillar drill from Silverline is pretty stable and sturdy with a cast iron base.

Pros:

  • Max drill diameter of 13 mm
  • It has a five-speed setting from 580 RPM to 2650 RPM
  • Drills into most materials with precision

Cons:

  • You may notice a slight deflection of up to 2mm when cutting
  • Some customers have reported faulty drills on delivery

KATSU Mini Bench 100W

If you want a mini pillar drill suitable for smaller drilling tasks, the KATSU Mini bench Drill is a good option. This drill has a 100W motor and can drill holes up to a maximum of 6mm. We like the ergonomic design of the still and the sturdy base plate. This means you can easily attach it to a workbench.

The motor and drilling speeds can also be adjusted from 0 to 8500 RPM, giving you greater control and precision.

Pros:

  • Powerful 100W motor
  • Can adjust the speed from 0 to 8500 RPM
  • It has a simple handle lock to keep the drill press in place
  • Maximum drilling capacity of 6mm
  • Simple and ergonomic design

Cons:

  • Not suitable for tougher materials or larger holes
  • Torque may be too little at lower speed settings

Draper 38255 5 Speed Hobby

Like the Wolf 5 Speed Pillar Drill, the Draper 5 Speed Hobby Bench Pillar Drill is also a favourite of many tradespersons in the DIY community as well as professionals. This model from Draper is equipped with a telescopic chuck guard for safety. It comes with a No Volt switch and a 5-speed pulley system. The Draper 5 Speed Hobby Bench Pillar Drill has a 13 mm capacity chuck that works with almost all drill bits.

The affordable yet quality-driven five-speed from Draper weighs approximately 17.5 kg and has a 350 watts motor for consistency in drilling. The table has diagonal slots instead of parallel ones for ease of use. It stands just over 2 ft tall and is useful for all home projects that require light drilling. For some great outdoor tools, see our long reach hedge trimmer guide.

Pros:

  • It has an effective 5-speed 350W motor
  • Relatively compact with a base size of 160x160mm
  • It also has a maximum drill chuck capacity of 13mm
  • Features a telescopic chuck guard
  • The motor housing is made from durable aluminium

Cons:

  • You could find that the drill table has a rough finish
  • There is also no clip to hold the chuck key in place

Dirty Pro Tools Heavy Duty 350W 13mm Rotary

The Dirty Pro Tools Heavy Duty 350W Pillar Drill has a powerful motor and five adjustable drilling speeds. We like the sturdy base too – it is durable, but only 160x160mm and therefore is a great space-saving option.

The other design features also make this pillar drill long-lasting. For example, it has an aluminium motor housing and a telescopic chuck guard. This pillar drill has a maximum chuck size of 13mm.

Pros:

  • Has an effective 5-speed 350W motor
  • Relatively compact with a base size of 160x160mm
  • Also has a maximum drill chuck capacity of 13mm
  • Features a telescopic chuck guard
  • The motor housing is made from durable aluminium

Cons:

  • You could find that the safety guard can sometimes fall off
  • The instructions may not be the easiest to understand

Dremel 220 Workstation 2-in-1 Multi-Purpose

If you want a versatile pillar drill that can be used for other jobs, the Dremel 220 Workstation Pillar Drill is a good option. You can attach different heads aside from drill chucks, making it incredibly versatile.

The base, pillar, and head are all made from durable materials and have solid construction. Also, this articulating drill press allows for holes to be drilling at angles of 15-degree increments. This allows you to easily work on a myriad of drilling projects and material shapes.

Pros:

  • Can drill holes in 15-degree increments up to 90-degrees horizontal
  • Energy Class A rated
  • It has a handy storage compartment for drill bits and accessories
  • It can be used with various head attachments for different DIY tasks

Cons:

  • The instructions may be misleading
  • You may notice a little pull and deflection when drilling

DART F12-941 360W / 240V

The Dart F12-941 Pillar Drill has a 240V motor for specialised and customisable materials. This drill’s high-quality motor and output are of superior grade, and the elements do not wear out very quickly. Slightly more expensive than the basic pillar drills on this list, the Dart F12-941 Pillar Drill gives almost all materials a uniform and stable performance.

