Best Drill Press for Metal – Buying Guide

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When it comes to choosing the best drill press for metal, there are a few factors you need to take into consideration. The most important thing is deciding what kind of materials you’ll be using the drill press on.

Metal can be tough and abrasive, so you’ll need a machine that’s built to handle that kind of wear and tear. You’ll also want to make sure that the motor is powerful enough to handle tougher drilling jobs.

In this blog post, we’ll walk you through all of the different factors you need to consider when choosing a drill press for metal, as well as recommend some of our favorite machines on the market.

The Top 5

Best Drill Press for Metal List

Finally, you’ll need to find a drill press with the right features and settings for your specific needs.

Best Drill Press for Metal

1- SKIL 10-Inch Drill Press

Our Rating

4.6/5

Best Drill Press for Metal

2- WEN 5-Speed Benchtop Drill Press

Our Rating

4.6/5

Best Drill Press for Metal

3- Shop Fox Oscillating Floor Drill Press

Our Rating

4.6/5

Best Drill Press for Metal

4- JET 17" Drill Press

Our Rating

4.6/5

Best Drill Press for Metal

5- Grizzly Industrial 14" Heavy-Duty Floor Drill Press

Our Rating

4.6/5

1- SKIL 10-Inch Drill Press

Best Drill Press for Metal

The SKIL Drill Press is a quality drill press with keyed chuck, work light, and laser beam marking system. It has variable speeds up to 3,050 RPM.

The workbench tilts up to 45 degrees and has an adjustable depth stop for precise drilling. This drill press also includes a safety “bump off” switch.

Features:

  • 2-beam laser
  • Adjustable depth stop
  • Five speeds

Pros:

  • The keyed chuck is very sturdy and doesn’t easily come loose.
  • The drill press is easy to assemble and doesn’t require any tools.
  • You can tilt the work surface up to 45 degrees, which is great for drilling angled holes.
  • The laser marking system makes it easy to line up your holes for precision drilling.
  • The drill press has a very powerful motor that can handle tougher jobs.

Cons:

  • The drill press is a bit noisy and can be disruptive if you’re trying to work in a quiet environment.
  • The depth stop isn’t always accurate and needs to be calibrated occasionally.

Bottom line:

Skil produces quality power tools at a great price point, and the SKIL Drill Press is no exception.

A great drill press for beginners or experienced professionals, this machine will deliver clean and precise cuts through metal.

2- WEN 5-Speed Benchtop Drill Press

Best Drill Press for Metal

The WEN 5-Speed Benchtop Drill Press is the perfect drill press for small to medium-sized projects.

It’s also a convenient size, so you can easily take it anywhere you need it.

The WEN drill press features a 1/2-inch keyed chuck and onboard storage for the included keys, so you never have to wonder where they are or you can easily see them.

The drill press features 5 different speeds, so it’s compatible with a variety of different materials.

Pros:

  • The drill press is well-constructed and durable
  • It features a 1/2″ keyed chuck with onboard storage for the included keys
  • Spindles can move up to 2 inches with clearly visible, locking linear depth stops.
  • A 1/3 HP induction motor provides plenty of torque and power.

Cons:

  • The base contains predrilled holes for mounting onto a bench or work stand (some customers would like predrilled holes on both sides of the table)
  • The slotted table allows for mounting clamps and vises for effective workholding. (some customers would have liked if this was done for them rather than having to do it themselves)

Bottom line:

The WEN 5-Speed Benchtop Drill Press is a durable drill press that’s a convenient size, so you can take it anywhere you need it.

This machine is less expensive than other 5-speed drills for metal and yet powerful enough to accomplish the task.

3- Shop Fox Oscillating Floor Drill Press

Best Drill Press for Metal

The Shop Fox Oscillating Floor Drill Press is one of the most popular drill press available in the market.

The oscillating spindle option is a great feature that enables you to easily convert your drill press into a sander.

Its compact design is the reason behind its popularity amongst homeowners and DIYers who don’t have enough space to spend on a large drill press.

Also, it is a safe choice in case of a budget because this one comes for a cheap price tag in comparison to the other drill presses in the market.

Features:

  • Compact design
  • Oscillating spindle conversion option
  • Cheap price tag

Pros:

  • Its compact design makes it easy for homeowners with limited space to store or use the drill press.
  • The design is also convenient for those on a budget because it can be purchased at a cheaper price.

Cons:

  • If you’re looking for a drill press that comes with more features, then this one might not be the right choice for you.

Bottom line:

The Shop Fox Oscillating Floor Drill Press is great for home users who are looking for a drill press that’s easy to store and use due to its compact design.

The oscillating spindle conversion option is also an attractive feature that enables you to easily convert your drill press into a sander in the event that you need to change it up.

 

4- JET 17" Drill Press

Best Drill Press for Metal

The JET 17″ Drill Press is built for heavy-duty tasks with its adjustable speed motor, capable of reaching speeds up to 3000 RPM.

Its large cast-iron base ensures stability when drilling through tough materials.

This drill press has 5″ of spindle travel, which is great for larger projects with plenty of capacity to accommodate any project and speed adjustments.

Features:

  • 5″ Spindle Travel
  • 14×19 work table
  • Twin T slots and four table slots

Pros:

  • Adjustable speed motor
  • The large cast-iron base for stability
  • Integrated depth stop for repetitive drilling
  • Long-lasting LED work light

Cons:

  • Only 2-speed settings

Bottom line:

The pros of the Jet JDP-17 are that it has an adjustable speed motor, a large cast-iron base for stability, an integrated depth stop for repetitive drilling, and it features a long-lasting LED work light.

