Best Drill Press for Metal [2021 Review]

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If your work involves you machining through metal, it is important to find a drill press that is able to get the job done. Metal is strong, hard, and durable, which is part of its charm, but that can also make it hard to find a drill press that can handle it all.

There are different drill presses available for you to choose. But with all the choices on the market, it is hard to know what will work the best. You have to consider the weight of the drill press, the speed range, and even the power of the motor to make sure you get the right one to go through mental.

Our Top Drill Press for Metal Reviews

If finding a drill press for your needs sounds confusing, don’t worry. We have taken the time to list out some of the best drill presses for metal to ensure that you are able to find the right one. Some of our favorite drill presses for metal include:

Brand
Best Overall
SKIL 3320-01 Drill Press
Best for the Money
WEN 4212T 10in. 5-Speed Drill
Best Cheap Pick
General International 10” Bench Mount Drill Press
Product
SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press
WEN 4212T 5-Amp 10-Inch Variable Speed Benchtop...
GENERAL INTERNATIONAL 10" Bench Mount Drill Press...
Speed
‎3050 RPM
‎3100 RPM
‎3050 RPM
Product Dimensions
‎21.75 x 15.25 x 9.75 inches
‎28 x 18 x 12 inches
‎21 x 8 x 31 inches
Rating
-
-
-
Best Overall
Brand
SKIL 3320-01 Drill Press
Product
SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press
Speed
‎3050 RPM
Product Dimensions
‎21.75 x 15.25 x 9.75 inches
Rating
-
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
WEN 4212T 10in. 5-Speed Drill
Product
WEN 4212T 5-Amp 10-Inch Variable Speed Benchtop...
Speed
‎3100 RPM
Product Dimensions
‎28 x 18 x 12 inches
Rating
-
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
General International 10” Bench Mount Drill Press
Product
GENERAL INTERNATIONAL 10" Bench Mount Drill Press...
Speed
‎3050 RPM
Product Dimensions
‎21 x 8 x 31 inches
Rating
-
Price

Best Drill Press for Metal: SKIL 3320-01 Drill Press

SKIL 3320-01 3.2 Amp 10-Inch Drill Press

You will find that this drill press is able to offer some of the best in precision, power, and price, which is what makes the SKIL 3320-01 Drill Press one of the best options on the market. It has a 10-inch benchtop that is compact and can save room in your workshop.

Even though it is small does not mean that it can’t handle all the work. As soon as you turn this drill on, you will love the five speed ranges that help you be in control.

One feature that stands out is the quality of the tool. Assembling it takes just minutes to complete once the package comes in and the solid feel and construction will help you get the work done without having to worry about it falling apart.

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If anything does happen to go wrong, which is not likely, this tool is covered under a great warranty.

There are a number of features that the consumer will love with this drill. First, it has a built-in laser that helps you to line the drill up well for precise drilling.

The table also tilts 45 degrees to the right and the left to help you with drill the angles that you want. The drill also has a depth-stop, but it is not as reliable as it should be.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Built-in laser to give you precise alignment
  • Five speeds to choose from
  • The table can tilt 45 degrees to the right and left

Cons

  • The depth stop is not very good
Sale
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

Best Value Metal Drill Press: WEN 4212T 10in. 5-Speed Drill

WEN 4212T 5-Amp 10-Inch Variable Speed Benchtop...

If you are looking for a tool that is less expensive than some of the others, then the WEN 4212T 10in. 5-Speed Drill is a great option. Even though it is less expensive than the SKIL 3320-01 Drill Press, it has all of the features that you need.

For the money, this one has everything. It is packed with the features that are often reserved for more expensive drill presses, including the ½ inch keyed chuck that has key storage put right into it.

Many of the other cheaper drill presses are going to be underpowered and will not get the work done. This WEN drill press is going to be an exception. It has specs similar to other options, including 5 speeds, a locking depth adjustment, and more to get the work done. As for RPM, you can go from 740 to 3140.

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The biggest issue is that it is only eight inches, which means the size is limited. And with just two inches of spindle travel, you may only be able to use all the power in this drill on some of the smaller materials.

