As a DIYer, hobbyist, beginner gunsmith, or professional, you would love to own a cost-effective setup to complete your 80% lower to 100% firearms. This delicate task requires a drill press for the best possible precision while drilling the holes and milling cuts into the receiver or frame. For maximum accuracy, the drill press (whether benchtop or floor) converts this seemingly daunting task to a cool breeze.
Selecting from the enormous collection is rather challenging. No worries; our experts take the responsibility to make this ordeal easier. After reviewing and testing dozens of well-known drill press brands, we have shortlisted the 3 drill press for 80 lower, providing you with accuracy, consistency, and safety.
WEN 4214T 5-Amp 12-Inch Variable Speed Cast Iron Benchtop Drill Press is the best drill press for 80 lower due to its powerful induction motor and higher speed ratings compatible with all types of metals.
Materials Used and Operations Needed
As far as the material is concerned, you can use a wide range of materials in a drill press. For dealing with the 80 lower assemblies, you have to work on different materials. You can throw plastic, aluminum, wood, composites, or any other metal materials. It can go through them easily and efficiently.
80% lower, also called a receiver, is an unfinished part of a firearm. Therefore, as a DIYer or gunsmith, you must complete it to shape a functional firearm. The completion process from unfinished components to a well-designed weapon, the 80 lower needs some operations, including drilling holes, milling cuts, engraving brand name & model no, and finishing with coating & painting.
What an 80 Lower Drill Should Have?
A drill press seems a crucial tool for the 80% lower completion process. But before selecting the randomly, you should be well aware of the basic specs that a drill press must have when you plan to deal with 80 lower. To give you essential awareness, here are some factors you should consider while buying the best drill press for manufacturing the best firearms via 80 lower.
1- Type (Floor/Bench)
The first and foremost factor is primarily determined according to your workspace and preference. The main types of drill presses are floor and benchtop models. Both have their own merits and demerits as well.
A floor drill press is a large, heavy, stationary machine. It’s usually used for large projects or commercial purposes. The space it takes up is quite large. You can go with it if you plan to deal with larger projects and have enough space in your workshop.
Comparatively, the benchtop drill press is a compact, lightweight, and portable machine. That is generally used for small to medium projects and can even be used for large projects. This type of drill press requires little space and can be mounted on a worktable. It can easily be shifted from one place to another.
Horsepower (HP) is the measuring scale of the power of a motor. Depending on the motor’s horsepower, your drill press will perform differently. In general, the more horsepower, the better the performance. ½ HP motor is recommended for the completion of 80 lower completion process.
3- Speed Variations
Variable speed settings should be a must-have factor in the drill presses. In order to perform different tasks effectively, you require variable speed rates according to the material’s nature and the project’s requirements. Therefore, look for a drill press with maximum speed variation so that you can preferably drill or mill on the soft and harder material. For the hardest material, Adjust the speed variation for the hardest material from 250-1000 RPM; for soft material, it should be from 1000- 3500 RPM.
4- Depth Stop
A depth stop is a collar that fits around the drill bit to limit its depth for boring the hole in the workpiece. The latest drill presses come equipped with this fabulous feature that enables you to drill holes exactly according to the required measurement.
Swing is the distance of the column and spindle center of the drill press that is simply multiplied by 2. It indicates what size of workpiece you can use in this drill press. Most benchtop model usually comes with an 8” to 12” swing. Contrarily, the floor models come with 12” to 20”.
Best Drill Press for 80 Lower (2023)
- Company’s Website
- Maximum Rotational Speed: 3200 RPM
- Voltage: 120 Volts
- Maximum Chuck Size: 13 Millimeters
- Weight: 85 pounds
If you are looking for a reliable and accurate drill press for 80% lower, here is the latest choice with tons of features. WEN 4214T 5-Amp 12-Inch Benchtop Drill Press is unparalleled among its peers and competitors. This quality drill press offers significant advantages to hobbyists and professionals as well. It has an incredible 5 AMPs powerful induction motor that is paired with a 12” swing and a spindle travel of 3-1/8-inch that enables you to drill on smaller or larger workpieces alike.
This royalty king has a feature treasure that will be beneficial not only for 80 lower but also for multitasking projects. Its treasure contains precious features like adjustable depth stop, variable speeds adjustments from 580 to 3200 RPM, overhead light to increase visibility, a bevelling table with roller extension beneficial for larger workpieces, a keyed chuck with a drilling capacity of ⅝ inch, and onboard key storage.
