Best drill press for metal work

Last Updated: 23.07.19

 

What are the best drill presses for metal in 2019?

 

If you don’t have time to look into buying guides and expert review sites to find the best drill press for metal work, this short paragraph should give you precisely what you need. We have done the hard research ourselves to find the best drill press for metal work, which is the JET J-2530. Boasting a solid construction, this drill press is equipped with a cast iron head and a large ground steel column diameter to ensure maximum head and table support, giving you years of dependable use for a variety of applications because of the tiltable head and assurance of accuracy. If the JET J-2530 is unavailable, you should grab the second best option, the WEN 4208.

 

 

Comparison table

 

The Good
The Bad
Verdict
Price

 

 

Buying guide

 

Best drill press for metal work 1000

 

Working with metal using a drill press

 

Any self-respecting do-it-yourselfer knows that to ensure a job well done, you have to use tools effectively and safely for great results every time. In addition, you need to work with the proper tools and materials, so when you want to explore what your drill press can do, you should make sure you have the best drill press for drilling metal in your workshop. Make sure the drill bit is held securely in place by the Jacobs chuck of your machine. Use the chuck key for this purpose to tighten the bit in. Remove the chuck key before drilling. Make sure you’ve made a center punch mark on your workpiece through which to drill.

Stay safe and do not attempt to drill with one hand and hold the metal workpiece with the other hand. Remember to use a drill vise or clamp to prevent the stock from spinning. The bit should cut the metal and not grab it, which can be very dangerous since the workpiece can launch or spin.

The drill press should have a start/ stop button within easy reach during operation. The drill press should make it easy for the operator to lubricate the drill bit, which is highly important when drilling metal since the metal bit-to-metal workpiece contact can generate a large amount of heat.

Metalworking drill presses also have large motors, around ¾ horsepower at least. You want a tiltable worktable for angled drilling, preferably square-shaped and larger than average.
The drill press should allow you to adjust the drilling pressure easily once the bit breaks through the workpiece. Reducing the drilling pressure at this point also prevents the drill from breaking or pulling into the stock. The guards should stay solidly in place and in good working order even after years of use. The drill press controls should enable you to stop the rotation of the spindle and chuck, and not force you to use your hand to do that.

You want a drill press with slower speeds than higher ones when working with metal. A drill press with more spindle speeds should work fine for this purpose. You want spindle speeds of 500 RPM or slower for hardware-grade or mild steel stocks. You can go faster when you use a smaller bit. Make sure your choice of drill bit and the machine’s RPM setting match the material. When you have the right RPM setting and decent steel material, you can get smooth and easy cutting action. Smoking or rattling is not a sign of optimal metalworking with the machine. If there is grinding or squealing, stop the machine and recheck the configuration.

 

 

10 Best Drill Presses for Metal Work (Reviews) 2019

 

 

1. JET J-2530

 

1.JET J-2530The 3/4 -HP JET J-2530 offers versatility, stability and accuracy, making it the best benchtop drill press for metal. Belonging to a high quality line of JET drill presses, this model features a wider range of spindle speeds compared to other machines in its class. It is equipped with a solidly built base to ensure stability and support while drilling.

Four permanently lubricated ball bearings support the enclosed spindle assembly to deliver accuracy and precision. The cast iron head ensures many years of use, while the large ground steel column delivers maximum head and table support. This model has a large quill to give you greater accuracy while drilling.

To empower you to work on a variety of drilling applications, including angled drilling, this drill press has a worktable that tilts 45 degrees so you can enter the workpiece at an angle when needed. The machine is usable for deep hole applications thanks to the 3 ⅛ inch stroke. Drill holes to precise depths with the accurate depth stops.

The telescoping safety spindle guard allows you to set the spindle speed securely. The ball bearing spindle assembly is permanently lubricated to prevent bit breakage and overheating.

 

Pros

This is a corded, electric drill press that runs consistently and with sustainable power so it can complete the drilling task with uniform results every time.

