If you are a professional metal worker, the benchtop drill press is a must-have tool for your workshop. The benchtop drill press comes with extra power and precision, the basic metalworking requirement. Additionally, it’s a much safer option than other types of drill presses.
The market is full of dozens of drill press brands that offer various types of drill presses with variable specs, features, and prices. Choosing the best one is the most challenging. To take the burden off your shoulders, we have researched and tested the top-rated drill presses and come up with the best benchtop drill presses for metal working along with the buying guide.
If you are in a hurry and have no time to read this guide thoroughly, the Shop Fox W1668 drill press is our top pick due to its higher voltage induction motor and rotational speed that work efficiently for metal and other materials.
Materials Used and Opertions Needed
The benchtop drill press is a versatile power tool. It’s compatible with various tools such as plastic, wood, and metal materials (steel, stainless steel, iron, aluminum).
It is not only used for drilling precise and accurate holes but for a variety of other purposes as well. Multi-operational functions can be performed with different accessories connected to them. The benchtop drill press can be used for sanding, polishing, honing, and reaming operations, but you need specific attachments to accomplish these tasks.
What Should a Metalworking Drill Press Have?
First of all, you should consider your work requirement and determine your preferred drill press, whether you want a floor drill press or a benchtop drill press. After selecting the best type, there are some other essential considerations a metalworking drill press should have. If you are well aware of these factors, you can buy the best one accordingly. Have a look at these factors:
1- Floor or Bench
When you decide on the type of drill press, the next step is to choose the appropriate place to set it up. You should have enough space for the floor drill press to install on the floor. Fix the proper place for the floor drill press, where you can work without ant destruction because it’s rather heavyweight and can’t be portable frequently.
Using a workbench is the easiest way to set up a benchtop drill press. In terms of size and portability, it’s relatively small. An easy way to install it on the table is to attach it using the clamp. It occupies a small amount of space.
The power of the drill press is considered the most crucial factor. Usually, the power of the motor measures in watts. If you plan to work on different metal materials, the power of the drill press should be higher in watts. The more watts added up in the drill press, the more efficient it would be in metalworking. The recommended power of a metalworking drill press should be up to 400 watts.
3- Variable Speed
Where the high-speed matters, the variable speeds greatly influence the drill press’s performance. Therefore, the variable speed settings seem indispensable for multitasking with multi-materials. These variations allow you to adjust the speed according to the task requirements. The rotational speed measures in RPM. So, the recommended speed can be manageable from 300 to 1500 RPM.
4- Depth Stop
The depth stop plays a crucial role in the precise and accurate depth and width of drilling holes. That’s why the drill press must have an adjustable depth stop. It’s a collar that is easily adjustable around the drill bit to control its depth positioning. Its adjustment depends on your task’s requirements.
The swing of a benchtop drill press is the measurement between the chuck’s center and shaft/pole. For example, if the swing is 10”. It can drill holes in the center of 5”. In general, the larger the swing, the larger the workpiece it can support.
3 Best Benchtop Drill Presses for Metal (2023)
- Maximum Rotational Speed: 3050 RPM
- Voltage: 110 Volts
- Maximum Chuck Size: 5/8-Inch
Whether you are a DIY enthusiast or a pro metalworker, you would love to have a powerful tool with extra precision and outstanding performance; you can wrong with the Shop Fox W1668. It’s an upgraded version with more power, durability, and efficiency. With ¾ HP drilling capacity, it can drill any metal precisely. Aside from drilling, it can be used for sanding as well.
It equips the 12-speed variables from 250 to 3050 RPM, which enhances productivity while working on multiple materials. It has a fantastic tilting table that is useful in working on various demanding applications. Above all, this fabulous drill press contains an oscillating feature that converts the drill into a sander within no time. This multi-purpose drill press comes in a benchtop compact build quality that benefits you despite small working areas.
- The oscillating feature converts it into a sander.
