Ranking the Best Drill Press For Metal | Top Drill Press in 2020

by Last Updated July 10, 2020

One of the most important tools for home and professional workshops is a drill press for metal.  As the name suggests, the best drill press for metal would allow you to drill through various metals with ease and precision. A drill press is primarily used to drill cylindrical holes in metals, but can also be used for countersinking, reaming, tapping and counterboring. 

There is a lot you can accomplish with this, but first, you need to know what is the best drill press for metal. You need to look at things like the power of the motor, maximum speed, speed variations, support for the weight that you want to work with, and many other factors while buying one. Buying the best cheap drill press for may seem like the easiest thing to do at first- but if you make the price as the deciding factor, you will not get the best metal drill press for the job.

So what are the features you need to look at while buying one? Which are the best drill press reviews that you must look at before buying one? These are exactly the questions that we will try to answer ahead.

Dmitry Leiko
Author and Today's Expert

Hi there! Dmitry Leiko here, I am the author of the article you've just read, and I write reviews for Expert Bestazy, how you've might guess. I'm passionate about a lot of things, from fishing to reviewing the newest gadgets, I especially adore writing and doing this thorough reviews on absolutely different products, as I've tested a lot of them myself and every time doing long research and advising with experts in a particular field to find the best of the best, I hope you'll find good use of these reviews! :)

Dmitry Leiko

Comparison Table:

Preview
Best Drill Press for Wood
WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press,Orange
Best for Home and DIY Users
Shop Fox W1668 ¾-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press/Spindle Sander
Best for Professional Users
Jet 716000 JWDP-12 Drill Press
Best Choice for Money
ShopSeries RK7033 6.2-Amp 10" Drill Press
Editors Choice: Best Heavy Duty Drill Press
RIKON 30-120 13-Inch Drill Press
Name
WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press,Orange
Shop Fox W1668 ¾-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press/Spindle Sander
Jet 716000 JWDP-12 Drill Press
ShopSeries RK7033 6.2-Amp 10" Drill Press
RIKON 30-120 13-Inch Drill Press
Speed
580-3200RPM
250-3050 RPM
530-3100 RPM
320-3100 RPM
200-3630 RPM
Swing
12 inches
13 inches
16 inches
10 inches
13 inches
Our score
3.6
3.8
4.3
4.4
4.8
Best Drill Press for Wood
Preview
WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press,Orange
Name
WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press,Orange
Speed
580-3200RPM
Swing
12 inches
Our score
3.6
Details
Best for Home and DIY Users
Preview
Shop Fox W1668 ¾-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press/Spindle Sander
Name
Shop Fox W1668 ¾-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press/Spindle Sander
Speed
250-3050 RPM
Swing
13 inches
Our score
3.8
Details
Best for Professional Users
Preview
Jet 716000 JWDP-12 Drill Press
Name
Jet 716000 JWDP-12 Drill Press
Speed
530-3100 RPM
Swing
16 inches
Our score
4.3
Details
Best Choice for Money
Preview
ShopSeries RK7033 6.2-Amp 10" Drill Press
Name
ShopSeries RK7033 6.2-Amp 10" Drill Press
Speed
320-3100 RPM
Swing
10 inches
Our score
4.4
Details
Editors Choice: Best Heavy Duty Drill Press
Preview
RIKON 30-120 13-Inch Drill Press
Name
RIKON 30-120 13-Inch Drill Press
Speed
200-3630 RPM
Swing
13 inches
Our score
4.8
Details

1. WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press – Detailed Review

Sale
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

Wen’s 4214 Drill Press is powered by a 5-Amp 2/3HP motor. This drill power delivers decent power that is sufficient to go through low-density wood as well as high-density sheets of metal. If your primary requirement is to get the best drill press for metal and wood in a limited budget, this is a good choice.

