best drill press for metal work

Drill Press for Metal and Wood Works

A drill press is one of the best tools a metal worker can buy. Whether you are a professional or DIYer, there are immense benefits of having this tool in your workshop. It is easy to use, simplifies work, facilitates precise drilling, and saves your energy and time.

Not all drill presses deliver the desired results. Some models are ideal for plastic, wood, metal, while others are versatile. The final product’s quality and tool’s effectiveness depends on the drill press and the suitability of the drill bit you use.

If you are looking to buy a drill press for metal, we understand that it can be challenging. However, worry not as we have reviewed the top 6 units in the market for you at the moment.

We have also included a buyer’s guide, FAQs, and additional information. This will equip you with all the crucial details you need to make a wise purchase decision.

Quick Comparison of Top 6 Drill Presses for Drilling Metal

ProductKey SpecificationsMore Info
WEN 4214 Variable Speed Drill Press
WEN 4214 Drill Press
Motor: 2/3 HP
Max. Speed: 3200 RPM
Drill Chuck: 5/8 Inch
Weight: 89 lbs.
Shop Fox W1668 Benchtop Drill Press
Shop Fox W1668 Drill Press
Motor: 3/4 HP
Max. Speed: 1725 RPM
Drill Chuck: 5/8 Inch
Weight: 63 lbs.
DEWALT DWE1622K Drill Press
DEWALT DWE1622K Drill Press
Motor: 10 Amp
Max. Speed: 450 RPM
Drill Chuck: 1/2Inch
Weight: 33 lbs.
Jet 716200 Bench Drill Press
Jet 716200 Bench Drill Press
Motor: 3/4 HP
Max. Speed: 3500 RPM
Drill Chuck: 5/8 Inch
Weight: 154 lbs.
NOVA 58000 Drill Press
NOVA 58000 Drill Press
Motor: 2 HP
Max. Speed: 5500 RPM
Drill Chuck: 16 1/2 Inch
Weight: 307 lbs.
JET J-2530 Bench Drill Press
JET J-2530 Drill Press
Motor: 3/4 HP
Max. Speed: 3630 RPM
Drill Chuck: 15 Inch
Weight: 157 lbs.

Types of Drill Press

It is vital that you know the different types of drill press for metal you can choose from. There are two models, namely, benchtop and freestanding floor model.

Benchtop Model

Benchtop-Model-drill-pressA benchtop drill press is an excellent addition to your workshop. It can be used to do a variety of things, including drilling, milling, and sawing wood. It’s also ideal for finishing projects like furniture, cabinets, and walls.

Benchtop drill presses are cheaper. Further, they don’t occupy any floor space. They are mounted on a cabinet or bench. Although they often have smaller motors, they can still be used for some metal work tasks.

They are compatible with various accessories. However, they have smaller spindle and throat sizes, which limits the size of your workpiece.

Freestanding Floor Model

best drill press for metal and woodFloor models are designed to handle challenging heavy-duty industrial tasks. They are equipped with massive, heavy stands, which ensure the stability of the unit. They come with more powerful motors.

A floor drill press is a powerful tool that allows you to drill holes in wood, concrete, tile, and other materials without having to use a table saw or a drill press. It’s usually placed on a hard surface and features a rotating motor with two or more cutting heads that can be adjusted depending on the material you’re drilling.

The disadvantage of this drill press model is that it requires a large floor working space. Besides, it is also more expensive than the benchtop model. If you are a professional with enough floor space, then this model is your best choice.

Top-Rated 6 Best Drill Press for Metal Reviews

Here’s a little sneak peek over the top choice of 2021 and most probably coming years as well – the six best-valued drill presses for metal and wood! Should groove as just suitable for your mechanical and woodworking workspace.

So, to find out which are the best, keep reading and we’ll help you to make the best buying decision:

1WEN 4214 Variable Speed Drill Press

WEN 4214 Variable Speed Drill Press

  • Motor: 2/3 HP
  • Speed: 3200 RPM
  • Drill Chuck: 5/8-Inch

Buy on Amazon

For the last over half a century, WEN has been manufacturing high-quality drill presses. Their WEN 4214 is no different. A 2/3 HP motor powers this drill press. It is powerful enough to drill through high-density metal pieces giving a perfectly smooth finish on the holes.

