Outline of Materials
- 1 Top 6 Drill Presses for Finishing Your 80 Lower Receiver: Which One Is Right for You?
- 1.1 Understanding The 80% Lower Finishing
- 1.2 How to Complete an 80% Lower in 9 Steps
- 1.3 Top 5 Best Drill Presses for 80% Lower Reviewed
- 1.3.1 1WEN 4208T 2.3-Amp 8-Inch 5-Speed Drill Press
- 1.3.2 2BILT HARD TL-DP85-W 8-Inch 5-Speed Drill Press with Worklight and Drill Vise
- 1.3.3 3WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press
- 1.3.4 4Grizzly 14″ Heavy-Duty Drill Press – Ultimate Press for Precision Drilling
- 1.3.5 5WEN 4212T Laser-Guided Drill Press: Ultimate Precision Drilling Tool
- 1.3.6 6JET XACTA Laser 12-Inch Variable-Speed Drill Press
- 1.4 Purchasing Advice for Top Drill Press to Complete 80% Lower
- 1.5 Router Versus Drill Press or Mill
- 1.6 FAQs
- 1.7 Final Words
Top 6 Drill Presses for Finishing Your 80 Lower Receiver: Which One Is Right for You?
An 80 lower is one of the best drills for the home builder or DIYer who wants a higher-quality drill press. It’s also one of the best values when you compare it to other types of drilling equipment.
While building your 80% lower, you will require many tools to complete your work, and the process becomes overwhelming at times. A drill press is used to complete your 80% lower safely and effectively. Most of the work can be finished by vertically drilling and cutting.
If you are building your 80% lower, you should ensure to use a finishing jig, a drill press, or a handheld drill, but your tools should stand up to the receiver materials. If you are new to converting your receivers into functional firearms, then you will find this article helpful.
We have covered the best drill press you should use to build your 80% lower.
Typical Features of Top 80% Lower Drill Presses
WEN 4208T 8-Inch Drill Press
Motor: 1/3 HP
Max. Speed: 3140 RPM
Drill Chuck: 1/2-inch
Weight: 31 lbs.
BILT HARD TL-DP85-W Drill Press
Motor: 1/3 HP
Max. Speed: 3070 RPM
Drill Chuck: 1/2-inch
Weight: 22 lbs.
WEN 4214 12-Inch Drill Press
Motor: 2/3 HP
Max. Speed: 3200 RPM
Drill Chuck: 5/8-inch
Weight: 89.1 lbs.
Grizzly G7943 Drill Press
Motor: 1/3 HP
Max. Speed: 3140 RPM
Drill Chuck: 1/2-inch
Weight: 36 lbs.
WEN 4212T Drill Press
Motor: 3/4 HP
Max. Speed: 3100 RPM
Drill Chuck: 1/2-inch
Weight: 51 lbs.
JET JWDP-12 Drill Press
Motor: 1/2 HP
Max. Speed: 3100 RPM
Drill Chuck: 1/2-inch
Weight: 85 lbs.
Understanding The 80% Lower Finishing
80% lower drill finishing is a technique used to reduce the cost of drilling steel, while also increasing the surface finish. This technique involves using a drill bit with a larger diameter than the normal size used for drilling and then coating it with a mixture of aluminum oxide powder and water.
After this step, the aluminum oxide coating on the drill bit becomes hard, which makes it suitable for high-speed drilling. In this way, you can use the same drill bit for multiple projects at once, thus saving time and money.
It is a process that involves drilling out the remaining 20% of the material that was originally used for making the drill bit. Once it is drilled out, it’s then ground down to the size of the drill bit.
This process makes the drill bits more durable, and process also reduces the amount of heat the drill bit generates. It’s a great way to get the most use out of your drill bits.
Most Significant Thing for Lowering 80% of the Finish
Drill presses are very important tools for finishing 80% lower. They should be sharp and straight so they can easily go through the holes in the workpiece and keep the cutting edges clean. Also, you need a proper drill press that is designed to handle this kind of job.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when you are working on the 80% lower is that the material should be the right hardness. If you have a piece of soft iron, it will be easier to shape it into a drill bit than if you had a piece of hardened steel.