It has a variable speed that goes from 580 to 3,200 RPMs. This versatility makes it suitable for drilling through a range of materials. The digital readout allows you to have precise control on the speed. The swing or throat-depth is 12-inches sufficient for home and professional users. The 9.5×9.5 inch cast-iron table is good for drilling through large material.

The only major issue with this drill press for metal and wood is that it is not the best choice for drilling through thicker metals like steel. If you will be drilling through high-density metals on a daily basis, you may take a look at some of the other drills in our list.

Pros and Cons

  • Variable speed from 580 to 3200 RPM
  • 12-inch throat depth ideal for home and professional use
  • Durable build
  • An affordable option with various
  • Not recommended for drilling into thick metals like steel
  • Professional uses will require more power

2. Shop Fox W1668 ¾-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press – Detailed Review

Sale
Shop Fox W1668 ¾-HP 13-Inch Bench-Top Drill Press/Spindle Sander
  • Motor: 3/4 HP, 110-Volt, 1,725 RPM, Spindle Speeds 250-3050 RPM
  • Drill chuck: 5/8-Inch
  • Spindle travel: 3-1/4-Inch
  • Swing: 13-1/4-Inch
  • Includes a 3-piece spindle sander drum kit with a mandrel and 80 grit sanding paper to fit the 1-Inch, 1-1/2-Inch and 2-Inch drums.

With a ¾ HP 1725RPM motor, the W1688 is one of the best benchtop drill press for metal. This drill press comes with 12-variable speed options from 250 to 3050 RPM. It has a 13/14 inch swing depth. You can easily drill through ¾ inches of steel with this drill press with little effort.

The drill press has a 12 ⅜ inch table, sufficient for most drilling needs. It can swing to a complete 360-degrees and can also be tilted to 90-degrees, making it suitable for a variety of jobs. This drill has a robust construction and you can expect it to last for years. It may not be the most affordable option out there, but is definitely value for money.

The only major issue with this drill press is that the inexperienced user may find it complicated to assemble it as the instructions provided are not sufficient. However, once you get through that, it is very easy to use and will serve most of your drilling requirements.

Pros and Cons

  • Powerful motor
  • Robust build and design
  • Flat milled table without any ridges
  • Easy to use
  • Initial setup is tough, vague instructions provided
  • Paint on the column that holds the table comes off, could have been left unpainted

3. Jet 716000 JWDP-12 Drill Press – Detailed Review

Jet 716000 JWDP-12 Drill Press
  • Compact bench top design allows for easy transport
  • 10 x 16-1/8 inch cast iron base fits neatly on work benches with limited space
  • Stable base design allows for easy re-positioning on work bench
  • Heavy duty 1/2 HP induction motor for various drilling applications
  • Mechanical variable speed drive system for easy speed changes

One of the best metalworking drill press that will easily go through the densest of metals is the 716000 from Jet. This drill press is powered by a ½ HP heavy-duty induction motor. It has a 12-step variable speed that can go from 530 to 3100 RPM. The 10×16 ⅛ inch table will be sufficient for various professional uses.

This drill press has a large paddle switch that allows for easier shut off and lockout, adding to the various safety features in it. The ⅝-inch drill chuck makes it a good choice for drilling through a variety of materials. For projects where you need more intricate or precise drilling, the LED work light will help you with extra illumination.

The base design has been made to provide stability for more intense drilling projects. The oversized knobs have been ergonomically designed for easier use and more control. This drill press is slightly higher priced than others and not very portable. However, for professional users, this is one of the most powerful tools they can have.

