Last updated: August 10, 2021

Our method

10Products analysed

13Hours spent

4Evaluated articles

68User reviews

An exact way of working is a challenge when you work with a machine that you have to hold yourself and that is not permanently installed? If precise machining of materials is important to you, you want to work flexibly with different materials and you also have workpieces that are challenging to machine, then a pillar drilling machine is exactly what you need, as you will learn here.

In this pillar drill test 2022 you will learn about the comparison between pillar drills with V-belt drive, pillar drills with Vario drive and pillar gear drills with their respective advantages and disadvantages. You will also get information on which purchase criteria to pay attention to. Furthermore, you will be informed about where you can buy a pillar drill and what alternatives there are for a pillar drill.


  • With the help of a pillar drilling machine, you will be able to drill different materials, as this drill can be adapted to individual needs.
  • You can choose between three types of pillar drilling machines, namely pillar drill with V-belt drive, pillar drill with Vario drive and pillar gear drill.
  • For do-it-yourselfers who will be working with different materials, a pillar drill that has a rather higher motor power is suitable.

The Best Pillar Drilling Machine in the United Kingdom: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for pillar drilling machines

Since you will certainly encounter a large number of different pillar drills in the buying process, it is helpful if you know exactly what criteria you should look for when buying.

You can compare the pillar drills with each other if you look at the following criteria when buying:

Now you will find out what exactly is meant by these criteria.

Motor power

Technical specifications in watts refer to the motor power. The power can vary from 500 to 1900 watts. The specifications in watts depend on the materials you want to work with on the pillar drill.

Higher motor power is preferable.

If you want to work with different materials or if you do not yet have concrete plans about which materials you will work with, it is advantageous to tend towards a higher motor power.

Spindle speed

If you want to change the spindle speed on the drill, do so with the help of the belt drive. The spindle speed has an influence on the cutting speed.

The speed is especially important if you know what materials you will be working with. There are special speed tables with which you can determine what speed you need for the pillar drill.

Here you can see for which materials you need which speed:

material speed
wood 1000 rpm
steel 650 - 1900 rpm
stone inverse dependence on drill diameter

If you use a drill with a small diameter, you should select a higher speed.

Continuously variable speed control is one way of adjusting the speed. You will also find pillar drills that allow you to regulate the speed via a gearbox.

Drill chuck

You will use the drill chuck to tighten the drill bit. The drill chuck can be divided into:

Type Description
Classic chuck You need a spanner to tighten this chuck
Self-tightening chuck So that you can adapt the drill to your material, you can change the drill manually
SDS chuck Here you also don't need any additional tools,this chuck is suitable for the hardest material

Safety feature

To ensure that you can work safely with the pillar drill, make sure that a chip guard is one of the product features. A chip guard is there to protect you:

  • protect against flying chips
  • from contact with the rotating drill chuck and spindle
  • from contact with the coolant

protect you.

Drill table

The drilling table is integrated in a pillar drilling machine. It is square and made of cast iron. With regard to the drilling table, you must remember that the table may be too small for you in terms of space and that you will have to add another drilling table yourself. You can find the instructions here.

However, there are also pillar drills where you can extend the drilling table so that the conversion of the drill is not necessary. The drill table of a pillar drill can be tilted by +45° to -45°.

Decision: What types of pillar drilling machines are there and which is the right one for me?

If you want to buy a pillar drill, there are three types of products you can choose from:

  • Pillar drilling machine with V-belt drive
  • Column drilling machine with Vario drive
  • Column gear drilling machine

Now it is time to find out what exactly you can imagine under these different types.

Säulenbohrmaschine mit Keilriemenantrieb

V-belt driven pillar drill

The V-belt driven pillar drill has a motor that is located behind the pillar and always uses a constant speed. To adjust the speed of the pillar drill better to the material, you can flip the pulleys. [5]

  • Enables high rotation speeds
  • Enables short-time overload capability
  • Enables smooth running
  • Low cost and maintenance
  • Limited temperature range
  • Sensitive to external influences


Säulenbohrmaschine mit Vario-Antrieb

Pillar drilling machine with Vario drive

The gearbox of the pillar drilling machine with Vario drive is stepless. A push link belt, a V-belt, a link chain or a plate chain is used to transmit the energy from the gearbox to the drill. With this type of pillar drill, the speed therefore adjusts automatically.