The next thing you need is to find the best drill bits for 80% lower. Drill bits come in many different sizes and styles. You may want to start with a small size and work your way up. If you have a lot of experience with this kind of work, you may want to use bigger drill bits. Also, make sure that you change your drill bits often. If you don’t, the tip of the drill bit will become too dull.
How to Complete an 80% Lower in 9 Steps
If you are all ready to make your AR-15 rifle, we have shared the tips and techniques to construct it independently.
1. Set the lower in the jig: The two steel pins present on the jigs plate will adjust in line with the pivot and make the holes at the front and receiver’s back. Place your receiver on one plate and arrange the pins. Arrange the other plate and place the assembly straight.
2. Install the template holder: The holder will carry the template plates for cutting and drilling. Place the holder on top of the jig and receiver. Make holes on each side of the holder with the holes that have been drilled on the top of each side plate. Now tighten the holder to the jig using an Allen key and hex-head bolts.
3. Installing the pilot hole template: There are many holes drilled into the pilot hole template. You can collect it with hex-head screws and an Allen key. Don’t try to over-tighten these as they can strip easily. Now that the jig assembly is ready, you can secure it in your work-holding vise.
Tighten the jig to prevent it from sliding and moving while you work.
4. Setting up the 3/8” Drill Bit: Drill pilot holes using the 3/8″ drill bit before cutting the receiver. This process is completed to remove a large portion of the aluminum and give points for the entry, using the end mill bits.
5. Drill the Pilot Holes: After your bit is fitted and your machine is ready, you can start drilling holes in the template to make the pilot holes. You can use cutting fluid and remove the bit occasionally from work for the cleaning of the receiver.
6. Cutting the Receiver 1.375” Deep: After drilling the pilot holes, remove the drill bit from your machine. Place the 3/8” end mill instead of the last one. Cut a depth of 1.375” from the surface of the plate, and use calipers and a stop dollar to help you set up the machine and to prevent you from milling.
Perform milling with a drill press; remove ¼ inches with each cutting pass. The end mill vertically cut is called a plunge cut. Clean the receiver’s wall after the final depth has been reached.
7. Cutting the Receiver 2 inches deep: Install a 3/8 end mill in your machine and start cutting 2-inch deep measurements from the face of the plate.
8. Trigger Slot Cutting: After the two-inch deep cut, remove the 3/8 inch end mill, place the fourth template, 5/16 inch end mill, and cut inside the receiver to make the trigger slot.
9. Drilling the Pin Holes: In the end, install the 3/8 drill bit in your machine again. Start drilling through both sides of the receiver and create holes. Also, remove the 3/8 “ and install the 5/32” end mill and start drilling twice more to make hammer pinholes and trigger holes.
After following these steps, you will be able to create an AR-15 from scratch.
Top 5 Best Drill Presses for 80% Lower Reviewed
Cutting or drilling an 80% lower doesn’t require much skills and experience; you need the right set of jigs. A jig places the receiver blank for drilling pinholes. All AR-15 receivers require the same type of drilled pinholes and cuts.
Choosing jigs depends on the type of tools being used. Here we have reviewed the best drill presses that you can utilize for your 80% lower.
1WEN 4208T 2.3-Amp 8-Inch 5-Speed Drill Press
- It comes with a ½-inch onboard key storage and a keyed chuck.
- WEN operates at five different speeds that are 740, 1100, 1530, 2100, and 3140 RPM.
- The 1/3HP induction motor produces the needed torque.
- The spindle can move up to 2 inches, and it offers locking depth stops for accurate drilling tasks.
- It comes with a one-year warranty.
- Key storage is included with it.
To finish your 80% lower receivers, are you looking for a dependable and effective drill press? The WEN 4208T Precision Drill Press is the only option. This benchtop drill press is the ideal tool for gun lovers, hobbyists, and DIY enthusiasts because it is specifically made for 80% lower receiver completion.
The WEN’s 8” drill press is a compact tool that takes less space on your workbench. It is powerful to drill holes in metals, wood, plastic, and other materials. This drill press can drill up to a ½-inch hole in cast iron. The ball-bearing construction in its induction offers smooth and balanced work and makes the motor long-lasting. This tool has the best drill speed at 80% lower.
