Last Updated on February 11, 2021 by Robert L. Perkins
There is a multitude of reasons why you might think that you need to drill something. It could be a work-related task. Or, you might just do it for art. Whatever it may be, a drill is what you need.
However, a run-of-the-mill, no pun intended, drill only checks out the bare minimum. You can go further. A drill press will get you that. It adds another dimension to drilling and offers additional accuracy and precision.
That’s why in this post, we’re going to review the finest options on the market to help you find the best drill press for metal.
Best Drill Press for Metal – Comparison
10 Best Drill Presses for Metal- Our Reviews
1. WEN 4210T 10 Inch Drill Press for Metal With Laser
- Motor: 3.2 AMP
- Number of Speeds: 5 Speeds
- Speed range: 600-3100 RPM
- Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.5 x 9.5 inches
- Weight: 51 lbs
It’s also not all that expensive! Again, this is something that makes it perfect for homeowners. A homeowner’s budget is only so much, and this model is made with that in mind. However, don’t scoff just because it’s a low budget. It definitely can measure up to all the big-budget drill presses just fine.
The power output on this is quite spectacular. It’s the best drill press for metalwork. I’ve gone on and on about how it’s so good for the homeowner, but even the professional will like this. It offers a very high output that even a professional would appreciate. Therefore, it is worth a try.
Another aspect that a professional person would surely enjoy is accuracy. The drill speed, the angle, and the depth of drill are all to the point. This can even be important for homeowners, especially those who are artists and employ the drill for sculpting or various types of woodworking.
Something else that both homeowners and professionals alike are sure to enjoy is that it has a very low noise profile. You might find this feature especially important if you live in a crowded neighborhood. You can appreciate it as well if you are working professionally.
- Simple and easy to set up procedure
- Low budget and fully functional presses
- The drill speed is impressively high
2. WEN 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press for Metal
- Motor: 2/3 HP
- Number of Speeds: Variable
- Speed range: 580-3200 RPM
- Weight: 89 lbs
Like many of the WEN products, it boasts the trademark feature: a straightforward and simple design. That makes it an excellent option for a homeowner or someone looking to start working around the house. In fact, you could set it up in under a half-hour if you knew what you were doing.
It has two additional features that make your experience easy. The first is the lamp. Yes, it might sound simple and unsophisticated, but you’ll feel like a smart person when you aren’t the one puzzling over how you’re going to drill in the dark. The light is sufficiently bright, and you don’t need any other light source.
The other feature is the laser. This is of particular interest to those who are just starting off. You can go ahead and use that. Trust me; you’ll love it. It is a kind of guide, a sort of “training wheels”, if you will. It’s really useful as it double-checks for accuracy. You can be sure that your drilling is perfect.
However, its motors are only subpar. I suppose that’s something which would only dismay professionals. Don’t worry; there are other options on this list for you people. With that being said, homeowners and artists, you should definitely consider this as you really don’t need all that power; it still is a good drill press for metal
- Guiding laser makes it easy for starters
- Lighting system makes it convenient
- User-friendly interface
3. JET J-2530 15-Inch Bench Model Drill Press
- Motor: 3/4 HP
- Number of Speeds: Variable
- Speed range: 600-3100 RPM
- Weight: 157 lbs
It comes with an LED light that helps you see what you’re working with. Proper lighting is essential, as this is definitely a dangerous job. Drills have their risks, and I shouldn’t have to tell you why they are so risky. Hence every little safety measure is greatly appreciated. The LED feature also makes it energy efficient.
Accuracy is a prerequisite for drill presses as it is one of the defining edges it has over a hand drill. And oh boy, does this have accuracy. With the right drill bit, you can make precise and accurate holes that are correct to the millimeter. This is a valuable asset for certain professionals and artists.
Moreover, this model is quite versatile and comes with a lot of options. You can fit many other tools to perform more functions. What’s more, you can adjust the table. That gives you the option to not only work with different types of operations but also different types and sizes of materials.
With all of these extremely attractive features, you might be thinking about how complicated this is. But, you’d be wrong. It’s got a relatively simple design. This facilitates assembly, and you can start with this within an hour. It’s also quite easy to operate thanks to its user-friendly interface.
- Very precise drill
- Simplistic mechanism and assembly
- Extremely durable
4. WEN 4208 8 inch 5-Speed Drill Press
- Motor: 1/3 HP
- Number of Speeds: 5
- Speed range: 740-3140 RPM
- Weight: 31 lbs
You can fit buzzsaws and cut with it. Or, you could fit another type of tool. Basically, it’s a sort of Swiss army knife. You can do a lot. And I know that this is something that only a professional can truly appreciate. That’s why I suggest this to you people. Give it a go. I’m sure you’ll like it.
