5 Best Drill Presses for Metal (2021) – Reviews & Buying

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Getting a floor drill suitable for metal seems unaffordable these days. I mean, most metallurgists have to deal with all kinds of problems with these machines, like:

Lack of speed – Most floor drills do not have the required number of speeds or do not have wide speed ranges to accommodate the drilling speeds needed to drill metal.
Low power motors do not provide the torque needed to pierce metal
Bulky drills take up a lot of space in the shop without offering high drilling power in return
Quality Issues – Most of these machines are made in countries where high quality standards are not the first priority.
In this context, it seems impossible to find a suitable soil drill for metal. However, I took the time to research and test dozens of these machines to finally come up with the list of the best metal drills that I’ll share with you below.

Our Top Pick

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Top 10 Best Drill Presses for Metal To Buy In 2021

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

10 Best Drill Presses for Metal Review

Bestseller No. 1
WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press,Orange
  • Infinitely variable speed ranges from 580-3200 RPMS. Mechanical variable speed delivers equal torque throughout the range. LED read out displays speed.
  • Spindle Travel of 3-1/8" with easy to read, locking linear depth stop for accurate and repeatable drilling operations. Front to the back of the motor is 22 inches
  • Quill diameter of 2.17 inches. Durable 2/3hp induction motor develops ample torque and power. Motor: 120 V, 60 Hz. Laser Module: Class III
  • 9-1/2 x 9-1/2" cast iron worktable features rack & pinion height adjustment and bevels up to 45 Degree left & right. Width with the handles: 14-1/2"
  • Includes drill press, mechanical variable speed, laser, table roller extension, 5/8" keyed chuck & key, tools for assembly.Drill press Height from the Floor to the top: 37 inch
SaleBestseller No. 2
WEN 4208T 2.3-Amp 8-Inch 5-Speed Cast Iron Benchtop Drill Press
  • Features a 2.3A induction motor, an 8-inch swing, and a 2-inch spindle travel
  • Includes a 1/2-inch keyed chuck and onboard key storage
  • Operates at 5 different speeds: 740, 1100, 1530, 2100, or 3140 RPM
  • 6.5 by 6.5 inch height adjustable worktable bevels up to 45 degrees in each direction
  • Measures in at 23 inches tall with a 7 by 11-inch base
SaleBestseller No. 3
Dremel Drill Press Rotary Tool Workstation Stand with Wrench- 220-01- Mini Portable Drill Press- Tool Holder- 2 Inch Drill Depth- Ideal for Drilling Perpendicular and Angled Holes- Table Top Drill , Silver
  • Articulating Drill Press Stand: Drills perpendicular and angled holes in 15-degree increments, up to 90 degrees horizontal
  • Tool Holder: Holds rotary tool at 90 degrees horizontal for tasks such as polishing metal objects, sanding different shapes and grinding metal piece. Drill depth- 2 inches
  • Flex Shaft Tool Stand: Allows Telescopic adjustment to any height between 16 and 29 inches, Crow's nest provides on-board storage for drill bits, wrenches, and other dremel accessories
  • Cord management clips for safe storage of power cords, inch/metric marking on base for accurate drilling of workpiece, depth markings with depth stop - for consistent depth, sturdy metal base with 4 clamping points - to securely hold the station
  • Compatible with dremel rotary tool models 100, 200, 275, 285, 300, 395, 398, 400, 800, 3000, 4000, 4200, 8100, 8200, 8220
Bestseller No. 4
WEN 4212T 5-Amp 10-Inch Variable Speed Cast Iron Benchtop Drill Press with Laser
  • Features a 5-amp induction motor, a 10-inch swing, and a 2-inch spindle travel
  • Adjust the mechanical variable speed anywhere from 530 to 3100 RPM
  • Digital speed readout displays current RPM of the machine for maximum precision
  • Includes a laser, adjustable depth stop, beveling 8 by 7.5-inch work table, 1/2-inch capacity keyed chuck, a chuck key with onboard storage, and a two-year warranty