Pros and Cons

  • Mechanical speed variation for easier control
  • LED work light to illuminate drilling area
  • Paddle switch allows easy shut off and lockout
  • ⅝-inch drill chuck suitable for various applications
  • Higher priced than other options
  • Not recommended for users who require portability

4. ShopSeries RK7033 6.2-Amp 10″ – Detailed Review

ShopSeries RK7033 6.2-Amp 10" Drill Press
  • Powerful 6.2-amp drill press ideal for repetitive precision cutting in materials such as wood, plastic, and metal
  • Durable cast iron work table bevels up to 45 degrees left and right
  • Features five operating speeds ranging from 620 to 3100 rpm
  • 1/2˝ drill chuck allows for the use of woodworking and metal drill bits with up to a 1/2˝ shank
  • 2 year limited warranty protects against defects in materials and workmanship

For the home and DIY user, RK 7033 by Rockwell comes across as one of the most affordable and quality choices. This drill press is powered by a 6.2A motor with 5 operating speeds between 620 and 3100 RPM. This drill press easily goes through wood, plastic, and lighter metals without too much effort.

The 7033 is a good choice if you need a drill press woodworking or for light metals. It has a ½” drill chuck for that and can also be used with metal drill bits with a ½” shank. There is a cast-iron working table that can bevel 45 degrees to right or left. The working table also has an LED light that provides illumination in darker working areas.

For operator security and safety, it has a key startup to prevent starting it by accident. This drill press is also backed by a 2-year manufacturer warranty. Homeowners and DIYers who do not need to drill through denser metals regularly may find this as the perfect option for all their projects.

Pros and Cons

  • Good build quality and construction
  • Keyed safety switch prevents startup by accident
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy to operate
  • Not recommended for drilling though denser metals
  • Spindle travel limited to only 2-inches

5. RIKON 30-120 13-Inch – Detailed Review

Sale
RIKON 30-120 13-Inch Drill Press
  • Powerful 1/2HP motor
  • 16 Spindle Speeds (200-3,630)
  • Solid Steel and Cast Iron Construction
  • Rack and Pinion Table Height
  • Clutch Depth Stop

Powered by a ½ HP motor, the Rikon 30-120 is a heavy-duty drill press that will easily go through even the hardest of materials with little effort. This drill press has solid steel and cast iron construction that provides stable and vibration-free operation. It has a 13-inch swing making it suitable for a variety of jobs.

The 11 3/6 inch table has a 360-degree rotation and 45-degree tilt on either side. The table height is also adjustable depending on the project you are working on. The 16 spindles sped goes from 200 to 3630 RPM offering precise drilling depending on the job at hand. For repetitive drilling, you can set drilling depths using its clutch depth stop, which is one of the most popular features of this drill. For power users, this drill press leaves little to ask for. It is one of the preferred steel drill press for professional users and takes care of almost all your needs. Assembling it may take a while since it comes with multiple parts.

Pros and Cons

  • Sturdy construction, vibration-free operation
  • Heavy-duty motor
  • Recommended for harder and denser materials
  • Table height is easily adjustable
  • Cast iron handle position may be uncomfortable for some users
  • Multiple parts, assembly is complex and time-consuming

Buyers Guide: What to look for while buying a drill press for metal

Now that you know some of the best drill press for metal in the market, you also need to know what to look for and consider while buying one. This short buyer’s guide ahead covers just that and should help you make the right choice.

Horsepower

Depending on how thick a material you plan to drill through and the width/depth of the hole, you need to decide on the motor horsepower. More HP means more power. If you plan to drill through thicker metals like steel or metal, heavy-duty motors with 0.5 HP should be sufficient.

Swing

The swing is a measurement of the largest diameter of metal or wood that can be drilled through using the drill press. For most benchtop drill press for metalwork, this value is between 10 to 12 inches. Depending on your use and the type of projects you plan to work on, you may need a higher swing range. The more the swing, the thicker the material that you can drill through.

Table

The 2 things you need to check in the table are the quality and tilt. It should be made of a high-quality material without any paint, etc. that may come off with use. Tables that can tilt and height-adjusted allow you to have a more precise setting as per the job at hand.

Spindle Travel or Quill Stroke

Spindle Travel is the distance that the drill bit and chuck can travel when turning the handle. A  longer spindle travel allows you to drill deeper before it bottoms out. For most users, at least 4-inches of spindle travel is required.