Another top-notch feature of this unit is its variable speed settings. The speed settings range from 580 rpm to 3,200 rpm. It allows you to effortlessly drill through different metallic materials that require low drilling speed. Its variable speed can easily be adjusted on the fly.

WEN 4214 comes with a 12” throat depth. Therefore, it can drill up to 6” from the work piece’s edge. The performance is enough for most DIY and professional metal drilling tasks.

Further, it comes with a sizeable cast-iron table. This accommodates a large workpiece. The table tilts 45 degrees, which comes in handy during slanted drilling. Once tilted to the desired angle, the unit can be locked in position for stability.

It has a 3 1/8” spindle travel, which comes in handy when drilling through thick materials. This unit is mainly built with metal. WEN 4214 is definitely one of the best variable speed benchtop drill presses for your money with such superior features.

Also read: Best variable speed floor drill press


  • It comes with a powerful motor
  • The table tilts 45 degrees
  • It has variable speed settings
  • Features durable construction


  • It’s not reliable for drilling through high-density materials such as steel.

2Shop Fox W1668 Benchtop Drill Press

Shop Fox W1668 Benchtop Drill Press

  • Motor: 3/4 HP
  • Speed: 1725 RPM
  • Drill Chuck: 5/8-Inch

Buy on Amazon

Shop Fox is a famous brand for making quality woodworking and metal-working tools. Their W1668 is one of the most versatile benchtop drill presses for metal. This unit tilts up to 90 degrees on either side. Its height is adjustable to fit your needs. Further, it comes with an oscillating sander for even more versatility.

It is equipped with a ¾ HP motor. This is enough power for various drilling tasks. Shop Fox W1668 has 12 drilling speeds ranging between 250 and 3,050 RPM. The 250 RPM speed setting is ideal for drilling through thick metals.

The 5/8 inches chuck size fits many drilling bits. This enhances the versatility and flexibility of this benchtop drill press for metal. The work table is adjustable to accommodate different workpiece sizes.

We highly recommend Shop Fox W1668 for a versatile good benchtop drill press for metal with sanding and drilling capabilities.

Also read: Best 10-inch banchtop drill press


  • Quite powerful
  • Ideal for deep drilling
  • Quite versatile
  • It has a wide speed range


  • It lacks a work light

3DEWALT DWE1622K Drill Press

DEWALT DWE1622K Drill Press

  • Motor: 3/4 HP
  • Speed: 1725 RPM
  • Drill Chuck: 5/8-Inch

Buy on Amazon

If you need a portable yet practical drill press, Dewalt DWE1622K is worth considering. It has a 10-amp engine that gives an impressive performance. The spindle travel is 4,” making this unit an excellent choice for challenging drilling tasks. The 300 rpm and 450 rpm speed settings are, however, limiting.

It is equipped with an overload protection feature. This prevents overheating of the motor and wear of other interior parts. It also has an LED display. It comes in a sleek, lightweight, compact design. The design facilitates portability and easy storage.

Dewalt DWE1622K components are top quality. Thus, this device is quite durable for long-term use. Although this unit has a few limitations, it is an excellent choice for beginners looking for a sturdy, powerful metal drilling tool.


  • It has a convenient, sleek design
  • Efficient in drilling through thick materials
  • The motor is quite powerful
  • It is quite durable


  • The speed setting is quite limited

4Jet 716200 Bench Drill Press

Jet 716200 Bench Drill Press

  • Motor: 3/4 HP
  • Speed: 3500 RPM
  • Drill Chuck: 5/8-Inch

Buy on Amazon

This 15-inch drill press for the money gives superior performance for small to medium tasks. Its spindle travel is 3 1/8 inches long. This allows you to drill deep into one revolution.

A ¾ HP motor powers the drill press. This is powerful enough for all tasks in a medium-sized workshop. The chuck size is 5/8”. The table slants up to 45 degrees on both sides.

The 16-speed settings of this unit range between 210 rpm and 3,500 rpm. It uses a single-handed belt tensioning system for quick speed changes. The built-in LED light of this unit improves visibility in your working space.