This drill press’s strong cast iron head, table, and base are built to deliver consistently accurate and repeatable holes. Ball bearings are used in the robust induction motor for longer life, and everything works together to provide even at high speeds a smooth and balanced performance. Moreover, the JT33 spindle taper on the 12″ chuck allows you flexibility with a range of bits.
For those hard procedures, the worktable has 45° left and right bevels, and the base has predrilled holes for attaching to a bench or work stand. The slotted table makes it simple to secure your 80% lower receiver while working by allowing the mounting of clamps and vises for efficient work holding.
WEN has proudly created cutting-edge powered tools since 1951 that are value-driven and give useful features that will help you finish and enjoy your work as much as your project. The WEN 4208T Precision Drill Press is the ideal tool for polishing 80% lower receivers, whether you’re a gun enthusiast or a DIY hobbyist. Why then wait? Grab the WEN 4208T in your hands today and begin drilling!
2BILT HARD TL-DP85-W 8-Inch 5-Speed Drill Press with Worklight and Drill Vise
- Motor: 1/3 HP
- Drill Chuck: 1/2-inch
- Weight: 22 lbs.
- Beveling worktable bevels up to 45° left and right
- Powerful that you drill a variety of materials like metal, plastic, etc.
- 5 operating speeds allow you to handle versatile projects
- Sturdy and compact construction ensures durability
The BILT-HARD 8” Drill Press is small yet mighty enough to drill through multiple materials like plastic, wood, metal, and many more. It is equipped with spindle travel of 2”, 8” swing, keyed chunk of ½,” 2.4A induction motor, making it powerful to make any drilling project convenient.
Accurate drilling and premium durability is the promise of this drill press. That is why the benchtop frame is made of cast iron. The great thing is, at a 45° angle, the worktable can be beveled to the left and right positions according to your preference. It has pre-drilled holes in the base, allowing you to install it on a bench or worktable quite comfortably.
Furthermore, the drill press is compatible with numerous drill bits. Its ½” keyed chunk lets it accept bits from 1/16” – ½.” Repeatable drilling operations are extremely easy with this drill press because of the depth stop with gauge Additionally, the locking depth stop is easy to read. This is a well-made, solid, diverse, and powerful tool that can handle pretty much anything a press is supposed to handle in a hobbyist or low-production pro-environment.
- Product Weight: 22 lbs.
- Operating Voltage: 120V
- Speed: 3070RPM
- Amperage: 2.4 Amps
- Power source: Corded Electric
- Motor Power: 1/3 HP
- Drill Chuck: 1/2-Inch
3WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press
- The MT2 spindle taper accepts bits up to 5/8 of a 1” in diameter
- A cast iron base gives it a sturdy and rugged construction
- LED screen displays the exact speed of the drill press
- Built-in work light for convenient working under low light conditions
- 45° beveling worktable for angled drilling applications
The manufacturer WEN has been in the tools industry for many years and is renowned for manufacturing premium-quality power tools. This WEN 4214 12” Variable Speed Drill Press is also no exception; it comes with pretty exceptional features like a digital display, cast iron base, laser precision, depth adjustment gauge, and many more.
Many customers appreciate its mechanical variable speed feature. You can adjust the speed anywhere between 580RPm to 3200RPMs with the simple turn of the speed adjustment lever. To make your drilling project precise, it has a built-in digital display displaying the current speed of the drill press. As a result, you can set the speed to your required level without much of a hassle.
Moreover, its patented work light illuminates your workpiece in any lighting condition. The table roller extension is another worth-mentioning feature of this tool that extends the table roller for up to 17” of support. This way, working with a larger piece of metal, wood, plastic, and other materials will never be a challenge. You can easily bevel the 9 ½” X 9 ½” table at a 45° angle in either direction for angled drilling operations.
- Product Weight: 89 lbs.
