10 Best Drill Press for Metal – Review and Buying Guide


You can use the best drill press for metal, wood, composite, and even plastics.

Drill presses are tools used for drilling and enlarging holes in materials. They can also be used for sanding, boring and countersinking operations when equipped with the right adapters.

There are various types of drill press out there; however, they are either designed as floor-type drill presses or benchtop drill presses.

Let’s take a look at some of the best floor and benchtop drill presses on the market right now, as well as the features that set them apart from the competition.

Best Floor Drill Press Reviews

Floor model drill presses are powerful tools that are mounted from the ground up. They are significantly larger and heavier than a standard benchtop drill press. They are typically used for heavy-duty jobs and have higher accuracy than benchtop models. Because of the size of their motors and the power required to operate them, they usually necessitate a custom electric cable arrangement that differs from the standard ones found in homes.

Let’s take a quick dive into some of the best floor drill presses on the market right now.

Best Overall: Shop Fox W1848 Oscillating Floor Drill Press

Because of its versatile operations and high-end features, our expert team unanimously agreed that The Shop fox W1484 floor drill press is the overall best floor drill press for metal available on the market.

The Shop fox W1848 is a powerful multi-tool with a 3/4 HP motor that provides enough power to easily complete various tasks.

The motor has a speed range of 250 – 3050 RPM and 12-speed settings, making it suitable for medium to heavy-duty operations.

An oscillating spindle with a stroke length of 3/4 inches allows for a quick transition from traditional drilling operations to sanding operations.

The spindle is equipped with a JT33 drill chuck and has a 3 1/8 inch travel.

The Shop fox drill press’s 12 3/8-inch-diameter table swings 360 degrees and tilts 90 degrees in both directions, allowing for drilling holes and sanding operations at various angles.

The table also has a clearance hole and a 2.5-inch dust collection port, making sanding operations more efficient and cleaner.

The Shop fox drill press has a height of 63 in and a weight of approximately 122 pounds, making it relatively light compared to other models of a floor drill press.

Overall, the Shop Fox floor drill press is powered by an electric cable that draws 110 volts.

It is safe to say that our expert team was correct in selecting this beast of a tool as the overall best drill press for metal and woodworking.

Pros:

  • Versatile operations
  • Powerful motor
  • Variable speed feature
  • Oscillating spindle
  • 360 degrees table

Cons:

  • No laser alignment
  • Lightweight

2. Best Budget: Wen Floor Drill Press

There’s nothing as exciting as getting a fantastic floor drill press at a great budget, and the WEN 4214 floor drill press helps bring that excitement to life.

The Wen floor drill press is a 2/3 HP induction motor with a strong and durable cast iron base.

The motor has a variable speed setting within a range of 580 – 3200 RPM. What’s amazing about the motor is that it delivers an equal amount of torque throughput in each of the speed settings.

The speed of the motor is displayed by an easy-to-read LED indicator located at the top allowing the user to monitor the speed of operation.

The Wen is equipped with an MT2 arbor with a strong chuck runout, making it a bit inaccurate compared to standard chucks. If you are concerned about accuracy when working, it would be advisable to get a replacement chuck with better accuracy.

Completing its MT2 arbor is a work light to illuminate work areas and a class III laser alignment system which helps improve the accuracy of operations when drilling through wood or metal.

The WEN 4214 drill press’s spindle has a travel distance of 3-1/8 in and a locking depth gauge, ensuring accurate drilling depth while working.

The WEN floor drill press has a 9.5 by 9.5 inch cast iron worktable which features a rack and pinion height adjustment mechanism and tilts 45 degrees in both directions.

The WEN 4214 floor drill press weighs approximately 89.1 pounds and is powered by 120 volts of electricity supplied through an electric cable.

Pros

  • Laser alignment system
  • Infinite speed settings
  • Powerful induction motor
  • Locking depth mechanism
  • Digital Speed Readout

Cons

  • Strong chuck runout

3.Premium Choice: WEN 12-speed floor drill press

When you talk about a premium choice tool, the WEN 4227T floor drill press is the number one tool that comes to mind.

