Top 5 Best Drill Press for 80 Lower In 2021: Complete Guide of 80% Lower

drill press 80 lower

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 using 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 a functional firearm, then you will find this article helpful.

We have covered the best drill press you should use to build your 80% lower.

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.

1. WEN 4208 8 inches, 5-Speed Drill Press

Top 5 Best Drill Press for 80 Lower In 2021: Complete Guide of 80% Lower 1

Motor Power: 1/3 HP
Speed: 3140 RPM
Drill Chuck: 1/2-Inch

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 for 80% lower.

It has been created using a strong frame, cast iron head, table, and base to drill accurate holes and make the drilling process convenient for the user. When thinking about easy drilling in any material, WEN should be your first option.


  • 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, 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.


  • WEN has a swing specification of 8 inches.
  • The spindle lock travels up to 2 inches.
  • It has five speeds.
  • The speed range is from 740 to 3140 RPM.
  • It requires 2.4A of current.

2. Hardware Factory Store 2 Way 4-Inch Drill Press

The metal pieces swing back and forth while work is performed on them. A press drill that keeps the materials firmly in place is crucial. The 4-inch Drill press spins crank handles, using you can adjust the front from the back and the left from the right.

This quality prevents the material from spinning all the time and protects you from injuries. The machine also handles the wood and metal material with ease and precision. The four-inch drill can also be connected to other tools to fix the exact location of the workpiece.


  • The 4-inch cross sliding can turn the drill press into a milling machine.
  • The construction includes a cast iron casing.
  • The steel jaws present in it are powerful.
  • It also includes cold-rolled steel screws.
  • The two crank handles adjust the front to back and left to right.
  • It has been designed for woodworking and metalworking.


  • It has a throat opening of 3.5”.
  • Cross travel is 5” and 4.5”.
  • The vise and cross slide has adjustable shims.
  • The crank handles present in the cross slide are removable and adjustable.
  • It is made of metal and has is manually power sourced.

3. Wilton 11696 6-Inch Cross Slide Drill

The Wilton’s cross slide drill press joins our list of the best drill presses because of its unique features. It repeats the drilling or taps in a wood piece by sliding in two axes. The jaws clamp round objects, vertically or horizontally. Moreover, it comes with a lifetime warranty by Wilton.


  • It accurately moves the workpiece horizontally or longitudinally for accurate positioning.
  • It has a durable construction, made with fine grain cast iron.
  • The screw has been coated with a black oxide that provides consistent clamping pressure.
  • It is one of the best sellers online.
  • The jaws are 2inch deep, and they open up to 6 inches.
  • The cast side knob moves in an increment of 1 mm.


  • The jaw depth is 2 inches.
  • The jaws have an opening capacity of 6 inches.
  • The width of the jaws is 6 inches.
  • It travels horizontally and vertically in 7-9/10.

4. Wilton Tools 11694 4-Inch Cross Slide Drill Press Vise

One of the best cross slide drill press vises, equipped with four-inch wide jaws, the 11694 cross drill holds the piece securely to keep it from moving from the table and resulting in severe injuries in the workshop.

It is made of strong iron cast, and it ensures long-lasting durability for years. The vise is adjusted forward and sideways through the crank handles to ensure versatility. Its features are similar to the Wiltons’s 11696 cross slide drill.


  • It accurately moves the workpiece horizontally or longitudinally for accurate positioning.
  • It has a durable construction, made with fine grain cast iron.
  • The screw has been coated with a black oxide that provides consistent clamping pressure.
  • It is one of the best sellers online.
  • The jaws are 2inch deep, and they open up to 6 inches.
  • The cast side knob travels in an increment of 1 mm.


  • The width of the jaws is 4 inches.
  • It offers a great holding capacity.
  • The drill press has been designed to move the stock accurately.
  • This model features v-grooved jaws that protect round-shaped objects vertically and horizontally and prevent mistakes, expensive to repair.

5. Proxxon 37110 Micro Mill MF 70

The Proxxon Micro mill performs intricate and lengthy tasks with ease. This tool can be used for lab work, jobs for opticians, jewelry, and building projects. It is easy to work with and can be kept on a tabletop. It is portable and easy to operate.

This brilliant tool makes your tasks problem-free. It has been constructed to offer stable performance at high speeds. Using this tool, you can easily place your mill for the job.

You will be able to position the mill according to the task with ease as it is engineered to provide stability at high operating speeds. Combine the ultimate utility and precision with the Proxxon 37110 Micro Mill MF 70.


  • The vertical column is of high-quality aluminum.
  • It features a 24 pole balanced unique motor, which, at high speeds, provides stability.
  • It includes six triple slit hardened steel collets.
  • All handwheels are adjustable and revolve for 3/64 inch.
  • It offers quiet operation, accuracy, vibration-free, and stress-free use.
  • It has less weight and a slim design.
  • It features a high-quality accuracy tool.

How to Complete an 80% Lower

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 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, 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 mills vertically cut is called a plunge cut. Clean the receiver’s wall after the final depth has been reached.

7. Cutting the Receiver 2 inch deep

Install 3/8 end mill in your machine and start cutting 2-inch deep measuring 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.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is 80% lower?

An 80% lower is a blank receiver arm 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?

To create an AR-15 with an 80% lower will cost you the same as that of 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 jig?

You can finish an 80% lower without a jig, but it will take more tries and sometimes for you to finish it.


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.

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