Despite its professional-level build, it’s not really all that big. You could fit it on one corner easily. Space is valuable to everyone, whether you’re a homeowner or a professional. So, it’s definitely a very big plus. And if you’re a homeowner or just an artist, sculptor, or even a woodworker, you might like this too.
Something else that the amateur users would also appreciate is that it is very easy to work with. In fact, it’s something that even professional users appreciate as it’s just faster. Nobody likes to tinker with complicated controls. And this model achieves this with no sacrifices to functionality.
The finish on it is very smooth. Artists and woodworkers should really give this a thought as they usually require such specifications. The speeds are particular, and there is very little vibration. That’s why the operation is very even, and precise tasks can be performed on it.
- Solid build
- Has a compact design
- Quite simple controls and mechanism
5. SKIL 3320-01 10-Inch Drill Press
- Motor: 3.2 AMP
- Number of Speeds: 5
- Speed range: 570-3050 RPM
- Weight: 50.8 lbs
Since different materials drill well at different speeds, this is a prerequisite for those who work with many different materials.
It also comes with a laser that’s aligned accurately. While this may be of little significance to those who are seasoned, it is a great deal to those who are still learning. It offers a great guiding parameter that you can follow to drill more accurately. Honestly, it’s quite a valuable thing to people just starting off.
Beginners tend to appreciate another aspect of this model, which is that it is very easy to assemble and setup. The model is of quite a simplistic design in the first place, so putting it up is not a big deal at all. It can also be done quite fast. You’ll have a fully functional drill press in under an hour.
Thanks to its awesome power, it definitely could be the best bench drill press for metal. You could just about bore a hole into any type of metal with ease. Alloys, which are oftentimes harder, aren’t a big deal either. It’s got the speed, you just need the right drill bit, and you’re good to go.
- Extremely versatile with five different drill speeds
- Powerful motor
- Great laser alignment
6. Shop Fox W1668 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press
And this can be important if you’re living in an apartment or in generally more densely populated areas where noise can be a bigger deal than in rural areas or industries.
Its low profile extends even to its weight- it’s rather lightweight. By no means does that come about through sacrificing durability, however. It’s just made with lighter but stronger metals. The lightweight feature is particularly important if you’re an artist, as you might tend to take the press around and perform operations on the go.
Another aspect that everyone, from woodworkers and artists to professionals and even homeowners will appreciate is that this drill press is quite versatile and flexible.
Of course, most drill presses offer versatility, but this one goes the extra mile. Not only can you fix a multitude of tools, but you also have a lot of options in the operation mechanism.
The drilling action is very smooth. While this is often attributed to the prowess of the drill bit, you should know that the drill itself plays a part too. How may you ask?
Try drilling with a hand drill, and you’ll see. It’ll wobble, and that causes rough drilling. If you want it to be smooth, it should wobble less, and this model reduces that to almost nil.
However, there is one downside that might initially make casual users shy away. It’s a bit complicated to set up. But you should know that it isn’t hard to operate; only the initial assembly process is difficult. You can get someone to help you and follow the instructions to the letter. That should be enough. After all, it’s a one-time hassle.
- The noise profile is very low
- Lightweight but strong build
- Minimum wobble from the drill assembly
7. BUCKTOOL 10 inch 5 Speed Laser Bench Drill Press
- Motor: 2/3 HP
- Number of Speeds: 5
- Speed range: 610-2800 RPM
- Weight: 50.7 lbs
The first of those is the guiding light, as in the laser. It serves as a reference for aligning your tool with your material, and therefore it’s something that is invaluable to those who are beginners in this sort of task. In fact, it also serves as a final double-checking method for even professional users.
It also offers another sort of guiding light, quite literally, as in the LED lighting system. Now I don’t have to talk about the risks of working with a drill; you already know. You should definitely ensure that proper lighting is present. The fact that they are LED lights also helps, in that they are brighter and more energy-efficient.
When you’re working, a consequence of that is often heat. In a home or garage, for that matter, that’s not really a big issue. However, in a factory, all that heat adds up. Therefore, every little bit of heat reduction amounts to something. And this model offers a good deal of heat reduction, so the material is cool for the most part.
Also, it’s rather silent. That means you will get a peaceful working environment and there will be no complaints from neighbors.
Heat and sound are the main ways energy is dissipated by most mechanical processes, and therefore, they are a big reason for energy wastage. This model avoids that, and hence, gives you good energy efficiency.