The Wen 4227T is a 13-amp induction motor that features 12-speed settings ranging from 180 to 2940 RPM with a top speed of 3150 RPM. The motor is equipped with ball bearings to provide sufficient torque across various speed settings.

The WEN 4227T is outfitted with a JT33 spindle that can accept drill bit sizes ranging from 1/8 to 5/8 inch diameter.

The spindle has a travel distance of 4 3/4 inches and is supplemented by a depth adjustment gauge to ensure that accurate depth measurement are drilled at all times.

The accuracy of the spindle is further improved by a high-precision laser guide which marks X to pinpoint the exact drill spot before the drilling is carried out.

A  work light attached to the top helps illuminate the workpiece and the work area. At the bottom is a sturdy cast iron base secured firmly to the ground by bolts to prevent movement during operation.

A 14×14-inch work table attached to the body of the drill press makes it easy to drill through thick boards. The board can be tilted through an angle of 45 degrees in each direction and also features a 1-inch coolant run off-channel to prevent overheating of both workpiece and drill bit during drilling.

Pros

  • 12-speed settings
  • Laser light alignment
  • Work light
  • Powerful motor
  • Coolant channel

Cons

  • Difficulty setting up

4. Jet Floor Drill Press

The JET JDP-20MF is far from your typical standard floor drill press. The drill press comes in at the height of 63 inches and weighs 282 pounds which is common for a floor drill press.

A 115-volt power cable supplies current to the motor’s powerful 1.5 horsepower motor. The motor has plenty of power to provide a top speed of 4200 RPM and features 12 drilling speed settings between 150 and 4200 RPM. The JET JDP-20MF’s speed settings can be changed manually via a series of quick steps outlined in the instruction manual.

The drill press has a depth stop mechanism that facilitates quick and accurate measurements during drilling metal. An adjustable work light (no bulb included) helps illuminate the work area while working, making it convenient to work at night.

The drill press also has a crank-operated worktable attached along with its height. The worktable can be tilted 45 degrees in either direction and can be easily moved along the height of the drill press through its crank allowing angled drilling much easier. 

The Jet floor drill press boasts accuracy, stability, and versatility features that the manufacturer uses as its main selling point.

Overall, the Jet JDP-20 MF comes in a comprehensive box containing head assembly, table, column, and table bracket assembly, base, chuck and key, arbor, drift key, and operating and assembly instructions.

Pros

  • Stable
  • Powerful motor
  • Strong chuck
  • Variable speed
  • Depth stop mechanism

Cons

  • Expensive

5. Klutch 16 Speed Floor Drill press

You can’t talk about floor drill press without mentioning the Klutch floor drill press. The drill press is shipped together with a chuck key, 3mm Allen key, 4mm Allen key, and a wedge.

The drill press has a 3/4 HP motor that runs on 120V power. The motor has a top speed of 3410 RPM and can generate 16 different speed settings ranging from 260 to 3410 RPM depending on the power requirements.

For example, when powered by 60Hz, the drill press has the following speed settings: (260 RPM, 370 RPM, 420 RPM, 560 RPM, 580 RPM, 600 RPM, 770 RPM, 820 RPM, 840 RPM, 900 RPM, 1520 RPM, 1640 RPM, 1820 RPM, 2290 RPM, 2450 RPM, 3410 RPM).

However, when using 50Hz power, the drill press can operate at any of the following speeds: (220 RPM, 310 RPM, 350 RPM, 470 RPM, 480 RPM, 500 RPM, 640 RPM, 680 RPM, 700 RPM, 750 RPM, 1270 RPM, 1370 RPM, 1520 RPM, 1910 RPM, 2040 RPM, 2840 RPM).

The variable speed settings are the drill press’s selling point, making it an essential tool to have on hand when working on various jobs.

The drill press has a vertical stroke of 3 1/4 inches and a 5/8 inch chuck with a maximum drilling capacity of 1 inch.

The depth lock feature, which is easily controlled by a ball knob handle, ensures precise repeated measurements. The spindle’s chuck is always close at hand, thanks to a built-in chuck storage key and a 13-inch swing that makes working relatively spacious.

