Best Drill Press for Metal in 2022 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

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If you drill a lot of metal rather than wood, then you really need the best metal drill press in your workshop. The nice thing about a metal drill dress is a lot of times they can also be used for the wood so they can be versatile. This is not always the case so if that is something you want in your drill presses, be sure to watch for those details.

When it comes to choosing a drill press for metal, you will need to be very particular. You need to consider how stable the drill press will be so you can rely on accurate drilling. Metal can be a tough material so you speed settings, stability, and a good build.

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best drill press for metal in 2022
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In this guide, we will share with you comprehensive reviews of our top picks for the best drill presses for metal on the market. There are some great choices out there and you can rest assured we have thoroughly sifted through them to narrow it down to the very best! Whether you’re looking for a portable drill press or a floor standing drill press, we’ve got you covered right here!

How to Choose the Best Drill Presses for Metal

How to Choose the Best Drill Presses for Metal
Image by Beeki on Pixabay

Before we get into the options, there are some things you need to know about in order to really make a great decision. While most drill presses will appear similar, you will find that most of them have some sort of unique quality that makes them stand apart. Look for that as you peruse the choices.

On top of that, keep these details in mind for the best drill press for metal.

Speed

Speed is always important with any type of drill press. When it comes to metal, you will want a variable speed range most likely. This will allow you to adjust your speed based on the type of metal you are cutting or the work you are doing at the time.

Having a good variable speed range opens up the possibilities for just what you can do with your machine. Materials that are harder to drill through will need lower speeds and materials that are simple can be worked through at higher speeds. You just never know what speed you will need so having several speed settings gives you more functionality.

Even if you think you will only work with one type of metal, we still recommend a good variable speed range to be prepared. The good news is that most presses already come with a variable speed range. What that range is might vary though so watch for that.

Stability

In most cases, you will find that floor drill presses will work the best when it comes to metal. We know that’s not always viable for your tasks or your work place but floor standing drill presses are the most common solution when it comes to drilling metal. That being said, you can find other models if that is what best meets your needs.

The reason for this is that floor standing drill presses tend to be far more stable than any other type of drill press out there. Stability is going to be one of the most important factors. It is stability that will hold the machine steady while you are working through some tough materials.

Working with metal is no joke. Think about how hard it is to work a drill bit through metal on a hand drill. This machine has to be steady and sturdy in order to drill through metal quickly and repetitively. It makes sense, right?

Look for something that is going to be sturdy and won’t add a lot of extra vibration or shaking when you are putting it to work!

Power

Next up, the power is an essential part of your machine. The power of the motor can make it or break it in reality. If your machine can’t get enough torque then those speed settings we just talked about really mean nothing.

Metal and wood are very different when it comes to drilling. With metal, the hardest part of the drilling factor is the initial penetration of the drill bit. Once it initially gets through, it can make it through steadily but it has to be able to punch through the metal first. This is where the power really comes in.

If your drill press for metal isn’t powerful enough, you will end up frustrated because you either won’t make it through some tough materials or you will end up with drilled holes that look awful because the drill bit didn’t have the power to really make it through. When it works too hard, it just turns the hole into a mess.

This is another reason that most drill presses for metal options are floor standing drill presses. They generally have more power and are equipped to handle the power.

Uses

Finally, as you look at your best drill press for metal, be sure to consider what you will be using it for. This will have a drastic effect on what you purchase. While you should plan to choose a drill press for metal that can be versatile and handle more than one type of metal, you also don’t necessarily need to buy the highest-level drill press if it has a ton of power, speed, and features that you will never use.

Ask yourself what type of ranges and capabilities you absolutely need to get your work done and what other types of things you would like to have available to you. Determine what functions you really don’t need and don’t want to waste your money paying for if you can avoid it.

These are just some basic questions. In the end, you need to pick the machine that will suit your need and be able to handle the tasks you need to be covered.

The Best Drill Presses for Metal

Now that you’ve got some basic information, let’s “drill” into the options (pun intended!). What you will find is that there are some really great options out there. Then, there are options that look like they might be good but they’re really just ok.

But you don’t have to worry about figuring all of that out. We’ve already done the hard work. Now, you can just sit back, grab your popcorn, and check out these few drill presses for metal options that we narrowed down for you!

1. Best Overall: Shop Fox W1848 Floor Standing Drill Press

Shop Fox W1848 Floor Standing Drill PressCheck Latest Price

First up is our top pick overall, which comes from Shop Fox. This floor standing drill press for metal is a heavy duty drill press with a lot of drilling power. It’s an oscillating drilling machine so you can drill holes with accuracy and have the ultimate versatility at your fingertips. You might even decide to try this good drill press out for an oscillating sander but that’s totally up to you.