- Voltage: 120V
- Speed: 3200RPM
- Amperage: 3.2Amps
- Power source: Corded Electric
- Motor Power: 1/3 HP
- Drill Chuck: 5/8-Inch
4Grizzly 14″ Heavy-Duty Drill Press – Ultimate Press for Precision Drilling
- The double T-slot feature supports the drill press in achieving the required efficiency
- Easy to adjust table height with its table height lock handles
- Powerful and versatile, suitable for various drilling materials
- Lightweight that you will not face problems moving it to different places
Searching for a drill press of superior quality to complete your 80% lower receiver? The Grizzly Industrial 14″ Heavy-Duty Benchtop Drill Press is your best option.
This drill press is ideal for polishing 80% lower receivers since it features a 3/4 HP motor and 12 settings ranging from 140 to 3050 RPM. The precision-ground cast-iron table tilts 90 degrees to the left and right, and lock levers and a coolant trough keep the workpiece secure and cool throughout the operation.
The Grizzly Industrial 14″ Heavy-Duty Benchtop Drill Press is the ideal benchtop drill press for 80 lower receivers because of its 14″ swing and 3/4″ steel drilling capabilities. For added adaptability, the threaded depth stop and four T-slots accept a 1/2″ clamping kit.
In addition to its amazing capabilities, this drill press offers a built-in light for improved visibility and cushioned quill handles for extra comfort during extended use. The Grizzly Industrial 14″ Heavy-Duty Benchtop Drill Press has a powder-coated finish and a cast-iron table and base for durability.
The Grizzly Industrial 14″ Heavy-Duty Benchtop Drill Press is the drill press for the 80 percent lower receivers you’ve been seeking, whether you’re a professional gunsmith or a DIY enthusiast. Do not settle for less; update your workshop immediately!
5WEN 4212T Laser-Guided Drill Press: Ultimate Precision Drilling Tool
- Laser-Guided feature for precise drilling.
- 5-Amp, 1/2-inch chuck with JT33 spindle taper.
- Class IIIA 2.5mW lasers highlight drill center points, saving materials.
- The versatile 8-by-7.5-inch cast-iron worktable bevels 45° left and right.
- Two-year warranty, courteous support, and replacement components for peace of mind.
The WEN 4212T Laser-Guided Variable Speed Drill Press will allow you to take your grilling to the next level. This drill press can easily cut through metal, wood, plastic, and more, making it the ideal instrument for completing an 80% lower receiver.
This drill press can handle a wide range of applications thanks to its 5-Amp motor, 1/2-inch chuck, JT33 spindle taper, and mechanical variable speed. It’s the ideal drill press for 80 lower receivers since its speed is easily adjustable from 530 to 3100 RPM with a single lever.
The Class IIIA 2.5mW laser indicates your drill’s center points in an X pattern, eliminating guesswork and conserving costly materials, while the digital LED readout displays the current speed. The 8 by 7.5-inch cast-iron worktable bevels 45 degrees left and right, and the laser guidance system makes this the ideal desktop drill press for 80 lower receivers.
The 8 by 12.5-inch cast iron base has predrilled holes for convenient mounting to a workbench or work surface of your choosing, and the strong induction motor is supported by ball bearings for long service life and balanced operation. This drill press is the pinnacle of precision drilling tools due to its convenient onboard chuck key storage.
As it is a WEN product, you know that your drill press has a two-year warranty, a helpful customer service hotline, and plenty of spare parts. After finishing your 80% lower receiver, don’t settle for anything less than perfection. Keep WEN in mind and your next drill job will be a breeze.
6JET XACTA Laser 12-Inch Variable-Speed Drill Press
Looking for the best drill press to tackle your next 80 lower projects with ease and precision? Look no further than the JET XACTA Laser 12-Inch Variable-Speed Benchtop Drill Press.
With its compact profile and 10″ x 16-1/8″ cast iron base, this drill press fits neatly on benches with limited space, making it the ideal choice for any home workshop. But don’t be fooled by its small size – this workhorse packs a powerful punch with a 1/2-HP induction motor that can push through almost anything you throw at it.
And with over 3-1/8″ spindle travel for maximum depth cutting, as well as our innovative X-shaped XACTA Laser that ensures drilling accuracy, you can trust that every hole you drill will be perfect every time.