The lightness of this drill press makes it easy to take around with you, but it does vibrate more on some projects. While there are a few things you may not like about this drill press, for the price, it is a good purchase.

Pros

  • Affordable compared to other options
  • Has a good locking depth adjustment
  • Smaller in size so it is easy to keep around

Cons

  • The spindle travel is short
  • You will notice more vibration than other models
WEN 4212T 5-Amp 10-Inch Variable Speed Benchtop...
  • 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...

Best Cheap Drill Press for Metal: General International 10” Bench Mount Drill Press

GENERAL INTERNATIONAL 10' Bench Mount Drill Press...

The General International 10-Inch Bench Mount Drill Press will have a lot of the power and features that you need to get all the work done. It includes 5 speeds that start out at 570 RPM and go all the way to 3,050 RPM.

Compared to some of the competition, this is going to provide you with a lot of benefits. The motor is smaller than some of the others at 375-watts, which is going to keep the power a bit lower than some of the other options.

You will find that this drill press is able to drill through metal, but it isn’t the fastest at getting it done. You will need to keep this drill press just for some of the smaller projects that you want to get done, rather than some of the bigger ones.

If you need a lot of power and strength, then it is best to go with a different drill press to get the work done.

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This machine does come with a built-in LED light that can be nice to help you see what is going on as you get the work done. You may notice that this one will shake a lot more than some of the others, though it does do a better job at staying steady compared to the Genesis GDP1005A 5-Speed Drill Press.

For the cost, it is a good option, but some of the other drill presses on the list will probably do a better job.

Pros

  • Has an LED light
  • Has some of the stability that you need
  • Allows for 5 speeds

Cons

  • Underpowered
GENERAL INTERNATIONAL 10" Bench Mount Drill Press...
  • PRECISE CUTTING - Patented cross-pattern precision laser alignment and centering guide for accurate...
  • HIGH-POWERED MOTOR - Comes standard with a powerful 375 watt, 120V~60HZ motor.
  • TILTING TABLE DESIGN - Tilt the work table from 0-45 degrees allowing for versitile adjustment &...
  • 5 SPEEDS - Make cuts at 5 different speeds between 570 - 3050 rpm.

Best Premium Drill Press for Metal: Jet JDP-17 ¾ HP Drill Press

JET JDP-17MF, 17-Inch Woodworking Drill Press,...

When compared with the WEN 4208 and the SKIL 3320-01, the Jet JDP-17 is going to be a monster. It comes in at 198 pounds and is much heavier than all the other models that were tested at 17 inches.

This can be a bulky piece of equipment to work with, but it also allows for work with larger materials and can drill deeper holes than before.

All of that weight can have some benefits if you use it well. The machine is stable, much more than some of the other options on the list. The vibration is almost nonexistent and each hole that you make will be precise and accurate.

There are a total of 16 speeds to choose from and the RPMs can go up to 3500. And changing between those speeds is simple thanks to a belt tensioning system that just needs one hand.

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One of the things that is the most impressive about this machine is all the craftsmanship that is behind it. It is a well-made tool that looks and feels high-quality and you can see this just from looking at the saw.

The oversized worktable is going to tilt 90 degrees in both directions and the work it can get done is simple and easy.

Pros

  • Table can tilt 90 degrees both ways
  • Provides 16 speeds to use
  • Stable without the vibrations

Cons

  • It is very heavy
  • The price is higher than other options
JET JDP-17MF, 17-Inch Woodworking Drill Press,...
  • VARIABLE-SPEED: 3/4-HP motor has 16 speeds from 200 to 3,630 RPM.
  • REPETITION: Adjustable tension spindle return spring for repeat drilling to the same depth.
  • ACCURACY: Depth stop has a quick-set bolt for fast, accurate adjustments.
  • VISIBILITY: Built-in worklight (bulb not included) provides additional visibility.

Best Metal Drill Bit for Large Bits: Genesis GDP1005A 5-Speed Drill Press

Genesis GDP1005A 10' 5-Speed 4.1 Amp Drill Press...