The cast iron head delivers years of service due to its durable and solid build that will not give way to rust while being able to handle sophisticated drilling tasks.

The large quill guarantees great accuracy with its ability to use a variety of drill bit sizes and its driving power to cut into many different types of materials.

The head casting is equipped with a permanently lubricated ball bearing spindle assembly that employs four heavy-duty ball bearings in an enclosed quill to deliver a longer tool life as well as smooth operations.

The large, ground steel column diameter provides maximum head and table support to enable you to raise and lower the table to the exact drilling height while having enough support between the head and the base.

 

Cons

The head section is quite heavy so lifting the machine can take one really strong person or a bit of assistance from another individual.

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2. WEN 4208

 

2.WEN 4208There was a time when power tools were genuinely powerful and the WEN 4208 ensures that this is still true now. Equipped with a ⅓ horsepower induction motor, this model offers an RPM range between 620 and 3100 to suit any application. Choose from 5 different speeds that let you work on various materials and thicknesses.

The drill press ships with a ½-inch keyed chuck for easy fastening of different drill bit sizes, a chuck key for tightening the bit securely plus the needed tools for assembly. The 2-inch spindle travel makes it easy to raise and lower the bit.

The linear depth stop locks the chosen depth to allow repeatable and accurate drilling operations. Get more than enough torque and power from the motor to handle any drilling application.

The generous 6 ½ inch by 6 ½ inch work table provides an ample surface area on which to position the stock. The cast iron table is solid and is height adjustable to accommodate various sizes of workpieces. It also enables angled drilling with its beveling ability to 45 degrees both left and right.

 

Pros

This 8-inch drill press is a compact machine that is small enough to fit into a tiny spot on your work table, helping you make the most of every inch of your work space.

The ½-inch keyed chuck accommodates a variety of sizes of drill bits to ensure versatility, allowing you to work on a range of materials to expand your productivity in the workshop.

To prevent misplacing the chuck key, this model features an attached key storage to ensure the component is always there when you need it.

The machine runs at five different speeds namely, 740, 1100, 1530, 2100, and 3140 RPM, enabling the user to drill into different materials using the proper speed to prevent costly mistakes.

The spindle travels up to 2 inches to enable controlled descent of the quill, and a faster completion of drilling tasks, with the linear locking depth stops allowing repetitive yet accurate drilling operations.

 

Cons

Because the work platform on this model is not affixed to a track, making adjustments tends to rotate the work surface.

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3. Rockwell RK7033

 

3.Rockwell RK7033Hefty at 48.5 pounds, the Rockwell RK7033 ensures strong and stable support every time you drill.

Outfitted with a ⅔ HP, 6.2 Amp motor, this drill press can handle various drilling applications to help you expand your creativity and productivity in the workshop. Get dependable performance from this model, which boasts 5 speed settings to give you the best results when working with different materials including plastic, wood and metal.

The table bevels right and left to 45 degrees so you can handle angled drilling or when you have to enter the stock at a specific angle. The table height can be adjusted using the rack and pinion mechanism for easy and hassle-free raising and lowering to accommodate various sizes and shapes of workpieces.

To ensure operator safety, the unit features a keyed safety switch that prevents accidental activation. This 10-inch drill press comes with a 2-inch spindle travel for convenient and practical setting up of the workpiece every time. Designed for repeatable and accurate cutting, this drill press ships with a chuck key and allen wrench for easy assembly and set up.

 

Pros

Outfitted with a 6.2-amp, ⅔-HP motor, this drill press is engineered to deliver a dependable performance and consistent hole drilling results.

The five speed settings enable you to drill into a wide range of materials including wood, plastics, and metal, expanding your potential to create and build in your workshop.

The table bevels 45 degrees to the left and right, which allows you to work on different shapes and sizes of stock and elaborate projects that leverage your creative juices.

The rack-and-pinion table height adjustment enables you to raise and lower the work platform to the desired height for precise and clean drilling results.

The two-inch spindle travel provides a measured or controlled means of managing the quill for worry-free, effortless drilling.

 

Cons

This model has a small base that does not offer enough support to hold the heavy head so the unit has to be bolted to a bench or stand for consistent stability.

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4. WEN 4210T 

 

Precision and consistency are two traits that you should see in your drill press of choice, and the WEN 4210T provides them both. Because it is outfitted with a laser guide, this model will help you achieve repeatable results, and won’t let you worry about hole alignment when you’re working on a new project.

Another thing that is sure to convince you that this drill press is an ideal pick for your workshop is the fact that it comes with variable speed settings. You can pick from five different speeds that go from 600rpm to 3,100rpm. It is essential to have your power tool behave as it should, depending on the material you’re using for your task.

The reason why many people see it as an excellent pick for metalworkers is the variable speed. But let’s not forget that a powerful motor is essential, too. The 3.2-amp engine that powers this WEN drill press offers enough torque to work with metal, but also with wood and plastic.

Adjusting the worktable is easy, as there is a system in place with rack and pinion that lets you change its height. But it is essential to mention that this tool is ideal for angled drilling, too, since it can bevel to both sides to accommodate such tasks.

 

Pros

You will love the fact that this model has a sturdy construction, with its frame made from cast iron; you know you’re making a good investment if you pick this reliable drill press.

Five speeds are available: 600rpm, 1,100rpm, 1,700rpm, 2,400rpm, 3,100rpm; that allows you to work with different types of material without a glitch.

Repeatable drilling is possible because there is a linear depth stop that will help you drill the same size holes again and again.

Furthermore, you can use this drill press for angled drilling since the worktable can tilt right and left, up to 45-degree angles.

You will like the fact that there is a laser guide, and a keyed chuck included with your purchase, as well as the tools required for assembling the unit.

 

Cons

While the laser appears to be handy, making it work with high accuracy seems to be a bit of a challenge, according to some reviewers.

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5. WEN 4214 

 

Are you the type of DIY-er that likes to have everything under control? Then you need a tool that can cater to your needs as it should. The WEN 4214 offers various customization options so that you can perform all the tasks you have in mind to the minutest detail. For starters, the speed can be fine-tuned to the dot.

With a variable speed that goes from 580rpm to 3,200rpm, you can expect plenty of adjustment options. You are not forced to stick to predefined speed settings, and, depending on what material you use for your project, you can choose the most suitable speed. A LED display lets you read the current speed for maximum convenience.

Powered by a 2/3HP induction motor, it is a durable power tool that will give you enough torque to deal with more demanding applications. A laser module adds value to this great unit and helps you align the holes you make without the need for extra planning.

You can lower the worktable to fit your needs, and you can also tilt it in case you need to drill holes at an angle. The table is made from cast iron so that you can expect reliable performance for a long time.

 

Pros

Infinite speed variants make this model an excellent pick for DIY-ers who like being able to fine-tune their power tools for their projects.

The linear depth stop is a recommended feature for a drill press, and it helps you repeat holes of the same size and depth without a problem.

Enough torque gets developed by the 2/3HP induction motor that comes with this model, making heavy-duty applications attainable and within your reach.

The large 5/8-inch keyed chuck – a key is also supplied – helps you use large drill bits with great ease, for tasks that require such accessories.

A laser guide is there to help you with hole alignment, making your work look like it was performed by a professional worker.

 

Cons

Some minor issues, such as the paint chipping quickly, might draw a little from the overall experience users have had so far with this unit.

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6. Shop Fox W1848 

 

A simple look at the specs of this unit can tell you that the Shop Fox W1848 is a real workhorse for any DIY project you might have in mind. The 3/4HP motor is at the basis of sturdy construction that will convince you that there is not much else you need to drill holes as a professional metal worker.