- 12 variable speeds from 250-3050 RPM
- 3-1/4-inches awing.
- 3/4 HP motor power.
- A bit expensive for tight-budget buyers.
- Maximum Rotational Speed: 8500 RPM
- Voltage: 110 Volts
- Maximum Chuck Size: 13 Millimeters
Despite its size and name, this tiny beast is able to tackle all types of small and large metalworking projects. It comes with the 13mm chuck size as the other big drill presses usually have. This high-quality drill press offers excellent three-speed variables of 5000, 6500, and 8500 RPM.
With these speed adjustments, you can work on any material with great accuracy. It comes with the 6-3/4 inches by 6-3/4 inches platform, enabling you to work on bigger or thicker workpieces. Along with the hardest materials, it can be used to drill on intricate materials like circuit board, PC board, and jewelry making as well by using specific drill bits.
- Triple variables of 5000, 6500, and 8500 RPM.
- Platforms measurement is 6-3/4 inches by 6-3/4 inches.
- Performs small and big tasks alike.
- Cost-effective and space-saving
- Mediocre functionality.
- Maximum Rotational Speed: 3140 RPM
- Voltage: 120 Volts
- Amperage: 2.3 AMPs
- Maximum Chuck Size: 13 Millimeters
WEN is the leading brand in the tech industry that has been famous for manufacturing premium quality drill presses for decades. WEN 4208T is an outstanding model with a 2.3 AMPs induction motor. It can stand firmly with you even in prolonged working sessions while working on plastic, wood, or metal.
You can be drilling on any softest, mediocre, or most rigid material e.g 80% lowers without worrying about the speed and torque rotating. It offers you the five-speed variables that distinguish this elegant drill press from the crowd. You select from 740, 1100, 1530, 2100, or 3140 RPM according to your material or task. It equips with a bevelling table that tilts 45 degrees to help you drill at different angles. The cast iron base stays smoothly and firmly on the table via bolts, preventing the drill press from wobbling or swaying.
- Offers five-speed variations.
- 45-degree bevelling table.
- 3 AMPs powerful induction motor.
- Eight inches swing.
- A bit noisy.
Benchtop vs. Floor Drill Press for Metal?
A benchtop has a small, compact, and portable build quality. It takes small space and can be easily installed on the worktable. It’s compatible with all types of materials, plastic, wood, and metal as well.
Contrarily, the floor drill press is the heaviest and most giant machine. It can be installed and best fit more extensive workshops and broad areas. These machines are generally used for larger architectural projects.
Both are well suited for metalworking. It only depends upon the amount of space, budget, and personal preference.
Frequently Asked Questions (faqs)
1- Will a drill press go through metal?
A drill press can go through metal materials easily because the drill press contains a high-power induction motor with high rotational speed and torque. The speed variable also plays an essential role in boring holes accurately in metal.
2- How big of a drill press do I need for metal?
The big or small size of a drill press doesn’t matter. It’s the chuck size that makes the difference. You can choose the chuck size according to your tasks’ preferences. It usually comes in ½, ¾, and ⅝ inches.
3- Is a benchtop drill press worth it?
Benchtop drill press enables you to drill holes in small and large workpieces with the same accuracy and precision every time. It’s safe to use than other types. Due to its rich features, the benchtop drill press is worth buying.
4- What is the best drill press speed for metal?
Determine the drill speed according to the metal. For softer materials like iron, brass, and aluminum, select the higher speed from 1000-3000 RPM. On the other hand, for the hardest materials like steel and stainless steel, choose 250-1000 RPM according to the hole size and density.
In terms of metalworking, all types of drill presses can be used. Each type has its own specs, features, pros, and cons. We have explained in detail what kind of drill press you can choose and what things you should check in those drill presses before choosing. To make your decision process easier, we have suggested the best benchtop drill presses for metalworking that will help you to select the best one according to your decided budget that can fulfill your needs as well.