  • Measures in at 13.2 by 19.3 by 33.9 inches in size with a weight of 57 pounds
Bestseller No. 5
FYFAY 3-Amp 8-Inch Drill Press, 5-Speed Benchtop Drill Press with Beveling Work-table, 120V 2-1/4HP Tabletop Drilling Machine for Wood, Plastic, Metal, 2-inch Spindle Travel, 8-inch Swing Distance
  • 【Practical Benchtop Drill Press】The drilling machine features 2-inch spindle travel, 1/2-inch chuck capacity, 8-inch swing distance, and 3-Amp induction motor, which is a practical drilling tool for wood, plastic, and sheet metal. High speed for low-density material, low speed for hard objects, and sheet steel. Suitable for workshop, garage , etc
  • 【5 Variable Speeds】The drill press is equipped with 5 speeds, and you can adjust the speed by changing belt positions between 740, 1100, 1530, 2100, and 3140 RPM, which allows you to select the exact speed working for your DIY project
  • 【Adjustable Working Table】The worktable of the benchtop drill press can tilt 45° left and right, then locks in place for a solid workstation to meet different angle drilling requirements. Meanwhile, The drill press is equipped with a stable cast iron base, and steel construction to reduce vibration when drilling
  • 【Easy to Install】The drill press is easy to assemble with modular parts within a few minutes. With the portable size (23x19x9in), it is an ideal tool for a woodworking enthusiast, easy to move, and saves room. There is a safety key in the switch to prevent non-authorized users, keeping children safe
  • 【Premium After-sales Service】In order to solve customers' concerns about quality, FYFAY's team provides 1-Year limited warranty to the original purchaser. If the drill press fails within 1 year from the date of purchase, please contact us, and will give you a satisfactory solution
Bestseller No. 6
The Drill Press (Build Your Own Metal Working Shop From Scrap Serie Book 5)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Gingery, David (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 168 Pages - 05/13/2015 (Publication Date) - David J. Gingery Publishing, LLC (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 7
JET JDP-20MF, 20-Inch Floor Drill Press, 1Ph 115/230V (354170)
  • Versatile Power: 1-1/2 HP motor with 12 speeds from 150 to 4,200 RPM.
  • Quick Adjusmentments: 1/2"-diameter external depth stop with three-nut locking feature.
  • Smooth Operation: Spindle is supported by high-quality ball bearings.
  • Added Visibility: Built-in work lamp illuminates your workspace.
  • Ideal Positioning: Quick-release crank-operated worktable can tilt +/- 45°.
Bestseller No. 8
HFS (Tm) 5" Cross Slide Vise Drill Press Metal Milling 2 Way X-Y Heavy Duty Clamp Machine
  • [JAW WIDTH]: 5 Inch
  • [HIGH QUALITY]: Made from the highest quality ductile Iron 80000 PSI for minimum bending.
  • [FEATURES]: Premium quality swiveling milling vise features perfectly aligned precision gowned jaws.
  • [DOUBLE SCREW RODS]: Longitudinal/cross travel and adjustable gibs.
  • [APPLICATION]: Designed for woodworking and metalworking.
Bestseller No. 9
Wilton Metal Cutting Saws & Drill Presses, Fact and Features, Cat. 265 Manual
  • Wilton (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 36 Pages - 12/05/1974 (Publication Date) - Wilton (Publisher)
SaleBestseller No. 10
JET J-2500, 15-Inch Step Pulley Drill Press, 16 Speed, 1Ph 115V (354400)
  • GREATER PRECISION: Enclosed spindle assembly is supported by four permanently-lubricated ball bearings.
  • INCREASED SAFETY: Extend the telescoping spindle guard as much as needed.
  • ACCURATE OPERATIONS: Large 1-7/8" diameter quill travels 3-1/8".
  • JUST THE RIGHT SPEED: 16-speed motor turns quill 200 to 3,630 RPM.
  • CONSISTENT REPEATS: Accurate depth stop displays inch/mm and has quick-set bolt for fast, accurate adjustments.

Last update on 2022-11-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How Did I Test The Best Floor Standing Drill Presses for Metal?