The Genesis GDP1005A 5-Speed Drill Press is a bit smaller than the Jet JDP-17, but this can help save some room in the workshop. And it weighs just 52 pounds to make it easier to lift and move around. The lighter weight will make it shake and vibrate more though.

There is a lot to enjoy with this drill press and it will quickly become one of your favorites along the way. This 5-speed drill press is going to provide you with a 5/8-inch chuck that can handle some of the larger bits.

The worktable is unsteady as well. This would be bad enough just on its own, but then add in a shaking machine and you will need to be careful when using it. The space savings is nice, but be prepared for the vibrations and other issues that can come with this option.

Despite some of the drawbacks of that are with this drill press, there are a few features that you can appreciate though. The built-in LED work light is a great touch that will make it easier to get work done, even in darker areas.

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And the 4.1-amp induction motor makes plenty of power for some of the bigger jobs. If you are able to work through the shakiness, you will love how well this drill press can work.

Pros

  • Oversized 5/8-inch chuck to handle large bits
  • Built-in LED light
  • Small enough to not take up a lot of space

Cons

  • Vibrates and shakes more than other machines
  • An unsteady worktable
Genesis GDP1005A 10" 5-Speed 4.1 Amp Drill Press...
  • 4.1 amp induction motor for quiet, smooth performance
  • 5 speed gear box
  • 5/8" chuck handles larger bits
  • Table rotates 360° and tilts 0-45°

Drill Press Features for Metalwork

Now that we have taken a look at some of our favorite drill presses, it is time to look closer at some of the features that you need to have in these machines. Some of the most important parts include:

Craftsman drill press
  1. RPM: While high-speed drill presses are often the best for woodworking, that is not always true when you want to use it on metal. Metal is denser than the wood you would use and can lead to a ton of bits that get broken if you try to put a high-speed bit into it. A lower speed is preferable here because it provides more torque and gives you better drilling without the burring.
  2. Motor: A good method to use to help you gauge the amount of torque is to look at the motor size. For metalworking, it is best to go with a drill press that has a higher amp rating or HP. However, if you are just going to do the work with sheet metal, then the lower horsepower is a better option.
  3. Working surface: The next thing to look for is the swing of the tool. This is important because it will help you know how wide or long the drill is able to work with. The higher swing is going to often lead to a larger worktable that gives you some stability when you do the drilling. However, if you plan to do most of your projects with smaller objects, it is better to go with a smaller working surface to save you some money.
  4. Weight: Some of the drill presses that we talked about earlier are going to be heavier than the others. This can provide more stability and helps it get through more metal in the process. However, you need to be able to move it or have a lot of room in the workshop to handle this. Always take a look at weight to see if it is doable.
  5. Cost: The cost should not be the most important aspect, but it is an important thing to consider. You need to take a look at the cost and determine a good balance between the cost of the item and the quality and features of that item too.
Drill press

Drill Press Type

You can also choose between a benchtop, floor, or magnetic drill press. These are the three types of drill presses that tend to work the best for metal.

We can start with the benchtop model. These are considered the weakest of the three, but they will not take up a lot of space. This can make them a good option for smaller shops and for thinner sheets of metal.

The floor drill press is another option that you can choose. This one will take up quite a bit of space on the floor so you must make sure that there is enough room in the shop to hold onto these. The good news is that they have more power and can take on more projects than before for many users.

Then there is the magnetic drill press. This is going to be the type that is used for construction to drill holes into some of the larger beams when they are set up. It is not likely that you would use one of the magnetic drill presses in a home workshop.

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Choosing the Right Drill Press for Your Workshop

There are many great drill presses that you can choose to add into your workshop. The one that works the best for you will depend on the work that you would like to get done, which features you like the best, and your budget. Take a look at some of our choices for the best drill press above to help you make the right decision.

Raised with a fix-it and improvement mindset, my wife and I completely restored our Craftsman-style home. Learning how to DIY a variety of home improvement projects, I started SawsHub with my father. He's the fine woodworker, I'm the DIYer!