The workpiece is supported by a large 11 3/8-inch work table that can be tilted 45 degrees in either direction. When performing drilling operations, a gooseneck led light attached to the machine’s top helps illuminate the workpiece and work area.

Overall, the floor drill press has a height of 62 1/4 inches and is shipped at a weight of 123.2 pounds.

Pros

  • 16 different speeds
  • Roomy work table
  • Adjustable work light
  • Powerful motor
  • Depth lock mechanism

Cons

  • No laser alignment

Best Benchtop Drill Press Reviews

Benchtop drill presses are sometimes regarded as the junior brothers of the floor type drill press, despite the fact that they can deliver adequate power and accuracy when used on workpieces. The Benchtop drill press, as the name implies, is mounted on a bench or on a work stand using screws and holes made available at the machine’s base. They are smaller and lighter than a floor drill press.

Benchtop drill presses are better suited for light to medium-duty jobs, making them ideal for simple home users or DIYers.

1. Best overall: SKIL Benchtop Drill Press

The SkIL 3320-01 benchtop drill press takes the top spot for the best overall benchtop drill press due to its top-of-the-line features and high-end finishing.

The SKIL 3320-01 comes in at a height of 9.75 inches and a weight of 50.8 pounds. It features a powerful motor that draws in 3.2 amp of current with a top speed of 3050 RPM. The motor has five variable speed settings between a range of 570 – 3050 RPM.

The SkIL 3320 has a ½ inch keyed chuck, which can easily accept larger bits for various purposes.

An adjustable depth stop mechanism ensures accurate and consistent depth measurements at all times. The accuracy of the drill press is further increased by X2 2 beam laser feature, which pinpoints the exact drill spot and eliminates room for errors when working on sensitive projects.

Workpieces are held up on the drill press by a sturdy table which can be moved 45 degrees in either direction.

The drill press is shipped as a comprehensive unit containing SKIL 3320 10-Inch Drill Press Motor Unit, Cast Iron Base and Work Table, and a Chuck Key.

Overall, when it comes to benchtop drill press devices, the SKIL 3320 is undoubtedly the best drill press for metal and wood alike.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Variable speed
  • Laser alignment
  • Adjustable depth mechanism
  • Comprehensive kit

Cons

  • Lightweight

2. Best Budget: BILT HARD benchtop drill press

The BILT HARD brand redefined the meaning of budget tools with its BILT HARD 8-inch benchtop drill press.

The BILT HARD drill press is a lightweight 2.4A induction motor that boasts 1/3 HP of raw power. The induction motor is designed to provide five variable speeds (760 1150 1630 2180 3070 RPM) within a range of 760 – 3070 RPM while it maintains 3070 RPM as its top speed.

The BILT HARD drill press has an 8-inch swing, while the spindle maintains 2-inch spindle travel. Attached to the spindle is a ½ inch keyed chuck capable of accepting a variety of drill bits.

The drill press has a strong cast iron finish which ensures durability and reliability of results. The base of the drill press has holes used for mounting onto a bench. The worktable comes with a vise which is used for securing the material while working.

The table is also constructed with cast iron and can be tilted through 45 degrees in both directions. An adjustable led light ensures that the work area is always illuminated, which reduces the risk of workplace accidents.

The depth stop gauge mechanism further ensures the accuracy of depth when drilling into a variety of materials.

The BILT HARD benchtop drill press weighs about 24lbs and has a height of 22.44 inches.

The best part is that the drill press is shipped together with 13 pcs of drill bit set, eliminating the extra cost of having to purchase additional drill bits.

It’s safe to conclude that the BILT HARD benchtop drill press is the real definition of a great tool at an affordable budget.

Pros

  • Variable speed
  • Depth gauge
  • Powerful motor
  • Additional drill bit
  • Durable

Cons

  • no laser alignment

3. Premium Choice: Performance tool Benchtop Drill Press

The Performance Tool W50005 is a combination of a well-balanced design and a high level of craftsmanship, hence why we picked it as the best premium choice benchtop drill press.

