Review: JET 15-Inch Bench Model Drill Press


Featuring a cast iron head and a large quill that provides greater accuracy, this drill press lends to a positive first impression. Upon closer inspection, we found that the head casting features a permanent ball bearing spindle assembly that doesn’t require ongoing lubrication. Then we saw the JET 15-inch bench model drill press uses four of these heavy duty ball bearings within an enclosed quill to extend the life of this tool.

It also features a large ground steel column diameter that gives you maximum table and head support whenever you need to use the drill press. Although it is a bit heavy and taller than the average bench model drill press, users will also have access to a number of unique advantages with their investment.

What Are the Advantages of Using the JET Bench Model Drill Press?

The JET drill press is a 16-speed tool that features a 115v single-phase motor. Speed range from a minimum of 200 RPM to a maximum of 3,630 RPM, complimented by the 15-inch swing. The 5/8-inch chuck size gives you more options when it comes to drilling, while the head swivels a full 360 degrees for maximum woodworking versatility.

We found the 3 1/8-inch vertical stroke to be accurate, as was the ¾ HP peak performance rating for the motor. Operations were smooth and simple, though the drill press is not designed to be operated in reverse. You can also lock the quill down into position if need be.

The pulley movement handle works consistently well. You can change and tighten the belts with relative ease and the end result is an overall lack of runout. The table moves up and down without an issue. There isn’t an adjustment for front/back squareness, but the bracket is square and we didn’t have any noise issues while using this drill press.

What Could Be Improved with the JET Bench Model Drill Press?

We found this drill press to be effective in all of its features. It’s a good, basic machine that is larger than the entry-level workbench models. This allows medium-duty woodworking tasks to be completed with relative ease. It won’t be able to compete with a floor model, of course, but it’s one of the closest workbench-style models that comes close.

The lighting that comes with this drill press, a 60-watt light, does seem to be positioned in such a way where shorter users might find some glare shining in their eyes when using the tool. We didn’t have that issue, but others may, especially when working with reflective metals on this drill press.

If you’re looking for the best bench-style drill press that’s available today, then the JET 15-inch bench model drill press gives you a lot of great features. You’ll want to be productive when this tool is in your garage or shop. It performs consistently well, will let you do a lot of metal drilling, and gives you 3x the variable speed options of other drill presses. That’s why it earns our highest recommendation today.

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