The drill press is definitely a great addition to any shop. Using the proper setup and jigs, a drill press can not just save some time, but will give you accuracy in cutting/drilling your holes. And if you are able to have more than one, you will be able to really get the work done efficiently and properly on any project.
In the shop I have always preferred to have 5-6 drill presses. But that is because I was in business for myself, and speed was key. But when I first started my outdoor patio furniture business in 2005, I didn’t even use a drill press for the first year. I used jigs and hand drills to form every hole. I didn’t think pulling down the handle on each machine would be as fast as a hand drill. But I was new and had only been woodworking for a few years, so I just didn’t know any better.
Finally I realized there has to be a better and faster method, and so I ended up buying 4 drill presses from Harbor Freight, and then jigs for each one of the different pieces of furniture that we turned out, and boy what a difference! Not just speed, but also in accuracy. The hole was always at a 90 degree angle as it should be, and the bits didn’t break near as much because of an accidental bend with the bit.
With most woodworkers, if they start out with a table top machine, then they will use it for a time as it is and finally realize that a change needs to be made. The table on the press is usually small and hard to work with. You need to be able to move the piece where you want it. If you desire numerous holes to be drilled at a fast pace, you can’t do so without making adjustments of some sort. That’s where jigs and table jig stations, such as the video below come in.
This video is again from Izzy Swan, and he adds his usual gear techniques to his Drill Press table “table.” (As he called it.) Now keep in mind you don’t have to make your station near as complex to get better use out of the drill press. But if you can take on all of these features, you will really see how versatile the drill press can be in your woodworking shop: