Best Drill Press for Metal – Top 5 Reviews and Buying Guide

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drill press for metal

People ask a lot: ‘Just what’s the best drill press for metal?’ With so many manufacturers exclaiming theirs is the best, it can be confusing. This is why we run this site, to give you an independent view, having looked at all the specifications and technical information.

For ease, we have placed the top 5 picks into an easy-to-read comparison table so you can quickly identify our Best Overall and Best Value.  We have written a detailed review of each model, and at the bottom of the article, you will find a Buyers Guide that will help you make the right metal drill press choice. As always, it’s not about just buying the most expensive model but finding the right one for both your budget and your needs.

 


Here’s what we cover in this best drill press for metal review article:

  • First, we compare our top picks side-by-side in a comparison table. Perfect if you are short on time!
  • Next, we take a detailed look at each model and share their main features and benefits we think you’ll love
  • Then, we explore their drawbacks
  • And finally, our buying guide will give you a greater insight into the product range

Sound good? Great, let’s begin!

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Drill Press Comparison Table:

CLICK any image to see Ratings & Reviews on Amazon

 

More buying guides: Best Drill Bit Sharpeners for the Money – Top 3 Reviews and Buyers Guide


Top 5 Drill Press Reviews

 

1. Jet 716000 JWDP-12 Drill Press (Best Overall)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Very easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Compact design that allows for easy transportation
  • Laser guide system increases precision when drilling
Cons
  • Expensive

 

2. Wen 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press (Best Value)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Variable speed controls
  • Large and adjustable work table
  • Depth stop feature
  • Built with led display and laser system
Cons
  • Quite heavy for a benchtop model

 

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3. Shop Fox W1668 Benchtop Drill Press

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Easy to assemble and disassemble
  • Variable speed from 250-3050rpm
  • Versatile operation
Cons
  • Challenging to change belt speeds
  • Expensive

 

4. Skil 3320-01 Drill Press

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • 5 adjustable speed variants
  • Affordable
  • Laser x2 2-beam system
Cons
  • The laser system seems to run on AA batteries.

 

5. Genesis (Model GDP1005A) Benchtop Drill Press

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Very powerful machine
  • Variable speed
  • Easy to use and assemble
Cons
  • Challenging to adjust speed when drilling


Video: Drill Press Metal Working

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Drill Press for Metal Buyers Guide

Choosing a drill press for metal is not a walk in the park, even after narrowing it down to the five best products. With so many brands to choose from, making a choice can be a daunting task, but it shouldn’t be. Below are some factors you need to consider to purchase a drill press that will meet your needs.

Model

Different drill press models depend on what you need. When choosing the best drill press for metals, the first step is understanding the suitable model for your needs.

Freestanding floor models are industrial-grade machines with unlimited drilling power. These models are ideal for heavy-duty applications. The benchtop models are suited for small-scale and home workshops as they have limited power. They perform just fine but are less potent than their freestanding counterparts.

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Power

Power is always a consideration when choosing a drill press. The more powerful the drill press, the better, especially when you are working on hard surfaces. The amps you should choose typically depend on the regular uses of the drill press. You don’t need a super-powerful drill press for melts if you are drilling small holes through a sheet of metal.

However, if you work in construction or are handling metal frames, a drill press with a tremendous amount of power is non-negotiable. The go for a drill press with at least a 3-amp motor to ensure you are getting sufficient power for your drilling needs. The more drilling you do with your drill press, the more powerful it should be.

Variable speed

A drill press for metal should provide enough speed for the drill bit to go through the metal without damaging the metal or the drill bit. It’s, therefore, crucial to get a drilling bit with variable speed as different drill bits need to be spun at specific speeds to ensure the bit does not wander and mess up your work. 

For instance, when you are drilling through metal, you need to move at a slow pace. However, when you are drilling through a wood stock, you need a higher speed for accuracy. Instead of having different drill presses go for one with variable speeds for all your drilling needs. All you will need is to adjust the speed accordingly. A drill press that provides different gears from 500rpm to at least 2500rpm is ideal for various drilling applications.

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Worksurface

Drill presses do not come with a comprehensive work table as there is no right or wrong size of the table. It all comes down to the personal preference and needs of the user. However, you should make the work table from high-quality, heavy-duty material that can withstand the user’s weight and the spindle. A work table that can be adjusted, tilted, rotated is an added advantage.

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Accessories

Different accessories come with a drill press, depending on the brand and manufacturer. Some essential accessories include clamps to hold the stock in place while drilling with a drill bit, led lights to keep the working surface lit and increase visibility for accuracy, and onboard storage to hold your chuck key, tools, drill bits, and lubricant. Most drill presses nowadays come with a laser guide for precision when drilling through the metals.

It’s essential to understand the accessories that come with the drill press if some need to be purchased separately. Remember that the cost of these accessories doesn’t add to the machine’s performance but improves the user experience and ease of use. It’s best to find a drill press for metals with as many accessories as possible.

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Size and weight

Convenience is a crucial factor to consider when choosing the best drill press for metals. A compact drill press ensures that it can fit on top of different worktops and enables you to work seamlessly. It also allows one to work conveniently, even in small spaces. The weight of the drilling press is also significant. A benchtop drill needs to be lightweight for portability.

The machine will be moved from one work area to another, unlike a freestanding floor drill press. It should not weigh down the user. However, it should remain sturdy enough to overcome vibrations. Most benchtops are lightweight and compact, but heavier units tend to carry more power. It’s essential to know how to strike a balance to avoid getting an extremely lightweight machine with a weak motor.

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Conclusion

So, there you have it. Our top 5 choices for the best drill press for metal. Which one is best? Well, our Best Overall choice was the Jet 716000 JWDP-12 Drill Press. Its laser guide is precise, and it’s dead easy to assemble and use and compact enough that you can quickly move it around.

The Best Value award went to Wen 4214 as it has a ton of features typically only found on higher-priced drill presses. For the money, this is hands down the best deal currently out there. Our only real gripe is it’s heavy, and this goes against it.

We hope you have found this review helpful, and, as always, we are here to answer any questions you may have. We are confident that if you read our five reviews combined with the buyer’s guide, you will identify which drill press for metal is right for you.


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Here are our favorite benchtop drill press picks

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Walter Snyder