- The LED lighting system is very bright
- Laser guiding mechanism for double-checking accuracy
- Heat sink prevents overheating
8. JET J-2500 15-Inch Floor Model Drill Press for Metal
- Motor: 3/4 HP
- Number of Speeds: 16
- Speed range: 200-3630 RPM
- Weight: 1671 lbs
Again, owing to its relatively simplistic design and assembly, it’s rather easy to operate. Yes, you could spend way more to get something that has all the fancy bells and whistles, but let’s get real here; the basic task is the same. You’re better off with this as it is simple and even enjoyable to work with.
Unsurprisingly, if you’re a hobbyist, you’re probably quite interested already. Let me reel you in. It is absolutely perfect for a hobbyist. First off, as mentioned earlier, it’s easy to work with.
And on top of that, it’s got a good speed range. That makes it excellent for different types of materials. So, that means that you can experiment with it, ergo perfect for the hobbyist.
Another aspect that everyone, including the hobbyist, can appreciate is the clear-cut accuracy of the thing. It easily prevails over hand-operated drills and, quite frankly, stomps over them. On top of that, it can easily hold its own in the face of big-budget drills, too, making it a force to be reckoned with.
The thing is quite heavily built. Now, that can be both good and bad, depending on what you prefer and how you see it.
Its build makes it very durable, and it can be a pretty big deal with just about any type of material, including metals and alloys. On the other hand, that does add extra weight. It’s a trade-off that many are willing to make, and many aren’t.
- Very high precision
- Has a very easy-to-use set of controls
- Long-lasting and strong finish
9. Jet JDP-17 3/4 hp Drill Press for Metal
Speaking of precision, it’s got a very fine-tuned motor and chuck that lets you drill accurately. All you need is the right drill bit, and you’re pretty much good to go. It’s also quite accurate. That makes it an excellent option for things that require specific types of drilling and at more particular angles.
Structure-wise, it holds up really well, especially when compared to the average drill press. It has a cast iron head, and that provides excellent support. That adds to its versatility as well as it means you can employ it to the bore and drill various types of materials and various sizes.
Another aspect that makes it is quite convenient is that it’s got the laser feature. This light acts as a guide; it makes things immensely easy for a beginner who doesn’t have a good estimate and can’t align things properly. Even if you’re a seasoned user, the double confirmation is always reassuring.
In an ode to being an excellent starter level drill press, this model is very easy to assemble and operate. The design is relatively easy to wrap your head around, and you can pretty much get it going in under an hour or so. And the user interface is also simple, and you can seamlessly operate it.
- Precise speeds make it excellent for delicate work
- Good grip
- Uses laser technology to improve accuracy
10. WEN 4212 10-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press
- Motor: 4.5 AMP
- Number of Speeds: Variable
- Speed range: 530-3100 RPM
- Weight: 62.4 lbs
The finish on this is absolutely gorgeous. I know that aesthetics may not really appeal to many, but it does to some, and I’ve got them all covered. This model has a very attractive design and will fit really well with your assembly. However, don’t think it sacrifices performance for that.
It’s also quite versatile. And it comes with various speed options. That should be a great plus for professionals and artists alike, as they usually frequent a wide variety of materials. Metals drill better at a different speed than polymers, or glass, and as such, it’s greatly advised to get something that offers such versatility.
This is a sort of mix as it offers perks to both professional-level users as well as typical homeowners. One of the biggest upsides it offers to the homeowner is that it is incredibly easy to assemble and operate. If you just follow the instructions, you’ll be fine, and you can get it going in sixty minutes!
On top of all of those amazing things, it also does an excellent job of drilling. It’s extremely accurate at what it does. Down to the very millimeter, it’s absolutely on the spot. Therefore, if you’re required to perform tasks that require very specific angles and measurements, this is something that you’ll love.
- Offers a lot of freedom to user in regards to controls
- Can make very difficult, delicate drills
- Easy to setup and work with
Before You Buy, What to Look for
Here are the factors you need to think about before you zero in on a product:
Here, size does matter. Well, there isn’t any particular and ideal size. You should get one that suits you. If you run a small shop, you might prefer the medium size, but if it’s a big industry, you should definitely get something that’s big. Otherwise, you’ll find that it’s not enough.
If you’re interested in some handiwork around the house, the small ones are enough. You might be tempted to get something a little bigger, but trust me, this will be enough. That’s because even smaller sizes have drills that are sufficient for most types of drill work. And, the clamp that you use is usually enough.
The biggest ones are those that are fixed on the floor. Normally those are too big for a home setting, and frankly, that’s just spending extra for something that you probably won’t even utilize. However, if you’re running an industry, this might very well be exactly what you need.
While this might seem a little unnecessary, trust me, it definitely is not. Contrary to what you might assume, the drill speed varies depending on the type of material that is being drilled. Given the wrong speed, well, it will just spell disaster, and you’ll end up with a mess.