There are specifics, well-planned tests I performed when selecting the best floor standing drill presses for metal. These are the most important ones:

Torque Test

Torque becomes essential for drilling on metal as it’s a hard material that’s not broken easily.

That’s why (besides using cobalt drill bits) I made sure to stress-test each machine’s drilling torque on thick pieces of metal (thickest than the ones I would usually drill on at my workshop). Why? because it’s a pretty efficient way to make sure the motor is good enough for drilling on metal.

If the machine performed well in this area, then I proceeded with further testing.

Speed Test

If you’ve ever drilled on metal, you’d know that setting the floor drill press to a low RPM is essential for drilling on this material as it’s the only way to make sure the drill bit doesn’t “bite” on the metal and ruins your machine and finished project in the process.

Thus, I made sure to test if each floor standing drill press had the speed range and number of speeds necessary to properly set the machine to drill on metal without issues.

Quality Test

Nobody wants to waste money, right?

Well, this is why I made sure to test if the floor drill press being reviewed had a solid structure and was made with quality materials (such as steel and cast iron or ball bearing motors) as this is the best way to make sure that the hundreds of dollars spent on the machine are not wasted.

Must-Have Features of The Best Floor Standing Drill Presses for Metal

There is a certain group of features floor standing drill presses must have to be able to drill on metals. In case you wanted to pick a floor standing drill press yourself, here’s the list of those features:

Torque

When you’re trying to break metal (meaning when you drill on metal) with a harder metal (i.e. a cobalt drill bit) there’s a lot of torque needed to make this possible. It’s nothing like drilling on wood, in fact, metal has 15 times the density of regular wood.

This is why my recommendation is to get a floor standing drill press with at least a 2/3 horsepower motor which, in my calculations, provides enough torque to drill through most metals.

Proper Speed

Metal is a tricky material to drill on. No doubts. I mean, you could easily break many drill bits and wreck an entire drill press if you don’t know how to drill on this material.

This is why it’s a great idea to make sure to:

  • Use cobalt drill bits, both in their step and twirl versions as cobalt is a material that can deal with the high temperatures raised when drilling on metal
  • Use a cutting oil to protect the drill bits from getting melted
  • Set a low RPM speed (close to 300 RPM) in your floor standing drill press to make sure the drill is done properly

In that context, I advise metalworkers to select a floor drill press that has a wide speed range and a high number of speeds. They’ll want to have the flexibility to adapt the drilling speed to the thickness and type of metal they’re drilling on. In fact, different metals require different RPM settings, it’s not the same to drill on steel as it is to drill on titanium or aluminum.

Chuck Size

Look, if you want to drill on different types of metals (i.e. steel, aluminum, etc..) and do this on pieces of different thicknesses you’ll need drill bits of different sizes. That’s a given.

Knowing this, the chuck size is the clamp in the floor drill press that clamps the drill bits. Thus, the bigger the chuck size, the bigger drill bits you’ll be able to use. See where I’m going?

My recommendation is to invest in a floor standing drill press with the biggest chuck you could afford as you’ll bulletproof the machine against needing to use bigger drill bits in your future projects. Remember: changing the chuck is not only expensive but a real pain in the you-know-what. Try to avoid it at all costs!

Spindle Travel

The reasoning behind this advice goes hand in hand with the previous one.

As you may know, the spindle travel is the vertical length in which the chuck and drill bit travel when the press is used. As a result, this feature limits the depth of the drilled holes you can make on metal pieces.

To have the peace of mind that you won’t regret your decision, I’d say go for a floor standing drill press with a spindle travel between 3″ and 6″ as it covers most projects metalworkers usually do.

Led Light

A common annoyance metalworkers have to face is working on workshops with very little luminosity which affects the quality of their work.

This is why I like to recommend finding floor standing drill presses manufactured with a built-in led light as it’s the perfect solution for giving the proper lighting to the surface the metalworker is drilling on.

Quality Materials

There’s nothing better than a machine that lasts you a couple of decades, right?