The frame of the performance tool is constructed with cast iron and features a fully adjustable 6-1/2 inch machined table that tilts through a 45-degree angle in both directions. The material is held firmly on the table with the aid of a 2.5-inch vise shipped together with the tool.

The performance tool is powered by a 1/3 HP induction motor which maintains a maximum spindle speed of 3100 RPM. The induction motor has five variable speed drill press settings within a range of 620 to 3100 RPM.

The performance tool has an 8-inch swing, while the spindle uses its 2 in spindle travel to drill through materials efficiently.

Attached to the spindle is a 1/2 inch spring-loaded chuck equipped with a protective guard.

The motor uses 2.4A and 120V for running its basic operations, which makes it ideal for shop and hobby use.

Overall, the performance tool W5005 weighs approximately 25 pounds and has a CSA-approved certification, which makes it even more attractive to DIYers and professionals alike.

Pros

  • additional drill vise
  • powerful induction motor
  • variable spindle speed
  • durable material
  • adjustable table

Cons

  • expensive

4. Grizzly Industrial Benchtop Drill Press

The Grizzly Industrial G0925-8 inch Benchtop drill is more than just your everyday benchtop drill press.

The Grizzly industrial drill press has a strong cast iron frame with a cast iron base for support during drilling operations.

The 6.5 x 6.5-inch table of the drill press is also made of cast iron and has holes available within it to accommodate drill clamps. The table can be tilted 45 degrees in both directions while maintaining a maximum distance of 7.5 inches from the spindle.

The spindle of the benchtop drill press is a JT33 spindle taper with a spindle travel of 2 inches. The spindle maintains an 8-inch swing distance and accepts a standard ½ inch JT33 keyed chuck.  The chuck can accept variable drill bit sizes between 1/16 inch to 1/2 inch and uses a depth stop gauge mechanism to maintain depth accuracy while drilling metal.

The operations of the drill press are powered by a 1/3 HP motor which uses 120v  and 2.3A of current for its operations.

The motor features five variable speeds between 740 – 3140 RPM while maintaining 3140 RPM as its top speed.

The Grizzly Industrial Benchtop drill press is one of the best powerful drill presses for metal and can easily drill through a variety of other materials like wood, fiberglass, and plastic.

The compactness and the fact that it weighs just 36 pounds make it even more appealing to professionals and DIYers.

Pros

  • compact
  • variable speed
  • depth adjustment gauge
  • durable construction materials
  • powerful motor

Cons

  • difficult to adjust

5.WEN 5-Speed Drill press

The WEN brand has once again impressed us with their fantastic WEN 4208T benchtop drill press.

The WEN 4208T stands tall at a height of 23 inches while weighing approximately 34 lbs. Mounted at the top of the drill press is a 1/3 HP induction motor that features five spindle speeds (740,1100,1530,2100, and 3140 RPM) while maintaining a top spindle speed of 3140 RPM. A depth adjustment gauge equipped at the top of the drill press helps maintain spindle accuracy while drilling by limiting the spindle travel distance to the exact measurement.

The spindle of the drill press is a JT33 spindle taper that accepts a ½ inch keyed chuck with onboard key storage. The spindle maintains an 8-inch swing distance with the drill press and has spindle travel of 2 inches.

The drill press is equipped with a 6.5 x 6.5-inch adjustable worktable that can be tilted by a 45-degree angle both left and right. The table also has slots that accommodate vise and clamping devices that support the piece of metal during drilling.

The drill press base is made of cast iron and features bolt holes to accommodate bolts used for mounting it to any work stand or bench. The sturdy cast iron base prevents shaking during operations, reducing the room for errors while working.

Pros

  • sturdy cast-iron base
  • five speed setting
  • powerful motor
  • adjustable worktable
  • depth gauge mechanism

Cons

  • bit pricey

Best Drill Press Buyer’s Guide

What to Consider When Buying a Drill Press

Various factors impact the functions and applications of a drill press. For starters, the choice of which drill press to buy is largely influenced by the type of job and the nature of the material to be worked on.

Here are some of the important things to consider before making your final selection on which drill press to buy.