It’s great for metal work if you use the appropriate drill bits. It’s powerful and versatile to bring you reliable drilling capacity. This has a wide speed range that goes from 250 RPM to a maximum speed of 3050 RPM so you can handle hard metal sheets and even the thickest metals all in one place.

This has a cast iron table and the motor power is 3/4 HP so you can rely on enough power for your metal projects. The oscillating features will help you work with metal pieces that are larger materials or perhaps awkward depths.

Your swing and your drill check are pretty great here too with a high maximum depth compared to some machines out there. It’s a workhorse for sure.

Specs:

Chuck size: 1/64 – 5/8
Swing:13 3/4
Motor: 3/4 HP
Type: Floor drill press
Speed: 250-3050 RPM

Key Features (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speed: 10
  • Stability: 10
  • Versatility: 10
  • Power: 10
  • Spindle Travel: 10
  • A full floor standing drill press that doesn’t take up too much space
  • Great for metal pieces and other materials
  • Oscillating functionality
  • Plenty of power
  • Speed setting control with a wide range
  • Some users mention it comes looking almost unfinished with a few burrs

Why We Like It: When you want a machine with the maximum durability and all of the functionality for you to drill the metal piece of your choice, Shop Fox comes through for you with this floor drill press. It’s simple and effective with drilling speed and drilling accuracy on your side.

2. Budget Pick: Wen 4214 12-Inch Benchtop Drill Press

Wen 4214 12-Inch Benchtop Drill PressCheck Latest Price

If you’re looking for the best benchtop drill press for your metal work, look no further than this affordable model from Wen. Wen is always great for supplying good tools for good prices and these benchtop drill presses certainly qualify. You can drill through most metals in just a few seconds. You’ve got power and a good range of drilling speeds to work with.

The entire drill press is compact to some degree if you have less space to work with. It’s made to give you precise drilling along with stability and versatility. Compared to other drill presses, you may find some slight differences but it really stands out well against the competition in this field.

The base and the table are made of cast iron. You get a good range of RPMs and a strong motor, which is why it can handle metal work when you use the right drill bits. The work table is stable and it tilts and adjusts easily. Your spindle speeds will be surprising thanks to the wide RPM range and the power behind it all.

Specs:

Chuck size: 5/8
Swing: 3 1/8
Motor:2/3 HP
Type: Benchtop
Speed: 580-33200 RPM

Key Features (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speed: 10
  • Stability: 9
  • Versatility: 9
  • Power: 10
  • Spindle Travel: 9
  • Permanently lubricated ball bearings are great
  • Includes a digital speed readout
  • Wide range of variable speeds for drilling speed
  • Built-in depth adjustment gauge
  • The spindle assembly has a decent spindle depth and travel
  • The customer service at Wen is lacking if you were to have any issues

Why We Like It: From DIY projects to an array of metal pieces, this simple and affordable benchtop drill press really has a lot to offer. It has several useful features that many drill presses don’t bother with and it’s reliable for your wok with variable drilling speeds and plenty of power.

3. Best Value: JET J-2500 15-Inch Drill Press

JET J-2500 15-Inch Drill PressCheck Latest Price

If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, check out this Jet model floor standing drill press. It’s solid and sturdy with a cast iron head as well as a work table and base. The cast iron helps to keep your floor drill press stable while you put in the work. You can again take advantage of an oscillating sander on the drill bits if you would like.

This is a simple machine but it really steps up where it counts. Jet focuses on the quality of the tool itself rather than adding bells and whistles that are impressive to you. What you can most definitely count on here is solid and sturdy floor standing drill presses. Of course, then you also have variable speed settings and plenty of power to put this drill press to work.

This also has some enhanced security right at the drill bit. There is an extended telescoping spindle that surrounds the drilling bit and protects from your fingers getting in the way of spindle travel and work.

You can drill through a variety of metal sheets with ease and put those drill press safety tips to work at the same time.

Specs:

Chuck size: 5/8
Swing: 16 1/2
Motor:3/4 HP
Type: Floor drill press
Speed: 260-3630 RPM

Key Features (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speed: 10
  • Stability: 10
  • Versatility: 10
  • Power: 10
  • Spindle Travel: 10
  • Ball bearings stay lubricated for easier spindle work
  • High power motor gets the job done
  • Cast iron head and base for more stability
  • Variable speed settings with 16 ranges
  • Telescoping spindle guard for added safety
  • The drilling depth is slightly limited but it should be fine for most metal needs

Why We Like It: We appreciate that Jet made the effort to put more stability, power, and variable speed range on their floor standing drill press. It really stands out here for those specific reasons, making it a quality drill press for metal.