The decision to buy a pillar drill with a Vario drive means that you have to make sure that “two gears are available”.

  • Continuously variable transmission

Even if the spindle speed is low, you can drill hard materials with the column drill with Vario drive.


Column gear drilling machine

Column gear drills are mainly those that have a high motor power. However, you must be careful when choosing the materials, as concrete is not one of the materials that is suitable for this type of pillar drill.

Gear drive makes the column gear drill more noisy.

This type of drive is again the reason why the machine is smaller in design. The oil bath gear is the reason why the drill runs quietly.

Furthermore, this machine has an additional function, namely screwing.

  • Compact
  • Space-saving
  • Fast speed change
  • Direct and slip-free power transmission
  • More noise-intensive than, for example, V-belt drive
  • Lack of flexibility in use

Guide: Frequently asked questions about pillar drilling machines answered in detail

If you still have questions, you will certainly find an answer in this guide. The selected questions are intended to provide you with comprehensive information to make your purchase decision easier. This guide is based on questions that other buyers of pillar drills have frequently asked.

What is a pillar drill?

A pillar drill is used by do-it-yourselfers who prefer a professional-looking end result when drilling, or in industry. A pillar drill is installed in one place in the workshop and cannot be moved.


If you value precise work when drilling, then the pillar drill is for you.
(Image source: www-erzetich-com /

Because the pillar drilling machine has a pillar on which the drilling table is mounted, it is possible to work on the workpiece from all sides. The drilling spindle is also mounted on the column.

What is the difference between a pillar drilling machine and a column drilling machine?

The common feature of a pillar drilling machine and a column drilling machine is that they are standing drilling machines. It follows that you install these machines in one place in your workshop and cannot move them around when the need arises.

The difference is that with a pillar drill you can move both the drill table and the drill spindle so that you can adapt the pillar drill to the material. With a pillar drill you can only adjust the drill spindle.

The drill table of a pillar drill cannot be moved, but it can be tilted in different directions. The drilling table of a pillar drill can be moved.

For whom is a pillar drill suitable?

If you work with different materials at home and want to do a lot of drilling, the purchase of a pillar drill is worth considering.

People who work in model making will also buy a pillar drill. You can judge the suitability by whether the pillar drill is suitable for

  • for do-it-yourselfers or
  • for industry

is purchased. These two target groups naturally have different demands on the drill. Drilling machines for industry are mainly used in the automotive and heavy industry. Furthermore, the woodworking and ceramics industries make use of the pillar drill.

Which manufacturers of pillar drilling machines are there?

The Austrian manufacturer ELMAG specialises less in DIY and more in industry, so DIY enthusiasts who want to buy a pillar drill should look for other manufacturers.

At Einhell, quality and value for money are right.

The German company Einhell is mainly known for its pillar drills and is therefore a good choice because the quality and price-performance ratio are right here.

Another German company that offers high quality drills is Güde. This company specialises in both DIY and industry. Drilling machines from this company can be used without any problems for working on various materials except concrete.

What does a pillar drill cost?

There are also different models of pillar drilling machines that differ in price. The differences can be explained by the fact that the pillar drilling machines are suitable for different purposes.

Type Price range
Pillar drilling machine with V-belt drive from € 890.00
Pillar drilling machine with Vario drive from € 2,900.00
Pillar gear drilling machine from € 3,000.00

These price ranges refer to new pillar drilling machines. Furthermore, there are offers for used pillar drilling machines that are cheaper.

What are the alternatives to a pillar drill?

There are also other drilling machines that you can buy if you decide not to buy a pillar drill.


A bench drill can be flexibly attached to a work table and moved around, unlike a pillar drill.
(Image source: Pexels /

In this overview you can see the respective alternative together with a short description.

Alternative Description
Bench drill The drill stands on the table. This means that a work table must be purchased for the drilling machine.Furthermore, there are limits to the size of the workpiece to be machined.However, this alternative is often priced below a pillar drilling machine.
Pillar drilling machine This drilling machine has a box-shaped machine stand. It cannot be moved as it is fixed in place.It is used for demanding materials and operations.

Which oil should I use for a pillar drill?

Choose the oil that the manufacturer recommends for this machine. You will find this information in the operating instructions.

However, it is advisable to use a thin-bodied oil.

This oil is only applied to the drill chuck.

Image source: Yeulet/