This featured pack drill press is less expensive, and the best bang for the buck. If you are confused about whether you should buy WEN 4214 or WEN 4214T you can check my detailed article.
- Variable speed adjustments.
- Onboard light enhances visibility.
- Keyed chuck with onboard key storage.
- ⅝ inch chuck size.
- Budget-friendly drill press.
- Plastic parts seem less durable.
- Maximum Rotational Speed: 3050 RPM
- Voltage: 110 Volts
- Maximum Chuck Size: 13 Millimeters
- Weight: 60 pounds
Shop Fox is a well-known brand that has manufactured reliable and durable tools for decades. The W1668 is one of the best drill presses in its whole catalog. It’s an upgraded version and has more speed and drilling capacity compared to its predecessor.
The ⅗ HP induction motor has the capability to fulfill the complete tasks of 80 lower. It has dual features of drilling and sanding. You just have the specific accessories to convert it from drilling to sanding, which benefits you on multiple tasks.
Moreover, this versatile drill press features a tilting worktable capable of moving around 90 degrees. This tilting feature enhances its accuracy and productivity by drilling and sanding on different angles as per the requirements of the tasks.
- Tilting the work table to 90 degrees.
- ⅗ HP powerful motor
- Aesthetically pleasing build quality.
- Durable and lightweight.
- Comes in the un-assembled form.
- Maximum Rotational Speed:3630 RPM
- Voltage: 115 Volts
- Maximum Chuck Size: 13 Millimeters
- Weight: 163 Pounds
The 80 lower receiver preparation to complete firearm assembly required an exceptional drill press to dine the work easily and safely. Say goodbye to old, heavy, and complicated system machines and hello to the latest technology with JET J- 2530. To offer you great precision, JET J-2530 stands out from the crowd.
It comes equipped with ¾ HP drilling capacity that offers 16-speed variations. These superb variations make it easier to maneuver the intricate softer materials or to handle the rigid materials. It has a durable build quality and consists of a supportive steel base column with enhanced longevity.
With the lubricated ball bearings, the performance of this extraordinary drill press for 80 lower increases 2x. Plus, the telescopic spindle guard adds to the safety of this benchtop drill press. It comes in excellent packaging in unassembled form but is very easy to assemble even without instructions; you can do it well.
- 16-speed variations 200 to 3,630 RPM.
- Telescopic spindle guard.
- Powerful motor with superb drilling capacity.
- Durable build quality.
- Easily mounted on the work table.
- A bit heavy.
Router or Drill Press for 80 Lower?
Now the question is, from router or drill press, which one is best for 80 lower?
Both of these machines vary in their specs and functionalities.
The drill press is used to drill holes accurately with precise depth and width. You need specific drill bits for drilling holes of different dimensions. It consists of a chuck and spindle that moves up and down to complete the operations.
On the other hand, the router is specifically used for cutting and shaping the workpiece. It is usually used for accurate cuts and cavities, the unique requirement of finishing 80 lower. The router requires specific bits. The router goes side to side to shape up the excellent cuts. Therefore for milling proper shapes, the router is recommended for 80 lower finishing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1- Can you finish an 80% lower with a drill press?
You can finish an 80% lower with a drill press. 80% lower is an unfinished receiver that requires 20% more work to assemble it. You just need specific accessories to perform accurate holes, cuts, and cavities. You need particular jigs, drill bits, and mill bits to finish it.
2- What speed to drill 80% lower?
The speed rating is determined by the material type of 80 lower. If the 80 lower is made of less hard material like steel, it requires 1000-1500. Comparatively, the speed should be slow to drill on the hardest material like aluminum or composites from 500-1000 RPM seems best.
3- What tools are needed to complete an 80% lower?
To complete an 80% lower, you need different tools to fulfill different tasks that contribute to finishing it to the final and functional firearm. These tools included,
- drill press/milling machine
- Drill bits/mill bits
- Jig to hold the workpiece firmly
- Cutting fluids
- Torque wrench
- Finishing coating or painting
4- What is good horsepower for a drill press?
The horsepower requirements depend on the material type you plan to work with. For gunsmithing or 80% lower finish, you usually work with aluminum, polymer, or composites. For great precision and consistency, the good horsepower is ½ and more.
Complete the 80% lower is a delicate as well as sensitive task. To finish it properly with outstanding accuracy, a high-end drill press requires. To fulfill your requirements, we suggested the 3 best drill presses for 80 lower. We selected these top-rated drill presses on the basis of power, speed, specs, components accuracy, and the required performance of particular tasks. This definitive guide helps you to select the best one for your preferred budget and needs.