Powermatic PM2800B 18-Inch Drill Press Review

Powermatic PM2800B is a high-end drill press that aspires to be the most user-friendly drill press on the market. In fact, one of the main selling points of Powermatic drill press is that this model is the company’s easiest and most intuitive drill press model yet.

No doubt, it has decent features and an impressive specs sheet on paper. This variable speed drill press offers a 6-inch quill travel, an adjustable fence, a digital readout meter along with many other practical features. But how does this translate to real-world performance and benefit for the user? Is it worth the investment?

If you are fresh on the market for a power drill, you simply cannot miss our detailed review of this product.

You may also like to read other product reviews such as drill pressWEN drill pressCraftsman drill press, and many more. 

 Powermatic PM2800B

Motor:1.0 HP
Table size (L x W):20" x 14"
Chuck capacity:5/8"
Speeds:Variable No of Speeds, 250RPM - 3,000RPM
Weight:246 lbs.
Spindle travel:6.0"
Warranty:5 years
Learn more:Check reviews & rating on Amazon

Powermatic PM2800B Review

#1. Feature

Here is a no-fluff overview of the most important features of Powermatic PM2800B drill press and how it helps you in the workshop. We will logically go through this drill press starting from a performance standpoint, address the usability of the unit and finally see if all those make this model stand out from the rest.


Just like a car without an engine, a drill press wouldn’t be much without power. The Powermatic PM2800B sports a 1.0 HP inductive motor (15 Amp for 115V model and 7.5 Amp for 230V) that delivers a serious punch. We have to give credit where credit is due. Other models compete head-on with this drill press but cost the same and with only a 3/4 HP motor - which is pretty much the standard power of drill presses nowadays. This model clearly over delivers in the power department.

The extra power sends enough torque to the drill bit that in turn allows it to pierce through tougher and denser material with great ease. This is definitely a heavy-duty model that does not lack power, and will not slow-down regardless of material you are drilling. Bottom line, you get more accuracy and control over your drilling without doing anything.


The variable speed control of Powermatic PM2800B drill press is also one of its most attractive features. When drilling different materials, you always have the need to change the drill bit. Luckily, changing speed on this unit is very easy. You simply crank the speed handwheel (which is very intuitive to use) and it automatically changes the drilling speed from 250 RPM to 3,000 RPM.

This power drill was designed to bore through different types of materials, from thick metal to hardwood in a quick and easy way. Furthermore, the keyless chuck allows you to change drill bits very quickly. The combination of a variable speed controller in the motor along with a keyless chuck mechanism makes this unit very versatile and easy to use. It’s great for a busy workshop where time is of the essence.


This power drill measures 58 x 26 x 15 inches. It is quite large and tall, and this is an expected size for a floor type drill press. On the bright side, it has a good deal of presence to it. It is also heavy at 246 lbs so not really portable. The heavy weight is a great advantage since it helps absorb vibrations and keep the drilling more stable.


The construction of this unit is superb. A big reason why this model visually stands out from other competing models is actually it’s very good build construction. Powermatic drill press uses a combination of ABS plastic for the motor shell, cast-iron for the table and lightweight aluminum fence/table. This is built to last and very durable, able to withstand the daily challenges of heavy-duty drilling.


The fence in this model can be adjusted and it will remain perfectly vertical to the large table at all times. The table itself can be rotated to a maximum of 90-degree and locked in position. You can perform drilling at odd angles quickly and easily with this unit.


  • Tool-less: The keyless chuck allows the user to change drill bits in a matter of seconds. Simply hold the chuck with one hand and twist with the other to release it.
  • LED: Powerful LED lights illuminate your drill point at all times. This easily allows you to work in dim-lighted workshops.

#2. User-Friendliness

True to Powermatics’ word, this model is extremely user-friendly. Here are 3 important features that may transform the way you drill when using this model.

  • Digital RPM: This meter is a lifesaver. It always displays the exact drill bit speed enabling you to make speed adjustments on the fly.
  • Laser Guides: A bright laser guides your drilling. This not only provides more accurate drilling that is always spot on, but also allows the user to bore holes with more confidence.
  • Safety Key: This drill press will never start without engaging the safety key first. This is great security features that totally puts the unit in lockdown. If there are other people around in the workshop that you do not want access to, this is a great feature.

#3. Price of Powermatic PM2800B

As expected, this model does not come cheap. This is one of Powermatics’ most high-end drill presses and it has all the bells and whistles that accompany such a premium device. At around the $1,500 mark, it is certainly not the cheapest buy. On the bright side, it outcompetes almost every single drill presses in this price point, including the excellent JET J-A5816. We think that it is altogether a better package; with a better build quality, greater ease of use and more functional features than competing models.

#4. Expert Reviews

Since this is a high-end drill press, experts will undoubtedly use it for their drilling purposes. One such expert is veteran woodworker Alf Sharp from CraftsuppliesUSA who has been a contribution to the industry for over 40 years. He uses the Powermatic PM2800B almost exclusively and did a very good introduction to this model. While watching his Powermatic PM2800B video, it becomes apparent to everyone why this model is a must-buy if you need accurate and powerful drilling in your workshop. Watch it below.

#5. Pros/Cons of Powermatic PM2800B


  • Excellent Build Quality: Powermatic PM2800B drill press is constructed to last and will withstand daily heavy-duty drilling.
  • Heavy-duty: The 1 HP inductive motor will drill anything you throw at it with exceptional ease.
  • Variable Speed Control: More versatile when drilling with different types of materials.
  • Adjustable fence and table. Drilling odd angles in material is quick and easy.
  • Keyless Chuck: Quickly and easily change drill bits with this keyless mechanism.
  • Digital RPM Meter: Display your speed reading in a clear and visible digital meter right at the front.
  • Large 6" quill distance enough to bore holes in very thick materials.
  • Laser Guidance: The bright laser illuminated the drill spot. It is very accurate and allows the user to drill extremely fast without compromising accuracy.


  • Expensive.

Who Should Buy?

Powermatic PM2800B drill press is not for everyone. It is a high-end model made almost exclusively for professionals. If you are a beginner and can afford this model, it will possibly be the best drill press you’ll buy in your life.

On the other hand, if you are a busy professional who requires a drill press in the workshop, whether for casual or heavy-duty drilling - Powermatic PM2800B leaves every competitor in the dust. It is by far the most dependable, robust and user-friendly model we have reviewed so far. It is the best drill press money can currently buy and you definitely deserve the best for your work.

Last Updated on August 7, 2020 by Tom Bradly

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Tom Bradly

My entrepreneurial journey started in 2006, when I dropped out of university. I wanted to work with my hands, to build things. Now I mix my background with computers with my first-hand experience with woodworking to provide insights into the tools I like best. I love everything about woodworking and have been building stuff for over 20 years of my life. I hope to pass some knowledge and expertise. See more at TomBradly.com

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