The drill chuck can accommodate bits between 1/64 inches and 5/8 inches, which means that a wide variety of drills can be attached to it so that your projects are brought to completion without fail every time.

The speed range is another thing worth mentioning when reviewing this drill press. The slowest speed is 250rpm, but you can use this model for tasks that require high velocity, as the upper limit is 3,050rpm. An exciting aspect of this unit is that it is more than a regular drill press. Since it’s an oscillating model, it can be used for contour sanding.

Therefore, you will practically purchase two tools, not one, and that will save you plenty of money in the long run. There are also the necessary sanding drums included with your buy, so you will be able to start using it right away.

 

Pros

An oscillating drill press that can be used for sanding, too, the Shop Fox W1848 is an excellent deal that you can’t refuse.

Drill bits up to 5/8 inches are easy to attach to the chuck provided, and you will find the model to be quite versatile and suitable for a large variety of applications.

For sanding, you will need sanding drums, and it’s a great thing that this manufacturer thought about including them with your purchase.

Converting the unit from a regular drill press to a sanding machine is easy and doesn’t require any specialized tools.

The worktable is another essential feature of this model, as it can be tilted up to 90 degrees, thus increasing the array of projects you can perform.

 

Cons

Manipulating the table seems to be a bit of hassle, and the clunky operation of making it move up and down is a disadvantage you might want to consider.

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7. JET 354170/JDP-20MF 

 

This floor drill press has enough power and torque to help you perform tasks that involve heavy duty operation. A 1.5HP motor powers this machine, and the fact that this is a 20-inch model should give you a good idea about its capabilities.

You will like how easy and convenient is to make the table raise and lower with the use of a crank. Such aspects are crucial for some metalworkers and not only, as they do not like their work interrupted by complicated steps that should be performed to customize the tool they’re using.

There are a few other things that you will surely like about this product. For instance, the work light is an excellent addition as it will help you be accurate since you will see what you’re working on with the utmost clarity.

The speed ranges from 150rpm to 4,200rpm, which is something to bear in mind when comparing this model with others on the market. There are 12 different speed settings to choose from, so you will be able to tackle a wide range of applications. The tilting worktable is another feature that makes this drill press attractive for DIY-ers on the market for such a tool.

 

Pros

Quick adjustments are essential for a drill press used by DIY-ers and not only, and the depth stop with locking options is an excellent example of that.

You will be able to operate your power tool even if the illumination in your working place is less than ideal, as there’s a work light included.

A crank is used for raising and lowering the worktable, and you will like the overall smooth operation of this unit and its features.

In case you need your drill press for angled drilling, you will discover that the tilting worktable makes it happen without a glitch.

With 12 different speeds that go as low as 150rpm and as high as 4,200rpm, you will be able to work with different materials, and not only metal.

 

Cons

Some users say that the instructions offered were quite unhelpful and included steps that were clearly taken from another model or tool.

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8. TruePower Gino Development 01-0822 

 

Unlike other models on the market that come equipped with an induction motor, this one has a permanent magnet motor that gives you the possibility to use it even with its head upside down. Such versatility may be required for some projects, so it’s a great thing to know you have an option at your disposal that is powerful and reliable.

Another thing that you will want to know about this drill press is what type of bits it can work with. According to the specs provided by the manufacturer, you can attach drills that go from 0.79mm to 6mm. This type of customization can be an important requirement even for DIY-ers that only need to use a power tool occasionally.

Furthermore, it must be mentioned that there are three speed ranges on this model, one that goes up to 5,000rpm, another up to 6,500rpm, and the last up to 8,500rpm. It is a good thing that there are so many options available, especially since there are high-velocity alternatives included, for working with various materials.

You will find this machine a good option if you need to work with metal, but you should know that you are not limited in your choice. Also, there’s a chuck key included for your convenience.

 

Pros

The variable speed control is outstanding on this machine, and you can fine-tune your power tool to serve you precisely as you want.