This is why making sure your floor standing drill press is made with top-quality materials (such as stainless steel, cast iron, and ball bearing motors) is a great idea in today’s world where everything seems to be made to last no more than a year.

Warranty

Nothing beats sleeping well at night. And nothing keeps you up at night than knowing you spent hundreds of dollars (sometimes thousands) on a machine that didn’t last more than a few months.

This is where warranties and customer service comes in. Making sure you invest your hard-earned money in a machine that’s backed by a 2+ year warranty is a good idea nowadays. Additionally, looking at reviews to see how well the customer service is also a good tip to follow before spending that kind of money.

Weight

We all appreciate a powerful floor standing drill press that drills through metal as if it was butter, right?

Well, the thing is that the more powerful the floor drill press is, the bigger the machine will be and the less space you’ll have left in your workshop.

Thus, I recommend making sure to get the biggest floor standing drill press you can get, considering the dimensions of your workshop. Secondly, having an extra pair of hands to help you assemble the machine would be great too as these machines commonly weigh more than 200 pounds.

Work Table

Drilling on metal sheets and other bulkier metal pieces is very annoying. The best solution is getting a floor standing drill press with a spacious work table that lets one drill on sizeable metal parts without any issues.

As a result, I would recommend getting a floor standing drill press with a work table that’s at least 14″ by 14″ as, based on my experience, this is the minimum size a work table must have to take on substantial metal sheets and pieces.

Types of Drill Presses

A drill press consists of three main parts: the base, column, worktable, and head. Depending on its design, the press usually has pre-drilled holes for fastening the drill press to the floor or a workbench.

Benchtop Drill Press

A benchtop or tabletop drill press is the home handyman’s best friend. It is a great tool for light-medium duty tasks. One of the highlights of a benchtop drill is that it is very compact and portable. You can use it on your worktop bench in your garage or mount it onto a table in your DIY workspace.

Floor Drill Press

For medium to heavy-duty drilling tasks, invest in a floor drill press. With an extra powerful motor and a sturdy design, this type of drill press is a great fit for DIY enthusiasts and professionals alike. Just be aware that a floor drill press can be quite heavy and you may need adequate space to accommodate it.

Magnetic Drill Press

A magnetic drill press is highly favored by many construction workers and steel fabrication professionals as it is very portable and user-friendly. It can be quite time-consuming to work with a large piece of metal inside your workshop. But a magnetic drill press like the DEWALT DWE1622K, allows you to maneuver a metal workpiece and drill into it with complete ease.

To be able to find the right drill press for your project, consider these important features before buying your new power tool.

Important Drill Press Features

Drilling Capacity

If you plan to work with a large workpiece, a floor drill or high-powered benchtop drill press offers a wider swing and longer 3-1/8-inch or 4-3/8-inch spindle travel or stroke distance.

For small workpieces, a benchtop drill press or a mini drill press, like the Dremel Workstation, usually have a smaller swing and a shorter 2-inch spindle travel distance which makes these drills better suited for light-DIY tasks and hobby projects.

Power

All power tools need a strong and efficient motor. The greater the horsepower or amperage of the motor will determine the overall drilling performance.

Speed

Speed is very important as it gives you the versatility to match the drill’s speed to a particular workpiece and also helps to stop the motor from overheating. A slower speed is ideal for small intricate pieces of wood and a faster speed for thick metal. While some models only have two drilling speeds for working with metal, other multi-material drill presses offer you 5 or 12 variable speeds.

Beveling Table

A 45° beveling table should be adjustable up and down, which makes drilling so much easier and more precise. Some models may even have a table that has the ability to swivel.

Drilling Accuracy

The accuracy of a drilling press is determined by different factors such as the motor’s design, ball bearings, and a sturdy base. A laser pointer system is an excellent feature, especially for newbie drill press users, and it helps you to maintain precise drilling accuracy every time.

Key features to be considered when selecting a drill press | Buyer’s Guide

Output power. This parameter directly influences performance and energy consumption of a drill press. So, when looking for a particular option, mind the output power which is generally defined in horsepower. It is quite logically that higher value is better.