With metals, improper speeds lead to tapering. That means that parts of the metal that you intended to be smooth become warped from the drilling action. You should also consider the types of metal or alloys that you are going to work with, as different metals and alloys require different speeds.
Moreover, with ceramic or glass, the drill needs to be precise and fast so that the breakage cannot spread. If it does, the whole item might shatter and fall apart. Therefore if you intend to work with glassware, keep that factor in the back of your mind. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a broken item.
Furthermore, with polymers, this varies greatly. So, if your work involves drilling through plastic or rubber or some other type of polymer, it’s simply wise to get something that offers a wide variety of speeds as the optimal speed for particular polymers doesn’t follow the general trend. It is better to be safe than sorry.
The drill speed also tends to vary on how thick the material is. Materials have something called a collective yield. Thicker materials are usually more difficult to bore through. Therefore, if you frequent drilling stuff on the thicker side, you should definitely keep a lookout for maximum drill speeds.
As mentioned before, a good range of speeds is important, especially if you’re using it on various polymers. However, it is definitely is recommended regardless, as it is better to be on the safe side.
A wide range of speeds also offers good versatility on your drill press and lets you perform drilling operations on more materials.
While drill presses are well known for their versatility, the extent of it can be a valuable asset for you. Or perhaps not. For example, a homeowner may not really care about how it can be used to perform advanced mechanical operations.
However, you should be very aware of that if you’re using it professionally. It could be the jack-of-all-trades that you’ve always wanted.
For those interested, you should check if other types of tools, such as jigsaws and buzzsaws, can be fit into the chuck. These also help you to cut or remove material in different ways. Some models offer this pocket knife style versatility. If you’re a professional, it’s definitely something that you should be on the watch for.
I put this last because it is usually a prerequisite for every drill press to be very precise.
Nevertheless, this is here because some people want to go the extra mile. Drill speed, depth, drill bit size, all that stuff is important for the perfect drill. Therefore, you should definitely be on the lookout for models that offer you options to control those factors effectively.
Benefits of Drill Press
You might still be skeptical. After all, a drill press is bulkier and more expensive than a drill. However, there is a reason people go to automated car washes instead of picking up a sponge and scrubbing. It is more precise, more efficient, and more comfortable. The benefits that it offers far outweigh the “inconveniences”.
Here are some ways that a drill press can be very useful.
It is much more accurate. With a drill, you have to get it right. The angle and the pressure have to be on point, and you have to make sure that you get the depth right. It usually takes years of skill to get there. That’s something a newbie might not have. A drill press gets all of it right on your first go.
Unlike a hand-operated drill, you have a lot of options with this model. You can adjust the depth, the pressure, the drill distance, everything really, beforehand. And on top of that, you can perform other mechanical operations with it too, such as milling, shaping, and even lathing. You just need the correct tool.
Ease of Use
They are also quite easy to work with. At least compared to a hand drill, they are leaps and bounds easier to operate. Most of them have an easy-to-read interface, and that makes adjustments simple. The angle and depth, among other parameters, are all automated and done by the press.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here we have some of the most commonly asked queries regarding drill presses:
Q: Is it a table mount or floor mount?
A: That can vary. Usually, table mounts are preferred for home use. However, you can just about make do with any form of drill presses if you’re a professional. The upside to having a table mount is that it is much more portable, and it often takes up relatively little space.
Q: What is the best drill press for metal?
A: There are several of those mentioned here. Usually, you’ll need something that has appreciable speed and little wobble to reliably and smoothly cut through metal. To be completely frank, alloys are actually harder to drill through just because they are oftentimes more rigid.
Q: Can I drill glass?
A: It depends on the glass. Certain types of glass are just too fragile and will immediately shatter. You should make sure that it’s the type of glass that can be drilled. The speed of the drill and the type of bit used matters too. You have to make sure that the breakage does not spread.
Q: Is it possible to perform milling on this?
A: You can, but if the power isn’t high enough, it won’t work. The industrial-grade stuff that is on this list can be used to perform milling operations. However, I’m not too sure about the ones that are made for home or garage use. You can try, but usually, the power isn’t enough.
Q: How do I set it up?
A: Just follow the instructions. They are supposed to be included. Most models are rather easy to assemble.
So, What Should You Buy
Thank you for reading through all that. I’ve tried to be as interactive as I can so that it’s not too tedious to read through. From my estimates, I deem the WEN 4210T model to be the best drill press for metal. If you want to try with less price then you should try WEN 4208 8 inch 5-Speed Drill Press for Metal.
It has almost every facet covered, and it is a solid choice. Nevertheless, let me know in the comments which one you chose among the options.
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