Its magnet motor offers you plenty of versatility when you work with this type of tool, and you will find it suitable for projects that require drilling upwards from the head of the drill press.

The keyed chuck can accommodate a wide range of drill bits, so you will see the usability of this tool expanding beyond what you may see in other units of the type.

The work surface is large enough to use different stock options and, overall, you will discover that this unit is quite handy for many situations.

You will get a chuck key with your purchase, so it serves your peace of mind that you won’t have to purchase that separately.

 

Cons

At least one person comments on how difficult to use the instructions manual provided is, so you may have a bit of a hard time figuring out how to use it.

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9. BUCKTOOL 10 inch 

 

In case a 10-inch drill press is all you need, consider getting this model. It comes along with the accessories you need for making your life easier when you have to use a power tool of this kind. For instance, it comes with a laser guide that will make hole alignment a real breeze.

That’s just the first of a list of features that will show you why this drill press enjoys such a good reputation among DIY-ers. Besides the laser light that will show you where to drill the next hole, the unit also comes with a work light that helps you operate the machine even when the lighting is less than adequate in the room you’re working.

You can appreciate the worktable that can tilt both left and right up to 45 degrees since it lets you execute holes at an angle without any tremendous effort on your part.

A 6.2-amp motor powers this machine and is yet another reason why you should consider it for your future projects. Other things you will like about this model are the predrilled holes that let you mount the drill press onto a bench or the floor. Also, a slot for clamps and vises is available, making it a great option to consider.

 

Pros

You will find that assembling this unit is easy since the manufacturer includes all the tools you need for this operation.

Predicting hole alignment shouldn’t be a special perk developed by a user, and that’s why the laser guide on this unit makes it ideal for many.

Users can pick the speed that is most suitable for their projects from the five available; they go from 610rpm to 2,800rpm, covering a wide range of applications.

If you buy this unit, you can rest assured that its motor will last for a long time, as it is outfitted with ball bearings that contribute to its smooth operation and prevent it from wearing out.

Ideal for both woodworking and metalworking, it is a versatile machine with 2-inch spindle travel.

 

Cons

Adjusting the unit so that you can make it work as it is supposed to can involve a bit of effort, but overall, this is a good quality drill press.

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10. Klutch 13in. Floor Mount 

 

If you are searching for versatility, you are sure to find it in this model. For starters, it is a 13-inch drill press so that it can do much than its 10-inch counterparts. As long as you have enough room for it in your workshop, you will find it an excellent addition to your tool arsenal.

The versatility of this model doesn’t stop here. You will get a 5/8-inch chuck that lets you accommodate drill bits of various sizes for more freedom in the type of projects you want to undertake.  Also, the 3 ¼-inch vertical stroke contributes to the possibilities offered by this unit.

Another thing you will like about this model is that it comes with a 45-degree tilting table that makes it ideal for angled drilling. Various drilling angles will not be a challenge for you since this unit will assist you in the type of tasks you undertake.

You will get other useful features, too. A depth lock setting with a knob handle allows you to make precise adjustments and to repeat the same size and depth holes. Another thing you may want to know about this model is that it comes with 16 different speeds, so picking the right one for your project is easy.

 

Pros

If you’re thinking about variable speed control, but also the advantage of having predefined settings, choose this model that has 16 speeds going from 26rpm to 3,410rpm.

The chuck size accommodates drill bits of various dimensions, for extra versatility and usability.

You won’t have to worry about losing the key for the chuck, as the magnetic storage on board ensures that it won’t be easy for that to happen.

Its depth lock feature is something worth noting, as it will help you drill holes at the same depth without any trouble or effort on your part.

A work light completes the picture of a good quality product and helps you operate this piece of machinery even when there’s not enough light around you.

 

Cons

As long as you don’t mind that this model is made in China, you will find it to be quite suitable for a wide range of applications.

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