4. Dewalt Drill Press, Magnetic Drill Press for Metal (DWE1622K)

JET J-2500 15-Inch Drill PressCheck Latest Price

Dewalt (DWE1622K) is not your average floor drill press or even benchtop for that matter. It’s a drill press for metal that was made for travel and portability purposes. It works well for that but as such the drill press will have some limitations for just how much it can handle in the field. This drill press comes with two simple speed settings, a high and a low.

It’s a simple drill press with a 10-amp motor that suits the size. It has a no load speed range of 300 or 450 RPM. The drill press is supported with overload protection so that the motor won’t get damaged by working too hard.

This drill press has a quick change chuck system as well so you can change out your chuck quickly and easily to keep working through your projects. It also has a magnetic surface to help add some stabilization for you to work with.

It’s small but mighty and while it can’t handle everything, it can certainly be useful when it comes to working in travel mode.

Specs:

Chuck size: adjustable
Swing: 2 inches
Motor:10 amps
Type: Portable
Speed: 300/450 RPM

Key Features (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speed: 7
  • Stability: 9
  • Versatility: 8
  • Power: 10
  • Spindle Travel: 9
  • Powerful enough for simple tasks in the field
  • Two speed range option
  • Drill press built for portability
  • Includes overload protection for the motor
  • Easy to change the chuck as needed
  • You will need some way to set up this drill press for stability

Why We Like It: While this isn’t a perfect drill press, we really appreciate that Dewalt came up with a reliable design for a portable solution drill press. With a little bit of effort, you can get the job done with a variety of metal work.

5. Powermatic PM2800B 18-inch Floor Standing Drill Press

Powermatic PM2800B 18-inch Floor Standing Drill PressCheck Latest Price

This next option is not for the faint of heart. Powermatic is an industrial floor drill press and it has the price tag to match. One of the things that stand out here is you have an infinitely variable speed. They give you a wide range of speeds and then you can adjust to literally any speed within that spectrum. It’s a pretty cool option.

You get full horsepower on the motor so you have plenty of power to support the variable speed options. This floor drill press for metal is large and in charge. It’s made with a cast iron head, base, and working table.

Did we mention that the work table is larger than your average work table? This gives you more space for your metal sheets. The speed setting also has a digital readout so you always know where you’re at. This table rotates and tilts to give you more movement and spindle travel.

Finally, this table also has reversible handles. You can place the handles on either side of the machine so it’s comfortable for right or left-handed use on the drill press.

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Specs:

Chuck size: up to 5/8
Swing:18 inches
Motor:1 HP
Type:floor drill press
Speed: 250-3000 RPM

Key Features (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speed: 10
  • Stability: 10
  • Versatility: 10
  • Power: 10
  • Spindle Travel: 10
  • The infinitely variable speed that you can see on the digital speed readout
  • Spindle travel is really great
  • Powerful 1 HP motor
  • The table is larger than most and rotates
  • Higher level of stability with cast iron everywhere
  • Some users have had issues with the chuck falling off too easily

Why We Like It: The Powermatic is a more expensive floor drill press but it has quite a bit to offer. It’s stable and steady and it gives you more work space for your metal sheets. The digital speed readout is handy and you can enjoy a wide RPM range and always know where you stand within that wide RPM range on the readout.

6. Grizzly Industrial G7944 14-Inch Heavy Duty Floor Drill Press

Grizzly Industrial G7944 14-Inch Heavy Duty Floor Drill PressCheck Latest Price

The Grizzly model is another industrial model. It’s built to be simple while also being sturdy and reliable. It has a great motor and it has 12 speed setting options for you to work with. That paired with high spindle travel gives you a lot of workability on this floor drill press. Even the safety key is well-made on this drill press.

Grizzly doesn’t add in extra fancy bells and whistles like the digital readout or the built in LED light but they do make sure you have speed, stability, and power so you can put your drill bits to work on this drill press for metal.

The motor is a single phase motor so it’s steady and handles the speed it is used for. This floor standing drill press is made with cast iron. It has a decent swing, a tilting table, and a telescoping drill bit guard around the chuck as well.

Specs:

Chuck size: Speed: 140-3050 RPM
Swing: 14 inches
Motor:3/4 HP
Type: Floor standing drill press
Speed: 140-3050 RPM

Key Features (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speed: 10
  • Stability: 10
  • Versatility: 9
  • Power: 10
  • Spindle Travel: 9
  • Industrial drill press for metal
  • Simple but reliable
  • Plenty of speed with 12 settings
  • Powerful motor
  • Telescoping guard around the drill bits for added security
  • You may have to do a couple of housekeeping things at assembly for smooth operation

Why We Like It: Grizzly makes heavy-duty tools that last and this is just another one of their quality options. It’s a simple tool but it’s solid and steady so you can depend on it for your drill press for metal needs on a broad spectrum.