Floor standing or benchtop

The primary distinction between a benchtop and a floor drill press is where they are mounted. The floor drill press is built from the ground up, whereas the benchtop is built on a work stand or bench. Aside from that, there is a significant difference in their sizes. Floor drill presses are larger and heavier than benchtop drill presses, and as a result, they take up more space. So, before purchasing a drill press, consider the amount of space available in your workspace, as this can be a major determinant of which model to purchase.

Motor power

The motor is in charge of providing the torque and speed required to drill into the material. The nature of the workpiece and the size of the drill bit determine the motor’s size to be purchased. When performing heavy-duty tasks that necessitate drilling through thick metals or other materials,

Your best option would be to go for a motor with high horsepower; something in the range of 1-1/2 Hp should suffice.

Speed and number of speeds

The rate at which the drill press’s spindle turns is referred to as the drill press’s speed. Different work materials necessitate different speeds. For example, when drilling through metal, it is best to drill at low speeds, whereas other materials may necessitate higher speeds. While single-speed models are less expensive, variable-speed models are more effective and efficient. For example, drilling at an incorrect speed can shorten the life of the drill bit and reduce the accuracy of the hole produced. A drill press with variable speeds would extend the life of your drill bits while also improving the accuracy of your work.

Chuck size

The chuck size determines the sizes of drill bits that the drill press would work with. The most common chuck size available in the market is the ½ inch chuck, and it accepts a wide range of various drill bits, making it suitable for versatile operations.

LED/Laser

A led light helps illuminate the workpiece and the work area. For Machinists and DIYers working at night or in dark areas, it would be to your advantage to get a drill press with a LED light. Some drill presses come with a laser guidance mechanism. The laser helps improve drilling accuracy by marking an x at the exact drill spot hence eliminating room for errors. While most professionals might not need a laser guidance system, it wouldn’t hurt to have one at your disposal should the need for it arises in the future.

Worktable/ Table size

The size of the worktable determines the largest diameter of the work material that can be used on the drill press. Some professionals switch the standard work table with a custom-made one and might argue that the drill press table is not an important feature. However, for a simple DIYer or a beginner, your best option would be to go for a tool that has a lot of room on the worktable and can easily accept larger materials. That way, you won’t be caught unawares should the need arise.

Safety

Drill presses are very powerful tools. They cut through metals and other materials like a saw on paper. When purchasing a drill press, go for models with safety features that can help protect you when working with them. Another important tip would be to use your safety gloves and other protective equipment that can safeguard you in cases of accidents.

Depth gauge mechanism

For someone drilling a common hole, the depth gauge mechanism might not be important to them. However, for professionals working on sensitive jobs or boring mortises for mortise and tenon joints, the depth adjustment mechanism helps maintain depth accuracy.

The depth gauge mechanism also helps ensure that accurate and repeatable measurements can be made easily on the drill press.

FAQ:

What is Drill Press Runout?

What is Drill Press Swing?

What is the difference Between Drill Press and Milling Machine?

Final Verdict

DIYers might argue that a compact handheld power drill can do the same job as a drill press. While that might be true to some degree, the power drill lacks the accuracy and stability needed to perform sensitive jobs. Moreover, a power drill is suitable for light home improvements jobs and cannot be used for heavy-duty professional jobs.

After extensively reviewing different models of both floor and benchtop drill press, our expert team concluded that the Shop fox w1848 floor drill press is the best drill press for metals with regards to floor-mounted drill press machines.

For the benchtop models, the SKIL 3320-01 benchtop drill press maintains its position as the overall best drill press for metals.

Both floor and benchtop models of drill press are good options to pick from; however, the choice of which type to go for depends on the intended use of the tool.


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Jason D. Turner

Hi there! My name is Jason, a keen enthusiast in power tools and their mechanisms and the sole mastermind behind the Noisy Tools. Working in a multi-national construction firm in Brooklyn for over a decade, I have developed a fair flair for different construction devices, gadgets, and their diverse operational aspects. By the dint of this platform, I have researched and reviewed various tools with utmost details of even the most trivial matters that will provide valuable insights for any prospective user.

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