Further, the table comes with 2 T-grooves and 4 table slots. The two correctly hold in place the workpiece during drilling. Combining the cast iron table and high-quality material of all the other parts makes this device durable.


  • It’s quite stable.
  • High drilling accuracy.
  • It has superior performance.
  • It has a safety key for the power button.


  • It can be challenging to assemble.

5NOVA 58000 Industrial Floor Drill Press for Metal

NOVA 58000 Industrial Floor Drill Press for Metal

  • Motor: 2 HP
  • Speed: 5500 RPM
  • Drill Chuck: 16 1/2-Inch

Buy on Amazon

Next up is this 18” drill press that uses a direct drive system. NOVA 58000 uses no belts or pulleys, thanks to its DVR technology. This means that there are no vibrations, thus smooth and quiet operations. Its motor power is 1.75 HP that can be boosted up to 2.0 HP.

This unit’s variable speed settings range from 50 to 3,000 RPM, with an option of increasing to 5,500 rpm. This unit has the lowest minimum rpm in these top 6 best drill presses for metal review. It has a 6” spindle travel.

The chuck size is 5/8”. The cast iron table tilts 45 degrees to both sides for beveled drilling. The table also rotates 360 degrees and has an LCD display. It has a sensor for tilt and vibration, making the drill press relatively safe to use. Further, it can be locked with a personalized password.

We recommend NOVA 58000 to look for an effective and safe unit in environments with kids such as schools or home workshops.


  • It is quite powerful.
  • It facilitates a smooth operation.
  • Quite versatile.
  • It saves power.
  • Very easy to use.


  • It is quite heavy

6JET J-2530 Bench Drill Press

JET J-2530 Bench Drill Press

  • Motor: 3/4 HP
  • Speed: 3630 RPM
  • Drill Chuck: 16-Inch

Buy on Amazon

Finally, we review yet another Jet drill press highly effective for metalwork. This 15-inch benchtop unit is powered by a ¾ HP motor. The table revolves 360 degrees and tilts 45 degrees on either side. The combination of these two features makes Jet J-2530 relatively easy to use.

It has a 16-speed setting ranging from 200 – 3,630 rpm. It is equipped with a work light for visibility in dimly lit areas. It comes with a cast iron head. This facilitates stability and durability.

Jet J-2530 features permanently lubricated ball bearings in its spindle assembly. The large quill facilitates accuracy in drilling. It is equipped with a large ground steel column for the ideal head and table support.


  • It comes with permanently lubricated ball bearings.
  • It has a stable base.
  • Quite affordable
  • Long-lasting


  • It has no digital readouts.

Buyer’s Guide

Things to Consider – Before Buying a Drill Press Worth of Money

One of the main advantages of a drill press for metal is that they are powerful, accurate, and quick tools that save you time while giving you uniform holes. Here are essential features to consider in the best drill press for metalwork.

Drilling Speeds

The speed range of your drill will determine the type and intensity of tasks it can handle. This also affects the quality of the final product.

Speed is indicated as RPM (revolutions per minute). It demonstrates how fast or slow your drill press can operate. The number of speeds shows the different speed settings in the drill’s speed range. Other drill presses have variable speed settings. Therefore, you can change the speed settings an infinite number of times within the unit’s speed range.

A vast speed range allows versatility and gives excellent results on the final product. The ideal drilling speed range for you will be determined by your work piece’s material and the hole’s size. Softer materials require higher speeds, while harder ones require lower speeds. Further, smaller drilling bits require higher speeds, while larger bits require lower speeds.

If your budget allows, the best drill for the money is one with a wide RPM range and variable speed.

Drilling Power

Another crucial aspect of a good drill press for metal is its power. Power is indicated in horsepower (hp) and ampere usage (amp). More horsepower means a more powerful motor. Therefore, more intense work gets done.

Ideally, it would help if you bought a drill press with a power rating slightly higher than your needs. It leaves room for you to do more demanding tasks should you need to.

Model Type

Drill press for metal comes in different types. Benchtop models have less powerful motors and limited capacity in the size of workpiece they can handle. Thus, they are better for light commercial tasks and home workshops.