7. Bilt Hard Drill Press for Metal

Bilt Hard Drill Press for MetalCheck Latest Price

Finally, we leave you with one last best drill press to consider for your needs. Bilt is a benchtop model, rather than a floor standing drill press, but you will find that it’s quite capable when it comes to comparing them. It’s another affordable option so if you need budget-friendly you might just get that here.

This drill press is listed as being able to handle metal, wood, and plastic materials. It has a decent motor for its size and gives you a broad range of speeds to work with. You can adjust your speed to 16 different settings so you can find what works best for your needs at the time.

The table can be tilted and it has pre-drilled holes and slots so you can easily mount and extend the table as well as vises and clamps when needed. Speaking of vises, this comes with a compatible vice as a bonus for your convenience. It’s a nice additional touch from the company.

This drill press might not be a floor standing drill press but it’s functional and reliable and it comes to you at a really great price!

Specs:

Chuck size: 7/64 to 5/8
Swing:13 1/4 inches
Motor:6.6 amps
Type: Benchtop
Speed: 220-3600 RPM

Key Features (on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest)

  • Speed: 10
  • Stability: 10
  • Versatility: 10
  • Power: 9
  • Spindle Travel: 10
  • Comes with a vise for your convenience
  • Budget-friendly drill press
  • 16 different speeds to work with
  • High swing level for the size
  • High chuck range compared to even some floor standing drill press models
  • The table is not squared so you may have to do a bit of work up front for accuracy

Why We Like It: We love that Bilt Hard made a genuine effort to bring you an affordable tool that also delivers quality, stability, and speed. It’s a drill press that you can depend on and that’s really where it counts if you ask us!

Buyer’s Guide

buyers guide for the one of the best drill press for metal
Image by RobbieWi on Pixabay

Alright! There you have it on the best drill press for metal options available. While a floor standing drill press might be ideal for stability, it just doesn’t always work into space or budget for everyone and we totally get that.

Before you make that final decision on your wish list, we hope you will check out this buyer’s guide that just includes some additional intuitive information you might want to think about.

Budget

We all have different budget ranges. That’s why we tried to make a pointed effort to choose a variety of options to meet a variety of budgets. We hope that you can find something here that fits within your budget. You can rest assured that even the budget picks were still carefully inspected and considered before we listed them here.

Now, let’s have a bit of a heart to heart on sticking to your budget. You need to determine your budget first and have a good idea of what you are willing or able to spend on your drill machine. Then, once you know your range, you start looking for options that fit within the budget.

To plan ahead, it’s a good idea to know your non-negotiable terms. For example, do you absolutely insist upon a specific HP on the motor? Maybe you want a specific number of speed choices or perhaps even a specific swing minimum.

Take the time to think about these details and note them down. Then, look at the options in your budget and figure out which ones fit your requirements and your needs. That’s a really great way to narrow it down and make sure you’re still getting what you need!

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Versatility

Let’s be honest. You probably have a specific purpose in mind for your machine. But we want to know if you ever plan to step outside of that box? We mentioned earlier that understanding your use of the machine will go a long way to help you make a final decision.

We also want you to be open minded about the possibility that you could easily do more with the machine. The good news is that pretty much every machine we listed here is versatile so it can handle a lot of different needs.

Consider that things like speed, power, table adjustments, swing, and even the build all play into versatility. If you have a capable machine, you will be able to use it for a lot of different things. Don’t limit yourself to just one or two things but you also don’t necessarily have to go for the sky’s the limit if you don’t plan to move towards the sky.

Just try to be aware of what your machine might (or might not) be capable of so you can venture out for additional uses should the need or desire arise.

Safety

Safety first! There are a lot of different ways that a drill press could be safe or not be safe. Most of the newer models are enhanced with a variety of features that are all about safety. You read in some models about the telescoping guard. This is just one example of safety implementation that can be really helpful.

In this particular example, it’s basically a clear guard that circles around the bit and the chuck. The guard allows for movement so the bit can still go into the materials but it adds a layer of protection between your fingers and the drill bit.

A bit moving at these speeds could do some considerable damage given the opportunity so the goal here is to not give it the opportunity.

This is one simple example of safety features. There are plenty more things out there geared towards safety as well. Not every machine is made the same so keep that in mind.

