Best Drill Press for 80 Lower

Finishing 80 Lower Using Drill Press

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 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.

Quick Comparison of 5 Best Drill Press to Finish 80% Lower

ProductKey SpecificationsMore Info
WEN 4208T 2.3-Amp 8-Inch 5-Speed Drill Press
WEN 4208T 8-Inch Drill Press
Swing: 8-inch
Motor: 1/3 HP
Max. Speed: 3140 RPM
Drill Chuck: 1/2-inch
Weight: 31 lbs.
BILT HARD TL-DP85-W 8-Inch 5-Speed Drill Press with Worklight and Drill Vise
BILT HARD TL-DP85-W Drill Press
Swing: 8-inch
Motor: 1/3 HP
Max. Speed: 3070 RPM
Drill Chuck: 1/2-inch
Weight: 22 lbs.
WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press
WEN 4214 12-Inch Drill Press
Swing: 12-inch
Motor: 2/3 HP
Max. Speed: 3200 RPM
Drill Chuck: 5/8-inch
Weight: 89.1 lbs.
Grizzly Industrial G0925 8-Inch Baby Benchtop Drill Press
Grizzly G0925 Drill Press
Swing: 8-inch
Motor: 1/3 HP
Max. Speed: 3140 RPM
Drill Chuck: 1/2-inch
Weight: 36 lbs.
WEN 4210 10-Inch Drill Press with Laser
WEN 4210 Drill Press
Swing: 10-inch
Motor: 3/4 HP
Max. Speed: 3100 RPM
Drill Chuck: 1/2-inch
Weight: 51 lbs.

What is 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 the 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% 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.

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

WEN 4208T 2.3-Amp 8-Inch 5-Speed Drill Press

  • Motor: 1/3 HP
  • Drill Chuck: 1/2-inch
  • Weight: 31 lbs.

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Highlight Features

  • 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.

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.

Key Specifications

  • 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.
  • Motor Power: 1/3 HP
  • Drill Chuck: 1/2-Inch

2BILT HARD TL-DP85-W 8-Inch 5-Speed Drill Press with Worklight and Drill Vise

BILT 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.

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Highlight Features

  • 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. In fact, 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.

Key Specifications

  • 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

WEN 4214 12-Inch Variable Speed Drill Press

  • Motor: 2/3 HP
  • Drill Chuck: 5/8-inch
  • Weight: 89.1 lbs.

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Highlight Features

  • The MT2 spindle taper accepts bits up to 5/8 of a 1” in diameter
  • 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 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. In order 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 conditions. 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.

Key Specifications

  • 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 Industrial G0925 8-Inch Baby Benchtop Drill Press

Grizzly Industrial G0925 8-Inch Baby Benchtop Drill Press

  • Motor: 1/3 HP
  • Drill Chuck: 1/2-inch
  • Weight: 36 lbs.

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Highlight Features

  • The double T-slot feature supports the drill press for 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 problem to moving it to different places

The Grizzly Industrial G0925 – 8” baby Benchtop Drill Press is relatively lightweight, weighs only 34 lbs. allowing you to carry it anywhere as you like. In fact, it receives baby benchtop drill press titles for its portability and compactness feature. You will get efficient drilling results all the time with its 2” spindle travel and 8” swing feature. At the same time, its drilling capacity is ½”, making it an ideal drill press for polymer 80, iron, plastic, wood, and mild steel.

This Grizzly drill press is also compatible with variable drill chucks within the 1/16” – ½” range, which means it will fulfill all your DIY project requirements. You will love to know that it is one of the straightforward drill presses in the market. Even a beginner will not face any trouble operating it. Due to its lightweight design, it is effortless to use.

It doesn’t require much maintenance to get the most out of it. After every use, clean it using a soft dry cloth. Also, periodically lubricate the moving parts using the lubricating oil. With proper care, this drill press will deliver long-term service for sure. This is the best drill press for 80 lower, is promised to deliver the best service for non-intensive drilling applications.

Key Specifications

  • Product Weight: 34 lbs.
  • Voltage: 120V
  • Speed: 3140RPM
  • Amperage: 2.3 Amps
  • Power source: Corded Electric
  • Motor Power: 1/3 HP
  • Drill Chuck: 1/2-Inch

5WEN 4210 10-Inch Drill Press with Laser

WEN 4210 10-Inch Drill Press with Laser

  • Motor: 3/4 HP
  • Drill Chuck: 1/2-inch
  • Weight: 51 lbs.

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Highlight Features

  • 5 variable speed settings make it a versatile drill press
  • Powerful 4.3-Amps induction motor allows you to drill through several materials
  • Robust frame with cast iron-made table, base, and head
  • Ball bearings guarantee the long lifespan of the drill press

The WEN 4210 10″ Variable Speed Drill Press is a powerful tool that creates holes through wood, plastic, and metal without trouble. If your project is to create a ½” hole through heavy-duty cast iron, this drill press will be the ideal solution. You can adjust the RPM range between 600 – 3100RPM with ease by turning the lever, and the LED screen displays the correct speed.

Rigid frame construction gives it a robust look. Also, the base, table, and iron head are made from cast iron. The induction motor is so powerful and equipped with ball bearings that it confirms longevity and smooth performance. Working at a 45° angle to the left and right side is convenient with this drill press since the worktable bevels quite easily.

In addition, onboard laser light specifies the exact spot that the bit travels through for maximum precision during drilling. The JT33 spindle taper accepts bits up to ½ of an inch in diameter. The depth gauge on this drill press is a lot more robust than other drill presses. With this one, you turn the dial to the desired stop and tighten a bolt. Overall, it is a well-constructed drill press suitable for light to medium drilling projects.

Key Specifications

  • Product Weight: 51 lbs.
  • Voltage: 120V
  • Speed: 3100RPM
  • Amperage: 4.5 Amps
  • Power source: Corded Electric
  • Motor Power: 4/3 HP
  • Drill Chuck: 1/2-Inch

Also read: Best drill bits for 80% lower

9 Steps on 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 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, 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 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.


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 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.

Final Words

For those who are looking for a good drill press for 80 lower, they 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 is able to 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 of time.

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.