This model from Dart has 12 speeds ranging from 230 RPM to 2470 RPM giving you a wide area to exercise control over. The maximum chuck capacity is 16 mm, and this model features vice settings for restricting movement. It also has a tilt table with vice grooves.

Pros:

  • 12 speeds from 230 to 2470 RPM
  • The tilting bench comes equipped with vice grooves
  • 16 mm standard chuck for all regular drill bits
  • It has a chuck capacity of 3mm to 16mm

Cons:

  • You could find that the motor eventually burns out
  • This pillar drill may come with a 2-pin EU plug and require an adaptor

Scheppach Top FP16SL 0.55 kW 230W

The Scheppach DP16SL has been made with professionals and advanced hobbyists in mind. Reasonably priced, the high-quality Scheppach is an easy-to-use power tool. It comes with a quick-lock chuck that can be unlocked in case of emergencies. The chuck capacity is 16 mm. It also has five operation speeds.

The Scheppach DP16SL Bench Pillar Drill construct is sturdy as it is made with cast iron. The motor is also powerful, with 550 watts. This variant from Scheppach comes with laser centred technology for precision drilling. The laser centre makes the work extraordinarily convenient and accurate.

Pros:

  • Laser centred technology
  • 5-speed selections
  • Powerful 550 watts motor
  • It has a durable cast-iron construction

Cons:

  • You may notice an occasional grinding noise during operation
  • The rack for the height adjustment may sometimes slip

Sealey GDM120B 16-Speed

The Pillar Bench Drill from Sealey is perfect for light industrial, woodworking, and agriculture applications. Heavyweight, this unit has an input power of 550 watts with 350 watts motor. When working with resistant or thick material, speed is a necessity. Keeping this in mind, the Sealey Pillar Bench Drill has 16 speeds ranging between 210 RPM to 3340 RPM.

Sealey’s maximum chuck size recommended for this model is 16 mm with a spindle travel distance of 80 mm. The Sealey Pillar Bench Drill has an adjustable table for convenience and stands tall at 100 cm. The gap between the chuck and column is 162 mm.

Pros:

  • Spindle travel at 80 mm
  • 16 controllable speeds between 210 RPM to 3340 RPM
  • It can be drilled for lightweight industrial, woodworking, and agriculture uses

Cons:

  • You may find that the box is damaged on delivery
  • The table-lift mechanism may be a little loose and require excess tightening

What to Look for When Buying a Pillar Drill?

  • The accuracy of the spindle: The accuracy of the rotating spindle will determine how well a drill bit does the job.
  • The number of speeds: Different materials require varying drill speeds. A pillar drill should be able to tackle different materials and so should have several speed settings.
  • Maximum drill depths: The depth of the spindle travel should be maximum to use the entire capacity of the pillar drill successfully.
  • Size of the chuck: The chuck size determines the maximum drill bit size the pillar drill can accept.
A machine used in waterworks

What Materials Can a Pillar Drill Cut?

  • Wood: Almost all drills can cut through most types of wood
  • Metal: Metals like steel and brass can be drilled through quite easily with a light pillar drill. However, while working with iron, ensure you have the right bits.
  • Plastic: Light pillar drills can cut through most plastic. If you’re working with cast resin, we would suggest using a stronger bit.
Close up of a high speed steel drill bit cutting tool

Conclusion

For precision drilling through lighter materials, the best pillar drill in the UK is a great machine to have. Pillar drills have a wide range of uses and are great for those who have a dedicated workshop or DIY corner in their garage.

While any of the ten products listed could be a viable option, our top pick is the Clarke CDP5RB 5-speed pillar drill. This drill can easily be mounted to a workbench and has a solid construction. With a chuck capacity of 13mm, and a variable speed operation of 620-262 RPM, this is one of the most versatile and easy-to-use pillar drills available.

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