Depth Stop

The depth stop helps you ensure that all openings made will be of the same depth. If you need to make multiple homes of the same depth, then this feature is a must-have.

Weight

The drill press weight decides its stability and portability. While less weight is preferable where portability is a concern, it is also important to account for stability. A heavier unit will vibrate less and allow for more precise drilling. Drills can produce significant vibration, so do keep that in mind while choosing.

FAQs

What is the difference between a benchtop drill and a floor-standing drill?
A benchtop drill is compact and can be fixed on a workbench or table. These do not take too much space and ideal for working in areas where space is less or when portability is a concern. A floor drill on the other hand requires more space and has to be permanently fixed on the ground, ideal for workshops and projects where portability is not needed.
Is buying more power always better?
While choosing the highest power option for a metal drill press may seem like the right thing to do, you also need to check the power supply requirement. Many higher-powered and professional drills may require three-phase power, and you should ensure that the working area has this before buying.
What can be done to ensure safety while using a drill press?
Every drill must have a chuck cover, and the workpiece must be secured with a clamp or vice. Buy a model that has LEDs or ensure sufficient illumination in the working area before you begin drilling.
What to check to ensure that the drill press is stable?
When you buy a drill press, remember that these do produce significant vibrations, so you need to choose a model that minimizes that. Heavier drill presses are more stable than their lightweight counterparts. Choose a model that has a heavy-duty construction with steel and/or cast iron for fewer vibrations and more sturdiness.

Conclusion

A metal drill press is one of the most important tools in any workshop or even for home-users. As you search for the answer to what is the best drill press for metal, you will find a range of products and several features to look at. These reviews and short buying guide should help make this choice easy for you and get you the best drill press for the money. Buying power tools can be quite the task, but you must take your time here and ensure that you get one that will take care of all your projects and last for years.

These are just 5 of the best metalworking drill press that you will find out there. Do consider all the features and not just the price or motor power before making your choice. This will help you get the best value for your money and ensure safety, durability, and success in all your projects with the metal drill press.

Drill Press for Metal: Bestsellers

Bestseller No. 1
WEN 4208 8 in. 5-Speed Drill Press
  • Includes a 1/2-inch keyed chuck and onboard key storage
  • Operates at 5 different speeds: 740, 1100, 1530, 2100, 3140 RPM
  • Spindle travels up to 2 inches with easy to read, locking linear depth stops for accurate and repeatable drilling operations.Cord Length (ft.):6
  • Durable 1/3 HP induction motor develops ample torque and power
  • 6-1/2 x 6-1/2" worktable is height adjustable and bevels up to 45 degrees left & right
Bestseller No. 2
SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press
  • 1/2-inch keyed chuck. Bump-off switch for added safety
  • 5 speeds - 570 - 3,050 RPM
  • Adjustable depth stop for accurate measurements and repetitive drilling
  • 0-45 degree left/right tilting work surface
  • Laser X2 2-beam laser for precise hole alignment
Bestseller No. 3
JET J-2500 15-Inch 3/4-Horsepower 115-Volt Floor Model Drill Press
  • Work table tilts 45°.
  • GREATER PRECISION AND ACCURACY: Enclosed spidle assembly is supported by four permanently-lubricated ball bearings.
  • TELESCOPING SPINDLE GUARD: Extend the guard as much as needed.
  • 3-1/8" stroke for deep hole applications.
  • 5/8" drill chuck and arbor
Dmitry Leiko
Author and Today's Expert

Hi there! Dmitry Leiko here, I am the author of the article you've just read, and I write reviews for Expert Bestazy, how you've might guess. I'm passionate about a lot of things, from fishing to reviewing the newest gadgets, I especially adore writing and doing this thorough reviews on absolutely different products, as I've tested a lot of them myself and every time doing long research and advising with experts in a particular field to find the best of the best, I hope you'll find good use of these reviews! :)

Dmitry Leiko