A model with a powerful motor commonly comes with a variable speed control. Thus, you can make power setting from lower to higher values, depending on a particular task. Less powerful press drills are limited here. The most common models feature ½ HP and ¾ HP motor.

Accordingly, you should prefer the latter, on the basis of the above-mentioned arguments. However, if you intend to use your machine for household purposes on an occasional basis, than less powerful models would be more than suitable for you.

Drilling capacity. This parameter depends on a diameter of a drill press bit. The latter, in its turn, is determined by a size of a chuck which can accept it. Thus, it is one of the most important features, which is to be considered when selecting a drill press. You should prefer those models accepting various drilling bits depending on a specific application.

Variable speed. This parameter will also define the drilling capacity of a drill press avoiding the risk of damage both to a workpiece and a tool itself. 2 or more speed settings allow adjusting rotations per minute which is highly relevant when dealing with different materials. The most advanced models obligatory come with a variable speed control, thus making them highly versatile tools.

RPM. Different jobs call for different rotations of a drill press.  Besides, a tool that runs constantly on its maximum capacity is low efficient and doomed to early wear. That is why if your machine features a variable speed control, mind that higher RPMs will be suitable for soft materials, like wood, etc. Lower RPMs have to be selected when drilling hard materials.

Drilling depth. This parameter should be obligatory considered before you get a drill press, as it determined the depth of penetration of a bit through various materials. The maximum depth capacity is determined by a vertical travel of a drill spindle. In particular, a 4-inch drilling capacity is more than enough to successfully machine most hard materials like metal or concrete.

Maximum bit diameter. Maximum bit diameter determines the maximum drilling capacity, in terms of hole diameter. It mainly depends on power and RPM settings of a particular model. As a rule, the diameter of a bit can vary from ¼ up to ¾ inches and even more.

Spindle travel. This parameter determines the maximum distance between the working table and spindle front face. In other words, it is a maximum height of a workpiece to be machined by this drill press. The height of cutting tools is not considered here.

Trusted brands

As the majority of all drill presses available on the market belong to the industrial-grade equipment, they must demonstrate warranted quality and durability for a vast variety of jobs. In this regard, you can rely on the recognizable manufacturers with a strong reputation of the worthy trusted brands. I’ve made up my own list of so called “giants” in this field.

Delta – a company with a big experience in the industry, the history of which started back in the U.S. in 1919. Their range of woodworking equipment is quite impressive. Some of the most demanded tools include scroll saws, drilling presses, jointers, angle grinders, etc. Their equipment always represents state-of-the art technologies. Thus, they meet the demands in professional and home-based fields of application.

Dewalt – a brand which needs no introductions. With almost 100 years on the market, DeWalt has been associated with quality and reliability.  DeWalt power tools and accessories are preferred by millions of customers around the globe, and this number is still growing in spite of a high price range.

Ryobi – another highly-recognizable brand on the U.S., although having an Asian origin. The company offers innovative power tools and outdoor products at comparatively affordable prices.   Their drill presses are not an exception from the “value-for-money rule”.

Jet – a company offering a full range of woodworking and metalworking equipment, including heavy-duty industrial models for challenging projects.  Their first tools were introduced on the U.S. market back in 1958. Since that time they have been turned into one of the leading manufacturers of woodworking, metalworking, warehouse and lifting equipment and hand tools.

Grizzly Industrial – a newcomer on the market with less than 40 years of experience.  However, it already offers a large variety of reliable machines and tools for woodworking and metalworking industries, and home-based applications. Besides, a number of its customers is growing with each day.

Porter Cable – another highly recognizable American company that specializes in manufacturing of power tools for household applications. Being designed for regular customers, their products are of solid performance and reliability at budget-friendly prices.

Conclusion

To drill metal you need a solid drill press to do that job. If you have a workshop of metal where you have to drill it for this you need powerful tools and machines with torque-speed range and other features. If you want the best budget Drill Press then we suggest you consider buying WEN 4208 8 in.5-Speed Drill Press, regardless of these Drill Press prices it offers great power and versatility.

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