The only con of this drill press is that it only has two-speed settings.

5- Grizzly Industrial 14" Heavy-Duty Floor Drill Press

Best Drill Press for Metal

The Grizzly Industrial Floor Drill Press may be a little different from your average drill press, but it provides a unique set of features.

We especially love the fact that it has a work light with a long-life bulb.

This product also has an adjustable table that can be used as a surface for drilling, as well as working on materials that have been raised or lowered.

Pros:

  • The Grizzly Industrial Floor Drill Press has an adjustable table that can be used as a surface for drilling and working on raised or lowered materials.
  • It comes with two work lights with long-life bulbs.
  • It is made of durable cast iron construction.

Cons:

Some people have complained that the work light switch is in a difficult spot to reach.

Others have said that the chuck wobbles a bit when drilling at high speeds.

Bottom line:

The Grizzly Industrial Floor Drill Press is a great choice for anyone looking for a drill press that can handle tougher drilling jobs. It comes with a powerful motor and a range of speeds that can handle any metal drilling job. It also has an adjustable table that can be used as a surface for drilling, as well as working on materials that have been raised or lowered.

Buying Guide

There are lots of factors to consider before purchasing a drill press for metal, but this guide will help you figure out what the most important factors are.

1. Power and Speed:

A drill press needs to have enough power and speed for the task at hand.

For example, a small-duty drill press such as one that’s used in a home workshop might only need an average of 1400 RPMs.

On the other hand, a heavy-duty drill press that offers more features and can handle drilling large pieces of metal might require a motor with a higher power and speed.

2. Motor Type:

The type of motor your drill press has will play a big role in how capable it is for tough tasks.

There are 3 types of motors that most drill presses have:

  • Induction
  • Universal
  • Direct-drive

1- Induction motors are very common, but they tend to be less powerful than universal motors.

2- Universal motors are more powerful than induction motors, but they’re also the most expensive option.

3- Direct-drive motors are typically found on high-end drill presses that have features that help them handle metal more easily.

3. Spindle Travel:

The spindle travel of a drill press refers to how far the bit can get from the center.

More spindle travel means that you have more range with which to work, so it’s important to consider this feature if you need an accurate drilled hole.

4. Spindle Size:

In addition to spindle travel, the spindle size is also important.

The larger and stronger your drill press’s spindle is, the more metal it will be able to drill through.

5. Table:

The table of a drill press plays an important role in how accurate your drilled hole will be. Some drill presses have tables that can be adjusted to different angles, which will allow you more precision.

6. Fences:

A fence on a drill press is a guide that helps the user keep their work straight as they drill into it.

Most fences attach to the table with sliding bars and clamping mechanisms, but some high-end models have fences that can be adjusted so you can drill at different angles.

7. Chuck:

The chuck on a drill press is the part of the machine where you mount your drill bit and attachments.

There are three main types of chucks: keyed, Morse taper, and self-centering.

A keyed chuck must be tightened with a key, but some people prefer this system because it offers more reliable clamping that prevents the drill bit from loosening as you work.

A Morse taper is a more basic chuck design that can accommodate different sized chucks for different needs.

A self-centering chuck automatically adjusts to accept a variety of drill bits.

8. Worklight:

A worklight on a drill press is an additional feature that might be useful in some cases, but not in others.

If you need to see better when drilling metal in low-lit areas, then this may be a nice bonus for your drill press.

However, if you’re working in bright conditions or outdoors, it might not be necessary.

9. Features:

Some drill presses come with specific features that make them better at working on metal parts. For example, some drill presses can spin their table around so you don’t have to rotate the part you’re drilling by hand. Other drill presses can also be used as a milling machine by changing the bit type.

10. Maintenance:

If you’re going to drill metal parts frequently, then it’s important that you choose a drill press with easy maintenance and repair options.

Some drill presses can be completely taken apart and reassembled for fast maintenance, which is very convenient. However, some drill presses are more difficult to maintain, so you might want to opt for a simpler model.

FAQs

Yes, you can use a Dremel tool on a drill press. However, it's important to make sure that the Dremel tool is compatible with the chuck size of the drill press. You can also use a Dremel tool as an attachment on some drill presses for more versatility.

Metal drill presses are specifically designed for drilling metals, so they have special features which wood or plastic drill presses do not have.

 

One example of this is metal cutting built into the table. It's important to be mindful of the type of materials you'll need to use your drill press on and purchase one that will satisfy those needs without weighing you down with unnecessary features.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as each drill press is better suited for different types of metal drilling. However, some of the best drill presses for metal include the following models:

1. Jet JMD-18 Milling/Drilling Machine:

This machine is perfect for both milling and drilling operations on metals. It has a powerful induction motor, and its table can be adjusted to different angles for more precision.

 

 

2. Delta 18-900L 18-Inch Laser Drill Press:

This drill press is a great option if you need a machine with a large spindle size. It also has a self-centering chuck that makes it easy to change drill bits

Conclusion

If you need a drill press for drilling metal, we recommend the Jet JMD-18 Milling/Drilling Machine. This machine is perfect for milling and drilling operations on metals thanks to its powerful induction motor and self-centering chuck design that makes it easy to change drill bits as needed.

It’s also well suited to those who work in low light conditions because of its built-in worklight.

If you’re looking for something more basic but still gets the job done, then look into Delta 18-900L 18 Inch Laser Drill Press which has a large spindle size and can be adjusted at different angles depending on your needs.

We hope this article helped shed some light on what factors should go into choosing a drill press for your metal work.

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