Plus, with oversized, ergonomic knobs, a retractable roller extension for extra support and quick workpiece adjustment, and a clear linear scale with a depth stop for consistent depths, this drill press is incredibly easy to use and delivers professional-grade results.
And for those intricate applications, the JET XACTA Laser 12-Inch Variable-Speed Benchtop Drill Press features an LED work light that increases visibility, so you can work with confidence knowing you won’t miss a thing.
So if you’re looking for the best drill press for 80 lower projects, the JET XACTA Laser 12-Inch Variable-Speed Benchtop Drill Press is the way to go. With its variable-speed system that drives the motor from 530 to 3,100 RPM and included components like the head assembly, table, table arm & support assembly, base, column and rack assembly, handles (x4), arbor, drift key, chuck key, lock handles (x2), hardware, and wrenches (x2), you’ll have everything you need to get started right out of the box.
Purchasing Advice for Top Drill Press to Complete 80% Lower
To make an 80 lower receiver, you’ll need a high-quality drill press that can easily drill through thick materials. In this buying guide, we will examine some of the most important variables to consider when selecting a drill press for your 80-lower project.
Power and velocity
While working with metal, you will need a drill press with sufficient power and speed. Consider a drill press with a minimum of 1/2 horsepower and a speed range of 500 to 3000 RPM.
Size and adaptability of the table
The size and adaptability of the table of the drill press are crucial considerations. You’ll need a table large enough to hold your workpiece and easily adjustable to suit various drilling angles.
Size and class of chuck
Chuck is the component of a drill press that secures the drill bit. Consider purchasing a drill press with a chuck size of at least 1/2 inch and a keyless chuck to facilitate bit changing.
Stop depth and laser guidance
A depth stop allows you to set the drill hole’s depth, assuring precision and consistency. Also useful is a laser guide, which provides visual guidance for precision drilling.
Built with quality and sturdiness
You will require a drill press that is durable and can sustain heavy use. Seek a model with a sturdy build and high-quality parts.
Brand reputation and client testimonials
Before making a purchase, it is usually prudent to conduct brand research and read customer reviews. Choose a brand that has an excellent reputation for quality and customer service.
Router Versus Drill Press or Mill
When you have to choose between a router or a drill press mill, it means you are choosing your finishing jig. The first time the 80% lower came into the markets, the router-based jig was used for the tasks. Now there are many jigs or drill press machines available in the market that complete the work like the harbor freight drill press and Wilton’s drill press machines.
A drill press is more crucial to use for milling purposes; drill press machines are required for router-based jigs to drill the lower parts kit’s pinholes.
What is 80% lower?
An 80% lower is a blank receiver arm that is not operable and requires some fabrication.
Do you need a drill press for 80 lower?
You have to invest in a drill press lower to achieve finishing in your 80% lower.
How hard is it to finish an 80% lower?
It is not difficult to finish 80% lower, but it needs some patience and learning to spend it with ease.
Is an 80 lower worth it?
Creating an AR-15 with an 80% lower will cost you the same as buying a ready-made rifle.
Can I use someone else’s CNC machine to finish an 80% lower?
You can only use your equipment to finish an 80% lower because it is illegal to use other’s equipment to do it.
Can a gunsmith finish an 80 lower?
A gunsmith can only serialize your 80% lower after you have finished completing it.
Can you finish an 80 lower without a jig?
You can finish an 80% lower without a jig, but it will take more tries and sometimes for you to finish it.
What size drill press for 80 lower?
For a drill press with a maximum drilling capacity of 80%, you will need a 14” drill press. However, a larger drill press would be better suited for heavy-duty tasks. The diameter and the length of the hole are also determined by the size of the bit you use.
Those who are looking for a good drill press for 80 lower, need to pay close attention to the materials used in its construction, as well as the ease of maintenance. It is important that a quality drill press can withstand the demands of an everyday routine and will last the test of time. If the drill press is not strong, it will wear down after a few months and is not recommended for a long period.
After learning about the best drill press machines, it is better to purchase one and experience it yourself. You will be able to see the benefits of a drill press once you use it yourself.