On the other hand, freestanding floor models are the best choice for industrial-grade tasks and large workshops. They can be used for unlimited drilling tasks.


The size of the best drill press will be determined by your budget and the size of your working space. Here are 3 critical components of a drill press you need to keep in mind when shopping.

Spindle Travel

Also known as quill travel, this is the maximum depth of the drill press’s hole. For example, a drill with 3” quill travel can drill a maximum of 3” depth.


Swing refers to the distance between the support column and the spindle. A drill press with a 15” swing can drill a hole at the center of a circle with a 30” diameter.

If you are working on materials with a big surface area, you should choose a drill press with a big swing. Big swings range between 15” to 20”.

Table Size

The table is attached to the support column and is used to hold and secure your workpiece. Bigger tables provide stability to a large workpiece. The best drill press for metal should accommodate your standard workpiece.


Weight is an essential consideration if you are looking for a portable device. Freestanding models are more massive. They need to stay stationary in your workspace.

The best benchtop drill press should be lightweight but stable enough to withstand vibrations. However, the lighter the device, the less powerful it is. For a portable drill press, choose one that gives you the perfect weight and power balance for your needs.


Some drill presses come with a laser for precise drilling. Its absence isn’t a deal-breaker, but it is a valuable feature to have. It saves you the hassle of having to lower the drill press to confirm that it lines up.


Even though the cost isn’t the first factor to consider, it is essential too. More expensive models tend to last longer. Having a budget will help you compare different affordable models for your needs.

The variety of drills we have covered in this review meets almost everyone’s budget.

A drill press can be hazardous if not carefully used. Here are drill press safety tips that apply to all models.

  • Don’t clean metal shavings or wood chips with bare hands.
  • Never change settings or parts when the drill is still on or plugged in.
  • Never hold the workpiece with your hands. Always secure it in place with a firm device, preferably a table vice.
  • Tie your hair to the back, and don’t wear loose-fitting clothes. This is because the drill may catch them.
  • Wear protective gear for the eyes and ears.
  • Always ensure that the machine is well lubricated. Lubrication reduces friction in the machine’s mechanisms. It also prevents rusting.

Always adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions


Which is the best drill press today for the money?

A good drill press doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. There are drill presses that provide an ideal balance between performance and cost. Our top 3 drill presses for the money in this review are WEN 4214, NOVA 58000, and Shop Fox W1668.

What does a drill press do?

As a power tool, a drill press makes your work easier. It also facilitates precise and accurate drilling saves you energy and time, and provides more safety. Further, it provides versatility as some can be used for other tasks such as sanding.

What makes the best metal drill press?

The primary feature you need to consider is the power of the tool. Next, pay attention to the speed settings and range, spindle travel, model type weight, size, and cost.

Which is the best drilling bit for metal?

High-speed steel bits are an ideal choice. However, Titanium high-speed steel bits are the best. Coated with Titanium, they are stronger and more effective in drilling through high-density metals.

What is the best way to clean a drill press?

Drill presses hardly require cleaning. If you need to remove the build-up, wipe it with a clean piece of cloth. Besides, use a manufacturer-approved oil to lubricate moving parts.

How do I assemble the drill press?

Most drill presses come with assembling instructions, while the rest come fully assembled. If you experience challenges assembling the unit, contact the manufacturer for guidance. You may also seek professional assistance from the store where you purchased the drill press.

Final Words

A drill press can be a game-changer in your workshop. It adds flexibility and versatility to the projects you undertake. Even so, drill presses are not the same. It would help if you chose between the bench and freestanding floor models. Features such as speed settings, power, and size determine a drill press’s effectiveness for metalworking.

Drill presses are not the cheapest tools to buy. It would be best if you thought through your purchase decision to ensure that you get value for your money. We have saved you this hassle by reviewing the top 6 drill press for metalwork that you can choose from in the market.

NOVA 58000 has the lowest speed setting and largest spindle travel. Thus, it provides the most effortless deep drilling for even the thickest metals. At 90 degrees tilting, Shop Fox W1668 provides the most flexibility for angular drilling. WEN 4214 provides an ideal balance between cost and performance.

Lastly, our buyer’s guide and additional information further equip you with knowledge of the feature you need to avoid wasting money.