Speed control is a safety element. While it also gives you the ability to do your work, you can slow the speed to work safely with a specific material as well. Many machines include different safety locking equipment so you don’t accidentally do anything on the press. Some machines even have dust ports to help keep dust out of the way.

Finally, on safety, we want to mention that while the machine should have certain safeguards, there is some responsibility for safety on your own shoulders as well. Make sure you understand how to safely operate your drill press and be sure that you wear appropriate safety equipment as well. Glove and safety goggles are a must but you may need additional gear depending on what you are doing.

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Frequently Asked Questions

For some additional information, check out these frequently asked questions with answers.

What Should Never Be Left in the Drill Press?

The one thing that you should never leave in your drill press is the chuck key. Always remove the chuck key and put it away before using your press. This chuck key is designed to remove the chuck so when you leave the key in, it leaves your chuck susceptible to motion or even attachment issues that you probably don’t really want to have to deal with.

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Do You Need Special Bits for a Drill Press?

You can use regular drill bits as long as they will fit in the chuck specifications. Of course, you can also purchase special bits and may be better off doing so. You will want to be sure you use a bit that is going to work for higher speeds and be durable for the material you are drilling through. You also want to know the length of your bit and be sure it’s going to be right for your project.

Just be sure whatever drill bits you decide to use are compatible with your chuck on the press.

Will My Drill Press Rust?

It is certainly possible that you will face some rusting issues. Unfortunately, when you use materials like iron and metal, that’s a side effect that can happen. Proper care and maintenance of the machine as well as any bits you use will go a long way to prevent rusting for you.

You can also keep your machine oiled with something like coconut oil, kerosene, or tung oil to help prevent oxidization and then eventually rust. Keep the machine cleaned up and do your best to protect it from moisture as well.

Can a Drill Press Be Used for Milling?

Yes, you can mill on a drill press but it was not really designed for that purpose. Milling won’t be a simple process so just keep that in mind if you decide to give it a try. Drill presses are better for drilling, boring, reaming, and similar uses.

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing the best drill press for metal, there is a lot to know. However, there are quite a few options out there that can work for metal if you have the right bit. Most of the functionality comes from speed, power, and stability.

We hope that you find this guide to be a valuable resource for choosing your drill press for metal. We made every effort to provide you with a variety of choices to meet as many needs and budget restraints as we possibly could.

Which drill tool do you have your eye on?

Expert Tip

If you want as much stability as possible, go ahead and stick to a floor standing model for that added level of stability. While other models can be stable, you have heavier bases and usually heavier heads and tables with a floor standing press.

Did You Know?

Lower speeds are great for more challenging metals and higher speeds are great for easier projects. For that reason, you want to be sure you have a high range of speed options on both the high end and the low end of the spectrum.

Amazon Recommends:

Bestseller No. 1
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
Bestseller No. 2
Sunex 5000A 16-Speed Floor UL/CSA Drill Press
  • Heavy duty 3/4 HP motor with 5/8" drill capacity
  • Convenient belt tension lever for quick speed transition
  • Table rotates 360° and pivots from 0° to 45 ° on each side with indicator to facilitate setting
  • UL and CSA Listed
  • Replacement 5/8" chuck and key - RS5000A87- fits standard MT2 arbor
Bestseller No. 3
HILTEX 10005 Jumbo Silver & Deming Drill Bit Set, 8 Piece, 1/2" Inch Shank Industrial Large Drill Bit Set 9/16” Drill Bit to 1" Drill Bit, Metal Drill Bits for Steel, Reduced Shank Drill Press Bits
  • HIGH SPEED STEEL: These metal drill bits for steel are made of high speed stainless steel and is designed to ensure sharp and fast execution in any material leaving clean results. This 8-piece drill-bit set is capable of drilling through plastic, copper, stainless steel, and other surfaces.
  • LARGE DRILL BIT SET: Heat treated carbon steel with a black enamel coating is durable and can withstand heavy duty operation for a long tool life.
  • PRECISION DRILLING SET: Bit is precision ground with geometry of 135-degree split point for quick self-centering penetration and an accurate start that prevents walking and clears chips and particles faster.
  • DRILL PRESS BITS: Tri-flat on the shanks of drills are constructed for tighter chucking maximizing security for precise holes. This pattern allows the bits to fit securely into your power tools and helps eliminate slippage.
  • DRILL BIT SET INCLUDES: Complete set of 8 pieces come in a convenient storage case for easy storage and portability; sizes include: 1/2" Shank x 9/16" Drill Bit, 5/8" Drill Bit, 11/16" Drill Bit, 3/4" Drill Bit, 13/16" Drill Bit, 7/8" Drill Bit, 15/16" Drill Bit, and 1" Drill Bit

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